8 Favorite Overland Park Restaurants
It’s worth going to kokoDAK just to watch TV, where a music video channel plays hits that sound very much like anything you’d hear streaming out of your car radio driving down Metcalf Avenue, but the lyrics are sung in Korean. Allow yourself to be mesmerized by this entertainment while you patiently wait for your fried chicken, but be prepared to forget about all external factors when your yangnyeom half-bird ($13, whole birds for $25) lands at your table. As with all KFC (that’s Korean fried chicken), the method involves deep-frying battered chicken twice in olive oil for a super-crunchy and less greasy skin and then dousing it in a mixture of soy sauce, garlic and sweet and spicy gochujang sauce. You can also order your chicken with different finishes, such as Kansas BBQ and parmesan garlic versions, but we like the traditional style — tangy and bursting with flavor. Korean slaw and pickled vegetables are served with your meal, and if you’re still hungry, kokoDAK also serves up fantastic bibimbap (rice bowl topped with beef, veggies and a fried egg, $9).
kokoDAK, 14856 Metcalf Ave., Overland Park, KS | 913-730-8054 | kokodak.business.site
Tuesday–Thursday, 11 am–9:30 pm, Friday and Saturday, 11 am–10 pm, Sunday, noon–9 pm, closed Monday.
For nearly a decade, ABC Café has been quietly serving some of the metro’s best authentic Cantonese food. Here in this humble strip mall restaurant with a handful of tables and expedient, no-nonsense service, all your dim sum dreams will come true. We’re talking plate after plate of tender barbecue pork buns, turnip cakes, hot and spicy beef tendon, shrimp and pork-stuffed tofu skins, golden-fried shrimp and cream cheese rolls, crave-worthy scallion pancakes and some truly show stopping XO-spiced chicken wings — all priced between $4 and $8. There are several more dishes to explore here, including a delicious seafood and tofu hot pot ($13) — that is, if you can ever manage to make it past the dim sum.
ABC Café, 10001 W. 87th St., Overland Park, KS | 913-859-0089 | abccafeop.com
Thursday–Monday, noon–10:30 pm, closed Tuesday and Wednesday.
There is no dish that perfectly encapsulates the cuisine of El Salvadoreño better than the pupusa, a glorious, taco-esque invention with humble origins and a name that is ridiculously fun to say. A pupusa is a corn-flour hybrid tortilla stuffed with a variety of ingredients, though the traditional filling, called revuelta, is a pork, bean and cheese combination. The corn-flour mix is shaped around the filling and rolled into a ball, then slapped on a griddle and flattened like a pancake. Pupusas are the house specialty at El Salvadoreño, and they’ll set you back a whopping $2.50 each, which means you’ll be able to stretch your dollar. Get an order of the platanos fritos (fried sweet plantains, $4.50) served with whipped lime crema, as well the fried yucca ($5.50) and maybe a chicken tamale ($2.95) or two. Bonus: El Salvadoreño boasts a full bar stocked with plenty of rums and a good selection of Mexican beers.
El Salvadoreño, 9860 W. 87th St., Overland Park, KS | 913-217-7233.
Monday–Thursday, 9 am–9 pm, Friday and Saturday, 9 am–10 pm, Sunday, 10 am–9 pm.
Chefs David Derr and Jessica Rush know wieners. Their business started in 2012 at the Overland Park Farmer’s Market, where their creative sausages — like their bacon sausage served on a Farm to Market bun and smothered with sausage gravy ($8) — won them a dedicated following. In 2017, the couple expanded to a brick-and-mortar location on Metcalf Avenue in an unassuming strip mall. The innovative breakfast and lunch menus include a chorizo rojo sausage wrapped in a handmade tortilla and topped with onion-jalapeno relish and a fried egg ($9) and a vegan cauliflower-wild rice link served with a brussels sprout kraut ($6), plus a whole case of sausages and sides to go (get the bacon-wrapped jalapenos stuffed with sausage and cheese, $2 each or 6 for $10). You say wiener, we say winner.
