Top 10 burgers in Kansas list
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.
Kate's - Dodge City, Kansas#12 The Gridiron 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 very good. 

Gridiron Café, 211 N Main St, Hope, KS 67451 (785) 366-7700

Nu Grille Cafe - Fort Scott, Kansas#11 Bowman's 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 double jumbo.

Nu Grille Cafe, 24 N. National Avenue, Fort Scott, Kansas 66701 (620) 223-9949 

Downtown Burger - Downtown Diner in Olathe, Kansas#10 Downtown Diner in Olathe, Kansas was on our original best Burger list, with their Sheboygan Burger, but fell off the list after the Caines sold the restaurant in 2018. But the Caines returned to the restaurant in 2020 and they have returned to this list with the Downtown Burger with hamburger, Swiss cheese, coleslaw, corned beef and bacon.

Rick Caines loves to invent new dishes and has experimented with burgers for years. Many of them have found their way to the menu and we look forward to trying many more of their hamburgers over the years.

Downtown Diner, 409 E. Santa Fe Street, Olathe, Kansas 66062 (913) 764-1002 

Beef Burger Bob's - Neodesha, Kansas#9 Beef Burgers are are a locally popular sandwich in the Fredonia, Kansas area. Beef 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   (620) 325-5500 

Snack Shack on Santa Fe - Overland Park, Kansas#8 Snack 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 

Nu-Way Cafe - Wichita, Kansas#7 Following 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

Kate's - Dodge City, Kansas#6 Kate's 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 years.

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 (620) 225-9466

Ty's Diner - Wichita, Kansas#5 Ty's 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  (316) 263-1416

Prairie Nut Hut - Altoona, Kansas#4 The Prairie 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 had.

Prairie Nut Hut, 1306 Quincy Street, Altoona, Kansas 66710  (620) 568-2900 

#3Wichita, 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 

Bob's Grill - Pittsburg, Kansas#2 There 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 open.

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

Bomber Burger - Wichita, Kansas#1 Bomber 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 for burgers. 

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, Specks Bar and Grill in Topeka and Town Topic in Mission.

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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