Red Bean’s Bayou Grill: Red Bean’s Bayou Grill
As you may have gathered from the name, Red Bean’s Bayou Grill is a cajun restaurant. There are two locations in Wichita, one serving the eas side of town and the other serving the west side. Both are very popular and can get crowded at peak times, but it's well worth the wait becuase cajun food is hard to come by in these parts, and this is definitely the best place for it anywhere near Wichita.
Thai House: Thai House
Thai House is a little hole in the wall that has just three tables for dine-in customers. What it lacks in ambience it more than makes up with good food at reasonable prices. There's nothing between the tables and the kitchen except a small counter, so this isn't the place to go if you want a quiet meal. Don't let this keep you from trying it though, because if if you like Thai food you will enjoy your meal there.
Mama Sans: You like Japanese? Not sushi...
This is a very tiny restaurant. They are only open Thursday, Friday and Saturday from about 4-9pm. There are only 10 tables, and if you have parties of over 5 they request that you call in advance.
The food is made to order by Mama herself. It is Japanese cuisine: tempura vegetables, wontons, dashi, teriaki chicken, sesame chicken, and beef all on skewers.
It is definitely something different, and that is just what you need in a place like Wichita.
Favorite Dish: My favorite food to get there is the tempura vegetables and the sesame chicken. The vegetables come with this plum dipping sauce (at least that's what I think it is) and it is so sweet and tangy. The sesame chicken is so moist but crunchy on the outside. It's just awesome.
The pricing isn't terrible, especially if someone joins you and you share a larger meal. I believe we spent about $25 total, but we shared a meal and had an appetizer. Plenty to eat!
On the Border Mexican Grill & Cantina: On the Border Mexican Grill & Cantina
I realize that On the Border is a huge chain restaurant with locations all over the country, but it's still one of my favorite places for Tex-Mex food. Wichita has countless Mexican restaurants owned by immigrants who know how to make authentic south-of-the-border meals, but if you want something with more of a Tex-Mex influence this is still the best place.
A word of warning: On the Border is immensely popopular and can get extremely crowded on Friday and Saturday nights.
Uptown Bistro: Uptown Bistro
Uptown Bistro is the latest installment in what has become quite a trend in the Wichita dining scene, casual cafe-style restaurants serving upscale food (See Il Vicino and Bella Luna for other examples). The menu is a bit eclectic but seems to offer mostly Mediterranean, European and Middle Eastern-style dishes. There were a lot of items on the menu that sounded great, but the meal I chose (chicken schawarma) was a bit disappointing because the chicken was dry. I'd be willing to give it a second chance though in hopes that I might get a better meal next time. For now it gets just three stars based on my one experience there.
Tanya's Soup Kitchen: Tanya's Soup Kitchen
Tanya's Soup Kitchen is a great place to have lunch on a cold winter day. They offer a unique selection of sandwiches with ingredients you won't find anywhere else in town, and the soup is always great.
Update: Tanya's Soup Kitchen is now closed. Too bad, because it was a nice little place for a meal.
Bella Luna: Bella Luna
Bella Luna is a casual cafe-style restaurant serving excellent upscale food one might expect to find at a more formal and expensive establishment. It's difficult to pigeon-hole the kind of food they serve because, while the emphasis seems to be on Mediterranean-influenced dishes, there is plenty more than that on the menu. Bella Luna is a great place for a casual but tasty meal for lunch or dinner. Beware that it's not a very big place though, so there can be a substantial wait if it gets busy.
The Beacon: The Beacon
The Beacon is a Wichita icon that goes back much longer than my lifetime. This traditional little greasy spoon diner gets its name from the Eagle-Beacon newspaper, located right next door. You won't find a better breakfast anywhere in Wichita and the prices are quite reasonable.
Sweet Basil: Sweet Basil
You'll find the best Italian food Wichita has to offer at Sweet Basil, a small independently run restaurant in the northwest part of the city. This is a great place to eat for everything from a casual meal to a formal dinner event. The food is so good that it appeals to all kinds of people during all kinds of occasions. I would recommend making reservations though, because it can fill up quickly and the wait can be very long. I've never eaten anything at Sweet Basil that I didn't absolutely love. For lunch they also offer a buffet, though you can still order from the menu.
Thai Tradition: Thai Tradition
Thai Tradition serves some of the best Thai food I've ever had anywhere. The portions are generous, but the prices are still reasonable. And they'll make your meal as spicy or mild as you want. A lot of the items on the menu are also excellent for take-out, so keep that in mind if you don't want to sit down there to eat. I ate at this place countless times when I lived in Wichita and I still go there frequently when I'm there on business or any other reason.
Nu Way Cafe: Nu Way Cafe
Nu Way Cafe is a curious place that specializes in burgers and fries with a twist. the twist is that their burgers, rather than being served in traditional patty form, are actually crumbly. I've never been anywhere else that serves burgers like this, but it's a really interesting way to eat a burger. And it must be popular, because Nu Way has been around since the 1930s. One of the best things about this place is that it serves excellent homemade root beer, so don't miss your chance to drink one with your meal. There are several locations around the city.
Ty's Diner: Ty's Diner
If you're in the mood for a good old fashioned burger and fries served up as greasy as they can make them, look no further than Ty's Diner. This place has hardly changed a bit in the more than fifty years that it has been open, but that's fine because the food they serve is perfect just the way it is. Don't bother coming here if you want a healthy meal. It's hard to imagine food any greasier than this.
Il Vicino: Unique pizzas
Very unique selection of wood-fired pizzas. Unusual toppings like pine nuts, asiago and other cheeses.
Favorite Dish: I usually order a pretty 'ordinary' pizza, pepperoni, beef or chicken, but add the asiago cheese. The toppings are good, but the wood fired crust makes it special.
Red Beans Bayou Grill: Red Beans Bayou Grill
Great atmosphere, some of the best food in town. Moderate prices (most entree's are in the $10 range). Fairly good bar selection. I've taken several people there, and had no complaints at all. I even 'had' to take an order up to a friend in KC once...
Favorite Dish: It depends on how hot you like your food. The best, spiciest food is the Firecracker Chicken & Shrimp. For something turned down a notch, try the Blackened Chicken Pasta with Creole Creme Sauce. The French Quarter Combo is good too, and is probably the mildest of the 3.
Just ate at Brews Brothers...
Just ate at Brews Brothers Grill and Icehouse last week.
Nice atmosphere, friendly service. The staff all wear shirts that say: Same day service guaranteed!
Some local beers are on tap.
Favorite Dish: I ate a hamburger which was very good. The french fries are excellent: The best I have eaten in a long time! The portions were huge, but it was all so good that I had to eat everything.
Service was outstanding from front desk to the maintenance man who went out of his way to say good...more
I think I paid only something like $75, not counting tax. I was pleasantly surprised it was so low,...more
Excellent restaurant / bar (Flyers) area, first class business area with free internet faciliities....more
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