When successful and seasoned Kansas City restauranteur duo Paul Robinson and Joe Gilbert decided to open a brand-new restaurant in 1972, they decided to name it after the old clothing store it was replacing. Thus, Houlihan’s Old Place opened in former clothing store owner Tom Houlihan’s old storefront.
They even reserved a central table for Mr. Houlihan with a golden plaque to be available whenever he decided to dine there.
While Tom Houlihan never took the owners up on their offer, Houlihan’s garnered citywide acclaim for its delicious American cuisine and welcoming atmosphere.
This well-rounded and moderately priced historical American eatery offers a broad spectrum of dishes on its menu. So whether you want a hearty appetizer, comforting bowl of soup, or decadent burger, you’ll find something to love on my list of the best food at Houlihan’s.
Check out the best food on the Houlihan’s menu before your next visit!
Stuffed Chicken Breast
When I go to a restaurant, I look for menu items that are too tedious and elaborate to create at home.
The Stuffed Chicken Breast at Houlihan’s is a labor of love that I leave to the chefs to create.
My job is to sit back and savor each delicious bite!
The Stuffed Chicken Breast at Houlihan’s starts with a succulent chicken breast that is stuffed with a creamy and tangy herb and garlic-infused cream cheese, then breaded and baked to a crispy golden finish.
To round out the meal, the stuffed chicken breast comes with a side of fresh seasonal vegetables and mashed new potatoes.
Classic Spinach Dip
You don’t have to wait until Superbowl Sunday to eat a creamy, cheesy spinach dip.
Houlihan’s Classic Spinach Dip is a year-round crowd pleaser and decadent prelude to a delicious meal.
Houlihan’s uses chopped spinach and marinated artichoke hearts mixed with their delicious garlic and herb cream cheese, sour cream, butter, and parmesan cheese.
Even veggie haters will love digging into this veritable cheese fondue. As if there weren’t enough dairy in it already, the classic spinach dip comes with cheesy lavosh crackers to scoop this creamy concoction.
The lavosh crackers are triangular flatbread crackers with a layer of melted cheese, herbs, and chopped tomatoes.
You can never have too much cheese! That said, if you prefer a more traditional accompaniment, you can request fresh tortilla strips instead.
The Kansas City Burger
One of Kansas City’s most well-known culinary contributions is its barbecue, and The Kansas City Burger at Houlihan’s combines its barbecue tradition with America’s favorite comfort food.
Notably, Houlihan’s burgers consist of a unique blend of brisket, chuck, and sirloin ground and hand-formed daily.
The Kansas City Burger embellishes this steakhouse-quality beef patty with cheddar cheese, brown sugar bacon, onion straws, BBQ carnitas, and house-made BBQ sauce.
You get three delicious and flavorful types of meat in one burger, and the sweet and tangy BBQ sauce ties it all together.
It comes with a side; I went for the classic combo and ordered mine with a side of French fries.
Heartland Grilled Chicken Salad
Houlihan’s Big Salad menu has one of my favorite selections of hearty, flavorful salads that are as satisfying and complex as any burger or entrée dish.
The Heartland Grilled Chicken Salad is a fan favorite and will not leave you wanting more.
The Heartland Grilled Chicken Salad features a bed of mixed greens topped with juicy grilled chicken strips, bacon, shredded cheddar, red onions, spiced pecans, tomatoes, red peppers, and croutons drizzled with garlic ranch.
This salad delivers a complex flavor profile packed with protein and fiber.
If you want to make the salad extra decadent, you can always substitute their breaded chicken tenders for the grilled chicken.
Brentwood Chicken Sandwich
Houlihan’s offers refined yet approachable New American dishes, using high-quality, gourmet ingredients and preparations of classic American favorites like burgers and sandwiches.
The Brentwood Chicken Sandwich exemplifies this gourmet twist on a classic hand-held meal.
The Brentwood Chicken Sandwich comes on a buttery bun with a succulent grilled chicken breast, crispy bacon strips, melted gouda, baby greens, red onions, tomatoes, and Dijon mayo.
I love the smokiness of the gouda combined with the salty, smoky bacon. The Dijon mayo adds a subtle sweetness that rounds everything out.
Like all sandwiches and burgers, you get a choice of sides.
I recommend their sweet potato fries with horseradish cream sauce for a colorful and complex meal.
Baked Potato Soup
There’s nothing more comforting than creamy, cheesy, loaded baked potato.
Houlihan’s found a way to make a baked potato the ultimate comfort food by turning it into a hearty soup.
You can make a meal of it with a piping hot bowl garnished with bacon, shredded cheddar, and scallions, or order a small cup for an appetizer.
The starchiness of the potato combined with cream and seasoning is the perfect mix of mashed potatoes and baked potatoes, its creaminess pleasantly punctuated with crispy bites of bacon and ribbons of melted cheddar cheese.
It’ll soon be your favorite menu item for a cold day.
Sedona Shrimp Pasta
The Sedona Shrimp Pasta is a bright and spring-inspired dish that sautees shrimp, ancho butter, skinned and seedless diced tomatoes, spinach, and basil over fresh fettuccine, serving it with two thin slices of crispy focaccia bread.
Not only is this a light and flavorful pasta dish, but its beautiful presentation takes it to another level.
The ancho butter gives it a nice kick that melds perfectly with the sweetness of the basil.
The crunchy focaccia bread is the perfect sponge for the leftover sauce and buttered veggies left behind after slurping up all the noodles.
Chicken wings are the classic happy hour, game day American pub fare, and Houlihan’s delicious varieties of fried, sauced chicken wings are in a class all their own.
They come in two varieties: classic buffalo wings with bleu cheese sauce or Thai sweet and spicy glazed wings with ginger-soy dipping sauce.
Both varieties are delicious and well-executed. The tangy buffalo sauce and creamy, sharp bleu cheese sauce are a cut above your standard ranch.
It also comes with celery for that much-needed refreshingly neutral crunch between each bite of heavily spiced chicken.
Check out other chain restaurant chicken wings if this is your favorite appetizer!
Houlihan’s offers a classy and inviting dining experience for a delectable business lunch, family dinner, or lively get-together with friends.
Whether you want an extravagant burger, a giant, complex entrée salad, or a decadently creamy appetizer or cup of soup, my list of the best food at Houlihan’s has it all.
If you are interested in more restaurants you can find across the country, here are some of the most popular chain restaurants in America.
Did we leave your favorite Houlihan’s item off the list? Let us know in the comments below, and we’ll make sure to check it out!