The Jet-A-Way Café, located just off the runway at Forbes Field, provides an up-close view of action at the airport while also serving barbeque in a diner-like setting. The food is so good and convenient that some pilots make a point of fueling up at Forbes just so they can eat there, too. The Jet-A-Way Café also welcomes those who work at Forbes Field as well as visitors who want to grab a bite to eat while watching planes take off and land.
The food includes barbecue ribs, pulled pork, brisket and turkey. But if you’re craving something you don’t see on the menu, just ask. The cooks are happy to make what you want, including a variety of breakfast items.
Café hours may vary. If, for example, a later flight is expected to arrive, the café may stay open late.
After 10 years running the BBQ spot at Topeka Harley Davidson, Lonnie Weaver set off on his own (armed with a hungry army of loyal BBQ fans) and opened a new restaurant in February 2011, in Deer Creek Valley, just south of I-70 (take the SE Deer Creek Trafficway exit on I-70 and go south before turning east of SE 21st St.) and north of Lake Shawnee (from SE 29th St. behind the Lake Shawnee dam, go north on SE Wittenberg Road to SE 21st St.).
Located in a brand new building near Deer Creek RV Park, Lonnie's offers exactly what you expect in a BBQ joint: ribs, brisket, pork and turkey as well as an array of outstanding side dishes including his popular cheesy taters. On Saturday mornings, Lonnie's serves biscuits and gravy.
And before you think that Lonnie is just the mastermind at the smoker, know that the music inspired murals inside the restaurant were all painted by Lonnie himself. The interior of Lonnie's is both comfortable and sophisticated with room for 75.
The Moose Lodge is a North Topeka landmark offering full-service dining for members and guests on Wednesday, Friday and Saturday evenings. The Moose, which supports veterans activities and the JROTC program at Topeka High, also holds separate pancake and taco feeds once a month that are open to the public (check the roadside sign for dates). (Updated 3.26.09)
Pigskins is the laid-back, game-watching, sports bar side of Boss Hawg's Barbeque, which has been "horrifying vegetarians since 1995." They serve food until midnight, and you can get it half price if you order after 10 p.m. (Updated 3/20/09)
An Oakland family-owned favorite since 1965, the Pizza Parlor features delicious pizza meals including the Big Bobby -- a 16 inch Super Supreme pizza that weighs 4.5 pounds before entering the oven!
Don't be fooled by the name "Pizza Parlor." Bill Domme serves just about anything. "If you can't find something on the menu to eat," he says, "you're not hungry." The menu includes hamburgers and ribs with homemade barbecue sauce. On Saturday, try a steak during the Steak Night Special. On Sunday, the Pizza Parlor serves breakfast 9 a.m. to noon and the regular menu noon to 7 p.m.
The kitchen closes at 10 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 7 p.m. on Sunday.
Opened in June 1987, Puffy's has been voted among the best steakhouses in the area. With customers from all over northeast Kansas including Topeka, Manhattan, Council Grove and Emporia, Puffy's is family-owned and can seat more than 300 people. You can find more than steaks on the menu at Puffy's. Puffy's also has pork chops, shrimp, chicken and chicken fried steak, burgers and fries. A second location opened in 2008 in Alma, 123 W. 3rd, serving lunches daily.
Tailgators Sports Pub and Grub isn't your typical bar. This smoke-free environment has a dozen 42-inch plasma TVs and a 100-by-50-inch projection TV in the main bar.
An enclosed patio is available for patrons who want to smoke, with four 32-inch plasma TVs and room for 35 to 40 customers.
There are drink and food specials every day and Tailgators has a full menu that includes smoked ribs, brisket, pork and chicken, as well as a variety of appetizers, sandwiches, hamburgers and barbecue. (Updated 2/23/09)
Coming in to replace the longtime South Topeka staple Pat's Pig, The Southern Star Cafe opened in late summer 2014. Offering barbecue, burgers and more barbecue, Southern Star offers a mobile kitchen and catering.
Open for private parties by appointment only, the Vinewood has been a Topeka venue since 1890. With a large, spacious wood dance floor, the Vinewood offers a plethora of entertainment options, including dancing, dining, seminars, special events, receptions and parties. Steve and Toni Cloud revived and renovated The Vinewood to modern entertainment specifications while retaining the old charm. (Updated 2/23/09)
Branching off from Bobo's Drive-In, Wild B's is the brainchild of Bobo's owner Richard Marsh. He has partnered with Leroy’s, a barbecue restaurant established in Pomona and Lyndon. Wild B's offers Bobo's burgers and apple pie, but also features Leroy's food.