Most of my memories of Emporia, KS were my days in college visiting friends who attended Emporia State University. Back then, most of my dining was late night fast food and whatever pizza place could deliver as late as possible. I didn’t get to explore the city as much, but now that I’m older and a tiny bit wiser, I was able to change all that.
Megan and I had ourselves a little road trip to Emporia and made sure to visit some foodie spots as recommended by the readers. My goal was to visit restaurants I’ve never been to, so this excluded fabulous spots like Do-B’s Burgers Phillys and PoBoys that we stopped by once while passing through Emporia before.
Vault Meats & Cheeses
509 Commercial St., Emporia, KS 66801 – Facebook
Our first stop right as we arrived into Emporia was Vault Meats & Cheeses. If you’re into building your own charcuterie boards, this is a great option for you. The locally owned shop offers 30 fresh-sliced meats and 50+ cheeses that are imported from all over the world.
We picked up a small box of meats and cheeses. This gave us something to snack on for the car ride home, along with something for me to eat back at the hotel later that night instead of having to resort to whatever pizza place could deliver as late as possible.
This was a cute little shop with tons of character; an excellent first stop for anyone headed to Emporia.
The Daily Station
312 W South Ave, Emporia, KS 66801 – Facebook
Being a huge fan of food trucks, I had to make at least one visit to see a mobile eatery. That’s when I came across the Daily Station. The big draw for me was the fact they specialized in Mexican and Salvadoran food. It’s two styles of ethnic cuisines I could eat every day.
They had it all… and we tried it all. The Daily Station had tacos, pupusas, taquitos, empanadas, and even birria ramen which made for the perfect dish on a cold winter day. The weather was bearable that we were able to enjoy it on picnic tables that were nearby.
We ate our weight in Mexican and Salvadoran food and did not regret a single pound of it.
The Sweet Granada
803 Commercial St., Emporia, KS 66801 – Facebook
Following a large and heavy lunch, we needed to walk much of it off. We made our way to downtown Emporia, which was surprisingly bigger than we thought. There were so many little shops. We stopped by a few, made some purchases, and kept venturing around the area.
Anytime I travel, I love walking parts of the city and exploring. I loved how walkable the downtown Emporia scene was. It made for a fun, enjoyable afternoon for us. And that also brought us to The Sweet Granada. The candy and gift shop has been offering sugar highs and smiles since 2004.
Walking in and the smells instantly hit you. It was chocolate paradise. The visuals, the smells, the vibe, it was the perfect setting for all sweets lovers. We picked up our fair share of chocolates with the full intention of taking them home to share with the kids; intention being the keyword. Unfortunately, that didn’t happen, but it’s the thought that counts, right?
Union Street Social
225 E 6th Ave, Emporia, KS 66801 – Facebook
We couldn’t leave town and not have a nice evening to ourselves. While we loved many of our visits, the highlight of our trip was a fancy date night at Union Street Social. It was a swanky, hip restaurant that offered not just some character, but an eclectic array of cocktails and food.
Our night started off with kimchi cheese fries. They were wonderful; the mix of kimchi and cheese offered a creamy, spicy bite with every forkful of fries we inhaled. I’m now officially on the hunt for these at any other restaurant. For the main entree, I went with their bowl of mussels, which was a special they had that evening and delicious. The remainder of our night there was filled with fantastic service from our server, Trenton, and Moscow mules, martinis, and other tasty cocktails. It was just the nightcap we needed for the trip.
Radius Brewing Co.
610 Merchant St., Emporia, KS 66801 – Facebook
When I asked readers for suggestions on where to go in Emporia, the most mentioned restaurant was Radius Brewing Co. This was the final leg of our visit to Emporia when we dropped by for Sunday brunch.
Our one regret was not putting this on our Saturday afternoon list. We didn’t have time to hang out for a long period of time to try their beers, but we did fit in a spicy bloody mary that hit the spot. Next time this won’t be the final stop for us, but the first.
With a large brunch menu, we had a hard time picking out exactly what we wanted, so we overordered. Our table for two was filled with biscuits and gravy, beignets, eggs benedict, brunch poutine, and a breakfast burrito. It’s my belief, Sunday brunch should always fill your stomach with heavy yummy foods that will lead to an afternoon nap. Radius Brewing Co. accomplished just that.
The day of dining in Emporia was the perfect getaway for a couple who were in dire need of a quick getaway. Aside from dining, our visit was filled with shopping, bowling, drinks, pedicures and adventuring around town.
It was a big difference from my days in college, and certainly more worthwhile.
Next time we stop by, are there other restaurants we should visit? Chime in the comments below.
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