Carmen's Cafe - Brookside

4.7
776 reviews
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$30 and under
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Italian
In the heart of the unique Brookside Shops you'll find the classic charm and warmth of Carmen's Cafe. Stop by for a drink in the cozy bar or wind your way past the open cooking area into the mirrored dining area, where the sunlight pours in through large windows at lunch and white tablecloths and candles form a softer mood for dinner. From all over Kansas City they come to break bread at this delightful neighborhood bistro.
What 776 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.7based on recent ratings
4.6
food
4.6
service
4.5
ambience
4.5
value
Noise · Moderate
91% of people would recommend it to a friend
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JM
Kansas City
5 reviews
Dined on April 13, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 3

This is one of our all time favorite resturants. As usual it was a pleasant experience-- it was prom night so louder than ususal.

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OT
1 review
Dined on April 5, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Ray was awesome. Very nice and pleasant. Great food as always.

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d
Kansas City
1 review
Dined on April 5, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 4

Food not as flavorful as in the past and service was slow

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A
Kansas City
43 reviews
Dined on April 5, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We went on a date/birthday night for the both of us, and absolutely loved it! As always, the food and service was fantastic. He had a beef spadini style plate, and I had the Diabla salmon. Both were delicious, and more than filling. I also recommend the Italian butter, but must say that you must love garlic :)

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Y
Kansas City
4 reviews
Dined on April 5, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We celebrated a family birthday with a larger party at the restaurant and discovered they have an upstairs dining room - never new! Everything was perfect, they seated our guests as they arrived which is sometimes an issue with large parties and everyone loved their dinners.
We like the fact that the portions are not overly huge, but a more reasonable size. Most are able to clean their plates and we didn't end up with a mountain of styrofoam boxes in our refrigerator.
Definitely a neighborhood favorite! Keep up the good work.

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OT
Des Moines
4 reviews
Dined on March 30, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

You will not be disappointed with the food or staff. Its 3 hours trip for me but well worth it. I try to go twice a year.

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OT
Kansas City
1 review
Dined on March 30, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

Dinner with friends

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RG
Kansas City
1 review
Dined on March 30, 2019
Overall 3food 1service 4ambience 3

The food was poor sauce was runny and thin. Won’t recommend or be back. Also overpriced for the amount you receive

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RW
Miami
2 reviews
Dined on March 23, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 4ambience 4

Carmen's used to be one of our favorite local restaurants. Not sure what has happened, as we haven't been there in about 8 months but it was not good. The rigatoni tasted like plastic. The food wasn't very hot when it came out either. The wait staff was attentive and the place was as we remembered it, but I was really disappointed and probably won't go back.

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TK
Kansas City
1 review
Dined on March 21, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We enjoyed a great dinner at Carmen’s!!! They have a great lunch menu too!!!

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b
Kansas City
7 reviews
Dined on March 21, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Love. Love. Love it here! It’s our go to special dinner spot. Best calamari and martinis!!

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C
Kansas City
50 reviews
Dined on March 18, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 4ambience 4

Carmen’s is a great neighborhood treasure! Lasagna is excellent as is the eggplant parmigiana! Great servers and they make a good drink!

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K
Kansas City
57 reviews
Dined on March 18, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

It's been a long time since I went to Carmen's for lunch. The grilled salmon salad was terrific. I'll have it again. Good variety on the menu. Our server was very attentive and accommodating.

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OT
1 review
Dined on March 16, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Always love eating at Carmen’s. Fantastic food and delightful staff. Judy’s Rigatoni is a favorite.

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n
1 review
Dined on March 15, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

What a lovely cafe! Food was excellent! Waiter was excellent. Parking was horrendous but, I should mention it was St. Patty's day weekend but, that area is always rough for parking. I will definitely visit again!

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LV
Kansas City
1 review
Dined on March 12, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

Atmosphere is comfortable - not too noisy.
Steak Oscar and Chicken Oscar excellent.
Carbonara pasta very good.
Table for 4 a little small for all the dishes.
Waiter very congenial.

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SW
Kansas City
9 reviews
Dined on March 10, 2019
Overall 3food 2service 4ambience 4

Always a warm welcome and terrific hospitality at Carmen's Cafe. Good service. However, every time I've been on a busy night, my meal has been subpar. Kudos to Carmen's for offering anchovies for their caesar salad but the whole thing was dripping in dressing that made it practically inedible. I ordered Chicken Lemonatta for my entree (which is usually great on a slow night). It arrived tough as leather and cold. It apparently sat waiting for service while the pasta dishes my Father and Brother ordered were completed. My mother ordered the crab cake appetizer as her entree, which showed up at least 10 minutes after the other meals. Mom reported that the crab cakes were bland and could use more spices. The pasta dishes were piping hot and well-loved. Half Price Wine night brought out crowds and mitigated the disappointment but with so many great Italian options in Kansas City, I probably won't return--and if I do, it'll be on a Monday or Tuesday night!

