Do you enjoy exploring new places with a slower pace than the big city but still want to excite your taste buds? Visit Pittsburg and neighboring communities in Southeast Kansas. Expats were drawn first to the mining industry, then a university, creating a food and drink culture reflecting this history.

Nutrient rich soil and European immigrant wine making traditions meant Eastern Kansas should’ve been Wine Country. Kansas Prohibition (1881-1948) and counties staying “dry” for decades afterward stopped that. But, whiskey and wine were illegally produced and bootlegged nationwide. The regions first legal breweries, Drop the H and Jolly Fox, opened in 2019.

“Tea in a cup” was code for “homebrew” at the oldest chicken diner in Southeast Kansas. Opened in 1934, Chicken Annie’s fed miners and travelers. It’s one of six area chicken joints open for more than 50 years, including Barto’s, Chicken Mary’s, and Gebhardt’s. Pick one. It’s cheap. It’s delicious. You’ll be treated like family.

Not in the mood for a diner, grill or New York style deli? Asian and Latin flavors drift across the community. There’s Tex-Mex at Café Del Rio, and authentic dishes from their home countries at Guadalajara Mexican Grill, Medinas Mexican Restaurant, Restaurante Salvadoreño, and Typhoon Thai.

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Ready for desert? Or maybe you need a sweet treat after being on the road. Pueblo Mio serves a churro sundae. TOAST has gelato. You can’t go wrong at Granny’s Chip Chocolate Ice Cream & Candy Shop, Sugar Rush: Sweet Treats, The Cake Shed, or Dave’s Tropical Sno. C4 Coffee, Root Coffeehouse & Creperie, and Signet Coffee all carry treats as well.

Southeast Kansas

Crawford County, Kansas is home to several small towns with big flavors. Arma, Frontenac, Girard, McCune, Pittsburg, Walnut. Find them all at Tell them Explore Crawford County sent you. They’ll treat you right.