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What is your favorite local restaurant?

Asked at South Park on October 5, 2009

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Photo of Scott Collier

“Local Burger, because it’s organic and healthier for you than most things.”

Photo of Sean Campbell

“Angler’s Seafood. (I love) fresh seafood.”

Photo of Megan Hemphill

“Milton’s, mainly because their food is really light and the portions are great and the price is awesome.”

Photo of Andrea Hemphill

“Zen Zero. I like the atmosphere and delicious Thai flavor.”


Nikki May 8 years, 4 months ago

Broadband man freaks me out. Anyway, I like Quintons and Set'em Up Jacks. I like Wayne and Larry's sweet potato fries the best though.

MissinLawrence 8 years, 4 months ago

Gran Daddy's BBQ is always is Set'em Up Jacks

countrygirl 8 years, 4 months ago

I'm not impressed with Granddaddy's, but Bigg's pastrami is awfully good. Hard to go wrong with Set'm up Jack's burgers.

trinity 8 years, 4 months ago

when choosing a lawrence restaurant-freestate wins, hands down.

puddleglum 8 years, 4 months ago

freestate tops the pile. everybody knows this.

biemer's bbq is great for lunch. don't forget papa keno's-best slices.

Bassetlover 8 years, 4 months ago

Ingredient, even though their salads are priced outrageiously high.

GardenMomma 8 years, 4 months ago

Thai Siam has awesome spring rolls and pad thai.

hipper_than_hip 8 years, 4 months ago

Did Granddaddy's move or is it closed?

The desserts and the cheddar ale soup are good at the Freestate, but the rest of their food is marginal.

Tortas Jalisco has the best carne asada tacos in town.

labmonkey 8 years, 4 months ago

I miss MOJO's....they made the nest wings ever. I have to agree with the Set-Em Up Jacks people....never had a bad meal there. I know it is more regional than local, but I love Montana Mikes.

jonas_opines 8 years, 4 months ago

Cafe Beautiful. Expensive as anything, but quiet, private, and with great tasting and great looking food served to you with conversation by the chef himself.

BigPrune 8 years, 4 months ago

Thai Siam, chicken pad thai medium spice Gumby's, The Pile Maker (though haven't had one in years) Hairy T's, as good a burger as anywhere

I'll think up some more later

Kat Christian 8 years, 4 months ago

Free State = great good - excellent beer - fun atmosphere Anglers = Pricey, but great food - wonderful atmosphere Mad Greek = excellent food - nice atmosphere

MissinLawrence 8 years, 4 months ago

Gran Daddy's moved to 19th & the strip mall there

puddleglum 8 years, 4 months ago

mojo's was the shizzle-nizzle!

however, I think I can tell you why they are no longer around....I used to love to call in my order about 20 minutes before every KU basketball game. then, i would roll down the street and scoop up my wings and chicken strips with the best sauces ever (whiskey a-go-go, phat elvis) day, I didn't get home soon enough, and I called during the first half-nobody answered the phone. I kept re-calling, but nobody picked up the phone :( a few games later-this happened again. this time, I phoned, got the ring tone, and then set the phone down, and drove down myself to see 4 employees sitting on the counter-watching the game with the phone ringing, beside them. 'aren't you gonna answer that?' I asked. " Naw man, we wouldn't be able to keep up with the demand during games-so we just ignore the phone on game nights." so I gave him my order and left-happy to have my wings, chicken strips and the best sauces ever created (did I mention that?) well, finally-I ran into the owner and I hate to be a rat, but since I am in a similar situation, I would like to know about bad things my employees do when I am not around-so I sez: "hey man, your employees don't answer the phones during basketball games-and I thought you might like to know." he replied "yeah, I told them not to, 'cause its impossible to keep up with demand" snap

ozzynbn 8 years, 4 months ago

Longhorn Steak House has never disappointed me. Always a great meal.

But my all time favorite is....................... KFC

denak 8 years, 4 months ago

I would have to say that it is Peaking Taste, followed by Ixtapa and Cici's(for the kids, of course).