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KC
Kansas City
25 reviews
Dined on March 8, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We had a wonderful evening. A social group outing of ten and the service and food was excellent. Some in our group had never been to Carmen's and they loved it.

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GG
Kansas City
6 reviews
Dined on March 6, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

The food was delicious from appetizers to salads to entrees. Took food home so it was two dinners for us. Service good as well. We have already recommended and we will be back!

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D
Kansas City
5 reviews
Dined on March 2, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

It was good

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L
Kansas City
34 reviews
Dined on March 1, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 2

Wife's chicken spedini was very good and plenty of food. My veal papm was less than great. Very thin veal. Not like a cutlet, but more like a pounded out cutlet. This caused the thin veal to be overpowered by the breading. My side of pasta was overdone and hard. It was also stuck together. Te overall experience was disappointing

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JM
Kansas City
1 review
Dined on March 1, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

Don's Artichoke is the best--huge and loaded with seafood, prosciutto , cheese and breadcrumbs. Five of us split it for an appetizer and it was more than enough. I always get the eggplant parmesan which comes with a side of pasta. It is so good, and it is always enough for me to take leftovers for the next day. My husband always gets the Steak Modiga. It is 2 steak medallions topped with provolone cheese and mushrooms in a butter-wine sauce. Again, he always has enough for leftovers the next day. Our friend got Chicken jSpedieni, and he said it was great. Carmen's is a friendly, cozy restaurant with a "neighborhood restaurant" feel. It's nice that they also take reservations.

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OT
Kansas City
1 review
Dined on February 28, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Our waitress was professional, kind and knowledgeable of the food and menu. She recommended great items, Don’s Artichoke and Oscar spedini dish was incredible. Thank you for a nice evening!

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t
Kansas City
76 reviews
Dined on February 23, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 3

We are regulars at Carmen's for food, service and convenient location.

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OT
Kansas City
5 reviews
Dined on February 23, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Always terrific food and this was no exception. Delicious Italian cuisine!

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M
1 review
Dined on February 23, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Food was amazing as usual . Noise level was low . We were able to enjoy as great meal and visit with each other without shouting. Staff was great portion size was plenty. Great place to go. We will be back

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KC
Omaha
3 reviews
Dined on February 23, 2019
Overall 2food 4service 1ambience 1

After sitting down at our table a strong bleach cleaning solution smell took over. It was so strong that we asked several times about it. My husband and daughter had to leave because it made them feel sick. We brought our concern to the manager and nothing was done about it.

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LS
Kansas City
3 reviews
Dined on February 22, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Waiter gave great suggestions and food was fantastic. Support KC! It's a great value.

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MB
1 review
Dined on February 16, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

My wife and I had our very first date at Carmen’s Cafe and have been back every Anniversary and most Valentines Days! We are fanatics because the food and the service never disappoints! We highly recommend Carmen’s to all our friends co-workers, as well as acquaintances.

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SW
1 review
Dined on February 16, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

The veal parmigiana was extremely thin and, although plated lovely, it was not filling.

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SC
Kansas City
2 reviews
Dined on February 14, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 1ambience 4

Service wasn’t the best. I ordered moscato and got a white wine I told the server it was wrong but she said it wasn’t. I ordered it a second time and it was wrong again. When I told her she said she poured it herself. I told her to bring me the bottle and let me see it. After that she came back and said it was wrong after all. Everyone the food came it was given to the wrong person. The chicken spedieni wasn’t as good as usual. Maybe it was an off night???

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T
New York Area
4 reviews
Dined on February 14, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Delicious dinner. Table was ready when we arrived. Wonderful service. Only thought was would have been a nice touch to add a heart-chocolate, a rose on table... or something to feel a little Valentine’s Day-ish. Even without without, it was a lovely evening. Thank you!

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BD
Kansas City
3 reviews
Dined on February 14, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Love Carmen’s! We were quickly seated and enjoyed the remoantic ambiance. Perfect Valentines Day.

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PZ
Kansas City
2 reviews
Dined on February 14, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Charming, great service, cozy bordering on cramped. Both of our dishes were outstanding.

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K
Kansas City
18 reviews
Dined on February 14, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 3

Carmens didn't disappoint for our Valentine dinner. Thank you!

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JE
Kansas City
2 reviews
Dined on February 14, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

Always a great dinner and enjoyable experience with my spouse. I was surprised that the menu was limited on the night we went. I was hoping to pick my favorite meal but it wasn’t available due to the limited menu that night.

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PK
1 review
Dined on February 14, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Our dinner was delicious and cooked just right. The service was wonderful and I would highly recommend this restaurant to everyone!

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J
Kansas City
118 reviews
Dined on February 13, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Our nephew was in town from Florida, had been here before and really enjoyed it, so we brought him back. Great meal as always!

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AI
1 review
Dined on February 9, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This is our favorite place to get steaks. Highly recommend the Steak Marsala and Steak Modena. Always perfect! If you want a cool experience, request sitting at the end of the bar with the cooks.

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KC
Kansas City
1 review
Dined on February 8, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great food and ambiance

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