I’m attracted to places out of season. Beaches in the winter, ski slopes in the summer, the City Market when fresh produce dries up.
There is a melancholy yet expectant aura to these places. They cry out, “I’ll be back. It won’t be long before my sand and slopes and stalls will be full of life again. But now, I rest.”
At the City Market, located on Fifth and Third streets from roughly Grand Boulevard to Delaware Street, another world emerges when the farmers no longer call. Or rather, the whole world emerges. Not counting the produce stands and grocery stores offering all kinds of ethnic supplies, the prepared food offerings around the market are a tour of good things to eat from near and far.
It’s a one-stop shop. What shall it be today? Vietnamese? Ethiopian? Brazilian? You don’t have to drive all over the metro area to find all these distinct cuisines. And you don’t have to spend a fortune either. Just come down to the City Market around lunchtime. And bring your passport.On the South Side
On what we consider the front side of the market, the Fifth street side, there are three vastly different restaurants.
This restaurant is an outpost of the Plaza restaurant by the same name without the Dim Sum. But if you are fan of their crispy eggplant appetizer or their tea smoked duck, you can find it here. Its telephone number is 816-423-8036.
Blue Nile Café
Ethiopian food is wildly popular in the urban centers of America, where Ethiopian immigrants have relocated. We are lucky to have Blue Nile to offer this cuisine, which is full of interesting vegetarian dishes, but also beef and lamb. They have a lunch buffet during the week. Its telephone number is 816-283-0990.
Winslow’s is one of the places that have made a national reputation (since 1971) from its post in the City Market. There is much debate in barbeque circles about which is better, the pulled pork or the ribs, and there is a lunch buffet on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. Its telephone number is 816-471-7427.On the West Side
This side of the market is where it really gets interesting.
Minksy’s is a local pizza success story and what you would call at more traditional shopping areas, an anchor. Its telephone number is 816-421-1122.
You all know how I love Vietnamese food and this is one of my go-to places. Crispy shrimp and Pho. The perfect lunch. Closed on Tuesday. Its telephone number is 816-842-1020.
Don’t let the mixed menu and plastic fool you. The Indian food is tasty and inexpensive. A member of the family that owns Habashi House owns this place, thus the addition of gyros on the menu. Its telephone number is 816-842-7232.
Evidently there are many Lollicups around the country, known especially for their boba, or bubble tea. You can order that at this one or a smoothie or very many teas by the pound. Coffee, too. Its telephone number is 816-716-5493.
One of the most popular eateries in the market, Burrito Bros. gives you a huge portion and good choices. Its telephone number is 816-842-0152.
This is my go to place when I crave falafel. Very popular for many culinary reasons. Its telephone number is 816-421-0414.
Sweet beignet, savory beignet, crepes, cornbread pancakes. All four food groups. Its telephone number is 816-472-0777.
City Market Coffee House
Just the aroma in this place will give you a caffeine bump. Its telephone number is 816-718-3005.On the North Side
The north side of the market, the Third Street side, has filled up recently with promising new businesses.
Carollo’s Groceries, Deli, Grill
Once just an Italian food supply shop, then an excellent sandwich and gelato deli and now also a grill, this corner of the market has become a Carollo empire. Its telephone number is 816-474-1860.
They make sandwiches with their house-baked bread. They bake lemon bars and cookies and cakes and tarts. They even make their own croissants. Its telephone number is 816-283-8437.
Taste of Brazil
If you are a transplant from Brazil I bet you love this place, with its guarana soda, risoles, and Pao de Queijo. If you are an exotic food adventurer, you will love it, too. Its telephone number is 816-527-0400.
If this hasn’t made you hungry and ready for a trip to the City Market, I give up. Just call ahead as all these places have different hours.
Lou Jane Temple’s road to food has been a long and winding one. First as a rock n roll caterer back stage to the stars, then with her own Kansas City based catering company, Cafe Lulu, food writing, novelist, private chef. Lou Jane has written and had published nine culinary mysteries and one cookbook. She recently moved back to Kansas City and eagerly awaits the next chapter of her food career.