An Emporia Icon: J’s Carryout
Posted on Sep 12, 2017
While you’re visiting Emporia, take the opportunity to try one of the best burgers around at J’s Carryout, 27 Commercial Street. Rated “Best Burgers in the State of Kansas” by AAA, this restaurant’s big tastes more than make up for its small size. Located in a 1950’s style burger joint, this little restaurant has been serving up burgers, fries and rings for decades.
Founded in 1988, this local favorite is a repeat winner of “Best Burgers” in Emporia. The secret? J’s uses locally sourced ground sirloin for juicy burgers that are rich in flavor even before you add toppings. Owner Jay Pearson grinds the meat himself and can tell you all about the supplier (who interviews potential customers before agreeing to sell to them) as well as what the cattle are fed (No. 2 yellow corn).
If you’re looking for something more exciting than a plain burger, try the pizza burger, chili burger, or bacon cheeseburger with crispy, thick cut bacon. Cooked fresh when you order, it may take a little longer to get your burger than it does at the golden arches, but it’s worth the extra couple of minutes.
Other tantalizing options include the breaded tenderloin sandwich, grilled ham and cheese, chicken strips, and swoon-worthy fries. Be sure to try the onion rings, too. They’re crispy without being greasy and portions are generous. All meals come with a free mini ice cream cone to top off your delicious lunch or dinner.
Eat-In or Carryout
This mom and pop operation is just that – locally owned and staffed by remarkably cheerful employees. The building is small but brightly decorated in red and white with vintage charm. J himself will probably stop by your table to see how you’re doing and have a chat.
During busy times it may be difficult to find a seat inside, but outdoor seating is also available. Upbeat staff check on you throughout your meal, whether you’re inside or out, making sure you never have an empty glass and all is to your satisfaction.
For a different al fresco experience, order your food to go – enter the drive-thru from 2nd Avenue – and head down Commercial Street to the David Traylor Zoo or the All Veterans Memorial for a picnic. Both sites have picnic tables and beautiful scenery.
Whether you’re in Emporia for a few days or just passing through, J’s Carryout is worth the trip!