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Oct 14, 2004 08:21 PM

Kansas City Pizza/Mexican Food

  • b

I know this subject has been discussed before, but what pizza places would you recommend in Kansas City? I have been to Minski's. What mexican places on Southwest Boulevard or downtown area would you suggest. Tex-mex is ok.

Bigray in Ok

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  1. For pizza, try d'Bronx at 39th and Bell (one block east of State Line). They also have a shop in Crown Center but the original on 39th has much more character and is great for people watching.

    Terrific pizza but also marvelous deli sandwiches and with cold weather coming on, don't miss their homemade soups, too.

    Oh, and they've got an apple pie with sort of a custard base and crumbly top that is to die for!

    Order at the counter and they deliver it to your table. Closed Sundays.

    My other fav spot for pizza is Waldo Pizza just east of Wornall Road and north of 75th Street. They've got Chicago-style thick crust, St. Louis-style thin crust, and what some refer to as Kansas City-style crust which is in between Chicago and St. Louis. An interesting beer selection.

    Sorry, I don't get out to many other places for pizza as these two places serve my needs and location very well. Neither delivers. Both are owned by terrific people.

    13 Replies
    1. re: KC-Jane

      Agree with d'Bronx and Waldo being great options, although I'm sure there are some hole in the walls I'm not aware of that are excellent too. Waldo Pizza actually does deliver, and I only know that because I'm someone who lives about three blocks from there and is still TOO LAZY to get off my butt and pick it up myself, lol.

      Another place I like, and I'm curious to hear anyone else's opinion, is Pizza Shoppe (several locations). I love their crust, it's completely different than any other pizza I've had in town. Crisp on the edges, almost a sourdough flavor to it. And yeah, I think that day-glo pink salad dressing of theirs is awesome! Throwback to my childhood in the 'Dotte that place is.

      Oh yeah, the White Clam pizza out at Marco Polo's (attached to Jaspers, off of 103rd and State Line) is one of my favorites too. Lots of oil and garlic, it will soak through all of your napkins and you'll be tasting it for a couple of days. Great stuff.

      I don't get out for Mexican as much as I used to, so I'm pretty rusty on what is great at this moment in time down on the Blvd. My favorite place overall is Rudy's Tenampa Taqueria, very close to State Line and Westport Rd. I always take out of town guests there and they love it. The fish tacos are a standout, and everything is very reasonably priced.

      Chileheadmike and I keep threatening to do a Mexican restaurant crawl all the way up Central Avenue in KCK as a service to all of us in KC Chowdom, but it hasn't happened yet. With all of the places I see when I happen to drive up Central, there have to be some hidden gems. Roberto's, which is very near there down on Kansas Avenue is a winner.


      1. re: Zeemanb

        Is La Hacienda still at 3rd & kansas Ave? Their chile was the always my favorite, and different for KC. We ate there since I was little.(50's)

        1. re: bbqboy

          Looked it up on Yahoo, and it's definitely still there. Will have to check it out, I don't remember ever going there.

          When I was a kid our main Mexican restaurant was La Cocina. I was pretty young at the time, but I think it was out on Leavenworth Road. Just remember there being peas in the meat, and the whole taco was deep fried. Totally awesome, and I can't think of anyplace that serves them that way anymore. In-A-Tub had a decent rendition for a fast food place.


          1. re: Zeemanb

            In the past I attended the Mexican Fiesta in Topeka. If you truly want to relive that "peas-in-the-meat" experience and don't mind the hour's drive, I think you'll find the style you're after there.

            You'll have to wait, but here's a little appetizer


            1. re: Zeemanb

              No peas in the meat, but Tequila Harry's has fine deep fried tacos. Zeeman, we need to get down to the Hacienda. I used to pass that place all the time when I was working in the 'Dotte. Now I'm kicking myself for not trying it. There aer some new places on Kansas Ave just West of 7th street that look interesting too.

          2. re: Zeemanb

            Oh, good to know Waldo Pizza does delivery. Bet they won't haul all the way to my place between Westport Road and 39th though.

            I'd forgotten about Pizza Shoppe. In my suburban days, we used to go to one out around 103rd and Pflumm Road. I just checked their site ( and that one seems to be gone. The closest to me is in Mission now. I agree, their day-glow pink salad dressing is awesome! Much like what they used to serve at Westport Pizza (now out of biz).

