Best Road Trip Food Stops Around KC for Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

The best grab-and-go dining for the vehicle-bound.

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winsteads best drive thru

burger at winstead's


   The era of classic American diners and drive-ins may be over, but there are still a few of the old guard standing proud. Enter Winstead’s, the diner and drive-in that has survived at its original location on the edge of Kansas City’s Country Club Plaza since it was opened in 1940 by two sisters, Kathryn and Nellie Winstead.

   These ballsy gals opened during a time when Kansas City was controlled by Tom Pendergast, legendary political boss; and real estate giant J.C. Nichols, so it’s no surprise that their classic eatery has stood the test of time. Since opening, prices have been updated (though things are still quite affordable — a single “steakburger” is $2.49, a double is $3.59), but the original charm (and 24/7 business hours) remains, including a relentlessly cheerful staff.

   The next time you pull around to the drive-thru window, order like a pro: To accompany your double steakburger with the works, get an order of half tots-half fries (yes, they’ll let you do this). Don’t forget dessert — Winstead’s serves up a proper butterscotch milkshake, and its sludgy sweetness is enough to make you feel like you’re hanging out of the back window of your grandma’s Buick Park Avenue on a hot summer’s day. Some things never grow old — Winstead’s is one of them.  

   Winstead’s, locations in Overland Park, Leawood, Plaza, Blue Springs, Olathe and more.



   If you can spare a second to eat a meal that’s not consumed while wearing a seat belt, we have three yummy suggestions for you.

cafe des amis

   Cafe Des Amis  

   This charming, French-inspired Parkville joint would be worth the trip based on its patio alone. Lucky for us, the food is just as likable. At brunch, tuck into a perfect quiche Lorraine (made with 36-hour house-poached ham), spend a few hours lingering over the expansive wine list until you’re ready to order dinner (get the duck confit, trust us) and cap it all off with a chocolate soufflé.

   Cafe Des Amis, 112 Main St., Parkville.


korean steak tacos at third street social

   Third Street Social

   No one could accuse Third Street Social of dishing out boring, run-of-the-mill fare. This gastropub-style eatery has a menu that hopscotches around the globe: There are Korean steak tacos, Creole barbecue shrimp, Nashville hot chicken salad, meatloaf and so much more. For anyone who’s ever wanted a little bit of everything, this might be your new favorite hang.

   Third Street Social, 123 SE 3rd St., Lee’s Summit.


   ​Do you like food? Good. Do you like antiques? Yeah? How about art? Well, great news: You can find a little bit of all three at Vivilore. Housed in a historic Independence home, this restaurant-shop combination is a paradise for anyone who likes to cap off their antiquing and art buying with a little modern American fare (if you’re there for lunch, grab the lobster roll).

   Vivilore, 10815 E. Winner Rd., Independence.