Quick Lawrence roadtrip advice needed.
January 6, 2010 4:16 PM   Subscribe

Lawrence, Kansas - Thinking of making a quick one-night roadtrip in late March and I'm looking for some suggestions (mainly: food and a place to stay for that evening)

So I'm thinking of driving up (from Tulsa) on March 27th to catch Tim Barry at the Replay Lounge. I've never been to Lawrence before, and while I could just drive back that evening, I'd like to make a short roadtrip of it.

Do you all have any recommendations for:
a) a good local place to grab a quick bite to eat that's not terribly expensive
b) a hotel/motel that doesn't have to be nice, so long as my car won't get broken into/stolen
c) a decent place to grab breakfast (especially an omelet or mexican breakfast)

I'd prefer to be able to just park at the hotel/motel and walk all Saturday afternoon/evening to get food and go to the show if that's at all possible.

Any other recommendations for stuff to do on a Saturday afternoon or Sunday morning would be appreciated as well.
posted by Ufez Jones to Travel & Transportation around Lawrence, KS (19 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
I lived in Lawrence for just over four years, but I think a lot of the good restaurants have changed since I moved out in 2004. The Replay is near 9th and Massachusetts as I recall - there's plenty of restaurants and bars in the immediate vicinity. I've heard good things about Local Burger.

Don't know about hotels, but anything in East Lawrence is probably not too far from the Replay.
posted by photo guy at 4:39 PM on January 6, 2010

Stay at the Halcyon House, which is cheap, adorable, a few blocks from Replay and serves free breakfast.

If you'd rather eat out for breakfast, try Aimee's, Mirth or Milton's, all in the downtown area.

For dinner, the Free State Brewery is a Lawrence classic. If that's more than you want to pay, though, Rudy's has good pizza and an indoor wishing fountain. You might also try Aladdin's Cafe, and The Orient has decent Asian food.
posted by rebekah at 4:50 PM on January 6, 2010 [1 favorite]

a) Free State (cheap, good, local beer and good food), Wheatfields (which is also good for breakfast)
b) Wherever you stay, your car won't get stolen. The closet hotel is probably the Eldredge, but it isn't cheap. It also is said to have a great bar/restaurant, but I haven't eaten there.
c) I'm not really sure. Maybe La Parilla?

If it were me, I would spend a bit more on the hotel simply to be within walking distance of all of the places you want to be. Otherwise, Lawrence isn't the most walking friendly place. Also, have a drink at the Red Lion before the show. Have fun!
posted by B-squared at 4:53 PM on January 6, 2010

I agree that Free State is great!
posted by unknowncommand at 4:56 PM on January 6, 2010

Ugh. "the closest hotel" and "The Red Lyon"
posted by B-squared at 5:27 PM on January 6, 2010

Some good restaurants downtown are: Pachamama's (fine dining), Local Burger (organic meat), La Parrilla (very good Latin American food), ingredient (sandwiches and salads).

The Eldridge has a restaurant, but I don't like it all that much.
posted by reenum at 5:35 PM on January 6, 2010

Almost all the very good places to eat are downtown, luckily where the Replay is. If you want quick, I'd go for Rudy's (pizza), La Parilla (Latin American), Wheatfields (Bakery w/ great soup/sandwich selection), Local Burger (burger joint, all food grown/raised locally), or Chipotle/Jimmy John's (if you are a boring person). If you want the local favorite, go to Free State Brewing Co (incredible brewpub), but give yourself a while to get seated and eat, as it'll be busy on a Saturday.

Breakfastwise, the very (very) obvious choice is Wheatfields. Make sure to pick up some bread to take home with you. Their sourdough is excellent.
posted by TypographicalError at 7:35 PM on January 6, 2010 [1 favorite]

I'd also have to advise against Pachamama's, being the most expensive restaurant in all of Lawrence.
posted by TypographicalError at 7:37 PM on January 6, 2010

I really miss La Parilla and Free State. The Eldridge, just down the street from the Replay, probably still has its amazing gourmet Sunday brunch. The price tag is high, a little less than $20, but for all you can eat gourmet breakfast food, it's hard to complain.

