Disclosure: Visit Olathe sponsored this post. However, all opinions and photographs are my own.
Follow the winery, brewery, and sweet treats trail in Olathe! The northeastern suburb, located near Kansas City, offers visitors plenty of places to sip and savor. If you love coffee and pastries, a glass of palate-pleasing wine, or a well-crafted beer, you’re going to love Olathe.
SWEET TEE’S COFFEE SHOP
You’re going to need to fuel up for a fun day of exploring sip-and-savor locations. I recommend starting your day at Sweet Tee’s Coffee Shop (2063 E. Santa Fe) where the locals go for relaxing vibes and a delicious breakfast.
Opened in its original location in 2015, the cafe won Best Atmosphere for two years running by Restaurant Guru. You’ll love the casual, comfy ambiance of the café, which reminded me of The Perk in the TV show Friends. Trending music plays in the background as patrons sit at tables sipping coffee and bent over laptops. Paired-up friends chat about the day’s happenings.
They offer a long list of traditional coffee drinks but it’s the specialty drink menu that shines. They also have almost two dozen flavor combinations to choose from when crafting your custom coffee drink. For customers who prefer a non-coffee beverage, Sweet Tee’s Coffee Shop serves tea and cider.
It is nearly impossible to order at the register without also spying on a delicious homemade pastry in the bakery case. The owner told me that she had just pulled warm blueberry muffins from the oven so it was a no-brainer. It was the perfect pairing with my chai latté.
The barista asks dine-in customers to choose their coffee mug from a wall of colorful cups of various sizes and designs. It makes for a memorable experience and one that you’ll want to repeat.
PRO TIP: Tell the barista what size coffee you prefer and they will point you to the row of mugs that match it in size.
KC WINE COMPANY
As I pulled into the massive parking lot, I realized that KC Wine Company (13875 S. Gardner Rd) would become my happy place. I could see vineyards, a barn, and an inviting tasting room. Soon, I was getting a private tour of the ground from its founder. But first, I needed one of their famous wine slushies. Or two.
KC Wine Co. is not just a tasting room next to a vineyard. It’s a winery destination located on five acres with a multitude of things for visitors to enjoy.
The owners wanted guests to use all of the senses while visiting. Whether you’re noting the smell of fresh cedar inside the red barn or sitting on a swing and enjoying the view with a wine glass in hand, you’ll get the full experience.
Inside The Barrel Room, adults can savor tasting flights ranging from dry whites and reds to sweeter varieties. Just beyond its doors, you’ll discover an expansive open-air building with outdoor seating and a scenic view of the vineyards. An oversized KC Wine Co. lights up at night providing a picture-worthy moment.
The owners also created an area devoted to visitors of all ages. Depending on the season, guests can experience Sunflower Fest, a pumpkin patch, and a self-guided holiday lights tour. Bring your camera! You can take photos next to Instagram-friendly backdrops. Parents with children can watch their kids enjoy the playground equipment. Dog lovers will appreciate the annual event Mutts & Merlot which encourages visitors to bring their furry family members.
Plan your visit to the winery around one of their popular events or harvest dates. You won’t want to miss events like Oktoberfest, Cider Fest, and Sunflower Fest. The fun continues during the Christmas season when Santa makes an appearance and twinkling lights illuminate the space.
White wines are harvested in late August and you can expect reds to be harvested in late September or early October. You don’t have to pay an admission fee or place a reservation before your arrival. View the winery’s hours here.
The red barn is also open to visitors. Walk inside to order a wine slushy, a pint of Free State Brewing Company craft beer, or a non-alcoholic beverage. Look for a seasonal display with a bench to take a photo with friends or family.
PRO TIP: Pack a soft-sided cooler. If you purchase a chilled wine like their top seller Sunflower Red, you’ll want to keep it at temperature for the drive home.
TALL TRELLIS BREW CO.
It was time to continue the sip-and-savor tour and I was famished. I drove a short distance to Tall Trellis Brew Co. (25600 W. Valley Parkway). The family-run business originated as a hop farm and has since grown into a brewery that also features a coffee shop, event location, and lunch or dinner destination.
The building is a welcoming and beautifully designed space. The owners, who are brothers-in-law, did an incredible job creating both an indoor and outdoor patio space with you can sit back and be yourself, plus dogs are allowed on the patio.
Indoors, white tiling and wood textures contrast with green accents. A photograph of their hop farm guides the eye down a hallway. Nearby, an event space is separated by an interior glass door. The vibes are unpretentious and comfortable. It’s the kind of place where you just want to hang out all afternoon.
From one barrel to five barrels, the brewery quickly expanded since its opening last spring. Although they don’t off traditional beer flights, I wanted to taste all five of their brews ranging from an espresso stout to a golden ale. Each one tasted true to character and exceeded my expectations. My favorite was Snap Chaps Western IPA, and lucky for me, I took a crowler home to enjoy later.
