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. Bluff Lake Catfish Farm
This unique restaurant has an amazing, slightly remote location. It’s located on a farm that’s tucked away between a 50-foot waterfall and the Maquoketa River. The restaurant started out as a small snack stand on Clayton Kuhlman’s catfish pond, and it was so popular it expanded into the restaurant it is today. They’re known, especially, for their weekly all-you-can-eat fish fry specials. 9343 95th Ave., Maquoketa, IA.
2. Teddy’s Barn & Grill
Teddy’s Barn & Grill is a restaurant in a unique restaurant that serves delicious Midwestern fare. The restaurant is in a restored dairy barn, and their specialty is meat and potatoes, like pork tenderloin, incredible steak and garlic mashed potatoes. If you visit on a warm day, you can sit out on the deck overlooking the beautiful Iowa farmland. Located at 14575 E23 County Home Rd., Anamosa, IA.
3. The Branding Iron
This steakhouse serves up mouth-watering steaks and a plenty of other tasty menu options, like chicken, fish, shrimp and more. With delicious food and a relaxed, comfy atmosphere, you can see why it’s a local favorite, and now you know about it too! Address: 135 Jackson St., Thompson, IA.
4. General Store Pub
This charming little pub was built in 1897 is in Stone City, a small town captured in artist Grant Wood's painting titled "Stone City, Iowa." Located along the banks of the Wapsipinicon River, this general store turned restaurant serves up delicious pub fare and drinks in an out-of-the-way spot. 12612 Stone City Rd., Anamosa, IA.
5. Sneaky’s Chicken
Sneaky’s has been serving the most delicious chicken since 1979. It may not look like much from the outside, but it’s definitely worth checking out. Address: 3711 Gordon Dr., Sioux City, IA.
6. Rube’s Steakhouse
Rube’s opened in 1973, and they offer some of the finest cuts of steak around. Plus, you get to grill your own meat, which is added fun. Address: 118 E Elm St., Montour, IA.
7. Palisades Cafe
Palisades Cafe is a lovely little hidden gem of a restaurant in downtown Mount Vernon. The atmosphere features exposed brick walls and artwork from local artists, and their food is absolutely delicious. They serve monthly specials featuring local, fresh ingredients, and their fixed menu is also full of amazing choices, like unique, juicy burgers, tenderloins and more. Address: 117 1st St. W, Mt Vernon, IA.
8. Canteen Lunch in the Alley
Tucked away in an actual alley, this unassuming restaurant serves amazing loose-meat sandwiches and shakes at an old-school lunch counter. 112 2nd St. E, Ottumwa, IA.
9. Hale Tap
Hale Tap is a classic supper club with a giant beer selection and some of the tastiest steaks available in the state. It may be out in the middle of nowhere, but it’s worth a stop. Address: 5522 Co Rd. E45, Wyoming, IA.
10. Northwestern Steakhouse
Tucked away in a small brick building in Mason City, Northwestern Steakhouse has been around since 1920. They serve the most mouth-watering Greek-style steaks, cooked with olive oil and a blend of Greek seasonings. Address: 304 16th St. NW, Mason City, IA.
11. Mi Patria
This hidden Ecuadorian restaurant serves amazing, authentic food, like plantains, empanadas, fresh ceviche and much more. 1410 22nd St., West Des Moines, IA.