The largest county in Kansas, Johnson County comprises many different cities. Popular locations include Lenexa, Leawood, Mission, Overland Park, Olathe, and Shawnee, amongst other towns. It’s no surprise, then, that the restaurants in Johnson County, KS are plentiful. With this in mind, it can be tough to find recommendations for the best restaurants in Johnson County. That’s where this guide kicks in.
While cities like Overland Park and Leawood are large enough to warrant their own articles, this guide will highlight some of the best restaurants in Johnson County, KS that don’t live within those city limits. Because this area is largely devoted either to suburbs, small towns or farmland, one might assume that it houses only chain restaurants and fast food, but that is far from the truth. The following restaurants in Johnson County, KS are unique to anywhere in the world, and we think each of them is worth the trip.
If you’re hanging around Shawnee:
Because Johnson County covers such a wide area, we’ve broken it down into some of the more popular areas. If you’re looking for restaurants in Shawnee, you won’t want to miss local flavor like the following:
Blind Box BBQ
Bourbon and barbecue — could there be a more magical combination? The folks at Blind Box certainly don’t think so, and we’re inclined to agree. With an extensive whiskey selection and their own twist on Kansas City-style barbecue, Blind Box is a must-try.
Paulo and Bill
Think you can’t get an authentic Italian meal in Kansas? Paulo and Bill, one of the restaurants in Johnson County, KS, will have you thinking again. With everything from calamari to deburgo pasta, the menu is amazing any day of the year, but you should definitely catch them on one of their “Wine Dinner” nights if possible.
Barley’s Kitchen and Tap
Ever heard of the Beer Drinking Society? Based on the amount of beers purchased, you can receive rewards like t-shirts, grill sets, personalized beer steins and more. Interested in joining? Just head to Barley’s Kitchen and Tap.
If you’re hanging around Lenexa:
While it borders Overland Park, don’t let that tempt you to skip out on the local restaurants in Lenexa. From barbecue to breakfast, Lenexa restaurants have been serving up tasty dishes to its now approximately 50,000 residents for decades.
Pegah’s has been dishing out fresh, homemade meals in Johnson County for more than 30 years, and they now have four locations — two in Shawnee, one in Lenexa, and one in Merriam. Whether you’re craving mozzarella sticks or a chicken salad sandwich, a burger or biscuits and gravy, Pegah’s does it all.
Hayward’s Pit Bar B Que
Hayward’s has been serving up traditional hickory-smoked meats since 1972, and it’s not going anywhere anytime soon. We recommend the rib and burnt end platter — if you can handle it.
If you’re hanging around Olathe:
Olathe is the county seat of Johnson County and is one of the largest cities in Kansas with a population of about 126,000. It’s no surprise, then, that the restaurants in Olathe have their niches down.
Johnny’s has been around since 1977, and by now, they’ve mastered the art of hickory-smoked meats. Whether you’re in the mood for brisket, pulled pork, sausage or ribs, you can’t go wrong with Johnny’s.
Ginger’s Sue’s slogan is “Eat among friends,” and it’s easy to see why. The casual, no-frills atmosphere lends itself to good times and good foods, whether you’re in the mood for a breakfast scramble or a cheeseburger.
More Restaurants in Johnson County:
Didn’t see anything that caught your eye? There are still plenty of restaurants Johnson County, KS has to offer: