It's not easy finding a place to dine after most traditional restaurants close, although we do have our favorites.
In its wilder past, Kansas City was loaded with great spots to eat after midnight.
The legendary joints come to mind immediately, like the original Sanderson's Lunch at 104 E. 8th Street which was bulldozed in the early 1980s (there were two more incarnations of the place which had bathrooms -- unlike the original building -- the last one razed in 1999) after 67 years of serving food to a cast of characters that included Crazy Betty, The Tasteful Lady and Sally the Hooker.
Let's raze a mug of java to the other late-night legends.
5. Bodine's All-Night Drug Store -- Broadcaster Walt Bodine started his career in his father's drugstore, once located at the southwest corner of Linwood & Troost on the ground-floor of the long-razed Hotel Ormond. A Katz Drugstore was later built on the site and the shell of that empty building remains. Young Walt was a soda jerk at the fountain and grilled burgers, mixed up phosphates and ice cream sodas and has always insisted that at age 14 he blended the last meal -- a chocolate malted -- for gangster Johnny Lazia before the infamous "Brother John" was gunned down at 3 a.m. in front of the Park Central Apartment Hotel on Armour Boulevard, a few blocks away.
4. R.S. McClintock's New Cafeteria -- Back in 1912, this state-of-the-art cafeteria at 11th and Walnut was open and serving customers 24-hours a day.
3. The Heriford Grill -- Until a fire destroyed this tiny diner at 4613 Independence Avenue several years ago, it had been serving hot breakfast, burgers and cold shakes to eastside customers for a half-century.
2. Say, Man Hamburgers -- In the 1930s and '40s, you could get burgers, freshly-made doughnuts and inexpensive short orders at this diner at 3843 Prospect. There were a lot of second-run neighborhood movie theaters still up and down Prospect in those days, so Say, Man did a good post-show business.
1. Nichols Lunch -- When this classic diner finally called it a day in 2007 after an 85-year-run serving breakfast, lunch and dinner at 39th and Southwest Trafficway -- late-night dining in Kansas City wasn't really ever the same. Yeah, it was a dump, but damn it, it was a great dump!