Nikki May 8 years, 4 months ago

I've never liked freestate. I guess I just don't "get" it. Of course, I don't drink and I'm fairly picky.

ralphralph 8 years, 4 months ago

Free State (especially when the wild mushrooms are on!). La Parilla. Tellers. ... haven't been to Anglers, but wanting to ... Worth it?

Matt Warman 8 years, 4 months ago

Don's Steak House... What? Torn down! Doh!

Gareth Skarka 8 years, 4 months ago

I love all the idiots in this thread who are naming chains as their favorite "local" restaurant.


pumpernickle 8 years, 4 months ago

Thai Siam, Princess Chicken-Medium Hot Tres Mexicanos Tortas Jaliscos The Mad Greek Jefferson's Culvers 5 Guys

kmat 8 years, 4 months ago

I can't believe no one has listed Rudy's. Best pizza in the world. those that go to Keno's need to go try pizza made with real sauce and see happy employees that get treated well and paid.

Angler's rocks, as does Zen Zero.

dajudge 8 years, 4 months ago

I had a good egg burger at the new Johnny's where JB Stouts used to be. The rest of the menu looked good. Also, Zig & Mac's fried Mozzarella sticks are the best.

Tony Kisner 8 years, 4 months ago

Oldenough - I think that is a Yogi-ism. No one goes there anymore it got too busy.?

puddleglum 8 years, 4 months ago

aww yes. autie, remember the vista cyclones?

ScottyMac 8 years, 4 months ago

I love Rudy's, but it's not the best pizza in the world. It's not even the best in town. That honor would go to Johnny's Tavern.

kmat 8 years, 4 months ago

ScottyMac (Anonymous) says…

I love Rudy's, but it's not the best pizza in the world. It's not even the best in town. That honor would go to Johnny's Tavern.

You wouldn't say that if you ever saw the kitchen there. I love Rick, but I also know some of his kitchen staff.

Rudy's is the only place that figured out you need red wine and lots of garlic to make a good sauce. Everyone else uses cr*p out of a jar. Rudy's is made fresh every day. Everything at Rudy's is fresh and their kitchen is VERY clean.

somedude20 8 years, 4 months ago

LINK, then I have some dessert at the free methadone clinic. The ladies love it too.

labmonkey 8 years, 4 months ago


That sucks about their service. My favorite sauces were Bayou Burn and Code Red. I would ususally order 20 wings with 10 of each sauce.

Why has noone mentioned Burrito King? Man, noone in Lawrence has any taste anymore (or appearantly the gut flora).

9070811 8 years, 4 months ago

The Late Paradise Cafe.

El Matador or Tortas Jaliscos for homestyle mexican Aimee's Coffeehouse for breakfast Dempsey's for burgers Aladdin Cafe for something not covered in cheese or grease

puddleglum 8 years, 4 months ago


haw deng, you really put the hammer down! yeah, I agree.

justthefacts 8 years, 4 months ago

All this goes to show is how diverse people's tastes are. Some of the places I consider way way below par are others favorites. It's all a matter of perspective I guess.

kmat 8 years, 4 months ago

I think when I read Buffalo Bob's, I threw up in my mouth a little.

OldEnuf2BYurDad 8 years, 4 months ago

"Oldenough - I think that is a Yogi-ism. No one goes there anymore it got too busy.?"

Good food doesn't mean they were good business people. Does Bob Schumm have good food?

Soup2Nuts 8 years, 4 months ago

Local burger is expensive and it never fills me up. I have to go out somewhere else afterward and eat again.

sinkorswim 8 years, 4 months ago

La Familia, Panda Garden, Mad Greek, Yello Sub, Ingedient, On the Border, Longhorn, Old Chicago, and LOVED Uno's. I know....they're not all "local."

Ronda Miller 8 years, 4 months ago

Terrebone (wonderful homemade soups, sandwiches, desserts, everything is wonderful), El Matador(their beans and chips and sweet salsa rock), The Eldridge (now there are some sweet potatoes and great salads), and India Palace.......yum....

jumpin_catfish 8 years, 4 months ago

Cielto Lindo for Mexican Jefferson's for Onion Rings and Bacon Cheeseburger Mad Greek I love all their stuff especially desserts Biemer's for BBQ

GardenMomma 8 years, 4 months ago

Thai Siam Aladdin Cafe La Familia - that is the one by the Bottleneck, yes? If it's not, that is the one I mean.

jonas_opines 8 years, 4 months ago

Paisanos has the best fried calamari I have tasted thus far.

