Iowa invented the walking taco, taco pizza, eskimo pie, and is home to the World Food Prize Hall of Laureates, so obviously we Iowans know our food. No matter where you go in this great state, incredible food is just around the corner. While this list could go on forever, here are 11 of the most amazing, unique, and delicious restaurants in Iowa.
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. Fong's Pizza
The story of Fong's is a funny one; the legend goes that the restaurant used to serve Chinese food, but when the new owners bought it they didn't want to change the decor, and so Fong's Pizza was born. Fong's has become wildly popular for their fun, Asian-inspired theme, delicious pizza, sandwiches, salads and desserts. Fong's now has two locations, in Des Moines and Ankeny.
2. Zombie Burger
Zombie Burger recently exploded onto the scene in Des Moines' East Village, gaining huge amounts of popularity for their unique food and restaurant environment. The restaurant itself is filled with zombie-themed decor, and their food is to die for - no pun intended. Their Walking Ched (shown above) is amazing, and is made with a breaded, deep fried macaroni and cheese bun, bacon, Cheddar cheese, caramelized and raw onions, more macaroni and cheese, and mayo. This item isn't an oddity either, their whole menu is loaded with insane, amazing, taste-bud-exploding choices like this one. They also just recently expanded to West Des Moines, where they opened up a restaurant in the Jordan Creek Mall.
3. Oasis Falafel
Oasis Falafel, located in Iowa City, got their start in 2004, when two falafel lovers noticed that falafel just couldn't be found in the area, and vowed to fix that problem. Their solution, Oasis Falafel, has more than taken off, and has become extremely popular. Falafel, for those who don't know, is deep-fried chickpeas or fava beans, commonly served in a Pita. Aside from that delicious dish, Oasis also serves kababs, gyros, some of the world's best hummus, and other delicious cultural dishes.
4. Cafe d'Marie
Cafe d'Marie is a quaint little cafe in Davenport that is housed in a beautiful, 1860's brick home. The cafe serves breakfast and lunch Monday through Saturday, and they specialize in quiche, panini style sandwiches, sweets and various coffees, teas, smoothies and more. At Cafe d'Marie, everything is fresh, homemade, and absolutely delicious.
5. L.May Eatery
L.May Eatery, located on Dubuque's historic Main Street, is a restaurant that uses fresh, seasonal ingredients to make delicious, gourmet comfort food. Their menu features delectable dishes like: ginger berry salmon, stuffed poblano pepper, filet mignon, or their "You're in Dubuque" pizza.
6. Bev's On The River
Bev's On The River, located in Sioux City, offers a unique riverside dining experience, or a great venue for events. Bev's is really popular for their Sunday Brunch, which goes on every Sunday from 10:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. The brunch offers pretty much everything under the sun, and each week their award winning chef prepares four new mouth watering entrees.
7. The Village Meat Market and Cafe
The Village Meat Market in Cedar Rapids is a cafe whose menu offers some of the best pork tenderloin and smoked salmon in town, as well as a menu filled with scrumptious Czech items like like goulash, schnitzel and Czech dogs. There is a little bit of everything at the Village Meat Market.
8. Krunkwich Ramen House
Krunkwich Ramen House is a brand new restaurant in Des Moines that serves delicious, Asian-inspired treats like ramen, stir fry and banh mi, along with their specialty tater tots, and so much more. Krunkwich is a hip, new place to grab a bite to eat when in you're in the mood for something different and fun.
9. Ox Yoke Inn
The Ox Yoke Inn is an old favorite of those who visit the German villages of the Amana Colonies. The Ox Yoke serves traditional German family-style meals, with delicious dishes such as: schnitzel, sauerbraten, bratwurst, and even flammkuchen, a German style pizza.
10. Mo Fish
Mo Fish, in Council Bluffs, specializes in deep-fried Catfish, Carp, and Alaskan Walleye, which are hand-breaded and served fresh everyday. Their restaurant offers a fun (fish-filled) environment, and is a great place to take the family. And if you're into it, they offer frog legs!
Tacopocalypse is another unique, delicious restaurant in Des Moines' East Village. Obviously they serve tacos (pretty darn good ones, too), but they also serve sandwiches, Banh Mi, burritos, nachos, quesadillas, and to top it off - delicious house made ice cream.
Yummmm. Now I’m hungry! What are some of your favorite, unique restaurants here in Iowa?