Wichita Restaurants


  1. Artichoke Sandwich Bar: 811 N Broadway. Pretty good sandwich place. Don't go there often. B+
  2. Copper Oven Cafe & Bakery: 2409 W 13th. I like the butcher block sandwich (pork, pork, and more pork, with bbq sauce), so stop by here for takeout sandwiches with some frequency, hoping to also find a choice piece of cake. (Sometimes they have coconut, reminding me of Mom's, although a little sweeter.) Not impressed by the entrées. B
  3. Doc's Steak House: 1515 N Broadway. Used to be the premier lowbrow steak joint in town. Haven't been there in ages -- just don't eat much steak. B
  4. Scotch & Sirloin: 5325 E Kellogg. Upscale steak place. Went there once. OK as those things go, but not something we care much about. B


  1. Hog Wild Pit Bar-B-Q: 230 S West; 1200 S Rock; 662 E 47th S; 3550 N Woodlawn. First choice for barbeque, especially ribs. A-
  2. Bubba's Nakked BBQ: 2428 W 13th. Serves meat with sauce on side, or omitted entirely. Pretty good meat. Nothing else. B

See below for chains, upscale and down.


  1. Kwan Court: 1443 N Rock. Chinese/Japanese restaurant, featuring the best sushi bar in town. Chinese menu is exceptional, but we don't take advantage of it often enough. A
  2. Cafe Asia: 6546 E Central. Natively Malaysian, with Thai and Chinese also on menu. Favorite is Malaysian-style kung pao. Some good noodle dishes. Haven't tried much Thai/Chinese here, so hard to rate. B+
  3. Yen Ching: 430 N Rock. Chinese. Been around for quite a while now, and the menu seems a little dated, but dependable. Usually order orange beef. B+
  4. Hana Café: 325 N Mead. Japanese restaurant, also claim to have Korean food but I didn't notice. Probably just ate sushi there. OK, but a bit disappointing. B
  5. Beijing Bistro: 11309 E Kellogg. Nice duck dish; haven't found much else that stands out. B
  6. China Inn: 4605 E Central. New building housing an old Chinese restaurant. Mediocre food in large quantities. C-



  1. Bella Luna Cafe: 4610 E Central; 3132 N Rock; 2441 N Maize. Lebanese roots -- the hummus appetizer is a giveaway. Range of salads, sandwiches, entrées ranging from cheap to expensive -- chicken & shrimp au poivre is a stand-by, or orange roughy florentine, or the lasagna with the orange-spinach salad. Good desserts, including best tiramisu in these parts. We sometimes eat elsewhere and pick up dessert to go on the way home. The Central restaurant retains a homey air; the spinoffs are more chrome-splashed. A-
  2. Le Monde Cafe: 602 N West. Mostly French, with Lebanese roots. Good sandwiches, including a gyro, a cheese steak, and a burger. Entrées tend to be sauteed or grilled with a glob of sauce and potato wedges and veggies. I find it a little monotonous, but Laura likes it a lot. Good biscuits for starters. B+
  3. Uptown Bistro: 303 N Mead. Continental, more or less, close to movie theatre, and open when many neighboring restaurants aren't. Sicilian calimari appetizer is a favorite. Everything else has been OK-to-good, with nothing spectacular. B+
  4. Sweet Basil: 2424 N Woodlawn. Italian, somewhat upscale, cozy atmosphere, decent food. B
  5. Il Vicino Wood Oven Pizza: 4817 E Douglas. Thin-crust, non-traditional toppings. Don't get there often. B
  6. Imbiss Grille: 315 N Mead. German. The schnitzels are OK, the sausage better or worse, the kraut worse or better; not one of the world's more appetizing cuisines. B-
  7. Savute's Italian Ristorante: 3303 N Broadway. Oldest Italian restaurant in town, the menu handed down through several generations. Seems inauthentic these days. C-


