During these uncertain times, please keep safety in mind and consider adding destinations to your bucket list to visit at a later date.
Flatted Fifth Blues & BBQ (Bellevue)
Flatted Fifth Blues & BBQ is a lively restaurant in a historic, 170-year-old grist mill in Bellevue, Iowa. The building is actually the oldest in the state of Iowa. The southern style BBQ that they serve will warm you, heart and soul, whether you’re dining on ribs, jambalaya, pulled pork, gumbo, or another one of the restaurants stick-to-your-ribs entrees. 300 Potter Dr., Bellevue, IA.
Ladora Bank Bistro (Ladora)
The Ladora Bank Bistro in Ladora, Iowa truly is one-of-a-kind, due to its unique history, beautiful architecture and incredible food. Opened in 1920, the bank is a stunning example of revival architecture. The menu is an inventive mix of shared plates, including mouth-watering options like Moroccan Lamb Meatballs, Pork Belly Tacos, Sesame Tuna and much more. 811 Pacific St., Ladora, IA.
Geyer’s Oven (Oxford)
If you love farms and you love pizza, then you’re going to love Geyer’s Oven in Oxford, an actual pizza farm. Geyer’s uses their wood-fired pizza oven to create artisan pizza in classic and unusual combinations, making maximum use of their seasonal, farm-fresh ingredients. 1259 Rohret Rd. SW, Oxford, IA.
General Store Pub (Stone City)
This charming restaurant is in a remote, out-of-the-way location, but it’s totally worth the drive. They offer pub fare in a unique and beautiful atmosphere right along the Wapsipinicon River, and the food is so delicious, you will definitely be coming back for more. 12612 Stone City Rd., Anamosa, IA.
The Gathering Table Restaurant (Orient)
The Gathering Table Restaurant at the Henry A. Wallace Country Life Center is just outside the tiny town of Orient, Iowa, and it brings new meaning to the term farm-to-table. Not only are you served your meal in a restored barn, the ingredients are provided by food harvested from the gardens on-site, so you know your meal is going to be fresh, delicious and unforgettable. 2773 290th Street, Orient, IA.
Archie’s Waeside (Le Mars)
Archie’s Waeside holds its own with steakhouses in New York, Los Angeles and Chicago. This unassuming restaurant specializes in dry aged steaks, cooked to order, and they are among some of the best steaks you’ll find in the country. Archie’s has been recognized as one of the top 10 best steakhouses in the country by Pure Wow, and they won a prestigious American Classic Award from the James Beard Foundation in 2015. 224 4th Ave. NE, Le Mars, IA.
LT Organic Farm Restaurant (Waukee)
The LT Organic Farm Restaurant provides an excellent farm-to-table meal in a scenic rural setting in Waukee, Iowa. This amazing restaurant offers seasonal, mouth-watering, certified organic food and specializes in Indian, Caribbean and Mediterranean cuisine, and they offer meals that include meat, as well as vegetarian, vegan and gluten free options. 3241 Ute Ave., Waukee, IA.
The Bluff Lake Catfish Farm (Maquoketa)
People from all over the Tri-State area flock to this unique restaurant to get a taste of something truly special. Because it’s such a draw, people line up to partake in what amounts to be about 500 pounds of high quality Icelandic haddock served every Saturday night at their weekly fish fry. Plus, the Bluff is located in rural Iowa, tucked between two lakes, a 50-foot waterfall and the Maquoketa River, so there’s plenty of scenic beauty to enjoy. 9343 95th Ave., Maquoketa, IA.
Bombfire Pizza (Sabula)
This restaurant is undoubtedly the quirkiest eatery you can find in Iowa. On the small island of Sabula, Iowa (yes, Iowa really does have an island!), this little pizza place serves the most amazing wood-fired pizza. 516 Pearl St., Sabula, IA.
Hamburg Inn (Iowa City)
The Hamburg Inn No. 2 is a small, iconic Iowa City greasy spoon serving up all kinds of mouth-watering food, like house-ground burgers, tenderloins, biscuits and gravy and fried chicken and mashed potatoes. But one of their most delicious menu items, as well as a regional favorite, is their pie milkshakes made with homemade pie. 214 N Linn St., Iowa City, IA.
Blue Mountain Culinary Emporium (Orange City)
Not only does the Blue Mountain Culinary Emporium serve delicious food, you’ll find interesting and varied atmospheres in different parts of the restaurant, including the Lodge, the Smokehouse Grille, the Passport Club and the Barn. At this unique and amazing restaurant, you’ll find mouthwatering BBQ, wood-fired pizza, and much more. 814 Lincoln Place SE, Orange City, IA.