La Familia Cafe (Downtown)

  • 733 New Hampshire Lawrence, KS 66044
  • 785-749-0105
  • Visit website


La Fam is widely known for its bottomless free chips and salsa (including their unique 'sweet' salsa), but there's much more to like here -- not least of which is the joint's cozy environment. All the standards are available a la carte and as dinners. Call for availability of popular house specialties like tamales and pork burritos. Beware: these meals are not light! Planning for adequate naptime for dessert is recommended. In January 2003, the Fam began offering Mexican beer and margaritas.


kcatchinson 10 years, 10 months ago on La Familia Cafe (Downtown)

The chips and salsa are no longer bottomless, fyi.....99 cents for additional baskets. Also I used to LOVE this place, but last time I went there the service was terrible and I could clearly hear the cooks yelling and cussing up a storm. Not so much fun. :(

George_Braziller 10 years, 11 months ago on La Familia Cafe (Downtown)

I used to regularly eat at La Familia because I loved the food but it isn't what it used to be. Smaller portions, higher prices, and a really long hair on my plate (I'm bald so it wasn't mine) soured the love. The final straw was seeing one of the servers blow his nose and then serve up some tortilla chips with his bare hand without even washing it first. I haven't been back since.

sportsmed14 14 years, 1 month ago on La Familia Cafe (Downtown)

I recently found out the La Familia has implemented a new policy where they will not take a bank card, debit card, or credit card for a purchase amount below $10.00. I have lived here 25 years and agree it is a great restuarant but just had to say what a bad idea I think this is.

You can't even go out to eat lunch with your co-workers and use your bank card which comes directly out of your checking account unless you have a $10 lunch. I'm usually not that hungry for lunch. Now I realize I could visit an ATM and pay with cash but this is the 21st century and convienence is the reason for bank cards.

I also think with several stores having difficulty and even going out of business during these more difficult economic times that turning business away is not a sound practice. They should try to save money somewhere else in the budget.

lorilei 16 years, 8 months ago on La Familia Cafe (Downtown)

It is a good idea to call ahead to see if your favorites are available, but I do not consider this a hassle considering that the food is homemade. I usually go on Friday nights and I always have had excellent service, especially considering that Friday is one of the busiest nights of the week to eat out.

Larry_Living 16 years, 9 months ago on La Familia Cafe (Downtown)

This is not authentic Mexican food and it's not Tex-Mex, but rather Mexcian American fare that actually does have it's own roots. I've been there three times and the food has been really good. But like previous posts, each time I was there they were out of something (disturbing pattern?). As far as service, it's really difficult to get good service in a college town - they're non-professionals who don't really care about their skill. So, my expectations are low, but two of the times I had the same server and the service was good. So what do I know?

Oraca_Lite 16 years, 9 months ago on La Familia Cafe (Downtown)

I've loved the food at the Family for years, but it seems like everytime I go there now that half the menu isn't available. Last time they were out of chicken, tomales, sopapilas, avocado, and more! The service has always been hit or miss. The waitresses will take your your order, bring your drinks, and deliver your food, but don't expect more than that - half of them don't even know what they're serving. But, if you can hit the Family on a good night, the food is good, and it's actually worth the (occassional) hassle.

hipper_than_hip 16 years, 9 months ago on La Familia Cafe (Downtown)

No chicken last night. This was at 5:45, and I think they open at 11:30, so it would seem that the lunchtime cooks would realize that there was not enough chicken for the day, and they could either order more chicken, or at least go to Dillons and buy just enough to get them through the evening.

However, the waitress had a very nice nose ring and eyebrow piercing, and they complemented her tattoos nicely.

This once excellent resturant has been slipping for some time, and it's showing. If you want Tex-Mex, I hate to say it, but On The Border does a better job.

dodson 17 years, 2 months ago on La Familia Cafe (Downtown)

It's always good to see the waiteress that have worked there for years. Food is pricey for the portion you get. We all know Mexican food is cheap and with the small space they occupy so why is it so expensive?...They have a sign that says "seat yourself at a CLEAN table" but they drag their feet, really drag their feet, in cleaning them. Two out of three times I've been there and asked for guac, they've been out----how about a quick trip to the grocery store? It's only made up of avacados, onions, tomatoes, salt, and cilantro?

ksmattfish 17 years, 8 months ago on La Familia Cafe (Downtown)

I used to love this place, but the last few times I've eaten there the food hasn't been as good. My wife still likes it, although even she made some negative comments last time we went. Service is sketchy; sometimes decent, sometimes non-existant.

vj3k4 17 years, 8 months ago on La Familia Cafe (Downtown)

Folks, I came to lawrence looking for a good mexican place. La Parilla is worthless after you've eaten it a few times. The other places in town are so similar that you might as well go to Taco Bell and eat off their dollar-ish menu. La Familia is all around the best place to get a good meal in Lawrence. Fantastic chips and salsa, a wide variety of options, and a small restraunt atmosphere that is reminiscent of a small D.C. or New York place. Eat there or you're scum.

kugrad 17 years, 8 months ago on La Familia Cafe (Downtown)

I have eaten at La Familia since it was in a little tiny shack in North Lawrence. I enjoy the food, but the price of eating here has gone out of control. When new menus come out, the prices always skyrocket. One dish I enjoyed many times (2 emanadas w/ sides) went from around $6 to over $10! The prices are way too high. They are slow to clear tables when there are groups waiting to be seated. Service is variable as turnover in staff seems to be pretty regular. I enjoy the food, but for my money I feel that I get a lot better deal elsewhere.

Susan Lee 17 years, 11 months ago on La Familia Cafe (Downtown)

What happened?????

We ALWAYS ate at La Familia whenever we visited family members in Lawrence - which is often.

The last couple of times we ate there, we encountered: hair in food, smaller portions and larger prices, a bug strolling by, and twice multiple members of our dining party became ill after eating there.

I hope that improvements can be made, because I absolutely LOVE the food and salsa!

mickey_oneal 18 years, 1 month ago on La Familia Cafe (Downtown)

Sweet Sauce? Please that was an invention for the Johnson County customers that wouldnt know real mexican food if it was shoved down their throats by speedy gonzalez himself. The food is good but its hardly authentic. Xztapa is the best place in lawrence for genuine mexican food. la familia is in a fun location and has some neat drawings on the wall but the gringa servers dont inspire confidence that ill be getting any sort of real mexican food. neither does the britney spears blasting over the speakers. overall good food but far from authentic, good service by drink was seldom even 75% finished before i was offered another, the price is a bit steep for a broke ass college student but it is not completely unreasonable. this is a fun restaurant but is a half hearted attempt at being mexican

rocketcreme 18 years, 10 months ago on La Familia Cafe (Downtown)

this has been one of my favorite places since i moved to lawrence. in fact, i think i'll at there tomorrow!

Kelly Powell 19 years, 8 months ago on La Familia Cafe (Downtown)

The familia is good... But to say Ixtapas isnt in the running is lunacy. In my opinion these are THE TWO mex places to eat at.

knightofdreams 19 years, 9 months ago on La Familia Cafe (Downtown)

Ive been from vallejo califnoria, to new mexico, to dayton ohio, to new york.

Overall this is the best mexican resturant ive been to. Prices have gone up a tad bit since ive been here last, but as i found out they are well worth it. Even in mexico you will not find this quality of food. My hats off to the people who run this fine establishment.

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