Eat Local

We will apologize now. This list is going to be LONG! But, these are truly our favorite places in the state. And, we love food.

Daylight Donuts, Harrisonville:
Two words: buttery, flaky, cheesy, warm sausage rolls. You can't describe them in two. This is a franchise chain, however, the owners of this shop are sweet and run their business well. Arrive early on the weekends for sausage rolls as they run out before anything else. Daylight also makes our favorite glazed donuts, which are light, with a crispy outside and perfectly sweet. 

Osteria Il Centro, Kansas City
Our favorite Italian joint in KC. Just off the plaza, the atmosphere is quaint, cozy and romantic. The complimentary focaccia bread melts in your mouth. A favorite dish is the cannelloni.

Tasso's Greek Restaurant, Kansas City
We can't find gyro meat that beats Tasso's. Their Greek salads are hard to beat too. Don't forget to belly dance and throw a plate while you are there!

Taco Republic, Kansas City
Eat at the restaurant when the weather is nice, they have a cool patio area. Our favorite street taco there, so far, is the Old School. You can also catch the Taco Republic truck around town.

Lidia's, Downtown Kansas City
Ah Lidia's. While there are other locations in the U.S., this restaurant is special enough to make the list. The food literally melts in your mouth. Go on a Sunday and get the special. It's hands down the best dish we've had there, and we will get it every time we go.

Grunauer, Downtown Kansas City
"A little Austria in Kansas City." Chow down on some of the best German-Austrian food you will likely find outside of Europe. Our favorite dish is the Jäger Schnitzel Vom Schwein (you can't go wrong with Schnitzel) with a side of spätzle. It's the best spätzle. Ever.

Oklahoma Joes - now Joe's Kansas City Bar-B-Que, Kansas City
The Z-Man Sandwich is where it's at. The ribs are great, and the sauce is bomb. In a city filled with great bbq joints, this one is always our go-to. 

Fun House Pizza, Raytown
Dimly lit dining rooms, token rides, arcade games, karaoke, pitchers of beer and pizza. What could be better? Go for the atmosphere & fun. The pizza is good, but we won't call it the best. It's loaded with great toppings and the pepperoni has a kick. This place is a slice of nostalgia.

La Bodega, Downtown Kansas City: 
This could turn into a long list, but we will keep it straight forward. We love the La Pelota Estofadas (meatballs) and the Papas Fritas con Ajo (potatoes). Trying their churros is not optional.

Murray's Ice Cream & Cookies, Kansas City (Westport)
Indulge in some of the creamiest, richest, homemade ice cream. We are really adventurous and splurge on good ol' chocolate. You can't go wrong. 

Reyna's Mexican Bakery, Downtown Kansas City
Conchas are a favorite Mexican bread from Trisha's childhood. Try a variety while you are there.

Rudy's Tenampa Taqueria, Kansas City
The food here is more authentic, and good Mexican food is hard to find in any city. Give this one a try. The Burrito Del Barrio is a solid choice.

Minsky's Pizza, Kansas City (River Market)
You can find Minsky's across the KC Metro, but the River Market location has a cool vibe. The Papa Minsky's is delicious, but your pizza options are endless here.

Grinder's, Kansas City (Crossroads Art District)
Try the Funky Dough. Don't ask, just order. You HAVE to try the Meatball Grinder. Almost anything there is great.

Succotash, Kansas City
Succotash is known for brunch, so we gave it a try, and now we know why it got it's fame in KC. The fresh squeezed OJ is awesome! Everything we ordered at our table of ten was great. A definite recommend for breakfast/brunch. Be warned, if you get there late, you will wait!

Hamburgesa Loca Food Truck, Kansas City
We stumbled upon this jewel in the Westbottoms while antiquing. It is hand down the best Mexican food we have had in Kansas City, aside from Trisha's family's home cooking. Everything is made fresh right in front of you by one cook. His wife runs the window. The prices are reasonable and the food is authentic. We LOVED this truck; it is well worth the wait.

O'Dowd's Little Dublin, Kansas City (Plaza)
Grab some drinks on the rooftop patio. Food is good, but nothing mind-blowing. It's all about the atmosphere here.

Peachtree Cafe, Kansas City
Grub on great soul food. The fried chicken, greens and peach cobbler are a hit, especially when washed down with sweet tea.

Blanc Burgers + Bottles, Kansas City (Westport)
We enjoy Blanc's burgers. The atmosphere is very modern, which isn't our style, but you can't have it all. The chef's specials seem to always be good choices. Don't be afraid to try something different!

Bella Napoli, Kansas City (Brookside)
Another great find that we stumbled upon. This Italian joint is tucked into the adorable Brookside shopping area. The food was so great, we were blown away. Anything you get will be good.

