When you visit the heart of the country, you are guaranteed to find a hearty meal made with love. Located in a state with farmland and cattle ranches and fond of potlucks and farmhouse meals, it’s no surprise you’ll find flavorful barbecue, thick-cut bacon for BLTs and plenty of Kansas beef for mouth-watering burgers and steaks. There’s also no shortage of crave able sides like broccoli salad and pasta salad on menus across the city.

But which foods are considered iconic or unique to the region? This list captures a variety of the foods you have to try but may not be the first that come to mind.

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Chili and cinnamon rolls

Chili? Delicious. Cinnamon rolls? Yes, please. But in Kansas and in Wichita, if you order a bowl of chili, it’s common for a homemade cinnamon roll to come alongside. It’s a thing. A delicious thing, and can be found regularly at Public, The Kitchen and Old Mill Tasty Shop.


A bier-what? The bierock is a delicious dough pocket of seasoned hamburger and shredded cabbage and sometimes onions. The food was brought to the state with Volga German immigrants decades ago. It’s a staple on the menu at German restaurant Prost (see header image).

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Chicken noodles and mashed potatoes

When you order up a warm bowl of chicken and noodle soup in Wichita, you may find it’s served on top a creamy, buttery serving of mashed potatoes. Sure, you can eat it with a side of crackers, but try it our way when you’re in the heart of the country. Order up especially delicious versions of this specialty at Doo-Dah Diner and Tanya’s Soup Kitchen.

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Even though Wichita is the largest city in the state, farms are just outside the city limits. For generations, Kansans have been making and perfecting pie recipes, so it’s not surprising to find this dessert on menus all over the city. Try a slice at eateries like Bakesale Treat Parlor, Bagatelle Bakery and The Kitchen.

Chicken Fried Steak

Diners around the state and ones in Wichita like Jimmie's Diner - North Rock and Jimmie's Diner - South have perfected this tasty dish. Get it with a side of buttery corn and mashed potatoes and cover it all in creamy gravy for a filling and memorable meal.

Some dishes that are known to those who call Wichita home is the Famous #8 – an iconic sandwich at Artichoke Sandwichbar, the Big Shell Mac N Cheese at River City Brewing Co., Scotch Eggs at the PourHouse by Walnut River Valley Brewing Company, the chicken salad sandwich at Old Mill Tasty Shop and Bacon Crack (pictured above) at Nortons Brewing Co.

Go here for even more delicious dining ideas in Wichita.