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The Basil Leaf Cafe, Lawrence, KS

The Basil Leaf Cafe

4.4
4.4
148 Reviews
$30 and under
Italian
The Basil Leaf Cafe is proud to have built a loyal following in the Lawrence community. We are excited to continue the tradition of amazing food and provide great service as we continue to grow our locally owned restaurant.
We are excited to be introducing an updated menu with all of your favorites and some new items as well. We open at 4:00 P.M every day of the week for dinner with great specials and a daily happy hour!"

Make a booking

2 people

19:00


Booked 23 times today

Dining areas

Additional information

  • Dining style

    Casual Dining

  • Cuisines

    Italian, Contemporary American

  • Phone number

    (785) 856-0459

  • Payment Options

    AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa

  • Dress Code

    Smart Casual

  • Area

    Lawrence

  • Parking Details

    Street Parking

  • Additional

    Beer, BYO Wine, Cafe, Cocktails, Corkage Fee, Delivery, Full Bar, Happy Hour, Non-Smoking, Wheelchair Access, Wine

Popular dishes

What 148 people are saying

Overall ratings and reviews

Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant

4.4
4.4 based on recent ratings
  • 4.4Food
  • 4.5Service
  • 4.4Ambience
  • 4.3Value

NoiseModerate

Loved For

  • Kansas City

    Romance

  • Kansas City

    Italian

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  1. VM

    VickyM

    Kansas City

    18 reviews

    4.0

    18 reviews

    Dined 4 days ago

    overall4food4service5ambience4
    We enjoyed Basil Leaf for years & happy that they've moved to Mass. Only had a few little things to note. First, service was stellar - as always. Ambiance was great. Loved the idea of the battery operated mini lamps (rather than candles) @ the table. Something was up with the smell of the restaurant - nothing too off putting but still enough to not seem 100% right. Hoping it was just the Brussels sprouts or something. The food was awesome. We started with the Caprese salad - very fresh & flavorful. We had St. Michel Reisling wine & one of their signature cocktails - an Espresso Martini, of which was perfect! I had the Lemon Chicken Tenders with risotto & Brussels sprouts. To be honest - way too much chicken for being tenders. I think they could serve maybe 1 or 2 of their tenders (which are nearly the size of chicken breasts) and still charge the same. They wwre fried perfectly & the sauce they had with it was so good I could've drank it. LoL all of that dish was tasty just way bigger than necessary. My husband had the Tortellini with chicken. Another big dish that could probably be scaled down but, still very tasty/creamy. We finished with Tiramisu for dessert. Spot on! Not too sweet but rich & creamy. Great way to end the meal. We're excited to go back again! Looking forward to eating @ a table on the patio once the weather cools off.
  2. TC

    TChap

    New York Area

    52 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    52 reviews

    Dined 5 days ago

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Outstanding meal as always! Great location in downtown Lawrence. A little disappointed did not get any points on OpenTable for the reservation. It won’t keep us from returning however.
  3. RR

    RaveR

    Kansas City

    1 review

    1.0

    1 review

    Dined on 2 August 2022

    overall1food2service2ambience1
    I was looking forward to trying the Basil Leaf in it's new location, but honestly, the entire experience was disappointing and fell flat. The tables were too close and I lost track of how many times I was hit or bumped into by others, and I felt uncomfortable and 'in the way.' The food was bland, and basic - which was sad, because I recal visiting Basil Leaf in the past and it was delicious. The space was loud, and there was loud 'rock/pop' music playing - not the best for the style of the restaurant.
  4. LK

    LaurieK

    Kansas City

    1 review

    4.0

    1 review

    Dined on 1 August 2022

    overall4food4service5ambience4
    Love the new location! Bright and welcoming- but we missed the more intimate atmosphere of the prior location. Our server did an excellent job. Our appetizer was served only two or three minutes before our entrees, don't know if that was a result of server or kitchen timing. One thing felt out of place-the mason jar water glasses- they don't fit the new look. Overall, a great experience.
  5. SV

    SueV

    Houston

    1 review

    2.0

    1 review

    Dined on 30 July 2022

    overall2food2service2ambience3
    We did not enjoy our visit at Basil Leaf. We thought it was a new restaurant and brought out of town guests with us! We learned later that they had just changed locations! The service was extremely slow, the food was way overpriced and mediocre at best! I’m sorry to say we will not recommend this restaurant!
  6. DW

