Farm-to-table; slow food; carefully crafted cuisine. You're gonna love the food we feed you.
Come sit in the kitchens where chefs know the farmers who supply them and delight in offering the best possible local combinations with a global palate in mind. We know a good visit starts with good meals, and Lawrence has a range of unmistakably restaurants to please every taste.
See what our local experts recommend on the Unmistakably Lawrence blog…
Grabbing some food & drinks with company is obviously THE best way to enjoy some much needed holiday time (no argument!) and, when the Kansas weather is cooperating, finding a patio to enjoy is always a bonus! Here are some guaranteed places to enjoy patio time: J. Wilson’s – With J. Wilson’s giving us fine Read More …
Apples so delicious and red, you would swear they’re from a fairytale. Asparagus poking out of the ground like an alien plant. Lavender so intoxicating that you’ll have a relaxed aromatherapy buzz for days after smelling it. Lawrence’s local farms have all of that, plus some of the nicest farmers you’ll ever Read More …
Lawrence is known for its stellar foodie destinations. Fried chicken, farm-fresh entrees, homemade pies, charcuterie boards-we’ve got it all. This atypical college town has been heralded as one of Midwest Living Magazine’s Greatest Midwest Food Towns (if you think that’s a mouthful, just wait until you try to decide who makes the best doughnut in Read More …
We’ve all been told breakfast is the most important meal of the day. So make it tasty. Downtown offers plenty of delicious starters to your day. Try some delicious handcrafted pastries or eggs with artisan, brick-oven baked bread at WheatFields Bakery Café, where the walls are lined with work by local artists.
The Roost, launched with a kick-starter campaign, will wake you up with delicious breakfast options like the Breakfast Sammy or the Goat Cheese Danish. (You won’t be disappointed.) Eggs Benedict with a unique twist are often on the Specials board at Milton’s Café. Take a seat inside this little spot with big windows or enjoy a table on the patio and enjoy a restaurant that’s been a Lawrence staple since 1997.
If you have kiddos looking for a power breakfast, check out the amazing cereal bar at Java Break. The options go on and on, with more than 30 cereals and toppings and homemade almond milk, served in a Chinese food-takeout carton. Kids can watch classic cartoons on the vintage televisions, or you can enjoy your espresso outside on the patio, under the trees. Come back later for do it yourself cupcakes. It is open 24 hours.
More to the west side of Lawrence, hunt up Big Biscuit. The name says it all. Or try some delicious, fresh-baked scones and freshly brewed coffee at the deli inside The Merc Co-op, a community market and grocer that emphasizes local and organic, and welcomes everybody.
Lunch or Dinner
If you’re Downtown, step inside one of our local originals, or take a seat at a sidewalk table and watch the passers-by on Massachusetts (Mass) Street. Many of our nationally recognized restaurants and chefs use locally-sourced foods for farm-to-table deliciousness you won’t find anywhere else.
Merchants Pub & Plate puts the harvest of local farms into distinctly Midwestern meals to please the most refined palate. The gracious atmosphere in this beautiful old building that was once Merchants Bank is a great place to try one of their draft craft beers, unless you prefer a table outside.
715, a winner of Open Table’s Diner’s Choice 2015, has the air of a European bistro with local, handmade food. Menu options range from Heritage Ham and Smoked Apple Sandwiches or brunch plates of Braised Chickpeas and Pork to appetizers of Seven Dollar Donuts, filled with ricotta frittelle and served with Calvados Crème Anglaise.
Ladybird Diner is an upgraded twist on the stick-to-your-ribs diner food. Grits Supreme, Sweet Potato Black Bean Hash or a Blue Plate Dinner will fill you up. But save room for what the Ladybird is best known for: pie. Meg Heriford and the other pie makers bake 30 to 60 pies a day. Check the Specials board. If your timing is right, try the Blueberry Basil. Yes, really.
The Global Café began with a dual passion for family and food, and they feed their customers like family. With strong ties to the local community and food producers, Kate and Rafael serve up around-the-world options. Try the Arepas, a gluten free, South American grilled cornmeal cake split in half and stuffed to your liking.
Carnivores will find Hank Charcuterie a lesson in meat. This delicatessen specializes in locally raised and dressed meats. It will also connect you back to the food you eat with free butchery demonstrations.
This list is just a start. Stroll through Downtown and you’ll discover lots more.
Something to drink?
The Free State Brewing Company was the first legal brewery in Kansas in over 100 years when it started its 14-barrel brewhouse in 1989. Understandably, this brewpub is now one of the liveliest spots in town, serving hearty food along with the Copperhead Pale Ale, the Ad Astra and the Wheat State Golden.
Harking back to another era, John Brown Underground is a speak-easy with an intimate atmosphere and some sophisticated drinks. Named for the American abolitionist who brought his campaign against slavery to Bleeding Kansas, the ambiance of this little hideaway is much calmer than its namesake. Find it on 7th Street, between Massachusetts and New Hampshire Streets. True to the speak-easy theme, look for the red or green light outside to let you know if you’ll get the okay to come in.
Looking for the campus crowd and the college beer specials, The Wagon Wheel Café, known locally as just “The Wheel” is a time-honored tradition for post-game celebrations or Friday afternoon weekend starters.
And this is just a start. There is more!