When international travel isn’t on the schedule or in the budget, enjoy the flavors of the continents here at home. Lawrence offers an array of international cuisines to please any palate. Dine in, carry out, or pick up traditional accouterments to try your hand at multicultural cooking.
Nagoya Japanese Cuisine
711 W. 23rd Street
Light, fresh flavors are the hallmark of Japanese cuisine, with an emphasis on maintaining the original quality of food, using just a few seasonings like soy sauce, sugar, salt and vinegar. Owner Eva Chen recommends the Avocado Bomb, which blends sweet and spicy notes. For the main course, order a Nagoya roll prepared with a variety of fish, avocado and flavorful sauces.
Café the Mani
7 E. 7th Street
In English, the Korean word mani translates to “much more,” and that’s what diners can expect from Café the Mani. Korean barbecue with rice, kimchi and Korean-style mashed potatoes are the signature menu items. Customers can also try gimbap, dried seaweed rolled with a choice of vegetables, beef or tuna and rice. Owner Brian Park says Korean dishes incorporate traditional flavors like garlic, ginger, citron, Korean pear and Korean red pepper powder, which are used in marinades.
Encore Asian Bistro
1007 Massachusetts Street
Let the red and white paper lanterns, bamboo accents, and scent of aromatic spices whisk you away to the Far East at Encore Asian Bistro. Owner Wanna Zhao is behind this Asian Fusion restaurant in the heart of Lawrence. She combines Chinese, Thai, Korean, Malaysian and Vietnamese cooking styles as inspiration for her food.
Little Saigon Café
1524 W. 23rd Street
With open-kitchen seating, foodies at Little Saigon Café can watch pho being prepared before their very eyes. Pho is a Vietnamese soup made from broth, rice noodles, herbs and protein. Order seafood pho with shrimp and crab meat, or for a kick of flavor, try the spicy pad Thai noodle dish with a choice of beef, chicken, tofu or vegetables.
Cosmos Indian Store & Café
3115 W. 6th Street
Amid colorful racks of sarees, fragrant incense, and fresh produce at Cosmos Indian Store and Cafe are all ingredients to prepare all your favorite Indian dishes. Not in the mood to cook? No problem. The café offers homemade South Indian dishes.
African Caribbean Grocery Store
1530 W. 6th Street
The continent of Africa is known for its diverse array of ethnic groups, languages and customs. That diversity extends to food traditions, and Lawrence’s African Caribbean Grocery Store stocks hard-to-find staples such as bread bases, seasonings, smoked and dried fish and goat meat.
Owner Soji Babalola says his grocery has everything required to prepare Egusi, a customary African soup made from the seed of the Egusi melon. The store also carries beans, rice and palm oil, along with ginger juice, a West African beverage.
1021 Massachusetts Street
Mediterranean cooking blends heart-friendly proteins and fats with legumes, vegetables, and spices. At Aladdin Café, try a gyro with roasted meat in a warm pita topped with tomato, onion and tzatziki sauce. Or order a Tabouli salad of finely chopped parsley, tomatoes, cracked wheat, olive oil, lemon juice and herbs.
931 Massachusetts Street
A European market in the middle of Lawrence, Au Marche brings a taste of the continent to the Midwest. Buy provisions from France, Germany, The Netherlands, Sweden and beyond. Au Marche offers dinner mixes for dishes like authentic wiener schnitzel and sauerbraten, as well as European chocolates, macarons, cheese, salami, pate and pickled herring.
929 Massachusetts Street
Celebrate the Union Jack with a selection of items from the British Isles, including tea and biscuits. Find candy from English chocolate makers Cadbury and Galaxy, marmalade and crisps. For heartier fare, pick up a Colman’s dinner mix. Shepherd’s pie with beef or lamb, mashed potatoes and onions is a customer favorite. Brits also stocks baking items only found in the United Kingdom.
El Matador Café
446 Locust Street
El Matador has been serving authentic Mexican food since 1958. Owner Raquel McLean is a third-generation restauranteur. Her traditional Mexican recipes incorporate chili pepper, corn and beans, which are indigenous to the region. House specials at El Matador are named after regulars from her grandparents’ generation, including the Dr. Branson, which is four tacos and a large chili.
Traditional Mexican recipes incorporate chili pepper, corn and beans, which are indigenous to the region.