Although Topeka isn't the first place that typically comes to people's minds when they think barbeque, Boss Hawg's serves some of the best barbeque I've ever had anywhere in the country. And believe me, I've spent a lot of time looking for good barbeque. You can even take a look at their menu before going.
The food at Blind Tiger Brewery is pretty good, but it's really the excellent handcrafted beer that draws people here. Situated in a big spacious stand-alone building in southeast Topeka, Blind Tiger isn't the most convenient place to get to, but it's worth the trip no matter what part of town you're in.
Located in a not-so-scenic corner of North Topeka in a little are of town called Little Russia, Porubsky's is nevertheless a Topeka icon because of its outstanding deli sandwiches, chili, and of course its famous hot pickles. Porubsky's has just a small dining area and a bar on one side, with a minimarket and deli on the other, but that's the charm of the place.
Favorite Dish: The cold plate with chili is the most popular item on their menu. It consists of a plate of various deli meats and cheeses, assorted bread, and some slices of hot pickles. And of course there's a side of their excellent chili.
An offshoot of the once super-popular but now closed Meat & Cheese Shop in the also once-popular Gage Center shopping area, Annie's Place has been a Topeka tradition since the mid 1980s. It was originally known primarily for its outstanding hamburgers grilled over an open flame and served on fresh-backed buns and delicious sweet deli pickles, but it has since expanded its menu dramatically. Don't worry though, they still have a long list of hamburgers too.
Located in what used to be a long since defunct Andy's Hamburgers building, Jade Garden has been serving great Chinese food since the 1980s. One of the best things about this place is that you don't even have to go inside to eat because they have a drive-thru lane as well. This has long been one of my favorite places for Chinese food in the area, especially since it has the best crab rangoon I've ever had.
Sun's is a recent arrival to the Topeka restaurant scene but offers a great option to people living in the southwest part of the city. They serve great Chinese food that is made even better by the fact that most of it is not deep fried like you'll find at so many other places. In fact, Sun's is close to displacing Jade Garden as my favorite spot for Chinese food in Topeka.
Puffy Steak and Ice House
If you want a great steak Drive about 20 miles West on I-70 to Maple Hill and visit Puffy Steak and Ice House. Great food and the largest 16 oz steak you have ever seen. Call first 785-256-4329 not open Mondays and Tuesdays .
Great Food and a unique atmosphere. The restaurant is connected to a small grocery store where you can buy the same great steaks you have in the restaurant.
Favorite Dish: 16 OZ Sirloin - for under $15.00. Full pound burgers
My grandmother loves to take us to the fast food joint 'Long John Silvers' when we are in town. Fish and chicken filets are deep batter fried.
Fairly cheap, especially with the coupons my grandmother always has with her. If you like the food, ring the bell on the way out. Like most fast food places, LJS has a drive-through.
Favorite Dish: To cut down on fat, I skin most of the fried batter from my fish filets (my grandmother says this is taking off the best part!), but I never can resist eating the hushpuppies (deep friend bread balls).
If you love Mexican food you have to go to ROSA'S!!!!!
open 11 a.m. to 9p.m., Monday thru Saturday
Rosa's is a small little restaurant with a nice atmosphere. I think it's a family business and everybody is very friendly....
Favorite Dish: everything that has no meat in it
For my virtual tourist friends from other countries if you come all the way to Topeka Kansas may I suggest you try a USDA Choice graded steak. Beef cattle are raised throughout Kansas and I will say are some of the best any where. There are many places in Topeka to try a steak. I have only been to two of them so far. The Outback Steakhouse is part of a major restaurant chain and is located on 21st street. The Timberline steakhouse is on Wanamaker road. They are both a short drive from the history museum that I enjoy in Topeka and close to West Ridge Mall.
One thing I like to do at Timberline is get the peanuts. I throw the peanut shells on the floor under my wife's side of the table until she gets annoyed. Don't tell her this but she is pretty cute when she is annoyed.
Favorite Dish: Steak!!!
Coyote Canyon is one of my new favorite places to eat. Great food at a great price. They have steak on the buffet. All the steak you can eat for one low price. I was just there and ate 5 steaks along with every thing else.
