If there are three things that us Kansans are great at, it’s growing food, preparing food, and only eating the creme de la creme of foods. That being said, there are so many delicious places to dine in Kansas that it is hard to decide just where to go! Don’t get stressed; just follow this guide to the 14 places you should eat in Kansas in 2017:
1. Trail Days Cafe & Museum (Council Grove)
Welcome to the historic Trail Days Cafe & Museum, which serves up history with a side of outstanding American Indian, Old World, and Early American cuisine. The beautiful museum complex contains not only the 1861 Rawlinson/Terwilliger home (which served as a house and gas station before being completely restored and turned into a restaurant and museum in 1994), but a 1902 schoolhouse and 1858 log home as well. Trust us; one visit to the Trail Days is never enough. You will be craving both the food and heritage every time you visit the Council Grove area.
2. Sommerset Hall Cafe (Dover)
Any guesses as to what this Topeka-area cafe is most famous for? If you guessed desserts (namely pie), you’d be correct! In 2008, the Sommerset Cafe received national attention after pie maker Norma Grubb’s scrumptious Coconut Cream Pie was named the “Best Pie in America” by ABC’s Good Morning America. Unfortunately, Norma passed away in 2011, but both her spirit and legendary pie recipe live on at this Dover favorite.
3. Roy’s Hickory Pit BBQ (Hutchinson)
Serving the Hutchinson community since 1982, Roy’s is a family-run business that is famous not only for their signature BBQ recipe, but for their fast and friendly service as well. Sure, the lines may almost always be out the door at this highly regarded establishment (which was even named one of the Top 100 BBQ Restaurants in the Country), but trust us; there is a reason for it and it is ALWAYS worth the wait. (Psst… a little birdie told us to try to get there when they first open at 11 a.m. to ensure shorter wait times and your choice of meat.)
4. Hays House (Council Grove)
You have heard about the amazing menu, seen the photos, and maybe even eaten there a time or two… but do you know the fascinating history behind the restaurant that is not only the oldest in Kansas, but west of the Mississippi? Find out when you visit this iconic establishment, which features home-cooked breakfast, lunch, and dinner options in a fun Old West setting.
5. Eye Scream Labs (Galena)
What's dinner without a little (or a lot of) dessert? Welcome to Eye Scream Labs, the "Nitrogen Lab with an Ice Cream Problem" that creates their cool concoctions with the help of liquid nitrogen. The result? A sweet and creamy treat like you have never tasted!
6. Joe’s Kansas City BBQ (Kansas City)
If you live here in Kansas you know that when it comes to BBQ joints, we have some of the best hidden treasures in the country. Last year, Joe’s Kansas City Bar-B-Que landed the second spot on TripAdvisor’s list of best BBQ restaurants as well as making its way onto USA Today’s list from this year. Celebrating 20 years of undeniably delicious service, there’s no second guessing why Joe’s has long been receiving awards!
7. Olpe Chicken House (Olpe)
It's no secret that Kansas has a memorable fried chicken joint or two, but one of the best of them all may just be the Olpe Chicken House, which opened in 1958 and has received national recognition from such publications as USA Today.
8. Ty's Diner (Wichita)
Originally opened in 1953, Ty's Diner is a Wichita icon that is known as much for its good old fashioned fare as it is for the retro cars in the parking lot. Not much has changed at this Wichita tradition in the last 50 years, so when you walk into Ty's, you can still expect to find a made-to-order menu that consists of burgers, chili, and a tasty assortment of fried goodies.
9. Tri-Corner Restaurant (Fall River)
Located within the heart of Kansas is the small but friendly town of Fall River, which may only boast a population of 162, but still features a number of area attractions worth checking out. That being said, cancel any plans you have this weekend so you can visit the tiny town and its mouthwatering Tri-Corner Restaurant, which features some of the best home-cooked meals we have ever tasted!
10. Newport Grill (Wichita)
You don’t need to look at a map to know how far Kansas is from the ocean... however, Newport Grill in Wichita offers fresh, delicious ocean delicacies in a remarkable setting that must be seen to be believed.
11. Netherfield Natural Farm (Fontana)
Have you ever driven past a farm and thought, “Man… I wish I could leave the busy city for this quiet and tranquility…”? We know the feeling and—lucky for us Kansans—we have the option to escape the hustle and bustle of the city for a night or two by escaping to this bed & breakfast/farm-to-table restaurant, which is located on a working farm just south of Kansas City.
12. T-Rex Cafe (Kansas City)
To be completely honest, the food at T-Rex isn't anything special... but do you know what is? Quirky surprises like uniquely themed tables, special hands-on events for the kids, and the life-size animatronic dinosaurs!
13. Fritz’s Railroad Restaurant (Kansas City)
Located just down the road from T-Rex Cafe is the historic Fritz's, which offers "old fashioned hamburgers made with 100% choice ground beef, grilled onions seared in the meat, toasted buns and always 'cooked to order' just the way Fritz's dad served them" in a fun, train-themed atmosphere.
14. Hookers N Reelers (Perry)
Located alongside beautiful Lake Perry, Hookers N Reelers is a memorable bar and grill that offers tasty food and equally delicious views of the lake's crystal blue waters. Opened in April 2015, the recently remodeled Hookers N Reelers is a true feast for the senses that offers not only good food and views, but live music and fun get togethers as well.