17 Best Restaurants in Independence, MO [2023 Updated]

Perhaps best known as the home of the late President Harry S Truman — and his presidential library and museum — Independence, Missouri, part of metro Kansas City, is a regional hub of Midwestern culture and minor league sports.

Tourists and regulars routinely frequent the best restaurants in Independence.

Ophelia’s Restaurant & Inn

$$ | (816) 461-4525 | WEBSITE


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Patrons give Ophelia’s Restaurant strong reviews for brunch and for dinner. While there is no Ophelia present — the owners took the name from a favorite book — the restaurant’s presence is credited with reviving Independence Square.

Befitting the location deep in hog country, the Berkshire pork chops are among the celebrated dishes here.

This establishment boasts a handsome dining room and private banquet area and piano music that complements the ambience without being intrusive. In addition, eight well-appointed guest rooms occupy the second floor for overnight visitors.



$$$ | (816) 836-2222 | WEBSITE

Best Restaurantsin Independence, MO Vivilore

Vivilore offers modern American fare that is both simple and elegant. Its menu is diverse, the portions are generous and the seafood is highly regarded. Meanwhile, customers speak well of the wait staff and overall customer service.

In addition, the decor is ornate; in fact, this restaurant is also an art gallery with pieces to view and to buy. Diners can also look out on a lush and beautiful courtyard garden. Vivilore regularly hosts musical and artistic events on site.


Jazz — A Louisiana Kitchen

$$ | (816) 912-1096 | WEBSITE


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While not exclusive to Independence, Jazz is a Cajun/Creole multi-site establishment centered in metropolitan Kansas City.

The owners seek to bring the authentic tastes and sounds of New Orleans to their several locations, including Independence. The stuffed catfish and Cajun stir-fry are among the celebrated edibles here, as is the hot-boiled crawfish.

Plus, the service receives high marks in reviews. By the way, customers ask for the desserts even if they could not eat another bite — the strawberry beignets are particularly popular.


Carraba’s Italian Grill

$$ | (816) 795-9944 | WEBSITE


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Another chain, this time a national one, with well-established patronage in Independence, Carrabba’s Italian Grill serves authentic Italian food at reasonable prices. The victuals can be served family-style or as individual servings.

Each family bundle is sufficient for four to five diners, and presents a good sample of the overall menu. A wide array of appetizers, salads and pastas lead the menu, which also includes, steaks, chops and seafood.

Desserts — e.g. traditional cannoli and strawberry cheesecake — are often ordered by regular customers. The staff gets high grades in online reviews.


B.D.’s Mongolian Grill

$$ | (816) 795-5430 | WEBSITE


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The Independence location of BD’s Mongolian Grill is a restaurant where diners can create their own stir-fry dishes.

Selecting their ingredients of choice, customers then watch BD’s professional grillers turn them into tasty and aesthetically pleasing meals. Meats include duck and bison along with more traditional choices of beef, chicken and pork.

Vegetables? condiments include leeks, pea pods and Mandarin oranges. Customers marvel at the wide range of elements and spices with which they can design their entrees. Many visitors were impressed by BD’s COVID-19 health protocols.


Salvatore’s Italian Restaurant

$$ | (816) 737-2400 | WEBSITE

Farmington Hills, MI Best Restaurants Salvatore's Italian Restaurant

This is a family-owned restaurant that has served Independence eaters for three decades. Operating a thriving in-house and catering business, the owners of Salvatore’s carved a niche for themselves with veal, tilapia and myriad pastas.

They also take great pride in the wine selections. Up first on the agenda of frequent visitors is the Italian butter with their bread. Moreover, those who sample many Italian eateries admire Salvatore’s generosity with the sauces.

In fact, the food here is so sought out that the only complaint registered is the crowded waiting areas.


Thai Spice

$$ | (816) 795-6789 | WEBSITE

Farmington Hills, MI Best Restaurant Thai Spice

For those who crave fresh, exotic ingredients and spices from afar, Thai Spice is worth checking out. Their dishes can bring on the heat in true Thai fashion or go gently on the tongue and palate.

Phad Thai, Honey Moon Chicken, Pho Beef and Yellow Curry are among the entrees in high demand. Also, the Tiger Beef Salad is big enough for couples — or even groups — to share before the main course.

Service is widely praised at Thai Spice as the food arrives at the table hot and aromatic. The decor is likewise authentic and appreciated by those who dine in.


El Pico Mexican Restaurant

$ | (816) 252-7426 | WEBSITE


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Independence denizens who crave a taste of below the Rio Grande will find it at El Pico.

Offering an intimate dine-in setting — in addition to a bustling take-out business — this restaurant prides itself on fresh ingredients and bona fide Mexican preparation.

Although the very popular tacos, enchiladas and quesadillas with various fillings grace the menu, so too do Tex-Mex salads and delectable appetizers.

The portion-sized are more than ample and the Margaritas are often ordered, either with dinner or during the afternoon happy hours with chips and guacamole.


Cheddar’s Scratch Kitchen

$$ | (816) 795-5520 | WEBSITE


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Sampling different cuisines is fun and exciting but sometimes people yearn for good old American comfort food. They will suffer no shortage at Cheddar’s Scratch Kitchen. It is all in the name: they cook everything from scratch.

Everything loved by kids and adults — cheese fries, chicken tenders and honey butter croissants, for example — are made fresh and abundantly here.

The same goes for country fried steak, New Orleans pasta and bacon cheeseburgers. This place also offers a variety of libations to complement the meal.


Smokehouse Barbecue

$$ | (816) 795-5555 | WEBSITE


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The Kansas City region takes pride in its own unique barbecue recipes. Smokehouse Barbecue has been serving the greater Kansas City area since 1987.

