A new survey by the Kansas Restaurant & Hospitality Association lists Kansans favorite 35 non-chain restaurants in the state, and six Wichita restaurants made the list. (Sort of. The survey counts Mulvane’s Luciano’s in Wichita’s column.)
The online survey, conducted by the Wichita-based organization, polled 500 Kansans.
The state’s favorite restaurant, according to the survey, is Joe’s Kansas City Bar-B-Que, Lawrence’s Free State Brewing Co. came in second.
The first Wichita restaurants on the list are Connie’s Mexico Cafe, and Doo-Dah Diner, which are tied for sixth place with four other restaurants. Wichita’s Bionic Burger, DeFazio’s and The Anchor were tied for seventh with 22 other restaurants, as was Mulvane’s Luciano’s.
Lawrence had the most restaurants on the list, and Kansas City and Wichita tied for second with six apiece. Hutchinson had three, and Hays, Topeka and Salina each had two on the list.
I’ve been to all the Wichita restaurants listed plus Free State, Chicken Mary’s, Gella’s Diner and La Bodega. But that’s not many of the 35, surprisingly. Looks like I have a lot of statewide eating to do.
Also, I was struck by a couple of things, mainly that Lawrence has gained so many good restaurants since I graduated from KU two decades ago. Free State is the only one of the Lawrence restaurants that was operating when I lived there. For mid-1990s Lawrence dwellers, the hot restaurants were The Mad Greek, Teller’s and Mass Street Deli.
Here’s the full list. What do you think? Did the best Kansas restaurants make the list? Who’s missing?
Joe’s Kansas City Bar-B-Que, barbecue, Kansas City
Free State Brewing Co., brew pub, Lawrence
The Burger Stand, burgers, Lawrence, Topeka
Anchor Inn, Mexican, Hutchinson
Tied for fifth place
Chicken Mary’s, fried chicken, Pittsburg
El Potro, Mexican, Paola, Lawrence, Bonner Springs
Limestone Pizza, pizza, Lawrence
Tied for sixth place
Bogey’s, burgers, Salina
Connie’s Mexico Cafe, Mexican, Wicihta
Doo-Dah Diner, diner, Wichita
Harry’s, steakhouse, Manhattan
Mi Ranchito, Mexican, Kansas City, Lawrence
Pullman Place Family Restaurant, family-style, Leavenwworth
Tied for seventh place
Bionic Burger, burgers, Wichita
DeFazio’s, Italian, Wichita
El Mezcal, Mexican, Lawrence
El Potrillo, Mexican, Hutchinson
El Sol, Mexican, Ottawa, Larence
Gella’s Diner, gastropub, Hays
Golden Q, sports bar, Hays
Hays House, steakhouse, Council Grove
Jalisco, Mexican, Kansas City
Jiffy Burger, burgers, Smith Center
La Bodega, tapas, Kansas City
La Fiesta, Mexican, McPherson
Luciano’s, Italian, Mulvane
Martinelli’s Little Italy, Italian, Salina
Merchant’s Pub & Plate, gastropub, Lawrence
Nick & Jake’s, sports bar, Kansas City
Panzon’s, Mexican, Kansas City
Skaets Steak Shop, family-style, Hutchinson
Terrebonne Cafe, Cajun, Lawrence
The Anchor, gastgropub, Wichita
Tortilla Jack’s, Mexican, Topeka
WheatFields, bakery, Lawrence