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What is your favorite downtown restaurant?

Asked at Dillons, 3000 W. Sixth St. on February 8, 2011

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Photo of Debbie Markham

“I would have to say Ingredient. Their food seems pretty fresh, freshly made and it’s not too expensive.”

Photo of Mike Thompson

“The Burger Stand. I like the fries and the burgers. And the sauces, you can’t forget the sauces.”

Photo of Cinda Garrison

“Free State. The food is consistently good.”

Photo of Wayne Waltner

“Genovese. The food is good.”


RoeDapple 6 years ago

Okay, I admit it. I do go downtown occasionally. But only for Zen Zero.

evilpenguin 6 years ago

Two people with sucky taste then :p

Cait McKnelly 6 years ago

I took my son to Milton's for breakfast and they handed us "toast" that was hard as a rock and inedible.

Pitt_Mackeson 6 years ago

hahaha don't order the toast! I would suggest the salmon and cream cheese omelet. No other joint has anything like it. Also try the baked goods XD again, avoid their toast.

seriouscat 6 years ago

Last time I went to Milton's there were cockroaches in the bathroom and the server was rude. That place is so over-rated.

George_Braziller 6 years ago

I give a restaurant three three chances before I write it off the list of places where I will eat. Three really bad experiences at Milton's sent it right to the top of the "never again" list. Awful, awful, awful.

CHKNLTL 6 years ago

last time i went to milton's the counter hostess had a napkin tied on round her neck as a top!

d_prowess 6 years ago

Selfishly, I am semi-happy to hear the stuff about Milton's because I love it and it just means less of a wait during the weekends!! Great biscuts & gravy, great waffles, great omelets. So tasty!!

Bob Forer 6 years ago

great attitude. I second the motion.

Bob Forer 6 years ago

great attitude. I second the motion.

Erin Graham 6 years ago

Yokohama. No contest. Second place goes to La Parilla. I like other places as well but have to be careful since there are several places that saturate stuff in peanut oil. I'm not complaining or discrediting those places... a good portion look fantastic and a lot of people love.

kernal 6 years ago

Last time I ate at La Parilla was in July for the first time in a couple of years and it was awful! Was really disappointed as they used to be good.

Bill Lee 6 years ago

I don't eat downtown very often anymore, but I still enjoy the Mad Greek.

denak 6 years ago

I rarely go downtown to eat but when I do it is usually Jefferson's or Mad Greek.

flux 6 years ago

The Taco Johns at 10th and Mass

Kyle Neuer 6 years ago

The Red Lion. "What'll it be, Darlin'?"

riverdrifter 6 years ago

You come in my joint and fart like that? Haul out. I mean NOW!!

Jay Keffer 6 years ago

"Yes, those are real diamonds in my teeth. Hurt like he||!"

Cait McKnelly 6 years ago

Mad Greek and Aimee's for breakfast.

Erin Graham 6 years ago

Yes yes yes! Aimees is such a gem!

schula 6 years ago

Zen Zero

When Paradise Cafe was still open, that was my favorite place to eat downtown. Loved the breakfasts especially the cinnamon rolls made into french toast. My favorite dinner was the blackened snapper.

Alceste 6 years ago

The Union Cafe on one side of the street; The Deluxe Cafe on the other....same block as I recall.....

deec 6 years ago

Didn't one of them have a handmade sign at all the tables "Waitresses are not to set (sic) with customers?"

Sherry Warren 6 years ago

Angler's - Great food and a fabulous beer selection

mom_of_three 6 years ago

Went to anglers a few months ago, was not that impressed. Maybe it was a bad night?

swksgirl 6 years ago

Aladdin's, its where my fiance and I had our first date!!!

Paul R Getto 6 years ago

The dumpster behind Free State. Good leftovers!

RoeDapple 6 years ago

Freegan living is the life for me, Clothes, furniture and food for free! I choose to live outside the hive, Skip tradition just let me go dumpster dive.

(to the tune of "Green Acres")

squawkhawk 6 years ago

YES! Nice views and the food isn't bad either.

somedude20 6 years ago

Dempsey's by far is the best burger in town. Zen Zero rocks (and the last 10 times I have been there my food was hot and ready in under 5 minutes)

jhawkinsf 6 years ago

Milton's for breakfast. Free State for lunch (too crowded for dinner). Dinner's a tough call, Anglers and Yokahama are good for me but the kids don't like it. Anything deep fried is good for them but we adults would rather not. La Parilla seems like a good compromise.

ForThePeople 6 years ago

Tin Pan Alley...I so miss this place! Definitely a fan of The Burger Stand though.

KansasPerson 6 years ago

Did it get moved to the Red Lyon tavern at 944 Mass? I haven't been in there but I heard they had that old sign. "Please don't tell anyone about the lion. We have NO TIME for STRANGERS. REMEMBER, it's your seat!"

irvan moore 6 years ago

Glen had one of the signs but i don't remember which one.

George_Braziller 6 years ago

The St. Thomas Enchiladas at Tin Pan Alley. I LOVED those.

Edwin Rothrock 6 years ago

The seafood chimi was my favorite. Yummmm.

PikesPeakJhawk 6 years ago

The sign from THE Red Lion is now hanging above the bar at the Red Lyon Tavern downtown.....

seriouscat 6 years ago

Zen Zero and Aimee's coffeehouse. The staff at Aimee's is great.

9070811 6 years ago

Aimee's for breakfast! Milton's is over-rated. The Merth is good but often crowded and rushed. I love love love love love Aladdin's Cafe for dinner. mmmmmm

Prairielander 6 years ago

Lately it has been the Burger Stand and Esquinas. La Famillia, Zen Zero and Free State are long-time favorites. India Palace for food porn. Bring Back Paradise!

c_doc77 6 years ago

Alladin Cafe, hands down. Tellers is a distant second with Mad Greek being an even further distant third.

