Dining With Denise Neil

Survey names the best restaurants in Kansas, and Wichita falls short

Lawrence's Free State Brewing Co.
Lawrence's Free State Brewing Co.

Another year, another restaurant survey where Wichita couldn’t beat out the biggies in Kansas City and Lawrence.

On Thursday, the Kansas Restaurant & Hospitality Association put out the results of its annual online survey, which asks 500 Kansans to name their favorite restaurants in the state.

Coming in at No. 1 was Free State Brewing Company, the popular brew pub on Massachusetts Street in Lawrence. No. 2 was Joe’s Kansas City Bar-B-Que, the famous gas station-turned restaurant in Kansas City.

And third place was a tie between 715, a pizza and pasta restaurant in Lawrence, and Fiorella’s Jack Stack Barbecue in Kansas City.

The top three hasn’t changed much since last year. Last June, the top three were Joe’s Kansas City Bar-B-Que in first place followed by Free State and The Burger Stand, which has locations in Lawrence and Topeka.

Wichita restaurants did get a few mentions, though. Freddy’s Frozen Custard & Steakburgers, which is based here, got fourth place. And Taco Shop also was mentioned.

The rest of the top 11 in the list were:

RowHouse Restaurant in Topeka, Gella's Diner in Hays; The Mad Greek in Lawrence, Wheatfield's Bakery in Lawrence, The Cozy Inn in Salina and Merchant's Pub & Plate in Lawrence.

Although the association asked people to nominate Kansas-owned restaurants, several listed their favorite chains. McDonald’s, Applebee’s, Texas Road House and Longhorn Steakhouse got the most mentions.

What do you think? Are you surprised more Wichita restaurants didn’t make the list? What restaurants in the state do you think belong in the top 10?

Let me know at Dining with Denise on Facebook.