TA Away Game Travel Guide to Kansas City

11 Aug 2011 2:30 PM | 107ist Admin (Administrator)

—by Andrew Brawley

For reasons I won't get into, this particular blog entry comes without any local input. I have been to KC before, but it's been about 10 years, so I'm willing to give some major benefit of the doubt for anything listed below.

What I can be sure of is that it's still VERY humid in the summer, and that you'll need a rental car, or a local friend willing to be your chauffeur, to get around town. You can get some decent BBQ, but the last time I had KC's version of BBQ there were veggie chunks in the sauce, which is just freakin' weird to me. Hopefully you'll find something more along the lines of 'normal' in that department.

Kansas City Convention & Visitors Association

Power and Light District (the "cool" part of town...they got a Chipotle and everything!)

Livestrong Sporting Park (full...FULL...props to Sporting KC for granting stadium naming rights to a non-profit!)


Comments

  • 09 Jul 2016 1:03 PM | 107ist Admin (Administrator)
    Scott Meddock says:
    Thursday, August 11, 2011 at 9:45 am

    Many differing opinions but I’m partial to Arthur Bryant for BBQ in KC. Very few good beers but Broadway Pale Ale is solid. One thing to always (ALWAYS) get in KC is the wings from The Peanut. There are several locations but the grimy one downtown is the one you want to go to.
    College basketball hall of fame, WWI memorial – two terrific tourist attractions as well.
    Link  •  Reply
  • 09 Jul 2016 1:03 PM | 107ist Admin (Administrator)
    grant says:
    Thursday, August 11, 2011 at 10:27 am

    veggie chunks? never heard of it in my 28 yrs of kc bbq. if you are staying out by livestrong park, there is an arthur bryants in the legends area nearby. staying downtown? the original arthur bryants is down there, near the negro league baseball museum. looking for lots of popped collars? power and light district can help you there.
    bring your own granola and marijuana, hippies. and welcome to KC!!!
    Link  •  Reply
  • 09 Jul 2016 1:03 PM | 107ist Admin (Administrator)
    Andrew Brawley says:
    Thursday, August 11, 2011 at 11:57 am

    I swear it’s true. Like finely chopped bell peppers, onions, etc. It weirded me out. Thanks for the reply.
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  • 09 Jul 2016 1:04 PM | 107ist Admin (Administrator)
    J.Schnauzer says:
    Thursday, August 11, 2011 at 12:15 pm

    That’s salsa.
    Link  •  Reply
  • 09 Jul 2016 1:04 PM | 107ist Admin (Administrator)
    Andrew Brawley says:
    Thursday, August 11, 2011 at 2:28 pm

    It wasn’t sold as such.
    Link  •  Reply
  • 09 Jul 2016 1:04 PM | 107ist Admin (Administrator)
    some helpful hints says:
    Thursday, August 11, 2011 at 10:41 am

    Dude if it had veggie chunks in it, that wasn’t BBQ you were eating, if you get my drift!
    If you want to sample some of the best BBQ in the world try Oklahoma Joes, Jack Stack or LC’s. Order the burnt ends. Get a side of beans or slaw and enjoy! Then take an hour and visit the Steamboat Arabia museum in River Market…it’s one of KC’s hidden gems.
    When you get to LSP, be sure to stop by the members club after the game and enjoy some KC hospitality.
    Link  •  Reply
  • 09 Jul 2016 1:05 PM | 107ist Admin (Administrator)
    Kevin Killips says:
    Thursday, August 11, 2011 at 10:42 am

    As a recent transplant to KC from Georgia, I can promise KC will be much more beautiful than you anticipate. According to Anthony Bourdain, Oklahoma Joe’s has the best BBQ in KC, making it the “best in the world.” I promise you won’t find any vegatables in the sauce. KC’s Power & Light District is great if downtown is your scene, with many different styles of bars, restaurants and clubs all in the same square. Johnnies in P&L is a great sports bar that also serves as away game hosts for The American Outlaws and the KC Cauldron. The Country Club Plaza just south of downtown is where most visitors spend their time, and it has several amazing bars with great outdoor seating options. Being from the Pacific Northwest, I’d hope you enjoy a good craft beer or two. Anything from Boulevard Brewing’s Smockstack Series is amazing (double-wide IPA being my favorite), and the Flying Saucer downtown, Faloon in the Plaza, or Blanc Burgers and Bottles (EXCELLENT gourmet burgers) in the Plaza are great choices to grab a few (Stone Brewery is a recent addition).
    Link  •  Reply
    • 18 Apr 2017 5:58 PM | Mike Francis
      It's been decades since I lived there, but is Westport still a cool area? That was bar central back in my day.
      Link  •  Reply
  • 09 Jul 2016 1:05 PM | 107ist Admin (Administrator)
    some helpful hints says:
    Thursday, August 11, 2011 at 10:46 am

