Let’s face it. The hamburger is everyone’s real hometown hero. When you visit KC | OP, the same is true. Don’t just take our word for it, grab a burger – or several – while you are in town. Here are our top contenders for best beef (and no beef) burgers.
For this contest, we sideline the debate over cheese, tomato, lettuce and onion. Don’t get us started on pickles. Mustard and ketchup, don’t fool yourselves. This is all about the burger. Good fries are a bonus, but won’t win the rodeo.
A neighborhood hangout in northern Overland Park at 76th & Metcalf, with another location in south Leawood, Burg & Barrel has a solid selection of burgers, beer and appetizers to feed any appetite. A crowd favorite is the Cowboy with bacon, cheddar, BBQ sauce, and a beer-battered onion ring. Or try the PB&E with, you guessed it, peanut bugger and an egg. Burg & Barrel also has a huge event space for large groups in a local pub setting. Stop in on trivia night, if you dare to test your skills.
The family-owned “shack” in Historic Downtown Overland Park serves up a thin, seasoned patty with a caramelized crust. Single, double or triple, you can’t go wrong. Pair it with an old-fashion milkshake and you’ll swear you stepped back in time. The shack has a handful of tables and room for 12 at the counter. The large courtyard is perfect for Overland Park’s sunny days.
Locals love Unforked. It’s a concept unique to KC|OP that sources clean food from local farms. Their Akaushi burger (pronounced ah-ka-oo-shi) gives many burgers a run for their money, but the reason they made the list is for the Thai Dye Burger. It’s a grilled marinated Portobello topped with Thai sweet chili sauce, roasted brussels sprouts and melted motz cheese. It’s so good you’ll forget it’s meatless. Pair with Sheridan’s concrete and it’s a meal you’ll talk about for weeks.
Shake Shack had a line around the block when they opened and it hasn't really died down yet. This well-known chain integrated local touches, like using seasonal pie from Ashleigh’s Bake Shop in Westport for their Pie Oh My concrete. Local craft beers are abundant. The burger is their modern take on a roadside burger. Check out the Shack Stack, a cheeseburger and a ‘shroom burger topped with ShackSauce. Of course, don't forget the shake.
And the winner is…
The unofficial winner of best burger in KC|OP is The Snack Shack on Santa Fe.
While the burger continues to evolve, we’re a sucker for the classic. And when it comes to the real deal, nothing beats The Snack Shack.
*Upon doctor’s advice, we had to limit the number of burgers consumed for this blog. But honorable mentions go to Westport Flea Market, which often earns accolades “Best Burger of Kansas City,” and Town Topic, with a burger that tastes delicious at 1pm and 1am. Westside Local has an upscale burger worth the drive. Upper upscale would go to Corvino Supper Club’s double cheeseburger, only available on their late-night menu. We hear Pigwich Food Truck has an amazing burger, as one would expect being parked next to a butcher. What other burgers did we miss? Comment below.
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