Top 25

These 25 neighborhood bars show you Kansas City. Its fabric, its people. Its neighborhoods.

Kelly's, Westport, Kansas City, dive bars
Westport Inn (aka Kelly’s in the 40s)

They were selected because:

  1. Geography: They are Kansas City’s most popular urban dive bars from the River Market to Waldo.
  2. Longevity: They have been open at least one decade or more.
  3. Ownership: They are family-owned Kansas City institutions.
  4. Grit: They’ve survived bad times, delivered good times and remained more popular than ever.

Please raise your glasses to these KC institutions and enjoy their stories of highs and hangovers; recessions and reinventions; smoking bans and World Series busts; bombings and bar mitzvahs and why they would do it all over again to have their name above the front door.

1 Anthony’s Restaurant & Lounge
2 B.B.’s Lawnside BBQ
3 Bobby Baker
4 The Brick
5 Buzzard Beach
6 Caddy Shack
7 Chez Charlie
8 Cigar Box
9 Dave’s Stagecoach
10 DB Cooper
11 Gilhouys
12 Grinders
13 Jimmys Jiggar
14 John’s Big Deck
15 Kelly’s
16 Knuckleheads Saloon
17 The Peanut
18 The Piano Room
19 PR’s Place
20 Quaff Bar & Grill
21 The Ship
22 Sidestreet
23 Twin City Tavern
24 Westport Flea Market
25 The Zoo

  NOTE:  Several urban core neighborhood bars failed to make the list because they have lost their “mojo” and customer following. I wish those watering holes a successful reincarnation. Others didn’t make the list because they were more sports bars than dives bars (Lew’s). Sorry, all Kansas and Missouri suburban bars weren’t part of the scope of this project.