Good food, good times: Kansas City, Kansas, wants you to explore the town via taqueria
Kansas City, Kansas’ new Taco Trail highlights 50 taquerias with a map to navigate a vibrant culinary adventure. Within the last decade, the taco scene here has exploded, making Kansas City among the go-to U.S. destinations for local, authentic tacos.
Why tacos? KCK, as the locals call it, is a melting pot of many cultures, represented in art, historical sites and the culinary scene. More than 70 languages are spoken within the city’s public school districts.
“Tacos play a key part in connecting our neighborhoods in Kansas City, Kansas,” said Alan Carr, executive director of the KCK Convention and Visitors Bureau. “The KCK Taco Trail supports local mom and pop shops that showcase some of the best taquerias in the city.”
The growing Hispanic population led to the popularity of taquerias, a Mexican restaurant specializing in tacos. Most of the restaurants are small, immigrant-owned, with primarily Spanish-speaking employees.
El Menudazo is one of the newer restaurants on the trail. Its specialty is the tasty Birria taco from the Mexican state of Jalisco. Birria is made with lamb or beef and a layer of cheese with a rich consommé broth. Open Thursdays through Sundays.
The KCK Taco Trail is ongoing. However, entrants have until Oct. 31, 2021, to complete the trail and win prizes. The online passport that lists and maps out participating restaurants can be found at kcktacotrail.com.
Art and history
KCK is a city of murals. The Avenue of Murals spotlights eight colorful and vibrant works in a four-block-long corridor along Minnesota Avenue.
Each mural tells a story about the people who settled the area and honors the contributions of the city’s unique groups. More than 30 high school students worked on the four-year project.
One of the murals, El Baile de la Vida (“the dance of life”) is a tribute to Mexican folklorico dancing. Designed by Jose Faus and artist Alisha Gambino, the mural portrays costumed dancers from 19 Mexican states and images such as skeletons from Day of the Dead celebrations.
A don’t-miss artistic attraction that ties in with the trail is the Anthology of Argentine Mural, located in KCK’s Argentine neighborhood. This spectacular landmark stretches 220 feet across a block of Metropolitan Avenue and is inspired by the community’s history, dating to the 1800s. It is one of the largest and most intriguing pieces of public art in Kansas.
The Strawberry Hill Museum and Cultural Center preserves the city’s ethnic heritage, featuring traditions of Eastern Europeans who pioneered the area as well as more than 15 immigrant nationalities. Due to the pandemic, Strawberry Hill is temporarily closed but plans to reopen in the spring. Watch strawberryhillmuseum.org for updates.
More to see
KCK has strong appeal for families, as it is affordable and convenient with kid-friendly experiences. Kids can don a paper conductor hat and watch their meal delivered by an overhead train at Fritz’s Railroad Restaurant. Covered with train décor, the diner has been a local favorite since l954 and is famed for its old-fashioned hamburgers and soda fountain treats.
NASCAR racing is popular here. The Kansas Speedway is a 1.5 mile tri-oval track that plans on hosting four races in 2021, including two in the NASCAR Cup Series.
The Lewis and Clark Historic Park at Kaw Point is named for the famed explorers who stopped in the area on their way west. Wooded trails and an educational open air pavilion are an inviting respite.
The Chateau Avalon Hotel features 61 guest suites blending the charm of a bed and breakfast with the amenities found in high-end resorts. Suites have 23 separate themes, such as Tuscany, adventure and Camelot. The French-inspired hotel offers spa services, a wine bar and shuttle.
For more information, go to VisitKansasCityKS.com or call 913-321-5800.