Jayhawk Corner Cafe & Jayhawk Java

700 S.W. Jackson, Topeka

Scott Nickel, who has operated the Brickyard Barn Inn on N.W. 25th with his wife, Truanna, for the past 11 years, has extended his cooking reach to the Jayhawk Tower office complex at 7th and Jackson.

The Jayhawk Corner Cafe, located in the lobby of the former Jayhawk Hotel, offers an all-inclusive lunch buffet from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., and eventually will have breakfast, too. The food includes American, Italian, Mexican and Southwestern favorites on a rotating basis. Coffee is served from 7:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. during the week.

Mad Eliza’s Cakes and Confections

2839 S.W. 29th, Topeka

After three years of creating cakes in their home, Peggy and Mark Murnahan opened their first retail shop — Mad Eliza’s Cakes and Confections — with pink walls and a checked black and white floor.

Mad Eliza’s, named after the Murnahan's daughter Madeline Elizabeth, features cakes and confections including cupcakes, cookies and cheesecakes that change daily. Some of the more popular selections are the maple-bacon cupcakes, cream cheese-filled chocolate chip cookies and lemon bars. Peggy also makes cakes to-order.

In late 2014, Mad Eliza's moved across town to Brookwood Plaza.

Panera Bread

1421 S.W. Wanamaker, Topeka

This bakery and bistro offers a comfortable spot to meet with friends or enjoy free Wi-Fi Internet access. Coffee and espresso drinks are available along with soups, salads, paninis and sandwiches that feature Panera's fresh-baked breads. The long menu is filled with a wide array of options.

The Topeka location in this national chain opened in 2000 and has been a repeat "Best of Topeka" winner.

Call and fax-in orders are accepted with no minimum purchase required. Orders can usually be ready within 20 to 30 minutes, but the staff can't guarantee it will be done at a specific time.

Perkins Restaurant & Bakery

1720 SW Wanamaker, Topeka

Perkins is a national chain that operates one location in Topeka serving home-style American food. Hours run early to late, and the folks at Perkins serve the entire menu all day long including breakfast.

Perkins offers fresh-baked goods, from muffins to pies. Try them inside the restaurant or take them to go.

When available, the party room can be reserved in advance for a group.

Starting in April, the restaurant stays open until midnight Sunday through Thursday. Those summer hours continue to October.


2830 S.W. Fairlawn Road, Topeka

Customers can choose from a variety of crispy thin or traditional crust pizzas, with a variety of toppings ranging from traditional pepperoni and tomato sauce to more cutting edge finishes like fish, chicken and alfredo sauce.

Pizza is sold by the slice or by the pie, and is available to eat in or carry-out. The restaurant's popular bakery is open all day, so customers can purchase a bagel or espresso drink any time. Beer and wine are served at the bar, and delivery service will be added within a few months of the restaurant's opening.

Soho Espresso

3129 SW Huntoon, Topeka

Located inside Soho Interiors in the historic Westboro Shopping Center, Soho Espresso features authentic affogato — a gelato and espresso concoction — as well as espresso drinks, delicious breads, cakes and cookies from a collection of family recipes all baked in the store from scratch. Soho Espresso opened on Nov. 2, 2011.

Soho Espresso is also open during special, late night events such as the monthly Art Walk and trunk shows.

Sommerset Hall Café

5701 SW Douglas Rd., Dover

Don’t bother calling to reserve a table – the only thing the Sommerset Hall Café takes reservations for are slices of pie. In November 2008, 88-year-old Norma Grubb’s coconut cream pie claimed the top spot in the “Good Morning America Weekend’s Best Slice Challenge.” While Grubb has passed away, the tradition continues with pies by baker Berneta Shults. Of course there’s more than pie to draw customers to this restaurant in downtown Dover, which sits southwest of Topeka in Shawnee County. The restaurant itself makes its home in a building constructed in 1885, which previously was used as a feed store and later as a grocery and is now listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Sommerset Hall Café fills bellies with its daily lunch buffet and its Friday night buffet, in which specials rotate, including catfish and fried chicken. Or, order off the menu, which includes hamburgers and salads. (Updated 04/02/15)

Townsite Café

120 S.E. 6th St., Topeka

Owner Doug Petrie has been in the restaurant business for more than 30 years. He owns and operates the wildly successful Millennium Café at the Topeka & Shawnee County Public Library as well as Peach Tree Catering.

His latest venture, Townsite Café, which opened in April 2012, is a spiffy breakfast and lunch spot inside Townsite Plaza at S.W. 6th and Kansas.

Once you find your way to Townsite Café you won't have any problem finding your way back. With daily specials that will make your mouth water to a variety of fresh and delicious salads to sandwiches and wraps to a vegetarian menu to soups and chili, Petrie is proving that getting a quick bite to eat can be a deliciously tasty experience at a reasonable price.