CLARKKENT 6 years ago



yourworstnightmare 6 years ago

Hands-down tie between Pachamama's and 715.

These are by far the two best restaurants in Lawrence and they compete with the best in the entire KC area.

PennyBrite 6 years ago

the "Old" la parilla - before they changed it. I don't like the seating any more.

walkthehawk 6 years ago

agreed, again. it was such a great, low-key place where the focus was tasty, unfussy food freshly prepared and sold at reasonable prices. we loved to eat there with the kids--the booths kept them contained, and we were in probably once every couple weeks (often more than that) . . . I have seldom been as disappointed as I was when they finally reopened after the remodel.

I hope they got what they were looking for in their change to tableside service, but they lost an entire demographic of regulars. we had to find a workable alternative, and it ended up being Esquina. that's the breaks, I guess, but the old La Parilla will always hold a place in our hearts.

Alfred_W 6 years ago

Hear hear! Was so disappointed when it got 'trendified". They could have at least kept the booths so you wouldn't have to have an intimate meal with however many people are sitting along the same wall as you. We used to go there at least once a week, but now it's every other month or less.

Mari Aubuchon 6 years ago


I have also been enjoying sushi at Yokohama.

somedude20 6 years ago

I miss Sammie's curry in a hurry and I wish it would hurry back. Anyone seen those ads for that new BK burger , "The Jalapeño & Cheese BK Stuffed Steakhouse Burger" ? That hamburger looks even less edible than Rosie O'Donnell did in "Exit to Eden" which is saying a ton. Can I get a Red Hook nowwwwwwww?

below is a link to the nasty burger

blindrabbit 6 years ago

The Mirth ain't bad, across from The Sandbar!

blindrabbit 6 years ago

lurn: Where do you go if the Y is closed?

BadAssterson 6 years ago

I like them all but tend to head to Freestate and India Palace the most.

BadAssterson 6 years ago

Well I like most I guess... some should not be there like Noodles and Co and then you have Buffalo Bobs who needs to figure out how to make BBQ.

Cait McKnelly 6 years ago

How the heck does Buffalo Bob's even stay in business?

c_doc77 6 years ago

I really don't know what the appeal of La Parilla is. Its really not that good. Better than Carlos O'Kelly's perhaps, but certainly nothing to brag about in my opinion. But I've met people who really like it. It remains a mystery to me.

abw2102 6 years ago

Cielito Lindo has the best outdoor seating. Doesn't do much good right now, but it's one of my favorite places when the weather is nice.

ohmylawrence 6 years ago

My kids love to go to Papa Kenos then walk down to penny annies for dessert. I used to like the smokehouse but their food has really gone downhill in that last 10 years.

CHKNLTL 6 years ago

buffalo bob gave me watered down sour cream with green onions chopped up in it and called it "Ranch dressing" on my salad!! downhill indeed!

somedude20 6 years ago

who did? I have bail money in the form of bath salts if you let him go by 5PM today

MyName 6 years ago

Rawr! Zen Zero! nomnomnomnom!

Panamint 6 years ago

I miss Paradise too. So many good places. Kudos for Pachamamas, Tellers, Ingredient. Papa Keno is probably my favorite. Excellent pizza. The salad mix is pretty lame, but I keep coming back for the garlic italian dressing and the croutons. That said, I cannot think of a place I where I would refuse to eat downtown.

evilpenguin 6 years ago

Freestate is always awesome. Love Milton's for breakfast. 715 is also delicious (though their desserts are wayyyy too expensive. Aladdin Cafe is another favorite. There's so many to choose from!

You guys should have a vote on worst downtown restaurant: My votes go to Mad Greek and Zen Zero - some of the worst food I have had in Lawrence. I've been to Greece and eaten real Greek food and let me tell you, mousaka doesn't taste like the mass cooked gelatinous microwaved substance the Mad Greek serves up.

George_Braziller 6 years ago

You actually like Rudy's? Ick.

I'd take a frozen Tony's Pizza over that place.

tomatogrower 6 years ago

Aimees and La Parilla are my favorites, but I love most of the places downtown. What does anyone know about the restaurant at the Eldridge? I haven't been there.

Bob Forer 6 years ago

Best: Alladins and Miltons. Decent: Tellers. Worst: Buffalo's Bobs, Mad Greek, and Vermont Street Station (b/4 they closed).

BigPrune 6 years ago

chipotle, pepper jax, pizza hut for consistency and lack of making me ill. free state no way, maybe some local place like la parilla before they remodeled, zen zero over rated - thai siam much better and authentic, but not downtown.

BigPrune 6 years ago

...i'd also say jimmy johns except i saw a boss type scratching his butt (inside his pants) then grab a piece of cheese.

Kris_H 6 years ago

Most of them. :D Not Buffalo Bob's. Some I have never been in, can't say. I did not like Esquina, way too cramped and too expensive for what you get.

Free State when the college kids are out of town. Zen Zero. La Parilla. I have liked Milton's but haven't been there in a while, hope they are not getting bad! indian Palace if I want to stuff my face at a buffet. Wheatfield's, why doesn't anyone ever mention Wheatfield's? I love their sandwiches! There are others but I'm too hungry to think right now. :D

sinkorswim 6 years ago

Love La Familia, Mad Greek, and Ingredient...with an occasional trip across the river for a burger at Johnny's. Free State is too loud, too many smokers to wade through to get in, and food isn't that great. Don't like beer, so don't care about their beer selections.

I do miss Paradise, Cornucopia, Mass Street Deli (when they were good) and Tin Pan Alley...

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