            I used to go all the time for white clam pizza at Torre's in Westport, but they got rid of it a few years ago and seems they significantly changed other things, too, so I've not been back.

            As for Mexican fare, I'm like the Zeeman, I just don't get out for it much any more since all my real Mexican food-loving pals have moved away and because most of my former favorites have closed. When I do go now, it's usually Rudy's Tenampa Taqueria (Westport Road just west of Wyoming) for fish tacos. I like their salsa and friends always like whatever they order, too.

            I've been to Guadalaja Cafe (northeast of 103rd & State Line) a few times and was pretty impressed by what I had there but it's been at least two years now. It's more upscale than other Mexican places.

            I've heard good reports on the Mexican joint at about 74th and Wornall, west side of the street. Is it Medina's? Since it's in your 'hood, Zeeman, do you know anything about it?

            Over the years I've had decent fare at Acapulco's (on Burlington, North Kansas City) and La Cocina Del Puerco (91st & Metcalf, Overland Park) but I can't vouch for them in the past few years.

            I was never much of a fan of La Fonda el Taquito and the one across the street from it at SW Blvd and Summit, but man, oh man, did I love Oscar's (owned by the Chef at JJ's) and El Pequeno Guadalajara (first in that tiny odd space next to La Bodega and then just north of La Fonda el Taquito on east side of street). Nick, who owned El Pequeno Guadalajara is closely related to the family that owns Tio's (I've never been there) so restaurants are in his blood. He made absoultely fabulous mole and posole! I really miss Nick -- and Oscar, too. Both promised to come back but I've not heard hide nor hair from either of them.

            I also never quite caught the buzz at other joints strung out along SW Blvd (e.g. Manny's, Sol Azteca, California Tacqueria, or Ponak's) but lots and lots of people love 'em.

            1. re: KC-Jane

              Can't speak to the current state of the cuisine at Medina's, but I went there about three years ago and gave it the big thumbs WAY down. However, that probably doesn't mean anything because I believe they've changed owners since then. May have to give it another try.

              One interesting thing to note is that sometimes in the early evening I'll drive by and it looks like they are closed, but on the weekends when I drive by on my way home at 1am or so they are open. There's a decent sized bar crowd in that area, so talk about a smart move.


              1. re: Zeemanb

                >> at 1am or so they are open. There's a decent sized bar crowd in that area, so talk about a smart move.

                Is that the old "feed a cold, starve a fever, burrito a drunk" routine? :)

                They must consider themselves the Chubby's of Waldo, huh?

                By the way, there is (if it's still there), a 24-hour Mexican joint on either Broadway or Main in the low 30s, maybe around 32nd Street or so. Can't recall the name of it. Went there to dine inside once (counter service, fast food tables, converted Arby's or some such) and the food was...curious. I didn't mind the food so much; wasn't the greatest, but wasn't bad. But friend abhored it.

                I never went back to eat there however I did go through for a breakfast burrito a few times at 4 a.m. or so. Haven't done that since 2003 though so I don't even know if they're still there or not.

                1. re: KC-Jane

                  There was a Mexican restaurant at Linwood and Main La Familia I think. Curious is a good name for it. Not bad but an item was never served the same way twice. Sometimes potatoes and peas in the meat, sometimes not. The people that worked there were alway really nice and the food was decent, especially for the price. It is now a Chinese buffet.

                  1. re: chileheadmike

                    I sort of remember that place, but it's not the same as the one I'm thinking of. This Mexican place has/had a very large parking lot for that location, is pretty big inside, and has a drive-thru window. I know it isn't/wasn't called La Familia. It is/was a Hispanic man's name. Urgh!

                      1. re: KC-Jane

                        Pancho's is still there, and still open 24 hours. Some people brag about the breakfast burritos, but I've never tried one. I was there once for a regular burrito, but it seemed a little strange to me, just kind of thrown together. It was OK, I guess, but I've never been back. The service wasn't very spirited (even for fast food). I couldn't tell whether the girl behind the counter was dead or alive.

                  2. re: KC-Jane

                    The place is (I think) on Main and it's called Pancho's. The best thing I can say about it is that they have decent chile rellenos. Otherwise I'd just as soon eat the taco salad at In-A-Tub!

          3. c

            Had to get in on this one.

