Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last nine months or so, you can’t ignore the fact that the housing market is blowing up right now. And not just in Kansas City, but around the country. Though some experts are predicting that the bubble will surely pop sooner or later, the fact is that housing prices are high right now. And it’s making us all re-evaluate our current living situations. We’re all thinking it: Should I list my house and relocate? Here are some of the best neighborhoods in Kansas City.
I can’t rank these neighborhoods. I just can’t. I’ve listed them all for different reasons. Some are very walk-able, dotted with playgrounds and parks. Others have great restaurants and shopping. And still others have houses with a lot of character. Waldo is on here for all of those reasons. The Harry Wiggins Trolley Trail cuts right through it, and great restaurants flank both sides of it: Waldo Thai, The Well, Betty Rae’s, and Lew’s just to name a few. And they’re all settled amongst cozy Craftsmans, Tudor bungalows, and larger Colonials.
A little further north on the Trolley Trail, closer to Country Club Plaza and downtown, is Brookside. There are more great restaurants, like Brookside Barrio, Charlie Hooper’s, the Brooksider, Red Door Grill, Foo’s Fabulous Frozen Custard, Heirloom, Carmen’s, Jalapenos, Bella Napoli, and The Roasterie. Wow, that’s a lot. Plus, really great shopping at Brookside Toy & Science, Skin KC, Brow Bar, The Corner Candleshop, and Cosentino’s. If we get a decent snowfall, go ahead and risk your life dodging kids down the monstrous hill at Brookside Park. And the Brookside Art Fair, is reputed to be one of the best in the country!
A little industrial, likely due to its roots in the 1800’s, the East Bottoms is booming again. The two biggest attractions there are the J. Rieger & Co. distillery, which dates all the way back to 1887, and all the live music at the stages at Knuckleheads Saloon.
Quiet little cul-de-sacs tucked under the shadows of big box stores and chain restaurants. Geographically, Overland Park is huge and if you can’t find what you’re looking for there, then you’re one tough customer and you might want to rethink the type of life you’re pursuing. Always listed among the top cities to raise a family, OP also boasts dozens of good schools, public pools, and hundreds of acres of parks and green space.
Country Club Plaza
If you like high end retail, then the Country Club Plaza is for you. Stroll through the 15 blocks of classy restaurants, established chains, and trendy bars or browse through some of the many trendy designer brands. If nothing else, you can admire the dozens of fountains and Spanish-inspired architecture.
When I first moved to Kansas City, someone told us Fairway, Kansas is the best neighborhood in the whole country to live in. With gorgeous Cape Cods and Colonials that feature immaculate landscaping and quiet sidewalks, Fairway is close to downtown and the Plaza, and a quick jaunt on the highway takes you out to the sprawling suburbs, while still maintaining that small-town feel. Quaint, tiny shops with lots of character and breathtaking views of golf course greenery.
One of my favorite places to spend a Saturday morning is the City Market just south of the Missouri River in historic River Market. Bursting with both local and ethnic flavor, fresh produce, flowers, and baked goods, River Market features restaurants, shops, coffee shops, and the Arabia Steamboat Museum, where visitors can explore this sunken treasure from 1856.
Known mostly for its rowdy nightlife and eclectic restaurants, Westport also features some clever shops like Fidel’s Cigar Shop, The Bunker, Mid Coast Modern, Pryde’s Old Westport, and Mills Record Company. Hit up Char Bar, Port Fonda, Bluestem, Beer Kitchen, or Westport Flea Market for something to eat, followed by a show at Tivoli Cinemas, Riot Room or KC Improv. Or keep it simple and have a few beers and a slice of pizza at Kelly’s Westport Inn.
18th and Vine
If there’s a more famously historic neighborhood in KC—and there honestly might be—I don’t know it. Known for jazz, barbecue, and the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum, the jazz district also features Arthur Bryant’s legendary barbecue.
Crossroads Art District
And no list of KC neighborhoods would be complete without a mention of the Crossroads. Check out live music at Grinders, recordBar, the Black Dolphin, and even jazz at the Green Lady Lounge. Foodies can indulge at Town Topic, Lidia’s Corvino Supper Club & Tasting Room, Café Gratitude, and more. And best of all is First Fridays, one of the country’s largest free art crawls, with shops and galleries that stay open late into the evening.
So many more neighborhoods than I could squeeze in here. Running out of time and space! Check them out and let us know what we missed! But more importantly, if you’re looking for some career advice, check out our website at https://www.chiefofstaffkc.com.
Blog written by Erin Greenhalgh