Do you want to grab some food at one of the best places to eat in Waterloo, Iowa? Check out the following 10 top restaurants in the city.
1. Capella Magna
Capella Magna is a simply incredible location. Capella Magna has created a fine-dining experience unlike any other in the Midwest in the world’s only faithful replica of the Sistine Chapel. They bring incredible food and top-notch ambiance to the table with every step. Capella Magna is open by reservation only seven days a week.
Traditionally, I’d spend this next paragraph extolling the virtues of Capella Magna’s menu. This time, however, I can’t do that – as their menu constantly changes in favor of the freshest and most seasonal ingredients possible. They serve a seven-course tasting menu (prix fixe) that’s equal parts creative art in its finest form and devilishly delicious.
Swing by Capella Magna’s reservation page to grab yourself a table.
2. Big Head Burger
And on the complete opposite end of the dining spectrum lies Big Head Burger. A mainstay in Waterloo for years now, Big Head serves up (you guessed it) juicy, massive burgers in a super-casual food truck environment. Big Head Burger is open from 11-9 p.m. Sunday-Friday and from 11-2 a.m. on Saturdays.
The menu at Big Head Burger is straightforward, seeing as it’s a food truck. But what they lack in the selection, they make up for in quality. They serve incredibly crisp fries and tasty, loaded smash burgers in numerous forms. And if you want something slightly different, they offer spicy chicken wings and housemade milkshakes – what are you waiting for? Get going!
Go to Big Head Burger’s Facebook page to get in touch.
3. Pick Up N Go Soul Food
Pick Up N Go Soul Food is a new name in the Waterloo food scene. They serve loads of soul food in classic southern fashion, keeping the service friendly and prompt. While they may not be as large of a name as others in this list, Pick Up N Go is quickly earning a reputation for excellence. Pick Up N Go Soul Food is open from 11-10 p.m. Monday-Thursday, from 11-2 a.m. on Fridays, 11-1 a.m. on Saturdays, and 11-7 p.m. on Sundays.
Pick Up N Go serves simple food full of soul and love. They have something for everyone, from collard greens, mac n’ cheese, and cornbread to ribs, chicken, fries, and burgers. The menu is ultimately an ode to southern cooking, chock-full of meaty, hearty classics that are ultimately some of the best eats you’ll get in Waterloo.
Swing by Pick Up N Go Soul Food’s Facebook page for more information.
4. Taqueria Los Reyes
Taqueria Los Reyes is classic, family-owned, authentic Mexican food at its finest. While there are plenty of Tex-Mex joints in Waterloo, finding truly traditional Mexican fare is a rare thing in the Midwest – and why Taqueria Los Reyes made it onto the list. Taqueria Los Reyes is open from 10:30-7 p.m. Tuesday-Friday, from 11-6 p.m. on Saturdays, and is closed Sunday-Monday.
The menu at Taqueria Los Reyes is simply superb. They serve tacos, burritos, and tortas (Mexican sandwiches/paninis) in countless forms, each chock-full of fresh produce. Juicy spiced meat and citrus are paired with produce that’s mouthwateringly delicious. And for the… less adventurous eaters, they offer “American” tacos – just in case you’re not ready for a dive into Flavortown.
Go to Taqueria Los Reyes’ Facebook page to reach out.
5. Simply Yummy Baking Company
Simply Yummy Baking Company is a hidden treasure in Waterloo’s Isle Casino Hotel, nestled away from public view. While they may not be the most well-known bakery in town, they’re aptly named, serving up simple yet delicious baked goods in countless forms. Simply Yummy is open from 8-10 p.m. seven days a week.
The menu at Simply Yummy is quite, well, simple. They offer top-notch coffee and tea (both hot and iced), slushies, and a few essential snacks. You’ll find housemade breakfast sandwiches served atop home-baked muffins, personal pizzas, soft pretzels, and donuts, among other baked offerings.
Head to the Isle Casino Hotel contact page to inquire about Simply Yummy Baking Company.