Great buffet place with all the steak you can eat. During weekdays for lunch I think the buffet is only $5.79.
Favorite Dish: Steaks are not bad. They are not filet mignon but are still good. Huge variety on salad bar. Try the mini buns for dessert.
A Topeka landmark since 1953 - one of the few remaining family-owned, old-fashioned hamburger joints. You can eat in your car (flash your lights to summon a carhop), at the horseshoe-shaped counter, or one of the few booths. In any case the service is great, and the ambiance will take you back to another time in American life.
Bobo's fame extends well beyond Topeka. This place was feature on Guy Fieri's television hit "Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives," (2007) and was elected one of the "8 Wonders of Kansas Cuisine" in 2009.
Favorite Dish: The hamburgers are phenomenal, but Bobo's is best known for their fresh, hand-dipped onion rings - the best I have ever eaten. Another thing that got my juices flowing was RC - Royal Crown Cola; I can't remember when I last had an RC. Folks also rave about their cinnamon apple pie. I didn't eat any, so that means have extra reason to return.
Daddy Cakes has just moved into a new place, and my first visit was before all the finishing touches had been made. Still - I think it has a cool, family-friendly atmosphere, perfect for birthday parties or similar occasions. In addition to baked goods, Daddy Cakes does offer a full line of espresso drinks.
Favorite Dish: One brief visit - I had a chocolate cupcake with a creamy peanut butter chocolate topping. Quite good, but small for the price. There were lots of colorful and tempting offerings (all cupcakes or full-size cakes) from which to choose.
Almost hidden away on a side street in Topeka's "Little Russia" is one of the city's best-known eateries, one that has survived floods, fires, economic down-turns and other disasters for more than sixty years. Porubsky's is first a neighborhood mom and pop grocery, and second a deli and tavern. This iconic little place has been featured in numerous newspaper and television features, even written up in Gourmet magazine. Go figure.
Transcendent deli? I'm not certain why it's so known. I do know that is included in the title of a documentary film, a cult hit, which follows third generation owner Matt Porubsky in his "journey to discover the history and appeal of the business his grandparents began over sixty years ago." This project was fundeded by theWashburn University Center for Kansas Studies. Youtube trailers can be seen at www.youtube.com/watch?v=ctCI3Ss2lUg and www.youtube.com/watch?v=AWtpM4AdKEc
Favorite Dish: Porubsky's signature food item is their chili, reputed to be incredibly good but on the spicy side. I don't know. I went on a Friday, chili is available Monday through Thursday during autumn and winter months. Based on my first and only visit to this point I would highly recommend the cold cut plate, a terrific value. You get a plate with high-quality, freshly-sliced cold cuts and cheese, two kinds of bread plus pickles. Make a sandwich if you wish - if you do, try the spicy mustard.
We travled 1500 miles to visit the Blind Tiger on Valentine's Eve after reading the 5 star rating from a variety of locals. I will give this place 2 of 5 stars for the following reasons: 1. At 6:00p.m. we arrived to find two different "choices" of organic steak...AND THEY WERE OUT OF BOTH! I mean, come on! The manager didn't plan ahead for the increased patrons? They sent us the dumbest waitress who just kept taking our order only to return and say, "I'm sorry, we're out of that". We were so stinkin' hungry and there were no other restaurants accepting reservations, so we attempted to feast on side dishes. 2. Salad from a bag? The iceburg letter was brown edged and stale...even the dressing couldn't cover it up. 3. The jalepeno poppers were very good which is why I gave it 2 stars. 4. The baked potato was undercooked and they were cheap on the sour cream and butter...5. The brew was good, but not worth the travel and certainly not something we don't get right in our own backyard in our beautiful state of California. Blind Tiger Manager...you could have come out when we asked to speak to you...you could have saved the bad publicity, but I guess we just weren't worth it. A formal apology, a discounted bill...anything to reach out and account for poor planning on your behalf! The place was empty for a 5 star, which made perfect sense later when they said, "you don't need reservations". It was overated, overpriced and so far under our expectations. The employees are probably leaving the 5 star ratings...quite tacky. Beware.
Favorite Dish: Jalepeno Poppers were fried in a special beer batter...