Kansas I-70 is a major interstate that runs across the state of Kansas, connecting the eastern and western borders. While the drive can be long and tedious, there are plenty of great restaurants along the way to make your journey a delicious one. In this blog post, we will be exploring the where to eat on Kansas I-70, including Goodland, Colby, Oakley, WaKeeney, Hays, Salina, Abilene, Junction City, Manhattan, Topeka, Lecompton, Lawrence, Leavenworth, and Kansas City.
Whether you’re a local or just passing through, this guide will ensure that you never go hungry on your travels. Forget the fast food; indulge in these delicious, locally-owned eateries along this 424-mile stretch of highway.
Fun Fact: Did you know that Kansas I-70 is one of the country’s first interstate segments, connecting Utah to Maryland?
Goodland – Exits 17, 19
The charming town of Goodland, Kansas, is home to some of the tastiest eats on the open road. For breakfast, there’s no better place than The Bricks by Maria, where fluffy biscuits and gravy, farm-fresh eggs, and sizzling breakfast meats reign supreme.
For lunch, the premium Angus beef burger hits the spot, or opt for a hearty Cobb salad with hard-boiled egg, bacon, and homemade blue cheese dressing.
Colby – Exits 53, 54
For a taste of nostalgic comfort food, Colby’s City Limits Bar & Grill serves up chef-inspired classics and comfort food favorites. The formidable chicken fried steak spills over the plate. The generous portions come with all the traditional sides, such as mashed potatoes and green beans.
Perfectly al dente pasta, sweet bread pudding, and more round out the menu. Discerning foodies and casual diners alike will delight in these under-the-radar eateries.
Pro Tip: We’ve got some great recommendations for traveling Kansas Highway 36, too, in this food post.
Oakley – Exits 70, 76
Hidden gems with exceptional cuisine abound in this unassuming town. While the Bluff Restaurant and Bar may lack flashy curb appeal, diners are greeted by a warm welcome and near-fine dining experience.
The grilled chicken entrées are tasty. I liked the one smothered in a flavorful mélange of peppers, onions, and melted cheese, served with sides of corn, potatoes, and a fresh salad. Carnivores will relish the prime rib and handcrafted steaks.
WaKeeney – Exits 127, 128
Nestled just off the highway in the heart of western Kansas, The Brazen Bull offers weary travelers a warm welcome and heaping helpings of comfort food. Within minutes of exiting Kansas I-70, you can be diving into sky-high stacks of hand-dipped onion rings or other classic bites.
Sides like their famous Philly fries—sliced fried potatoes topped with a medley of onions, mushrooms, peppers, and gooey cheese—are seasoned to perfection. They are a must for your choice of side items from the sandwich menu.
For an authentic taste of the American heartland, pull up a seat at the Western Kansas Saloon, the perfect pit stop on your journey west. Slicing into juicy ribeyes and prime rib are only moments away, or chicken fried steak, for those non-beef eaters.
Hays – Exits 157, 159
When in Hays, do as the locals do and head to Gella’s Diner and Lb. Brewing Co. Fried pickles and duo dips of horseradish and onion are the perfect starters to share. Then, choose between the signature bierocks, stuffed with ground beef and onions, or a gourmet burger. Either pairs wonderfully with German potato salad on the side.
Another restaurant pleaser is Gella’s Green Bean Dumpling Soup, a hearty and delicious creation. You’ll love the vast array of beers on tap and cream soda and root beer for the kids.
Here are some great ideas for things to do along Kansas I-70!
Salina – Exits 244, 250, 252, 258
Cozy Inn is a local institution since 1922 that specializes in slider-style burgers. These little steam-fried mini burgers are perfect if you just need a quick snack on the go. Don’t expect any frills here, as the restaurant has been serving the same menu for over 90 years, but the burgers (onions, no cheese!) speak for themselves.
Don’t worry if all six stools are taken; you can order from the new walk-up counter and eat at the outdoor picnic tables.
Discover the tantalizing flavors of Blue Sky Brewery and Eats, a Salina gem with a trendy urban atmosphere. Indulge in mouthwatering creations such as Brizzas (breakfast pizzas), Mac Daddy Pizza, and Fig Jam Panini.
Locals can’t get enough of their microbrews, wood-fired pizzas, and farm-fresh burgers. Don’t miss out on their incredible Sunday brunch, complete with a giant cinnamon roll that will leave you speechless. Blue Sky is closed on Mondays.
Discover a little slice of Italy right here in Salina at Martinelli’s Little Italy. Immerse yourself in the charm and flavors of the old country as you indulge in generous portions of authentic, homemade Italian dishes.