They invite breweries who use their hops to join the tap wall. Patrons can choose from guest taps from makers like Fields and Ivy Brewery, Free State Brewing Company, and Kansas Territory Brewing Company. Non-beer drinkers will appreciate their selection of wine and coffee bar selections.
The food menu included a short list of flatbreads. When they told me that the brisket on the Meats Pizza was made by an American Royal award-winning barbecuer, Abs of Squeal, it was a no-brainer. My lunchtime experience was top-notch and I can’t wait to return to Tall Trellis Brewing Company.
PRO TIP: The brewery hosts food trucks every weekend. Check out their Facebook page for updates and brewery hours.
EMBASSY SUITES BY HILTON KANSAS CITY OLATHE
It was a good time during my sip-and-savor tour to take a break and check into my hotel room at Embassy Suites by Hilton (10401 S. Ridgeview Rd.). The highly-rated hotel is stunning inside. The lobby’s modern design and cobalt blue accents caught my eye.
My suite consisted of a 456 sq. ft. living room separated from the bedroom by a privacy door. I appreciated its amenities including free WiFi and a kitchen with a microwave and refrigerator. Each room had a 42-inch HDTV, and the bedroom’s king-sized bed was as comfy and plush as they come.
In the morning, hotel breakfast is complimentary. If you stay at the hotel, you can dine at Burger Shed. The restaurant serves burgers and handcrafted shakes.
PRO TIP: Flip the master light switch on the wall when you enter the suite otherwise you won’t be able to access lighting or the TV in the bedroom.
STONE PILLAR VINEYARD & WINERY
Stone Pillar Vineyard & Winery (11000 S. Woodland St.) is nestled in the heart of Olathe. Well, technically Olathe built itself up around the vineyard. It seems more like Olathe built itself around the vineyard given that the property’s deed from 1865 hangs framed on the wall.
The five-generations, family-owned vineyard and winery produce more than 20 wines, hard ciders, and wine slushies. During my taproom visit, I discussed the winery’s history with the owner while savoring the “Thankful for Wine” $10 flight (5, 2oz pours), a wide-ranging selection of dry to sweet wines.
Their best-selling wine, Hoftoberfest, tastes semi-sweet with pineapple notes that finish crisp. I prefer full-body, dry reds so I was a fan of Zin XXI which had blackberry and plum notes.
Tasting room walk-in visits are welcomed, but for groups of four or more people, they encourage reservations. If you want an in-depth “serious tour,” you definitely need to call ahead to give the staff a heads-up.
Outside, wine enthusiasts can take advantage of patio seating and covered seating inside a second building that is also available for group parties. I recommend planning your visit around the sunset hour.
PRO TIP: Live in the area? The owner is planning to relaunch Stone Pillar’s Wine Club, so inquire about it upon your arrival.
RED CROW BREWING COMPANY
Red Crow Brewing Company (1062 W. Santa Fe) is not just another Kansas brewery. The beer is just as pleasantly unique as the names they give it. Each beer is given a woman’s name chosen by the owners, a husband and wife duo. I created a beer flight of five, 2 oz pours with names like Eleanor, Isabelle, and Sybil. I appreciated a Kansas Bock, Hattie, for its balanced taste and mouthfeel.
I was impressed by the brewery’s ample space to unwind and craft beer. Locals grouped up at tables with a view of the game. Couples chatted over beer and dinner entrees from the on-site food truck, Casual Foodie.
Although I arrived a few minutes late for Happy Hour (3 pm-6 pm), it did not bother me. The drink and food menu prices were on par with what you’d pay at any brewery. Casual Foodie’s two-page menu included meal choices for every kind of eater. I ordered a soft taco trio made with pork bulgogi, jerk chicken, and sweet potato.
PRO TIP: The brewery is closed Mondays, so you’ll want to plan your visit when the brewery and the food truck are open. View the hours here.
SWEET THANG & CAFÉ
Day 1’s sip-and-savor tour ended at Sweet Thang & Café (1088 W. Santa Fe) only steps from Red Crow Brewing Company. Opened in 2019, the dessert destination is incredibly popular with locals. The moment I walked in, I knew I was in the right place. “Welcome!” the staff exclaimed. Customers never stopped walking into the ice cream shop.
Ice cream, baked goods, and candy dominated the menu, and the place smelled like freshly made waffle cones. I opted for a double scoop of Rocky Road ice cream, but seriously, you can’t go wrong no matter your menu choice. I recommend giving yourself a few minutes to view the Flavor Wall before committing to your ice cream order.
Not in the mood for ice cream? Choose a hazelnut iced coffee, latte, or vanilla macchiato from the Espresso Bar menu.
PRO TIP: The Sandwich Station kitchen closes at 7 pm, so plan ahead. Mama’s Italian with chips, anyone? View the menu here.
Rise and shine! Day 2 of the Olathe sip-and-savor tour started at Pour Coffeehouse (11120 S. Lone Elm Rd). The quaint coffee shop was bustling with customers by 8:30 am when I arrived. It was raining and it seemed as if everyone wanted to warm up with a cup of Joe and breakfast.
