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, as well as options beyond the Kansas City borders.
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 is INCREDIBLE.
It’s filled with Impossible sausage, melty cheese, and Just Egg, perfectly fried around the edges.
On the side, fried potatoes.
For a gluten-free option, try the street tacos.
Three corn tortillas are packed with your choice of Beyond Meat or portobello mushrooms.
They’re finished with grilled onions, pico de gallo, and cilantro.
On the side is flavorful Mexican rice.
For appetizers, they offer jalapeno poppers.
They are clearly made in house & massive. They almost remind me of chile rellenos, because of their size.
However, the filling is oddly lumpy and bland. I’d pass on these next time.
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.
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 am Terrific: Raw pad Thai with kelp noodles, kale, carrots, cucumbers, herbs, and almonds
- I am Strong: Sweet potato tacos
- I am Grateful (Community Bowl): Black bean & rice bowl with kale and tahini sauce
Don’t leave without dessert.
The options change. But expect things like this dense and creamy blueberry meringue.
Meshuggah Bagels is a chain with the kind of high-quality bagels you’d expect in New York City.
With every chewy bite, you’ll wonder if you’ve been transported to the East Coast.
They have locations in the Power & Light District, Midtown, Overland Park, and Liberty.
All of the bagels at Meshuggah are vegan – including the bialys.
Options include plain, everything, poppy seed, sesame seed, onion, garlic, salt, rye, whole wheat, cinnamon raisin, bialy, and chocolate chip.
To top your bagel, they have vegan plain cream cheese.
For more of a bagel sandwich situation, add sliced tomato, capers, and/or red onion.
If you’re looking for coffee to go with your bagel, I’d search elsewhere. Their only non-dairy creamer option is powdered.
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.
For the vegan cheeses they had herb-crusted chevre, smoky queso, and mustard seed smoked gouda.
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.
If you’re craving Ethiopian food, Kansas City has a wealth of delicious options – including Mesob.
Mesob Restaurant features both Ethiopian and Caribbean fare.
The restaurant has a date night vibe.
(Although, TV’s in restaurants aren’t my favorite. Sit away from the bar area if you get distracted by them.)
The vegetarian platter comes with yellow split peas, red lentils, cabbage & carrots, collard greens, and a green salad with tomatoes.
All of the wots are wonderfully layered in flavor. The cabbage is so tender, it falls apart in your mouth while you eat.
One platter is a good serving size for two people.
Other vegan Ethiopian options include portobello mushroom tibs, shiro with blended chickpeas, and asmara pasta in a portobello mushroom ragout.
I’m also curious to try their vegan paella on a future visit. It’s made with black mushroom rice, saffron broth, and a variety of veggies.
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.
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.
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.
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.
They feature black bean burgers, BBQ jackfruit sandwiches, jackfruit nachos, and cupcakes.
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.
Harry S. Truman Presidential Library
Located in nearby Independence, Missouri, this presidential library is worthy of a visit.
This museum give a fascinating peek into the life of our nation’s 33rd president. It’s also a window into the times that he lived in.
It’s very interactive with a mixture of video and audio components, in addition to the usual placards on the wall.
Children will be equally engaged as well as adults.
I was especially intrigued by the selection of letters that he wrote to his wife.
He was an avid letter writer. And they shared over 200 letters in the course of their relationship.
There are definitely sobering, sad, and troubling elements in the exhibits that elucidate the times, and are given with context.
President Truman and his wife, Bess, are interred on the grounds there.
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.
Their charming Main Street feels like a walk back in time.
- Visit Wine’s by Jennifer for a glass of Malbec
- Grab a soy latte at Parkville Coffee
- Walk by the Missouri River
- Take in the mini farmers market on Saturdays
- You can even see waterfalls
Content and photos updated June 19, 2023. Since the original publishing date, some restaurants have been removed due to closure – including Pirate’s Bone, Landoplenty, Kind Food, and FUD in Parkville, Missouri. Originally posted June 4, 2015.