Kansas City is well-known for a lot of things—amazing BBQ, their baseball team, a cool arts scene—but one thing a lot of people might not think of when they think of Kansas City is their local coffee culture. Like many other cities around the Midwest, millennials are moving back into Kansas City and with them comes their desire for pretty and delicious coffee shops.
I have visited Kansas City several times over the last few years, and on each visit to KC, I manage to find a few new coffee shop to explore. There is an abundance of local brewers and roasters creating some amazing java, and what’s even better, a lot of them have a great eye for style. There are a few spots on this list that actually blew me away the first time I visited them because their space was so beautiful.
Here are the most Instagrammable and delicious coffee shops in Kansas City!
Located on the Kansas side of the state line, Split Log Coffee is an adorable little coffee shop just across the street from the incredibly popular Slaps BBQ. In fact, Slaps occasionally donates their burnt ends and scraps to Split Log for them to make quiche and other breakfast yummies. Unlike the other coffee shops on this list, Split Log has a drive through so if you’re in a hurry, this is a great alternative to big chains like Starbucks or Dunkin!
While I loved all the coffee shops on this list, Messenger Coffee was probably my favorite. Their cavernous three story space is absolutely stunning—it was truly a delight to be inside the airy and sun-filled space. Their coffee is, of course, excellent offering a range of espresso, pour over and cold brew options which when paired with the upscale and creative baked goods from inhouse bakery, Ibis, is simply the best way to enjoy your morning. I wound up spending almost an entire day here sample a variety of tasty goodies and beverages!
A hipster coffee shop in the City Market area, Quay has all the signs of a hipster hangout—succulent plants, mounted antlers, Edison bulb lights, pin up letter board—but it lives up to it’s look with delicious coffee. I got a latte with a house made brown butter & sugar syrup which was awesome! It was such a tasty afternoon treat to power me through a night of bourdaining around Kansas City.
With several locations around KC, Filling Station is a trendy and well-branded local chain that has some great coffee and even better food. Their cafes are big with lots of natural light, and when I visited the Midtown location, it was full of people working remotely. I loved their bright and acidic Americano alongside my delicious breakfast sandwich!
From the second you see those white and black penny tile floors, you know you are in a fancy coffee shop. Perhaps the most well-known of the high-end coffee shops on this Instagram guide, Monarch Coffee lives up to the Kansas City hype. My tried and true espresso at Monarch was perfection, and their baked treats aren’t half bad either! While you’re at Monarch, make sure to pop in to the charming boutique next door which was one of my favorite boutiques in all of Kansas City.
This hole-in-the-wall coffee shop on a quiet street is worth the stop, even if it is a little out of the way. Their menu is small but mighty, and their friendly staff make you feel welcome inside their intimate cafe. I loved their coffee, but their housemade soda is what really won me over. They rotate seasonally, so no guarantee about the flavors that will be available, but my pineapple basil soda this summer was an absolute delight! Plus this place is locally owned and has a great eye for style— just look at their Instagram feed for some inspiration!
Of all the coffee shops on this list, Broadway Cafe is the one that feels most like a working coffee shop. It’s cozy and large space has plenty of tables and a regulars-welcome vibe that makes it a comfortable spot to work on your laptop all day. That is certainly what I did when I visited KC for 5 days last summer! They roast their own coffee and blends so everything tastes fresh and full.
As they describe on their website, Oddly Correct Coffee bar is a shop for the people with an “odd and capable crew of coffee zealots bent on kicking ass, being kind & living exotically.” The place has a seen and be seen vibe about it, but damn if their coffee isn’t fantastic. The quirky decor only adds to the vibe of this hipster coffee bar.
I am such a sucker for anything in a vintage cart. Hell, I had a coffee truck at my wedding! Needless to say, when I heard that Kansas City’s first coffee cart had opened up, I knew I had to check it out. Run by a charming husband and wife, this family operation has all the sweet touches you would expect of a pair that poured their heart and soul into this business. While the coffee isn’t the best quality of the shops on this list, the beautiful backdrop of the cart and friendly staff more than makes for a slightly lesser drinking experience. The cart is available all year round thanks to their recently opened warehouse space!
A coffee roaster by day and cocktail bar by night, Thou Mayest just feels cool. All of the lighting is industrial style fixtures, and the comfy leather couches are perfect for a night hanging with friends. We sat at the bar and ordered a variety of beers and cocktails, and then I came back the next day for coffee and breakfast. Couldn’t ask for a better mix of vibes!