            My two favorites on the BLVD are Taqueria Mexico and California Taqueria with Taqueria Mexico edging it out. I took my two daughers to TM last Sunday for an early dinner. Can't rave enough about the friendly servce. The place was hopping with birthday parties and families having Sunday dinner. Carnitas, Chile Rellenos, and Carne Asada are all great. Hot sauce actually has a little heat.

            Outside of the BLVD and closer to my home is Cucina del Puerco. Under new ownership, cleaned up, and remodled, the food is as good as ever. The Chile Verde and Carnitas are my favorites here. And don't forget the pickled jalapenos and carrots.

            1. D'Bronx, Waldo and, for a different style but tasty, there is a place called Sutera's near Kemper Arena. It reminds me of 60s era pizza, before it became either homogenized or over-the-top (e.g. loaf-thick crust, 10 pounds of toppings and a gallon of sauce).

              Love the fish tacos at Rudy's; prefer other items at La Fonda el Taquito (SW Blvd and Summit). I always liked La Cocina del Puerco (91st & Metcalf) but haven't been lately and seems like someone posted a change in ownership some time ago, so am hesitant to recommend but may someone else could weigh-in on it.

              1. This summer we were in Kansas City and ate lunch at Sol Azteca, 542 Southwest Blvd., and found it to be very good. Our trip was reported on July 18th, upon our return to Georgia.

                1. Imo's in Westport is by far the best pizza in Kansas City. Gooey and delicious! Sol Azteca is my favorite Mexican restaurant, and I also like Los Corrals on the west side of downtown (next to The Peanut).

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: jason
                    KC Professional Eater

                    IMOS is horrible!!!!!!! It is St Louis Garbage!!!!! Frozen pizza is better!!!!!!!

                    1. re: KC Professional Eater

                      As far as pizza goes in Kansas City, there isn't much that's beyond good. Great is really hard to come by. Waldo, Pizza Shoppe, Minsky's, et al are only one step above Papa John's/Pizza Hut.

                      I find that Johnny Brusco's on 135th and Antioch is pretty good. My wife hate's it but she can't give me a solid reason why.

                      Papa Keno's is good (when they're not evading taxes) but the sauce is too spicy (too much garlic and oregano).

                      My wife and I tried Spin on 119th and Pflumm/Blackbob last night and were super pleased. I make my own pizza at home (dough too) and use a really simple dough and just crushed tomatoes with a little olive oil and salt and pepper. The pizza that Spin makes is about the same as I make.

                      My brother in law got me a pizza stone for Christmas a couple years ago and I haven't been satisfied with pizza in KC since.

                      Best Mexican is Los Tules on Broadway and I35 is the best in KC (Los Corrals is close though). Their tacos are really good (the steak, onion and cilantro style kind - the name kind of escapes me). And their rice is REALLY good.

                    2. re: jason

                      Bah... Los Corrals was terrible the last couple of times I went there. I took a friend there as payment for helping me pick up a car, and everything tasted like an ash tray.

                      Imo's is alright, but if you don't mind a drive, the absolute best "St. Louis Style" pizza is at Leo's off of Englewood and 169 in the northland. Cash or check only, though. No Credit Cards. There's certainly nothing wrong with Provel on a thin crust pizza with canned mushrooms and pepperoni. It's not "fine dining" but damn if it isn't good.

                      Slightly off-topic since it's not downtown, but north of the river there are some really, really good "Hole In The Wall" type places. Leo's pizza, Tasty Thai (beats the hell out of Thai Place, but I'm afraid that the new Thai Place location on 64th street is going to do it in), LC's Senor Tequila's, and Hayes are those hole-in-the-wall eateries that you keep going back to, and hope that they don't fall prey to larger chain restaurants, or general apathy. Then again, Senor Tequila's is hopping now that Margarita's is closed due to a tornado taking its roof. Mmm... Senor Tequila's Enchiladas Acapulco...

                      1. re: topchef29

                        Maybe I need to modify my picks then. I haven't been to los Corrals in probably 2 years. Last time I was there it was money.

                        I agree that Imo's is ok, but not what I consider pizza in the traditional sense. I will say that while d'Bronx does a fair job, their pizza sauce is too thick and tastes overly spiced. They use too much cheese too.

                        In my previous post I was talking about the Asada tacos at Los Tules. SO MONEY.