Kansas Sampler

Showcase counties for 2019 Big K...

More than 50 people gathered at the Kansas Explorers Club meeting in Greensburg ...

Big Kansas Road Trip a Success!...

Hundreds of people, including a good number of Kansas Explorer Club members, roa...

Activities Galore on Big Kansas ...

The Big Kansas Road Trip (BKRT) will take place in Barber, Comanche and Kiowa ...

Kansas Explorer Club

Kansas Explorer Club

Members of the Kansas Explorer Club receive 5-6 print newsletters a year full of things to see and do that are off the beaten path.

We Kan!

We Kan!

The Big Rural Brainstorm will be held March 7 in Newton in 2016.

Rural Culture Elements

Rural Culture Elements

The 8 rural culture elements are: architecture, art, commerce, cuisine, customs, geography, history and people! They help you see a place with new eyes.

8 Wonders

8 Wonders

Have you seen the 8 Wonders of Kansas Guidebook? Let it guide you to all 216 Wonders!



Marci and WenDee, of the Kansas Sampler Foundation, are going to every (626) incorporated city in Kansas to research for the second edition of the Kansas Guidebook for Explorers.

Big Kansas Road Trip

Big Kansas Road Trip

The showcase counties are Barber, Comanche and Kiowa. The event will be held over four days, May 3-6, 2018.

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Jun 19, 2009 | 8 Wonders of Kansas Cuisine Announced!
The Kansas Sampler Foundation announced the results for the 8 Wonders of Kansas Cuisine. In alphabetical order, the winners are:

Bobo's Drive In, Topeka: The hamburgers, homemade onion rings, and apple pie have made this place famous since 1953.

Brookville Hotel, Abilene: Moved from the historic hotel in Brookville to Abilene in 2000, the famous family-style chicken menu has been served since 1915.

Cozy Inn, Salina: Since 1922, this 6-stool diner has been serving their famous sliders.

Crawford County Fried Chicken: Chicken Annie's, Chicken Mary's, Chicken Annie's Pichler's, Gebhardt's Chicken and Dinners, Barto's Idle Hour and Chicken Annie's Girard have made Crawford County legendary for fried chicken.

Free State Brewing Company, Lawrence. The state's first legal brewery after the days of prohibition also serves a variety of ethnic recipes.

Guy & Mae's Tavern, Williamsburg. Family-owned since 1973, tender ribs are served in foil and newspapers.

Hays House 1857 Restaurant & Tavern, Council Grove. Located on the Santa Fe Trail, this is the oldest continuously operating restaurant west of the Mississippi River.

Wheatfield's Bakery Cafe, Lawrence. This nationally-ranked bakery serves healthy meals featuring artisan breads.

After almost 8 weeks of voting, 13,861 votes were cast to determine the 8 most iconic Kansas restaurants from a list of 24 finalists. Foundation director Marci Penner said, "The contest was designed to determine the most iconic restaurants in Kansas. There were 24 excellent finalists and we are pleased with the interest level and heightened awareness for the contribution Kansas iconic restaurants make to the landscape of our state."

A "Guide to the 8 Wonders of Kansas Cuisine" can be printed off at www.8wonders.org or people can call 620.585.2374 for the brochure. The purpose of the 8 Wonders contests is to educate the public about Kansas and to encourage travel. Previous contests have featured Kansas architecture, art, commerce, and the overall 8 Wonders of Kansas.

The next contest will be the 8 Wonders of Kansas Customs and public nominations may be submitted the month of July. Criteria will be posted at www.8wonders.org on July 1.

The contest is sponsored by the Kansas Sampler Foundation whose mission is to preserve and sustain rural culture.


THE OTHER 16 FINALISTS: Anchor Inn, Hutchinson; Carolyn's Essenhaus, Arlington; Charlie's Mexican Restaurant, Leoti; Crazy R's, Goodland; C.W. Porubsky's, Topeka; Fritz's Union Station, Kansas City; Grand Central Hotel, Cottonwood Falls; Hibachi Hut, Manhattan; Homer's Drive Inn, Leavenworth; Josie's Ristorante, Scammon; NuWay, Wichita; Olive Tree Bistro, Wichita; Paolucci's Restaurant, Atchison; Pho Hoa, Garden City; Prairie Nut Hut, Altoona; Trapper's Bar & Grill, Simpson; WheatField's Bakery, Lawrence


The previous contest vote totals
Commerce: 9805
Art: 9149
Architecture: 8036

Total votes for Cuisine: 13,861. 11,200 online votes; 2,661 paper ballots.

Voting took place from April 23 - June 15. Votes came from all 50 states and numerous foreign countries. The city that produced the most online votes was Wichita.

You can find contacts for any of the 24 finalists by going to www.8wonders.org, go to Cuisine and then click on any of the thumbnails. The information pages have lots of details, history, and contact information.

Criteria included that the restaurant 1) be more than 10 years old, 2) originated in Kansas, 3) be a non-national franchise, 4) and be iconic.

620.585.2374; marci@kansassampler.org

The contest was about identifying iconic restaurants and then asking the public to pick their 8 favorite.

It wasn't designed to select the best restaurants, rather the most iconic.

This list of 8 is diverse from a restaurant that has a history dating back to 1857 to Americana burgers to a nationally-ranked artisan bakery. Chicken, burgers, barbecue, bread, steak, chicken-fried steak, and microbrewery - you'll find it all on this list.

People had to consider all 24 finalists to make their 8 selections and hopefully that whet their appetite to want to go visit these or other locally-owned restaurants this summer.

Kansas needs to tout their specialty recipes and restaurant history much more than we do! We could have people coming to Kansas just to travel through the state to eat!

Within this list are six fried chicken restaurants in Crawford County headlined by Chicken Annie's and Chicken Mary's.

The goals of the project are to educate the world about Kansas cuisine and to encourage travel in Kansas.