Cheap Eats: Kitty’s Cafe


Kittys Cafe Pork Tenderloin 011519 63

Kitty’s Cafe. // Photo by Zach Bauman

Are you a glutton for tonguishment? Food is one of the simplest pleasures of life. We turn to food for comfort, community, and basic nourishment. Sometimes, though, you just want to shove something greasy and delicious down your gullet without regard to its nutritional value. Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered: The Pitch staff rounded up our favorite dives and holes-in-the-wall across around the metro. Next time you get a hankering for something quick, inexpensive, sinfully deep-fried, or dripping with cheese, try out one of these locally-owned options.

This 31st Street institution has been around since 1951, and it made the New York Times 2022 list of the best restaurants in the country. Basically, if you live in KC and haven’t tried it, you need to fix that. Make sure you come prepared: Kitty’s Cafe is open until 5 p.m. on weekdays and 3 p.m. on Saturdays, and they only accept cash.

As you approach, you can smell that tenderloin goodness. Don’t be daunted if you see a long line—the simple menu makes turnaround pretty snappy. Everything here is good, but the tenderloin sandwiches are the stars of the show. Rather than a massive, thin patty that stretches well past the bun, Kitty’s features smaller, stacked patties for their tenderloin sandwiches. The extra crunch and big flavor from this choice are the key to what makes Kitty’s so good. Get the pork tenderloin—it comes with Kitty’s homemade hot sauce—and some tater tots. It’ll cost you a little over $10, and you can probably get by the rest of the day without another meal.

Kitty’s Cafe is located at 810 1/2 E 31st St., Kansas City, MO 64109.

Categories: Food & Drink