11 Unique and Delicious Coffee Houses to Visit in Kansas City

Whenever I travel, I prefer visiting the local coffee shops because they offer a taste of local culture and history – and the best coffee this side of Seattle. Kansas City, Missouri is home to dozens of local coffee shops, each using their own way to make great coffee with the perfect balance of water and coffee beans.

And preparing KC coffee is a far cry from opening a plastic container and flooding the ground in the filter; On the contrary, you will see expert baristas crafting your brew with the care and attention to detail that you would expect from a chef or artist. In some cases, your coffee is a work of art.

While I can rate each of these cafes as the best in the City of Fountains, I’ll leave that distinction up to you. In no particular order, here’s a look at some of the best local coffee shops in Kansas City.

Monarch coffee
(Image source: Tim Trudell)

1. Monarch Coffee

Coffee and inclusion

Monarch Coffee in the Valentine neighborhood offers a clean, friendly and inviting atmosphere. Surrounded by restaurants serving Ethiopian, Caribbean and Asian cuisines, Monarch Coffee strives to be an inclusive environment, welcoming BIPOC and LGBTQIA, as well as other neighbours.

With comfortable booths, small tables with white marble tops, and spaces for people to work at their laptops or just socialize, Monarch Coffee has fulfilled the owners’ dream of creating an airy and artistic place with great coffee and food. Blue tables outside add to the atmosphere of a Parisian street café. Enjoy a cup of your favorite flavored Americano or latte with a giant pie.

Monarch also operates a coffee shop in the company’s office building at 2345 Grand Avenue.

Coffee Garage Filling Station
Coffee filling station garage
(Image source: Tim Trudell)

2. Garage coffee filling station

An old gas station that lives like a coffee shop

Tracing its roots to a former gas station, Filling Station Coffee Garage embraces this history with buildings that resemble vintage car garages. The atmosphere is welcoming, great for sharing a coffee with friends or spending the day working on a laptop. Partnering with Messenger Coffee, Filling Station uses locally roasted coffee beans to create flavors with a mild taste.

Filling Station Coffee Garage also serves fresh sandwiches, and is an excellent spot for breakfast or lunch. The cafe has locations in some of the most interesting neighborhoods in the Kansas City area: Midtown’s Union Hill, Westport, and Overland Park on the Kansas side of the border.

Barista at Ca Phe . Café
Barista at Café Coffee
(Image source: Tim Trudell)

3. Coffee coffee

KC’s first Vietnamese cafe

The city’s first Vietnamese café, Cafe Cà Phê, started during the early days of the pandemic. After losing her job as part of a mobile music company, Jackie Nguyen finds herself in Kansas City looking for something to do. Realizing that Vietnamese society needed a quality coffee shop, I opened Cà Phê Cafe in a trailer in the Crossroads Arts District.

Using Nguyen Coffee Supply, a roaster based in Brooklyn, Cafe Cà Phê seeks to create an environment that embraces the family culture of Vietnam, where people use coffee as part of the community. While I prefer my hot coffee (regardless of the season), Cafe Cà Phê serves an iced coffee that has impressed me. Baristas use a Fin filter (a metal filter) to pour in excess, which helps create a unique taste.

The café opens its first brick-and-mortar location in Columbus Park, near River Market, after using space at RE:, formerly Restoration Emporium.

4. Oddly Correct

Mixing art with great coffee

Perfectly named for his ambiance, Oddly Correct roasts his coffee on site using antique presses to seal bags. After more than 8 years in 39 and Main, Oddly Correct was moved to approximately 29 and Troost Street in 2021. The building, with its black exterior, looks like a metaphor for the hot black drink awaiting your palate.

After reusable cups more than two years ago, expect your coffee in a mason jar (inside a cushy for the luxury of your hand) for takeout orders or an oversized mug when enjoying your brew at home.

No matter your coffee style—including our signature bourbon vanilla latte—you’ll enjoy your visit to Oddly Correct. Owner Gregory Colstow’s art adorns the walls of the café, adding to the uniqueness of this Kansas City store.

May you coffee roasters
May you coffee roasters
(Image source: Tim Trudell)

5. May you coffee roasters

The local cafe of the river market

Roasting in small batches, Thou Mayest Coffee Roasters make a delicious cup of java. With four locations throughout the Kansas City area (including Café Equinox in Shawnee), I’m part of the River Market. With a comfortable seating area that rivals Central Perk in the TV series friendsCustomers can sit and visit with each other, or grab a table and work away on their laptops. Besides drinks ranging from Americano, latte, and cappuccino to cold brews, steamed drinks, and hot tea, Thou Mayest also sells alcohol during the afternoon and evening.

Consider getting your coffee, relaxing on a patio near the brick building, or enjoying it while browsing the city market, or visiting vendors like Cristina’s Produce, Al Habashi Mart, or KC Soda Company. The farmers market is also a fun place to enjoy a drink while you peruse the stands.

