A rapidly evolving entertainment hub within the dynamic Crossroads Arts District, the East Crossroads area has become a popular destination in its own right. While there’s no formal designation that draws a line between the East Crossroads and the broader neighborhood, the term is often used in reference to venues found east of Grand Blvd.
Here’s a tip for your first time exploring the East Crossroads: Start at the intersection of East 18th and Oak Streets, then see where the day takes you. It’s an easily walkable area, so you’ll be able to find breweries, restaurants, shopping and much more within a few blocks in any direction.
Things to Do
Here, hopping between breweries is a breeze. The East Crossroads district boasts the highest concentration of breweries anywhere in the KC area. Casual Animal Brewing Co. features a regular rotation of beers inside a taproom bathed in light and shrouded in leafy plants—as the name suggests, it’s a laid-back way to get in touch with your wild side. A few doors down, Brick River Cider Co. produces an assortment of drinks that range from tart and floral to fruity and refreshing, ensuring everyone has a cider to suit their taste.
Along East 18th Street, you’ll encounter a series of local favorites within a few blocks, from new additions to mainstays that have been pouring for nearly a decade. Border Brewing Co. has called the street home since 2015, with staples like its Patio Pale Ale and Strawberry Blonde serving as an evergreen choice among many locals. A few doors down, Double Shift Brewing Co. impresses with offbeat—and often surprising—flavors that keep guests coming back for more. The adjacent Red Sash Brewing features an inviting, popular patio overlooking one of the neighborhood’s buzziest corners.
Around the corner, Nimble Brewing takes its name seriously as it crafts one barrel at a time, guaranteeing there’s something new to try on a daily basis. Brewery Emperial has earned acclaim for its reliably solid food and beer menus, plus a sprawling patio that holds a place as one of the area’s most beloved outdoor dining venues.
Keep heading east for two more spots that prepare satisfying plates alongside excellent brews. City Barrel Brewery + Kitchen offers a full selection of wings, salads, burgers and more to pair with the establishment’s hoppy and sour beers. Torn Label Brewing Co. takes bar food to new culinary heights with a vast menu of items like soft pretzels, sandwiches and a seemingly endless array of dipping sauces.
Of course, beer isn’t the area’s only choice for a top-tier beverage. Head to Mean Mule Distilling Co. for agave spirits in a sublime, Southwestern-inspired tasting room, or snag a place at the bar to sample gin, vodka and absinthe at Lifted Spirits Distillery. If you’re hoping to enjoy a glass of wine in the heart of the city, KC Wineworks is second to none—its tasting room pours a robust selection of Missouri wines, plus seasonal cocktails and frozen drinks during the warmer months.
If you’re in the mood to linger at a beloved neighborhood bar, you have plenty of nearby options. Try your hand at darts and billiards at Chartreuse Saloon or keep an eye on all the neighborhood’s activities at King G, a glassy and graffitied cocktail bar with a neighboring deli by the same name. If you’re lucky, you’ll be able to find a seat inside Jim’s Alley Bar for one more round in a stellar retro setting.
Where to eat
Whether you’re looking for a quick bite or an upscale evening on the town, you’re never more than a few steps away from an outstanding dining experience in this creative district.
A multistory food hall, bar and entertainment destination all under one roof, Parlor promises to please. More than half a dozen kitchens create an always-changing lineup of menus, ranging from pizza and fried chicken to Korean specialties and more.
Take advantage of the neighborhood’s many cuisines with a lineup of more casual favorites. Dig into Korean barbecue dishes Kobi Q, warm up with noodles at Mama Ramen, gather over margaritas at Mission Taco Joint or snag a slice at Grinders Pizza.
And don’t miss the chance to wrap up your time in the neighborhood with a sweet treat that doubles as a work of art. Christopher Elbow Chocolates features a showstopping case full of handcrafted chocolate pieces that shimmer and sparkle in every color imaginable, making it endlessly enjoyable to pick out a few for yourself.