Since 2005, Old Chicago has offered Chicago-style pizza -- that is, pizza made in a deep dish with lots of toppings -- to Topekans. The restaurant also serves Calzones and a variety of pastas and salads. Don't forget to finish your meal with a giant, freshly baked dessert cookie a la mode. (Updated 3/23/09)
On the Border, which opened in 2005, serves your favorite Mexican dishes prepared in a Tex-Mex fashion. Enjoy specialty fajitas, tacos or Build Your Own Burrito. If you're counting calories, choose from the Border Smart menu featuring items with 750 or less calories, 25g or less of fat, and 8g or less of saturated fat.
Paisano's offers southern Italian cuisine, which means its selections are built around homemade sauces often featuring seafood and are served in large portion sizes. The entrees are so good you must be careful that you don't fill up on the bottomless fresh salad, bread and made-from-scratch soups.
Paisano's also has an early bird special Monday through Friday. Entrees are half-price with the purchase of a drink for everyone who is seated by 11:30 a.m.
They make anything Bambino size on request, for the little ones.
Delivery is limited to larger orders, with a minimum $75 purchase. (Updated 3/20/09)
For a national chain, Panda Express delivers one-of-a-kind signature entrees such as Orange Chicken and zesty Beijing Beef.
Panda Express started in 1973 when Andrew Cherng and his father, Ming-Tsai, opened the fine dining restaurant Panda Inn in Pasadena, Calif. Andrew had a vision of offering delicious signature Chinese entrees to a wider audience and in 1983 opened the first Panda Express in Glendale, Calif. Today, Panda Express has grown to over 1,300 restaurants nationwide and continues to be family owned by Andrew and Peggy Cherng.
Look for tangy Orange Chicken as well as other traditional Chinese dishes like spicy Kung Pao Chicken and savory Broccoli Beef.
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.
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 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)
PT's Coffee Roasting Co. opened Flying Monkey Handcrafted Brews on Dec. 2, 2011. A cafe specializing in serving Direct Trade Coffee and Espresso, Flying Monkey is located in the College Hill District at 17th & Washburn next to Washburn University, Flying Monkey is a PT's Coffee Roasting Co. cafe that serves PT's signature coffee, fresh, local food and a selection of local and regional microbrews including beer from Topeka's Blind Tiger.
On July 19, 2012, Flying Monkey was rebranded as PT's Coffee Roasting Co.
The newest addition to Gage Center's collection of restaurants and bars, Quinton's specializes in gourmet sandwiches and bread bowl soups -- “In bowls you can actually eat,” founder Steve Gaudreau says. Don't overlook Quinton's famous reubens, which come in several versions, or try a fresh salad.
The cozy, laid-back atmosphere features a 3,000-pound beam recycled from a circa 1800 railroad station and tables made from recycled wood. So kick back and enjoy one of the 12 beers on tap at the full-service bar (open until 2 a.m.) or choose from dozens of bottles. Quinton's has the largest import beer selection in Topeka.
Formerly McB's, Reed's Lakeside Bar & Grill offers a fun, friendly atmosphere with great service for the Lake Shawnee crowd. Stop by to watch the big game, enjoy one of the daily food and drink specials. Local boxers Derrick and Damon Reed, who also own Reed's Ringside Bar & Grill north of Topeka, bought McB's in August 2010. (Updated 8.28.10)