Food critics: Kansas City’s best burgers | KCUR 89.3

“We really love our burgers in Kansas City,” says Jenny Vergara, Kansas City food columnist. From joints like Town Topic to fine dining restaurants like The Savoy, the humble hamburger is on menus everywhere.

“We can’t just say ‘burger,'” food blogger Mary Bloch points out. “We have to be more specific about it,” she says, noting that smashed burgers are big with diners at the moment.

Then there are the pub burgers and the veggie burgers, with a number of places having all three options on offer.

For those who think vegan burgers can’t cut out mustard, Carlton Logan, former chef and responsible for Facebook Group Kansas City Eats, would like to have a word.

“I think with the new innovations, you almost can’t tell it’s a vegan burger,” he says.

Below Vergara, Bloch and Carlson offer their selections of well-cooked burgers—medium and rare.

Jenny Vergara:

smash burgers

  • City theme on Broadway Cheese single. For over 85 years, the Town Topic on Broadway Boulevard has been open 24/7, under the famous neon sign. It’s the place to smash burgers and breakfast plates. Little-Known Secret: Town Topic serves both pancake batter and Golden Boy pancakes. Simply order a pie shake and they’ll mix a slice of pie with chocolate or vanilla ice cream for a treat so good you’ll wonder why you didn’t think about it sooner.
  • the camp Double Smash Burger. This burger comes with American cheese, aioli, pickles, and red onions on an egg bun. One of my two favorite burgers in this town that holds up while on the ride home.
  • Kitty CaféDouble cheeseburger. Although Kitty’s pork tenderloin sandwich is legendary (and a must-try if you’ve never had it before), the burgers here are absolutely delicious. Get a single, double or triple cheeseburger with pickles, onions and American cheese on soft white bread.
  • Chicksin Kansas City Little Chef Chicken Burger. Are you looking for an alternative to beef pie? Look no further than the half-pound Little Chef Chicken Burger that uses seasoned minced chicken, seasoned for flavor, before being smashed onto a flat tray. Once it has a good caramel crust, it is topped with romaine lettuce, tomatoes, onions, pickles, American cheese, beef bacon and house sauce.
  • Cozmo Burger Double burger. There is a reason this place is on everyone’s list! Now open with its second location within the Lenexa Public Market, Cosmo Burger is an epidemic success story. This is another burger that travels well, and my always-ordered is the Double Smash Burger with cheese, grilled onions, burger sauce and pickles on soft potato bun – with an extra crunchy side of tater tots.
  • Snack Shack at Johnson’s Drive Bob or Bobby burger. Recently moved from downtown Overland Park to Johnson Drive, the burgers here remind me of old school guests from the 1950s. Try the Bob’s or Bobby’s burger (a quarter or a half pound burger, respectively) with American cheese, grilled onions, and grilled jalapenos with 50/50, a side of hand-cut fries, and half onion rings.

burger pub

  • Walsh Corner Cocktails Bacon cheddar burger. This quiet little corner bar in Waldo opened in 1978, and it’s been frozen in time ever since. Still a popular neighborhood place to hang out for a strong drink at a reasonable price, some conversations and some burgers. Go up to the bar and order the world-famous cheddar bacon burger and hand-cut fries.
  • Burger stand in Lawrence Black and Blue Burger. I find it hard to find a better thicker burger than the one at The Burger Stand in Lawrence. The Black & Blue Burger features blue cheese, Granny Smith apple sauce, and assorted seasonal vegetables. Hot burgers, soft bread and sweet sauce with crumble of rich blue cheese make my mouth water.
  • acre House Burger. Chef Andrew Longress’ restaurant has finally opened in Parkville with an eight-ounce burger of dry old black angus topped with aged cheddar, red onion jam, and spicy aioli on a house-made bun. Served with garlic fries for one price. Where good steaks are served, excellent burgers can be found.
  • Earl Premier Cheese Burger. If the rest of the Earl’s Premier’s seafood-packed menu doesn’t rock your world, there’s always Chef Todd Schulte’s famous burger that will – I promise – hit the spot. Made from Angus Certified Beef on a soft golden egg bun stacked with shredded lettuce, thinly sliced ​​onions, American cheese and hot sauce.
  • The Lunch Box Liquor & Daily Double Me Up Burger. Lunchbox can be found inside a liquor store and convenience store in West Bottoms. Although they make a variety of fried sandwiches for breakfast and lunch, you should try the Double Me Up Burger with a two-thirds-pound thick patty made of fresh ground beef on a fluffy brioche bun. Topped with ketchup, mustard, lettuce, tomato, onion, pickles and your choice of cheese.
  • Café Europa Gourmet Market & Bakery Burger. With a new location in an old firehouse on Main Street south of Country Club Plaza, Cafe Europa has expanded their market and bakery offerings and now serve brunch daily. Get the thick, juicy and perfectly seasoned beef burger served on freshly baked bread and topped with your choice of cheddar or blue cheese, along with your choice of fries, soup or a side salad.
  • bell tower The burger. After she left The American, but before she opened The Belfry, Chef Celina Teo served up gourmet burgers on Julian’s patio. Now, you can find the same burger as an eternal hero item on the menu of downtown bar and restaurant. It features an envelope of homemade ground beef, grilled brisket, topped with homemade ketchup, fries, pickles, and any cheese you like. Chef Selena recommends their smoked quality – I will do as she says.