Panda Garden is awesome if you know how to order. Their traditional, authentic menu is fabulous; their Americanized crap menu tastes like decent Americanized crap.

MaryKatesPillStash 8 years, 4 months ago

YAY! I'm going to be visiting Lawrence again for the first time in about a year, so I am very excited to see this for inspiration. I love Zen Zero, and although it's not exactly local, I also enjoy Salty Iguana.

Question--I remember reading an article about a new burger place coming into Lawrence. It seemed like a local business, not a chain, and was possibly owned by two brothers. People were raving about their burgers. It was NOT that chain place where they have sacks of potatoes everywhere...anyone have any idea where I'm talking about?

George_Braziller 8 years, 4 months ago

St. Thomas Enchiladas from Tin Pan Alley. Yummy. I'd love to get the recipie.

Any BBQ place -- Yuck.

BigPrune 8 years, 4 months ago

El Mezcal (though I don't know if they're "local"). I love to order me up some Chicken Fa jita

jonas_opines 8 years, 4 months ago

multiD, I do believe that Hayes is closed now, and no, it was not good.

Richard Heckler 8 years, 4 months ago

Global Cafe - great menu Casbah Free State La Parilla Absolutely Rudy's Local Burger Zen Zero Tellers Tempeh Salad - mmmmmm good

Hot Philly at Ingredient made with local Hot Fiesta Tofu - YUMO!

Hard to have only one....

jenniflip 8 years, 4 months ago to eat my weight at El Matador. Homestyle enchiladas, beans, rice, and anything else hot off the stove at Joe's!

Katara 8 years, 4 months ago

El Matador Thai Siam Jade Garden Mad Greek (It's no Georgia's in KC but if you need a decent gyro fix, it works.) Midwest Fish Fry (Hopefully it will re-open soon. They had the best chicken tenders ever.)

ozzynbn 8 years, 4 months ago

Gareth (Anonymous) spewed:

I love all the idiots in this thread who are naming chains as their favorite “local” restaurant.


Let's play semantics. The question was "local", not locally owned or non national chain. People are naming restaurants in the city of Lawrence. Therefore, they are "local".

You've set yourself up to be the "idiot". Good job "genius".

TheJokerObama 8 years, 4 months ago

Drunk Sean knows what's up. Dude at the top is unemployed and eats overpriced and crappy Local Burger? Hmm. Wonder if that's his family truckster in the background. I miss Zen Zero. Haven't found any place that can match it for some reason here in California. Maybe it's because most places here are not as clean so I don't go out of my way.

Maddy Griffin 8 years, 4 months ago

Cornucopia or Tin Pan Alley. Used to hit one of them up every week. Don't eat out much now that they are gone. Love the fried pickles at Jefferson's though.

TriSigmaKS 8 years, 4 months ago

La Familia Mad Greek Dempsey's Wheatfields Bigg's Johnny's Teller's Free State Alladdin's Wheat State

TheJokerObama 8 years, 4 months ago

Mojo's sucked but was more affordable than LB. Wheatstate? You have got to be kidding me. The all crust pizza. Was not impressed.

Daniel Speicher 8 years, 4 months ago

Just depends on what I'm eating...

Mexican - La Familia BBQ - Beimer's Wings - Jefferson's Asian - Zen Zero Pizza - Rudy's Sushi - Yokohama on Mass St Sandwiches - Quinton'ss Italian - Paisano's Burgers - Dempsey's Seafood - Angler's Coffee Shop - Dunn Brother's Fast Food - Chipotle on 6th

I LOVE the selection of restaraunts in Lawrence. I think we really do have a pretty good town for a foodie like myself. ;)

