We recently found several great places to eat in Wichita though we didn’t dine in at even one restaurant. Yes, it is possible, and we found a way to do it during the pandemic of 2020. In part because of my suppressed immune system and health issues, it had been nearly eight months since we’d dined or even gotten take-out anywhere new.
Wichita, it turns out, has been working hard to keep people safe during this Coronavirus outbreak. Restaurants there have created new outdoor seating areas so that patrons can enjoy meals in the open air and distanced from other groups of diners. It’s an atmosphere that really helped us to relax and enjoy a meal we didn’t have to cook.
Even during the colder months, Wichita has a variety of restaurants that offer take out, delivery, and curbside pickup.
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Note: We were hosted by Visit Wichita which paid for our lodging and meals. As always, the views expressed in this article are our own.
Nine great places to eat in Wichita, Kansas
We spent three nights and two days in Wichita and were able to dine outside or get takeout from nine different places. You should know that over the past 18 months or so we’ve lost a combined 180 pounds. In an effort to help us maintain our healthy lifestyle, our friends at Visit Wichita directed us toward places with fresh, locally-sourced and nutritious lower-calorie foods.
Here are some suggestions of places we think you’ll enjoy on your next visit to Wichita.
1. Piatto Neapolitan Pizzeria is one of the best places to eat in Wichita
What we experienced at Piatto Neapolitan Pizzeria was some of the best, most authentic pizza we’ve had anywhere outside of Italy. And that’s with good reason. The owner trained in Naples and brought all of his knowledge with him back to Wichita.
Ann loved the fresh flavors in her Mushroom Medley pizza while Steve savored every bite of his Pizza Diavola featuring spicy sausage. The crust was light, tender and toasted just right–which happens when a pizza is cooked in an 800+ degree wood-fired oven.
When you go: Dine on their outdoor patio or get take-out or delivery. We craved Piatto pizza so much that a few weeks later we ordered pizzas to go and ate them in our minivan. It really is one of the best places to eat in Wichita.
2. Leslie Coffee Co. has the best breakfast menu
A little warning about this local favorite breakfast stop – check out the menu at Leslie Coffee Co. before you go. Trust me, you’re going to want to try everything on it. Avocado toast with pickled mustard seed, pumpkin butter toast, overnight oats, and vegetable quiche were all intriguing. I narrowed my selection and tried two of the local favs.
I think the staff noticed Steve searching the menu for something more traditional for breakfast. They told him it wasn’t on the printed menu, but they also serve a hot buttered biscuit with bacon, egg, and cheese. He was sold and loved every morsel.
When you go: Even if you think pickled mustard seeds on avocado toast sounds a little weird, give it a try. It’s a delicious and unique combination.
3. Tanya’s Soup Kitchen is perfect place for lunch
Another local favorite, Tanya’s Soup Kitchen, features locally sourced and crafted-with-love soups, sandwiches, and salads. Service is quick and takeout orders are a breeze.
Located in the beautiful Douglas Design District, Tanya’s makes small-batch soups daily that you can enjoy outdoors on a covered patio. I had the lentil soup and the Cleopatra salad. I ate every single bite of my delicious salad that included sliced chicken breast, apricot chutney, feta cheese, tomato and cucumber on mesclun (a fancy name for spring greens).
When you go: All of the soups are delicious and if you can’t decide on just one, try the soup flight. It’s a 2.5 oz serving of all four daily soups while they last.
4. Spice it up with Molino’s Mexican Cuisine
We ordered takeout from Molino’s and took it back to our hotel room for an authentic Mexican feast.
Steve typically orders pork chili verde when go out for Mexican food, and said Molino’s was among the best he’s had anywhere. Seriously, just looking at this picture makes his mouth water.
Molino’s has quick and friendly service and an expansive menu for every taste. Specialties include chiles en nogada. It is whole roasted poblano peppers filled with a mixture of steak and pork tips with dried fruits and nuts smothered in cream sauce.
