Foodie Fun: Taste your way through the Crossroads
Attention foodies: a new food tour with a focus on the Crossroads area of Kansas City has patrons walking through the revitalized area and sinking their teeth into food samples at eateries along the way.
If mingling with tourists or residents who also share a passion for food sounds like something that excites your taste buds, than a Taste of Kansas City Food Tour might be just what you are looking for.
The Taste of Kansas City Food Tour is a mile-and-a-half tour on foot led by Rebekah Dykstra, a Kansas City transplant and food aficionado, who weaves local bits of history with brief visits to some of the best locally owned restaurants. The three-hour walking tour visits six local establishments, where you will spend 15 to 20 minutes at each stop while Dykstra gives you a brief background on the restaurant and chef, as well as Kansas City history specific to the Crossroads.
This food-and-drink-filled adventure features a delectable lineup of delicious fare from Grinder’s, Nica’s 320, Café Gratitude, Grünauer, Snow & Co., Cellar Rat, Christopher Elbow, and Lidia’s. The tour departs at 11 a.m. from Grinder’s and runs Wednesday through Sunday. Tasting locations are subject to change depending on the day of the week. Tickets are available online for $53 per adult and $35 for children younger than 10. The price includes the tour and food/drink tasting.
The tour is designed for an intimate crowd, with the maximum capacity of 12 people. However, private tours and large groups are welcome and can be accommodated by contacting Dykstra. Her goal for the tours? To show people the vast variety of local eateries in Kansas City and to get people to eat locally and venture away from chain restaurants, whether you are an out-of-towner or a local resident wishing to get a deeper insight into the place you call home.
“What a lot of people don’t realize is that a lot of these places have James Beard Awards and have been featured on Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives,” Dykstra says. “Hopefully, when you walk away from the tour, your eyes open up a little bit. I get a lot of locals taking the tour saying they didn’t know these restaurants were down here and they didn’t know the history.”
While Dykstra oversees the day-to-day operations and serves as guide for the tours, she balances bringing the Taste of Kansas City Food Tours with finishing nursing school and raising her two children. After creating a business plan and working on this endeavor for the last two years, Dykstra has created a tour that focuses on Kansas City as a culinary destination in the Midwest.
Dykstra credits her inspiration from her love of travel and searching for off-the-beaten-path eateries. As an experienced food tour participant, she combined her experience of taking food tours across the country, taking the best of the best and what she appreciated, and added that into her own tour. While partnering with these Kansas City-based eateries to promote the Kansas City foodie scene, she stands firm on one thing: it is mandatory that the owner be local and native to Kansas City.
“I love the Crossroads, and I want people to support our local community and that is what this tour is all about,” Dykstra says.