Photos: Bibimbap @ ChoSun Korean BBQ and dancing at Tasso's (photo credit www.thepitch.com)
Ethnic restaurants have the amazing power to immerse you in a new culture and expose you to the boldest flavors your palate has ever tasted. Most of the restaurants below are ranked as “The Best in Town” according to Yelp reviewers. We have no doubt you will enjoy yourself and encourage you to get to know your servers who are often the restaurant owners.
8016 Santa Fe Dr., Overland Park, KS
From the injera (traditional spongy bread) to the honey wine, Elsa’s keeps people coming back time after time. Ethiopian food mostly consists of phenomenally seasoned vegetables and meats, often with a spicy kick. The owner is kind and good at explaining the menu and showing you how to properly eat the food with your bare hands. Portions are large so bring your friends!
El Porton Café (South American)
4671 Indian Creek Pkwy, Overland Park, KS
Don’t let the unassuming strip mall location fool you. The South American and Caribbean inspired dishes at El Porton will transport you to a tropical destination. Between the plantains, arepas and empanadas, you will find yourself holding on to your menu so you can keep ordering more. Finish your meal with the flan or tres leches cake…both to die for!
Korma Sutra (Indian)
7217 W 110th St., Overland Park, KS
Whether you’re new to Indian food or a tikka masala expert, Korma Sutra is the place for you. The owner is the most cheerful man you’ll ever meet and his staff feeds off of his energy. Many say this is the best Indian food in town so prepare for a slight wait since the establishment is intimately small. The all you can eat lunch buffet is well worth it!
8411 Wornall Rd., Kansas City, MO
If you’re a fan of the movie “My Big Fat Greek Wedding,” you have to come to Tasso’s! The family owned restaurant features traditional Greek food along with belly dancing, plate breaking and over-flowing Ouzo. This is the not the place for you if you’re looking for a peacefully quiet dinner. It’s all about fun here and luckily the food is pretty tasty, too. Make reservations in advanced as weekend nights fill up quickly.
The Basha (Mediterranean)
7016 W 105th St., Overland Park, KS
Authentic Mediterranean cuisine isn’t plentiful in Kansas City but luckily The Basha offers delicious shawarma, falafel and hummus in an authentic setting. Be sure to end your meal with their freshly brewed mint tea and a little taste of heaven that is their baklava. If you’re looking for a more casual experience, check out their grab and go location, The Basha Grill, off Metcalf and 135th Street.
ChoSun Korean BBQ (Korean)
12611 Metcalf Ave., Overland Park, KS
Table-side grills and a communal atmosphere make ChoSun a local favorite for delectable food and familial merriment. You can’t go wrong with any of the beef dishes, and the traditional bibimbap is Seoul delicious. Be sure to make a reservation in advance especially if you have a large group in tow.
Pad-Thai Restaurant (Thai)
14319 Metcalf Ave., Overland Park, KS
From Pho to Pad Thai, this restaurant knows authentic Thai cuisine. Portions are generous and dishes are always bursting with flavor. The restaurant is small and intimate but the atmosphere and presentation always feel upscale. If you love spicy food, ask for your dish to be cooked “very spicy” and have a big glass of water nearby!
El Salvadoreño (Central American)
7926 Santa Fe Dr., Overland Park, KS
The friendliness and cultural vibe of Downtown Overland Park is palpable inside the doors of El Salvadoreno. This little Central American joint features amazing pupusas and lots of fresh seafood, but the sampler platter is the way to go if you want to try a little of everything. If you’re on the go, be sure to visit their food stand at the Overland Park Farmer’s Market on Saturday mornings, April to November!
1201 W 103rd St., Kansas City, MO
Owner and Chef Jasper Mirabile Jr. has managed to create an Italian restaurant so divine and hospitable that by the end of the night, you feel like a part of his family. The table-side fresh mozzarella is the signature experience, resulting in the most amazing caprese salad you’ve ever had. The pastas, pork chops and seafood dishes are amongst the most popular but save room for one or two of their 13 dessert options.
El Fogon (Mexican)
10450 Metcalf Ave., Overland Park, KS
Street tacos (running you less than $2 a pop) are the name of the game at El Fogon. This super casual family joint has a lot of regulars who keep coming back for the authentic dishes and the homemade salsa bar featuring 6 different types with varying heat. The service is always friendly and the value unbeatable.