Head down to downtown Kansas City

Downtown Kansas City as seen from the World War I Museum. Photo by Joanne Lee

Head down to downtown Kansas City

Joanne Lee, Entertainment Editor

One of the best parts (and may be the only) of living in Missouri has to be downtown Kansas City. Downtown is a quick escape from the small towns that surround us.

There are endless possibilities in downtown Kansas City. From visiting museums to abandoned castles, I find it easy to lose track of time and spend hours and hours downtown.

Whether you want to explore, sit down for a nice meal or cup of coffee, enjoy visual art, or walk around the city gives you all of the options.

A classic popular spot that is great for shopping and walking around is the Country Club Plaza. If you are in the mood to shop the plaza has rows and rows of stores. In the mix of the different stores, there are restaurants in case you work up an appetite. One of my favorite places to eat on the Plaza is Eden Alley Vegetaria, a nice underground vegan restaurant. The place is very spacious with dim lighting and has lots of vegan, gluten-free, soy-free, and nut-free choices.

Another go-to would be visiting the museums downtown. Kansas City has various museums such as the Nelson-Atkins, Kemper, World War I, Negro Leagues, American Jazz, etc. Some of these museums are free, but some do have a fee. A fun thing I like to do over the summer is go to the Nelson and have a picnic on the front lawn area. When the weather is warm, it’s a perfect time to relax outside.

If you enjoy art, Kansas City has the perfect monthly activity for you. First Fridays are held the first Friday of every month all year long, hence the name. The event takes place on the sidewalks of the Crossroads. The streets are filled with music, performances, food trucks, vendors, and multiple art exhibits. For all of the artists and art lovers, First Fridays are a great opportunity to get out downtown to see and hear beautiful art.

Of course, one of the biggest known parts of Kansas City is the endless coffee shops. It is almost a ritual for me to stop by a coffee shop when I am downtown and I look forward to trying a new café every time. Some of my favorite spots are Mud Pie, Filling Station, Messenger Coffee, and Monarch Coffee.

Mud Pie is a hole in the wall vegan bakery and café. The interior of the café looks like a house making it a very comfortable relaxed atmosphere. The bakery has various options of vegan goods. One of my personal favorites is The Filling Station on 2980 McGee Traffic-way. This spot not only has amazing coffee but has freshly made juices and smoothies. The small but open building is surrounded with windows and fills the room with natural light. The Filling Station also has an outside seating area for the warmer seasons. Senior Anna Jackson loves going to the Filling Station every chance she gets.

“I love going to the Filling Station because they have fresh delicious juices they make right in front of you. The staff is always friendly and the environment is very peaceful,” Jackson said.

If coffee doesn’t completely satisfy you or you’re not a coffee drinker, finding a place to eat is a must. Kansas City is filled with various places to grab a bite to fulfill all your cravings, all the way from a new popular restaurant to a diamond in the rough.

Some of my favorite places are Café Gratitude, T. Loft, Eggtc., and Farmhouse. Farmhouse and Eggtc. are delicious brunch restaurants for a relaxing weekend morning. Café Gratitude and T. Loft are more healthier options with vegan dishes available.

Of course, after a satisfying dinner you need to follow it with a delicious desert. Insomnia Cookies is a perfect place to get your desert or late-night cravings satiated because it is open until 3 a.m. Jackson looks forward to getting desert especially if they are cookies from Insomnia.

“Insomnia Cookies is amazing. I always get a classic warm chocolate chip cookie” Jackson said.

All of these are great reasons to go out and spend the day downtown. Whether you want to go shopping, go out for coffee or dinner, visit museums, or just walk around, Kansas City, Missouri has it all.