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Cheap bars in Kansas City, Missouri

Discover the vibrant heart of Kansas City nightlight without breaking the bank, one bar at a time.

November 2, 2023
 min read
Last updated:
Jan 15
A view of the Kansas City, Missouri skyline, with Union Station in the foreground.

Kansas City, with its rich jazz history and mouth watering barbecue, has a thriving bar scene that's as diverse as the city itself. But hey, who says you need to spend a fortune to soak in the local culture? For those who love good vibes, great drinks, and keeping their wallets relatively healthy, we’ve scoped out the top cheap bars this fantastic city has to offer.

John's Big Deck

Nestled in the heart of downtown, John's Big Deck earns its reputation not only from its expansive outdoor seating but also from its sky-high views of the cityscape. Established over three decades ago, this legendary spot has a deck sprawling over three levels, offering a different atmosphere on each. Whether you're in the mood for a bustling crowd or an intimate corner, you'll find it here. Their drink specials are a crowd-puller, featuring local brews and spirits at prices that keep the regulars coming back. Plus, with live music and DJ nights, John's Big Deck never fails to turn a casual night into a vibrant party.

Up-Down KC

Combining the best of the past and the present, Up-Down KC is a multi-level arcade bar serving nostalgia with a side of contemporary fun. Their drink menu is as diverse as the games they offer, featuring everything from local craft beers to classic cocktails, all at throwback prices. With more than 50 arcade games from the '80s and '90s, plus pinball machines, skee-ball lanes, and Nintendo consoles, you’re in for an entertaining trip down memory lane. Their outdoor patio also offers a breath of fresh air, where you can indulge in a giant Jenga or Connect Four match. It's a playful escape from the typical bar scene.

Harry's Country Club

When you step into Harry's Country Club, you're entering a world that blends the comfort of a small-town hangout with the sophistication of a modern bar. Located in the River Market area, Harry's offers an extensive drink menu that won't empty your wallet, with happy hour specials that locals rave about. The ambiance is a perfect mix of rustic and refined, with vintage decor that'll transport you to a simpler time. But it’s the warm, welcoming atmosphere that makes Harry's stand out — it's the kind of place where the staff remembers your name and your drink. Don’t miss their Bloody Mary, often hailed as the best in town!

The Brick

The Brick, a little spot with big character, offers more than just affordable drinks; it's an experience. Situated in the Crossroads Arts District, The Brick presents a dive-bar essence with a touch of the contemporary arts scene. The bar features live music, comedy nights, and open-mic events, providing a stage for local talent and a haven for those seeking a slice of Kansas City's creative culture. Their menu of comfort food is a story in itself, with every dish homemade and served in hearty portions that complement their drinks perfectly. It’s a local treasure that provides a genuine taste of Kansas City soul.

Knuckleheads Saloon

Knuckleheads Saloon isn’t just a bar — it’s a music lover’s paradise. Hidden away in the East Bottoms, this unique spot is equal parts honky-tonk, concert venue, and saloon. With four different stages, including an outdoor setup, Knuckleheads hosts a wide array of artists, from local blues bands to nationally touring acts. The atmosphere is electrifyingly authentic, decorated with music memorabilia and always buzzing with melody. The drinks are as diverse as the music, with a selection that caters to beer aficionados and cocktail lovers alike, all at prices that will have you coming back for the encore.

Double Nickel Bar

Double Nickel Bar invites you with open arms into its laid-back, friendly environment. Situated in Olathe, this bar is a world away from the pretensions of upscale lounges. Here, it's all about good drinks, good company, and good times. With pool tables, dartboards, and a jukebox full of classics, Double Nickel offers a timeless way to unwind. Their drink specials are a highlight, featuring both classic and unique cocktails alongside a range of domestic and imported beers. The staff contributes to the homely feel, often going above and beyond to ensure you're having a great time. It's the quintessential neighborhood bar where everyone really does know your name.

Howl at the Moon Kansas City

Howl at the Moon is where energy and music fuse, creating an explosively fun atmosphere. This part-bar, part-concert venue in the Power & Light District is famous for its dueling piano shows that transform audience requests into music-filled games and sing-alongs. But it's not just pianos — expect guitars, drums, and more in these musical showdowns. The drink menu is equally dynamic, featuring a range of cocktails, beers, and their notorious buckets — multi-serving drinks perfect for sharing with friends. Specials and party packages provide cost-saving options, ensuring an unforgettable night out without the hefty price tag. It’s more than a place for a cheap drink; it’s a destination for a night filled with laughter, music, and a bit of the unexpected.

Grinders Pizza Lounge

At Grinders Pizza Lounge, the allure lies in their perfect trio: great music, delectable pizza, and of course, affordable drinks. This hip spot in the Crossroads is part art gallery, part concert venue, and all charm. The walls are adorned with works from local artists, while the outdoor stage hosts a variety of bands and performances. The real star, however, might just be the pizza — award-winning and made from scratch. Pair it with a cold craft beer or a cocktail from their diverse menu, and you're set for the evening. Regular drink specials and events like movie nights add to Grinders' appeal, making it a must-visit for anyone seeking the full Kansas City experience on a budget.

Kelly's Westport Inn

Kelly's Westport Inn is more than a bar — it's a piece of Kansas City history. Operating since the 1940s and housed in what is officially the oldest building in the city, Kelly’s has become a landmark. The bar exudes historical charm, its walls echoing the tales of times past. But Kelly’s isn’t resting on its laurels — it's known for some of the best drink specials in Westport, serving a wide range of beers and spirits. The vibe is unpretentious and inclusive, with a mix of locals and tourists mingling over drinks. The spacious outdoor patio adds to its appeal, providing a perfect spot for people-watching or catching some live music.

The Blue Line

Any sports fan knows the value of a good game-day bar, and The Blue Line ticks all the boxes. Dubbed the “hockey bar” of Kansas City, this lively spot in the River Market area is renowned for its game broadcasts, passionate fans, and hockey memorabilia. However, you don’t have to know a puck from a penalty to appreciate their extensive drink menu, offering everything from imported beers to inventive cocktails, all at prices that won’t sideline your budget. The bar’s energy is infectious, whether there’s a game on or not, making it a prime spot for both lively nights and laid-back afternoons.In the mood for an evening out in Kansas City that’s rich in experiences but not in expense? Any of these top-notch bars are sure to deliver. They’re not just places to grab a cheap drink; they’re where memories are made, stories are shared, and the quintessential Kansas City spirit comes alive. Here’s to unforgettable nights that are kind to your pockets! Cheers!

*Prices fluctuate based on season and day of the week.

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