Blake Walsh

15 Best Things to Do in Brookside, Kansas City

  • Published 2022/10/27

Brookside, Kansas City is known to be vibrant, charming, and quaint.

Located five miles south of the city’s center, Brookside is an urban center with stunning residences, distinctive stores, hip eateries, and cultural attractions that locals and tourists love.

It was one of Kansas City’s earliest suburban shopping districts and is home to some hippest locals and urban professionals.

Over 80 stores, eateries, and services can be found in Brookside, many of which are housed in tastefully restored buildings that provide a friendly neighborhood vibe.

This neighborhood is a perfect palace to chill, take a break, and escape the humdrum routines of daily life.

Here are the best things to do in Brookside, Kansas City:

Step Back in Time with a Trip to the John Wornall House Museum

Exterior of the John Wornall House Museum

User:Iknowthegoods, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

On Wornall Road, there’s a Kansas City monument renowned for its role as a military hospital during the Battle of Westport in the American Civil War.

The John Wornall House Museum, constructed in 1858, is one of the few Civil War-era houses still standing in Kansas City.

Numerous objects that belonged to the Wornall family in the late 19th and early 20th centuries are included in the museum, which was created to approximate how it could have looked in 1858.

Signage of the John Wornall House Museum

Jon Kraft /

The mansion also has memorabilia from the Westport Battle and the Civil War.

The placards scattered around the Wornall House also interpret the lives of the enslaved people who lived on the Wornall homestead.

The John Wornall House Museum also conducts private ghost tours for those who want to test their courage and get spooky.

Tour the Local Art Scene and Pay a Visit to Leopold Gallery

Located at the busiest strip of Brookside, Leopold Gallery serves as an oasis for art lovers.

This top-ranked gallery on West 63rd Street was founded in 1991 by Paul Dorrell to foster local culture.

The gallery works hard to go above and beyond expectations, assisting new collectors or providing advice on significant projects like the Saint Luke’s Hospital.

It also works with different artists and private collectors.

Their clients include the Kansas City Royals, US Capitol Building, the Mayo Clinic, and Marvel Studios.

You’ll enjoy the paintings, artworks, different collections, and exhibits displayed at Leopold Gallery.

You will also see the friendly Bebe, the resident gallery dog.

Don’t hesitate to pet him when you visit the gallery!

Bolster the Brookside Food Scene with Freshly Baked Goods at Heirloom Bakery & Hearth

Heirloom Bakery & Hearth is a home-style, neighborhood-focused restaurant where everything is produced from scratch using locally sourced and seasonal products.

In addition to a breakfast and lunch menu, they also provide coffee, espresso, hot tea, cookies, sweets, bread, beverages, and pastries, including a creative spin on the classic Pop-Tart.

Additionally, they provide a Happy Hour menu that includes beers, and wines, including a charcuterie board, fried okra, blistered shishito pepper, and more.

They also have signature cocktails like Bronson’s Milk Punch, Jalapeno Mezcal Margarita, and the traditional Frozen Pina Colada.

Nothing beats taking a sip of your locally made coffee while taking a bite of your homemade baked goods in the afternoon.

Purchase your fresh, made-from-scratch-daily baked goods at Heirloom Bakery & Hearth on East 63rd Street.

Check Out Brookside Toy & Science

Bring back your inner child at Brookside Toy & Science on West 63rd Street.

Children in Kansas City have been calling this place “the best toy store ever” for generations.

This family favorite is loaded to the rafters with timeless toys, games, and today’s newest, most inventive toys, dolls, games, and collectibles.

You can also help your child immerse in scientific inquiry at Brookside Toy & Science.

Visit the store to check out their incredible selection of green science and chemical experiment kits, science fair supplies, robot sets, and everything a child needs for scientific exploration.

Skeletons, alligator heads, toad purses, diamonds, minerals, fossils, and science-related items are also displayed.

Grab a Signature Cocktail and Catch a Game at Charlie Hooper’s Bar & Grille

Charlie Hooper’s Bar & Grille is located on West 63rd Street, right along the Plaza’s southern area.

It’s a genuine Kansas City classic!

There is no better location in Kansas City to try an astounding variety of unique beers, having been in business for more than 31 years.