Headeds, a coffee shop in Kansas City
(Image source: Megan Bannister)

6. Hittites

Caribbean coffee

You’ll wonder if you’re in Kansas City or in a Caribbean paradise when you visit Hetted’s. Designed to create a relaxing tropical vibe, Hitides drinks are also an extra step. Not quite your parents’ café, Hitides takes coffee to the next level, with drinks that feature homemade shakes in the middle of a flavored latte with chocolate sprinkled on top. Of course, you can always order a basic hot coffee, a latte or a cold brew.

Check out Hitides’ ice cream menu for an ice cream treat. Add delicious bread or cake as a side dish, and you’re all set to have a good time at the crossroads.

Coffee and cookies at Café Olama
Olama cafe
(Image source: Tim Trudell)

7. Cafe Olama

Honoring her Latin heritage

Another hit at Crossroads, Cafe Ollama has taken over a former music store and created an intimate and relaxed atmosphere where friends can enjoy a hot drink and talk about the day’s events or perhaps a fútbol match. To promote its Latin heritage, Café Olama (pronounced oyama) includes art featuring Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead). Outside, tables and chairs give visitors the chance to enjoy their drinks while looking out over the pier.

Speaking of drinks, Olama’s signature drink – Café de Olla – is a must! Slowly blended with cinnamon, spices, and piloncillo (a cone of refined sugar), the coffee has a sweet foam that is topped with a Mexican cake on top.

Not sure what to try? How about a trip to the most popular menu items, from a sample of black coffee to Chocoflan, an espresso with sweetened condensed milk, chocolate syrup and vanilla extract.

Messenger Coffehouse
Messenger coffee house
(Image source: Tim Trudell)

8. Messenger Cafe

Major Kansas City offers a bird’s eye view of downtown

I prefer checking out the original websites as much as possible when visiting coffee shops with multiple outlets.

The first Messenger Coffeehouse in 1624 Grandview stands out for many reasons. Messenger, a cool café, features an artisan bakery on the first floor, and the smell of fresh pastries wafts through the building. Once you order a drink, you can enjoy it at the table, in the sitting area, or head upstairs to the second floor with more spacious seating. If the sun is shining, head to the rooftop to enjoy your coffee. One of the best places you’ll find is the view of Kansas City. And if you’re like me, you might try to engage in conversation with any of the birds that are flapping around for scraps.

Oh, the coffee is simply amazing! Messenger works directly with producers in Latin America and Africa to ensure that the coffee beans are sourced fairly. From a cup of Americano to a latte, espresso or cold drink, you’ll enjoy the taste as well as the look.

Mother Earth coffee in Kansas City
Mother Earth coffee
(Image source: Tim Trudell)

9. Mother Earth’s Coffee

eco-friendly cafe

Located in the Hyde Park neighborhood, Mother Earth Coffee has an organic, earth-loving environment. Sourcing beans from trusted farms, Mother Earth Coffee roasts their beans locally, and makes great drinks, including latte, espresso, cappuccino, and cold brew.

Mother Earth Coffee features a large open area with plenty of tables and chairs, as well as sofas, and is a great place for business meetings, hangouts, or lunches with friends.

Corazon Café in Kansas City
Corazon Café
(Image source: Megan Bannister)

10. Heart of coffee

Celebrating the Latino community in Kansas City

Corazon Café is the story of a family’s love for each other and their community. From the beautiful murals embracing the Latinx community in Kansas City to the functional construction of café decor, Castagna-Herrera family Café Corazon was created to celebrate the local Latin heritage.

Working with coffee growers in Latin America, Café Corazon ensures that the coffee beans it uses are sourced responsibly. They have great drinks, including delicious espresso, latte, and tea, and the Corazon Cafe menu has something for everyone. With an assortment of Yerba Mate teas from four South American countries, Café Corazon is one of the few coffee shops across the United States to offer a drink that has the strength of coffee combined with the tea’s health benefits and delicious chocolate flavour.

Café Corazon has two locations, in Crossroads and Westport.

11. Roastery Coffee Company

Proudly working with direct trade farms

With its iconic DC-3 aircraft that welcomes visitors, The Roasterie Coffee Company has long believed in direct trade, sourcing coffee responsibly from outlets in Latin America and Africa. From the first time its founder picked coffee beans in the late 1970s until it opened in 1993, The Roasterie has been one of the most popular coffee shops in Kansas City.

Roasterie has several locations around town. During your visit to The Roasterie Factory Cafe, take a tour of the warehouse, where you’ll learn about the history of The Roasterie and see the roasting process up close. Then stop at the counter and order your favorite coffee for a delicious visit. And with its beans and beans sold regionally, you can enjoy The Roasterie long after your visit.

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