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 a good meal, and Lawrence has a range of unmistakable restaurants to please every taste.
See what our local experts recommend on the Unmistakably Lawrence blog…
March has arrived with just the faintest of believable spring weather gracing us and it is time to take advantage. If you’re looking to shake off that winter dust, what better way to do it than with a Final Fridays-turned-Weekend? It’s easy to burrow in during the winter months, stay inside where it’s warm, and Read More …
March 14 is Pi Day – a celebration of the mathematical constant starting with 3.14 (also known as π). Lucky for those of us who are not mathematicians the holiday is often used as a perfectly acceptable excuse to celebrate another phenomenal constant – PIE! Here’s a list of some local favorites to help you celebrate Read More …
Downtown Lawrence Restaurant Week, January 19-27, is one of the most anticipated times for Lawrence foodies. It’s a time when local chefs put together creative and original dishes not found on their regular menus. We’ve interviewed three local dining enthusiasts to get the inside scoop on how best to experience this fourth annual feast of 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.
A rather new spot in downtown is for anyone who loves breakfast any time of day. Wake the Dead Breakfast Bar serves breakfast day and night (brinner). Donuts, signature breakfast dishes (try the faded french toast!) and signature craft cocktails make up the creative menu. You can always feel good about eating Wake the Dead’s donuts as the socially conscious restaurant donates 25% of all donut proceeds to charity.
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.
A new brewery is taking the Warehouse Arts District in East Lawrence by storm. The Lawrence Beer Company is serving up their original brews along-side creative and updated takes on familiar food.
And this is just a start. There is more!