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May 3, 2012 08:04 AM

Places for cheap eats in the Lenexa, Kansas area

I will be working this summer in Lenexa, Kansas. Can't cook yet but appreciate good food. Can you suggest area lunch and dinner spots? I love BBQ, ethnic food, etc. Never been to this area so any cheap entertainment ideas would be appreciated.

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  1. Lenexa is a large, "outer ring" suburb on the Kansas side of the Kansas City metro area. There are hundreds of restaurants of all kinds. Depending on where in Lenexa you are living and working, you may be as close to the Plaza, Westport, Leawood, and other KC neighborhoods as you are to other parts of Lenexa. Really, any list of KC restaurants would serve you just fine.

    However if you know the specific area of Lenexa and are limited to walking or bike riding distances, I'd be happy to suggest something in a couple mile radius of an intersection.

    Welcome to Kansas City!

    2 Replies
    1. re: 2roadsdiverge

      Where I will be living is a million dollar question. I will have a car so that will be helpful. Just give me a list of your top haunts in the KC area and that will be a great start. BBQ? Italian? Chinese? Thai? German? I love it all.

      1. re: Ajwahlert

        I think that limiting yourself to Lenexa is not going to be very helpful. Unless you know where you are living, you can't even really be sure you will be in Lenexa specifically, can you?

        As far as my favorite places in KC, that's a huge list. But ones on the southwest side that I can name off the top of my head:

        Blue Nile (Ethiopian -- I prefer their downtown location but the one in Overland park is OK)
        El Pulgarcito (Salvadoran)
        Thai Orchid
        Woodyard BBQ
        Oklahoma Joe's (the original one on 47th is better than the one in Olathe)
        New York Dawg Pound

    2. Panzon's - Spinach & Pepper cheese enchilada, fried chicken taco. 2for1 tacos Mon. & Tues.
      The Thai Place - not cheap, but good. Panang curry, Phad Thai, Jalapeno Beef.
      India Palace - good lunch buffet
      Sakura - sushi train!

      1 Reply
      1. re: kctraci

        I agree with kctraci and really like both Thai Place and India Palace.

        I'll add some of my normal spots that I frequent:

        Mi Ranchito – A good Mexican restaurant in the Overland Park area so I don’t have to travel down to downtown KCK or Southwest Boulevard (closer to downtown Kansas City, Missouri) and this one fits the bill. Great taste and portions are generous while being very nicely priced.
        -Typical price range : $6 - $10

        Thai Place ( – The Phad Thai is awesome here and is the perfect combination of sweet and spicy. I’ve tried Phad Thai from many other places and have been disappointed so I just stick with Thai Place (and Thai House) to get my fix. The Panang (peanut flavored curry) is also very good. From the description on the menu I didn’t think I would like it because of the peanut flavor but was pleasantly surprised.

        I also mentioned Thai House, located around 99th and Holmes. I actually prefer their Phad Thai to Thai Place’s just a bit. They are very similar (and many of the people who used to work at Thai Place left to start this restaurant). The scenery is not as nice as Thai Place but it’s a bit cheaper and for Phad Thai this is my ‘go to’ spot, Thai Place for all of the other Thai food. They are also located throughout KC which helps.
        -Typical price range : $8 - $15

        54th St. Bar & Grill – Sometimes I get a craving for a good plate of Nachos and this place has them. Yeah, you’re thinking Nachos?? But these are at the top of my list when craving that comfort food fix. They are on the menu (Combo Nachos) as an appetizer but are easily a meal (or two) by themselves. Their ‘gringo dip’ (cheese sauce) in combination with chicken, ground beef, refried beans and the normal fixings make these nachos a great (and hearty) meal.

        Rosati’s – Not sure if this is a chain or not but along with Minksy’s they are my favorite ‘go to’ for pizza. For reference I prefer the bigger, thicker, meatier slice as compared to the NY style of pizza. They sell pizza by the slice at lunchtime. You get a huge slice for around $3.50. Nice big chunks of Italian sausage, too. They also have great Chicago style pizza.
        -Typical price : $18 for a large specialty (14”

        Da Bronx - Don’t get to go here as much as I’d like but their pizza is really good, and closer to N.Y. style.
        -Typical price : ~$18 for a large specialty

        Kansas City, Missouri (between downtown and the Plaza


        Westport Flea Market: Great burger. Not a lot of different toppings like someplace like Red Robins (which I also like) but just a well cooked good quality piece of beef on a bun (has a topping bar to the side to add pickles, lettuce and tomato but it’s not needed).
        -Typical price range : $8 - $12

