Kansas City may not be known for its vegan dining, but it should be! There are a plethora of vegan restaurants, as well as veg-friendly places worthy of a visit.
Kansas City is one of the Midwest’s best-kept secrets.
You get the benefits of big city living with the easy pace of a smaller town.
This vibrant area is flush with outstanding veg-friendly and vegan restaurants.
Here’s a rundown of some of my favorite vegan, vegetarian, and vegan-friendly restaurants in the KC.
Some are on the Missouri side. Others are in Kansas.
Then continue scrolling to hear about what else to see & do between meals.
The Iron District & Landoplenty
Dine outdoors at the Iron District in North Kansas City.
It’s a collection of colorful shipping containers that work as makeshift kitchens.
You can grab a meal from any of the restaurants and dine at picnic tables. Pick up a beer or cocktail. And afterwards, do some shopping.
Some nights they have live music, which lends to the festive vibes.
Landoplenty is located in one of the shipping containers. And they make mouthwatering vegan Italian food.
The fried ravioli is stuffed with non-dairy ricotta and mozzarella, basil, and a drizzling of marinara & pesto.
The calamari is made with a mixture of hearts of palm and blue oyster mushrooms. The coating has a delicious grittiness & crunch from coarse cornmeal.
(The hearts of palm are similar to my vegan shrimp!)
Add a squeeze of lemon. Or dip in marinara or pesto.
The mini pizza is cut into rectangles and served with seitan pepperoni, peppers, pizza sauce, and zigzags of pesto.
Everything is full of flavor & piping hot.
Cool off with a cocktail from Tiki Huna.
I am not a fan of sweet drinks. So I recommend a gin & lime cocktail with a Topo Chico mixer for fizz.
More of a beer fan? You can find craft beers at Tap Shack.
Also in the Iron District, look for Vegan Crave. It’s just on the opposite side of Landoplenty.
They feature black bean burgers, BBQ jackfruit sandwiches, jackfruit nachos, and cupcakes.
The Fix is a vegan restaurant known for comfort food.
In this location’s former life it was a Midtown drug store. Now they’re whipping up sandwiches, burgers, bowls, tacos, and burritos.
Plus, on the weekends you can get pancakes or biscuits & gravy.
The biscuit breakfast sandwich (above) is INCREDIBLE.
It’s filled with Impossible sausage, melty cheese, and Just Egg, perfectly fried around the edges.
On the side, fried potatoes.
(It was my favorite thing I ate during our recent weekend in KC.)
It comes with a dollop of mashed potatoes, and green beans that taste just like Mom’s.
Kind Food used to be located in one of the shipping containers in the Iron District.
But now they have a full restaurant in Kansas City, Kansas.
It’s completely vegan and beautifully decorated.
You order at the counter. Then go take a seat at one of the many tables and booths.
They have tempting options like chili cheese dip, buffalo chick’n wraps with Soy Curls, CocoBLT wraps, and veggie burgers.
But when it’s an option, I’ve got to order the reuben.
This seitan “rooben” is made with Mrs. Goldfarb’s Unreal Deli vegan corned beef.
(I like to buy Unreal Deli at Fresh Thyme market when I’m in an area that has one.)
Then it’s topped with local sauerkraut, Follow Your Heart vegan provolone, and “awesome sauce” on marbled rye.
It’s a filling, tasty, and compact sandwich. Satiating enough that I made two meals out of it!
There are a variety of vegan nachos options.
The classic Gateway nachos (above) are topped with cashew queso, black beans, and pico de gallo.
It’s finished with a drizzle of cilantro-lime cream.
They can be made spicy by request, which I recommend.
These massive nachos are totally decadent from the first bite to the last.
On your way out, stop by their little shopping area to stock up on shirts, repackaged nutritional yeast, Soy Curls, vegan honey, or local cheeses.
Mattie’s is a small eatery focusing on vegan comfort foods.
You order at the counter. And then your meal is brought out to you.
Expect indulgent breakfasts, buffalo mac & cheese, barbecue sandwiches, and burritos.
At breakfast, they have a biscuit breakfast sandwich with a Just Egg patty, soy bacon and/or sausage, cheese sauce, and agave syrup.
It also comes with strawberry jelly on the side if you like a sweet and savory sandwich.
Messy but oh-so-delicious.
The breakfast platter comes with pancakes, potato hash dotted with Just Egg, soy bacon and/or sausage.
The pancakes are beautifully crispy & sprinkled with powdered sugar. They’re reminiscent of a funnel cake.
My only quibble is that the bacon is just warmed instead of fried. It would be more satisfying with crispy edges.
(The bacon looks the same as what they use at Slutty Vegan in Atlanta.)
In addition to savory items, they have cupcakes & cakes available for dessert.
If burgers and fries are what you crave, head to Pirates Bone.
It has the vibe of an old school fast food diner, but totally vegan.
They have two locations – Crossroads and Midtown. The menus are similar, but the Midtown location offers breakfast as well.
Along with burgers aplenty, they have nuggets, loaded fries, soft serve, and shakes.
