Let’s all just take a minute to admit that nothing should be cherished more than the ritual of appeasing those late night munchies. The ability to savor a snack, a drink or even a whole meal amongst the other creatures of the night should be celebrated! Late night munchies are really a window, not only into our stomachs but into our souls. When you’ve had a long day and are exhausted, stressed, and hungry, what do you turn to? Late night munchies. When you are out with a friend and you are looking for every excuse to spend more time together, what do you turn to? Late night munchies! When grocery shopping is on the very bottom of your priority list and popcorn dinner isn’t cutting it anymore, what do you turn to? LATE NIGHT MUNCHIES! See a theme here? Being new to the city of Lawrence, I valiantly took it upon myself to explore what my options were in the realm of late night dining.
Since Lawrence is the home to the University of Kansas, I knew that there had to be a plethora of places who open their doors to students who are leaving the library late or looking to challenge that ‘freshman 15’ prophesy. As you can imagine, I was not disappointed. While anticipating places that most college towns would have, Lawrence sets itself apart by having neat, local establishments that do not just cater to the students up on the hill, but to the community as a whole. They capture the uniqueness that Lawrence proudly boasts with both their cuisine and ambiance. Here are a few of those places who offer the best in late night munching:
THE BURGER STAND AT THE CASBAH: From hipsters to grandmas, all walks of life could feel at home here with their familiar yet chic aesthetic. Their menu also carries this theme. Specializing in, you guessed it, gourmet burgers, their menu plays with what you’d expect a bar to carry and more elaborate concoctions. Using fresh, locally sourced ingredients, their menu is not only interesting and seasonal (with great vegetarian options), but also delicious. A fry lover’s heaven is found here, with so many renditions of the potato snack. Sweet potato, truffle, duck fat, Cajun, the list goes on and on! They also have a variety of house made dipping sauces, such as Jalapeño Ranch and Chipotle Cocoa Ketchup. Feeling like a dessert? Try an alcoholic shake! For the budget-conscience late night munchers, they offer a burger and fry deal for $5 starting at 10 pm.
JAVA BREAK: Ever find yourself with a craving for a bowl of cereal? Well at Java Break, which is open 7 days a week, 5 of which for 24 hours a day, has you covered. They offer a variety of coffee options, or fun sodas such as the ‘Citrus Cooler’, smoothies, scones, and even Panini’s! But the crown jewel, at least in my eyes, is their cereal bar. You can choose to mix up to 3 different kinds of cereals, throw in some toppings, and pour your choice of milk. Is your mind blown yet? If their menu isn’t intriguing, the ambiance is sure to delight. Each room carries a different vibe from quirky and cute, to cool and hip. It’s the ideal location to bring your laptop and work or take advantage of their collection of board games and coloring books.
JOHNNY’S TAVERN: A Lawrencian favorite since the 1950s, Johnny’s offers a selection of bar food that is sure to appease your late night munchies cravings. They are known for their burgers and fries, as well as an impressive line-up of beers on tap. Later in the night, their pizza specials are not to be missed. With slices as big as your face, you will absolutely leave stuffed and happy! The atmosphere is relaxed and cozy. You can come to Johnny’s and be whoever you want to be, whether you wear a t-shirt or a sundress, you’ll fit in. Now with nine locations, sprawling out into surrounding areas, the original is in North Lawrence. Tell all your Johnny’s-loving friends that you’ve been where the magic started!
HAROLD’S CHICKEN WHISKEY & DONUT BAR: You read that right. New to the scene, Harold’s is everything you’d hope to find in Lawrence. It’s a place where creativity and food combine; a dream for late night munchies connoisseurs. Specializing in donuts, chicken, and whiskey, the possibilities are endless. Many of their entrees are served upon a donut – such as a fried chicken sandwich with a donut bun! Are you a whiskey fan? Then this needs to be your first stop. Serving over 100 different kinds of whiskey, you’re bound to find one that will make your taste buds scream. Whether you’re looking for breakfast, lunch, or dinner – Harold’s has got you covered.
Enjoy the night life my fellow late night munchers!
A recent transplant to Lawrence, Kathryn is excited to experience first-hand what makes Lawrence so unique.