  1. Carrabba's Italian Grill: 3409 N Rock. Italian, pretty much our first choice even though it's a chain. Nicely balanced menu, with veal piccata and chicken parmesan our most frequent orders, often with fried zucchini appetizer. Desserts aren't tempting. A-
  2. Olive Garden: 2641 N Maize; 323 N Rock. Italian. Often prohibitively crowded; hard to understand given lacklustre food. C
  3. Italian Garden: 505 S Webb; 8760 W 21st. It's been quite a while since we've gone there, but this used to be a terribly mediocre Italian restaurant. The location on west 21st has housed a series of lousy restaurants. Sign outside claims to offer fresh homemade pasta, so may be worth revisiting. C-

Latin American

  1. El Paisa: 2227 N Arkansas. Mexican. Features a long list of meats that can be combined in various ways. I like the thin-cut steak and pork chop plates. First pick when we actually want Mexican food. A-
  2. Playa Azul: 111 N Washington. Mexican. Been there a couple of times, and was generally pleased, but don't remember much detail. B+
  3. El Gaucho Steakhouse: 8550 W 21st. Argentine-themed steakhouse. Ate their one time; didn't really get the hang of it, but it was crowded and uncomfortable, and not that good. C+


  1. Abuelos: 1413 N Waterfront Pkwy. Upscale Mexican, convenient after-movie spot for us. B+
  2. On the Border: 1930 N Rock. Tex-Mex, specialty is fajitas, nicely done. B
  3. Carlos O'Kelly's Mexican Cafe: 527 S Ridge; 7703 E Douglas; 3025 N Rock; 4872 S Broadway. More fajitas, usual Mexican standards. B
  4. Chipotle Mexican Grill: 515 N Hillside; 2241 N Maize; 3015 N Rock. Fast Mexican, not much choice, food so-so. C-

Middle Eastern/Mediterranean

  1. N&J: 5600 E Lincoln. Lebanese. Expanded several times, with own bakery (don't care much for their pita bread) and grocery store (useful). Good gyros, mezze, basic dishes. Sometimes I buy their homemade yogurt. A-
  2. Wichita Kebab House: 120 N West. Turkish. Formerly Cafe Istanbul, which rated higher, partly because we liked the owner so much, but also because the food was marvelous. New owners have raised prices and tinkered a bit. Still, yogurt kebab is one of the world's great dishes, and this is the only place in Wichita you can get something like it. A-
  3. Byblos: 3088 W 13th. Small Lebanese joint. Basic pita wraps, falafel plate, assorted mezze, simply conceived but tasty. Closed Sunday, Monday, all afternoons, which makes them pretty inconvenient. B
  4. Adrians: 2121 N Rock. Semi-continental with hummus and kibbe burgers, and occasional unpleasant surprises, like when I ordered the scampi and got shrimp smothered in gray gravy. B-


Chains: Midscale and Up

  1. Red Lobster: 555 S West. Venerable seafood chain, menu has overgone numerous upheavals, and is currently pretty good, even if the fresh fish selection is limited. Recommend wood grilled fish. Dinner rolls are very cheesy. B+
  2. Famous Dave's Bar-B-Que: 9719 E 21st. You can get better BBQ cheaper elsewhere in town, but not bad for a chain. Second store on west side already closed. B+
  3. Applebee's: 6730 W Central; 2035 N Rock; 4700 S Broadway; Derby; Park City; Andover. I like the riblets; am often tempted but disappointed by the salads; find the sandwiches OK. Pretty dependable place on the road, but not really first choice here. B
  4. Logan's Roadhouse: 2424 N Maize; 353 S Rock. Trashy American chain with free peanuts, usual chicken and burgers and steak, and one exceptional side (their brewski onions). B-
  5. Cracker Barrel Old Country Store: 995 E 61st. I like the chicken fried steak, but can't find much else to brag about, and have been sorely disappointed by their breakfasts. Don't like the store either. Laura hates the whole thing, so much so that I never stop with her along. B-
  6. Chili's Grill & Bar: 7887 E Central; 10520 W Central; 2333 N Greenwich. The peppers they put on almost everything are so intimidating that I've never gotten past the burgers on the menu. The latter are fine, but not exceptional. B-
  7. Old Chicago: 300 N Mead, 7626 E Kellogg. Pizza, calzones, panini, some pasta. Usually order the Chicago 7 -- haven't found a waitress there yet that knows where the name came from. Not that great. Noisy, sports TVs. C+
  8. Firkin & Bull: 2441 N Maize. English pub food concept. Ordered fish and chips. I've had better, cheaper, in England no less. C+
  9. Rowdy Beaver: 656 S West. Took over the old Willie C's building, which sets up a number of possible comparisons, all unfavorable. C+
  10. International House of Pancakes: 515 N Ridge; 3505 N Rock. Menu mostly mediocre American sandwiches and plates, and lately disappointing even for breakfast. C-
  11. Outback: 233 S Ridge; 2020 N Rock. Australian theme, mostly beef. Bad experiences every time I've been here -- food, service, waits (although they've been better elsewhere, e.g. where you can get lamb). C-
  12. Bonefish Grill: Ate there twice, getting mediocre food and one case of truly awful service. Lord knows we need a good upscale fish restaurant here, but I doubt we'll ever go back. D+
  13. Denny's: 4024 E Harry. Used to have a nice trout almandine dish, but they dropped it. Service is legendarily bad. Haven't been there in ages. D