    Scott, perhaps you meant Boulevard Pale Ale? Or try Boulevard wheat, they are both excellent. At the members club, order the Drop Kick Ale, the team makes it and it is a tasty micro brew.
    Link  •  Reply
  • 09 Jul 2016 1:05 PM | 107ist Admin (Administrator)
    Scott Meddock says:
    Thursday, August 11, 2011 at 12:21 pm

    Yeah, I meant Boulevard not Broadway – it’s been a few years since I’ve been there.
    Link  •  Reply
  • 09 Jul 2016 1:06 PM | 107ist Admin (Administrator)
    Juan Chavez says:
    Thursday, August 11, 2011 at 10:47 am

    I don’t know the reasons behind not having any local input, but I’d be willing to guide or point anyone in the right direction.
    Link  •  Reply
  • 09 Jul 2016 1:06 PM | 107ist Admin (Administrator)
    Tom in KC says:
    Thursday, August 11, 2011 at 11:08 am

    As a Sporting KC fan, welcome to our home and city. Here’s a few tips for those coming in on the 17th.
    August in KC is hot & humid. The weather is nice this week, but it can change and easily be 90 – 100+ degrees and humid when you arrive.
    BBQ – If you liked smoked meats, you’ll love the BBQ here. There are several to choose from but I’d suggest Oklahoma Joe’s http://www.oklahomajoesbbq.com/. One’s in a gas station, one’s in the burbs, both are awesome.
    Microbrew fan? Try any of KC’s own Boulevard beer http://www.boulevard.com/. We don’t have as many microbrewers as the Northwest, but Boulevard is our largest. As worth mentioning is Tallgrass out of Manhattan, KS http://www.tallgrassbeer.com/ & Free State out of Lawrence http://freestatebrewing.com/.
    We may not share many common interests except for our hatred of Seattle & the Sounders.
    Cheers!
    Link  •  Reply
  • 09 Jul 2016 1:06 PM | 107ist Admin (Administrator)
    Adam says:
    Thursday, August 11, 2011 at 3:20 pm

    +1 for ok joes
    +1 for freestate brewery
    Might as well come out to Lawrence, too, if you like college towns.
    Link  •  Reply
  • 09 Jul 2016 1:07 PM | 107ist Admin (Administrator)
    David H says:
    Thursday, August 11, 2011 at 11:26 am

    The best BBQ is a hotly contested subject amongst KC natives, but these are my top 5, in order:

    Oklahoma Joe’s – Get the Z-Man. Fries (2 people can share one order) and rings are amazing – mix the spicy and the regular sauce and dip your fries/rings/sandwich in it.
    Jack Stack – A little more upscale – must try cheesy corn.
    Gates – better be paying attention when in line to order!
    Arthur Bryant’s
    Zarda

    The previous poster meant to say BOULEVARD Pale Ale. Boulevard Unfiltered Wheat is also popular. I love Boulevard Double-Wide IPA, but it is hard to come across in restaurants. Be sure to make it to “The Plaza” for other great restaurants, shopping, and architecture. Any native can direct you there.
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  • 09 Jul 2016 1:07 PM | 107ist Admin (Administrator)
    J.Schnauzer says:
    Thursday, August 11, 2011 at 11:30 am

