1. La Rana Bistro, Decorah
This tiny restaurant is really something special. They feature inventive dishes with a variety of fresh ingredients, like trout, pasta, filet and delicious key lime pie.
2. Sun Cafe, Iowa City
Sun Cafe is a Vietnamese restaurant serving up tasty, authentic Vietnamese dishes like pho, bahn mi, spring rolls and roast duck.
3. The Canteen Lunch in the Alley, Ottumwa
The Canteen is a local fixture in Ottumwa. With only 16 stools at a horseshoe-shaped counter, it’s definitely tiny. They make a classic Midwestern loose-meat sandwich, and they also serve amazing malts and pies.
4. Diamond Thai, Sioux City
Diamond Thai has a large menu and serves traditional Thai dishes, like pad Thai, curries, fresh spring rolls and honey roasted duck.
5. Taylor’s Maid-Rite, Marshalltown
Taylor’s Maid-Rite makes those delicious and iconic loose-meat sandwiches that we Iowans love so much. They have been in business for over 80 years and serve fresh ground, 100% Iowa beef.
6. Pammel Grocery and Deli, Ames
This grocery store has a tiny restaurant area in the back, and they serve amazing Middle Eastern dishes, like gyros, falafel, samosas and seasoned meat dishes with tzatziki and basmati rice.
7. Chez Grace, Coralville
Located in a strip mall, this restaurant doesn’t look like much from the outside, but don’t be fooled. Chez Grace is an elegant, intimate restaurant serving amazing French food with a huge wine list.
8. The Lost Cuban, Cedar Rapids
Opened by a man who moved to Cedar Rapids and missed the Cuban favorites he grew up on, the lost Cuban serves mouth-watering Cuban food in a tiny, hole-in-the-wall space in downtown Cedar Rapids.
9. Proof, Des Moines
This minimalist, intimate restaurant serves upscale Mediterranean dishes in a beautiful atmosphere. With dishes like ribeye with pickled onion, hummus and greens or lamb spiedini, it's hard to go wrong with this restaurant.
10. The Lincoln Wine Bar, Mount Vernon
The Lincoln Wine Bar contains a small restaurant that serves some of the best wood-fired pizza in the state. With fresh ingredients like handmade sausage and local vegetables, get ready for a memorable meal.
11. Europa Cafe, Dubuque
Europa Cafe is a cozy little spot in Dubuque that serves amazing authentic Ukrainian dishes like homemade borscht soup, goulash and beef stroganoff.