Kansas City neighborhoods: Westside

Westside: a neighborhood for hipsters.

The streets are quiet.  There’s not much traffic, nor many pedestrians.  The people that you’ll find here are either hanging out on patios of hipster restaurants or porches of old houses.  Yet, it’s walking distance from the Kauffman Center downtown and just a few blocks from I-35.  Westside is officially the place to go if you want to forget where you are for five minutes.

The view of downtown from Westside.
The view of downtown Kansas City from Westside.

Westside is also a good place to go if you want to eat kind of expensive local and/or vegan food. Scattered at the intersection of 17th and Summit you’ve got Fud, a raw food and vegan eatery; Blue Bird Bistro, a colorful restaurant with locally grown, farm fresh delicacies; Westside Local, which specializes in a variety of local produce and microbrews; and Los Alamos, a local Mexican restaurant and convenience store.  Los Alamos is probably the perfect fit for me (check out street taco Fridays), but for the sake of this blog I tried out some of the other places.

At Fud I sat at a table by myself and read my book while I drank a cashew mylkshake. The mylkshake was awesome.  Other food on the menu also sounded awesome and was reasonably priced as well.  It’s always kind of awkward to sit by yourself at a restaurant, but I felt pretty comfortable here.  Sitting at a table next to me was a woman with her young toddler.  On the other side of the room were three studs who brought their skateboards inside and it was kind of awkward and super loud when one of them dropped his helmet (awkward for them, not for me).  So yeah, overall a positive eating-out experience.  I would definitely go back and get something other than a mylkshake next time.  (Sidenote: cash only, so bring some if you want to eat food here.)

Becky, future teacher-by-day-chef-by-night fits right in.
Becky, future teacher-by-day-chef-by-night, fits right in.

On a separate, more recent occasion I went to The Westside Local with a few friends.  We opted for happy hour beers and asked about happy hour food specials because we like local things but we also like cheap things. Unfortunately, there are no happy hour food specials.  But we certainly weren’t going to pass up the food here.  We got a smorgasbord of appetizers and sides: cheese, hummus, and zucchini bread. I recommend the hummus which had a light lemony flavor and the zucchini bread.  Cheese kind of always tastes the same to me.

There’s a lot of diversity in this neighborhood when it comes to houses.  Some lots are big enough for full-fledged gardens, others are hardly big enough for the house.  Some houses scream with their modern square shapes and neutral colors.  Others are sinking in decay.  But somehow it feels natural (probably because it is natural).  That is what I love about this neighborhood: it looks kind of strange, but it feels so homey.

This homeowner took creative license with her yard.
This homeowner took creative license with her yard.

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