Fork in the Road: Attention to detail propels El Ranchito to success

El Ranchito offers flavorful dishes and a fun atmosphere to dine in.
Published: May. 23, 2023 at 7:16 PM CDT
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - Great food, friendly service, and a fun atmosphere are what you can expect when visiting El Ranchito.

This Mexican-inspired eatery boasts a total of five locations across Topeka, Auburn, Holton, and Osage City, with its most recent expansion being an additional Topeka location. El Ranchito moved into the former Carlos O’Kelly’s building at 3425 S. Kansas Ave. Carlos O’Kelly’s occupied the space for 36 years before closing its doors permanently in 2020. The building was purchased in 2022 and has since then undergone major renovations.

Tammy Suarez, waitress for El Ranchito, smiles proudly as she describes the hard work and dedication that it took to bring this vision to life.

“It was a lot of you know like remodeling,” She said. “The kitchen, even the entrance, outside, the outside looks amazing. There is no more carpet here. Everything looks really good.”

Though there are multiple El Ranchito locations, no two are exactly alike.

Inside the newest location, you’ll be greeted by an array of murals commissioned specifically for the restaurant. Suarez notes that “every little detail was hand painted.”

The attention to detail extends past the paintings and encompasses even the furniture, which is custom made-to-order in Mexico.

“All of our furniture is customly made. Customly made for the Ranchitos.” she said, smiling.

El Ranchito has earned loyalty from its customers though excellent service and unique menu options and are confident that support will follow wherever they decide to go.

“Amazing food like always. Like all our other locations. Even though we are on this side of town, we have so many people that love us.” Suarez said.

What makes El Ranchito unique compared to similar restaurants is their focus on seafood. The menu features a variety of flavorful seafood dishes in addition to traditional options.

Next time you’re craving queso and margaritas, or are looking to try an interesting new dish, stop by El Ranchito. They’re happy to have you.