Ah, Lawrence, Kansas - a quintessential college town with a vibrant food scene that truly reflects the diverse and eclectic spirit of its residents.
I've had the pleasure of exploring various eateries around town, and let me tell you, there's no shortage of culinary gems just waiting to be discovered.
So whether you're a long-time local or just passing through, allow me to guide you through some of the best restaurants in Lawrence, Kansas, that you simply can't miss.
Grab your appetite, and let's embark on a delicious adventure together!
Lucky Seb's Dumpling Bar & Grill
I have to say that I'm truly impressed with Lucky Seb's.
At first, I was attracted to this place because of the adorable cat mascot, but I quickly realized that their food is really something special.
I'm not usually into fusion food, but they definitely know how to execute it well here.
When I first visited, I tried the butter chicken dumplings and the fried chicken sandwich, and they were fantastic!
The food is made fresh and with care, so even though it's a bit pricey, it's worth it to support a small business in our community.
They are currently undergoing construction to expand, so I haven't been able to dine in with a large group recently.
However, I've still been able to enjoy their delicious food by taking it to go.
And I always make sure to keep an eye on their Instagram for updates on their specials.
Little Saigon Café
One of my go-to spots for a delicious and comforting meal is Little Saigon Café, a casual eatery with an open kitchen and counter seating.
Their traditional Vietnamese dishes never fail to impress, and the variety of pho options available makes it difficult to choose just one.
I've had the pleasure of trying most of their menu, but I can't get enough of their beef pho and scrumptious egg rolls.
The Singapore Noodles are another personal favorite, and I highly recommend giving them a try.
What I particularly love about Little Saigon Café is the authenticity and consistency of their flavors.
Terrebonne Po' Boys
I've been a regular at Terrebonne Po' Boys ever since it opened in Lawrence.
It's an adorable little counter-serve restaurant that specializes in classic New Orleans grub like po'boys, gumbo, and hush puppies.
You can check out their website here.
One of the things I absolutely love about Terrebonne is the quaint, compact atmosphere.
My favorites are fried chicken and catfish, but truth be told, you can't go wrong with any of their offerings.
Their hush puppies are out of this world, and the okra is truly amazing.
My family also loves their Cajun corn dogs - a must-try if you haven't already.
I was recently thrilled to see their new storefront.
The menu remains consistent and diverse, and the wall decor gives the restaurant the same quaint atmosphere as the smaller location.
The Fresh Mediterranean Co.
I can't express enough how much I love dining at The Fresh Mediterranean Co.
Their HALAL options are perfect for my family's dietary needs, and the prices are reasonable too!
It has become one of our usual go-to spots for eating out or grabbing takeout.
The chicken rice bowl with a side of falafels is my personal favorite, and I can vouch for my entire family that the taste is consistently amazing.
Ever since it used to be called Chebaro, we have been loyal patrons of this lovely restaurant.
One of the best things about The Fresh Mediterranean Co is the authentic, delicious food they serve.
I've tried the chicken bowl and some falafel while my friend has indulged in the beef pita wrap.
Both of our meals were absolutely fantastic!
The beef was moist and flavorful, and the entire meal was prepared fresh right before our eyes.
Nagoya Japanese Cuisine
Oh, how I love Nagoya Japanese Cuisine!
I remember the first time I visited this amazing sushi restaurant.
I decided to sit at the sushi bar and was instantly impressed by the freshness of the sashimi.
The tuna dumplings that I started with were to die for, and I couldn't help but indulge in their fantastic sake selection.
Now, whenever I crave sushi, there's no other place in Lawrence that comes close to Nagoya.
Their sushi rolls are always huge, fresh, and simply delicious.
I also love their bento box dinners – they offer great value for money.
I cherish the memories of the times when I brought my friends and family along, and we all enjoyed the top-notch sushi and warm, friendly service.
One thing that stands out at Nagoya is the attention to detail, not only in the food but also in the ambiance.
The entire place is always clean and well-maintained.
La Estrella Mexicana
I am so thrilled that La Estrella Mexicana reopened and moved to a bigger location!
I recently visited their new place, and I was absolutely impressed by the outstanding food and their deep menu.
