When we started looking for breakfast locations in Wichita, the Beacon Restaurant kept rising to the top. After hearing all of the repetition, it was obvious that this was a place to try. Since it was close to our hotel, it seemed that a breakfast run would fit perfectly. We visited on a Tuesday morning, and even with some road work nearby, we found a great parking spot out front.
The Beacon sits downtown next to the Wichita Eagle building, which houses the local newspaper. For us non-locals, this seemed rather unconnected. A little research uncovered that the newspaper was once called The Wichita Beacon. It changed names in 1989, and since then the restaurant’s name is only synonymous with being a local favorite. Of course, since the interior is covered in various lighthouse artwork, we assumed that was the origin of the name. Without the extra research, we would have been satisfied with this wrong assumption.
Our visit occurred on a weekday morning, so we had a chance to see the average crowd. What we found was an eclectic collection of business people, construction crews, and other downtown workers. Throw in a few mail deliverers, and other route runners, and we knew this was certainly a local hot spot. Our wait was only a couple minutes, and then we were seated. Our server came over with a pot of coffee, and two cups. It was clear that most customers start their visit with this morning necessity, and we didn’t want to buck tradition. A quick review of the menu, and we were ready to order. While we waited for our meal, we watched the interaction between customers and staff. It was obvious that a large portion of those arriving were regulars, and were greeted warmly.
We picked our standard breakfast, which includes eggs, hash browns, bacon, and toast. A couple cups of Joe, and some orange juice rounded out our meals. While this seems pretty boring to most, for us it supplies all of the protein and carbs we need for a day of exploring. The food was served quickly, and the flavor was much better than what we would find at chain breakfast spots. So at this unique little eatery, in the middle of downtown, we found just what everyone had told us we would. A good meal, friendly service, and a local hidden gem.