Vegan Dining in Kansas City

Just back from a trip to Kansas City to attend my nephew’s wedding, I can offer some suggestions for great vegan dining there.  We stopped for brunch at all-vegan Cafe Gratitude in downtown KC Missouri, not far from the beautifully renovated Union Station.  The Cafe’s dishes are all identified by affirmations, such as I Am Courageous, I Am Humble, I Am Trusting, I Am Fulfilled, etc.  When waitstaff deliver someone’s order they repeat the affirmation of the dish, beginning the statement with “You.”  That is, when I ordered I Am Extraordinary, the server placed it in front of me saying, “You are extraordinary.”  It’s a nice touch.  The “Extraordinary” dish is well-named: a sandwich featuring toasted chipotle-maple coconut “bacon” with cashew aioli, lettuce, tomato and avocado on a bun.  The menu features a number of raw entrees as well.

We ordered additional meals as carry-out for the wedding reception that evening.  The reception was catered by a local BBQ restaurant, and nothing was vegan.  Even the roasted veggies were mixed with grated cheese!  While other guests were eating a low-fiber, high-fat, high cholesterol meal, I was enjoying I Am Fortified: quinoa with sauteed veggies and kale, topped with a handful of sunflower sprouts and a delicious garlic-tahini sauce.  Cafe Gratitude also has restaurants in California.

Minsky’s Pizza was the venue for the rehearsal dinner; it has a number of locations around the KC area.  While not vegan-oriented, they did know how to accommodate us.  One of their pizza crusts is vegan, as is at least one of the sauces, plus lots of veggie toppings.  They had recently added Daiya cheese as an option.  The pizza they made for us was the best I’ve had in a long time.

On a lazy Sunday morning the day after the wedding, we relaxed in the comfortable living room of the Mud Pie Vegan Bakery and Coffeehouse near the KU Medical Center.  It’s located in an old house, painted bright yellow so you can’t miss it in a funky neighborhood with lots of small businesses.  I sampled and can recommend the French toast cupcakes, the PB cookies,  and the decadent chocolate/coconut bars.  In addition to coffee and tea, they offer hot cocoa made with your choice of five different milks–none of them dairy.  Two computers are available for use by patrons, as well as that day’s Kansas City Star newspaper.

Another vegan restaurant I can recommend, this one in the Westside neighborhood, is Fud (pronounced “food”).  We dined there on a previous trip and were well pleased.

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