Pepe & Chela's

1001 S.W. Tyler, Topeka

The Aliva family has been feeding Topekans since 1986. Everything is made fresh daily, from the chips to the chile rellenos -- with food made from both Avila family recipes and other dishes created to entice customers.

In May 2009, the restaurant completed a new outdoor patio, adding 26 seats where diners can enjoy the weather on nice days and evenings. The patio features outdoor music and lights.

Pigskins Sports Bar

2833 S.W. 29th Street, Topeka

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)


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.

Planet Sub

2130 S.W. Wanamaker Road, Topeka

Planet Sub knows subs. They start with fresh home-made wheat bread (baked every day), crisp vegetables, select cheeses and flavorful meats.

But what completes their one-of-a-kind submarine sandwich is the taste that comes from the golden, crispy crust, evenly melted cheese and the perfectly blended flavors of their oven-baked masterpieces.


508 N.E. Sardou, Topeka

A pilgrimage to CW Porubsky Grocery and Meats during chili season has been a Topeka tradition since 1947. This friendly, family-operated business is a good place to get a good meal without spending a lot of money.

Charles Porubsky opened this still family-run business Jan. 1, 1947. His son Charlie runs things now. To this day, little changes there. Porubsky's has the same weathered bar signs and packs the same lunch crowd ranging from the everyday worker to the governor. A county judge is among the servers.

And while chili season at Porubsky's runs from Sept. 1 through April 1, a trip to Topeka's Little Russia is not complete without also stopping for a legendary hot pickle. Be warned: even during chili season, chili isn't served on Fridays.

Puffy’s Steak and Ice House

215 Main Street, Maple Hill

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.


1025 SW Wanamaker Road, Topeka

Qdoba offers a new spin on Mexican food, utilizing unique flavors combined in interesting ways. Homemade guacamole is prepared daily, and black and pinto beans are slowly simmered in cumin spice and onion.

Don't forget to try Qdoba's wide selection of salsas and sauces for the perfect topping to your meal. Three Cheese Queso is a signature item at this national chain.

Qdoba, located next to Jimmy John's in an new building on the west side of the 1000 block of SW Wanamaker Road, is one of a handful of new restaurants that popped up during the summer of 2008. (Updated 3/10/09)

RowHouse Restaurant and Catering

515 S.W. Van Buren, Topeka

RowHouse offers white-linen fine dining with a stellar menu to match its elegant and cozy atmosphere. The menu changes regularly, featuring foods from Morroco, Italy, Thailand and Argentina. The location itself is a draw -- an 1876 rowhouse that has received preservation kudos for its renovation. For reservations, call (785) 235-1700.

The RowHouse also offers private parties Sunday, Monday and Tuesday evenings and can do private lunches Monday through Friday. Call for more information.

Downstairs, the RowHouse has opened a sophisticated bar, which you enter through red velvet curtains. Below the Row has space for 12, making it a cozy spot for drinks for two or guests waiting for tables at the upscale restaurant above. Like the rest of the RowHouse, the bar retains the old home's charm with an old fireplace, but it mixes in a contemporary, cool vibe. It's a great spot for a glass of fine wine.
(Updated 3/4/09)

Saigon Restaurant

3200 S.W. 29th St., Topeka

Saigon Restaurant, where a Vietnamese chef cooks up fine dishes from Southeast Asia in a casual dining atmosphere, opened in 2007.

Schlotzsky's Deli

400 S.W. 29th St. Ste Z, Topeka

Schlotzsky's flagship sandwich is "The Original." It includes premium meats, cheeses and marinated olives on warmed sourdough bread. The restaurant began in 1971 with this sandwich in Austin, Texas, but has since expanded to an international chain that features a broad range of pizzas, paninis and wraps. In a rush? Call or fax your order for a speedy pick-up.