2014 KC Magazine City’s Best Awards: Cuisine

Best Overall Restaurant: Story

Chef-owner Carl Thorne-Thomsen’s menu of creative American cuisine with European influences got him voted The People’s Best New Chef for 2014 by Food & Wine Magazine readers and made his upscale Prairie Village restaurant a winner with KC Magazine readers too.

2nd Place: Michael Smith  |   3rd Place: Bluestem

Best Chef: Michael Smith

The James Beard Award-winning chef-owner of Michael Smith and Extra Virgin in the Crossroads is now spicing things up in JoCo with the launch of CoCoBolo’s, a Latin-American concept in Overland Park’s new Prairiefire development.

2nd Place: Howard Hanna  |  3rd Place: Colby Garrelts

Best Breakfast or Brunch: Happy Gillis

Already a popular spot to start the day, mornings at the Columbus Park eatery got a makeover when Josh Eans, former sous chef at The American, and his wife Abby Jo Eans, a talented baker, took ownership at the beginning of the year.

2nd Place: Eggtc.  |   3rd Place: First Watch

Best Barbecue: Oklahoma Joe’s

For 18 years, a mouthwatering menu of smoked meats has made a small neighborhood gas station in Mission, Kan., a dining destination for foodies from all over the world. This summer the original OK Joe’s and its other locations (in Olathe and Leawood) gained a whole new fan base: vegetarians. The sandwich that helped make the restaurant famous—The Z Man—is now available with a smoked portabella mushroom in place of the usual beef brisket.

2nd Place: Fiorella’s Jack Stack  |  3rd Place: Gates BBQ

Best Meal in a Bowl: Lulu’s Thai Noodle Shop

Fans of the spicy, aromatic curries and flavorful noodles served up at this Crossroads staple will be bowled over to learn that a second Lulu’s location is slated to open soon in Westwood, Kan.

2nd Place: Vietnam Café  |   3rd Place: Blue Koi

Best Cup of Coffee: The Roasterie

The company “Bean Baron” Danny O’Neill started in his Brookside basement has been perking up Kansas Citians for more than 20 years. Java junkies can get their fix at restaurants, grocery stores and other facilities all over the metro, as well as in the company’s own cafes in Brookside, Leawood and its Southwest Boulevard factory.

2nd Place: Oddly Correct  |  3rd Place: Broadway Café

Best Healthy Treat: t. Loft

Fresh-pressed juices, gluten-free baked goods, ready-to-go salads and flavorful teas provide sensible indulgences for the customers of t. Loft, which opened a Park Place location this spring that has proven just as successful as its shop at 80th and State Line.

2nd Place: The Mixx  |  3rd Place: Café Gratitude

Best Sushi: Drunken Fish

Thanks to a menu that includes both traditional favorites and creative specialties, three chances to enjoy happy hour every weekday, and inspired cocktails, the sleek, lounge-style restaurants in the Power & Light District and at Town Center Crossing are on a roll with sushi lovers.

2nd Place: Nara  |  3rd Place: Ra

Best Date Night: The Rieger Hotel Grill & Exchange

The cozy candlelit tables and original décor elements from 1915 make The Rieger the ideal spot for a romantic rendezvous, but James Beard Award-winning chef Howard Hanna’s soulful cuisine is at the root of our love affair with the Crossroads restaurant.

2nd Place: Bluestem  |  3rd Place: Extra Virgin

See some of the other winners in our 2014 City’s Best Awards