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If you’re driving Route 66 and find yourself in Miami, Oklahoma, be sure to stop at Waylan’s Ku-Ku Burger. This iconic drive-in hamburger joint opened in 1965, and it wasn’t long before more restaurants sprang up across the Midwest. Today, only one restaurant remains. The current owner purchased the restaurant in 1973, and he continues to make sure that his customers can come by for a hamburger or a sweet treat.

Waylan's Ku-Ku Burger

One cloudy day during spring break, Kristin and I decided to make a drive over to Miami to give it a shot. Joplin is only about a half hour away from Miami, but we’d never been.  Incidentally. we only live about two blocks off Route 66 in Joplin. It was time to check out some local history and taste some yummy treats.

Initially, I was bummed that our Ku-Ku day was a tad dreary, but really, it made the neon sign better. Something else to know–currently Waylan’s Ku-Ku Burger is only open from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. People will be disappointed to head to the restaurant for dinner to discover that it’s closed. Also, the dining room hasn’t been open since Covid-19 happened. But don’t worry. There are two drive-thrus, one on each side of the building! And, there’s a picnic area.

Waylan’s Ku-Ku Burger: The Restuarant

Waylan's Ku-Ku Burger

The restaurant itself is a perfect example of whimsy and nostalgia. The Ku-Ku bird is adorable!

Waylan's Ku-Ku Burger

The building reminds me of dining out for fast food in the 1980s. I got Mr. Quick vibes, for sure. Do you remember Mr. Quick restaurants? After a “quick” Google search, I’ve discovered that there still are Mr. Quick’s out there.  But they are long gone from my area.

Anyway, when we arrived at Waylan’s Ku-Ku Burger, it was just before lunchtime. It wasn’t too busy yet. That soon changed. When it was our turn to order, we pulled up to the Ku-Ku next to the menu.

Waylan's Ku-Ku Burger

The menu is what you’d expect for a classic hamburger joint.

Waylan's Ku-Ku Burger Menu

We decided to sample a few things, including desserts. In fact, we may have eaten the desserts first. I mean, it was ice cream; we had to.

Waylan’s Ku-Ku Burger: The Food

After we paid and received our food, we took it over to the picnic area. Kristin got a kids’ meal with chicken strips. That’s kind of her “go-to.” I love that it’s served in the car box!

Waylan's Ku-Ku Burger

I had a regular hamburger.

Waylan's Ku-Ku Burger

Kristin’s chicken strips were tasty. The meal also comes with fries and a drink.

Waylan's Ku-Ku Burger

I couldn’t resist trying the fried pickles. What’s different at Waylan’s is that they are spears instead of chips.

Waylan's Ku-Ku Burger

And now that dessert we started off with– I got the Flavor Burst Cone in Cotton Candy.  Kristin had the Oreo Cyclone. And yes, we sampled each other’s treats!

Waylan's Ku-Ku Burger

Waylan’s Ku-Ku Burger is a perfect little stop on Route 66. It has the classic fast food you’d expect and some fun unique items that you can’t get at just any fast food place, like the fried pickle spears. The building is adorable, and the Ku-Ku birds are worth the photographs. If you’re on a Route 66 journey or just in the Miami, Oklahoma, area, be sure to put Waylan’s Ku-Ku Burger on your list!

Route 66 Miami, Oklahoma

Waylan's Ku-Ku Burger
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Other Route 66 Stops:

Blue Swallow Motel–Tucumcari, New Mexico

El Rancho Hotel–Gallup, New Mexico

Cozy Dog Drive-In–Springfield, Illinois

66 Drive-In Movie–Carthage, Missouri

 

11 Comments

  1. Your mention of Mr. Quick brought back memories! I’ve never heard of Waylan’s Ku-KU Burger but now I wanna check it out on a Route 66 road trip to Miami, Oklahoma. Love a classic burger joint!

  2. Waylan’s Ku Ku Burger is so cute! I love the vintage style and the way the food comes out to you. That ice cream looks delish!

  3. Wylans Ku-Ku Burger looks like such a fun place! Before I had to change my diet, I used to watch “Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives”. This looks like a perfect place to be on that show!

  4. Driving Route 66 is on my bucket list — maybe next summer. Waylans Ku-Ku Burger needs to be a stop for sure.

  5. I love that the served the food in a car at Waylan’s Ku-Ku Burger. So cute! I love a good hamburger.

  6. You had me at fried okra! I love that stuff! We drive to Oklahoma a lot so next time in Miami I will stop!

  7. This place is so quirky! I love it! You’re making me want to make a trip to the local McDonalds!

  8. Man, I love a good hamburger! Waylan’s Ku-Ku Burger on Route 66 looks like the perfect place to get one. I’ve never been on Route 66, but if I ever am, I will for sure make a stop here!

  9. Julie Gazdecki Reply

    Route 66 is my top road trip bucket list!! Stopping by Waylon’s Ku-Ku Burger, and other iconic places sounds like so much fun!

  10. I live in Joplin like you. And I’ve been to Miami many times and I’ve never heard of Waylan’s Ku Ku Burgers! How wild. I’ll check it out.

  11. Lisa, Casey, Barrett Dog Reply

    Route 66 offers a lot of history and phenomenal places to eat. Waylon’s Ku-Ku Burger sounds and looks amazing!

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