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Kansas City deli and cafe named one of best new restaurants of 2023 — in the South?

Kansas City isn’t typically considered part of the American South, and Baba’s Pantry opened more than two years ago.

And yet: The Palestinian American deli was recently named one of “The South’s Best New Restaurants of 2023” by Southern Living magazine.

The list included 25 restaurants in all. The magazine highlighted the familial nature of Baba’s Pantry, which owner Yahia Kamal opened with his children in 2021 at 1019 E. 63rd St., just west of Troost.

“Stop in, and you’ll likely find (Kamal) chatting with customers or whipping up scratch-made hummus and baba ganoush while one of his children scribbles down recipes — a tradition Kamal started when he’d call his mom while he was in college in Oklahoma to get her directions on how to make dishes that tasted like home,” the editors wrote.

Chef Yahia Kamal, left, of Baba’s Pantry. The Palestinian American deli was recently named one of the best new restaurants of 2023 by Southern Living magazine.
Chef Yahia Kamal, left, of Baba’s Pantry. The Palestinian American deli was recently named one of the best new restaurants of 2023 by Southern Living magazine.

The restaurant responded on Instagram Monday: “As always we are humbled and honored. Thank you to our customers and our community for the love and support.”

Baba’s Pantry, which serves falafel, shawarmas, hummus and kebabs, was also named one of the 50 best new restaurants in the country last year by Bon Appetit magazine.