Instead of going to the same old restaurant every date night, why not spice things up a little with something new, different and ethnic? Contrary to what you might believe, Iowa is home to several authentic ethnic restaurants that serve exceptionally delicious international cuisine. From Cuban to Vietnamese, the following are just a few of the must-visit ethnic restaurants in Iowa:
1. The Lost Cuban, Cedar Rapids
The Lost Cuban is a sleek and modern eatery that offers authentic Cuban food in the heart of Iowa. Obviously they serve a mean Cuban, but they have plenty more on the menu to try, and they even serve you a side of plantain chips.
2. Cafe Beaudelaire, Ames
Cafe Beaudelaire on Lincoln Way in Ames offers some of the best Brazilian food in Iowa. They serve an unbeatable breakfast, and equally amazing lunches and dinners. Their gyros are absolutely amazing, and their whole menu is unique, authentic, and delicious.
3. Da Kao, Sioux City
Da Kao is a casual joint that offers Chinese and Vietnamese dishes in an unfussy setting. Some dishes to try are the Chicken Lemongrass, Vietnamese pancakes, and the fresh spring rolls.
4. Red Lantern, Davenport
Red Lantern offers fine Chinese dining in an absolutely beautiful restaurant. This one is a little more costly, so if you're looking to splurge on date night, this is a great option. Be sure to try their signature dish, the Peking Duck.
5. Cool Basil, Altoona
Cool Basil offers Thai food in a clean and modern setting. Their sushi is a good dish to try, and for dessert, don't miss out on their mango and sticky rice.
6. Mekong, Iowa City
Mekong offers a blend of Asian cuisines on their simple and contemporary menu. Their pho, of course, is a must have.
7. Village Meat Market, Cedar Rapids
The Village Meat Market in Cedar Rapids is a cafe that offers a menu filled with scrumptious Czech items such as Czech goulash, schnitzel, Czech dogs and more.
8. Namaste India, Clive
Namaste is a low-key restaurant that serves traditional Indian dishes, plus an all-you-can-eat lunch buffet. Be sure to try their Chicken Tikka Masala, Lamb Saag, Fried Eggplant, and Ragu Paneer.
9. Oasis Falafel, Iowa City
Oasis Falafel, located in Iowa City, serves up delicious Middle Eastern food such as falafel, kababs, gyros, some of the best hummus around, and many other delicious cultural dishes.
10. La Regia Taqueria, Iowa City
La Regia is a small, pared-down Mexican place that offers classic eats, plus a shop with imported staples. The tacos here are spectacular, and the taco meat is perfectly seasoned with the right blend of spices (the family secret), plus, the shells are fantastic. You can actually buy both the shells and the meat at the shop attached to the restaurant.
Who knew that Iowa had so many amazing ethnic restaurants? And there are so many more! What are some of your favorites?