Iowa May 12, 2018
These 8 Small Town Iowa Restaurants Will Serve You The Best Meal Of Your Life
Some of Iowa’s favorite restaurants are hiding in our charming small towns, serving up food so good that you won’t believe there isn’t a line out the door. Next time you’re looking for a tasty meal in a new-to-you setting, hit the road and visit one of these local legends.
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. Northside Cafe, Winterset
This old-fashioned counter restaurant serves up incredible burgers, tenderloins, and other classic American meals. From the time you walk in and choose your seat along the ledge or in a comfy booth, you'll feel right at home in this charming cafe.
Address: 61 E Jefferson St., Winterset, IA 50273
2. Breitbach's Country Dining, Balltown
Breitbach's Country Dining is Iowa's oldest restaurant! Though it has burned down in the past, the community came together to be sure this legend stays around. Try a tasty tenderloin for the most authentic Iowa experience there is.
Learn a little more about Breitbach's here
Address: 563 Balltown Rd., Sherrill, IA 52073
3. St. Olaf Tap, St. Olaf
You'll find the largest tenderloins in Iowa right here, in this small town pub. Don't think they're just a gimmick, though - St. Olaf Tap is consistently at the top of the best tenderloin in Iowa lists!
Address: 106 S Main St., St Olaf, IA 52072
4. Archie's Waeside, Le Mars
Archie's has been an Iowa favorite for generations, but when the restaurant won a James Beard Foundation Award, it threw the tiny town of Le Mars into the spotlight! These dry-aged steaks are some of the best you'll find in a state that really knows how to cook a steak.
Address: 224 4th Ave. NE, Le Mars, IA 51031
5. Bluff Lake Catfish Farm, Maquoketa
Bluff Lake Catfish Farm started off as a small stocked lake, and now it's one of the top dining destinations in the state! Enjoy their delicious all-you-can-eat feast nights and fill up on the freshest catfish around.
Read about Bluff Lake's interesting history, right here
Address: 9343 95th Ave., Maquoketa, IA 52060
6. Butch's River Rock Cafe, Mt. Pleasant
Enjoy a hearty burger, a crispy tenderloin, or some fresh fish at this middle-of-nowhere joint near the Skunk River. It's way off the beaten path, but completely worth the extra miles for some amazing, homemade food.
Address: 1529 253rd St., Mt Pleasant, IA 52641
7. The General Store Pub, Stone City.
This cool spot on the Wapsi is home to my favorite tenderloin in the state. It's enormous, crispy, tender and juicy all at once! If you're dining here, be sure to start with their big tackle box appetizer and try Wapsi shrimp yourself.
Address: 12612 Stone City Rd, Anamosa, IA 52205
8. Canteen Lunch in the Alley, Ottumwa
This long-standing Iowa favorite is a great spot to grab a loose meat sandwich that's seasoned just the way they should be. Their burgers, salads and specials are also delicious, and you'll love the historic, old-school building, too!
Address: 112 2nd St. E., Ottumwa, IA 52501
What’s your favorite small town spot in Iowa? Do you think your local pub makes the best tenderloins in the world? Tell us in the comments below!