Sometimes leftovers don’t cut it, or you just want to enjoy lunch with a friend. Fortunately, Topeka has a large variety of restaurants and eateries. You don’t have to break your budget to find delicious lunch options. There are a variety of local restaurants where you can eat for under $8.
Bobo’s Drive In
Bobo’s is a long-time Topeka staple. Bobo’s has been in Topeka since 1948 and has called the intersection of 10th and MacVicar home since 1953. This restaurant with a classic diner atmosphere has even been featured in the Food Network’s Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives. They serve a variety of mouth-watering fare, but you can’t go wrong with their classic cheeseburger or the famed Spanish Burger (both under $3).
If you’re near downtown, check out El Centenario. While El Centenario’s menu boasts plenty of wallet-friendly items, the Mexican Tacos ($2.50) are a light lunch hit. Choose from steak, chicken, pork, chorizo, or shrimp. Order one for a side or to satisfy a light craving, or order a few for lunch.
The Wheel Barrel
This NOTO restaurant features a wide array of sandwiches, but the Adult PB&J ($7) offers a grown-up take on the nostalgic childhood favorite. As a bonus to the great food, you can often find music and art demonstrations at The Wheel Barrel.
College Hill Pizza Pub
The Pizza Pub, near Washburn University, is a favorite of students (the restaurant is open until 3 a.m. so you don’t go hungry while doing some late-night cramming). One reason this unique pizzeria is such a hit is because of the option to customize your 10” pizza (starting at $6.50). Pick your crust, sauce, meat, veggies, cheese and other toppings. There are standard toppings such as pepperoni, but also options for a gluten free crust and surprising toppings such as pulled pork or Doritos.
Mexican Taco Shop
Topeka’s Mexican Taco Shop is actually two shops! This local favorite has a location on the south side of town near 37th and Burlingame, along with a location near the hospitals and library. The menu is full of generous servings, including the Shredded Beef Burrito ($6.25).
Herman's Meat & Smokehouse
Herman's is widely known for its array of deli meats and cheeses but also has a barbeque restaurant at their store. This restaurant has been in Topeka for over three generations and was voted Best BBQ in Topeka in 2017 and 2018. At Herman’s, you can get your barbeque fix with the Smokehouse Sandwich combo ($7.99).
El Torito is more than just a Hispanic market. This North Topeka location also has a Mexican restaurant and taqueria. One menu item sure to fill you up over your lunch hour is the torta ($7.49 and under). A torta is the Mexican version of a sandwich and includes a variety of meat choices.
For years, LaRocca’s has been widely known for its pizza, but also offers other Italian-American options. The restaurant off of 29th and Gage is family friendly (including a small section of toys and activities for the youngest diners). Their oven-baked subs ($6.75 and under) will have you saying Mamma Mia!