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Food Critics: The Best Diners In Kansas City In 2018

Corner Cafe
Pancakes at the Corner Cafe.

With the recent closing of Chubby's on Broadway, Kansas City lost one of its iconic diners. But the metro has plenty of other places where people can satisfy late-night cravings or load up on breakfast standards.

This week on Central Standard, our food critics recommended their favorite places for consistent home-style cooking and the pleasures of comfort food.

Mary Bloch, Around the Block:

  • The Original Cafe OP — For hamburgers, shakes, pancake breakfasts, omelets, and all the usual diner fare.
  • The City Diner — It's been around since 1937. Breakfast and lunch seven days a week.
  • EJ’s Urban Eatery— EJ's has great burgers and barbeque, plus breakfast and brunch served on the weekends.
  • Corner Café — Several locations serve up breakfast and a whole host of other items. I recommend the club sandwich, fried chicken and burgers.
  • Hayes Hamburgers and ChiliA classic greasy spoon in the best possible definition of the concept. I'm a fan of their breakfast, burgers, shakes and chili.
  • Neighborhood Café – Free cinnamon rolls come with every order, and breakfast is served all day at this spot, which has a big menu and a pie case.

Jenny Vergara, Feast Magazine:

Old School:

  • Cascone’s Grill – Get the Big Sam sandwich for Italian Sausage, egg, cheese and hash browns on Italian toast. Also, try their pasta, meatloaf, Italian steak and pies.
  • Town Topic– Three locations, with the one on Broadway open 24/7. They serve breakfast, burgers, Golden Boy pies and pie shakes.
  • Winstead’s– A local favorite for a steak burger with mustard, onion and pickles and a Skyscraper shake. 
    Credit Winstead's
    The Skyscraper shake at Winstead's.

New School:

  • Black Sheep + Market– Try the steak and eggs, spaghetti bolognese or daily dessert specials. They also offer vegan options.
  • Mildred’s – A good BLT, as well as breakfast quiches, wraps and sandwiches, and great coffee. Excellent daily specials include Tuesday’s meatloaf sandwich, Wednesday's turkey Reuben, or biscuits and gravy on the weekends. 
  • Ladybird Diner– Get the sweet potato hash with scrambled eggs and apple butter, breakfast tacos, or the roast beef sandwich served open-faced with mashed potatoes and gravy. They also serve soda fountain favorites like a cherry phosphate or brown cow.
  • Succotash — I recommend the slow-roasted pork hash with two eggs sunny side up, cheddar, black beans, verde pico and a warm tortilla, or their Monte Cristo, made with maple ham and derby sage cheddar on marbled rye French toast, served with home fries.
  • Waffle House The hash brown section of their menu deserves its own shout-out. They come smothered in grilled onions, covered in melted cheese, chunked with hickory smoked ham, diced with grilled tomatoes, peppered with jalapenos, capped with grilled mushrooms, topped with Bert’s Chili or countrified with gravy.

Charles Feruzza:

Chris Young is an associate producer for KCUR's Central Standard. Reach out to him at chrisy@kcur.org.

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