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Manhattan 101

How to have a fun time while visiting Manhattan.


Your favorite team is playing the Wildcats in sports. You want to go to the game, but you've never been to Manhattan before. How will you get there? Where will you eat? Where will you sleep? IS THERE A PLACE TO CONSUME COPIUS AMOUNTS OF ADULT BEVERAGE?? The answers to these questions and more are in this handy little guide.

K-State has been in existence since about 1863, the original college was Blue Mont Central College founded in 1858. Originally the Aggies, in the late 1910s the sports teams became the Wildcats because a football coach thought they played 'like wildcats.'

Aggieville (est 1899) exists because the college was originally not close to the town and purchasing books close to campus is important.

You can fly to Manhattan from Chicago or Dallas, your choice at the moment (Oct, 2013).

The nearest Amtrak station is Topeka, the daily train is the Southwest Chief, It is a day long journey from Chicago.

I-70 is about 10 miles south of Manhattan. Exit 313 is for those arriving from the east, while exit 303 is for those arriving from the west. If you head north at exit 313, KS-177 is a four lane highway that enters Manhattan on the southeast side of town. If you head south then you will end up at Council Grove, Cottonwood Falls or Cassoday; all nice small towns in the heart of the Flint Hills. Alternately if you are arriving from the east you can travel on US-24 from Kansas City, for the most part this road follows the Kansas (Kaw) river through Lawrence, Topeka, Silver Lake, Rossville, St. Marys and Wamego.

Those arriving from the west exit I-70 onto K-18 and head north along the newest 4 lane highway leading to Manhattan. K-18 provides access to the Manhattan Airport and Manhattan from the west and southwest. Fort Riley Blvd is the name of K-18 once it enters town and if you continue east on Ft. Riley Blvd, the road eventually makes a curve to the left and becomes Tuttle Creek Blvd which surprisingly enough takes you to Tuttle Creek Reservoir. Where Ft. Riley and Tuttle Creek Blvds meet is about where you enter/exit Manhattan from the east.

Best ways to reach the K-State Campus:

K-18 to 17th St., 17th St to Anderson Ave.

KS-177 to Pierre St, Pierre St. to Juliette, Juliette to Blumont Ave., Blumont to Manhattan Ave.

Best ways to reach the Bill Snyder Family Stadium:

K-177 to Tuttle Creek Blvd., Tuttle Creek Blvd to Kimball, Kimball to the stadium.

K-18 to Scenic Dr., Scenic Drive to Kimball, Kimball to the stadium (Scenic Dr turns into Kimball)

Alternate: K-18 to Seth Childs, Seth Childs to Kimball.

The best way to discuss food is to divide your dining options into geographic areas, East of Manhattan, South and West of Manhattan, North of Manhattan, Manhattan East, Manhattan Mall and Downtown, Manhattan South and West and Aggieville.

East of Manhattan

TB's guide to KC is a good start for learning the about Kansas City. Garozzo's (website complete with annoying autoplay song) always had good food and the Spiedini di Pollo is worth a try.

Downtown Lawrence is always a good place to walk and Free State Brewery has decent beer.

Topeka has Paisano's and a bunch of chain restaurants.

Maplehill has Puffy's Steak and Ice House, I've never eaten there but the signs say they have good steaks.

South and West of Manhattan

South of Manhattan is Council Grove, home of the Hays House which has been open since the 1850's.

Brookville Hotel in Abilene is known for its family style dinners. Originally located in Brookville, KS.

Bogey's in Salina, KS has about all the flavors of shakes you could ever want.

Hog Wild Pit BBQ in Salina, Hutchinson and Wichita, decent BBQ.

North of Manhattan

Highway 24 eventually leads to Leonardville, KS as you head north and west, if you want to eat in a restaurant decorated with all sorts of football memoriablia then Nelson's Landing is for you. It is owned/operated by the family of Jordy Nelson.

The Little Grill is NE of Manhattan between Tuttle Creek Blvd and the east side of Tuttle Creek Dam.

Manhattan East

The east side of Manhattan has all the chain restaurants that you could possibly want, (Sirloin Stockade, Freddy's Frozen Custard, Pizza Hut, Subway (inside Wal-Mart), IHOP, UMI Japanese Steakhouse, Olive Garden, McDonald's, Dairy Queen, Noodles & Co, Smashburger, McAlister's Deli, etc.. Wheat State Pizza, El Mariachi, Cox Brother's BBQ, Early Edition and Bob's Diner are some of the non-chain establishments that you will find in this area.

