Do you enjoy finding unique spots hidden among the streets of Kansas City? You do? So do we! In fact, we’ve compiled a list of six quirky Kansas City businesses that you MUST visit. Whether you’re dropping in from out of town or are a true native, these shops are bound to pique your interest.
We heard about this shop through their hilarious (albeit opinionated) social media accounts. Their Midwest-oriented merchandise and one-of-a-kind graphics make this niche retail store a must-visit for all liberal, KC natives. Whether you’re seeking a funny T-shirt, journal, postcard, or mug, you can find it all at this one-stop shop. Their website lets you sort by category and geographic area of interest, so you can find apparel that matches YOUR hometown. T-shirt phrases include, but are not limited to:
- America needs nasty women.
- I listened to NPR before it was cool.
- Is this heaven? No, it’s Hy-Vee.
Their site blog talks about their efforts to help out the community, shout-outs on social media, and sarcastic commentary on the latest political going-ons. We appreciate that this business has a clear voice and caters to those with a similar mindset. Sure, it may not be your mindset, but at least they’ve got gall! They make our list of best businesses in Kansas City because of their prime location in downtown KC, clear brand voice and great sense of humor.
If you like to stand out from the crowd with the latest vintage fashion, this boutique is your new go-to. Since 2010, they’ve been selling high-quality clothing, shoes, hair accessories and purses to fashion enthusiasts around the Kansas City area. In addition to wearable products, they offer pinup print sheets, pillowcases, luggage tags and more to accommodate your vintage-chic lifestyle. They make our list of best Kansas City businesses because they cater to all sizes and stock brands like Rock Steady, Sourpuss and Bordello.
Side note: They have a clearance section for those on a budget!
Hot Topic meets Pawn and Pint at this River Market board game and fandom emporium. Tucked away next to the Steamboat Arabia Museum, this shop stocks Rick and Morty T-shirts, party board games and themed games for the whole family.
As a fun perk, Level One will order specific games that you want that aren’t in stock, and you’ll receive a 10% discount on the order. They also buy used games in complete and good condition. Simply shoot them an email and bring the games to their location if the offer is fair.
They host a plethora of board game enthusiast meetups around the Kansas City area, including free board game taverns at the Ruins Pub every Sunday from 5pm-10pm, the Alamo Drafthouse every Monday from 5pm-10pm and the Opera House every Friday from 4pm-8pm. You can even ask them about board game competitions! Their meetup initiatives make them one of the best Kansas City businesses out there!
For those who want to take home the fun games at Pawn & Pint, just walk a few blocks down the street. Check out their Facebook page for funny memes, groups, and upcoming events. You can follow their events on Facebook or Twitter.
If you’re an antique junkie looking for four stories of vintage clothing, furniture, memorabilia and Knick knacks, the River Market Antique Mall on 15th street is calling your name. Check out the basement for 80’s prom dresses, shabby-chic purses and retro jean jackets. Or wander upstairs to find unique lamps and chairs for your living room.
Established in 1994, this 30,000 square foot store hosts 175 dealers. They have free parking in a private lot under the large Lewis and Clark mural, gift certificates for all your antique enthusiast friends, and free storage for up to 30 days on any large item purchase. They’ve got some great items for quirky gifts as well, like old mannequins.
For those who love finding hidden gems and can’t get enough of Antiques Roadshow, this spot will be sure to satisfy. Check out their Facebook page for information on their events and reviews.
This quirky KC classic is perfect for kids (and adults) with inquisitive minds and unique taste. More than just a toy store, they stock science experiment kits, skeletons, bugs, lab equipment and memorabilia. Their expert staff have been helping visitors with all their toy and science needs since 1964. You’ll find toys old AND new, including dolls, science fair supplies, rocks and collectibles. To sweeten the deal, they have FREE gift wrapping.
What makes them stand out as one of the best Kansas City businesses is their dedication to the community. They throw Giving Tuesday events where a portion of sales are donated to different KC charities, host Story Times, and collect items to donate to those in need (like Solar Eclipse Glasses for Astronomers Without Borders).
You can find them on West 63rd street (5 minutes from the Plaza) between Wornall Road and Brookside Boulevard. Check out their Facebook page for reviews, pictures and information on all things toys!
If you’re a fan of First Fridays at the Crossroads, you’ve probably come across this dimly-lit shop full of strange treasures, tiny plants and very quiet animals. Oracle specializes in sustainably sourced animal specimens, taxidermy, minerals, framed insects, and butterflies. Think Bass Pro Shop for hipsters.
In addition to selling unique, decorative items, they offer workshops and classes to promote education and creativity in their field. For those interested in the occult, they offer tarot readings and explore astrology and numerology. You can also inquire about insect pinning and framing, custom orders, specimen and prop rental, interior design, wedding favors, freeze dried taxidermy and pet preservation.
Though they don’t do their own taxidermy work, they DO preserve their own wet specimens and construct still life dioramas in their shop. Skeletons are even assembled in house!
They make our list of quirky Kansas City businesses because of their spooky ambience and vast array of products/services. You can check out their Instagram page for magazine-worthy photos of their products and their Facebook page for updates about the business.