6. D&K Hickory House Restaurant
D&K Hickory House Restaurant is a classic Iowan BBQ joint. They’ve established a reputation for excellent customer service, alongside a knack for smoking up the most tender ribs you’ll ever taste. D&K Hickory House is open from 4:30-8 p.m. Thursday-Saturday and closed Sunday-Wednesday.
The menu at D&K is exactly what you’d expect from a carnivore’s dream restaurant. Ribs, fried chicken (whole, part, or select cuts), massive steaks, and burgers are the primary offerings, but you’ll also find seafood at D&K! Shrimp, pike, halibut, cod, and more are equally present, served in their crispiest, flakiest forms. The next time you’re craving homestyle BBQ, D&K Hickory House should be your first call.
Go to the D&K Hickory House Facebook page to get in touch.
Morg’s is a classic Iowan diner at its best. The exterior is plain and uninviting, but the interior evokes memories of your favorite childhood greasy spoon. And the food – oh, their breakfast is something to cherish. Ultimately, Morg’s is a top-notch stop for classic American breakfast, no matter how you cut it. Morg’s is open from 6-2 p.m. Monday-Friday and from 6-1 p.m. Saturday-Sunday.
Morg’s menu is exactly what you’d expect from a beloved breakfast diner. Omelets and scrambles accompany pancakes and French toast for breakfast, along with gravy-covered biscuits, toast, crispy bacon, and hashbrowns. And for lunch, you’ll find sandwiches, soups, salads, and burgers, among other tasty offerings.
Swing by Morg’s Facebook page to reach out.
Flip’s is a classic comfort food stop in Waterloo. They have a similar offering to Pick Up N Go, though their focus is primarily on tenderloins, rib tips, rib sandwiches, and burgers. They occupy a small, cozy space that’s been livened up with fairy lights and plenty of room and deserve recognition for the quality of service on offer. Flip’s is open from 11-9 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday and closed Sunday-Monday.
The menu at Flip’s is simple yet highly refined. Ribs and sandwiches are the main offerings, with numerous forms of each. You’ll find chicken, pulled pork, tenderloin, and (boneless) rib sandwiches alongside burgers, fried okra and chicken, and all your favorite childhood soul food sides. Ultimately, Flip’s is the best stop after a long day where you just need to eat and decompress for a moment.
Head to Flip’s Facebook page to learn more.
9. Your Pie Pizza
Your Pie Pizza is a rapidly growing pizza chain with over fifty locations across the United States. One of the first places they saw true success was in Iowa, specifically in their Waterloo location. They’re known for serving innovative pizzas with incredibly fresh ingredients and have done quite well for themselves over the past years. Your Pie Waterloo is open from 11-8 p.m. seven days a week.
The menu at Your Pie is something else. While they obviously serve your favorite thin-crust classics like pepperoni, Hawaiian, or simple cheese pizzas, that’s not what they’re known for. Creative pies like the prosciutto and peach pizza bring out some incredible flavors you wouldn’t initially think would work but somehow always do. Give Your Pie a try the next time you’re feeling a bit adventurous.
Go to Your Pie Pizza’s corporate contact page to get in touch.
10. Greenhouse Kitchen – Waterloo
We saved the best for last with this entry – Greenhouse Kitchen is something truly unique. They’re a genuinely local, chef-owned and operated fast-casual joint with a clear focus on delivering fresh culinary excellence in every bite. Greenhouse Kitchen has two locations; their Waterloo location is open from 11-8 p.m. Monday-Saturday and closed on Sundays.
Each menu item at Greenhouse kitchen is ethically and sustainably sourced from local farmers and ranchers, ensuring each bite is perfect. Whether you’re an omnivore, vegan, vegetarian, or gluten-free, there’s something here for everyone. They offer wraps, rice and poke bowls, salads, burritos, and more. So, if you want to support a truly local endeavor, Greenhouse Kitchen is an excellent (and healthy) stop.
Go to Greenhouse Kitchen’s Facebook page to reach out.