Rave KC Runs– and Where to Eat Afterwards
The faces behind beloved foodie Instagram account KC Local Eats, Jamie and Britt, met serendipitously while volunteering for Girls on the Run of Kansas City. They quickly bonded over their love of logging miles and visiting local coffee shops. The girls share a goal of running a marathon in every state and have completed more than 50 marathons between the two of them. Their early morning training runs are fueled by countless cups of local coffee and the never-ending pursuit of the best cinnamon roll in KC. In 2016 they started documenting their running and culinary pursuits on Instagram in an attempt to share what they have discovered about the amazing local scene in the city they love.
1. Rave Run: The Harry Wiggins Trolley Trail
If you want to feel like part of the KC running community, this is the place to be. The trolley trail is a highly traveled trail that runs through the Brookside & Waldo areas, offering great sights and great eats all along the way. On weekends, you are sure to see plenty of running groups, walkers, bikers, and a random waffle truck parked along the path. The trail runs North and South, but be careful heading South as it is a slight uphill – but that only helps earn the pastry at the end, or the Betty Rae’s affogato if you really worked it.
Eat Here: Heirloom
After sweating your balls off on the Trolley Trail you won’t want to miss brunch and pastries at Heirloom. Relax at the bar and watch as the bakers work their asses off kneading dough and assembling all the delicious treats. You’ve earned it. Treat yourself to a homemade poptart (the ones you keep hearing about). If you time it just right you can snag a pumpkin cinnamon roll, they go quickly so run early. The egg sandwiches are some of the best around with your choice of ingredients piled high between a freshly baked biscuit.
For a Cup of Joe: Wander over to Second Best Coffee. They are known for their unique seasonal menu, but also do a mean pour over. Don’t be shy, the baristas love to chat and enlighten anyone needing coffee tips and advice.
If you are more of a happy hour runner, stop by KC Bier Co to enjoy one of their craft brews on the patio… the perfect way to cool down after a sweaty run!
Rave Run: City Market/Downtown Kansas City
Kansas City’s urban core is full of running possibilities. Start in the City Market and follow the Riverfront Heritage Trail for views of the Missouri River and that nice bridge… what’s it called? You know the one. Head south off the trail to experience some of Kansas City’s most iconic attractions by foot. Follow alongside the Street Car tracks for views of Union Station, the Scout Statue, and the WWI Memorial. If you are up for a stair workout, you will be rewarded with one of the best views in the city.
Eat Here: The Bite
The City Market is full of food possibilities. The Bite is a favorite spot for unique and satisfying sandwiches. Get your veggie on with the brussels sprouts or toadstool. If you’re feeling carnivorous you’ll want to order the Senor Chang. It’s a multicultural experience that will erase the pain of all those miles.
For a Cup of Joe: Quay coffee is a beloved favorite amongst Kansas City coffee freaks. Their selection of house-made syrups changes with the seasons and will elevate your latte experience. If you are a latte art enthusiast like us, ask one of the charming baristas to make you a swan. Your runner’s heart will swoon with caffeinated delight.
3. Rave Run: Loose Park
Loose Park is a runner’s dream, right in the heart of Kansas City. The 1.4-mile path surrounding the park is perfect for running, people-watching, and sightseeing. As you circle the 75-acre park you will likely see people picnicking, chasing dogs, or tossing a Frisbee. Slow your pace and take in the stunning views as you pass the famous Loose Park Rose Garden, home of more than 4,000 roses and often hosting a wedding on the weekends. Although fairly flat, the trail does include a few hills to keep things challenging.
Eat Here: Aixois Bistro
Just down the street you will find your reward for running all of those hills at Aixois. The French bistro has a killer coffee selection, authentic French pastries, and even a breakfast special for runners on Saturday mornings! Order your breakfast (may we suggest the Croque Monsieur?) and head outside to experience one of the best patios in the city. You’ll likely enjoy the company of other runners whom you will recognize by their sweaty glow and oversized breakfast orders.
Cup of Joe: Just down the way is the always popular Crows Coffee. This cozy shop is the perfect place to rest, relax, and rejuvenate over a good cup of coffee. Although famous for their pour-overs and traditional cappuccinos, Crows recently started serving beer and wine if that better suits your post-run craving.
4. Rave Run: Longview Lake
Longview lake is a beautiful lake in Lee’s Summit where several runners and bikers frequent. The running/biking loop around the lake is 10 miles long, so plan accordingly, or turn around early! The loop provides magnificent views of the lake and 1 monstrous hill that will make you feel as though you just conquered your first fourteener out in the mountains. You’ll know you’ve made a wrong turn along the loop if you wind up right at the lake. We know from experience. But have no fear. The detour will be worth it and you know, every day is an adventure.
Eat Here: Neighborhood Cafe
The neighborhood café is a classic staple in downtown Lee’s Summit. You’ll know it by the beautiful cinnamon roll sign hanging out front. It’s the quintessential neighborhood café with home-cooked food, and the cinnamon rolls will appear on your table as if sent straight from heaven with any order. Just want cinnamon rolls? They are $0.50, yep you read right, half of a dollar for a cinnamon roll. It might be the best deal in town.
For a cup of Joe:
The loop around Longview lake circles by Gusto! Coffee, nestled in a neat little district of shops and restaurants. Here you can sip on your coffee from the patio while watching all the other runners and bikers exercising around the lake. If you’re lucky you might catch a cross country meet being held at the Longview Community College. Be sure to feel fancy and grab some Christopher Elbow Chocolates also sold at Gusto! Coffee.
5. Group Runs with Run 816
If you are new to the area or new to running, a great option is the Run 816 Sunday morning group run in Westport. You can meet new runners and food lovers alike. The pre-planned route provides water along the way, with various mileage options. Each 816 route is different and can meander through various KC running hot spots such as Midtown, 39th Street District, Prairie Village, Mission hills, Brookside and the Plaza… just to name a few. When you return you will be greeted with hot coffee and cold beer provided by the friendly owners of Run 816.
Eat Here: Beer Kitchen.
Brunch options are limitless in Westport. Beer Kitchen is always a favorite, not only for the large beer selection but also for the delicious food. For a unique twist on a pancake breakfast, try one of the Dutch Babies. These baked pancakes will reload your carbohydrate stores and have you ready for your next run. Don’t forget the veggies! Four Bloody Mary varieties will ensure that everyone enjoys their much needed post-run vitamins.
Cup of Joe: For those times you are looking to refuel with a sweet hit of caffeine, head to Doughnut Lounge. The latte menu changes with the seasons and is always full of creative choices like the White Violet Latte, and our personal favorite the Turmeric Ginger Caramel Latte. And don’t forget your donut! We know you earned it!