A quick scan of the shelves and I noticed that they sell their own bagged coffee beans, so I kept it simple and ordered a tall drip coffee. Irresistible pastries stared back at me from the glass case. A warm strawberry homemade Pop-Tart and a slice of quiche tasted delightful while I watched it rain outside from a window seat. Nearby, a cabinet with jewelry, branded merchandise, and retail candles sat on display.
PRO TIP: Seating is at a premium during peak hours so arrive early or choose a patio table on a good-weather day. Parents with kids in tow will appreciate the oversized Connect 4 game on the front lawn.
JUNQUE DRAWER BOUTIQUE & STUDIO
You’re in for a treat at Junque Drawer Boutique & Studio (233 S. Cherry St.). Located in a restored three-floor historic home built in 1874, the owner created a sip-and-shop experience.
Order a glass of wine or beer from the first floor’s bar and let the shopping begin. Don’t blame me if you overspend. It’s easy to do without drinking. Almost every inch of the house is filled with home decor, signs with phrases, women’s apparel, handcrafted art and jewelry, and specialty food gifts.
Continue the sip-and-savor trail fun by purchasing ready-made drink mixes, wine accessories, or drinking glasses with hilarious sayings on them. As you walk from room to room, you’ll notice each one is named after a woman.
What will you discover inside Blanche’s room or Pearl’s room? I found myself immersed in gift options I wanted to buy for others and myself. You could easily spend an hour in the store. Suddenly, I spotted just what I wanted. It was a wall decor sign that reflected my love for travel imprinted with the phrase “Headed Somewhere.” It was coming home with me.
The owner of Junque Drawer also owns Holiday House across the street (101 W. Cedar) which is one-stop shopping for all things festive. Thematic rooms are designed by style and color creating Christmas decor and ornaments. Wait until you see the bathroom shower filled with pillows!
See a gift you love from someone? Ask the owner to personalize it with a handwritten name or message.
PRO TIP: Start on the third floor and work your way down ending the shopping experience at the register. If you’re in search of a specific gift item, ask the friendly staff to point you in the right direction.
PARK STREET PASTRY
A one-minute drive from Junque Drawer is Park Street Pastry (103 E. Park St.) where lovers of authentic European desserts and sweet treats go. Pastry Chef Douglas Flick’s loyal customers know they can find freshly made cinnamon rolls, a popular breakfast choice, ready to order. I recommend scanning the bakery case and the menu before ordering breakfast or lunch. I was in search of lighter fare and choose a flakey scratch-made croissant filled with chocolate. The chef could be seen in the kitchen busily cooking eggs for someone’s breakfast order.
The lunch menu consists of multi-layered sandwiches, salmon cake, bbq meals, and more. Sandwiches come with a classic side garden salad.
PRO TIP: Don’t be surprised if they say you can pay for your order after dining in. Bring cash or you must spend $5 for a credit card purchase.
Curious about the downtown area? Take advantage of rentable scooter stations, and don’t miss the historic marker across the street in front of the Johnson County Courthouse. It designates a spot on the route of the Santa Fe Trail where traders traveled. In fact, the Mahaffie Stagecoach Stop & Farm Historic Site is where travelers could purchase supplies and spend the night. Today, it’s open to museum-goers year-round.
JOE’S KANSAS CITY BAR-B-CUE
The final stop on the sip-and-savor trail led me to Joe’s Kansas City Bar-B-Cue (11950 S. Strang Line Rd.). When in the Kansas City area, you can’t leave without ordering award-winning barbecue, a long-standing tradition for the restaurant since 1992. The Olathe location stays busy during peak meal hours so you can expect a short wait to order a bbq dinner or sandwiches. It’s well worth your time.
The menu includes drool-inducing sandwiches like The Z-Man Sandwich made with slow-smoked beef brisket topped with provolone cheese and onion rings. People rave about it for a good reason. It’s filling, so consider ordering the regular-sized sandwich versus the jumbo portion.
I chose to order the burnt ends lunch special served with (check the small menu board as you walk up to the register). You get your choice of one side dish and a fountain drink. The food is consistently good at Joe’s Kansas City Bar-B-Que, so whether you order a rib dinner or smoke chicken, or order meat by the pound to go, you can’t go wrong.
The food Joe’s Kansas City Bar-B-Que is putting out is pure kitchen magic. Do you want to try a variety of smoked meats? Order a Combo Sandwich or a Two Meat Dinner. Save room for dessert – make sure to ask about the seasonal dessert while ordering your meal. PRO TIP: Walk across the parking lot and check out The Kansas City BBQ Store to purchase bottles of barbecue sauce, dry rubs, and grilling tools to recreate your meal at home.
Who’s ready to set out on a two-day adventure through Olathe appreciating the best wine, beer, and sweet and savory food selections the area offers? The city has a multitude of places to indulge your palette. Follow the sip-and-savor trail with your sweetheart or grab a group of friends or family and start exploring.