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Wichita is Kansas‘ biggest city, and just outside downtown lies the Old Town, the city’s historic district. As a cultural hub, the Old Town offers restaurants specializing in everything from barbecue to international fusion cuisines. Here’s our list of the top 10 restaurants in the area.
Instead of choosing to only serve standard American fare, Taste and See offers eclectic fusion cuisine, often incorporating Indian and South American flavors. A tasting menu lets you tour the world via its cuisines without leaving Wichita. If you are willing to share, order several tapas plates instead. For a full entree, go for the Cubano or Korean ribs. The latter is served atop coconut milk French toast with compound butter and ginger syrup. Its owner and chef hails from Venezuela and will often come out to talk to his guests. Try and grab a seat close to the open kitchen to watch the staff at work.
The Old Mill Tasty Shop has been a fixture in Old Town since 1932. Since it’s a local favorite, you may have to wait for a seat. The wait-staff is knowledgeable and friendly. It has a marble soda fountain which is still used, but don’t be fooled by the nostalgic decor: the menu has kept up with the times. It incorporates Mexican dishes like burritos smothered in green chili to go alongside French dip sandwiches served with rosemary potatoes. The food is served in hearty portions and tastes like home cooking. Since it’s often only open for lunch, try to stop in earlier than normal.
Housed in a converted gas station that opened in 1931, the Pumphouse still styles itself as “Wichita’s favorite place to fill up.” With plenty of TVs, it’s often best to visit on a game day. The fries are made in-house, though The Pumphouse is proudest of its pizza. The aptly named “Beer, Pig & Cheese” pizza, which features garlic and chive cream cheese, beer-sautéed onions, smoked bacon, and mozzarella, is an indulgent delight. Its burgers are made with Kansas beef, and the chicken tenders are hand-cut and breaded. Sit outside on a nice day.
Specializing in farm-to-table cuisine, Public at the Brickyard is next to Old Town’s premiere music venue and is housed on the bottom floor of a restored warehouse. Coming from the house favorites menu, the Prairie Sliders (pictured) exemplify the general theme of the menu: local foods prepared with imagination and good flavors. The sliders themselves are bison and beef patties seasoned with porcini mushrooms and espresso, then served with mustard aioli and sweet onion marmalade. The local theme extends to its beer menu, which is stocked with plenty of craft beers from greater Kansas.