Fun fact: Waldo has over 600 merchants nestled in its little Kansas City ‘burb. It’s true. We had no idea either. The Waldo area has long been a hotspot for destination dining and the occasional bar crawl, but we took a deeper dive to spy all of the other things the area running between Gregory Boulevard and 85th Street brings to the table. “There’s something for everyone in Waldo,” says Kelly Klinkon, director of marketing. “It’s the perfect neighborhood to run errands, access the Trolley Trail, have drinks or dinner—all in an incredibly livable area.”
With so many handy, local shops and services nearby, Waldo has plenty to offer visitors. Even better? There are dozens of quirky places to visit you may have never heard of and need to check out. “It’s growing like crazy,” says Madelynne Jones, Waldo’s content strategist. “People go because they’re hungry, but they always stay because there is so much to do.”
6) Coffee, anyone?
Need some caffeine? Waldo has you covered with three killer local coffee houses that welcome visitors with some of the best locally curated, hand-crafted java in the metro. If you’re a coffee connoisseur or just need a good cup of joe, each coffeeshop is uniquely different. When we visited, we discovered One More Cup is both quirky and revered for their lattés. Crow’s Coffee, meanwhile, is known for a very strong cup of coffee—just in case you need an added jolt of caffeine. If you’re overdue for a great pour over or shot of energy, may we suggest the spacious Second Best Coffee? They call themselves “espresso-centric.” We’re sold!
5) So many services, so little time.
From the minute you set foot in Waldo, it’s the perfect full-service arena to get everything on your to-do list accomplished. Waldo is home to over 100 services. Need your car fixed—check. Need to drop off dry cleaning—check. Let’s face it, there aren’t very many places like Waldo that offer such a unique variety of shops. We took a nickel tour and discovered in just one Waldo strip along 75th Street and Wornall Road, it’s possible to grab a pizza with friends, buy some groceries or some coffee—and, more importantly, snag a cute sweater for your dog. Priorities.
4) Waldo has everything you need to get you spruced up—from wellness to beauty.
Blow outs and workouts and spas—oh, my! Throughout Waldo’s corridors, you’ll find a comprehensive approach to health and beauty. Ladies, if you’re ready to get your groove on—might we suggest a happy hour at District Pour House and bop next door get your hair done at Flatiron District Blow Dry Bar for a night out on the town? More inclined for a workout? Several different local fitness venues offer a bevy of classes for all different fitness levels—everything from yoga to martial arts to boxing.
3) Waldo’s Trolley Trail
Speaking of fitness, Waldo’s renowned Trolley Trail offers plenty of outdoor fun. Even in the cold winter months, you’ll find folks out and about getting a healthy dose of fresh air. Waldo’s
trail gives the entire area an untold amount of walkability/bikeability. If you weren’t already aware, Waldo is connected by the Trolley Trail—a really convenient option for the family to get out and about. Bonus—Ride KC offers bikes you can rent! Not to mention, tons of businesses are located alongside the trail and provide easy access to food, drinks, services, and shops. The best days in Waldo are—as we call it—agenda-free. There are always plenty of fun spots you can just hop off your bike on a whim and explore.
2) Waldo’s endless nightlife
If you haven’t heard of Waldo’s nightspots, you’re not living your best life. Waldo offers up some of the best bars and nightlife in Kansas City. The options are, dare we say, endless. The Well, for instance, is the perfect stomping ground to catch a game, meet some friends, or listen to live music. Looking to dazzle/impress? The upscale cocktails at Summit Grill are legendary. We’re fans of Bier Station. They rule the barley and hops roost. Plus, in Waldo everything is just a hop, skip and jump away from each other. Want to bar hop? Waldo has an eclectic mix of dive bars too—always a draw if you’re looking to change up the scenery.
1) It’s a restaurant extravaganza
And finally, we would be remiss if we didn’t point out the dizzying array of eateries around the Waldo area that are perfect for nosh, nibbles or a culinary extravaganza. Waldo’s restaurant assortment is unsurpassed and the perfect place to get your grub on or head out for a fancy-schmancy date night. From jaw-droppingly delicious gyros (at a local gas station, no less) to some amazing Indian food, the list of ethnic food goes on and on. Heck, need a night in? Head over to McGonigle’s and pick up some amazing cuts of meat to throw on the grill. Grab yourself some wine while you’re there.
If you’re looking for the perfect reason to visit Waldo’s bustling ‘burb, get February 22 through 28 on your calendar. It’s Waldo Week—which is like restaurant week, small-business Saturday and KC Local week all in one. Select businesses will offer 25 percent off items all week long—including food, products, services. “There’s even a kickoff party on February 21st at Bier Station with proceeds going to a local non-profit, Cornerstones of Care,” says Jones. “Waldo is usually a place where you find ‘your’ place, but this is chance to explore our friendly, growing neighborhood and maybe find a new place to call your own.”