Ready to expand your dining horizons? Check out the ten Iowa restaurants that reviewers say are the absolute best.
We’re aware that these uncertain times are limiting many aspects of life as we all practice social and physical distancing. While we’re continuing to feature destinations that make our state wonderful, we don’t expect or encourage you to go check them out immediately. We believe that supporting local attractions is important now more than ever and we hope our articles inspire your future adventures! And on that note, please nominate your favorite local business that could use some love right now:
1. Cobble Hill
This Cedar Rapids favorite raises the bar for Iowa dining. Locally sourced, carefully prepared, and beautifully presented dishes grace the seasonal menu of this upscale and cozy Cedar Rapids restaurant. You'll find Cobble Hill at 219 2nd Street SE.
The menu changes as the chef and the seasons dictate. Among the favorites, bacon marmalade, sweet potato gnocchi, and carbonara ravioli are special treats at Cobble Hill.
"Yep, 5/5 stars, and it is as good as it gets... and not just in Iowa. Seriously they were a James Beard best chef Midwest Semifinalist! Do you know how big that is?" -Lauren D. Yelp
2. Pasquale's Italian Restaurant
This amazing-according-to-reviewers restaurant is located in Humboldt at 607 13th Street N.
Fans of this place say the pizza is divine. Frequent diners know that The Burger is the best in the area.
"I'm a thin crust pizza guy and this is really where it's at and it shines as a regional example of what I consider the optimal form of a traditional American pizza." -Matt E. Yelp
3. La Juanita
With one five-star review on Yelp after another, La Juanita is a consistently great choice if you are in Storm Lake and in the mood for authentic Mexican Food. You'll find this great restaurant at 613 Lake Avenue.
Crowd favorites include Chorizo tacos, burritos, and fish tacos.
"Best I've had in years. If you're in Storm Lake and skip this place you've missed out on an true authentic Mexican experience. " -Alex N. Yelp
4. Le Mie Bakery
This French bakery and restaurant is an unassuming place, and kind of plain from the front. It receives high praise from hundreds of reviewers that say a stop at La Mie will surely make your day brighter. You'll find it at 841 42nd Street in Des Moines.
Sandwiches, pastries, and full-breakfast fare get great reviews. Even if you aren't a morning person, their late-breakfast and lunch options are amazing.
"They have a nice selection of sandwiches, which I would consider to be elevated takes on cafe classics--like chicken salad, French ham, Albacore tuna, etc. The salads are all top notch as well." -Nora H. Yelp
"This place is incredible. Amazing food breakfast lunch and mind blowing pastries. One of Des Moines treasures!" -Christopher F. Yelp
5. Canteen Lunch In The Alley
You'll find this much-loved 1930's diner at 112 E 2nd Street in Ottumwa. The view isn't much, but reviewers say it's the best place in town to have lunch.
Homemade pies, loose meat sandwiches, and the fact that the people of Ottumwa fought to keep this place alive when the city wanted to build a bridge through it are all great reasons to stop by.
"Loved the strawberry rhubarb pie, warmed and served with a scoop of ice cream. Super flaky crust. Yum! The loose meat sandwich was good too, with cheese and pickles onions mustard ketchup - the only way to go. But the atmosphere makes it all! " -Pamel M. Yelp
6. Need Pizza
This downtown Cedar Rapids pizza place is a carefully designed, laid back, delightful place. You'll find it at 207 2nd Ave SE.
Need Pizza is a build-your-own kind of place. Sure you can have a cheese pizza. But it's hard to resist some of their more creative options.
"Big-city pizza is overrated. You can find amazing pie in Cedar Rapids, and Need is proof of that." -Jeramie K. Yelp
7. Cafe d'Marie
This quaint coffee shop in Davenport offers some of the best food in the land. The renovated brick house offers the perfect setting to relax with a gourmet lunch. You'll find this lovely restaurant at 614 W 5th Street.
Soup, panini sandwiches, quiche, and complicated (delicious) salads are their specialties.
"We had vanilla latte, and earl grey tea, and my friend said the tea was the best tea she's had since she studied in England. Cream of asparagus soup was delicious and the blueberry quiche was the perfect balance of sweet and savory." - Crystal Y. Yelp
8. Brazen Open Kitchen Bar
This Dubuque restaurant has earned the praises of visitors from the local area and from far away. It's located at 955 Washington Street.
You can't go wrong with the Lamb Arancini. Other favorites include fried green tomatoes, duck tacos, leek fondue, and sweet potato soup.
"This place was the bomb!!!! My husband had the prime burger and I had the oxtail stroganoff it was to die for. We seen this gem on IPTV on Iowa Ingredient and couldn't wait to try it." -Jodi M. Yelp
9. Her Soup Kitchen
The five star reviews stack up high for this Iowa City restaurant. You'll find it at 625 South Dubuque Street.
The food is fresh, local, and amazing. Crunchy ciabatta and perfectly baked portobello make the nicest lunch.
"The toasted ciabata bread was perfect with the artichoke spread, melted parmesan cheese, caramelized onion, tomato, and spinach. My mouth was in heaven, I had a hard time eating because I couldn't stop smiling at how good it was." Clem M. Yelp
10. Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar
Fine dining in West Des Moines doesn't get any better, according to reviewers. You'll find this gem at 150 South Jordan Creek Parkway.
Try the Ahi tuna small plate, risotto and filet, and the house potatoes with asparagus.
"Each time our food is consistently fabulous--from the wedge salad to the steaks and shareable sides (omg) to the lava cake." -Kerry C. Yelp
Do you have a go-to restaurant that is your very favorite? Let us know in the comments.