Tasty Options Abound On and Near UMKC Campuses

Find your favorites, from macchiatos to mochi donuts
plate of barbecued ribs

Dining options at both the Health Sciences and Volker campuses include on-campus opportunities and plenty of private businesses close by; new purveyors and new offerings offer fresh options for returnees as well as newbies.

Volker Campus

In the main campus dining hall in the Atterbury Student Success Center on the Volker campus, new executive chef Charles Tibbs will offer an exciting new menu with more diversity and choices daily. The hall serves students on campus meal plans, and is also open to all students, faculty and staff.

Something new this year in the Student Union: a rotating pop-up concept offering new cuisine choices every 45-60 days throughout the academic year. First up at the start of the semester will be Impossible and Bodacious Burgers, offering beef burgers as well as plant-based burgers from Impossible™ that are 100% vegan. Every burger is cooked to order, with the freshest toppings and signature sauces.

Returning to the Student Union are Baja Fresh Express, Chick-fil-A and Jazzman’s Café. Other returning Volker favorites include Starbucks Café in the Atterbury Student Success Center, the Robot Café in Miller Nichols Library and Einstein Bros. Bagels in Royall Hall. The Smart Market on the bottom floor of Oak Hall allows students with meal plans to use a meal swipe for food items once daily up to $12. The store is open to the public and offers a variety of freshly made salads, sandwiches and snacks as well as pre-packaged and microwaveable foods, household items and sundries.

Health Sciences Campus

The Hospital Hill Café, on the main floor of the Health Sciences Building, is open for breakfast and lunch and offers a salad bar, sushi and this year is adding rotating hot menu items. 

There is also a Subway shop on Charlotte Street in the Health Sciences parking garage building.

Off-campus, Volker Area

Several longtime Kansas City favorites are within easy reach of the Volker Campus. These include classic Kansas City barbecue from Gates Bar-B-Q, 1325 Emanuel Cleaver II Blvd., a fixture for generations;  Andre’s, 5018 Main St., run by a third generation of Swiss-trained chocolate-makers, known for classic European meals and pastries; Go Chicken Go, 5101 Troost, a local favorite for fried chicken; and The Peanut, a classic ultra-casual bar and grill famous for hot wings and BLT sandwiches.

Other options to the east include:

  • Urban Café KC, 5500 Troost, breakfast, lunch and weekend brunch focused on organic, seasonal, healthy cuisine
  • Blackhole Bakery, 5531 Troost, classic French pastries and donuts, including brioche cinnamon rolls and Mochi donuts
  • Fannie’s West African Cuisine, 4105 Troost, unique breakfast items such as rice bread and sardine patties, and classic African lunch and dinner dishes such as Jollof Rice, Fufu, Attieke, Banku and Kenkey
  • Gaels Public House and Sports, 5424 Troost Ave., a sports bar and pub scheduled for a late August-early September opening and promising a “Northwestern European vibe” combining offerings such as Stout Meatballs and German Bierocks with classic fare such as burgers and pizza.

To the west, 51st Street offers four options long popular among the campus community: Pizza 51, 5060 Oak St., offering giant slices, plus salads and sandwiches; Kin Lin Chinese restaurant, 314 E. 51st St. (try the pickled vegetable entrees); Crow’s Coffee, 304 E. 51st St., offering fresh pastries and breakfast burritos along with classic coffee drinks; and Whole Foods Market, offering self-serve salad and hot food bars.

A few blocks further west lies the South Plaza dining strip along Main Street, extending from 51st Street north to 48th Street. Options along the strip include:


Off-campus, Health Sciences Area

Options close to campus include one of the city’s most acclaimed fine-dining restaurants, the Antler Room, 2506 Holmes St., offering a rotating menu of small plates influenced by Mediterranean, East Asian and Midwestern traditions.

Right next door is Teocali Mexican Restaurant and Cantina, 2512 Holmes St., a great gathering place with plenty of room indoors and out. Vested Beacon Hill Coffee, 2501 Troost Ave., is known for the 1950s-vintage Airstream camper inside the shop.

Published: Jul 30, 2021

Top Stories