We heard from a number of people this was one of the best places to eat Mexican food in Wichita, and we know why. We will be back!
When you go: They have lots of specialty items that you don’t see on most Mexican restaurant menus. Be adventurous and try something new.
5. Cocoa Dolce is a world-class chocolatier
Plan to be wowed when you walk in the door of this beautiful shop filled with hand-crafted, small-batch artisan chocolates.
With so many tempting treats from which to choose, we got a sampler box to go at Cocoa Dolce. Flavors include dulce de leche, honey lavender, Irish cream, and even curry. We especially enjoyed the classic chocolates designed with the iconic Wichita flag.
When you go: Indulge even more by pairing your pastries, macarons, and gelato with a fresh espresso, glass of wine, or spirits.
6. HomeGrown Wichita has three locations
HomeGrown Wichita’s passion for community and commitment to locally-sourced food is evident. We started our first full day in Wichita by ordering takeout breakfast from this eatery. When the weather’s nice they also offer patio seating and the Naftzger Park location has tons of grassy space for a picnic nearby.
A few local favorites include the coffeecake (served with warm buttermilk caramel sauce) and the homemade Pop-Tarts with daily flavors. Steve loved the salsa verde pork and egg bowl with rosemary potatoes.
When you go: Be sure to check out their local gifts section near the host stand. Lots of fantastic local-made items that will help you spread joy.
7. Newport Grill: One of the best upscale places to eat in Wichita
Located on the water near Bradley Fair Pond, Newport Grill offers a more upscale dining experience with unique menu items, fantastic hand-crafted cocktails, and exceptional service.
We started our meal with a fresh ricotta appetizer unlike anything we’d tried before. It came in a small glass, swimming in warm olive oil and marinated olives. Paired with freshly baked focaccia bread, it’s a perfect start to a date-night meal on the patio.
Even in the land-locked state of Kansas, Newport Grill finds a way to get and serve wild-caught and sustainable fish, including salmon, Alaskan halibut, Maine lobster, and Pacific mahi mahi.
When you go: Get the banana bread pudding for dessert. We heard about it from locals and loved every single bite of this decadent dessert, served with vanilla ice cream. Worth every calorie.
8. The place for German food in Wichita: Prost
Steve was very excited to eat at Prost, a restaurant that specializes in German foods. He loved that his authentic bratwurst came on a split bun just like he enjoyed in Bavaria. Located in a container box in the hip and trendy Revolutia, Prost was a pleasant surprise in the heart of the country.
Served alongside warm potato salad and sauerkraut, this was a perfect lunch on the upstairs patio at Prost. Ann opted for the homemade vegetable soup served with bread for a lower-calorie option.
When you go: Plan to enjoy the open air and sit outside when it’s nice while sipping an authentic German beer. You can taste the difference.
9. Beautiful Day Cafe will make you smile
The last place we ate in Wichita was Beautiful Day Cafe and we left town with full bellies and warmed hearts. This neighborhood cafe is a nod to farm-to-table and slow meal movements.
We were there on a chilly and rainy day, but managed to find a covered area in the garden to enjoy our warm takeout breakfast and hot coffee. Surrounded by flowers, plants, and the scent of fresh herbs, we enjoyed a healthy breakfast outside.
I had the breakfast bowl with greens, black beans, onion, mushroom, tomato, red pepper, zucchini, and squash. It came with eggs and choice of regular or sweet potato hash browns. I opted for the sweet potato and loved them.
When you go: Take some time to explore the gardens. It turns out, the restaurant even grows some of its own food right outside the cafe.
Remember to support the staff
Dining out during a world-wide pandemic has meant less business for restaurants and fewer tips for their staff. As you order out during this time, we encourage you to continue to support the hard working wait staff. Please consider doing like we did and tipping the staff as though you dined in.
Thank you to Visit Wichita and everyone there for creating so many lower-risk and outdoor dining opportunities for us. We will definitely be back. Again, while our meals and lodging were complimentary, the mouth-watering memories are our own.