The newly renovated building is clean, organized, and very vibrant – you can feel the authentic Mexican atmosphere as soon as you step inside.
I ordered the quesa burria, which was simply amazing, especially when dipped into the consommé.
My spouse enjoyed their burrito and tacos, both of which were very tasty in large portions.
Their salsa is a must-try – nice and spicy, just the way I like it!
They even sell large quantities of it in their little store on the lower level, along with a variety of other authentic Mexican products.
The restaurant is wonderfully designed with a loteria theme, and I loved how most of the menu options were written in Spanish, adding to the overall authenticity.
Don't worry if you don't speak the language – they do have English translations for the dishes.
I also appreciated the fact that they have their own carneceria (meat shop) within the establishment.
I heard that they might be opening a dessert or ice cream shop in the restaurant soon, and I can't wait for that.
Wheatfields Bakery Cafe
One of the best parts of living in this area is having Wheatfields Bakery Cafe just around the corner.
This cozy little spot is perfect for grabbing a delicious breakfast or lunch, and the atmosphere is warm and welcoming, with work by local artists adorning the walls.
The service is always quick and friendly, and it's been a favorite of mine for a couple of years now.
I love spending time there catching up on work or just enjoying a hot cup of coffee and a delectable pastry.
The homemade bread, pastries, and sandwiches are incredibly fresh and flavorful.
They even make their own salsa, which adds a perfect touch to their breakfast burrito.
I absolutely love visiting Latchkey Deli whenever I have a chance.
As someone who has dined there numerous times, I can confidently say their food and service never disappoint.
The owners are always friendly, sociable, and engaging, making every visit even more enjoyable.
My all-time favorite dish at Latchkey is the Reuben sandwich with tomato soup, a pickle, and horseradish.
The cheese is always melted to perfection, the sauerkraut is freshly pickled, and the corned beef is seared just right.
To top it off, I always order one of their Italian sodas - they're amazing!
Aside from my go-to Reuben, I've also tried their incredible Mac & Cheese and a delicious veggie sandwich with ham and pimento cheese.
All meals I've had were made with fresh and natural ingredients, seasoned, and dressed to perfection.
My family and I had the pleasure of dining at Culinaria recently, and I must say, it was a fantastic experience!
As someone who has had authentic Mediterranean food during my travels, I was thoroughly impressed by the quality and authenticity of the dishes we indulged in.
We visited with our one-year-old toddler, and they were incredibly accommodating.
We ordered a platter to share, as well as an extra bowl of pickles, and were amazed by the generous portions and diverse salad mixes offered.
There was more than enough food for all of us to enjoy, and the flavors transported me back to my time overseas!
Culinaria has quickly become one of my favorite spots for fresh Mediterranean cuisine in Lawrence.
Their menu is full of delicious, well-seasoned, and healthy options - I highly recommend the chicken shawarma and the fried chicken hummus if you're unsure of what to try.
The cocktails were also delightful and complemented the meal perfectly.
Globe Indian Food
I must admit, living in Lawrence has its perks when it comes to food options.
One of the hidden gems I've discovered in the area is Globe Indian Food.
Ever since stepping foot into this restaurant, it has steadily become one of my favorites for Indian cuisine.
Being a local, I've visited Globe numerous times, and I'm still amazed by the quality and taste of their dishes.
The excellent service I always receive makes me feel welcome and comfortable each time I visit.
The atmosphere is stylish, clean, and spacious, easily accommodating my friends and family whenever we decide to dine there.
I particularly enjoy the unique decor and the enjoyable music playing in the background.
It truly adds to the overall dining experience.
One thing I love about Globe is their commitment to using fresh ingredients and cooking everything to order.
The portions are generous, and the flavors are simply outstanding.
I've tried various dishes, and the chicken and shrimp have always been tender and cooked to perfection.
Their appetizers are equally delicious, and I can't help but crave their tasty offerings.
Thai Diner has always been one of my favorite places to grab some delicious Thai food.
They're located on 23rd St, near Louisiana St, in a strip shopping area, which makes it easily accessible for a quick lunch or dinner.
You can check their menu on their website.
The dining area is small and cozy, mostly with tables for 4, but they can be moved around to accommodate larger groups if needed.
