IN Kansas City Staff Picks: Appetizers

Working for IN Kansas City sends our team all over the metro. So, each month, we’ll weigh in on our favorite local… something. 

This month, we’re talking appetizers. Starters. Antipasti. Which pre-entrée bites keep us coming back?

Cheese Clock at Vintage '78 Wine Bar in Overland Park, Kansas
Photo via Vintage ’78 Wine Bar

We all know about beer flights, but what about cheese flights? For about a year now, I have had a serious obsession with the Cheese Clock from Vintage ’78 Wine Bar in downtown Overland Park. If you know me, you’ve probably heard me talk about this place. I’m stage-five-clinger obsessed! 

The Cheese Clock is a sample of 12 artisanal cheeses with accompaniments. One of the best parts of ordering this cheesy goodness is, if you are lucky enough to have Megan Downes deliver it to your table, that she describes each cheese, its flavor, and its origins to you. It’s beyond impressive. 

Their Boston-style lobster roll is also one of the best I’ve ever had. Order it! You won’t be disappointed.

Brittany Coale, plus text of her name and "Media Director"

Plated Green salad at Story in Prairie Village, Kansas
Photo via Story

My favorite appetizer in KC is the green salad from Story. I realize it is a very simple salad, but it is the perfect way to start a delicious meal. The mint in the salad gives it a freshness that screams summer!

Katie Delzer, plus text of her name and "Senior Media Consultant"

Steamed mussels served with toasted bread at Extra Virgin in Kansas City, Missouri
Photo via Extra Virgin

As a tapas restaurant, one could argue that all the dishes at Extra Virgin are appetizers. Of the many choices, one of my favorites is the steamed mussels served with toasted bread; perfect for soaking up the buttery chowder-style white wine sauce seasoned with chermoula, garlic, and lemon. If I weren’t in a public setting, I’d drink it from the bowl. Instead, I just ask for more bread.

Alice Govert Bryan, plus text of her name and "Art Director"

A plate of Sardinian black rice from Farina in Kansas City, Missouri
Photo via Yelp

We always start with the Sardinian black rice at Farina. It’s unique and delicious!

Michelle Jolles, plus her name and text that reads "Publisher"

The Waldo Rolls at Social in Kansas City, Missouri
Photo via Social

The Waldo Rolls at Social send me to space. Deep-fried little sawed-off tortilla wraps with grilled chicken, pepper jack, black-bean corn salsa, and crucially, sriracha aioli dipping sauce. I didn’t pay attention to the details the first time I had them. I just knew they were one of the best appetizers I’d ever had.

Evan Pagano, plus his name and text that reads "Digital Editor"

The "Best Wings on the Planet" at Q39 in Kansas City, Missouri
Photo via Q39

In the land of Kansas City barbecue, it’s no surprise that Q39 has the “Best Wings on the Planet.” The name says it all—these wings are so good they could be an entrée. Packed with flavor and cooked to perfection—these are a must try whether you are doubling down on meat or skipping the brisket this time around.

Josie Rawlings, plus her name and text that reads "Senior Media Consultant"


Shoppe House Salad from Pizza Shoppe in Platte City, Missouri
Photo by Pizza Shoppe

Pizza Shoppe is a Woodson family favorite. The cracker crust on the pizza is so unique and makes this my favorite pizza place in KC.

Before devouring a sausage and black olive pizza, I start off with a Shoppe House Salad. The fixings of the salad are pretty typical: lettuce, mozzarella, bacon bits, and topped with two slices of pepperoni, but what makes this salad stand out from others is The “Pink Stuff” dressing that is only available at the Shoppe. This unique dressing has its own secret recipe and embodies a garlic-like flavor.

Annie Woodson, plus her name and text that says "Summer Intern"