Lulu's Thai Noodle Shop, Kansas City (Crossroads)
Come here for great noodles and a fun, eclectic, urban atmosphere. Seriously, anthying here is great. The lunch prices are reasonable. If you don't know what to order, try the Pad Se Eu, Basil Fried Rice or Pad Thai. We also loved the vegetable rangoon, mostly because we don't eat crab.

You will find that most of these are in Lawrence as this is where our hearts reside. For a small, funky little college town, we have some serious eateries here. However, as we are often in KC, many of these are in the KC Metro area too. 

The Mad Greek, Lawrence
Delicious Greek & Italian dishes are served up like a family joint would cook them. The food here is always amazing, and we eat here very often. Our absolute favorite is the Sunday Brunch Buffet. Check out this post to read more about our love for The Mad Greek! 

Merchants Pub & Plate, Lawrence
All the food at Merchants is cooked with locally sourced ingredients. Located on Mass. Street inside an old bank that was once robbed by Bonnie & Clyde (um, cool!), Merchants is truly one of our favorite restaurants all around. We could rave about the food and the atmoshphere. The chef creates wonderfully concocted dishes. If you are adventurous, try something unique on their menu. Or, you can stick to our tried and true faves like the Mac & Cheesemonger (the best mac-n-cheese ever), yam fries (uh-mazing), or the Pan Roasted Local Chicken with Creamed Greens. 

Free State Brewing Company, Lawrence
This place is quintessential Lawrence. The ingredients are fresh and wonderful. We like to try the Daily Specials as they are typically great. Other faves are the Gorgonzola Mushroom Gnocchi and the Waldrof Chicken Salad Sandwich. 

Sylas & Maddy's Ice Cream Parlor, Lawrence
Another funky little Lawrence joint. There are so many flavors your head will spin. The ice cream is fresh & homemade. Go for a scoop (or three?) or try a cookie sandwich. 

Oriental Bistro, Lawrence
It felt so hard to find a really great (consistently great) Chinese restaurant. Our take-out cravings are something we take very seriously, so we were thrilled when we found Oriental Bistro. The food is some of our favorite Chinese we have found ANYWHERE. Note, it can be busy and we can't rave about the service. We've waited long periods of time and had so-so dining experiences, but when it comes to the food, it's worth it. They have an extensive menu that includes Chinese, Japanese, Korean and sushi dishes. 

23rd Street Brewery, Lawrence
Another frequented restaurant of ours. The food is bar food, but it's not. They put spins on dishes, and frankly the quality is so great we can't even call it bar food. A few of our faves here are: The Bill Self (creamy, cheesy homemade mac-n-cheese smothered in buffalo sauce and topped with buffalo chicken tenders) and the pub chips (amazing homemade kettle chips). We aren't big craft beer drinkers, but the place is always hopping and the beer a'flowin. 

Papa Kenos Pizzeria, Lawrence
"A slice the size of yo' face." That's right. A slice of pizza the size of your face. No joke. And man, is this stuff good! They have endless toppings here, so spare yourself the time (trust us you won't be able to choose from them all) and go with one of their specialty creations. We especially love the Kid Keno. 

Global Cafe, Lawrence
A great little joint for breakfast/brunch. They have a nice selection of Tex-Mex/Southwestern inspired sandwiches, breakfast plates and more. We love them more for their use of locally grown and sourced ingredients from area farms, etc. 

Java Break/The Cereal Bar, Lawrence
Since we don't drink coffee, we can't vouch for their brews. However, what we can say is that if you are looking for a unique breakfast experience, hit this place up. Take a seat at the Cereal Bar and enjoy some black-and-white cartoons while you piece together the most epic bowl of cereal in all of history. From Cinnamon Toast Crunch with strawberry milk, topped with marshmallows to healthy Raisin Bran loaded with every fruit in their shop and almond milk, they can make your dreams come true. Again, quintessential Lawrence at it's best. It's quirky, the atmosphere is fun and you feel like a child eating a large bowl of cereal out of a Chinese take-out box. 

Rudy's Pizzeria, Lawrence
The Andy's Special is our fave. Just downright good pizza here. Feels like a whole-in-the-wall kind of shop, which is what we love. Their menu also caters to those with dietary restrictions. 

Biemer's BBQ, Lawrence
There's nothing fancy about this shop. We like to call our order in and pick it up. One of our favorite pulled pork sandwiches. Oh, and their onion rings are a must. 

Zen Zero, Lawrence
Asian noodles with a dash of Lawrence for flavor. Are noodles trendy? Zen Zero certainly makes them feel that way, but don't worry, the food is good. Not one of those hyped up, expensive Asian places you can never get into. They feature cuisines from Nepal, Tibet, Japan, Thailand and Vietnam. 

