KC's Best Cheeseburger
National Cheeseburger Day is Sept. 18, so we’ve rounded up our favorite diners, drive-ins and dives known for serving a juicy classic cheeseburger.
The jukebox in the corner, the short-order cook behind the counter snatching paper slips from a ring, the sack of burgers you can see through and the to-die-for ice cream sodas that make a child’s eyes light up as big as saucers—these are the stuff of Happy Days, Grease and classic drive-in flicks. All can be found with a side of nostalgia at our favorite local landmarks, each earning its place in the memories of locals for generations:
Town Topic. Kansas City’s original greasy spoon with three locations has been open for more than 75 years as a local landmark. In 1937, Claude Sparks opened the original location at 24th & Broadway, where he sold hamburgers for 5 cents each. At the end of his first day, he pocketed a whopping $21.00, and now the diner is a favorite for diner-style cheeseburgers, hand-dipped malts and fresh pie.
Grandstand Burgers (4942 Merriam Dr., Shawnee, 913.362.0111). This pit-stop burger joint is small, with only four stools at the counter and picnic tables outside, but the popular burger joint is such a hit you’ll often find long lines waiting (because it’s worth it) for their hand-formed juicy burgers. The double decker cheeseburger with grilled onions is a favorite!
Third Street Social (123 SE 3rd St., Lee’s Summit, 816.384.2123), located in historic downtown Lee’s Summit, serves delicious made-from-scratch cuisine. This beautiful restaurant in the historic Arnold Building takes your classic burger to a whole new level. The Social Cheeseburger is your classic sandwich, and the Animal Style is a mustard-seared patty with thousand island dressing.
The Snack Shack on Santa Fe (8039 Santa Fe Dr., Overland Park, 913.428.7749) The Snack Shack on Santa Fe is a favorite neighborhood hangout in historic Downtown Overland Park offering barstool countertop seating. The sweet potato fries and hand-dipped shakes are great compliments to their tasty cheeseburgers.
Hum-Dinger Drive-In (2504 E. 9th St., Kansas City, MO, 816.231.0888). This classic drive-in is a cash only greasy spoon known for old-fashioned jumbo cheeseburgers, fried mushrooms, fries, tacos and shakes. The nostalgia of the place makes it a favorite for locals.
Johnny Ray's Drive-In (800 SW Blue Pkwy., Lees Summit, MO, 816.524.1910), since 1956, has been serving steakburgers with “all the fixin’s,” homemade malts and see-through-the-bag fries and rings at a drive-in that feels as though it were straight from the screen of a ’50s car classic.
Christy's Tasty Queen (1405 S. 55th St., Kansas City, KS, 913.287.2800) has been serving customers for more than 40 years. Feasting at this authentic drive-in diner, you eat in your car or at a picnic table. Christy’s serves thick classic cheeseburgers that can’t be missed.