    Hey everyone. I’m a SportingKC fan who’s lived in Kansas City for nine years and have 2/3 of my extended family in the Portland area. I think you’d be pleasantly surprised at some of the fun stuff to do in KC. I’ve decided to break up a travel guide for you in to different posts because there’s so much to cover.
    Restaurants (BBQ division)
    Like a trip to the Pyramids is to Cairo or a trip to St. Peter’s Basilica is to Rome, travelers who come to KC insist on visiting one of the holy sites of barbecue heaven. Some suggestions:
    The Big Three (consistently on local’s list of great barbecue)
    Arthur Bryant’s – 1727 Brooklyn Avenue, Kansas City, MO.
    My personal favorite. To delve into hyperbole: it not just good, not just great, it redefines your notions of what meat tastes like. There are several others in town (including one near LIVESTRONG Sporting Park) but in my opinion they are a shadow of the original location on Brooklyn. You can taste 80 years of obsessive care and craftwork.
    Oklahoma Joe’s – 3002 W. 47th Avenue, Kansas City, KS (plus one location in Olathe)
    Located in a Shamrock gas station, this place has appeared on just about every food show on TV and has folks lined up all day six days a week. My personal favorite is the Z-man, a sandwich of brisket, provolone, and a pair of onion rings is sublime.
    Gates Bar B.Q. – 3205 Main, Kansas City, MO (plus 5 other locations)
    “HI MAY I HELP YOU!” Great food with a “no soup for you!” feel. This place is all about the sauce (a bit too much IMO) and consistently produces great food. I would recommend buying a bottle of this sauce and taking it home with you. It’s very easy to grill with and will wow your friends.
    The equally great:
    There are a lot of BBQ spots in town and the truth is if there’s a bad barbecue spot in KC it won’t last long. Here are a list of places that aren’t the big three but are just as good if not better.
    Quick’s Bar-B-Q, 1007 Merriam Lane, Kansas City, KS
    Woodyard Bar-B-Que, 3001 Merriam Lane, Kansas City, KS
    Rosedale Barbeque, 600 Southwest Boulevard, Kansas City, KS
    Smokin Guns BBQ, 1218 Swift Avenue, North Kansas City, MO
    The “great but you’re honestly paying too much for it” option:
    Fiorella’s Jack Stack Barbeque (multiple locations)
    The “why are you going all the way here to eat at a chain???” options:
    Famous Dave’s
    Chili’s
    Restaurants (non-BBQ division)
    It might surprise some, but the metro has some great restaurants that have nothing to do with barbecue. Some options in brief.
    Great food/bar districts (these are intersections but they are all walkable multi-block areas with lots of ethnic, local, American, and fusion food):
    39th Street West neighborhood (39th and State Line on the Missouri side)
    Westport (Westport Road & Pennsylvania Avenue, KC MO)
    Country Club Plaza (Broadway and Ward Parkway, KC MO)
    River Market (5th and Main, KC MO)
    Great vegetarian/locavore spots:
    Blue Bird Bistro, 1700 Summit St, Kansas City, MO
    The Farmhouse, 300 Delaware Street, Kansas City, MO
    Californos, 4124 Pennsylvania Avenue, Kansas City, MO
    Good food/bar districts:
    Power & Light District (14th and Walnut, KC MO) – good if you’re here for a convention, but a lot of chains.
    Legends Shopping Mall (108th and Village W Pkwy) – standard fare, but it’s next door to LIVESTRONG Sporting Park so it’s got that going for it.
    Great “local” spots:
    Johnny’s Tavern, 1310 Grand Boulevard, Kansas City, Missouri — It’s where SportingKC fans hang out if they aren’t at the stadium.
    Fric & Frac, 1700 West 39th Street, Kansas City, MO — laaaaaaaaaid back atmosphere and tasty burgers. Get the special if you want to get fed quickly.
    Chappell’s Restaurant, 323 Armour Road, North Kansas City, MO — A sports museum more than a “sports bar.” Great burgers.
    These are just a handful of literally hundreds of great food options. Check out a “Pitch” magazine in town (or online at http://www.pitch.com) if you want more specific info or reviews.
    …and don’t hate on Chipotle!
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  • 09 Jul 2016 1:08 PM | 107ist Admin (Administrator)
    Andrew Brawley says:
    Thursday, August 11, 2011 at 12:04 pm

    Thanks to all who replied with recommendations. I clearly did not expect this many replies with valid info so suddenly. KC might win this year’s Hospitality Award (if such a thing existed). Either KC’s still amped about their new stadium, of you all genuinely care about tourists. Either way, good on all of you!
    Link  •  Reply
  • 09 Jul 2016 1:08 PM | 107ist Admin (Administrator)
    J.Schnauzer says:
    Thursday, August 11, 2011 at 12:14 pm

