14 Best Restaurants in Lawrence, KS (with Photos & Maps)

If you’re looking for a delicious meal in Lawrence, KS, you’ll be spoiled for choice. From Mexican to Chinese to Italian, there’s something for everyone. Here are our picks for the 14 best restaurants in Lawrence.

Merchants Pub & Plate

$$ | (785) 843-4111 | WEBSITE

 

 
 
 
 
 
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For a truly unique dining experience, check out Merchants Pub & Plate. This gastropub serves creative, delicious dishes in a cozy atmosphere. The menu changes frequently, so there’s always something new to try.

You can start with one of the signature dishes, which include the merchant burger, pub poutine, and roasted beet & goat cheese salad. For the main course, popular choices include the short rib stroganoff, seared scallops, and fish & chips.

Finish off your meal with one of the delicious desserts like the blueberry cobbler or the chocolate pot de creme. The bar serves a variety of local and craft beers, as well as an impressive wine list.

 

 

Mass St. Fish House & Raw Bar

$$$ | (785) 856-1081 | WEBSITE

 

 
 
 
 
 
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If you are hunting for incredible seafood, look no further than Mass St. Fish House & Raw Bar. This restaurant offers a wide selection of fresh seafood and an impressive raw bar. Start off your meal with the shrimp & crab spring rolls or the tuna tartare before moving on to the main event.

The seafood risotto, seared scallops, and grilled swordfish are all excellent choices. Be sure to save room for dessert, so you can try the chocolate mousse or the key lime pie. The location is ideal for people watching, as it’s right on Mass Street.

 

 

Zen Zero

$$ | (785) 832-0001 | WEBSITE

Best Restaurants in Lawrence, KS Zen Zero

For a flavor-packed meal, head to Zen Zero. This Thai restaurant is known for its inventive dishes and friendly service. The menu features all of your Thai favorites and some unique creations. The coconut curry soup and the green curry are both excellent starters.

The popular signature dishes include Pad Thai, drunken noodles, and the massaman curry. If you’re feeling adventurous, try one of the less- familiar dishes, like the jungle curry or the crispy duck. Finish off your meal with the fried banana or the mango sticky rice for dessert.

 

 

The Mad Greek

$$ | (785) 843-2441 | WEBSITE

Best Restaurant in Lawrence, KS The Mad Greek

The Mad Greek is the perfect spot for a leisurely lunch or a romantic dinner. This family-owned restaurant has been serving traditional Greek dishes since George and Petty Kritos founded it in 1988.

The menu features all the popular Greek classics you may know and love and some unique specialties. Start off your meal with the dolmades (stuffed grape leaves) or the keftedes (Greek meatballs) before moving on to the main event.

The lamb shank, mousaka, and chicken Kapama are all excellent choices. The Mad Greek is located in the heart of downtown Lawrence, so you can stroll around and do some shopping or people watching after your meal.

 

 

J. Wilson’s

$$ | (785) 312-9057 | WEBSITE

Lawrence, KS Best Restaurants J. Wilson's

For a casual yet upscale dining experience, head to J. Wilson’s, known for its top-notch American comfort food. The menu features all your favorite dishes made with fresh, locally-sourced ingredients. The fried chicken and the bacon-wrapped meatloaf are both excellent choices.

The burgers are also a big hit; you can choose from various toppings, including avocado, blue cheese, and fried egg. Be sure to save room for dessert, so you can try the chocolate peanut butter pie or the toasted coconut cake. J. Wilson’s is located in the historic district of Lawrence, a short walk from the Kansas River.

 

 

El Potro Mexican cafe Lawrence

$$ | (785) 331-2500 | WEBSITE

El Potro Mexican cafe Lawrence

El Porto is the perfect spot for a casual lunch or dinner. The menu features all your Mexican favorites, from tacos and enchiladas to burritos and quesadillas. The portions are large, so get there hungry.

The shrimp tacos, chicken fajitas, and carne asada are all excellent choices. El Potro also has a full bar, so you can enjoy a margarita or a beer with your meal. The outdoor seating is perfect for people watching, and the location is convenient to downtown Lawrence.

 

 

Thai Diner

$$ | (785) 551-7528 | WEBSITE

Lawrence, KS Best Restaurant Thai Diner

Thai Diner is known for its fresh, flavorful dishes and friendly service if you’re in the mood for Thai food. The chalkboard menu features all of your Thai favorites and some unique specialties. The curry puffs, satay chicken, and pineapple fried rice are all excellent choices.

