Food Critics: The Best Breakfast Dishes In Kansas City

Feb 9, 2018

Credit Katherine Lim / Flickr -- CC

Breakfast: is it the most important meal of the day or the most tasty meal of the day? Whatever your thoughts, the breakfast scene is changing in Kansas City, offering more interesting options.

"I think people are going out more for breakfast," said KCUR Food Critic Mary Bloch. "I think part of the reason it's changing is because coffee is such a big thing now. And you have to have something to eat with your coffee."

On Friday's Central Standard, Bloch, along with Food Critic Bonjwing Lee, searched out the best breakfast spots in and around Kansas City.

Here are their recommendations:

Mary Bloch, Around the Block:

  • Rye on the Plaza — cinnamon rolls. Outrageously good.
  • Rye on the Plaza — biscuits and gravy. The biscuits are really light and fluffy and the eggs are cooked perfectly.
  • Happy Gillis. Breakfast is served all day. The menu changes, but the veggie hash is always a good bet, along with their breakfast sandwiches.
  • Genessee Royale. The menu rotates. I always choose one of its Mexican options, like migas (scrambled eggs with tortilla chips, black beans and salsa cooked into it).
  • Genesee Royale — huevos rancheros.
  • Genessee Royale — scrambled eggs with potatoes and salsa.
  • Messenger Coffee Co + Ibis Bakery — bacon tartine. Love it. Bacon and eggs on fresh milled toast. I love the breakfasts there because they use their bread in a lot of dishes.
  • Messenger Coffee + Ibis Bakery — biscuits and gravy.
  • Aixois — Nirvana Breakfast. Crushed avocado, sautéed kale and poached egg on toast.
  • Room 39 — quiche. It’s probably three or four inches high.
  • Room 39 — breakfast burrito.
  • Room 39 — corned beef hash.
  • Succotash — Cuban pork hash. It’s fabulous. Served with thin crispy potatoes.

Bonjwing Lee, The Ulterior Epicure:

  • Genessee Royale. I love it. I like a breakfast that commits, and they do the standards very well.
  • Happy Gillis.
  • Heirloom Bakery & Hearth — biscuit sandwiches. They do great biscuits, and you can pick what you want on a biscuit sandwich. I love it with eggs, bacon and pesto. They also serve their breads, morning pastries and coffee.
  • Messenger Coffee + Ibis Bakery. It’s a great place for coffee and breakfast. They have hot food as well as pastries, so you can get biscuits and gravy, eggs, and you can get it to-go, too.
  • Monarch Coffee. Serves croissants and pastries from 1900 Barker in Lawrence, where Taylor Petrehn is baking great breads and pastries.
  • Second Best Coffee — breakfast burritos.

Listener recommendations:

  • Mildred’s — breakfast sandwiches. They steam their scrambled eggs and make amazing sandwiches with these light and fluffy eggs. They also have great quiches and baked goods. It’s a cozy little spot.
  • Mildred’s — farm sandwich. Breakfast sandwich on a croissant.
  • Fig Tree Café & Bakery in Lee’s Summit. Corn beef hash, za’atar potatoes and Arabic toast. They have the best homemade jams, too.
  • Sasha’s Baking Co. Excellent breakfast sandwiches and amazing coffee. The sandwiches are served on bread that’s made in-house.
  • Homesteader Café. It’s a farm-to-table place owned by a husband-and-wife team. She does all the baking. I love their sweet potato hash and cinnamon rolls.
  • Pirate’s Bone — activated charcoal waffle. This is a vegan coffee shop and they add charcoal to the waffle so it’s black. Served with berries and compote.
  • Ladybird Diner in Lawrence. Amazing chicken fried steak breakfast, with crispy hash browns and smothered in an interesting sweet and savory gravy. They also serve a mac and cheese omelet.
  • WheatFields Bakery in Lawrence. Classic breakfasts with eggs, bacon and hash browns, along with homemade bread. They also have an excellent line-up of pastries, including enormous cinnamon rolls. They also know how to make a perfect poached egg.
  • Mud Pie Vegan Bakery & Coffee — tomato spinach galette with walnut cheese. The crust was really flaky and buttery. It was a lovely blend of sweet from the roasted tomatoes and savory from the creamy walnut cheese.
  • Mud Pie — pastries.
  • Urban Café — vegan breakfast options.
  • Meshuggah Bagels — vegan bagels.
  • Classic Cookie — breakfast casserole. With potatoes, veggies, cheese and a poached egg on top. It’s really good.
  • You Say Tomato — corned beef hash. Home-style hash over browned potatoes.
  • You Say Tomato — cinnamon rolls.
  • You say Tomato — breakfast flatbread.
  • EJ’s Urban Eatery. From-scratch cooking. Biscuits and gravy are off the hook. I also like the breakfast ribs and homemade pancakes. It’s all good!
  • Kate’s Kitchen in Gladstone — kitchen sink omelet.
  • Ambrosia Café in downtown Overland Park. Omelets to-order, great biscuits and gravy.
  • Café Europa on Union Hill — bodega egg sandwich. Served on a house-made English muffin.
  • Santa Fe Café is our go-to for quality, no-frills weekend breakfasts.
  • City Market Coffee House. Delicious coffee and burritos.
  • Room 39 — salmon scramble.
  • Room 39 — oven eggs.
  • Happy Gillis — biscuits and gravy with a side of bacon. My go-to for weekend breakfast.
  • Brioche. Best croissants outside of Paris. Wonderful cinnamon rolls, too
  • Rosie’s Café on 40 Highway. Home-cooked, stick-to-your-ribs breakfasts.
  • McLain’s Market. Yummy breakfasts.
  • Chez Elle.

Jen Chen is associate producer for KCUR's Central Standard. Reach out to her at jen@kcur.org and follow her on Twitter @JenChenKC.