Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Where to get Your Java Fix in Kansas City




We're so excited to kick off our Mod Circus Guest Blogger series with Andie Davidson, the coffee expert behind Beanopia blog. Today, she's giving us the low-down on the best places for a cup of joe in Kansas City. Be sure to follow her on Instagram and Twitter as well!

Somewhat surprisingly, Kansas City is starting to emerge as a bit of a javaholic hub. There seem to be hipster coffee shops popping up every week, spearheaded by a series of java-obsessed (and/or highly caffeinated), young yet experienced roasters and baristas. Gone are the days when your only caffeination choices were Starbucks and Starbucks. Whether you’re on a caffeine quest or simply looking for a spot off the beaten path to hang out, these java gems are the best of the best in KC’s burgeoning coffee scene. Without further ado, let the caffeination begin.



Quay Coffee
412 Delaware St. (River Market)

Kansas City may not have a beach (if only), but with the River Market area, we’re rediscovering a vibrant riverfront port. The eclectic district has a long history and is now experiencing a burst of hipster revival, and Quay Coffee fits into the scene perfectly. Drawing its name from the previous moniker of River Market, River Quay (a waterfront landing spot), Quay is a small, bustling coffee shop with a hip yet homey, serene vibe. It also boasts carefully selected direct-trade coffee, house-made syrups, and locally made pastries, and some of the most talented baristas in town. In other words, expect a pretty latte on top of a delicious taste.

Try: Old Overholt Caramel latte



Filling Station Coffee Garage
2980 McGee Tfkwy, KCMO

If you think you know gas station coffee, think again. Granted, the Filling Station isn’t technically a gas station anymore, but the old station building is definitely part of its charm. With a bright, refreshing interior and chill outdoor patio, it’s equally suited for studying or a casual coffee date.  A tin ceiling and garage doors add a funky urban touch. As an added bonus, Filling Station offers the rare combo of a coffeeshop with both top-notch coffee — from local roasters Messenger Coffee — and delicious (real) food. After getting your order number (via a recycled license plate), you’ll be treated to homemade pastries, sandwiches and wraps, salads, quiche, and fresh juices, and of course delicious caffeination. It’s a filling station in more than one sense of the term.

Try: Macchiato + daily quiche


Mud Pie Bakery & Coffee
1615 W. 39th St, KCMO

Stepping into Mud Pie is a bit like visiting your lovably kooky aunt (the one who always has fresh cookies in the oven). A sunny yellow cottage nestled on funky 39th Street, it’s two floors of mismatched furniture, vibrant colors, and lively characters. While admittedly not the most polished café on this list, I challenge anyone not to immediately fall in love with its shambling quirky charm. There are even two upstairs nooks perfect for quiet time or a private tête-à-tête. In addition, come with your sweet tooth prepared. Don’t let the “vegan” label scare you off — the homemade pastries are incredible. If you don’t believe me, stop by and try a s’mores bundt cake or Peary Ginger muffin. Go ahead, I’ll wait.

Try: Housemade almond milk latte + Peary Ginger muffin 



Goat Hill Coffee & Soda
811 W. 17th St., KCMO

They had me at seafoam. Décor, that is. The previous home of Little Freshie snow cones, Goat Hill is a quaint café located in the hilltop Westside neighborhood (a few blocks’ exploration yields a plethora of kooky old houses and stunning views of downtown KC). The place is tiny, with barely enough room to squeeze in the espresso bar and window counter seating, but somehow that only adds to its vintage-y charm. It will immediately capture your heart with its pressed tin ceiling, seafoam green accents, and bright greenery touches. It’s impossible to be agitated or grumpy in this soothing spot. On top of that, they make a killer caffeinated beverage, as well as homemade Little Freshie snow cones in a variety of outside-the-box flavors.

Try: Lavender honey latte, blackberry sage snow cone



Monarch Coffee
3550 Broadway Blvd, KCMO

If you fancy imagining yourself transported to Paris for a few hours, Monarch has you covered. The chic black and white color scheme, molded ceiling, and sidewalk café-style tables are straight out of a classic Parisian bistro (and yes, that is a mint green espresso machine). As are, for that matter, the hand-roasted coffee and scrumptious pastry offerings. To extend the experience even further, there’s also an event space, the Drawing Room, hosting various crafty and intimate events and available to rent for private occasions. The owners, an artist and an award-winning veteran barista, dub the space “a marriage of coffee and art” — and well, the shoe fits. Let’s just say the Monarch IG feed is worth following even if you’re not a javaholic.

Try: Lavender white mocha + blueberry almond frangipane danish


Messenger Café
1624 Grand Blvd, KCMO

Messenger has been around for a while as a local roaster supplying several area coffee shops, but they recently opened a flagship café in downtown KC, and let’s just say they pulled put all the stops. The three-level headquarters includes a bright café, an in-house bakery, a view into the roasting area, and a rooftop patio with stunning views of downtown. In short, it’s basically a Messenger palace. From décor to pastries to latte art, there’s just no other way to describe it: the place is beautiful. And with almost obsessively sourced and hand-roasted beans and direct collaboration with farmers, Messenger clearly knows its java. Word of warning: the café hours are somewhat limited, but the delicious coffee, handcrafted Ibis bakery goods, and breathtaking setting are well worth a little extra effort.

Try: Honey Bear Latte (brown sugar, honey, spices) + Bananas Foster Croissant

Honorable mentions: Kaldi’s Coffee, City Market Coffee House, Broadway Café, PT’s Coffee

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