K-State Family Day and homecoming: Where to eat with friends and family this weekend

(Rowan Jones | Collegian Media Group)

The families are coming, and they’re hungry.

This Saturday is K-State Family Day, and restaurants in Manhattan are preparing to feed thousands of ‘Cats and their families and friends for homecoming weekend.

Trip Advisor lists its “Top 10 Best Restaurants in Manhattan, Kansas,” but here’s a few recommendations catered to the type of family members you’ll be eating with this weekend.

The “We Have Food at Home” Mom

If the average Kansas State undergrad were to have at least one family or friend visit, that would amount to over 40,000 customers descending on Aggieville, Westloop and pretty much anywhere else along Anderson Avenue.

For those who aren’t keen on long restaurant waits, your best bet may be to pack a lunch for the tailgates, but if eating out is more your style, Manhattan offers plenty of options.

The Legacy

Legacy students with nostalgic parents: look no further than Vista Drive-In. It was the place to eat when they were in school, and, for your sentimental family member, the place to be on Saturday for a trip down memory lane.

The Sports Fan

For our football fans, find a seat near a TV at any sports bar in Aggieville, and don’t give up your spot no matter how long the wait line gets.

“We always go to Tanner’s every time my family is here,” Jason Gawlick, junior in accounting, said. “We enjoy watching all the games together, and there’s a wide variety of food to choose from.”

Other popular spots include JP’s Sports Bar and Grill and Kite’s Bar and Grill.

As an added bonus to the food and football, the noisy atmosphere of a bar may also be ideal for dodging your family’s constant questions about your grades, love life and post-graduation plans.

The Adventurer

Off the beaten path near Tuttle Creek State Park, The Little Grill offers Jamaican food and an island feel that’s far from the game day chaos of downtown Manhattan.

“Game days are when I’ve gone to The Little Grill because it’s sort of on my way home to Westmoreland,” Lillian Schmitz, senior in biological systems engineering, said. “It’s nice to get a little bit out of town when it’s so busy.”

The Breakfast Lover

Game day meals with family don’t have to be limited to lunch and dinner, especially with a kickoff time of 11 a.m. Manhattan also has many popular breakfast and brunch spots including The Chef, a favorite of Emory Mathes, junior in communications sciences and disorders and Spanish.

“My dad’s love language is breakfast,” Mathes said. “I’ve gone to The Chef at least three times with my parents.”

The Sweet Tooth

A Manhattan classic, Varsity Donuts is many K-State students’ first stop for something sweet in Aggieville. Close to the action of campus and the downtown area, a donut and coffee could be just the thing to get you and your family through a long football game.

If the donut isn’t enough, head down the street to Kite’s for a Manhattan staple: the cookie bake. Mr. K’s Cafe & Bar on the west side of town is another popular cookie bake spot with a wide range of other food options.

With restaurants all over town, it’s likely that any family will be able to find a place to enjoy a meal together this weekend, but wherever you decide to fill up, be prepared to wait. Manhattan has a lot of ‘Cats to feed.