Thai Diner is located in the heart of downtown Lawrence, making it the perfect spot for a quick lunch or a leisurely dinner. It is also within walking distance of many of the city’s attractions, so you can make a night of it.

 

 

The Roost

$$ | (785) 843-1110 | WEBSITE

 

 
 
 
 
 
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The Roost is a cozy little restaurant with a great reputation. This hidden gem is known for its delicious American comfort food and friendly, attentive service. The menu features all your favorite dishes made with fresh, locally-sourced ingredients.

It is the go-to place for brunch, with dishes like chicken and waffles, breakfast burrito, and eggs benedict. The Roost is strategically located downtown, so you can walk off your meal with a stroll around the city.

 

 

Jefferson’s

$$ | (785) 832-2000 | WEBSITE

Restaurants in Lawrence, KS Jefferson's

Jefferson’s is a casual yet sophisticated restaurant known for its excellent American cuisine. The menu features chicken-fried steak, grilled salmon, and roasted Brussels sprouts, which are all excellent choices.

Jefferson’s also has a full bar, so you can enjoy a cocktail or a glass of wine with your meal. The restaurant specializes in oysters, chicken wings, and burgers, so be sure to try one of those if you’re feeling adventurous. Jefferson’s is a perfect choice if you’re looking for a romantic dinner spot.

 

 

715 Restaurant

$$$ | (785) 856-7150 | WEBSITE

 

 
 
 
 
 
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715 Restaurant is a fine dining establishment known for its top-notch cuisine and elegant atmosphere. The menu features Italian and French classics and some unique specialties. The foie gras, the rack of lamb, and the squid ink pasta are all excellent choices.

715 Restaurant is located in the heart of downtown Lawrence, within walking distance of many of the city’s attractions. If you’re looking for a special occasion spot, 715 Restaurant is a perfect choice. It is also within walking distance of several hotels, so you can make a night of it.

 

 

Encore Asian Bistro (Encore Cafe)

$$ | (785) 856-3682 | WEBSITE

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Encore Asian Bistro is a casual restaurant known for its delicious fusion cuisine. The main dishes are all inspired by traditional Asian cuisine but with a unique twist. The kung pao chicken, the green curry shrimp, and the pad Thai are all excellent choices.

The cocktails are also a big draw at Encore Asian Bistro, so be sure to try one of those if you’re looking for a night out. You can find the restaurant in the heart of downtown Lawrence, within walking distance of many of the city’s attractions.

 

 

The Burger Stand at The Casbah

$$ | (785) 856-0543 | WEBSITE

Restaurant in Lawrence, KS The Burger Stand at The Casbah

The Burger Stand at The Casbah is known for its delicious gourmet burgers and fries and its wide selection of craft beers. The burgers are all made with locally-sourced, grass-fed beef, and the fries are hand-cut and double-fried.

The Burger Stand also has a full bar, so you can enjoy a cocktail or a glass of wine with your meal. Other menu items include salads, sandwiches, and wings. The hot dogs are also a big hit, so be sure to try one of those if you’re feeling adventurous.

 

 

The Basil Leaf Café

$$ | (785) 856-0459 | WEBSITE

 

 
 
 
 
 
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The Basil Leaf Café is a casual restaurant known for its delicious and affordable cuisine. This bar and eatery features all your favorite Italian dishes made with fresh ingredients. The menu features classics like chicken parmesan, lasagna, spaghetti, and meatballs.

The pizza is also a big hit, so be sure to try one of those if you’re looking for something different. The Basil Leaf Café is located in the heart of downtown Lawrence, within walking distance of many of the city’s attractions.

 

 

Culinaria

$$ | (785) 766-8591 | WEBSITE

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Culinaria is a casual restaurant known for its large outdoor area and delicious Mediterranean cuisine. The menu features all of your favorite dishes, as well as some unique specialties. The hummus is a must-try, as are the lamb kebabs and the eggplant parmesan.

The cocktails are also a big draw at Culinaria, so be sure to try one of those if you’re looking for a night out. The restaurant is located in the heart of downtown Lawrence, within walking distance of many of the city’s attractions.

 

 

Conclusion

There you have it! These are the 14 best restaurants in Lawrence, KS. Whether you’re looking for a romantic spot, a casual eatery, or a place to enjoy a night out, you’ll find it on this list. So, what are you waiting for? Get out there and start exploring!

Restaurants in Lawrence, KS

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