Exploring Kansas City’s River Market. A large outdoor venue where farmers, local merchants and just about anybody that has something of interest to sell converge in a multicultural pastiche of colors, sights, and sounds. 





This area has been a marketplace for the region since the early 1800’s when it was a French trading post.

The flat plateau on the banks of the Missouri River where the market now stands is the oldest part of Kansas City. The French explorer Jacques Choteau first built a trading post here and set up a small community of Osage Indians. After the territory was transferred to the United States in 1803, American settlers moved here and called the area “Westport.”

The city later became known as “The Town of Kansas” due to the convergence of the Missouri and Kansas rivers and also because of the Kansa tribe that lived near here. Later as it grew, it became the “City of Kansas.” or Kansas City. This would create a century of people asking “Why is it called Kansas City when it is not in Kansas?” Well, actually there is a much smaller Kansas City, Kansas too. I know, it gets confusing. But back to the market. In the 1970’s the area was known as the “River Quay” and became an epicenter of an organized crime war with car bombings and was a dodgy area for a while.


The Market can be reached by Streetcar (which is FREE). Many people park away from the market and ride the car as the parking around the market is hard to get on the weekends.



The Kansas City skyline as seen from the City Market.
The market features fresh produce much of it locally grown in the summertime.
A very popular Italian grocery and Cafe
Many ethnic restaurants can be found in the area including Indian, Mediterranean, Thai, Vietnamese, Brazilian, Honduran, Ethiopian and Persian.





Seasonings and Spices add to the aroma of the Market as well as grilled meats from the restaurants. If you weren’t hungry when you got here, you probably would be quick.
I especially like the fresh teas, one of my favorite smells.
A vendor prepares bouquets of fresh flowers.


If you can legally sell something, you’ll be able to buy it here. While in the winters there aren’t nearly as many vendors you can still find a lot of crafts and artwork being sold here.

Even these beautiful classic cars can be bought here, but you might have trouble getting them in your bag.

The perfect place for delicious food, fresh groceries, or just people watching. The City Market is one of the best ways to spend a weekend afternoon.  If you come to Kansas City, you definitely don’t want to miss it. 

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