23 Kansas City Lunches That Are Way Better Than Whatever You Packed

Some of our favorite KC spots for delicious, quick (or not) lunches.



Pigwich makes some of the best burgers in town. Hands down. But we've also bragged about their cheese steak, falafel, sausage sub and outrageous home made chips.  If you haven't made the trip down to the east bottoms it should be at the top of your lunch list. It's worth noting that Pigwich provides outdoor seating only, so you might want to be weather-conscious. 

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Soho Bakery is famous for its muffins, scones and pastries, but their cozy little 8th Street bakery is open to the public for lunch and has specials each day. If you are looking for a light tasty lunch with an artisan touch, this is a solid place to try. And, hey, it might not be a bad excuse to try their bacon apple muffin. 


Burrito Brothers is right in the center of the City Market and, in our humble opinion, it makes some of the best burritos and tacos out there. The Chipotle-style ordering setup moves the line along quickly, and you can almost always find a table - both inside and outside the market. Be sure to grab some of their chips and pico .


Take another ten steps inside of the City Market and you will stumble upon this hidden lunch winner. As the name might suggest, the Habashi house serves a full menu of Middle Eastern dishes like gyros, falafel and their bab ghanouj sandwich. Habashi almost always has a line at lunch, but they keep it moving fast. Expect to pay a about $6-$8 for most lunches. 


Longboards has an understated little shop on North Oak Trafficway and serves up some mind-blowing Hawaiian wraps and sandwiches. They've got hot and cold wraps with every kind of flavor you can imagine. The line can get a little crazy at times, so it might be worth getting there a little early if you can swing it.


Pezzettino's Italian Deli & Market is the perfect addition to the Crossroads lunch options. The deli is located in a historic space and warmly decorated with Tuscan charm. Pezzentino means "small bites" in Italian, so you can expect to see gourmet paninis, salads and both hot and cold deli items. The prices are incredibly affordable for the quality, and this little deli will have you coming back for more. 


Le Monde Bakery is one of the most consistently loved lunch options in the Northland. The chicken curry soup and array of sandwich options are going to make anyone happy. If you've got a sweet tooth, you might also try the crowd favorite: a chocolate croissant. 


d'Bronx is spinning some remarkable New York-style pizza and subs. This place gets rave reviews from just about everyone, and the enormous pies are a spectacle to be seen on their own. d'Bronx is a great place to go with co-workers for a family style lunch (as long as you can agree on the toppings).


Grinders is the lunch option for days when you are looking for a little bit of a food coma. Sometimes you just have to go for some nachos, pizza, yard beer and chili cheese dogs. For when you just need to escape for an hour and do something slightly irresponsible, Grinders is your spot. 


The Filling Station is a coffee shop but that doesn't tell the whole story; it's really a bakery, juice bar, sandwich stop AND a coffee shop. The lunch menu includes veggie wraps, black bean burgers, deli sandwiches and a soup of the day. The fresh-squeezed juice selection give you options ranging from red bell pepper to strawberry or pineapple.


Neo is loved for its fries, burgers and BLTs, but it also has some signature Korean dishes that will keep your lunch hour interesting. The location hidden away as part of a 40-year-old downtown high rise and seems to fly a little bit under the radar. But once a customer, you'll likely be a fan.


The J, located in the Crossroads off Southwest Trafficway, has a modern, urban vibe that pulls on historic elements of the 4,000 square-foot warehouse that was once owned by A.D Jacobson. Expect mid-priced American food with seasonal dishes and signature cocktails like the Crossroads Fizz.


Visitors at Gennessee Royale can seat themselves at the bar, on the patio, or at mismatching tables throughout the bistro. The lunch menu is full of classic sandwiches with lots of personality like the Flank Steak Sandwich or the Toasted Cashew Chicken Salad Sandwich.


Farmhouse is a staple. Their philosophy is setting the standard for Kansas City's farm to table movement, and their dishes have yet to disappoint. Farmhouse is a self-proclaimed 'homestyle' restaurant, and their lunch dishes range from Goat Cheese Crostini to some good old Ham and Cheese (with fig mustard jam). 


Nara has a $9 lunch menu with new specials each day. The urban vibe and killer sushi rolls have made them a downtown favorite, but some of our readers also swear by their Cuban Sandwich on fresh farm-to-market bread. Nara is a weekend hotspot, so coming by over the work lunch hour is a great way to experience the vibe without fighting for a seat. And if it's one of "those days" at work, maybe take a look at their special vodka martini.


Lulu's does Thai as well as any place in the city, and when it comes to lunch hour, they've got a great spread of curries, soups, fried rice and salads. The atmosphere is modern and casual, and the restaurant has lots of seating so you won't have to wait long before digging in. Lulus has been making it happen for 16 years now, and its dishes have been passed down over generations before that.


Cafe Gratitude is the place to take your Earth-conscious colleagues and friends. The menu is entirely vegetarian with several raw options. Everything on the menu is made in-house. Their 100% organic ingredients come mostly from a farm in Edgerton, Kansas. Despite the all-vegan menu, there are tons of options if you like variety, including fresh juice. Cafe Gratitude always leaves you with something to think about and it is worth an exploration visit for anyone. 

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Port Fonda's low-hanging lights, hardwood interior and exposed ductwork is a great complement to Chef Patrick Ryan's fresh artistic style. This new concept Mexican restaurant started out of a food truck and quickly earned Kansas City’s attention with a new take on the ethnic cuisine. We recommend trying the chips and salsa along with the beef tongue tacos.

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Extra Virgin caters to the fine dining crowd in KC, but at lunch they do a great job of tailoring their dishes and pricing to make it a great lunch choice. Tapas and Bone Marrow top the lunch list favorites, and if you come between 11:30 am to 6 pm, you'll get your choice of the diverse happy hour menu at half price. If you have a few minutes to unwind, it might be worth trying one of Extra Virgin's signature cocktails - they're some of the best in the city.


PizzaBella is stacked with great pizza options, antipasta and even sodas sourced from Little Freshie. The minimalist seating and local ingredients cement this place among the ranks of cool. If your lunch includes some good friends or a date, this is a great place to split a pizza and indulge in a little tiramisu.


Westside Local is nestled in – you guessed it – Westside.  Westside sources its food locally, keeping their menu fresh and surprising with seasonal changes. The commitment to locally sourced ingredients is evident, with a small garden on property where many of the vegetables, herbs, and spices are grown. The cheese plate, local pig burger and kale salad are among our favorite dishes.

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Blue Bird is a great place to know about on busy days or nights downtown. Its location just west of the busy streets of downtown feels almost isolated from the crowd, but its food is well worth the same attention.  Its menu is crafted with produce and meat from local, organic family farms, and its drinks are designed and poured with a strong attention to detail.

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