Town Topic (burgers)

The latest restaurant excursion was to Kansas City's favorite "after the club closes" burger joint. It was a rather spontaneous excursion. It took place at approximately 2:30am on the most recent of the Fridays in current memory.

Without much thought me and a group of 5 including myself arrived there with the late night munchies after some pretty serious vintage dancing. (Seriously, "Ice, Ice, Baby" & "Beat It" were on the playlist.) Wait, before I break into a quaint anecdote you need a Town Topic visual.

(it should be noted that the dining area is as deep as that 2nd window on the left and as long as the building. [minus about 10ft for the bathroom and kitchen entrance.])

For the sake of reiteration, the dining area is small. It fits about 10 people comfortably.

Back to our anecdote!
5 of us arrive at 2:30 am to an already half full Town Topic. There are now 10 people in the filled dining area. We are immediately accosted with a gruff, "wha d'you want!" by a lady who clearly has had a few too many burgers and way too many cigarettes. We all stare around for a second and then gradually give our orders to the grumpy, frumpy, hoarse woman. A few minutes later the most delicious egg, bacon, and cheese breakfast sandwich sits before. I'm not really sure if the food is really the best out there, but when you're in a late night munchy craving stupor, it's pretty f***ing amazing.

Half-way through our meal the front door opens and in walk about 3 guys. The space is now a little on the crowded side. 5 minutes later, 3 more people arrive. Another 5 minutes, 5 blondes and 3 guys walk in. 24 people jammed into town topic. My group is now done with our meal and we're ready to pay and get out. But, we can't. It's too crowded and nobody can get any where. Over the course of the next 10 minutes another 10 people try to cram in, and are successful until some guy starts telling people nobody else can fit. There were now over 30 people fit into a space that really should only hold 10. I think the fire marshal would have been a little peeved. We managed to force our way to the register and pay. Overall the experience was amusing and satisfying.

The service at Town Topic has its own special negative charm. I go there to have an older angry man (or woman) make me a burger. He/She is told to do so by a slightly angrier woman (at least every time I've gone.) who yelled at me to tell her what I want. Really though, when I told her my order she added a bunch of stuff with out any indication of how much all these extras were going to cost me. (and they definitely cost you.) So effectively I pretend like I know what I want and then she tells me what I really want. For some reason this style of service works just fine at the latest hours of the night.

The food itself is about as good as any other diner burger place, but its late night service gives it an increased goodness factor. Compared to other 24hr diners, it's probably the best in KC and has it's own distinct charm.

between the hours of 10am and 10pm 6 out of 10

between the hours of 10pm and 10am 9.5 out of 10


  1. I used to co-own a piercing studio across form the Topic. After the bars closed you'd get everyone from scooter trash to local celebs to limos full of prom-goers or bachelor/ettes. They make a killer Chili, best if you take it home, put it in the fridge and scoop off the floating grease (at least an inch thick) before you heated it back up.

  2. what a crammed up place to eat burgers!