Open for lunch and dinner, the Independence location offers beef back and pork spare ribs, pulled pork, beef brisket and a slew of chicken entrees.

Favorite sides like cheesy corn, hickory-pit beans and sweet, crispy coleslaw are also conveyed in plentiful servings, as is a collection of tempting salads.

The atmosphere lends itself to romantic dinners, gatherings of friends or even solo dining. Additionally, there is a lot for kids to enjoy here at Smokehouse.


Twin Peaks — Independence

$$ | (816) 795-7710 | WEBSITE


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For sports bar enthusiasts, Twin Peaks has all of the essentials to provide the eating out experience they like. Its list of beers, ales and liquors seems to have no end.

Customers can enjoy them with appetizers like double-stacked nachos, fried pickles and “billionaire’s bacon.” Hand-smashed and custom-tailored burgers are a staple here along with spicy meatball parmesan sandwiches and blackened fish tacos.

Bartenders at Twin Peaks are highly regarded and the selection of games to watch also impresses those who visit.


Black Bear Diner

$$ | (816) 559-3918 | WEBSITE


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The American comfort food eaten at the Black Bear Diner is enhanced by the rustic setting and ambience of this eatery.

From its chicken-fried steak and eggs for breakfast to its slow-cooked pot roast (Black Bear also serves the breakfast menu at dinner time), patrons express satisfaction over the edible offerings here.

Brunch is also very popular at the diner, with the Reuben sandwich ranking high in customer preference. Overall, diners at the diner find the staff personable and attentive.


Los Cabos Mexican Grill and Cantina

$$ | (816) 886-7863 | WEBSITE

Restaurantsin Independence, MO Los Cabos Mexican Grill and Cantina

Preparing both authentic Mexican cuisine with Tex-Mex variations, Los Cabos Mexican Grill and Cantina seeks to create an experience as well as a meal.

Hand-made spicy beef tamales are regular requests from the appetizer menu and there is no shortage of delicious entrees, including a melange of shrimp, scallops, Tilapia and vegetables.

Others opt for the Tequila-lime chicken salad, the Mexico City tacos or the garlic- and spinach-stuffed chicken.

Live music is an ongoing reality at Los Cabos with local bands performing sets at regular intervals. Large parties, business lunches and intimate dinners are all accommodated by this establishment.


V’s Italiano Ristorante

$$ | (816) 353-1241 | WEBSITE


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One review of V’s Italiano Ristorante states that the ambience here is “unfussy,” meaning it’s a comfortable enough place to relax but the emphasis is on the food.

Whether serving lunch, dinner or Sunday brunch, the staff at V’s are out to tantalize the taste buds. Though affordable, the edibles here come off as high-end.

Toasted ravioli and seafood-stuffed mushrooms grace the appetizer list before diners sink their teeth into the fettucine con polo, the osso buco or if preferred, a tender filet mignon. Buffet-style dining is also an option.


Cafe Verona

$$ | (816) 833-0044 | WEBSITE


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Clearly, Independence is a welcoming market for Italian food. To stay competitive, Cafe Verona stresses “bold flavor and fresh ingredients.”

These are found in its numerous Panini sandwiches, its Mediterranean salmon salad, the chicken & mushroom risotto and the tiramisu. The sauces receive near-universal celebrations.

Sporting an extensive wine list, this restaurant also offers upstairs and patio dining. Large groups are attracted to Cafe Verona for its capacity to accommodate them yet this place can also provide the right settings for more intimate meals as well.


The Corner Cafe

$$ | (816) 350-7000 | WEBSITE

Restaurantin Independence, MO The Corner Cafe

The Corner Cafe is a metro Kansas City tradition. Begun as a breakfast and lunch eatery for working people, the restaurant (and chain) expanded to a seven-day, all-day operation for the whole family.

Along with those traditional stick-to-the-ribs comfort dishes like soups, sandwiches and chicken fingers, the Cafe has its own signature dishes like ham & beans on cornbread as well as the Catfish Special and a wide range of desserts.

Diners report appreciation of extensive precautions taken on behalf of customers during the COVID-19 pandemic.


Pier 88 Boiling Seafood and Bar

$$ | (816) 800-6020 | WEBSITE

Farmington Hills, MI Restaurants Pier 88 Boiling Seafood and Bar

Who says land-locked Midwesterners never desire the fruits of the deep sea? Actually, Pier 88 is a chain of restaurants as far-flung as Chesapeake, Virginia and Las Vegas, Nevada.

Specializing in Louisiana Cajun-style seafood, this restaurant combines its signature low-boil cooking methods with a relaxed and casual dining atmosphere to provide an enjoyable experience for its visitors.

Crab legs, shrimp, clams and mussels all show up on customer plates, accompanied by hush puppies, chicken wings and onion rings. Fried calamari and catfish are likewise frequent requests from diners.

With their meals, patrons enjoy an expansive selection of beers, wines and cocktails. Reviews demonstrate widespread surprise over the generosity of the portions.

Another unique thing is that customers can write messages on the walls…for better or for worse.



On the whole, the best restaurants in Independence are comparable — and affordably — priced. While poor reviews are inevitable, they are few and far between relative to the establishments listed above.

Notably, the rare bad comment pertained to slow service, and understandable flaws as restaurants must replenish staff after COVID.

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Restaurant Observer is the ultimate go-to destination on the web when looking for nothing but fantastic places to genuinely enjoy food across the United States. Inspired by the saying when there’s good food, there’s a good life, Birch Restaurant starts the food blog to scout the best food places across the country.