Culinary Time Warp: The Kreem Kup in Wamego, Kansas

Earlier this week I published a post on the Antique Emporium of Alma, Kansas, and in that post I described my usual itinerary when visiting the area:  I first travel to Alma for stops at the Antique Emporium and the Alma Creamery shop.  I then make the 15-minute drive from Alma to Wamego.  I should mention that Wamego has a cute antique shop of its own (I can’t remember the name!) right on its main street.  But that’s not what draws me there.  No, it’s the timeless Kreem Kup restaurant on Highway 24 that keeps me coming back—plastic flowers, 1970s decor, and all.

Kreem Kup, Wamego, KS
The Kreem Kup sign on Kansas Highway 24, adorned by lovely pink petunias. Whoa, look again! Those blooms in the flower boxes that line all of the windows are as timeless as the restaurant itself.  They’re plastic!

I was first introduced to Kreem Kup decades ago by my Aunt Debbie, who lived in Wamego at the time.  For several summers when I was a kid, I stayed with Debbie, and back then I believe the only restaurants around were the Kreem Kup and a Pizza Hut down the road.  To this day, whenever I go into the Kreem Kup I remember meals there from ages past, my hair still wet from the pool.   Those days are easy to recall, because the Kreem Kup looks exactly the same.  I mean exactly.  The menu.  The counter.  The wooden spindles.  The mod orange chairs.  The floor tiles.  As far as I can tell, their only innovation has been the installation of a drive-up window.  But even that has a retro-feel to it.

Kreem Kup Wamego, KS
Time has passed, McDonald’s and Sonic have come to town, but Kreem Kup remains locked in the 1970s.  And I’m glad!

I love Kreem Kup.  I think they have the best vanilla milk shakes around.   My order never varies: A chicken fried steak sandwich, nothing on it, and a vanilla shake.  Delicious!  (What can I say?  I’m a simple girl with simple tastes!)

Kreem Kup, Wamego, KS

Kreem Kup, Wamego, KS

I hope Kreem Kup never changes.  If it does, I suspect some sort of cataclysmic rift in the space-time continuum will result and we’ll all be lost.  Well, and I’ll lose one of the few remaining tangible touchstones of my childhood.

Until next time…

Jennifer Passariello