Discover Top 6 Kansas Restaurants for an Unforgettable Culinary Experience


Take a culinary journey across America’s heartland as we reveal our picks for the best dining spots in Kansas. From tasty barbecue establishments to quaint farm-to-table diners, the Sunflower State has a diverse culinary landscape to suit any taste.

Join us as we visit five of our favorite restaurants, each of which provides a distinct culinary experience that honors Kansas’ rich flavors and traditions. Whether you’re seeking hearty comfort cuisine or gourmet delights, these restaurants guarantee to excite your taste buds and leave you wanting more. Prepare to revel in the best Kansas has to offer!

1. Cozy Inn Restaurant in Salina

If you’re looking for an exceptional restaurant in Salina, KS, The Cozy Inn Restaurant should be your first choice. This cafe, which has been open since 1922, has a devoted following for its famed hamburgers by the sack, which are grilled on its original grill from the time it was founded. They are served at a small counter with only six seats, and the perfume of hamburgers, onions, and pickles permeates the air. This hidden diner is one of Kansas Cuisine’s Eight Wonders and a must-see when in Salina.

Max Holthaus and Gregg Boyle, brothers-in-law, bought The Cozy Inn from the original owner in 1996. These men revitalized the restaurant with their culinary service expertise and financial savvy, recruiting Steve Howard, a longstanding local with an eye for business management. Nowadays, The Cozy Inn remains a popular destination for those looking for an economical supper; you could even be lucky enough to eat one of its famed sliders, which the establishment has been selling since 1922!

2. Crazy R’s Bar & Grill, Goodland

Crazy R’s Bar & Grill, located near the Kansas-Colorado border, is a restaurant that serves high-quality food at a reasonable price. Owner Rod Cooper takes tremendous pleasure in his business and relies on delighted customers to spread the word about his luxury restaurant. Samurai Grills’ menu is broad, including burgers, chicken wings, ribs, and steaks as main course options.

There are also lots of mini platters to satisfy your taste buds. Aside from the food and beverages, the decor and service distinguish this establishment. It’s the perfect setting for lunch with coworkers, a full dinner, or a fast bite while driving down the highway. It definitely has something different to offer everyone.

3. Brookville Hotel, Abilene

The Brookville Hotel was a relic of the old West, located along the Chisholm Trail, which connected Texas ranches to Kansas City railheads. Unfortunately, it shuttered in October 2020 but has since reopened under new ownership.

Deanna Munson, co-owner of Munson Angus Farms with her husband Chuck, has decided to bring back their world-famous fried chicken meals to the menu. In addition to coleslaw, biscuits and gravy, mashed potatoes, and creamed corn, they serve award-winning country-fried steak from Munson Angus Farms and homemade ice cream for dessert.

4. Joe’s Kansas City BBQ, Olathe

This casual rest stop offers slabs of ribs, pulled pork sandwiches, and meat by the pound. It’s the perfect place for a casual supper with friends or family. Joe’s Kansas City BBQ started as a petrol station and has now expanded to other sites throughout the metro region. The original store is tucked away in a small strip mall, but more locations can be located in Leawood and Olathe, all serving the same menu!

The menu includes delectable smoked brisket and a variety of side dishes, such as rich, well-seasoned beans and french fries. The burnt ends sandwich, a house specialty, is a delectable delicacy made with beef brisket tips that have been carefully smoked for 17 hours to provide an irresistible scorched finish.

5. Fritz’s Railroad Restaurant, Kansas City

Fritz’s Railroad Restaurant in Kansas City is a classic diner that provides traditional American breakfasts, hamburgers, and soda fountain delicacies.

The train-themed design allows for a fun dining experience with children. At Fritz’s Restaurant, food is delivered by an overhead electric train known as the “Skat Cat.” Orders are taken from booths via telephone and dropped into a hopper. When it fills up, a mechanical arm stops it on a platform above your table and lowers it to deliver your dinner!

Though the diner’s historical railroad environment is the main attraction, the cuisine is actually extremely excellent and has a nostalgic feel. The burgers here are legendary, and they also provide some delicious breakfast options. Bring your children along; they’ll enjoy visiting this location, and they’ll get to wear an engineer’s helmet!

6. Carolyn’s Essenhaus, Arlington

Carolyn’s Essenhaus is one of Kansas City’s best family restaurants, delivering both American and unusual German foods. Diners may anticipate a variety of delicious delicacies here! The restaurant’s hallmark dish, the famed fried chicken, has garnered a well-deserved reputation for being among the best in town.

The institution also serves an excellent range of sweets and other goodies, including their award-winning ice cream shop, which was voted Best in Kansas by readers of the Kansas City Star newspaper. While it’s sad that this small-town cafe isn’t more well-known, with highway 61’s recent growth and plans for Kansas’ first pedestrian mall under construction during this generational era, prospects for this eatery look promising in the near future.

Final Words

Our culinary explorations in Kansas have revealed some amazing restaurants. From the iconic Cozy Inn Restaurant in Salina to the beloved Carolyn’s Essenhaus in Arlington, each restaurant delivers a taste of Kansas’ rich cuisines and traditions. Enjoy legendary hamburgers, superb BBQ, or a nostalgic diner experience at these eateries, which showcase Kansas’ broad and delectable offerings. As you arrange your next meal, consider these treasures that will satisfy your taste buds and create lasting memories. Enjoy dining!

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