        Margarita’s and Manny’s – Two fine quality Mexican restaurants on the Boulevard (KC’s Hispanic district). Margarita’s has daily specials for M-F, my favorite is on Thursday which is burrito day. Any burrito for about $4. They are huge (my favorite is the pork). Margarita’s has locations throughout KC and Manny’s has another location in Stanley, KS. If you go to the Margarita’s on Southwest Boulevard, make sure to check the wall as you enter in the lobby. There have been several floods there in the past and they have marked on the walls the water level of each one.
        -Typical price range : $8 - $15

        Korma Sutra
        Good buffet for Indian food and nice alternative to India Palace. To be fair, I’ve only been there during lunch hours for buffet so I haven’t tried individual items from the menu but I’m very satisfied by the quality of the buffet.

        Barbeque: Much already on here about BBQ but here are some of my favorites:

        Brisket: Arthur Bryants (NOT the Speedway location)
        Burnt End sandwiches: Arthur Bryants and Gates
        Ribs: Gates
        Pulled Pork: Oklahoma Joe’s
        Beans: Jackstack BBQ
        Burnt ends: Smokestack BBQ (on Wornall)

      2. Oklahoma Joe's for BBQ. There's a Johnson County location in Olathe which is close to Lenexa, but you should really go to the original gas station location in Kansas City KS.

        Italian Delight in Mission has good inexpensive Italian & pizza. My family has been going there for 30 years!

        8 Replies
        1. re: yooperprof

          Notice how very few of these suggestions are actually in the immediate area of Lenexa. Tho I love where we live, that has always been a frustration: hardly any good restaurants vs say, a Prairie Village. Wonder what it is about the city that it doesn't attract more?

          1. re: GiGiWy

            Lenexa is huge.

            But more importantly it is an outer ring suburb. You can't compare it to Prairie Village, which is much closer to the metro center. How many great restaurants are there in Edwardsville or Turner or Grandview?

            My question is, what difference does it make if the restaurant is in Lenexa proper? There could be good, cheap eats in Canyon Creek by K-10 that are technically Lenexa, but If you live at 87th and Antioch you are closer to Prairie Village and Leawood.

            Unless you are walking or biking, and therefore looking for restaurants in or near a particular neighborhood, asking for recommendations by city seems needlessly limiting.

            1. re: 2roadsdiverge

              Thanks for all the restaurant suggestions. Well it's finally settled I'll be living off of Monrovia St., Shawnee Mission, KS. Any new suggestions for food?

              1. re: Ajwahlert

                I posted some of these above, but I'll repeat since you narrowed it down a bunch.

                El Pulgarcito (Salvadoran)
                Thai Orchid
                Woodyard BBQ
                Oklahoma Joe's (the original one on 47th is better than the one in Olathe)
                Stroud's on Shawnee Mission Parkway (not cheap, but has been called the best fried chicken in the country)
                New York Dawg Pound
                Sobahn (Korean - not super cheap but good bibimbap)
                Mi Ranchito (various locations) - not the best Mexican or Tex-Mex in the city by far, but cheap and close
                Sushi Mido - Not the best sushi, but cheap and close (sensing a theme?) and they have all-you-can-eat sushi

                1. re: 2roadsdiverge

                  Thanks 2roadsdiverge! Can't wait to eat my way thru the area.

              2. re: 2roadsdiverge

                Guess I didn't make my point very clearly, which was referring to a matter of distance; not having to drive 20-30 minutes just to get a bite of dinner that isn't Taco Bell or McDonalds.

                1. re: GiGiWy

                  Sorry if I seemed curt. I guess I am still a bit confused about your point. Yes, Lenexa has a dearth of quality restaurants, but that's the same situation as Turner or Shawnee or Bonner Springs or DeSoto. Isn't that the tradeoff for living out in the suburbs? You also have a drive to get to theaters or sports venues.

                  There are decent restaurants in Lenexa. Just not ones I'd drive from the city to get to. Edokko Sushi and KC Grill n Kabob are in Lenexa, and I've enjoyed both of them. Zarda BBQ, Jalapenos, Le Peep, Jerry's Bait Shop, Flavor of India, Tanner's, and Holy Land Cafe are in Lenexa, plus all the stuff at 95th and Quivira.

                  But yeah, the further out you get the fewer places to eat there are. Eventually you are stuck with Subway and Wendy's and Appleby's. That's why i moved into Mission, so I didn't have to drive 20 minutes every time i wanted good food.

                  1. re: 2roadsdiverge

                    There ya' go! Your last sentence sums up what I was trying to say. We used to live in Merriam so I know what you mean. But, yes, it is a tradeoff.