    DavidW

    Kansas City

    32 reviews

    4.0

    32 reviews

    Dined on 29 July 2022

    overall4food4service5ambience5
    Grandson's birthday
  7. DK

    DonK

    Western NC

    5 reviews

    5.0

    5 reviews

    Dined on 27 July 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    The Basil Leaf has been around Lawrence for a long time. We used to get food from them when they were operating out of a tiny sort of pilot operation and the food was good then too. We had the meatballs as an appetizer and it was fantastic. I just love the house made marinara. I had the Cajun Penne, it was hot but very well done with lots of andouille sausage and shrimp. My wife had the tortellini and panko chicken. She said it was delicious as well (I stole some off her plate and it was very good). For dessert she had the cheesecake and I had the tiramisu. We would recommend either one but the tiramisu is some of the best I have ever had. Overall great experience and service. Since this was our first time at this location, we were wondering if we would be underdressed and that was not the case at all. In fact, saying that most of the customers were casually dressed would be an understatement. Great selection of wine and local beers here as well. I hope that they do way better than their predecessors at this location.
  8. BF

    BlessedFromIndiana

    Indiana

    2 reviews

    5.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on 25 July 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Have all the Italian cafés I’ve had the joy of eating in this one is the best I have ever experienced. I will be returning as often as I am able to enjoy the ambience and the delicious food!
  9. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    San Antonio

    1 review

    4.0

    1 review

    Dined on 23 July 2022

    overall4food4service3ambience4
    The food was great, but it took way too long to get drinks. We finally canceled the last round.
  10. AC

    AndrewC

    1 review

    4.0

    1 review

    Dined on 22 July 2022

    overall4food4service5ambience5
    Had a nice time. Food could have been warmer but great taste. Service was good. Will be back for another date night.
  11. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    Kansas City

    4 reviews

    5.0

    4 reviews

    Dined on 22 July 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Nice to have another good restaurant downtown LFK!
  12. GM

    GaryM

    Philadelphia

    43 reviews

    vip
    4.0

    43 reviews

    Dined on 22 July 2022

    overall4food3service5ambience4
    Great service and location. Salmon was terrific. Wine was great. The seven layer lasagne was though very salty, unsure why - I saw other comments about food being too salty, so hopefully they can correct as we are looking to return again!
  13. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on 22 July 2022

    overall5food4service5ambience5
    We really enjoyed visiting the new location. It is nicely done and we appreciate the larger space. The service was excellent, of course.
  14. L

    Lawrence

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on 18 June 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Loved everything about this place. The food was amazing and our server was great. The only downside was the parking. I believe they are relocating anyways. So hopefully the new location has better parking.
  15. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on 6 June 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Very friendly staff and GREAT FOOD
  16. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on 24 May 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Food was amazing; Service was even better!
  17. JD

    JohnD

    Kansas City

    15 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    15 reviews

    Dined on 22 May 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience4
    Delicious food, generous portions, full bar service, pleasant staff, enjoyable ambiance.
  18. JM

    JosephM

    Orlando

    19 reviews

    vip
    4.0

    19 reviews

    Dined on 14 May 2022

    overall4food4service3ambience3
    Hadn't been to Basil Leaf Cafe since the 1st time we toured KU before our son decided to study there. 6 years and a Masters Degree later our son asked to go there again after his ceremony. It was pretty good we all had one of their pasta dishes and enjoyed them all. The food came out quick our server was very helpful. The only negative part of the experience was the hostess who just had an awful attitude towards us when we asked about possibly lowering the AC that was blowing down on our table. Then she brought us our salad we ordered for the table to share but no silverware or plates?? Anyway the foods plenty good enough to give it a try if you're in Lawrence and thinking about it.
  19. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    1 review

    1.0

    1 review

    Dined on 14 May 2022

    overall1food1service1ambience1
    We made a reservation for a special event. I even called the day before to add one person on to my reservation and possibly move the time up. I was told no problem to add a person but the time could not be moved up. That was fine totally understandable on a busy graduation weekend. When we arrived we where told we had no reservation.. We were told we could wait for a table but it was very obvious that no table would be clearing out any time soon. Very disappointing!
  20. F

    Foodie

    St. Louis

    2 reviews

    5.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on 13 May 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience4
    Love love love this place! Great food and great service. Highly recommend!
  21. BM

    BrendaM

    Kansas City

    5 reviews

    5.0

    5 reviews

    Dined on 11 May 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    This was a thank you dinner for my cousin that just moved back from Alaska and just wanted a good Italian restaurant. I had heard good things and none of the four of us had been here before. The Basil Leaf did not disappoint!! Great service - great food - charming atmosphere. Will definitely recommend The Basil Leaf and will be back soon!!! Thanks for a great evening!!!!
  22. FR

    FranksRealty

    Kansas City

    14 reviews

    5.0

    14 reviews

    Dined on 8 May 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Mother’s Day dinner, pleasantly surprised! Great food, great service, highly recommend!
  23. CS

    ConnieS

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on 7 May 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    This was our first time dining at Basil Leaf Cafe. We will definitely be coming again! It was wonderful!
  24. LB

    LindaandBill

    Kansas City

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on 6 May 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Tasty Italian food in a cozy neighborhood venue. Very reasonably priced. We will be back.
  25. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    San Francisco