I love the variety in their menu, with options ranging from appetizers, fried rice, stir-fried dishes, curries, and noodles.
My personal favorite is their tofu appetizer, which comes with a lovely hot sauce that complements the dish perfectly.
For the main course, I usually go for the Phad Thai Gang Dang, a delightful mix of Phad Thai with chicken and shrimp.
The flavor is just amazing, and it never disappoints.
My partner often orders the Phad See Eew Noodles, which is freshly prepared with a good mix of broccoli and noodles and is not excessively spicy, making it a very tasty option.
I visited Ladybird Diner a few times.
Each experience was delightful, and I can personally vouch for their amazing food with large portions.
The diner features modern comfort eats, like sweet potato hash and fried chicken sandwiches, that are not only delicious but also well-presented.
Their outdoor seating is perfect for sunny mornings.
I remember one time when I ordered a cheeseburger with fries, and the burger patties were cooked perfectly, with a soft gluten-free bun, caramelized onions, a ripe tomato, and delicious homemade pickles.
The french fries were crispy, making the meal absolutely satisfying.
What I love the most about Ladybird Diner is that they welcome everyone.
The desserts at Ladybird Diner are like an added bonus - they taste as amazing as they look, and they truly put the cherry on top of an already perfect dining experience.
Mediterranean Market & Cafe
I've been a regular at the Mediterranean Market & Cafe for quite some time now, and it never ceases to amaze me.
From the outside, you might not expect much, but once you step inside and experience the food, you'll understand why I love it so much!
One of my favorites is the chicken gyro.
The pita bread is always soft and moist, while the hummus is fresh and full of flavor.
I also enjoy their beef gyro combo special, which never disappoints.
Another reason I keep coming back is their selection of groceries.
The Mediterranean Market & Cafe offers a diverse range of pantry staples, which is a huge plus for me.
I can easily grab a few items to restock my kitchen after enjoying a delicious meal.
But let's not forget about their desserts!
I tried their Baklava one time, and it was absolutely exceptional.
It's now a must-have whenever I visit.
The prices are reasonable, and the owner is always welcoming and friendly.
I can never resist the cravings for a delicious and healthy meal from Pokéloha.
I usually go for their seaweed wrap burrito, which is like a giant hand roll if you're familiar with those.
Although I'm not a fan of the excessive cilantro they put in it, I still enjoy the dish and usually end up eating half of it.
You can always ask for less cilantro if it's not your thing.
What I love about Pokéloha is that they offer fantastic food and great customer service.
One time, I stopped by Pokéloha before a men's KU basketball game and was surprised to see it wasn't very busy.
The portions are generous enough to be shared or saved for another meal.
Their sushi rice is cooked well, and the salmon and tuna are cubed to perfection.
You won't feel like you're eating much, which can be common with other poké places.
The Roost has quickly become my go-to breakfast spot in town.
Every time I'm in the mood for a hearty breakfast and a good cup of coffee, I find myself heading over there.
It's a contemporary cafe that offers American fare, pastries, coffee drinks, and even has a full bar for those who fancy a cocktail with their lunch.
I love the fact that they have a self-serve coffee bar, allowing me to choose my preferred strength of coffee.
Their menu options are diverse, and everything I've tried so far has been bursting with flavor.
The atmosphere is cozy and has a hometown feel, which is perfect for catching up with friends over Sunday brunch.
There are times when the place can get quite busy, especially on weekends and during special events like the KU national basketball title celebrations.
During those times, there might be a bit of a wait to get in, but trust me, the food and experience are well worth it.
Just keep in mind that they are only open until 2 pm, so make sure you get there early enough to enjoy a delicious meal.
Merchants Pub & Plate
I can't recommend Merchants Pub & Plate enough.
I've been here quite a few times, and it never disappoints.
The elevated comfort food and rotating selection of craft beers on tap truly set them apart from other establishments.
Plus, the bi-level space offers a relaxed and cool atmosphere that is perfect for hanging out with friends.
I've come here for happy hour, and let me tell you, it's a fantastic deal.
The food is always amazing, and the drinks are equally impressive.
My favorite part is the unique ambiance, especially the restrooms, which are located in a giant bank vault!
The high ceilings and classy decor make for a truly memorable dining experience.
