Looking for great cuisine or some live jive, you’ll find lots of choices in Lawrence.
Our foodie-friendly town has a full range of restaurants and cafes that will delight your taste buds.
If it’s your ears or your dancing feet you want to please, check out the list of places where you’ll find unmistakably Lawrence live music and nightlife. Enjoy!
Here are just a few suggestions that tap the surface of what Lawrence has to offer if you’re looking for great food, music and entertainment. Come to Lawrence ready to play.
Live music is one of the things people know about Lawrence.
Built in the 1930′s as a silent movie theater and showing movies up through the 1980′s, the Granada has now been hosting live acts for almost 20 years. Featuring national and international touring acts, the Granada has hosted noteworthy and award winning performers, including M83, The Get Up Kids, Ben Folds, Flaming Lips, Weezer, Henry Rollins, Pat Green, G-Love & Special Sauce, Marilyn Manson, Dirty Projectors, Jerry Cantrell, Murder by Death, Big Head Todd, Smashing Pumpkins, Rusted Root, John Mayer and many more. You’ll find it right on Massachusetts Street, between 10th and 11th. thegranada.com
And there’s more music playing. Check out the calendar at the Replay Lounge, 946 Massachusetts Street. The Replay features pinball, recorded and live music, along with grill and deli sandwiches and drinks at their weekend patio shows. replaylounge.com
Climb the stairs to the Jazzhaus, 926 ½ Massachusetts, where their motto is: Work Hard, Play Hard, Sleep Later and Love Life. Can’t beat that! This nightclub has been a Lawrence institution since 1982, offering live music, dancing and drink specials. One room offers a stage and room for dancing. A small adjoining lounge area features mood lighting, overstuffed couches and a more intimate setting, while there is also an outside deck off the back. jazzhaus.com
When it comes to food, Lawrence loves local.
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 Wheatfield’s 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.
Out and about on the west side of Lawrence, foodies will enjoy Mariscos innovative dishes in a warm, contemporary ambiance. The small plates, entrees and seasonal menu define new American comfort food.
Carnivores will find Hanks 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.