The collaboration of local influencers, foodies and bloggers continues on. It’s a new effort to Wichita By E.B. that was made possible by many others in the Wichita community who share the same passion for dining around town. It’s called The Neighborhood.
Everybody included is a supporter of our dining community. If you missed the introduction of The Neighborhood, you can check that out here.
For this week’s food panel discussion, I asked everybody in The Neighborhood to share their favorite new restaurants of 2020. Here’s what everyone came up with. Enjoy!
Telehue Food (by Lisa Nguyen)
Favorite 2020 Restaurant: The Belmont
My new favorite restaurant of 2020 would have to be The Belmont. Personally, I love a restaurant that has a good cocktail program. I believe it can elevate the food to another level. The Belmont hit the marks on having tasty food, great drinks, and they definitely nailed the ambiance. It’s a place where you can relax with the company of your friends and family.
Fert The Foodie
Favorite 2020 Restaurant: Rice & Roll by Xing Xing
2020 has been challenging for even the most seasoned restaurants, so I can’t even imagine how hard it has been opening a new restaurant this year. There is one new 2020 restaurant that has been very popular with the people of Wichita (including myself) since they opened, and that is Rice & Roll by Xing Xing. It’s one of those success stories that you love to hear about, and the awesome owner is always giving back to the community in various ways. I call her the Queen of Egg Rolls because her egg rolls are the best around. She added more and more tasty dishes to her menu over the summer and has solidified her standing in the Wichita food scene. Rice & Roll by Xing Xing is my favorite new restaurant of 2020.
Live Local (by Troy Trussell & Darin Hackney)
Favorite 2020 Restaurant: Chiru’s Mexican Food
Chiru’s Mexican Food never disappoints. The bacon breakfast burrito is always the same deliciousness and quantity that I expect every time I order it. The other menu items are good as well which I occasionally dine on, but their consistency in a quality burrito is top notch.
Just Try it
Favorite 2020 Restaurant: Wade Waffle Co.
A new & fun take on waffles. Everything we have had from Wade Waffle Co is delicious, but we especially appreciate that they offer both sweet & savory options. While they might look small, they are stuffed to the brim with toppings, and are super filling to boot. Our personal favorites have been the Churro and the Ham & Cheddar. Everything that we have had from there is consistent and their customer service is top notch.
Favorite 2020 Restaurant: Taqueria La Chona
In a year riddled with disappointments and unprecedented public shutdowns, there have been an unexpected number of fantastic new restaurants and food trucks that have opened. In deciding my favorite for 2020, it quickly became clear that a great overall menu would be needed to rise to the top instead of just one or two great menu choices. Simply narrowing the list down to ten favorites wasn’t easy and it has been troubling to pick a single favorite. I will neither confirm or deny that a Magic 8-ball may have been involved at some point. In any case, my choice without further delay…
On east Harry street there is a small building that houses my favorite restaurant of 2020: Taqueria La Chona. This restaurant specializes in Mexican cuisine from the Guadalajara region of Mexico. Initially they offered common street food staples such as tacos, burritos, and quesadillas. They were also one of the first places to offer beef birria with consume, which many believe is the best locally. As the year progressed they added some additional items to the menu that have upped the ante, such as spit-roasted Al Pastor, Campechanos meat (beef rose meat and chorizo), and Jericallas (a dessert between flan and crème brûlée). They also started offering a stew called Carne en su Jugo which is a personal favorite. The stew contains bacon, steak, pinto beans, with a tomatillo salsa base and is served with diced onions, cilantro, and fresh salsa. As luck would have it, Carne en su Jugo is the daily special on Saturdays! I have loved every item that I have tried there and the service has always been outstanding. I believe that everyone will enjoy the food at Taqueria La Chona. If you haven’t visited recently, you might try one the new menu additions which are all fantastic in my opinion. I look forward to hearing what your experiences are!
Favorite 2020 Restaurant: Grandma Thuy’s
My favorite new restaurant for 2020 has to be Grandma Thuy’s at Maple and Tyler. They have the best egg rolls in town, hands down. And their limited menu allows them to perfect everything on it. The crab rangoon are perfectly crispy and sweet and a great pairing with the egg rolls. They also offer periodic specials such as Firecracker Shrimp and a noodle bowl. Check them out! We get their platters for the office almost monthly!
Pro tip: a quick spray of olive oil and about 4 minutes in the air fryer makes them just as crispy leftover as they were when fresh.
Wichita By E.B.
Favorite 2020 Restaurant: Napoli Italian Eatery
I let everybody in The Neighborhood choose their favorites and I then try to choose a place that wasn’t selected by any other member. After browsing through my database of restaurants, there were close to 100 or so restaurants, bars, food trucks, home-based businesses that opened. It was tough selecting one that wasn’t mentioned earlier. A handful of them stuck out but I ended up with Napoli Italian Eatery.
In a city where restaurants are constantly popping up, only two Italian-themed restaurants arrived in 2020. One was a fast-food pizza place inside Towne West Square and the other was an Italian restaurant by Chef Jeremy Wade. The restaurant literally just opened up and amazed me the moment I walked inside and saw the renovated space. They took the former Fetch Bistro restaurant and turned it into a modern beautiful eatery that fit the vibe of the theme. The menu was filled with creative well-crafted dishes that pleased my taste buds. Napoli Italian Eatery ended up being a wonderful late addition to 2020 that I wish all the best for 2021.
Hope you enjoyed these fantastic suggestions and recommendations from The Neighborhood! We have more content coming your way along with future meetups at local restaurants! Stay tuned for more! Any topics you’d like to see next? Drop a comment below!
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