--Danny Speicher

pizzapete 8 years, 4 months ago

Rudy's is definitely the best pizza, and they have finally started putting a fair amount of sauce on like back in the day. A few years ago there was almost no sauce on their pizza and that is the best part I think, everyone else has the same basic cheese and toppings. Matador cafe? I always liked that dive, but was in there last week and ordered chicken tacos. We only have chicken on the weekend the waitress told me. What's up with that? I won't be back any time during the week if that is the case.

pizzapete 8 years, 4 months ago

Marion, how about Papa Kenos? Those guys never seem to pay their taxes on time. The pizza has really gone down hill I think since they were closed down and all the old employees were fired or quit from not being paid. Johnny's pizza is good, someone told me they have the old Keno's recipe.

pizzapete 8 years, 4 months ago

Krause dining? Yea next time I want to spend $100 on a plate of food I'll just fly to NY or Paris to get ripped off.

dajudge 8 years, 4 months ago

I like to go to Trado's for Italian down on Mass. St. It's dark when you walk in so it takes a minute for your eyes to adjust.

rbwaa 8 years, 4 months ago

....i feel like i'm in the twilight zone....i haven't been to tredo's in oh, i don't know, 35 years...? i guess that's why it takes so long for my eyes adjust...

rbwaa 8 years, 4 months ago

now speaking of the twilight zone, how about moore burgers for the best hamburger in town...

motomom 8 years, 4 months ago

the burger stand in dempsey's pub is delicious. the truffle fries are a real treat and so is the homemade ice cream sandwiches.........unbelievable!

igby 8 years, 4 months ago

Every time I eat out, I get sick. Does everyone have this fever/body- aches, chills; hope it's not the pig flue! It's been three days.

jonas_opines 8 years, 4 months ago

Looks like Marion's begging to get his own past brought back up again.

TheJokerObama 8 years, 4 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

Flap Doodle 8 years, 4 months ago













race .








Bill Martin 8 years, 4 months ago

I took my Mom to BuffBob's when it was still in the The Malls on Louisiana, it was decent, went a couple times downtown, first was a little below average, but could have been a bad day, you know? Last time we went about 3 years ago, that has been my worst dining experience while in Lawrence since 85. Bad food, bad service, filthy tables...ugh.

We do like our Yello-Sub, Peking Taste for Chinese, my mouth like's their Gen. Tso's but my diabetes doesn't! My Mom's vote would probably go to Paisano's, but we are on a limited budget, so can't explore all the culinary experiences out there, but would be fun! Or not, reading some reviews....diabetes and acid reflux, sure makes a guy's choice of nice spicy food or down to sweet, mouth watering desserts out of the picture. But again, maybe excess of all that, was the cause no doubt! Along with prednisone, I will use that

Soap 8 years, 4 months ago

Encore > Zen Zero.. Also nobody said Pachamama's?? Also, The Burger Stand at Dempsey's = Krause.. Nobody mentioned West Coast burgers.. You people need to get out more.. Free State, Zen Zero is playin it safe.. Feel free to explore the town a bit more!!

Kris_H 8 years, 4 months ago

Cornucopia? That goes back a ways, doesn't it? :D That was around when I actually lived in Lawrence and that was in the days when dinosaurs roamed the earth...Now I guess I would choose Local Burger instead, though I don't like their physical place much.

As an "out-of-towner," I appreciate all the choices of places to eat in Lawrence. I love this discussion because I see some places I haven't tried yet that sound worthy.

As far as some of the other places, Teller's and Pachamama's are overpriced for me. I do miss the Paradise Cafe. Milton's is pretty good, though. Love Zen Zero, La Parilla, Mad Greek and Thai Siam for being good, and for being right downtown and easy to find. I like India Palace as well, especially the lunch buffet. Ingredients, to me, is gimmicky, loud and overpriced.

I'm very fond of the many wonderful beers at Free State Brewery, and the great location. The food is OK; I don't expect gourmet dishes from what is basically a bar and grill place. The atmosphere is a bit crowded and loud for an old-timer like me, though.

Rudy's is some of the best pizza I've ever eaten, and I've eaten a lot of pizza.

Tortas Jalisco has been very inconsistent for me. One trip the food was great, another trip it just plain sucked. And sometimes there aren't enough servers on duty to handle the workflow.

