May 15, 2017

Kid-Friendly Wichita Restaurants To Visit

My family recently took an incredible weekend trip to Wichita, Kan. It was a lot of fun, and in between all our stops, we visited several fantastic, kid-friendly Wichita restaurants.

A family’s got to eat, right?

Kid-friendly Wichita restaurant suggestions - Where to go for breakfast, dinner and everywhere in between #Wichita #Kansas #FamilyTravel

Here’s where we went during our trip to Wichita. Our visit was hosted by Visit Wichita, and they helped us select some great spots to try. I was looking for kid-friendly Wichita restaurant that were locally-owned. The key was that they had to be kid-friendly, not kiddie… I wanted good food.

Nostalgic Eats

Old Mill Tasty Shop kid-friendly restaurant in downtown Wichita
Old Mill Tasty Shop in downtown Wichita has been around since the 1930s.

For lunch spot or a great place for a treat, is Old Mill Tasty Shop in downtown Wichita. This is a Wichita institution, which opened in the 1930s (the current owners bought it in the 1980s). Everyone – and I mean everyone – you ask will tell you to get the chicken salad, and I sampled it and it lives up to the hype. If you like chili, try the green chili there.

The soda fountain counter inside Old Mill Tasty Shop in Wichita, Kansas
My daughter making friends at Old Mill Tasty Shop’s soda fountain.

I went there and got a chocolate shake, made the old-fashioned way behind their old-fashioned soda fountain counter, and loved every drop…that my daughter hadn’t swiped from me while I wasn’t looking.

The hot fudge malt at Old Mill Tasty Shop in Wichita, Kansas
Order a hot fudge malt at Old Mill Tasty Shop. You won’t be disappointed.

By the way, it’s right by Intrust Bank Arena, so if you have tickets to a show, it’s a great spot for before-show food. Old Mill is open for lunches during the week, and until 8 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. Note: Closed on Sundays.

Nifty Nut House is the snack place to end all snack places. It got its start in 1937, and over time, it’s evolved into a wholesaler of nuts, dried fruit, snack mixes, gourmet chocolate, sugar-free items, and homemade fudge.

A bulk foods counter inside Nifty Nut House in Wichita, Kansas
One of Nifty Nut House’s several counters of bulk foods you can buy (or sample if it’s hard to choose).

But wait, there’s more.

You can find just about any candy brand you can dream of there, too.

Interior of Nifty Nut House in Wichita, Kansas
No photo can show how big Nifty Nut House is or how many candies, nuts, trail mixes and more you can find there.

It’s a huge store, and one my food hero, Alton Brown, called “a national treasure.” Note: Closed on Sundays.

Chocolate-covered nuts counter at Nifty Nut House in Wichita Kansas
I found my happy place at the Nifty Nut House. Like a kid in a candy shop.

Quirky Eats

For breakfast to give your day a turbo charge of sugar, go to The Donut Whole. We were among several families there the morning we went. You can go as vanilla or as rainbow as you want when choosing a donut here. The popular flavor is maple bacon, which you gotta try. All donuts are made from scratch daily.

Donut Whole is one of the kid-friendly Wichita restaurants we visited
Fun varieties of cake donuts are sold at The Donut Whole in Wichita.

There’s a wide assortment to choose from, and it is a tough choice. Cookie, candy, cereal…they’re all toppings here. They once had a Breaking Bad donut with blue rock candy on top.

Sign at The Donut Whole in Wichita, Kansas
Pricing guide to The Donut Whole.

The coffee’s pretty good here, plus free refills. If you want a more substantial breakfast, you can get a breakfast sandwich (made with donuts). If, for whatever reason, you’re up late, the drive-thru window is open 24 hours a day.

Doo Dah Diner is a dining hot spot in Wichita, and it has mastered the laid-back vibe. Everyone nods in approval if you tell them you plan to eat there. It’s good stuff. We went on a Sunday, which turns out is buffet-only, which may or may not be great for your family. If you go Wednesday through Saturday for breakfast, expect a wait. But at least you get to have free monkey bread in line (while it lasts…which is about ’til noon).

The counter at Doo Dah Diner in Wichita, Kansas
You can watch your breakfast being made if you sit at the counter at Doo Dah Diner.

I tried one of the buffet staples: Pork Belly and Grits, which got the thumbs up. You’ll also always find hashbrown casserole and smoked salmon on the buffet table every Sunday. You can also get some food made-to-order, including some benedicts and omelets.

Going during the week? Timirie, co-owner of Doo Dah Diner, said the most popular things to order are Crab Cake Benedict, Chicken Fried Steak, Smothered Breakfast Burrito, Banana Bread French Toast (gluten free) and Corned Beef Hash. Hungry, yet?

The Sunday buffet at Doo Dah Diner in Wichita, Kansas
Doo Dah Diner’s Sunday brunch includes pork belly and hash, smoked salmon, and fresh fruit.

The exterior of the diner doesn’t really hint to the fun decor inside. Think lots of colors and a mishmash of art on the walls.

If you’re really hungry go to the historic Delano District for some barbecue at Delano Barbeque Co. It’s huge servings, even on the kid’s menu. And messy, because, well, barbecue. It’s on the quirky side for its Christmas lights. Note: Closed on Sundays.

Sign for Delano Barbeque Co. in Wichita, Kansas
The exterior of Delano Barbeque Co. leaves no doubt to what you’ll be eating once you’re inside.

New Eats

For lunch, try The Kitchen. This is a new restaurant in Wichita where the focus is on clean food (so no nitrates in lunch meat and that burger is 100% beef). That’s not to say it’s health food. We dug into straight up comfort food here. Try the disco fries, a New Jersey take on poutine. The owner, Natasha, described it as New American, adding “We like to say you can be as good or naughty as you like.”

Disco Fries is like a poutine served at The Kitchen in Wichita
The Disco Fries at The Kitchen in Wichita is Jersey’s answer to poutine, but done using clean foods. Total comfort food.

The menu is seasonally inspired, so I can’t quite guarantee what you’ll be able to order. I can tell you that Natasha’s crew serves up a mean panini.

For drinks, they keep some Kansas craft brews on tap. I opted for a raspberry ice tea, which was made just right (not too sweet, thankyouverymuch). It’s a great summer drink.

The Kitchen is located by Union Station in downtown Wichita.

Eats You Wouldn’t Expect To Be Kid-Friendly

Moms and dads who like local beer with good food, go earlier in the day to The Anchor. They’re known for a good lineup of 50+ craft beers on tap and this amazing thing called The Haystack.

Interior of The Anchor, a bar in Wichita, Kansas
The Anchor is a more grown-up place to enjoy local craft beer and a burger, but there is a kid’s menu.

It’s a pub, no getting around it. But, they have a kid’s menu, so they won’t snub families. And not just any thrown-together kiddie menu, but a solid burger served with fries, a fruit cup, and a Rice Krispie Treat. Not bad for $4.99.

* * * * *

Want to start planning your own Great Wichita Weekend?

Start with My Wichita Bucket List to get some inspiration, then dive into these for more fun ideas:

The Great Wichita Weekend recap

A Kid-Favorite Destination: Bonanica Wichita

Wichita Home Base: Hampton Inn & Suites

Visiting Exploration Place With Kids

Exploring Tangyika Wildlife Park

For even more ideas for family fun in Wichita, check out my Pinterest Board.

Disclosure: Our visit was hosted by Visit Wichita. All thoughts, opinions and typos are my own.

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  1. What a great variety of places that you picked to highlight! My family loves your feature image – that is quite the crazy picture! The person’s head on the table is definitely iconic!

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