    Moving on to the “what to do if your in Kansas City” portion of our in-flight entertainment. Again, this is just a handful of the stuff you can do or see in the KC metro area. I would check a free local paper such as “The Pitch” or “Ink” to check out live shows, casinos, etc.
    Sights
    National World War I Museum (100 West 26th St., Kansas City, MO)
    America’s official World War One Monument and Museum. The greatest compliment I can give to this place is that they let the events tell the story and let you decide for yourself how you feel about the war. It finds the balance in telling a very complex story without straying into pacifism or hyperpatriotism. Also, the monument is on a bluff overlooking downtown, providing a great place for touristy shots to show your friends that you (yes you!) have been to Kansas City.
    Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art (4525 Oak Street, Kansas City, MO)
    Sometimes when you see a picture of Kansas City they’ll show a neo-classical building with a gigantic badminton shuttlecock in front of it. That’s the Nelson-Atkins. More than a cool backdrop for an Oldenberg statue, the museum is first-rate. It’s got a world-class collection of Asian Art and 19th century American Art. A recent (and very cool looking) expansion by Stephen Holl houses contemporary works, African art, and photography.
    Country Club Plaza (47th & Broadway, Kansas City, MO)
    The big shopping district in town. Walkable. A great place to see good looking people. I would guess 60-70% of the stores there are the same as the one’s you’d find in Portland. If you’re an architecture buff you’ll need to visit if only for the 1930s parking garages that are disguised as Spanish Revival haciendas.
    Crossroads Arts District (18th & Wyandotte, Kansas City, MO)
    The local arts community is centered here. As it’s a functioning neighborhood district I would recommend visiting this place on a Friday/Saturday when more locals are apt to shop here than on a Wednesday. Bonus fact to impress your friends: SportingKC’s headquarters are located in the Crossroads.
    Downtown Weston (Weston, Missouri)
    Located about 30 minutes north of the airport. Downtown Weston exudes a small-town 19th-century Missouri feel complete with antique shops, B&Bs, local restaurants, and a subterranean speakeasy with great Irish music.
    Truman Presidential Library & Museum (500 W US Highway 24, Independence, MO)
    Tells the story of the most down-to-earth President in US history who occupied the Oval Office from 1945 to 1953. If you’re a big presidential history fan you might also consider making the three-hour trip west to hit the Eisenhower Museum in Abilene, Kansas. Western Kansas is lovely* in mid-August.
    *this may or may not be true
    The Johnson County Museum (6305 Lackman Road, Shawnee, KS)
    A personal favorite of mine if you’re into quirky museums. What Orange County is to Los Angeles, Johnson County is to Kansas City. The museum is undergoing a transition into—wait for it—the National Museum of Suburban History. It actually interprets an interesting story on how suburban live emerged across the United States, and there is a retro-cool “Home of Tomorrow” from the 1950s located next door. Two things I love about the place: metro sprawl has now extended out to the museum, and a Hindu temple has opened next door.
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  • 09 Jul 2016 1:09 PM | 107ist Admin (Administrator)
    Lucas Grzybowski says:
    Thursday, August 11, 2011 at 12:25 pm

    If you like baseball, the Yankees & Red Sox are in town next week. Last time I was there (10 yrs ago) we had a great time at the lovely and underrated Kauffman Stadium and were able to get very good seats for relatively cheap. I still regret that we didn’t seek out local BBQ, so next time I visit that’s my priority (tho KC is a bit down on my list of non-drivable road trips, behind NY and Chicago, so it may not be till 2013 that we make it there).
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  • 09 Jul 2016 1:09 PM | 107ist Admin (Administrator)
    Adam Williams says:
    Thursday, August 11, 2011 at 2:54 pm

    Much respect to the Timbers Army. I am a member of the KC Cauldron and just wanted to extend a warm welcome to you. I know you all are going to love LIVESTRONG Sporting Park and I hope you have a great experience in Kansas City. I won’t bother with any additional recommendations, as a ton of great stuff has been suggested. Pass some love on to Jack for us. We miss him!
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  • 09 Jul 2016 1:10 PM | 107ist Admin (Administrator)
    Lindsay says:
    Thursday, August 11, 2011 at 4:43 pm

