When you think of food so good it should be illegal, your mind may conjure images of elaborate restaurants with white table cloths, a big fancy kitchen and an expensive menu. These 11 Iowa eateries prove that isn’t always the case. Foodies from all over the state love the eats served up at these unsuspecting restaurants. Check them out now.
1. Canteen Lunch In The Alley - Ottumwa
The Canteen Lunch may not look like much on the outside -- or the inside -- but their famous loose ground beef burger steals the show at this small eatery in Ottumwa. They've been filling tummies in these parts since 1936. Located at 112 2nd St E, Ottumwa, IA 52501.
2. Azzolina's Pizza - Clear Lake
It clearly says right on the window that it's a hole in the wall, but don't think for a second that the food matches the description. From traditional Sicilian cuisine like this Ziti and Meatball dish, to pizzas like mom used to make (if Mom's Italian, that is...) this place rocks. You'll find them at 425 Main Ave, Clear Lake, IA 50428.
3. Myer's Grill & Catering - Williamsburg
When you first get to this out of the way eatery, you may think you're in the wrong place because the main entrance is a little obscure. But you are in the right place. Go in and order a meal that'll have you talking about it for days! Located on the corner at 303 S Highland St, Williamsburg, IA 52361.
4. Big Dave and Holly's - Leclaire
The sign out front touts "Tenderloins, Ice Cream & More." Most folks in these parts will tell you Big Dave and Holly's is the place to eat and that you "have to get the tenderloin." And then your tummy will tell you to get the ice cream after. It's truly a win-win at Big Dave and Holly's. They're located at 1204 N Cody Rd, Le Claire, IA 52753.
5. Suzie-Q Cafe - Mason City
This teeny tiny diner is famous for their huge tenderloin sandwich, but they have other yummy options on a menu that just may be bigger than the whole restaurant. The inside seating encourages new friendships and the outside seating offers fresh air. Located at 14 2nd St NW, Mason City, IA 50401.
6. Ortho Pub - Ortho
Wow. You wouldn't think it, but just LOOK at the size of and how beautiful that giant hashbrown cake is. "Oh, I'll have a side of burger on a bun with all the fixin's with my hashbrown, please." Get yours too at Ortho Pub located at 200 Sun St, Otho, IA 50569.
7. Smitty’s Tenderloin Shop - Des Moines
Smitty's claims to have the "Original King Tenderloin." It IS pretty big. Next time you're in Des Moines pop over and see for yourself. It looks delish! Located at 1401 Army Post Rd, Des Moines, IA 50315.
8. That Place - Conrad
Head over to IA 14 to the most unassuming steakhouse you'll ever find. Yet, That Place has the biggest and best steaks and chops you'll find in these parts. That Place is located at 33030 G Ave, Conrad, IA 50621.
9. Sneaky's Chicken - Sioux City
If you're craving fried chicken that's (shhhh) better than Mom used to make, Sneaky's in Sioux City is the place to go. Just looking at this chicken makes my mouth start to water! They're located at 3711 Gordon Dr, Sioux City, IA 51106.
10. Bill's BBQ - Mason City
This place is tiny but the BBQ has soul. Try the "Sloppy Bill" shown here! Delish! They're located at 215 S Madison Ave, Mason City, IA 50401.
11. Bombfire Pizza - Sabula
It's worth a trip to the small river enclave of Sabula JUST to eat at this iconic pizza joint. The inside decor is eclectic and almost a mesmerizing as the pizza creations they dish up. Yum. Located at 516 Pearl St, Sabula, IA 52070.
Have you tried any of these unsuspecting Iowa restaurants? We’d love to hear about your experiences in our comments!