veggie burgers

  • Kind Food Company Bacon Mushroom Mita Burger. Their signature veggie burger is so good you won’t miss the meat. They come from a brand called Meta, which has been named one of the best veggie burgers in the land. Grilled Bacon Mushroom Burger, Then Topped With Grilled Mushrooms, Crispy Coconut Bacon, Fresh Lettuce, Tomatoes, Red Onions And A Great Sauce, Served With Fries Waffle. The burger is 100% dairy-free and vegan, with gluten-free bread.
  • pirate bone burger Beet burger. Having recently closed their downtown location, Pirate’s Bone Burgers still operates out of its Crossroads restaurant, serving 100% vegan burgers and some of the best fries in town. Try the beet burger, made in-house and grilled, then topped with avocado fat, pickled cabbage with sesame seeds, homemade aioli and greens.

Mary Bloch:

  • Room 39 It answers a call made years ago by the James Beard Foundation for chefs to make a more sustainable burger using 30% less beef. Chef Ted Habiger created a combination burger made with mushrooms, beef, and beets. It was well received, and is still on the list. It is slightly purple in color, has a wonderful texture and flavour.
  • beer kitchenTheir regional beef is ground fresh daily, they make great toppings and – most importantly – they cook the burgers to the exact temperature you ordered. I love a drunken cheeseburger with ketchup, homemade mustard (both made from beer), lettuce, tomato, and a touch of mayonnaise.
  • The Savoy at 21cChef Joe West perfected the smash burger while in the kitchen at The Savoy. When he left for Jackson Hole, Wyoming, two years ago, fans feared he would be removed from the list or changed. But, while Brandon Brumback made the menu his own when he came on board, he didn’t touch the burger. It’s addictive as always.
  • tailor It is a relatively new restaurant. Owner Heather White told me they’ve been playing around with the burgers to counteract the current iteration – it’s awesome. Thick, medium-rare on brioche bun, with arugula, honey onion, truffle aioli and brie. Can’t you love him? It’s a great combination served with French fries with a pencil.
  • dead mitchSmash Burger is the perfect answer to the age-old question: Who gets a burger at a BBQ? The breast meat is blended with the chuck of the envelope, giving it a richer flavour.
  • Avenue PubThe eponymous burger has always been one of my favourites, with fries that are just as good. Served on brioche bread with leek jam, red wine, bacon, truffle aioli and cheddar cheese, it’s always a winner.
  • Westport Café He has a thick burger called Royal. With Herb de Provence cake, raclette cheese, balsamic mayonnaise, white onions, Boston lettuce, cornichons, and locally grown tomatoes, there’s plenty to enjoy, but give it a try.
  • canaryThe burger smash seems to be under the radar, although that screech will probably change that. With French onion, curd cheese, and radish aioli, it’s among the best.
  • Corvino dinner club It has a special burger with homemade bread, roasted onions, house pickles and Monster cheese. Vegetarians can order it with maitake mushrooms instead of beef, and it’s quite satisfying.

Carlton LoganKansas City Eats:

  • Corvino dinner club It has one of my favorite cheeseburgers due to the house-baked bread, charred onions, and one of my favorite cheeseburgers: Muenster.
  • Chixin KC Chicken burger. This ghost kitchen is located near Southwest Boulevard now and serves 100% smashed chicken burgers with no preservatives. My favorite is the Mini Chef, a quarter pound chicken burger with romaine, tomato, onion, pickles, beef or turkey bacon, American cheese and cheddar sauce.
  • Chicken Strips Pork burger. Strip’s serves chicken strips and the like, but they also have a pork burger. The Ribwich Burger is modeled after the famous string rib sandwich. It’s made with either pork or Angus beef, with strawberry barbecue sauce, cheese, pickles, and red onions on a toasted potato bun.
  • UNK’s Burgers Makes me feel like I’m eating at home with the family. They feature a quarter pound burger with simple toppings and funny names like Basement Boy, Judy, and my favorite, Sweet Auntie, with their bread and butter pickles. A turkey and vegetable burger is also available.

Listener recommendations:

  • Dave’s Bakery In the historic Independence Square, it serves its burgers on homemade buns.
  • easy in It’s where KCUR anchor Paul Nyakatora goes to smash burgers. If you go on Thursday, they buy one, get one free.
  • classic cup Serve 1/2 pound of Kansas Wagyu beef on a brioche bun with Tillamook cheddar cheese, tomatoes, and onions.
  • Tender Biz and Weezy It now has a cafe menu that serves two types of burgers: The Weezy and the cheeseburger.
  • Lewis Franks Lawrence’s is best known for its sausage, but their burger is a two-quarter-pound patty topped with American cheese, lettuce, tomato, onion, pickles, and secret sauce on a kaiser bun, with your choice of side dish.
  • Mrs. R . Café Allows you your choice of single, double or triple hamburger and cheeseburger. You can also get a single or double turkey burger at this family-owned soul food restaurant.
  • Portia CaféRecommended s cheeseburger, they will cook fries to order. Mary Bloch says it must be very crunchy.

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