Wondering where to eat in Wichita, Kansas during a weekend getaway? Midwestern writer Jennifer Billock spent two days eating her way through Kansas’ biggest city and shares her picks for the best Wichita restaurants and cafes.
In January, I learned I had a quickly-expiring perk from Covid: a flight credit, just like many other people who had canceled trips during the pandemic. So I decided to knock another state off my list and head to Wichita, Kansas. While there, I found a variety of absolutely delightful things to eat.
These are the Wichita restaurants and cafes that I recommend for a tasty weekend visit:
Wichita Restaurants And Cafes – Day One
Leslie Coffee Co.
Secret menus make my heart sing – even if they’re pretty easy to find (sorry, no spoilers here), and especially when I’m in a place where I can sit surrounded by plants and healthy vibes. Leslie Coffee Co. is a cafe in Wichita’s historic Delano district, where cowboys on the Chisholm Trail used to stop for entertainment.
I entertained myself with a London Fog (an earl grey tea latte) ordered from the secret menu and goat cheese toast with berry preserves. Both were bigger than I planned for, but simpler than I expected, with a generous amount of flavors that made my morning sing.
Leslie Coffee Co. is located at 930 W Douglas Avenue, Wichita, KS 67203, USA.
Old Mill Tasty Shop
What do Alton Brown, Duff Goldman, and I all have in common? We’ve all enjoyed the old-fashioned soda fountain at Old Mill Tasty Shop.
The diner opened in 1932 and still has the soda fountain and the original freezer – and both of them still work! The menu is simple, with some basic sandwiches and soups, but do yourself a favor and get an ice cream treat. I had a classic root beer float and a reuben sandwich.
Old Mill Tasty Shop is located at 604 E Douglas Avenue, Wichita, KS 67202, USA.
Nifty Nut House
Free samples count as eating, right? You can’t pass up the Nifty Nut House, which is basically a warehouse full of old-time candies, nuts (salted, roasted, raw), and chocolate-covered everything. Get the rolling basket when you first walk in. You’ll need it.
I filled mine, bringing home mini moonpies in three different flavors, grape licorice whips, a 1950s nostalgic candy mix, strawberry bonbons, and a mixture of chocolate-covered strawberries and apricots. That’s right – I went to a place known for nuts and got… no nuts. Next time, though, I plan to get dark chocolate almonds, my personal favorite.
Nifty Nut House is located at 527 St Francis, Wichita, KS 67214, USA.
This German restaurant and beer hall was founded by German native Manu and her husband Austin. They started their journey with a food truck, and after a few years, transformed that truck along with Manu’s homegrown dishes into Prost. The atmosphere is like Oktoberfest every night, with beer steins slamming on the tables.
Prost’s potato pancakes were my favorite. They’re just like the ones my German great-grandmother used to make. Another thing I really love about Prost is the vegetarian menu. That’s right – a whole menu at a German restaurant just for plant-based eaters. It’s an uncommon yet welcome find.
Prost is located at 2721 E Central Avenue, Wichita, KS 67214, USA.
Wichita Restaurants and Cafes – Day Two
I love good laminated pastries. A flaky croissant with a million layers? You’ve already won my heart. So I went to Reverie Roasters, a coffeeshop and bakery that pumps out the highest quality pastries in the Wichita area.
I ordered the 3-times chocolate croissant – a chocolate croissant filled (and topped!) with chocolate cream and shards of chocolate. Fair warning, it’s extremely chocolatey. If you aren’t ready for that kind of chocolate intensity first thing in the morning, get it to go.
I also got the strawberries and cream morning bun, another perfect pastry stuffed with cream cheese and strawberry jam. It’s light, refreshing and surprisingly rich.
Reverie Roasters is located at 2202 E Douglas Avenue, Wichita, KS 67214, USA.
My breakfast at Reverie was so large that I wasn’t hungry around lunch time. But I’d heard great things about Public, a farm-to-table restaurant in the middle of Old Town, Wichita’s spot for nightlife.
I opted for a couple small things: the mushroom bao starter and haricot vert (green beans) side. The three delicious bao in my order were light-as-clouds buns, topped with hoisin-glazed mushrooms, fried shallots, and cilantro.
I spent the rest of my visit taking in the artifacts and antiques, like old church pews and floor tiles with mobster ties, throughout the restaurant.
Public is located at 129 N Rock Island Road, Wichita, KS 67202, USA.
Original Pizza Hut Museum
Alright, to be fair, you can’t eat at the Original Pizza Hut Museum. But if you’re a Pizza Hut fan like me, visiting the museum is a must.
It traces the history of Pizza Hut from its founding to current day. Check out the super-fancy bottle of wine (“Chateau Piz-a-Haut”) and all the memorabilia including a vintage jacket and video of old commercials.
The Original Pizza Hut Museum is located at 2090 Innovation Boulevard, Wichita, KS 67208, USA.
Take your pizza craving and head to Piatto, a wood-fired Neapolitan-style pizzeria. The oven itself was built in Naples by Stefano Ferrara, a third-generation oven builder. It weighs a whopping 6,000 pounds, and produces pizza with a perfectly light and airy crust. Service is fast – the pizzas only take a minute to a minute and a half to bake.
I sat at the bar by the oven and enjoyed the Mushroom Medley, a piping-hot pie piled with cremini, white, and shiitake mushrooms. Be sure to chat up the pizza makers. They’re super friendly and happy to get to know you.
Piatto is located at 1706 E Douglas Avenue, Wichita, KS 67214, USA.
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About The Author
Jennifer Billock is an award-winning writer, bestselling author, and editor. She written for numerous publications including Apartment Therapy, Conde Nast Traveler, FlyerTalk, Good Housekeeping, The Infatuation, The Kitchn, Lucky Peach, Marie Claire, Mental Floss, Midwest Living, National Geographic Traveler, The New York Times, Playboy, Readers Digest, Smithsonian, Thrillist, Wine Enthusiast and Yahoo Travel. Jennifer is currently dreaming of an around-the-world trip with her Boston terrier. Follow her on Twitter @jenniferbillock and on Instagram @jenniferjoanbillock, and check out her newsletter, Kitchen Witch.
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Original Publication Date: February 26, 2023