Looking back at KC Restaurant Week

This edition of Kansas City’s yearly event included over 200 participating restaurants, with various specials and offers available from each.


Rachel King

Coming to Strang Hall in 2019, Fénix offers a variety of taco options. Pictured above, their Tres Tacos entree allows for mix-and-match options from the taco menu.

Every January, restaurants all over the Kansas City area participate in KC Restaurant Week. This yearly event seeks to highlight the unique culinary variety available in Kansas City, encouraging both visitors and locals alike to explore the restaurants the area has to offer. 

The first KC Restaurant Week took place in 2010 as a collaboration between the Visit KC Foundation and the Greater KC Restaurant Association. In addition to boosting local restaurants, an initial goal of the event was to help the community; because of this, 10 percent of all revenue is donated to local charities. 

The event focuses on multi-course menus, and many restaurants offer unique menus exclusive to the event, showcasing their signature dishes.

Restaurants offering menus such as these include Overland Park favorites like Brass Onion, which offered a $20 three-course lunch menu and $40 four-course dinner menu – these feature a variety of their dishes, including fried chicken, mac and cheese and shrimp and grits, among others. 

Bamboo Penny’s, a Thai staple in Leawood, offered a $20 lunch menu, including a choice of appetizer, entree and dessert. I tried this special, ordering an appetizer of egg rolls, an entree of drunken noodles and chocolate rangoon for dessert. The egg rolls were crispy and had the savory flavor one would expect; combined with the sweet and tangy dipping sauce, they made for a great appetizer.

Tora Zushi, another available inside Strang Hall, features Japanese cuisine and a highly-praised sushi selection. (Rachel King)

The drunken noodles were on point as well – they were salty with a delicious texture. The accompanying vegetables provided for a wide variety of tastes, from the mushrooms to the peppers. The chocolate rangoon was an unusual concept for sure, but it also proved delicious.

Downtown, other restaurants joined in on the festivities; the Savoy’s $55 three-course dinner featured appetizers like beets and liver parfait paired with entrees such as pork loins and salmon, and dessert options like pineapple upside-down cake.

In northern Overland Park, every tenant of multi-restaurant complex Strang Hall had their own two-course Restaurant Week special, each costing $20. The resident Japanese restaurant, Tora Zushi, offered a plate of gyoza and a bowl of fried rice with a choice of protein. After tasting these for ourselves, we concluded that the gyoza were perfectly fried and wonderfully crispy, and the fried rice was a brilliant medley of rice, eggs and pork belly (which I would personally recommend for the protein option). It was the perfect comfort food, and was a large enough serving for the price.

Overall, KC Restaurant Week is a perfect opportunity for locals and tourists alike to get better acquainted with the city we call home, and for a reasonable price at that.

 KC Restaurant Week ran from Jan. 10 to Jan. 22. Find more information on the annual event here.