Healthy City Guide: Kansas City

A version of this post was originally published by mindbodygreen.

Kansas City’s wellness scene is not what you might expect.

I recently visited Kansas City, Missouri and was blown away by its flourishing wellness and arts scene. You heard it right!

Let’s be real: Missouri is not your usual “Top 10 Places To Visit” destination. It took my KC-based fellow foodie and yogi friend Abbi Miller a few years to convince me to come visit. And when she drove me from the airport straight to Cafe Gratitude, the only location of this plant-based heaven outside of California… I knew I was in for a treat.Cafe Gratitude - healthy guide to Kansas City MO

Kansas City (a.k.a. KCMO) was my first stop on my 16-month journey across 16 countries as a digital nomad. I booked a one-way ticket, leaving room to decide how much time I’d want to spend on the spot… and ended up extending my trip to stay two weeks!

Here are my favorite spots I got to check out while in Kansas City, thanks to my rad host Abbi Miller. Abbi is a fellow foodie, holistic food coach and yogi. She was one of my first yoga teachers back in San Francisco, and my retreat co-leader in Nicaragua.

Ksenia Avdulova and Abbi Miller - Unbakery Kansas City Missouri

Our time together was filled with great workouts, trying all the healthy food spots, coffee crawls, cooking together at home, nerding over the most well-curated artisan boutiques, and planning our next business venture together.

Next time you’re looking for an adventure, I highly recommend checking out Kansas City – it’s affordable, artistic, and unexpectedly delicious. Here, Abbi and I round up the best spots in Kansas City.

Where To Eat:

1. Unbakery And Juicery

Gluten-free, raw treats, protein balls, superfood salads, bone broth, cold press juices, alkaline water, quality coffee a drive-thru window inscribed with the shop’s mantra, “Mindful Eating”.

unbakery and juicery mindful eating drive through

They make the best raw, unprocessed and unpasteurized almond milk varieties I’ve ever had!  Flavor highlights include: Turmeric, Black charcoal with orange zest and cardamom, and strawberry (tastes like melted strawberry ice cream!)

Unbakery Juice Shop Healthy Traveler Kansas City Missouri

2. Cafe Gratitude

Come here for scrumptious salads, soups, desserts and lattes (coffee and turmeric) with homemade almond milk.

3. Mud Pie

A totally vegan bakery and coffeehouse, they make in-house mylks (cashew is the BEST!).  They also boast a nice selection of gluten free goods!mud Pie homemade nut milk kansas city

4. FuD

The best vegan cashew ice cream!  This psychedelic spot has an amazing organic menu with interesting offerings playing on the local cuisine of KCMO – such as their BBQ jackfruit! They also have dishes based on the Chakras, and I recommend their Nachos with goji-berry cashew cheese as well as the “Pizza wrap” and Blue Chocolate milkshake.

Cashew Ice Cream Vegan Superfoods

Westside Local

Great food, sourced locally. Kale salad blows minds: maple-tahini dressing with slivered almonds and brussels sprouts and parmesan with optional bacon. Seriously this is not your average kale salad.

Great deviled eggs.  Awesome outdoor patio with sweet lights and communal tables.

westside local kcmo

Grocery Stores:

1. Sundry

Local kitchen, including foods from the midwest, all prepared by actual chefs (or students).

sundry kansas city

2. Green Acres

Local health food store – amazing soups and great juice bar with interesting elixirs, and raw vegan cheesecakes and such.  ALso great organic chickens!

What To Do: 

1. Recharge at Sage Healing & Arts Center

Treat yourself to a yoga class, massage or reflexology at this zen oasis in the middle of Kansas City. The entire space is built with care and Vastu Shastra (Vedic Feng Shui).

I felt completely revived after getting a massage, a chiropractic adjustment, and Shirodhara, an ayurvedic treatment during which a warm oil is poured over your forehead.

Sage healing arts center

2. Shop Urban Provisions

Urban provisions has a carefully curated selection of local gifts, foods, beauty products and home decor. Pumpkin spice cashew butter? Check. Organic perfume? Check. All the succulents? Check.

urban provisions kc

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3. Stock up at Hammerpress

Get ready to stock up on cards for a every occasion for a year ahead. This stylish letterpress print shop sells signature cards and posters that are made in-house, as well as local ceramics, jewelry, incense and more!  

4. Get Beautified at Hand & Land

This Organic Apothecary features well-curated body care products, refillable soaps and cleaning supplies. They also sell local beer and kombucha, and you can pick up your CSA there, too!

5. Sex & Ice Cream

Run by a 23-year old fashion designer and entrepreneur, this colorful boutique is full of unique finds and outrageously Femme-tastic pieces of clothing and interior design.

sex and ice cream shop

What To Pack:

  1. Driver’s license, you’re going to need a car to get around.  They are now sporting a new FREE streetcar with a small route as well as Uber, but cars are definitely the main mode of transit.
  2. Workout gear: Kansas City has some great pilates, yoga and TRX classes!
  3. Comfortable clothes that can transform from daytime adventures into nighttime gallery crawls.

Where To Stay:

  1. The Jefferson House: a boutique English Bed and Breakfast in the hippest neighborhood in KC. Run by an American ceramicist and British socialite, this B&B has gorgeous handmade ceramics (and a full gallery to shop from) and quirky artwork to decorate the immaculate and funky rooms (no floral bedspreads here!). The only downside with this spot is it’s so dreamy, you won’t wanna leave the B&B!
  2. Find an AirBnb in the Crossroads area to truly immerse yourself in the local experience.
  3. If you’re into hotel vibe, stay at the Raphael Hotel on the plaza or Hotel Sorella (a super posh spot with an LA-style rooftop pool).

And if you’re not convinced to visit Kansas City… it also has absolutely stunning sunsets!

kcmo-sunset

Keep up with the rest of my travel diaries here.