Brunch is also a must-try at Merchants Pub & Plate.
Their healthy option entree is delicious, and the $5 Bloody Mary is the perfect touch.
Although it's not the most kid-friendly place, they are always accommodating, and we've been able to put together a satisfactory meal for our children from the available sides.
Mass St. Fish House & Raw Bar
One day, I decided to try out Mass St. Fish House & Raw Bar, and I couldn't believe I hadn't discovered this place sooner!
The atmosphere was both relaxing and energizing, which made for a wonderful dining experience.
Being a seafood lover, I was excited to try their menu offerings.
I started with the Difficult Daughter cocktail, which had a refreshing lime twist and was perfect for a fall evening.
For appetizers, I ordered the tuna nachos and firecracker shrimp, and let me tell you, they were both off the chain!
I was so impressed with the quality and flavor that I didn't even make it to the main meal.
I also noticed the attention to detail throughout the restaurant, from the real cut flowers on the tables and in the bathroom to the outdoor seating options.
The menu changes with the season, so there's always something new and exciting to try.
While I didn't have the chance to bring my family along on this visit, I've heard that the atmosphere is more suited to adults and not so much for children.
I absolutely love going to Ramen Bowls whenever I am in Lawrence.
The modern Japanese eatery has such a cool vibe, and their variety of ramen bowls, dumplings, and sake always leave me satisfied.
I've been there multiple times, and each visit feels just as amazing as the first time.
One of my favorite dishes at Ramen Bowls has to be chicken pad Thai ramen.
It's the perfect balance of spicy and flavorful, and the spice doesn't linger too long.
I also love their chicken fried rice, but be warned - the portions are quite large.
My partner and I usually share one ramen bowl, and it's more than enough for the two of us.
They offer great suggestions and opinions on the menu, making it easier for newcomers to decide what to order.
One of my favorite spots to grab a meal in Lawrence has to be Zen Zero.
Whenever I'm in the mood for a variety of Asian cuisine, this restaurant never disappoints.
The bustling atmosphere only adds to the overall dining experience, making it a great place to catch up with friends over a delicious meal.
Over the years, I've tried a good portion of their menu, and I'm always happy with the quality and taste of the food.
My all-time favorite dish has to be their Pad Thai – simply the best in town!
Moreover, their cocktails are always a delightful addition to any meal, and I can personally vouch for their tasty and refreshing selections.
Zen Zero also offers a range of vegetarian-friendly dishes, making it suitable for a diverse group of diners.
The portions are generous, even for carry-out orders, so be prepared for a satisfying meal whenever you visit.
I recently spent an evening at Lucia and had a fantastic time.
They had a diverse beer selection that kept me and my friends trying out new drinks all night.
We also got hooked on their delicious wings, and the chips and salsa were a great pairing with our beers.
What made the night even more exciting was the live music.
Lucia has a Latin music night that attracted a diverse crowd, and although the dance floor was a bit crowded, it was still a blast.
The $5 cover charge was very reasonable, and while the seating and aisles seemed a bit cramped, it didn't bother us much since we spent most of our time on the dance floor.
One feature I particularly enjoyed was the garage door that opened to the patio.
It let in some cool air, which helped keep the dance floor from getting stuffy.
Lawrence Beer Co West
I recently visited Lawrence Beer Co West to catch up with some friends, and I must say, it was an incredible experience!
As soon as we walked in, we were greeted by the warm and welcoming ambiance of the place.
We decided to try a variety of dishes, and everything was delicious.
Their butternut squash soup was truly something special - so much so that I couldn't resist gobbling it down before taking a photo!
I also ordered the arugula salad with grilled chicken and was highly impressed by the quality and taste.
One of my friends tried their burger and claimed it to be the best they've ever had, which is high praise!
And, of course, their peach beer was another hit - it had a fresh peach flavor and was the perfect drink to enjoy on a sunny day.
Their patio was the perfect spot for us to relax and enjoy our meal.
Lawrence has truly been a foodie's paradise.
I've had the pleasure of dining at these fantastic restaurants and experiencing the diverse culinary scene the town has to offer.
From savory dumplings to succulent seafood and everything in between, Lawrence delivers a rich and satisfying dining experience to all those who call it home or pass through.