Lunch Break Diaries: Cafe Sebastienne & Milwaukee Delicatessen Co.

In our new series, Lunch Break Diaries, in collaboration with Kansas City Bucket List, we will introduce you to some of Kansas City's best and lesser-known places for your perfect lunch break. 

1. Cafe Sebastienne at 4420 Warwick Boulevard, Kansas City, Missouri 64111— inside the Kemper Museum of Art). 

All photos by Mindy Hargesheimer for Kansas City Bucket List

All photos by Mindy Hargesheimer for Kansas City Bucket List

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The Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art's vibrant restaurant, Cafe Sebastienne, offers one of KC's most unique meals! With a menu that updates weekly based on what is available seasonally, their dishes are produced from local, organic, and sustainable ingredients that partner perfectly with their selection of wines.

The Cafe offers two settings; the first with "The History of Art" installation, consisting of 110 canvases displayed floor-to-ceiling by artist Frederick James Brown, who used the space as a personal tribute to artists. The works are his interpretation of the selected art, and provides an impressive room filled with colorful re-creations. The second setting is enclosed in a brightly lit space decorated with a mural from their permanent collection that spans nearly wall to wall.

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Kemper also just brought on Chef Rick Mullins, who brings a wealth of experience from the KC scene, with tenures at Gram and Dun, Bluestem, and the Nelson Atkins Museum of Art— just to name a few.

Cafe Sebastienne serves lunch Tuesday through Friday, 11 am - 2:30 pm. The restaurant also offers brunch and dinner. 

2. The Milwaukee Delicatessen Company at 101 W 9th St, Kansas City, Missouri 64105

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The first-ever deli in our city, a corner landmark for 100+ years, original marble floors, ceiling murals, and arched balcony preserved and brought back to life with its original namesake, this is Milwaukee Delicatessen Co. on 9th and Baltimore. The delicatessen is a broken-in establishment where legends and legacies are numerous and there for the story telling— the restaurant even has the vintage photo mural to provoke all the nineteen hundred life-like feels.

Like most, one trip wasn’t enough to try all of the reputable and “classic” dishes, such as Pizza 51 slices twice the size of your head (no, really), sandwiches like corned beef reuben, pastrami, chicken salad, and meatball, sides like German potato salad, and baked goods from the magnificent McClain's Bakery. Cocktails are served from the original 1881 bar made with wood reclaimed from the building, including 20+ beers on tap and over 100 whiskeys.

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The deli was originally opened in 1900 by a German immigrant and his wife, who fell in love with Milwaukee-style German food after first moving to Chicago from Berlin. While I don’t why they relocated to KC, I do know they built out a lunchtime legend and are likely looking down with pride on each and every person who kept their spirit alive in this gem!

The Milwaukee Delicatessen Company is open Monday through Saturday, 11 am - 10 pm.