Kansas City Like a Local

Kansas City Like a Local

The Kansas City Steak Company president shares the secrets of his Midwestern home city By: Kendall McKinven
<p>Hotel Sorella has a Mediterranean-inspired design. // © 2015 Hotel Sorella</p><p>Feature image (above): Kansas City is known as the “city of...

Hotel Sorella has a Mediterranean-inspired design. // © 2015 Hotel Sorella

Feature image (above): Kansas City is known as the “city of fountains.” // © 2015 iStock

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For Kansas City Steak Company president John McKinven, there’s no better place to explore than Kansas City, Mo. From a bustling food scene to several historic tourist attractions, this Midwest hot spot has all the makings of a big city, yet the charm and accessibility of a small town.

A perfect day in the city starts with:
A morning walk in Loose Park, followed by a coffee and a danish at Andre’s Confiserie Suisseon Main Street. Then, I’d spend the rest of the morning in the West Bottoms District, which has some of the best antiques and one-of-a-kind finds that Kansas City has to offer.

For lunch, there is no better place than Blue Bird Bistro — I am a big fan of their Meatloaf Benedict. I’d spend the rest of the afternoon browsing the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, as the building alone is an impressive work of art and admission is always free.

Finally, I’d end my day at The Capital Grille for a well-deserved K.C. Strip steak.

The best place to experience true Kansas City barbecue is:
Joe’s Kansas City Barb-B-Que. Its original location still runs out of a gas station, which offers a great photo op. Joe’s draws long lines, but it is worth the wait (and smart folks call ahead for carry out). If you’re looking for more of a sit-down barbeque experience, Q39 is just the ticket.

It’s a Friday night out. Where do you grab a drink?
The Rieger Hotel Grill & Exchange in the Crossroad Arts District is great for classic cocktails. The restaurant still has much of its original decor from the early 20th century.

It’s surprising to learn:
How much history there is in Kansas City. There is a historic marker in the WireCo Building parking lot that denotes where Bonnie and Clyde famously shot their way out of an FBI trap. Trans World Airlines (TWA) headquarters were also here. TWA’s recognizable Moonliner statue can be seen on the newly renovated building that was once the airline’s headquarters. Kansas City is also home to The National World War I Museum.

The best place for an unexpected souvenir is:
The Westside Storey, which has a lot of great antiques and carries a lot of local Kansas City brands. A box of Kansas City Steaks also makes a great local gift.

The tourist activity that is worth the hype is:
Either a Royals’ baseball game at Kaufman Stadium or a Chiefs’ football game at Arrowhead Stadium. Once you’re there, be sure to enjoy a Kansas City Steakburger.

After a long day of touring, the best hotel to catch some zzz’s is:
Hotel Sorella Country Club Plaza. It’s in a central location that has a lot of walkable restaurants and shopping.