Junk Food

  1. Charlie's Famous Burgers: 3200 W 13th. Best burgers in the neighborhood, admittedly a little on the greasy side. A-
  2. Freddy's Frozen Custard: 8621 W 21st; 310 N Rock; 11525 E 13th. Thin, tasty, relatively greaseless burgers; same for the ultrathin fries. Much like Steak-N-Shake nationwide, but better in every respect. Custard is pretty good, too. A-
  3. Bionic Burger: 2404 S Meridan; 660 N Ridge. Good burgers, including a buffalo option; good shakes; greasy fries. B+
  4. Panera Bread: 3337 E Central. OK sandwiches. Bakery itself is disappointing, especially if you're looking for bagels. Laura likes it better than I do. B
  5. Papa John's Pizza: 220 W Douglas; other locations. Our usual pizza delivery order spot. Serviceable, nothing to get excited about. B
  6. Quiznos: 111 W Douglas; other locations. Sandwich chain; limited menu, but I find the cheese steak tasty. B
  7. Sonic Drive-In: 1235 N Broadway. Drive-in, order-hop chain, convenient for driving around, inconvenient for lack of restrooms. Decent chicken sandwich, shakes. B
  8. Domino's Pizza: 583 S West. Relatively good thin-crust pizza. Docked a notch because they don't deliver to our neighborhood. B-
  9. Spangles: 850 N Broadway, 453 N Hillside; many other locations. 1950's-themed hamburger joint. Tasty greasy hamburgers, fair fries, so-so shakes, lame pita wraps. B-
  10. Long John Silver's: 4206 E Harry. Fried fish, shrimp, batter. C+
  11. Wendy's: ubiquitous. Not the worst. Like the chicken nuggets and loaded baked potatoes; hamburgers so-so; fries dreadful. C
  12. McDonald's: every few blocks. Don't need my review. Haven't found them palatable in years. D
  13. Fazoli's: 8520 W Central; 3553 N Rock. Fast Italian. Dreadful stuff. F


  • Barron's Bar & Grill: Wildcat pick for best hamburger.
  • Beacon: 909 E Douglas. Ate breakfast there the morning my mother died. Don't remember it.
  • Cafe Bel Ami: 229 E William.
  • Chiang Mai Thai: 3141 S Hillside: Wildcat recommended.
  • Cibola: 1900 N Rock.
  • Larkspur: 904 E Douglas.
  • Loft 150/River City Brewing Co.: 150 N Mosley.
  • Lone Star Steakhouse & Salooon: 224 E Douglas
  • Rock Bottom: 300 N Mead. Brewery.
  • Yamasa Grill: Wildcat recommended.

Mid-upscale chains we haven't gotten to, and maybe won't:

  • Granite City Food & Brewery: 2661 N Maize; 2244 N Webb.

Downscale chains we haven't gotten to, and maybe won't:

  • Burger King: 10+ locations.
  • Dog-N-Shake: 5 locations.