    2 reviews

    4.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on 30 April 2022

    overall4food5service4ambience4
    Very good food and service. Small place and pretty loud, but would definitely recommend for good Italian dishes.
  26. K

    Kris

    Kansas City

    1 review

    4.0

    1 review

    Dined on 18 April 2022

    overall4food4service4ambience1
    Food was great, as well the service. Very sweet and attentive. Location is very cute and the ambience would've been perfect, especially for Easter Dinner with my folks from across the pond, had the kitchen not been blasting Beastie Boys the entire meal so loud that it drowned out the mellow music being played in the dining room. My parents were rather annoyed, and despite asking our server if they could turn it down, nothing changed. I get it. I'm a chef. I love to blast my music in the kitchen as well after hours, but this was just unprofessional.
  27. RE

    RoyE

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on 16 April 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Great place! Good Italian food and excellent service.
  28. F

    Foodie

    St. Louis

    3 reviews

    5.0

    3 reviews

    Dined on 9 April 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Amazing food!! So fresh and so delicious. Quaint restaurant that’s perfect for special occasions or just a fantastic meal.
  29. AG

    AmyG

    Kansas City

    2 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on 8 April 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    It was a perfect evening!
  30. L

    Lovestoeat

    Phoenix

    51 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    51 reviews

    Dined on 28 March 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Love this restaurant in Lawrence. It's got great food and service. The interior is so pleasant. A great addition to the restaurant offerings and 1 of the few Italian restaurants in town
  31. DW

    DavidW

    Kansas City

    32 reviews

    5.0

    32 reviews

    Dined on 26 March 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    We had not eaten there since before COVID. Took our grandson and his Mom there for an early dinner. It was as good as we remembered it. The calamari appetizer was outstanding as were all the entrees. I had the Cajun Penne, my wife and grandson's Mom had Shrimp Scampi and the grandson had Shrimp Fettucine All great and the servings are plentiful. Glad we didn't order a salad and certainly no room left for dessert, unfortunately. We went to an early dinner so it was relatively quiet. it's a small place so may get noisier when it's full. Service was great. They are open for lunch on Saturday and Sundays.
  32. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    Kansas City

    2 reviews

    4.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on 10 March 2022

    overall4food3service4ambience5
    Ladies night. Good service. One of our meals was cold. Had to send it back and it was returned slightly warmer. All other meals were great as well as wine selections. Our dish was comped for the inconvenience which we appreciated very much. Waitress was very sweet and a accommodating.
  33. KB

    KelliB

    Kansas City

    2 reviews

    5.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on 26 February 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    The food is amazing and service is superb! Madison is the best server!
  34. GT

    GregT

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on 20 February 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Wonderful food in a small cafe atmosphere. It’s where we go for a special meal.
  35. MW

    MikeW

    Kansas City

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on 14 February 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Great service and food!
  36. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    Kansas City

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on 13 February 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    And this is our absolute go to date nights dinner location. The food and atmosphere are amazing.
  37. BR

    BeckieR

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on 12 February 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    We had the steak and Brussels spouts, and all was excellent!
  38. L

    Lynn

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on 12 February 2022

    overall5food5service4ambience4
    Excellent food in a great atmosphere. Will definitely be back!
  39. SW

    ShawnW

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on 5 February 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience4
    First time eating here, food was fantastic. We will be back.
  40. d

    datenightdiva

    Denver

    8 reviews

    5.0

    8 reviews

    Dined on 29 January 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Still awesome. Salmon was perfectly cooked, and Brussels Sprouts yummy as ever. The risotto was a little overcooked and dry, but I'm gonna allow one not-so-perfect ingredient, since everything else was exceptional! Thank you, Basil Leaf!

Safety precautions

  • Cleaning & sanitising

    • Surfaces sanitised between seatings
    • Digital, disposable or sanitised menu provided
    • Common areas deep-cleaned daily
    • Sanitiser or wipes provided for customers
  • Physical distancing

    • Limited number of seated diners
    • Distancing maintained in common areas
    • Extra space between tables
  • Protective equipment

    • Waiting staff wear masks
    • Diners must wear masks unless eating or drinking
  • Screening

    • Sick staff prohibited in the workplace

FAQs

The Basil Leaf Cafe is rated 4.4 stars by 148 OpenTable diners.

Yes, you can generally book this restaurant by choosing the date, time and party size on OpenTable.

Make a booking

2 people

19:00


Booked 23 times today
Google Map for The Basil Leaf Cafe

801 Massachusetts St, Lawrence, KS 66044

Dining areas

Additional information

  • Area

    Lawrence

  • Cuisines

    Italian, Contemporary American

  • Dining style

    Casual Dining

  • Dress Code

    Smart Casual

  • Parking Details

    Street Parking

  • Payment Options

    AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa

  • Additional

    Beer, BYO Wine, Cafe, Cocktails, Corkage Fee, Delivery, Full Bar, Happy Hour, Non-Smoking, Wheelchair Access, Wine

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