The Replay is a nice venue for shows, but it is also super loud and known as one of the local meat markets. If you get the chance, check out some of the other sweet local bars like Henry's Upstairs. I think it may have closed, but the Gaslight Tavern is/was this awesome tiny bar just across the bridge from downtown that let my dog come in with me.

Brothers, one block up Mass street from the Replay, is a really obnoxious frat bar that had occasional knifings and consistent fights while I was living in Lawrence, and you should be a little careful of those idiots on a Saturday night. Some of them once beat the living shit out of one of my housemates (slightly built, non-confrontational guy with long hair) simply because he was stumbling home drunk down the alley and no one was around to see them do it.
posted by Derive the Hamiltonian of... at 7:38 PM on January 6, 2010

Zen Zero is a fab noodle-ly place on Massachusetts, and I'd second both ingredient and Local Burger as great dinner options. Wheatfields for breakfast, definitely, and you can take away awesome baked goods for the trip home.
posted by donnagirl at 7:40 PM on January 6, 2010

Oh, there are also fun Lawrence mefites, you can find old meetup threads and chat them up if you feel like company. Also check out lawrence.com for other good recommendations and maybe some eventy fun stuff to do.
posted by donnagirl at 7:45 PM on January 6, 2010

I recommend drinks and darts at Red Lyon and breakfast at Mirth!

Info about restaurants / other businesses easily accessible at LJWorld - Marketplace
posted by esnyder at 7:50 PM on January 6, 2010

I'd second the Halcyon House. My experience was great: breakfast was very good, the hostess and staff were friendly, beds/rooms were comfortable, and the general vibe was relaxed and charming. It also seemed reasonable walking distance to downtown to me, too. Rooms were a fairly affordable $50-$60 up to about twice that if I recall correctly.

Food... the adventure of wandering around the rather vibrant and restaurant-dense downtown and picking something might be better than following suggestions. But I had memorably good experiences at the Mad Greek and an Indian place (India Palace?).
posted by weston at 8:15 PM on January 6, 2010

Lawrence is a great town. I live in Topeka, 19 miles away, but I've lived in Lawrence and I go over there frequently. The main heart of the town is Massachusetts Streets, called "Mass Ave" by locals. I like La Familia on New Hampshire, one block to the east of Mass Ave. I also like El Matador, a funky juke joint diner north of the river. They're both Mexican food. The Indian restaurant on 10th between Mass and NH is good too.

I don't know much about motels there since I've never had a need for one - all my family's from Kansas. I know there's one or two on 6th Street as you're headed west that look more affordable and most of the chains are centered around Iowa and 6th.

You might check http://www.couchsurfing.org/ too.

It's not hard to spend Saturday afternoon or Sunday morning walking on Mass Ave and checking out the shops. It's a long street and it's a sort of a Haight type of feel in some ways. Some of the best eclectic shopping you'll find anywhere.

Also, there's a park a block west on Vermont. And the KU campus is very pretty. Up on the hill.

MeMail if you want more info.
posted by VC Drake at 8:18 PM on January 6, 2010

typo - Street not Streets.

I wish I had a place for you to stay because I'd offer it to you. I've always wanted to see Tulsa and it'd be a good exchange. Oh, well.

Have fun!
posted by VC Drake at 8:23 PM on January 6, 2010

Johnny's Tavern.
posted by Hugh2d2 at 5:36 AM on January 7, 2010

When I head up to Lawrence (from Tulsa), I usually stay at the Spring Hill Suites Marriott. It's right on the river downtown. It's a sort of boring, corporate hotel, but it's within walking distance of everything downtown. It was recently remodeled, I believe, and has a large, well-lit parking lot.

Local Burger is good. You should also stop in the Eighth Street Taproom for a drink.
posted by hilaritas at 6:11 AM on January 7, 2010

Response by poster: Wow, thanks for the great suggestions, everyone. Fortunately, a MeFite has been kind enough to offer me a couch to crash on that evening, assuming I make it up there. I'm definitely looking forward to checking out the town and seeing a great show.

Thanks again!
posted by Ufez Jones at 4:21 PM on January 7, 2010

I've lived in Lawrence from 1986 to 1994, and then from 2004 to now, and I've never heard anyone call Mass street "Mass Ave".
posted by interrobang at 10:40 AM on March 4, 2010

« Older Help me listen to my music (stored at home) when...   |   Help me get "a good head on my shoulders" Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.