Since 1955, In-A-Tub has been delighting Kansas City natives with their delicious take on a cross between tex-mex and fast food.  There’s a story behind their unique name.  When In-A-Tub first opened, it only served ice cream.  Up to 50 different flavors could be concocted by blending the topping into vanilla ice cream where it was then served in a tub (see the connection?).

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It wasn’t until 1957 that the infamous tacos, pocketburgers and french fries that we all know and love were added to the menu.  As the company progressed, ice cream was taken off the menu in the mid 90’s but was then brought back around 2005.


Throughout the years, the Tub has had around 15-20 different locations.  The original location is on North Oak Trafficway, found north of the Missouri river.


During the boom of Metro North Mall, In-A-Tub had a corner location that opened in 1985 and later relocated to the current location off of Prairie View Road in 2002, staying true to its Northland roots.

Pictured below are their tacos.  Ground beef topped with fresh lettuce and powdered cheese in a deep-fried hard shell.  On the smaller side, one will not be enough for anyone, no matter how much you say you “aren’t very hungry”.  I can honestly and whole-heartedly smell them just thinking about them!


Another staple of In-A-Tub is the pocketburger.  On the pocketburger you will find ketchup, mustard and pickle with their taco meat on a hamburger bun…yes, I’m serious.

The Tub is a business that has withstood many decades of cultural change, but their menu has stayed the same, which is one of the things people love about it.


I have multiple family members whose lives have taken them somewhere else in the US and always find it a necessity to stop by In-A-Tub every time they come to town.

I gladly give In-A-Tub a 10/10.


20 thoughts on “In-A-Tub

  1. Douglas Ferguson

    For all that do not know……and are interested, Marion Carpenter passed away on June 17th, of 2015. She would have made 95 on August 29th.
    Walton passed away in May of 2005. Marion & Walt owned In-A-Tub during the late 50’s and early 60’s……and Marion introduced the fabulous, and memorable tacos. They actually used hairpins to hold the tacos closed, and to lower them in the deep fryer. It was called 50 Flavors, In A Tub, when they bought it, which far surpassed 31 Flavors. If anyone has any questions about Marion & Walt, you can email me at
    Mahalo, and God Bless

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Robert

    Really liked her. My wife’s mother and Marion were friends. Most people don’t know she was a very successful Realtor after in a tub, sold me my home then listed it a few years later when I sold it.


  3. ric lutz

    We used to drive to TUB when I was a kid and it was a special occasion. We only ate out about once a month. Walt would always bring our dog a vanilla ice cream cone to eat. Great people.


  4. Sandy Norwood

    As a KC native, I grew up loving this place. When I return home, I make it a point to go eat there. Can’t help it, it’s awesome!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Ken & Sharon Miller

    Hubby and I both loved that place in our terms and still make a point to go eat there any time we get back to KC. Love those tacos!


  6. Stopped in after 16 plus years, Mike Scrooby’s behind the counter. Sez to me, make it the usual? I say sure. Out comes 3 mild and a Dr. Pepper. Folks, it just doesn’t get any better than that😎😎


  7. Pam Bowman Castor

    I lived about 4 blocks from the original In-A-Tub. A friend & I would walk there occasionally to get ice cream. That was all they had. Their original method would probably be equivalent of a blizzard today. Awesome food – still is!


  8. Pingback: Kansas City ‘In-A-Tub’ Tribute – Jason Borne

  9. Willie Caughlan

    We use to stop at in a tub after Indian dance practice at the America Royal coliseum in the early 60,s . I worked at the Conoco station next to the original around 65-66 while taking COE at Oak Park.


  10. Donna Marchisio

    Our place to go in the late 50’s and early 60’s. Today it’s my first stop whenever I get back to K . C. Usually straight from the airport. The tradition has been carried on by my boys when they visit there and one of them broke my record and ate 17 his last time in K. C. They love IN-A-Tub as much as I do. Their trying to figure out a way to open one in Michigan. LOL


  11. J. Gaul

    My wife to be lived up on Briar Cliff Drive in 1957 and took me to the Briar Cliff and Oak location that year or 1958 and bought an Iowa teenager my first tacos. They still made those ice cream tubs then. The machine would just squish the flavors together. Love the powdered cheese they put on the tacos.


  12. Jill Armour

    The name “In A Tub” came from the sign that Marion’s ice cream supplier gave her – it said “50 Flavors In A Tub.” Just starting out, she didn’t have a lot of money, so she adopted the “In A Tub” part of the sign as the name for the business.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Mike Bennett

    Even though I have lived in Tulsa, Oklahoma since 1976; I still go to “In A Tub” every time I go home to KC to see my older brother Scott, go to a Chiefs game or play some jazz.
    My 26 year old son Robbie is addicted too!


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