Dining January 21, 2020
10 Famous Restaurants In Iowa That Are So Worth Waiting In Line For
Iowa is full of incredible restaurants, and new ones are opening throughout the state every day. While it’s fun to try something new, sometimes you just want to enjoy a classic restaurant. If you’re looking for Midwestern comfort food, head to any of the famous Iowa restaurants and you’re sure to have a great meal. Just don’t be surprised if you’re not the only one who had the same idea!
We’re aware that these uncertain times are limiting many aspects of life. While we continue to feature destinations that make our state wonderful, please take proper precautions or add them to your bucket list to see at a later date. If you know of a local business that could use some extra support during these times, please nominate them here:
1. Hickory Park, Ames
Hickory Park is a legendary smokehouse that practically invented BBQ. Stop in for a burger, some ribs, pulled pork, or brisket and your tastebuds will be so happy. Don't forget to save room for an old-fashioned ice cream sundae.
2. Iowa River Power Restaurant, Coraville
Iowa River Power Restaurant is always packed at dinner time while Iowans enjoy a great meal with a view! Their Sunday Prime Rib Brunch Buffet has made this restored power plant one of the most famous restaurants in Iowa and you'll want to have a reservation to guarantee your spot. Otherwise, you might be waiting for a long while.
3. The General Store Pub, Anamosa
The riverfront General Store Pub can get super busy when the weather is nice and everyone wants to dine out on the patio. Even if you have to wait for your table, it's worth it. Dig into classic comfort food like cheeseburgers and breaded pork tenderloins and you'll feel right at home.
4. Bluff Lake Catfish Farm, Maquoketa
Bluff Lake Catfish Farm is one of the most scenic restaurants in Iowa. Good thing, too — because it's likely that you'll have to wait for your table if you stop by on a busy night. Their signature endless fried catfish is one of the most popular meals in the state! That's okay, though, you can browse their charming shop and enjoy scenic waterfall views while you wait.
5. Butch's River Rock Cafe, Mt. Pleasant
Butch's River Rock Cafe is tucked away on a back road that makes it tricky to track down — yet somehow, there's always a crowd here. While Iowans treat Butch's like a best-kept secret, the word got out, and now the Cafe is packed when the weather is nice. Their Midwestern comfort food is so worth the wait!
6. Fong's Pizza, Multiple Locations
Fong Pizza is a famous Iowa restaurant that's known for its unique blend of Chinese food and, well, pizza. It's a popular spot for celebrations and gets crowded on the weekends, so work time into your plans for a little bit of a wait.
7. Hamburg Inn No. 2, Iowa City
The Hamburg Inn No. 2 is a famous Iowa restaurant that's known for their enormous portions. Visit for breakfast, but be prepared to wait for your table. If you stop by at lunch or dinner time, you might find a smaller crowd. Be sure to save room for some of their iconic pie.
8. Canteen Lunch in the Alley, Ottumwa
Canteen Lunch in the Alley is a tiny counter-serve restaurant that's packed at lunchtime! The service is quick and the iconic taverns are always perfectly made, which helps this tiny restaurant with a handful of stools feed a crowd.
9. Unkie's, Thor
Unkie's Entertainer is a top destination for prime rib fans. They don't take reservations, so be ready to wait for this melt-in-your-mouth meal if you arrive at peak dinner time.
10. Northwestern Steakhouse, Mason City
Northwestern Steakhouse is located on the outskirts of Mason City. This Greek-style steakhouse serves up outrageously tasty cuts of beef, but it's a small spot that's often crowded. Any wait is so worth it after your first bite of their mouthwatering steaks.
Have you dined at these iconic Iowa restaurants? Tell us your favorite spots in the comments below!
For more dining suggestions in the Hawkeye State, read
The 14 Restaurants You’ll Want To Eat At In Iowa In 2020 and start checking them off of your list! Address: 1404 S Duff Ave, Ames, IA 50010, USA Address: 501 1st Ave, Coralville, IA 52241, USA Address: 12612 Stone City Rd, Anamosa, IA 52205, USA Address: 9301 95th Ave, Maquoketa, IA 52060, USA Address: 1529 253rd St, Mt Pleasant, IA 52641, USA Address: 223 4th St, Des Moines, IA 50309, USA Address: 214 N Linn St, Iowa City, IA 52245, USA Address: 112 2nd St E, Ottumwa, IA 52501, USA Address: 222 N Ann St, Thor, IA 50591, USA Address: 304 16th St NW, Mason City, IA 50401, USA