Kick off your culinary adventure with crispy toasted ravioli accompanied by a rich marinara sauce for dipping. Then dig into the mouthwatering goodness of our lasagna and mushroom chicken marsala pasta, featuring tender grilled chicken. Don’t forget to savor each bite with our freshly baked bread, perfect for soaking up the deliciously savory sauces.
Abilene – Exits 272, 275
Looking for the perfect pit stop along Kansas I-70? Try Amanda’s Bakery & Bistro in Abilene! This charming gem offers both a bakery and a cozy eatery, where you can indulge in mouthwatering bierocks, gourmet sandwiches, refreshing salads, and heavenly pastries. The wild rice soup is 10/10!
And don’t forget to save room for their homemade pies!
Junction City – Exits 295, 301
Calling all barbecue lovers! You won’t want to miss JC’s BBQ & Grill in Junction City, Kansas. This local eatery is serving up mouthwatering ribs, wings, and brisket that are simply irresistible. And the best part? It’s the perfect place to bring the whole family, with a fun atmosphere and a kid-friendly vibe.
But don’t stop there – make sure to try their delicious sides like baked beans, cheesy corn, stadium fries, and coleslaw. You might need a little nap in the parking lot afterwards, but you’ll leave feeling completely satisfied and happy.
Manhattan – Exits 303, 313
Experience an extraordinary culinary journey on Kansas I-70 at Bourbon & Baker! Discover a tantalizing tapas-style menu that reimagines beloved favorites like Deviled Eggs, Cornbread Sliders, and Chicken & Waffles.
As you savor these delectable dishes, be captivated by our extensive selection of bourbons. Alternatively, sip on our handcrafted signature cocktails or enjoy our perfectly poured on-tap wines.
Get ready for an amazing breakfast experience at The Chef Cafe. The menu is packed with delicious options that will make your mouth water. Picture yourself enjoying huge, fluffy biscuits covered in tasty sausage gravy, perfectly cooked eggs, and more.
The Chef Cafe has all your favorite breakfast dishes, including five different Bennies. Plus, you can even treat yourself to a refreshing glass of wine, beer, or cocktail from the full bar.
Lecompton – Exit 197
Venture to the charming small town of Lecompton, where Aunt Netter’s Cafe—an endearing, locally-owned gem—delights with their exceptional breakfast, lunch, and homemade pies. Here, the Philly Quesadilla and Buffalo Chicken Sandwich will tantalize your taste buds without breaking the bank.
Treat yourself to a scrumptious road trip snack from their irresistible array of mile-high pies and sinfully delicious cupcakes. Trust us, the peanut butter pie is a surefire hit!
Aunt Netter’s Cafe is closed Mondays and Tuesdays.
Leavenworth – Exits 396, 401
Experience an authentic taste of Italy at Luigi’s Italian Restaurant! Prepare yourself for a delightful culinary adventure filled with family-sized portions and incredible flavors. Start off with our irresistible Italian Meatballs smothered in a luxurious béchamel sauce.
As the main attraction, treat yourself to the delectable Shrimp and Spinach Ravioli drenched in a heavenly vodka sauce that will truly make your mouth water. Every bite is absolutely delicious.
Kansas City – Exits 410-423
Looking for some amazing, authentic Kansas City barbecue? Look no further than Slap’s BBQ! Our local joint serves up delicious meats and homemade sauces that are sure to make your mouth water.
Whether you choose to dine indoors or outdoors, you’ll be able to savor all the traditional barbecue favorites, like brisket, smoked turkey, burnt ends, pulled pork, and jalapeño cheddar or Polish sausages. And don’t forget to try our incredible cheesy corn – it’s absolutely to die for! Place your order at the counter and get ready for a finger-licking good meal at Slap’s BBQ.
Kansas City has a fantastic and delicious Taco Trail you can take part in. Read more about it from my friend Amy’s site at Follow the Piper. One of the restaurants she visited is our go-to for Mexican in KCK.
Taqueria Mexico (#4) is an aesthetically pleasing Mexican joint with all the classics you love, and some new items you will quickly fall in love with. Chimichangas and mulcajetes are the house specialties, but I go for the Choripollo with chorizo and chicken breast drenched in queso served with rice and beans.
Delicious Kansas I-70
There is no reason to hop off Kansas I-70 for a fast food meal when you have so many delicious choices awaiting you from this list. Not only is Kansas a place for amazing scenery and history, but a tasty state, as well.
I was compensated by Kansas I-70 to take the road trip to 16 towns for the purpose of three articles. Opinions and reviews are 100% mine and unbiased.