Kansas is filled with great places to get hamburgers, some
of them nearly 100 years old. Every restaurant included in this list of
the Top Twelve Burgers in Kansas has been sampled by our editors on at
least two occasions, if not many more.
Café in Hope, Kansas is a small restaurant in a former
garage on the main street of this rural town of about 350 people. It is
open for lunch 7 days a week, plus evenings on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
The Lion Burger is a 1/3 pound burger
with sautéed onions & mushrooms, bacon & Swiss cheese, plus
a side of skin-on fries for $6.29. The fries are OK, but the burger is
Gridiron Café, 211 N Main St, Hope, KS 67451 (785)
Nu Grille Cafe restaurant in
Fort Scott, Kansas is the kind
of classic place and food that I am always looking for. Nu Grill opened
in 1946. The front room has a nice old counter where you can watch the
food prepared and there are three additional dining areas.
The made to order cheeseburgers with grilled onions are
thin, but well cooked and tasty. They are available in regular, jumbo and
Nu Grille Cafe, 24 N. National Avenue, Fort Scott, Kansas
66701 (620) 223-9949
Burgers are are a locally popular sandwich in the Fredonia, Kansas area.
Burger Bob's first opened in Fredonia, Kansas in the 1950s as the
Iceberg Drive In. Bob and Tony Babcock bought the Iceberg in 1972. Over
time they expanded it into a restaurant and renamed it with the nickname
that their customers had given to Bob. After 37 years, they moved to a
smaller location in nearby
Neodesha, Kansas. The new location has
just 5 tables.
Beef burgers are loose meat sandwiches, much in the spirit
of NuWay and Maid-Rite. But beef burgers are not as crumbly and hold together
better. In addition to the beef burgers, the regular burgers, onion rings
and Suzy qs are all great.
Beef Burger Bob's, 621 Main Street, Neodesha, Kansas 66757
Shack on Santa Fe in Overland Park, Kansas has gone through
several identities in a short time. It opened as the Shake Shack in 2010,
but after repeated threats of a lawsuit from a small fast food chain in
the eastern US, changed its name. The Snak Shack closed in the summer of
2011, but a new family reopened the restaurant as the "Snack" Shack on
Santa Fe in September of that year. The restaurant became more professional
and they started taking credit cards.
The specialty burger that stands out is the Bobby Burger
which has two 1/4 pound patties, four slices of cheese, grilled onions
and jalapenos. It used to be two 1/3 pound patties, but a half pound of
well cooked ground beef is still plenty.
Snack Shack, 8039 Santa Fe Drive, Overland Park, Kansas
66204 (913) 381-3200
the first release of our Best Burgers in Kansas, several places were recommended
to us. We have visited many of those restaurants. Some of them made it
onto our list of Unique Kansas Restaurants,
but Smitty's Carry
Out in Kingman, Kansas was the first of those places which
made this list.
Smitty's Carry Out serves great burgers. They don't ask
how you want them cooked and they all come well done, but they are juicy
and flavorful. The hand formed hamburger patties are 1/3 pound and
there are options for up to a three patty, one pound sandwich. There is
no extra charge for grilled onions. The hickory bacon cheese burger is
the one shown here, but there are multiple good choices. The onion rings
are as good as they look!
Smitty's Carry Out, 233 East D Avenue, Kingman, Kansas
67068 (620) 532-188
in Dodge City, Kansas is a bar & grill which opened as the Coney
Island in 1946. The building was bought by a man named Kate when his
former restaurant, a few block's away, burned. It has changed hands a few
times over the years, but has been under the current owner for over 20
The chili cheeseburger is served, not on a bun, but open
faced, on two slices of white bread, one on top of the other. The chili
has a few beans, which isn't my first choice for chili on fries, hot dogs
or burgers, but there are few enough that I didn't mind. The flavor of
the chili is just what I look for in a topping and this is one of the rare
places that I don't add black or red pepper to the chili. Not that it was
extremely spicy, it was just flavorful.
Kate's, 305 E. Trail Street, Dodge City, Kansas 67801
Diner in Wichita, Kansas isn't a diner, but rather a 60
year old hamburger joint. It is such a popular burger place that people
wait in line most of the few hours Ty's is open each day. But the wait
is rarely more than 15 minutes. The menu is simple and the hamburgers are
hand formed from ground beef that is delivered each morning. The French
fries are cut fresh each day.
Our favorite burger at Ty's is "The Ultimate," a cheeseburger
with pickle, mustard, lettuce, onion, tomato, grilled onions, grilled mushrooms,
grilled jalapenos and bacon.
Ty's Diner, 928 W. 2nd Street North, Wichita, Kansas 67203
Nut Hut in
Altoona, Kansas is a unique little bar and grill.
It originally opened as the A&B Tavern in the 1940s or 50s (the present
owners are uncertain), and was well known for serving mountain oysters.
It closed in the 1980s, but it reopened as the Prairie Nut Hut in the mid
1990s, and is a fun place to get generous servings of hamburgers, chicken
fried steak and mountain oysters.
As good as the mountain oysters at Altoona's Prairie Nut
Hut are, the hamburgers are even better. The Rohr burger (with grilled
onions, mushrooms and Swiss cheese) is as good a burger as I have ever
Prairie Nut Hut, 1306 Quincy Street, Altoona, Kansas 66710
Kansas has many wonderful
little places for burgers and Buster's
Burger Joint on the south side of Wichita is our newest discovery.
The small building has a counter, seating for just a few people and a cooking
area with a small grill and 2 deep fat fryers. They normally make fresh
cut French fries, but have temporarily moved to frozen fries. They do a
good job on the frozen fries as well.
The 1/3 pound cheeseburgers are
$4 for a single or $6 for a double. The burgers are great. not particularly
pretty, but juicy, without being very greasy.
Buster's Burger Joint, 1202 E MacArthur
Road, Wichita, Kansas 67216 (316) 524-7800
has been a restaurant at the location of Bob's
Grill in Pittsburg, Kansas since 1946. It became Bob's Grill
in 1964 and the current owner is the third owner of the Grill. This little
restaurant is open only for breakfast and lunch, closing at 1PM on Saturdays
and all day on Sundays. Breakfast or lunch are available any time it is
The burger shown is the triple cheeseburger. It is served
with pickle, mustard and onion - grilled onion if you wish. Just a simple
greasy burger, but it is so good!
Bob's Grill, 1014 N Broadway Street, Pittsburg, Kansas
66762 (620) 232-9738
Burger in Wichita, Kansas first opened in 1951 and it has
been in the Rickard family since 1985. Chris Rickard, who presently runs
it, took over in 1997 following the death of his father, Paul Rickard.
Bomber Burger has a counter with seven stools and four small, two person
tables. The food is served with an attitude.
The burgers are grilled slowly (15-20 minutes), so they
stay very moist. They are sprinkled with a secret mixture of garlic powder
& other spices and, despite being more done then I prefer, are the
best cheeseburgers I have had in Wichita, a city with many good places
Bomber Burger, 4860 S. Clifton Avenue, Wichita, Kansas
67216 (316) 522-6291
|Honorable Mentions: There are many other popular
places to get a burger in Kansas, though sometimes it may be more about
the setting and the tradition then the food. Here are reviews of Bobo's
Drive In in Topeka, The Cozy Inn
in Salina, Fritz's Railroad
Restaurant in Kansas City, Grandstand
Burgers in Overland Park, R-B
Drive In in Hutchinson, and Specks
Bar and Grill in Topeka.
Please send us your favorite locally owned Kansas restaurants
and be sure to tell us what makes them special and what dishes you think
are the best. Email
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