In Iowa, a great restaurant is just around the corner no matter where you are. When you find yourself looking for something to eat that will truly blow your tastebuds away, try any of these hole-in-the-wall restaurants that serve up deceivingly good meals in tiny, family-owned spots.
1. The Irish Shanti, Gunder
This tiny, road-trip worthy destination has been serving up their own Gunderburgers for decades. This enormous, juicy, cheesy burger was invented to give the town of Gunder a good name, and they've perfected their "fairy dust" burger seasoning. When you've got a big appetite and you don't mind a bit of a drive, head to the Irish Shanti for a must-have Iowa experience.
Address: 17455 Gunder Rd., Postville, IA 52162
2. Myers, Williamsburg
Myers is a family-owned rusty spoon in the cute town of Williamsburg. You can find delicious ribeyes, burgers, sandwiches, and breakfasts fit for a king! Everything here is made to order and you'll feel like part of the family when you dine here.
Address: 303 S Highland St., Williamsburg, IA 52361
3. Northwestern Steakhouse, Mason City
Northwestern Steakhouse is one of the most unique eateries in Iowa. Their steaks are all served greek-style: cooked in olive oil and infused with a blend of Greek spices. The result is a steak that's so tender, you don't even need a knife to cut it!
Address: 304 16th St. NW, Mason City, IA 50401
4. Big Dave and Holly's Le Claire
Big Dave and Holly's is a tiny kitchen in Le Claire where you can find one of the best tenderloins around. Load it with toppings or just eat it plain - either way you can't go wrong. While they lack the famous name and big, fancy storefront, the service at Big Dave and Holly's is what keeps people coming back again and again. Be sure to save room for ice cream!
Address: 1204 N Cody Rd., Le Claire, IA 52753
5. Sneaky's Chicken, Sioux City
One of the best fried chicken joints in the state is this tiny spot on the side of the road in Sioux City. Their fry is better than anything you've tried before! After one drumstick, you'll be hooked for life.
Address: 3711 Gordon Dr., Sioux City, IA 51106.
6. Taylor's Maid-Rite, Marshalltown
No list of Iowa hole-in-the-walls would be complete without adding Taylor's Maid-Rite in Marshalltown. Whatever you believe regading the origin of the Maid-Rite sandwich, there's little debate that the Marshalltown location is the place to get the best tavern in the state.
Address: Address: 106 S 3rd Ave., Marshalltown, IA 50158
7. George the Chili King, Des Moines
George the Chili King still serves up their signature hotdogs and burgers via carhops! This drive-in restaurant has been keeping residents of Des Moines happy since the 1950s.
Address: 5722 Hickman Rd., Des Moines, IA 50310
8. Bill's BBQ, Mason City
The best BBQ places are the tiny hole-in-the-wall spots, and this Iowa secret is so exception. Try their ribs for a culinary experience you won't soon forget.
Address: 215 S Madison Ave., Mason City, IA 50401
9. St Olaf Tap
St. Olaf Tap is a tiny tavern in a tiny down that has a big reputation for big tenderloins. The largest one in the state is served here! It's big enough to be served with four buns and can easily feed two. This Iowa secret is definitely worth tracking down!
Address: 106 S Main St., St Olaf, IA 52072
What’s your favorite secret Iowa restaurant that’s hiding in your town? Tell us in the comments below!