Local Expert: DeBarre Johnson
Your Favorite Foodie Friend
DeBarre with a capital B—describes herself as “just a girl from around the way, LFK (Lawrence)-raised, Jackie of all trades, trying to be the change.” By day, she works as an estimator for a national architectural planning and industrial design firm, and in her free time she becomes “your favorite foodie friend.” She regularly tours the city’s new and established eateries, looking for the next great dish. Her favorite toast, “Good friends, good wine, good food … good times!” exemplifies her unmistakable zest for life.
DeBarre's Top 5 Foodie Picks
DeBarre's Event Recommendations
Almost all of the Downtown Lawrence restaurants have discounted prices on fixed menus for about a week in early January. It’s an awesome time to experience the talent of the great chefs we have in Lawrence and to sample their three-course meals, cocktails, desserts and other specialty foods at extremely friendly prices.
JANUARY 17-26, 2020
The Lawrence Farmers Market is a gem. It’s not just veggies—though the summer farm fresh veggies are awesome. There are also pies, cookies, awesome breakfast sandwiches, the best lemonade and many other great foods. You’re supporting local businesses while enjoying fresh produce and live music with some warm summer morning weather. Rise and shine for some farmers market time!
SATURDAY, APRIL - NOVEMBER
Food trucks converge on town with classic favorites like pizza and burgers as well as new takes such as chicken stuffed with fried rice. Then there is my personal favorite, the bochi truck. The festival also has bounce houses and games for the kids to enjoy, along with live music and optional craft beer and cocktails for 21+. What makes the food truck festival a must is that it benefits local nonprofit Just Food, which feeds many local families each day.
The annual celebration of the emancipation from slavery is held across the nation, and for the last several years the NAACP of Lawrence has joined with community members and partners to hold a free, community-wide celebration. There is soul food, musical performances, poetry reading and—most importantly—the community. Everyone shows up to celebrate in a big, family-affair atmosphere that is getting bigger and better with every year.
Haskell Indian Nations University is a huge part of Lawrence, and with Haskell comes the awesome cultural presence of indigenous people, traditions and food. Come for the dancing and stay for the Indian tacos, fry bread and various soups and stews. (By the way, did I say I love fry bread? If not, I LOVE fry bread!)