There’s a lot to see and do along Iowa’s Great River Road. You’ll need food along the way, and it may as well be fabulous. Here are just 10 of the many beautiful and exceptional restaurants right at your fingertips as you travel this amazing Iowa road.
Some of the towns along Iowa's Great River Road are so small you may have never heard of them.
Here are a few places you'll want to have on your radar when you get hungry.
1. NutMeg's Cafe & Bakery, 367 Main Street, Lansing
This amazing restaurant offers a full menu, so if you want a waffle bacon sandwich, burger & fries, taco salad, grilled cheese, full breakfast, or pretty much anything else, they happily oblige. Locals love them, visitors rave about them. This is a great place to start (or end) your Great Iowa River Road Trip.
2. Picket Fence Cafe & Clayton Ridge Farm Meat Market, 531 S River Park Dr., Guttenberg
The Rueben, chicken salad croissant, and the calico beans are well-loved by visitors, here. No matter what you choose for lunch, the concensus is that you must leave room for their phenomenal pie. You can walk it off by taking a nice stroll from the restaurant down to the Locking Dam 10 lookout.
3. L.May Eatery, 1072 Main St., Dubuque
This place specializes in great American cooking, and the ambiance is divine, as well. Try the chipotle steak lasagna or the lobster lasagna for a special treat.
4. Potter's Mill, 300 Potter Dr., Bellevue
Located in an historic grist mill. Experience a unique place where jazz and southern food of Bourbon Street meet the blues and BBQ of Beale Street. Ribs, jambalaya, pulled pork and gumbo.
5. Candlelight Inn, 511 Riverview Dr., Clinton
Stop in here for lunch, dinner, or a snack. The view is amazing, and the food is even better. Their most beloved dish is the Chicken George, but this Monster Burger is worth a try, as well.
6. Blue Iguana, 201 N Cody Rd., Le Claire
Plan to spend a bit of time in the small river town of Le Claire. This restaurant is situated in the main area of shops in town, and the view from their front patio is lovely. Fresh, local, and delicious Mexican food is their specialty.
7. Village Corner Deli, 1030 Mound St., Davenport
The five-star ratings just roll in for this cute deli. The freshest ingredients, excellent sandwiches, and comforting soup are what keep people coming back.
8. Maid-Rite, 3605 University Dr., Muscatine
Maid-Rites in Iowa are independently owned, so the menus may vary from one location to the next. At the Muscatine Maid-Rite, you can get a root beer in a frosty mug, sweet potato fries, and a Cheese-Rite. Go traditional, or try something new. The menu is big enough and tasty enough to accommodate anyone's taste.
9. La Tavola Italian Eatery, 316 N 4th St., Burlington
With a traditional Italian menu that never fails to wow their customers, this restaurant is a great place to stop and load up on some of the best food in the area. Calamari, shrimp, fettuccine Alfredo, and gnocchi are favorites. During busy times, you may need to call ahead for reservations or be prepared to wait for a table.
10. Simple Table by Hitomi, 617 7th St., Fort Madison
This isn't your typical Iowa restaurant, and it's worth a stop a the end (or beginning) of your journey on Iowa's Great River Road. The menu changes frequently according to the seasonal ingredients. Try the seared beef tenderloin with red onion and cilantro or the warm brie with cranberry jam.
Where are your favorite places to stop and stretch your legs along Iowa’s Great River Road?