For subs, Yello Sub.

Now to make my list of other places to try...yum!

Kris_H 8 years, 4 months ago

Wha? Whoa...just dropped back in to say I regret I forgot to mention Wheatfields. The turkey and cranberry sauce on walnut-sage bread...think I gotta make a road trip soon!

jonas_opines 8 years, 4 months ago

Sorry, Marion, I'm only that way with racist old coots who have proven themselves to be uninformable.

TheJokerObama 8 years, 4 months ago

Anytime PK. I have met you and hung out w/ you and your douchebag friends, and have seen enough of you and your behavior to know first hand what kind of person you are. I was not impressed. You allowed me into your home in KC as well because you are too trust worthy and you allowed me to see too much. So that's all I am going to say about that. Allow me to apologize for being an honest but hurtful person. Just keep in mind, don't trust everyone your friends bring around.

TheJokerObama 8 years, 4 months ago

I was way out of line. I apologize, and will not try to be such a nazi anymore.

LisaGreenwood 8 years, 4 months ago

Nothing compares to breakfast at the Paradise Cafe, dinner at Tin Pan Alley or Cornucopia, anything at any of the incarnations of Glass Onion, or Mojos' Phat Elvis and Carolina Sumpin' Sumpin. Before I had to go gluten free it was a toss-up between Rudy's and Papa Keno's. Hubby and I stayed in the Eldridge on our wedding night and had Papa Keno's delivered! I also enjoy some Yello Subs, Mad Greek, La Familia and Tortas Jalisco.

But Border Bandido outlives them all -- viva the Texas Burrito!

Randall Barnes 8 years, 4 months ago


George_Braziller 8 years, 4 months ago

I saw several people mention Rudy's pizza as their favorite. Were you just joking? I've tried them three times and they have consistently been the worst I have ever had. They always taste two for $5.00 frozen pizzas to me.

Eugehne Normandin 8 years, 4 months ago

Village Inn has the best breakfast and french fries but I have not gone out in awhile

Ricky_Vaughn 8 years, 4 months ago

Since no one's mentioned it, and it's been here forever:

Border Bandido!!! Long live the Taco Bar!!!

StirrrThePot 8 years, 4 months ago

Sadly I live just a mile from Set 'em Jacks and have never eaten there. I need to go sometime.

Free State will always be my favorite but I do love Rudy's and the Mad Greek.

Back in the day--Mojo's wings--I agree they were fanstastic. I miss Paradise Cafe.

Kris_H 8 years, 4 months ago

How do you find out who owns a business in Douglas County? I want to know who owns India Palace, if anyone knows or can point me to where to look.

Ricky_Vaughn 8 years, 4 months ago

If you've ever had real, home-cooked Indian food, India Palace is WEAK.

kansanbygrace 8 years, 4 months ago

I really like Mirth Cafe. Real, fresh. Global is good. I like Panda Garden and Mad Greek. Zen Zero pretty good. Teller's good but overpriced. I prefer Bryant's and save my Q-jones for a KC trip.
Free State's cheddar soup is pretty good and they have a good veggie (black bean) burger. The rest of the menu seems like it's all deep fried or dressed with a ladle of lard. Burrito King is good--veggie burrito with great salsa.

oliveoyl 8 years, 4 months ago

Locals I love: Sushi-Yokohama on New Hampshire Burgers-Local Burger or Dempsey's Mexican-La Familla or Cielito Lindo Sandwiches/Salads/anything-Freestate or Ingredient Asian-my moms Pizza-Rudy's or Papa Kenos Breakfast-Mirth, Milton's or Wheatfields American-Pachamamas Italian-Tellers Brunch-Tellers

Locals that make me want to throw up in my mouth a little: Buffalo Bobs I would've said Mass Street Deli if it was still around Maybe Mad Greek's Italian food. Ten (overpriced for what it is and not that great to begin with) Jefferson's

Locals I miss: Mojo's- their Mary Cuke and Herb Sandwich AND wings!!! Drool. Paradise Cafe- Breakfast enchiladas and a bloody mary. Sigh. Cheese Shoppe- hot sammies and mac-n-cheese.

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