They also have a fantastic deck with plenty of seating for dining and drinking al fresco, including a room for bigger groups.

You can watch your preferred team play on one of their many large screens, play some pool or try out a shuffleboard game.

The handcrafted cuisine at Charlie Hooper’s Bar & Grille provides excellent value and a wonderful sports bar atmosphere.

Head to A Store Named STUFF for Gifts, Jewelry, and Collectibles

Located on West 63rd Street, A Store Named STUFF is an artistic lifestyle store where you can spot original handmade stuff by local, regional, national, and international artists.

Casey Simmons and Sloane Simmons are behind the creative idea of A Store Named STUFF, a small business that has grown over the years.

A jury method is used to choose artisans who produce one-of-a-kind, handmade, distinctive, inspirational, intelligent, artistic, avant-garde, eclectic, funny valuable, decorative, and functional art that will amaze you.

The store has been recognized as one of Kansas City’s Top 25 Small Businesses and has received nominations for eight consecutive years as among the best galleries and shops in the country featuring Fine American Craft.

Chow down Some South Asian Dishes at Chai Shai

Locals love Chai Shai, which offers exotic meals and drinks from Pakistan and India.

The term “chai shai” (Ch A, Sh Ai) refers to gathering with friends to converse while enjoying tea and street cuisine. This is frequently done at little outside stalls in the evening.

You can choose from their variety of sandwiches, including the Pakora Wrap, Masala Paneer Roll, or Lamb Roll; their selection of appetizers includes Samosas, Pakora, Chaat, Spicy Mango, Spicy Corn, and Sampler Platter.

You can choose between basmati rice or garlic naan to accompany their entrees of Achari Chicken, Pakora Curry, Lamb Korma, Yellow Lentils, Gajar Aloo, Masala Paneer, and Lamb Daal.

A variety of cocktails and Panna Cotta for dessert are also on the menu.

Your stomach will be packed with the dishes served at Chai Sai. So be sure to drop by!

Find Flowers for that Special Someone at The Fiddly Fig

Make someone feel special with fresh and gorgeous flowers offered in The Fiddly Fig on Holmes Road.

Established over 40 years ago, it is a renowned and distinctive florist, gift shop, and family-run business.

The Fiddly Fig is housed in a former fire station and offers a variety of items, including gorgeous fresh flowers in contemporary designs, beautiful gifts, and home decor.

Not only does the shop sell chocolate truffles and unique food items, but they also have a wide range of bath and body products from Thymes to Crabtree & Evelyn.

In addition to that, they carry an extensive line of candles.

The Fiddly Fig is dedicated to offering the best flowers, plants, and gifts at the most affordable price.

Get Your Daily Caffeine Dose at The Roasterie

Welcome sign of The Roasterie

Jon Kraft /

Grab your coffee at The Roasterie on West 27th Street,

This place has been a mainstay of the Brookside community since it launched in 2005 and continues to serve the area where it first started zealously.

The cozy interior and the traditional outside patio furniture are combined by the two garage doors directly across from the brewery.

Entrance to The Roasterie

Jon Kraft /

The café captures the charming character of this cherished neighborhood and offers a totally unique experience.

The Roasterie, a genuinely unique experience, perfectly embodies the charming character of the adored Brookside area.

Try Some Delicious Mexican Food at Brookside Barrio

Located on Brookside Plaza, Brookside Barrio is a relaxed restaurant and bar that serves a variety of specialty and Mexican “street” tacos and other Mexican-inspired menu items.

A popular hangout for locals and visitors, the interior’s informal coastal influences produce a cozy, pleasant, and welcoming look.

The atmosphere is relaxed, the food is unique, and the drinks are creative at Brookside Barrio.

Don’t forget to try their menu’s selection of Enchiladas Y Burritos.

While enchiladas are served with Mexican rice, burritos and chimichangas are served with rice and ranchero beans.

You can also try their much-loved Mexican street corn, a freshly roasted corn-on-the-cob dish with chipotle aioli, cilantro, chili powder, and queso fresco.

Treat Your Canine Companion at Brookside Barkery & Bath

Offering its customers a wide selection of excellent all-natural pet products and a strong desire to educate them about each one, Brookside Barkery & Bath is the best shop in the area for your pet.

