Now that I'm living abroad, I get an occasional PM asking for some specific KC advice. I like being able to provide what info I can, though some are admittedly beyond my range of experience yet. In any case, I figured I may as well start a thread so that whatever info I've got is preserved for posterity, rather than hidden away in PM land. Plus if anyone with better info happens to be paying attention, there are more chances to find a winner.
I've got a last minute trip to KC tomorrow, and will be staying at the Hyatt regency Crown Center. I'll be on foot, but like walking longish distances. Any eating suggestions for someone who likes to dine while sitting at the bar?
I really don't notice so much which places have bar dining, but there's a casual upscale-comfortable wine bar called The Drop that's not at all a bad walk from where you are staying.
I'm nearly sure there's a bar you can sit at. The food is good.
The American is in Crown Center, and reputed to be the toniest joint in town (just won a Beard award for best chef Midwest, if you're into that sort of thing). Honestly, my expectations aren't that high, and I don't know if they have a bar, but it's certainly the kind of experience some folks are looking for and convenient for sure.
There's a Gates BBQ pretty close on 31st and Linwood, an iconic KC joint of the signature food here, but not one I generally hear of in the top tier these days, so much so that I haven't been. I should though. Don't know the bar situation.
A considerably longer but probably pleasant walk by daylight would be along the north side of Penn Valley Park and through Union Station where you'd find Lidia's (Bastianich...KC's lone Food Network-type place) very cool interior and people here seem to really like it. I'm not crazy about the food, but JiminLoganSquare ate at the bar at Lidia's
, and rather enjoyed it.
And Fiorella's Jack Stack BBQ, a very popular place, is right next door, but a real sit-down restaurant with tablecloths and such, unlike most BBQ joints in town.
Sorry I don't have anything more definitive. One other thing, while public transportation is generally quite poor here, you also have the fortunate option of the Max bus which is great, and runs up and down Main, giving you access to River Market to the north (which is probably kind of dead on a Tuesday night, Le Fou Frog might be an option) or the famed Plaza to the south.
One final option, sorry to overwhelm, is to walk to Grinder's, probably the best beer bar in town that also serves my so-far favorite pizza, and a pretty mean version of a Philly cheesesteak sandwich. Eclectic and interesting, this may be my favorite place in KC. Some might say this walk is a little shady. I'm kind of dumb about stuff like that and haven't been around here long enough to know better.