- Helen Armitage
Located at the same address as Brickyard, one of Wichita’s best live music venues, Public is a stylish, urban eatery situated in the heart of the city’s historic Old Town that serves contemporary American fare. Opened in 2012, the restaurant firmly believes in the farm-to-table ethos and works in close collaboration with locally based farmers and craft brewers to bring to its guests the finest flavours the region has to offer. Chef Travis Russell creates a concise but tempting menu typified by dishes such as slow-cooked brisket tacos with black beans and rice and the banh mi – smoked pork shoulder with yum yum sauce, miso aioli, peppers and cilantro on a baguette.
Public, 129 North Rock Island, Wichita, KS, USA, +1 316 263 4044
Established in 2012 by husband-and-wife team and Wichita natives Patrick – who is also the restaurant’s head chef – and Timirie Shibley, Doo-Dah Diner is a neighbourhood eatery with a laid-back charm and warm atmosphere that serves a menu of tasty, Kansas-inspired fare. Open for breakfast and lunch only, the diner offers a hearty start to the day with dishes like crispy corn beef hash and chicken fried steak and eggs for breakfast, but diners can also choose from lunch items that include the outside-in burger – a ten-ounce beef patty stuffed with American cheese and jalapenos on a pretzel bun – and the fried bologna sandwich.
Doo-Dah Diner, 206 East Kellogg Drive, Wichita, KS, USA, +1 316 265 7011
Located in the city’s historic Delano District, The Monarch is a gastro pub, café and lounge that boasts a modern and urban interior complete with exposed brick and ductwork, comfy leather booths and an arty chandelier made from reclaimed old bicycle parts. Guests can relax in the venue’s laid-back ambience while dining on casual fare that features appetisers like the creamy and tangy peppadew hummus with naan bread and veggies, salads and a range of sandwiches that include the hickory-smoked BBQ pork on warm ciabatta with creamy coleslaw. The Monarch also offers a range of cocktails and has recently introduced a new signature list with specials like the whiskey peach smash and the garlic bloody Mary.
The Monarch, 579 West Douglas Avenue, Wichita, KS, USA, +1 316 201 6626
Bella Luna Café
The winner of The Wichita Eagle’s Reader’s Choice Best Mediterranean award for eight years in a row, Bella Luna Café is a popular local eatery with a further two locations in the city. Boasting other Wichita Eagle-bestowed accolades such as Best Hummus and Best Neighbourhood Restaurant, Bella Luna offers a menu of contemporary American food fused with distinct Mediterranean elements and guests can choose from appetisers like the hummus topped with Angus beef, onions, mushrooms and pine nuts and entrees such as the veal scaloppini served with sautéed mushrooms, artichokes, linguine pasta and a tangy caper sauce.
Bella Luna Café, 4618 East Central Avenue, Wichita, KS, USA, +1 316 683 3700
Chester’s Chophouse and Wine Bar
Chester’s Chophouse and Wine Bar is an elegant and warm restaurant serving classic chophouse fare based in the outskirts of Wichita. Its interior was designed by the acclaimed interior design firm Morris Nathanson Design and features details such as rich mahogany, sumptuous leather booths, stone fireplaces and locally handcrafted lighting that combine to give the restaurant a sophisticated yet welcoming vibe while its windows offer stunning views over a neighbouring lake. Owner and chef Bobby Lane brings over 30 years of culinary experience to Chester’s Chophouse, cooking up tempting dishes like the 12-ounce New York strip steak and the maple mustard salmon with sautéed spinach and white beans, bacon and lemon caper butter.
Hangar One Steakhouse
A culinary tribute to Wichita’s reputation as the aircraft capital of the Midwest, Hangar One Steakhouse is appropriately located a short distance from the Wichita Mid-Continent Airport in an airplane hangar-style building complete with a second-level bar in the restaurant’s Control Tower. Opened in 2009 by pilot Greg Hiser and his wife Beci, Hangar One Steakhouse serves a range of steaks with aviation-themed names including the Lear jet filet and star fighter sirloin alongside other entrees such as the apricot chicken with vermicelli rice and asparagus or the grilled salmon with wild berry BBQ sauce.
Situated on the edge of a picturesque lake at the Bradley Fair Mall, Newport Grill is a steak and seafood restaurant with a lovely patio area located on the water’s edge. This makes it perfect for dining out on in warmer months, but the interior too boasts a stylish, warm ambience complete with nautical elements like cool blues, sleek wood and porthole-style mirrors that reflect the restaurant’s seafood focus. Open for lunch, dinner and Sunday brunch, Newport Grill’s executive chef and owner Aaron Whitcomb creates an eclectic menu fusing classic and contemporary elements with highlights including Pacific swordfish with potato coins, carrots, edamame macadamia nuts and lime beurre blanc and the eight-ounce filet mignon with whipped potatoes, green beans and Zinfandel demi-glaze.
Newport Grill, 1900 North Rock Road, Wichita, KS, USA, +1 316 636 9555
Sabor Latin Bar and Grille
For diners who love their meat with a fiery Latin twist, Sabor Latin Bar and Grille is a must-visit when dining out in Wichita. Occupying a central location in the city’s vibrant downtown district, Sabor Latin Bar and Grille’s menu features delicious starters including the ceviche de camarones – a dish of citrus-marinated rock shrimp with fire-roasted tomatoes, red onions and avocado – and hearty mains such as the pan-seared beef tenderloin medallions served with green chilli mac and cheese, chipotle tomato sauce and grilled asparagus. Guests can also relax in the restaurant’s colourful, welcoming interior with a post-dinner handcrafted cocktail like the pisco sour made with pisco brandy, lemon juice, simple syrup, egg whites and angostura bitters.
Siena Tuscan Steakhouse
A relatively new addition to Wichita’s dining scene, the Siena Tuscan Steakhouse is a vibrant and chic restaurant based within the Ambassador Hotel. The restaurant boasts a stylish, urban interior decked out in warm colours like deep reds, browns and gold complemented by bonded leather chairs and banquette seating with a wall of large windows overlooking the bustling streets of the city. With a focus on the cuisine of Italy’s Tuscany, the restaurant’s menu features appetisers like the bruschetta with a pork belly confit, or the peppadew tomato basil cruda, and entrees such as steak papperdelle with caramelised onions, peas, mushrooms and chipotle cream.
As its name would suggest, wine is the main event at Wichita’s Wine Dive – a classy but casual and welcoming wine bar that boasts over 350 different varieties of bottles and 40 varieties available by the glass which has helped the venue win Wine Spectator’s Award of Excellence each year since 2011. Wine Dive’s food menu is based around American cuisine with a contemporary twist with highlights including the stuffed mushrooms with a mild curry, bacon, cream cheese and crab filling and the wild boar Bolognese with tomato ragu and cavatappi pasta. Alternatively, simply relax in Wine Dive’s spacious, airy interior with a luxury wine like the Russian River Valley from California.
Wine Dive, 4714 East Douglas Avenue, Wichita, KS, USA, +1 316 613 2772
By Helen Armitage