Wiener Kitchen, 9645 W. 87th St., Overland Park, KS | 913-296-8023 | wienerwagonkc.com
Wednesday, 7 am–2 pm and 5–8 pm, Thursday and Friday, 7 am–2 pm, Saturday 8 am–noon, closed Sunday–Tuesday.
Burnt End BBQ
Everyone has an opinion on KC barbecue, and everyone can name the classic spots including several with wonderful outposts in OP. But if you’re looking for some high-quality ’cue off the beaten path, get yourself to Burnt End BBQ. Executive chef and pitmaster Stephen “Smokey” Schwartz has been working in Kansas City barbecue since the early ’80s (his resume includes a 10-year stint as pitmaster at Fiorella’s Jack Stack). His menu offers some inventive twists. Order the burnt end bowl ($10.50), where dreamy cubes of burnt ends are layered on top of smoky hickory pit beans and a chunk of cornbread, or try the BBQ nachos ($8), where chopped brisket and burnt ends enter a tryst with pico de gallo and green chile queso.
Burnt End BBQ, 11831 Metcalf Ave., Overland Park, KS | 913-451-8888 | burntendbbqkc.com
Sunday–Thursday, 11 am–9 pm, Friday and Saturday, 11 am–10 pm.
One of my favorite things about Ethiopian food is the presentation, and the cozy, family-run Elsa’s is no exception. Let’s say you order the excellent doro tibs ($11), for example: Your tender chicken breast — sauteed with onion, tomato, green chili and the wonderfully fragrant berbere spice blend — will be served on a large metal platter that is completely obscured by a layer of injera, Ethiopia’s ubiquitous flatbread. Made from fermented grass-based, gluten-free teff flour, injera has the look and feel of a sponge and tastes like sourdough. You’re going to want to rip off a piece of injera and use it to scoop up a bite of your doro tibs — no silverware necessary. Same goes for your order of the vegetarian miser wat ($8) — spicy split red lentils with garlic, onion and berbere — and the gomen besiga ($9) — prime beef seasoned with garlic, onions, ginger and finished with collard greens. The flavors at Elsa’s steal the show, and you’ll want to come hungry; in true Ethiopian tradition, owner Elsa Michaels doesn’t serve small portions.
Elsa’s Ethiopian Restaurant, 8016 Santa Fe Drive, Overland Park, KS | 913-648-5000
Tuesday–Thursday, 4–9 pm, Friday and Saturday, 11 am–9 pm, closed Sunday and Monday.
You’ll get a true bang for your buck at Korma Sutra’s lunch buffet, where the food is just as colorful as the vibrantly decorated restaurant. For just $13, you can repeatedly fill your plate with piles of North Indian classics like tandoori chicken, veggie pakara and chicken tikka masala, plus more than a dozen other flavorful dishes. The goat curry is a house favorite ($15 for the dinner entree) featuring super-tender slow-cooked goat that finds everlasting love with a blend of turmeric, ginger, garlic and chili paste. Refreshing mango lassi and warm masala chai tea are free at lunch, as is the addictive garlic naan (try to stop yourself from shoving handfuls of it into your purse). The best part of Korma Sutra might be the service. Owner and uber-gregarious host Baljit Singh welcomes every guest like family and makes sure they’re fed like maharajas.
Korma Sutra, 12112 W. 87th St. Parkway, Overland Park, KS | 913-345-8774 | kormasutra.net
Open daily from 11 am–2:30 pm and 5–9 pm
There are a lot of local pizza joints that will claim their pies are the closest you’ll find to the classic East Coast-style sold at tiny shops in NYC. Papa Keno’s does this claim justice. The Overland Park location has been open since 1995, and its famous face-sized slices of the signature Kid Keno, featuring pepperoni, spinach, feta, romano and roasted garlic, have long taken loyal devotees. The lunch special is a steal: Grab a two-topping slice with a side salad or breadsticks and a soda for $6.99 ($9.99 at dinner).
Papa Keno’s Pizzeria, 7901 Santa Fe Drive, Overland Park, KS | 913-648-1313 | papakenosoverlandpark.com
Sunday–Thursday, 11 am–9 pm, Friday and Saturday, 11 am–10 pm.