A modern city surrounded by Amish settlements, the best of Hutchinson’s cuisine combines historic traditions with modern tastes. Amish, ‘50s rock ’n roll, modern BB. Discover the unique pleasures of Hutchinson with our list of the 10 best restaurants.
A bona fide piece of Hutchinson history, the R-B Drive In has been serving the city for over 60 years, first opening its doors in the early 1940s. It is now run by the daughter of the original owners, but other wise little has changed, with the diner using basically the same classic recipes it always has. Even the prices are reminiscent of prices of the past. Put simply, no trip to Hutchinson is complete without a visit to R-B.
Voted one of the top 100 BBQ places in all of the US, Roy’s Hickory Pit maintains a national reputation whilst remaining locally owned since it opened in 1982. It is one of those great barbecue restaurants where the smell of grilling meat hits you even as you walk from the parking lot, and it gets even better from there. The restaurant famously closes when the meat runs out, so a call ahead is always advised – with meat this good, and served with their own sauce smothered on it, that time can be very early indeed.
The idea of an ‘Amish-inspired restaurant’ may not fill you with much hope, but the Dutch Kitchen Restaurant will definitely surprise you. Specialising in chicken, potatoes, breads and pastries, including a famously good selection of pie, the restaurant has recently come under new management. However, apart from a few modernising tweaks and a few changes in the menu, the Dutch Kitchen is still the same restaurant it was when it opened in the early ‘70s. Pop in for a chicken fried steak or that pie and you will definitely want doubles from the Dutch.
‘Of all the places’ (as Bogey’s tagline goes) in Hutchinson, Bogey’s has one of the best atmospheres in the county, and has for over 25 years. In fact, the only hardship you will face here is having to decide between choices on its mammoth list of 101 milkshake flavours, ranging from apple to watermelon. Then you are faced with the difficulty of what to choose from its menu of fast food done right. Some words of comfort though, whatever you choose, it is bound to be delicious, and you will become one of Bogey’s long list of fans.
A diner on the edge of the Kansas State Fair Grounds, Skaets specializes in well priced, well filling meals, including a breakfast that sees the Steak Shop packed every weekend by around 10am, a tradition that goes all the way back to when it opened in 1949. Due to this heritage, it has long been a family tradition for many in Hutchinson to spend breakfasts with Skaets, and after one visit you will understand why, and you’ll be bringing your family to discover it too.
Not the department store, but a charming diner off of Hutchinson’s 5th Avenue. Housed in a building that was previously a gas station and full of 1950s rock ’n roll memorabilia, Sack’s is a nostalgic burger joint with a difference. Locally owned, it is packed every lunchtime with locals savouring the signature hamburgers. You can either drive in or dine in, but whichever you choose you are sure to be won over by this fun take on burgers, milkshakes and classic diner foods.
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20 minutes out of central Hutchinson lies the town of Yoder, and the Carriage Crossing Restaurant. Founded in 1889, the town is the centre for a number of Amish communities. Yoder feeds a roaring tourist trade, and that tourist trade is fed by Carriage Crossing. Yoder sees the historic and the modern intermingling, with horses and carts found alongside cars and trucks. Carriage Crossing mirrors this trend, with traditional Amish baked goods served alongside more modern American fare such as sandwiches, burgers and chicken.
Go south-west and find Carolyn’s Essenhaus in the town of Arlington. Serving the town for over 20 years, Carolyn’s offers home-style dining with a warm home-style atmosphere. Another Amish Mennonite institution, it serves recipes with a family pedigree of many generations, including a delicious range of on-the-day cooked pies, which their pastry chef starts baking at 3:30 am, so they are ready for you to enjoy whenever you want them, be it for breakfast, lunch or dinner.
Sample the wares of Allie’s Deli & Coffee Shoppe. Good, simple deli food done right, Allie’s offers perfected versions of everything you would expect from a good, high-class deli, including a wide, varied and irresistible selection of pies. No place in Hutchinson offers a more relaxed place to start your day, preferably over their speciality coffee and a pastry or two, all served with their signature quick and friendly service.
Recently expanding from its small building into its own deli on S Main Street, PiZaacos is going from strength to strength. The PiZaaco itself, described as a ‘flatbread pizza-style sandwich’, was invented by the current owner’s grandfather and is its signature dish, a unique treat as tasty as it unusual, brought together by its perfected combination of cheese, meat and sauce. The PiZaaco is a must-try, but the wider menu is also worth exploring, with its Italian-inspired menu of treats.