Kansas City was our main stop during a recent road trip from New Mexico to Illinois. It was the biggest city on an otherwise not very eventful route so we hoped to make the most out of it, without setting our expectations too high. Turns out, Kansas City is much more than just a cow town!
We only had a day to spend in Kansas City so I came prepared. I had looked up a couple of interesting vegan food options for us, along with some sightseeing. We arrived in the evening and checked into our airbnb. The first great surprise came when we realized that the restaurant we were planning to go to for dinner was literally two houses up the street. And the area had a very nice vibe to it: renovated older homes, a few local restaurants and businesses and trees in full spring bloom. A great first impression.
We had dinner at Füd, a raw vegan sustainable restaurant. The decor was colorful to say the least, and the atmosphere very friendly and relaxed. It filled up fast right after we walked in so we were lucky to get a table. The menu had a lot of items I wanted to try and had we stayed in KC longer, I definitely would have gone back. Vegan or not, I think anyone would appreciate their Fried Crimini Mushroom appetizer!
For breakfast the next morning we headed to Mud Pie Vegan Bakery and Coffeehouse. I am particularly fascinated by vegan bakeries as my homemade vegan baked goods don’t always turn out so great… there is definitely a learning curve to the craft! This bakery was located in another neighborhood filled with older renovated homes that had the typical Midwestern character and charm. Mud Pie actually even operates out of one!
As was the case with Füd last night, the bakery was also full with a line going out the door as we arrived. It seems that even in the meat-heavy Midwest veganism is gaining traction! As far as this bakery goes, I believe you could bring anyone here without telling them it’s all vegan, and they would never know the difference. We enjoyed everything we had.
Kansas City Market
I love markets, so part of our sightseeing included exploring the City Market. Farmers’ markets to me are like the pulse of the community: you definitely get a sense of what the city is about by spending a few hours at the market. The KC City Market had a great atmosphere and numerous vendors that we found interesting. It was a beautiful spring day and everyone seemed to be having a good time- we certainly were.
Before hitting the highway towards Iowa, we made one more stop to grab a quick bite: at Heirloom Bakery and Hearth. They are not vegan but they are local, and their beautiful website had caught my eye. I have a deep appreciation for local businesses and want to support them in an America that is replete with the same sad chains and franchises in every city. I had a delightful and airy croissant in their accommodating cafe that featured some unique and beautiful decor. The perfect ending to our stay in what turned out to be more than just a cow town.
Having lived in the Midwest (Northern Illinois/Southern Wisconsin) for a couple of years, I am not likely to move back… the winter weather alone is enough of a deterrent. But I have to say I was surprised by the vibe and community in Kansas City. If the Midwestern charm is your thing, KC is definitely an attractive option- even if you’re a hippie vegan like me!
What do you think about the US Midwest? Have you been to Kansas City?
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