- Helen Armitage
Twisted brings a new concept to Shawnee: fresh and healthy dining focused on gourmet, made from scratch tacos, sandwiches, wraps and salads made directly in front of guests in the open kitchen. Twisted’s sandwiches, which include fillings like spicy Thai veggie and turkey pesto pepper jack, were voted the city’s Best Sandwich two years running in the Shawnee Dispatch’s Best of Shawnee Awards. So the concept must be working. Overland Park health food fans are in luck too because there’s a second location on College Boulevard.
Twisted, 22030 West 66th Street, Shawnee, KS, USA, +1 913 441 0444
Big Bam’s Burgers
Known throughout the city for its delicious gourmet burgers, Big Bam’s Burgers has earned itself a local cult following since owner Joe Bacarro first opened its doors in 2006. All of Big Bam’s award-winning burgers are ground fresh and handmade daily from 100 per cent USDA choice chuck steak, seasoned with kosher salt and pepper and dished up from its casual, retro digs. Choose from the spicy En Fuego burger topped with fried jalapenos and cream cheese, or go for the diner favorite, Ladder 49, with bacon, pepper jack, Cancun dressing, lettuce, onion and tomato.
Big Bam’s Burgers, 5930 Nieman Road, Shawnee, KS, USA, +1 913 962 1230
Located a short distance from Shawnee in the neighboring city of Merriam, El Pulgarcito serves authentic Salvadoran cuisine in welcoming, casual digs. If you only try one thing, make sure its El Pulgarcito’s signature, best-selling papusas – a thick, handmade corn tortilla stuffed with different fillings like shredded pork or steak and cheese. Though there are plenty of other traditional Salvadoran eats like fried yuca with pork chunks and cabbage, and a number of Mexican dishes like tacos, enchiladas, quesadillas and fajitas.
El Pulgarcito, 5921 Merriam Drive, Shawnee, KS, USA, +1 913 384 3887
Paulo and Bill
Classic Italian cuisine meets modern American eats at Paulo and Bill’s – an upscale Shawnee restaurant located a short drive from Shawnee Mission Park. The restaurant’s refined eats – think house-made gnocchi with bacon and parmesan cream and pecan-crusted salmon with wild rice, carrots and leeks – earned it the Best Restaurant title in the Shawnee Dispatch’s Best of Shawnee Awards. Additionally, a popular brunch menu is served every Sunday. Alongside an extensive wine list, Paulo and Bill’s also hold regular wine dinners throughout the year focusing on different wine producing regions and specific vineyards.
Paulo and Bill, 16501 Midland Drive, Shawnee, KS, USA, +1 913 962 9900
Pine & Bamboo Garden
Don’t let Pine & Bamboo Garden’s strip mall location fool you, the modest restaurant has been serving its much loved mix of Hunan, Szechwan, Cantonese and Hong Kong-style dim sum cuisine since 1982. And for three years, it has been voted Shawnee’s best Asian food. Go with friends and order a selection from its smorgasbord of dim sum dishes. There’s something to suit everyone from shredded chicken spring rolls to steamed scallop dumplings, or opt for a chef’s specialty dish like Hong Kong-style roast duck or soft shell crab seasoned with spicy salt.
Old Shawnee Pizza
A local dining mainstay, Old Shawnee Pizza has been around since original owner Joe Walker first set up shop almost 50 years ago. Today, the tradition is carried on by his son Will and the pizzas – voted the city’s best in the Best of Shawnee Awards Best Pizza – remain much loved. Varieties include Kansas City-style build-your-own pizzas to specialty pizzas like the Meathead topped with BBQ sauce, pulled pork, brisket, chicken and bacon. There are plenty of Italian comfort food dishes to choose from, such as spaghetti and meatballs or classic lasagna.
Old Shawnee Pizza, 6000 Roger Drive, Shawnee, KS, USA, +1 913 631 5716
Sombrero’s Mexican Cantina
A family owned restaurant serving fresh Mexican fare in a fun, relaxed atmosphere, Sombrero’s Mexican Cantina is the ideal Shawnee destination for a spot of casual dining. Opened in early 2013 by owner Lee Roberts and his sons Brian and Robert, Sombrero’s has quickly become one of the city’s preferred Mexican joints and its much loved street tacos – available with fillings like Mexican sausage and slow-cooked chuck roast – were voted the best in Shawnee. There’s plenty more authentic fare like quesadillas, burritos and enchiladas and a number of Mexican beers and tequilas to wash it down with.
After first setting up shop in neighboring Kansas City nine years ago, Eggtc quickly became one of the city’s most popular breakfast and brunch joints. In 2010, the owners decided to bring its upscale breakfast fare to Shawnee diners. Go gourmet with a fancy omelet of goat cheese, Granny Smith apples, walnuts and red onion chutney or opt for a hearty brunch of biscuits with chorizo gravy and breakfast potatoes. Eggtc stays open for lunch, as well, when it serves hearty sandwiches – think pastrami and Swiss on rye or grilled chipotle chicken – alongside a number of soups and sandwiches.
Eggtc, 7182 Renner Road, Shawnee, KS, USA, +1 913 631 4400
For delicious, authentic Vietnamese fare, head on down to Pho Good. The casual cafeteria-style restaurant is perfect for an introduction to Vietnamese cuisine, with tasty dishes like sautéed lemongrass chicken with steamed rice or vermicelli noodles with grilled shrimp and egg rolls to choose from. Of course, the main event here is pho – the Vietnamese rice noodle soup taking the USA by storm – and Pho Good offers it with sliced sirloin, meatballs or seafood and a vegetarian version. Pho Good’s authentic fare even extends to its drinks menu, with beverages like rau má – a pennywort-based juice – and Vietnamese iced coffee.
Pho Good, 10703 Shawnee Mission Parkway, Shawnee, KS, USA, +1 913 268 9000
Renée Kelly’s Harvest
Boasting seasonal, farm-to-table fare and a unique, historic location, it’s easy to see why Renée Kelly’s Harvest is one of the top restaurants in Shawnee. Opened by owner and chef Renée Kelly, the restaurant resides within the beautifully renovated Caenen Castle, a large home built in the style of a European castle in 1907, and features details like hand carved fireplaces, a barrel-ceilinged wine cellar and gorgeous gated patio perfect for al fresco dining. Harvest’s bistro-style menu is based on local produce from suppliers like Stony Crest Urban Farm and Two Sisters Farm. The restaurant features delectable New American dishes like pressed duck breast with buckwheat noodles and dry rubbed pork shop with herb risotto and grilled spring onions.
Renée Kelly’s Harvest, 12401 Johnson Drive, Shawnee, KS, USA, +1 913 631 4100