The classic burger comes with an Impossible patty, aioli, pickles, greens, and secret sauce.
It’s terrific with non-dairy cheese for extra melty goodness.
If you’re feeling really hungry, add a second patty for a double cheeseburger.
I like my burgers a little more well done (as opposed to pink). Otherwise, it’s a delicious, juicy sandwich.
And if you prefer a medium rare to medium burger, you’re set!
Don’t like Impossible burgers? They also have a beet or black bean burgers available.
Mud Pie Vegan Bakery & Coffeehouse
Mud Pie makes some of the best coffee anywhere. It’s rich and bold without being bitter.
(I especially love their soy latte!)
Until recently Mud Pie had two locations – one in Overland Park, Kansas, and the other in a bright yellow house in Kansas City, Missouri.
Sadly, the yellow house is no longer in operation.
But you can still get your fix of pastries and coffee at this 100% vegan bakery and coffee shop.
Enjoy it with a cinnamon roll, savory kolache, jalapeno cheddar or cranberry orange scone, muffin, or cupcake.
On Saturdays they have fried donuts!
Kansas City has a lot of vegan comfort foods, sandwiches, and fried food.
But if you have a hankering for something on the healthy side, check out Café Gratitude.
They have filling, substantive food that is simple without being boring.
Cafe Gratitude is a vegan restaurant, except for the honey used in some drinks. But it’s easy to skip those.
They’re also one of the few vegetarian restaurants in town that offers wine. (Most of the others are more casual.)
You may know Café Gratitude from their other locations in California. Expect a similar vibe with dishes that double as mantras.
So instead of asking for lentil curry, you can request it by its given name, “I am humble.”
This curry bowl is made with spicy & smooth lentils, spinach, and roasted sweet potatoes. It’s served over brown rice.
It’s finished with a drizzle of sweet tamarind sauce and coconut mint chutney.
I also recommend I am Terrific, a raw pad Thai dish. It’s served cold (unless you ask for it to be warmed). It’s made with kelp noodles, kale, carrots, cucumbers, herbs, and almonds.
The sweet potato tacos (a.k.a. I am Strong) are also a favorite.
Don’t leave without dessert.
The options change. But expect things like this dense and creamy blueberry meringue.
Charcuterie boards are one of my all-time favorite things.
So when a business offers a vegan board with premium vegan meats & cheeses, I am all in.
The Pairing in the Crossroads neighborhood of Kansas City has a full bar.
Plus, you can grab any wine from their shelves. And they will open it for you. (Plus a $10 corkage fee.)
We grabbed a bottle of Hey Malbec, a new favorite.
This is not a vegetarian or vegan establishment.
However, our server lined up a beautiful board with a variety of spreads and sauces, olives, and pickled green beans. (Love their tangy flavor!)
For the main event, there were three kinds of meat from Herbivorous Butcher – vegan turkey, pastrami, and thinly sliced Korean ribs.
The chevre is beautifully light and dotted with rosemary. The gouda is wonderfully smoky.
There were also plenty of crackers to devour every last bite, which I appreciate.
You can also treat the charcuterie as a sample tray, because The Pairing has a refrigerator and freezer area that’s well stocked with vegan meats, cheeses, and jerkys for sale.
(I bought some frozen vegan drumsticks, as well as a container of the chevre to go.)
Things to do & see
If you’re in town for a weekend getaway, here are some of my favorite things to do in the Kansas City area between meals.
City Market is a daily farmers market that is especially bustling on weekends.
(Nearby Blue Nile Cafe also has tasty vegan Ethiopian options!)
The first Friday of the month there’s a gallery walk in the Crossroads Arts District.
See a variety of artwork on display in the galleries. Then enjoy impromptu live music and dancing in the streets.
There’s a real party vibe.
On the first Friday weekend of the month, meander to West Bottoms to check out eclectic antiques in dilapidated buildings.
I especially like Good Ju Ju.
Country Club Plaza
Catch up on your shopping at Country Club Plaza.
This 15 city blocks long plaza is dotted with fountains, sculptures, and designer shops.
While there a lot of chain stores, they also have some local haunts as well.
Most of all it’s nice to be outside & do some window shopping.
This isn’t a tourist spot. But I do like to pick up some locally made tofu from Central Soyfoods whenever I’m in the area.
They make it in a variety of flavors like plain, hot fiesta, and garlic herb. I especially like the hickory smoked variety.
You can find it at Whole Foods & other natural grocery stores.
Take in the art at this illustrious (and free) museum, which houses 42,000 pieces of art.
And even if you don’t visit the interior gallery, it’s still worth wandering around their grounds and posing with the oversized shuttlecocks.
It looks like giants just ended their game of badminton.
The National Museum of Toys and Miniatures
T/M has a variety of dollhouses and miniatures on display, as well as decades’ worth of toys to admire.
If you like little things, you’ll love perusing the collection here.
Parkville is about twenty minutes from downtown Kansas City.
If you want to stay somewhere quiet with only the sounds of trains to lull you to sleep, it’s ideal for a low-key getaway.
Content and photos updated May 13, 2022. Originally posted June 4, 2015.