Established in 2003, Barkery’s motto is “Better Health through Better Nutrition.”

Its objectives include giving customers the best customer service while delivering the most current holistic health knowledge for their pets.

Brookside Barkery & Bath is committed to being the industry leader in customer service, pet care expertise, and high-quality products as the area’s first all-natural pet food retailer and bathing establishment.

Its primary focus is assisting owners in giving their animal friends the finest possible care.

This attraction is located on Oak Street.

Head to Aixois for Creative French Cuisine

On East 55th Street, just a few blocks from Kansas City’s renowned Country Club Plaza sits the traditional French cafe Aixois.

Aixois has Kansas City’s scenic views outside its terrace, including a small, laid-back dining room.

It is tucked away on the Trolley Trail in the Crestwood Shops.

The restaurant was founded in 2001 by Aix-en-Provence local Emmanuel Langlade and his wife, Megan.

They serve a unique menu including seasonal, fresh, organic ingredients offered by Chef Emmanuel, who draws inspiration from the methods and cuisine of France.

Choose the delectable dishes that best suit your palate and indulge in Onglet Grillé Au Poivre, Foie De Veau Sauté, Truite Saumonée Poêlée Aux Amandes, and Pates Fraiches Aux Confit Canard.

You will love every dishes they will serve you at Aixios!

Discover a New Scented Candle at The Corner Candleshop

The Corner Candleshop is a beloved locally owned business in Brookside Plaza.

They create handcrafted and premium fragranced candles.

In the rear of her charming Brookside business, owner Lori Block has been hand-pouring candles for 20 years.

She even gave the neighborhood’s most well-known candle, Brookside Bungalow, its own candle.

At The Corner Candleshop, you can choose over 175 different scents for your candle that are perfect for your home or a gift to someone.

Experience the Harry Wiggins Trolley Track Trail

One of the most well-liked trails in Kansas City is the Harry Wiggins Trolley Track Trail.

It bears the name of the late state senator who steadfastly supported tax legislation for the Kansas City Area Transportation Authority.

This 10.9-km round trip trail typically takes a little over two hours to accomplish.

The Harry Wiggins Trolley Track Trail is the one for you if you’re searching for a place to go on an undisturbed hike or walk.

Dogs are allowed as long as they stay on their leashes.

In a few spots, the trail is illuminated at night.

Crushed limestone pavement covers most of the road, but the area south of East 85th Street is paved, as are certain sections prone to floods.

The Brush Creek Path, which runs along the canal east and west, is directly connected to the trail in the north.

Shop for Local Produce at the Brookside Farmers’ Market

You will be welcomed by a group of regional producers and growers selling healthy, sustainable food at the Brookside Farmer’s Market on Wornall Road.

The market serves as a link between residents of Kansas City and their regional food supply.

Farmers and manufacturers themselves are the market’s vendors.

Every product is sold directly by the people who farm it, rear the animals, or make it.

The sellers are dedicated to using methods that responsibly manage their water, soil, and other food sources.

The Brookside Farmers’ Market operates year-round, and they have an indoor Winter Market.

They have locally grown vegetables, meat, baked goods, and handcrafted items.

You can also enjoy music with their local musicians in the market and many more.

Chow Down on Food from Red Door Woodfired Grill

The Red Door Woodfired Grill, located in Brookside Plaza, is a quaint neighborhood restaurant that brings together delicious food, wonderful company, and fantastic fun.

They’ve got you covered whether you’re stopping by for a drink, dinner, or just some snacks.

And if you’re looking for advice, one suggestion would be to come hungry!

Be ready to take a tasty bite out of perfection, from the famous Woodfired Wings to the greatest Kansas City Steak.

There’s always something for everyone, every day of the week.

Highlights include Happy Hour, Burger Mondays, Fried Chicken Thursdays, and Weekend Brunch.

Final Thoughts

Brookside is one of Kansas City’s hidden jewels, and it’s a fantastic spot to visit and have a great time.

So spend some time exploring and seeing what this area has to offer with the best things to do in Brookside, Kansas City.

See also: Best Restaurants in Brookside

© All rights reserved.