People's Grocery Cooperative was founded in 1975 as a place where consumers could get local, organic, and natural foods at low prices. It stocks everything from hard-to-get coffees and spices to everyday items including milk and bread. Special orders bring in rare items in bulk and an on-site deli makes wholesome sandwiches with produce and meats from humane and local suppliers.
Family owned and operated for almost half a century, Vista Drive In serves up a menu filled with classic American fare that pairs perfectly with its vintage drive-in atmosphere. Groupon holders can chomp into a prepared-to-order Vistaburger, a quarter-pound beef patty laden with garden-fresh veggies, and since the deal includes two sandwiches, customers can devour both in a single sitting or don the second burger as a succulent beanie. Locals flock to the restaurant to observe hamburgers in their natural habitat, which showcases a retro neon sign and houses a storied history, as well as philanthropic owners who help support KSU and other local schools.
Ingredient restaurant offers a smorgasbord of gourmet and customizable culinary bites in a quick-serve atmosphere, catering to dietary restrictions whenever possible. Local ingredients claim squatter's rights on the menu, sprucing up dishes such as the custom salads ($8.95), with more than 75 options to arrange into fully functioning veggie ecosystems.
Within its naturally lit brick confines, Bluestem Bistro handcrafts its menu of soups, breads, and pastries from scratch without the malevolent influence of preservatives. Local products are meshed and melded to produce sandwiches and wraps ($6.59–$6.89) such as the turkey on focaccia smeared with red-pepper aioli ($6.89), which longs to be raised to the mouth in a salute of gastronomic gratitude. Salads ($6.49–$6.99) and specialty dishes such as spinach lasagna ($6.59) pair freely with a lineup of coffees, teas, and fresh fruit smoothies (nonalcoholic drinks $1.35–$4.80).
Before teaming up in 1953, Burt Baskin and Irv Robbins were seasoned business owners with their own ice-cream shops. The words “unusual varieties” shone high above each shop, signaling their respective owners’ passion for anything but an ordinary dessert experience. When the two got together, it was natural that they’d adopt the theme of “31 flavors,” one for each day of the month. Since then, Baskin Robbins has introduced more than 1,000 flavors and opened shops with more than 5,800 franchise owners worldwide. Even their little pink tasting spoon has become a staple as a way to make flavor browsing an event by allowing guests to try specialties without paying cash or chicken-based trade for the privilege.
A fresh take on cooked-to-order burgers, Smashburger boasts well-stacked meaty marvels—such as Kansas City Smashburgers housed in an egg bun and slathered with A.1. steak sauce—as well as expedient service and ample sit-down space. The menu boasts more smashes than two monster trucks playing tennis, with Smashburgers—100% Angus beef plus quality veggies and cheeses on an artisan bun—taking center stage ($4.99–$6.99). Grilled, crispy Smashchickens ($5.99–$6.99) arrive bedecked in buffalo sauce, chipotle mayo, or your sauce of choice, proudly vying for dental attention with the fresh garden green tossed Smashsalads ($4.99–6.99). Smashsides such as the Smashfries fire up the hearts and bellies of all gracious guests ($1.99–$2.99), and nonsecret specialties, such as the Häagen-Dazs shake ($3.99), keep mouths grounded, cool, and smiley.