If you head north on Tuttle Creek Blvd, you will find Vista Restaurant, Big D's Burger Shack, La Fiesta and Happy Valley Chinese Restaurant. Vista offers the standard burger joint food, but it is a locally owned and has been open for a long time.

Manhattan Mall and Downtown

The Chef Cafe on 4th St. It's never easy to get a seat (and especially hard right now with road construction) but it has great breakfast food and a great mix of morning cocktails for those who like to get an early start.
Harry's: Manhattan's best fine-dining restaurant. It's down on Poyntz Avenue, in the historic Wareham Hotel.
Like the east side of Manhattan, the mall area continues the chain restaurant theme with Applebee's, Old Chicago, Chili's, Texas Roadhouse, Carlo O'Kelly's and I'm sure that I'm missing some.
The Veldt Lounge is I think a rebranding of the the 3rd St bar which used to have beer in what they called fishbowls and 2 of those were enough beer for an entire night. Another restaurant to consider is Della Voce which I've not visited but is supposedly more upscale.

Manhattan South and West

Along Ft Riley Blvd, there is Baan Thai, Taco Casa, Bamboo Buffet, Hillside Cafe (recommended), El Tapatio and Famous Dave's BBQ (safe choice for BBQ). Heading north on Seth Childs you have Panera, and Willy's Sports Bar & Grill.

In the Anderson Ave and Seth Childs Ave area there is Chinese Chef (recommended for decent inexpensive food), Little Apple Brewing, Aroy Thai, Hunam Chinese, Cat Tracks Grill and Pub, and 4 Olives. The chain restaurants in this area include Quizno's, McDonalds, Burger King, Dairy Queen, Pizza Hut, Little Ceasars and Taco Bell.

On the north west corner of Kimball Ave and Seth Childs Ave is Bobby T's Bar and Grill (see night lifte) along with the west side location of Early Edition.

Aggieville (see nightlife)

Rock-A-Belly Deli: A nice, small restaurant and bar. If the weather is nice, the back patio area is recommended. Primary food is sandwiches and the kitchen is open until 9:00 p.m.

Varsity Donuts is a great local donut shop. Great variety and selection. Open till 10 p.m. then the Varsity Truck opens behind the shop and serves great late-night snacks like the "Mac 'N Cheese Grilled Cheese."
So Long Saloon: Very small and often crowded, but worth the wait. If there's room inside, grab a beer and watch the game while you wait for a table. Start with the raspberry-chipotle black bean dip, then finish things off with a Jack Smack or Resist Temptation burger.
Taco Lucha: Next door to So Long and owned by the same people, but south-of-the-border themed rather than American-saloon themed. Excellent variety of salsas, tacos, and drink options. Don't sell the pineapple salsa short.
Coco Bolos: It's sort of Tex-Mex, but that would be too narrow a label. Sangria is always a good option, and I'm partial to the Evil Desert Chicken.
Bluemont Bistro is recommended for baked goods and the morning drink. Ask for the naked cinnamon roll.
On Campus
Call Hall Dairy Bar is the only place you need to know about on campus. Go for the ice cream and if you think your heart can handle it, the 16% Vanilla is good.

Outside of Aggieville (on the north west side of town) is Bobby T's, which is a typical place to dance and enjoy drinks. The food isn't bad either.

In Aggieville, just start walking eventually you will find a place were you will want to stay. If you are staying in MHK, highly encourage you to take a cab to and from Aggieville unless you have a designated driver. If you have a designated driver, you can park at the Manhattan City Park (1 block south of the 'ville) or in the parking lots on the southeast side of campus.

There is quite a bit of information in this fanpost on tailgating and even all the above information.

K-State is set up to facilitate tailgating. There are large blacktop lots on either side of Bill Snyder Family Stadium, though you'll need a parking pass for them.

Grass lots across Kimball Avenue to the north and east of the stadium encompass the bulk of the tailgating experience. All lots open four hours before kickoff.

The tailgating lots have trash cans for hot coals, so bring your charcoal grill if you have one. Alcohol is officially forbidden in the lots, but like baseball, K-State has its unwritten rules. Keep your cooler and alcohol out of site as you enter the lots, and put your drinks in Solo cups, and you should be fine.

Hat tip to Derek and TB for assisting with this, all mistakes are the Intern's.