One of our favorite parts of exploring new destinations is sampling the local cuisine options. When we roll into a new city, we like to keep our eyes open to dining choices that are loved by the locals. Marysville, Kansas has plenty of those, but with just over 24 hours to explore, we realized we could only test a few. This would still allow us to sample a decent cross-section of restaurants, and we were betting they would hit the spot. After all, we would need plenty of fuel for exploring this central Kansas city. Let’s check out some of the Marysville dining choices you will find when you visit.
We want to thank Visit Marysville and the local businesses for hosting our visits. Rest assured all opinions are our own.
Bite Me Barbecue
There is something about a catchy name that draws us in for a visit. Bite Me Barbecue certainly fits that category, and we love sampling the local ‘Cue when traveling. This local eatery began with a food truck, which they lovingly call their BBQ Shack. As demand for their products grew, they felt the need to move into a brick & mortar business. Located prominently, along the Pony Express Highway, this place draws in the locals with their smoky dishes and friendly service. Even with their day-to-day business running strong, they still break out the BBQ Shack for special occasions. This would be our first taste of Marysville dining, and we fit it in right after our black squirrel “hunt”.
Sampling the Goods
At most restaurants, Crystal and I each order our own plates. These we can share so that the flavors are experienced equally. When we hit up a barbecue joint, our standard practice changes. Here we like to get a Sampler Platter so that we can test a variety of the dishes that are being served up each day. Every BBQ restaurant adds its unique personality to the menu, so we sample to see which meats are our favorites. Bite Me Barbecue brings a nice smoky depth to their meats and doesn’t go overboard on the sauce. Their side dishes add a touch of zing, with specialties like the Cucumber Salad. An unexpected bonus was their German Summer Sausage that is made right here in town. That is something you don’t find at many barbecues.
After a day of exploring, we felt as though we had walked for miles. What we needed was a hearty meal to refill our tanks. On the western side of the downtown strip, we found our evening destination. El Ranchero Mexican Restaurant has been a Marysville dining staple for years. On the evening that we visited, the place was filled with a mix of locals and travelers. The staff is primarily made up of family members, so they all know the importance of customer satisfaction. The owner’s daughter went above and beyond to make sure we had a great experience.
That Was Unexpected!
When picking my dinner choice, I decided to try something completely foreign to me. The Molcajete not only comes packed with flavor, but it is also presented in an interesting container. The name comes from the lava rock that is carved in the shape of a pig, which added some extra fun to my dinner. The dish contains a hearty helping of chicken, steak, shrimp, and chorizo, as well as peppers and onion. It was so good, that I continued munching on it even after my stomach said Stop! It was just that delicious. Crystal decided to sample one of their combination platters that included some familiar dishes, which satisfied her Mexican food craving. We knew as we left the restaurant that an evening walk would be needed to help burn off some of the day’s calories.
Empty Cup Coffee Bar
By now you probably know that we like our coffee in the morning. In the heart of downtown, we found Empty Cup Coffee Bar. Being early risers, we popped in first thing in the morning. The owner was already hard at it, prepping for the morning rush. Here was a great opportunity to start the day with some sweet and savory dishes. Crystal chose one of their Breakfast Sandwiches, which included egg, sausage, and cheese on a ciabatta roll. I selected the Grilled Bacon PB&J, which made for the first time I have had bacon on my favorite sandwich. You can bet it won’t be the last! Each plate also included some delicious chips, that included a cinnamon sugar taste. We also tested one of their “Dossants”. This fluffy treat is a cross between a donut and croissant and is an example of creative Marysville dining.
The Wagon Wheel
When you hear that a place has been around for decades, you know you have to check it out. The Wagon Wheel has been serving customers for nearly 70 years. That is a testament to their ability to satisfy their customer’s needs over the changing generations. Being willing to serve breakfast, lunch, and dinner is a commitment that not many restaurants offer these days. It isn’t hard to imagine that there is a good reason they have been given plenty of accolades. They have been recognized as one of the Top 10 steakhouses in Kansas, and labeled as one of the “Best Local Eats”. We knew that when we walked through the door, we would find an eatery filled with locals.
Sure enough, this place was hopping with business, and we are betting the whole social distancing thing was making the need to have reservations a must at times. Since this meal would be carrying us home, we felt as though we had saved one of the top spots for last. To give a nod to being in the heart of the beef region, we decided to sample a couple of their burgers. Crystal selected the Whiskey Burger that has melted Swiss and American cheeses, crispy bacon, and some of their onion tanglers. This is all sandwiched between slices of grilled sourdough, which helps capture the smoky, sweet whiskey sauce.
I chose the Smoked Belly Burger and substituted Sweet Potato Fries for my side. The patty is made from a combination of ground beef and pork belly. This makes it extremely moist and flavorful. They top it with Swiss and Cheddar cheeses. Grilled onions and a sweet chili aioli sauce bring a little kick to the bite. These burgers were everything we had hoped for and made for a perfect ending to our Marysville dining experiences.
As you can see, we certainly found some great dining options in Marysville, Kansas. With so many locally-owned choices, it’s not hard to find about any cuisine you are craving. Keep in mind that much like other small to mid-sized cities, Marysville has a handful of top spots that can be pretty busy on the weekend. It was nice to find that there are plenty of alternates that offer good food and friendly service. Oh, and one of the most important things to us, is that they have plenty of coffee! Have you sampled any of the Marysville dining options we showed in this article? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comment section below.