    I got to meet Jack on Tuesday, we LOVE him!
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  • 09 Jul 2016 1:10 PM | 107ist Admin (Administrator)
    Lindsay says:
    Thursday, August 11, 2011 at 4:42 pm

    I didn’t really have much interest in visiting KC until reading this post. HOSPITALITY + BBQ? I hope to make this away game next year!
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  • 09 Jul 2016 1:10 PM | 107ist Admin (Administrator)
    Andrew Brawley says:
    Thursday, August 11, 2011 at 4:49 pm

    No kidding…as long as the game is in March or October.
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  • 09 Jul 2016 1:11 PM | 107ist Admin (Administrator)
    J.Schnauzer says:
    Friday, August 12, 2011 at 6:56 am

    So you’ll only support the Timbers if the weather’s nice? I see.
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  • 09 Jul 2016 1:11 PM | 107ist Admin (Administrator)
    Andrew Brawley says:
    Friday, August 12, 2011 at 10:19 am

    When substantial $$$ is involved, then yeah.
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  • 09 Jul 2016 1:11 PM | 107ist Admin (Administrator)
    Sean Dane says:
    Friday, August 12, 2011 at 4:38 am

    Andrew – I am one of the Cauldron leaders, shoot me an email and I will give the lowdown on all the game day activities.
    Power and Light is great if you are looking for multiple bars in one place. Our AO home bar, Johnny’s Tavern, is down there and I highly recommend it. There are other great area’s of the city to hang out in depending on what you are looking for. As Portlandian’s are known for loving beer; I might suggest Westport, home to The Beer Kitchen, The Foundry, and McCoy’s public House. All great beer establishments.
    The BBQ debate has been raging since the first BBQ joints opened. There are a few that are always at the top. Oklahoma Joes’ – One of Anthony Bordain’s 13 place’s to eat before you die. Jackstack in the freight house district – A nicer dining environment with great BBQ. Arthur Bryant’s – The choice of Presidents, one of the oldest and best in town. Go to the 18th St. location not the one next to the stadium. Gates – Multiple locations and I have never heard anyone complain. Try the mixplate. Finally – One of our favorites in the Cauldron as its fan owned; Quicks BBQ
    We have great art museums in the Nelson- Atkins and Kemper Modern art museum. If you are a history buff don’t leave without visiting the WWI museum. Its the only one in the country and its fantastic.
    Enjoy your trip and let me know if there is anything we can help with.
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  • 09 Jul 2016 1:12 PM | 107ist Admin (Administrator)
    Alex Forster says:
    Sunday, August 14, 2011 at 9:06 am

    Can anybody tell me which section of the stadium the TA will be in? Trying to figure out which section to buy tickets in.
    Planning to drive up from Arkansas for the match. So stoked to see the boys in green play again. I lived a block from PGE park during the ’05 and ’06 seasons and went to every home game, but I’ve been living abroad since then and haven’t had my Timbers fix in a while. Now I’m about 4 hours away from KC, but that’s close enough to get me up there.
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  • 09 Jul 2016 1:12 PM | 107ist Admin (Administrator)
    Sean Dane says:
    Monday, August 15, 2011 at 7:13 am

    Alex – Section 123 is designated for away supporters. Email spierron@sportingkc.com and he can get you set up.
    Link  •  Reply
  • 09 Jul 2016 1:12 PM | 107ist Admin (Administrator)
    Scott Welch says:
    Tuesday, August 16, 2011 at 9:01 am

    I’m making the drive from St. Louis. Are any pregame events planned for TA/Timbers supporters? This is my first MLS match/Timbers match, so I’m a little pumped up to get the full gameday experience.
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  • 09 Jul 2016 1:13 PM | 107ist Admin (Administrator)
    Stephan Lewis says:
    Tuesday, August 16, 2011 at 9:17 pm

    We’ll be in KC early afternoon for pre-match shenanigans. Not sure what exactly we’ll be doing other than finding some BBQ and maybe some disc golf. I’ll be using the SCUSA Roadtrip thread to keep posted on plans.
    Hope we have a good turnout. Tornado Alley Timbers Army (TATA’s) Unite!
    Link  •  Reply
  • 09 Jul 2016 1:13 PM | 107ist Admin (Administrator)
    grant says:
    Wednesday, August 17, 2011 at 7:59 am

    this thread is great. enjoy kc, timbermen. just dont take any of SKC’s points with you
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