La Parrilla, Lawrence
Here's what we have to say about La Parrilla, we used to love it. Our last few experiences haven't been the best. We are hopeful things will turn around because the food is great. They feature Latin American style grub like Chilean Empanadas, Salvadorena Enchiladas and Brazilian Lemonade (really good spiked with rum!). 

The Burger Stand, Lawrence
Our favorite burger joint in this great state. Go to pig out, we'd expect nothing less. Our faves include the Chef's Special (they won't steer you wrong), truffle fries and the Smoke Burger. What we truly love here, aside from the extensive selection of homemade ketchup, mustard and sauces, is the vibe. It's in the heart of Lawrence, on Mass. Street and really gives you that "Lawrence" experience. We're all about the friendly staff and worn, eclectic warmth here. 

Yello Sub/Planet Sub, Lawrence (and beyond)
The original Yellow Sub was founded in Lawrence. The name is inspired by the Beatles, and the defining ingredient that makes their sandwiches so delicious is their fresh baked, homemade whole wheat bread. They toast your sandwich, and when that bread is warm and crispy it's like heaven. The menu has a wide selection of sandwiches, some with funky names like Dagwood's Dream (just guess what's on this one) or Tijuana Taxi. 

K-Machos, Olathe
"Ay-Yi-Yi-Yi!" This place is bursting with music (live Mariachi band on the weekends), fun and flair. Trisha's crazy Mexican family loves dining at this place. Yes, Mexicans in a Mexican restaurant. Is that an oxymoron? But, that says something for the food. We are incredibly picky when it comes to finding GOOD Mexican food. Not that water-downed, soupy crap that most little joints serve, this place actually has good food. If you venture out here, be sure to pop into the Mexican grocery store just next door. 

Omaha is Dave's hometown, and he is one PROUD Nebraskan. Fortunately there is a plethora of great dining options in what he likes to call "The Promised Land." 

B&G Tasty Foods, Omaha
B&G's boasts a 50's style dining experience and their signature Loose Meat Sandwich is made from fresh Angus beef, smothered in cheese and topped with onions, pickles and a squirt of mustard. They are DE-LISH! Wash them down with a basket of crispy french fries and your favorite shake.

Valentino's Pizza, Omaha (and beyond)
Dave grew up eating Valentino's Pizza at every Cornhusker football game he attended. The hamburger pizza is where it's at. While you might be tempted by the pizza & pasta buffet, our recommendation is to order an individual pie that is freshly made. Of course, opting for a slice at the stadium is always our first choice. Nebraska football and Valentino's pizza go together like peanut butter and jelly. 

Stella's Bar & Grill, Bellevue
This joint has been consistently voted the best burger in Omaha and is quickly becoming famous and recognized nationally. We put our vote in! The burgers are so greasy and wonderful. Just your simple burger and fry will do it here. 

Jim & Jennie's Greek Village, Omaha
Load up on some tasty Greek food. Gyro sandwiches are our go-to, and we never leave without enjoying a Greek salad here. Really just a family owned shop cranking out good food. 

Spaghetti Works, Omaha (Old Market):  
You can't miss a chance to eat at Spaghetti Woks. The Omaha location is in the heart of the Old Market and has a wonderful vibe. The salad bar is extensive and delicious and their pasta dishes are everything you could want in comforting Italian food. 

Upstream Brewing Company, Omaha (and beyond)
Enjoy a seared Omaha Steak, classic comfort food dishes or up-scale bar food at Upstream. Their beer & bar selection is great, and we just love the food here. 

Lo Sole Mio Restorante Italiano, Omaha
Just some good ol' home cooked Italian food here. The owners wanted to share a little bit of Italy with open, thus the restaurant was born. We like to stick to the comforting classics like Chicken Parmigiana. Big Nick's Platter is wonderful too! 

Kobe Steakhouse, Omaha (Regency)
We love the atmosphere and experience of a Japanese steakhouse, and Kobe is by far our favorite. The chefs are amazing, and the quality of the food is worth every penny. Their bar also makes some mean drinks.  ;)

Old Market Candy Shop, Omaha
If anything, stop by this place for a quick peek-around. We enjoying nibbling on a piece of fudge from their candy case. 

Trini's Mexican Restaurant, Omaha (Old Market)
This place is literally a hole in the wall. It's easily missed by many who are browsing the streets of Old Market. You have to enter an indoor terrace and descend down some stairs to reach the very small restaurant. Often, there is a wait. You will find your typical Mexican entrees and combos here, all of which are great.