If you’re searching for a list of the best restaurants in Ames, Iowa, let us help you. Below we’ve featured 10 of the finest places to eat in the city.
1. The Mucky Duck Pub
The Mucky Duck Pub is an all-inclusive joint for people of all walks of life that want nothing more than a fresh pint and tasty eats. Modeled after traditional English pubs, The Mucky Duck is equal parts inviting and cozy. The Mucky Duck is open from 11-11 p.m. Sunday-Thursday, 11-12 a.m. on Fridays, and from 8-12 p.m. on Saturdays.
The menu at The Mucky Duck is simple pub fare, but it’s excellent nonetheless. They boast some of the best fish and chips you’ll get this side of the pond, and serve several English, Irish, and Welsh classics. Whether you’re looking for tea and scones, crumpets, sausage rolls, or a full English breakfast, The Mucky Duck has you sorted.
Swing by The Mucky Duck Pub’s contact page for more information.
2. Downtown Deli
Downtown Deli is a simple business with a simple name. The community in Ames has come to love the joint for its simplicity, reasonable prices, and hefty servings – though it’s been a long time coming. Opened in 1982, Downtown Deli is a longstanding name in this Iowan community. Downtown Deli is open from 10-7 p.m. Monday-Friday, from 10-5 p.m. on Saturdays, and is closed on Sundays.
The menu (unsurprisingly) consists of classic American deli fare. You’ll find sandwiches (both hot and cold) loaded with excellent deli meat, delicious cheese, and juicy produce. You can also grab a salad or soup, though the dessert menu is the true hero. With each pie and sweet treat made by hand daily, there’s no way you’ll feel anything but love for Downtown Deli.
Head to Downtown Deli’s Facebook page to get in touch.
3. Aunt Maude’s
Aunt Maude’s is another hometown name in Ames. Since 1975, they’ve served superb food in a relaxed, casual setting with top-notch service. Each menu item is prepared with care, and each interaction with the staff is a joy – in short, Aunt Maude’s is deserving of local love. Aunt Maude’s is open for lunch from 11-2 p.m. Monday-Friday and closed on the weekend. Their dinner service runs from 5-9 p.m. Monday-Saturday, and they’re closed on Sunday.
The menu is somewhat eclectic, but it finds a way to work. Menu items vary from bruschetta and truffle fries to pilaf or adobada-style steak, with each taking influence from another corner of the globe. One day you’ll eat classic western European fare, and the next, it’ll be a Latin or Asian-inspired dish absolutely bursting with flavor.
Go to Aunt Maude’s contact page to reach out.
4. The Cafe
While the name is simple, Ames’ The Cafe has earned the simplistic title through labor and love. They’ve been a staple in the community for over two decades, bringing farm-to-table, truly local meals to the table. Additionally, they’ve developed a remarkable reputation for their bread, too – which is fresh-baked daily. The Cafe is open from 7-8 p.m. Monday-Thursday, from 7-9 p.m. Friday-Saturday, and 7-2 p.m. on Sundays.
The menu is simple at The Cafe, consisting of local, fresh meals made with simple ingredients. Whether you want a deli sandwich made on house-baked bread, a juicy burger (veggie or meat), or something more adventurous like Asian sticky ribs, The Cafe is an excellent stop for any meal.
Head to The Cafe’s Facebook page to learn more.
5. Cornbread BBQ
Cornbread BBQ is a much-needed entry on this list. While Iowa may not be known for its BBQ, that’s not to say there aren’t people doing it right – and Cornbread BBQ is one of them. What began as a group of friends cooking out of a backyard smoker has become a beloved name in the Ames food scene. Cornbread BBQ is open from 11-9 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday, from 11-10 p.m. Friday-Saturday, and from 10-3 p.m. on Sundays. Cornbread BBQ is closed on Mondays.
The menu at Cornbread BBQ is rather in the name, isn’t it? The daily menu consists of (you guessed it) cornbread and BBQ in multiple forms. Beef, catfish, turkey, pork, and more are all constantly present on the menu; each served in its best form. And if you’re feeling a bit nostalgic for the south, grab a bite of fried okra and pig candy.
Swing by Cornbread BBQ’s Facebook page to learn more.
6. El Azteca
El Azteca is a business that’s built a reputation for serving authentic Mexican cuisine in an upscale and genuinely gorgeous building. With over a decade of time in the Ames food scene, El Azteca is undoubtedly one of (if not the) best Mexican joints in Ames. El Azteca is open from 11-9 p.m. seven days a week.
El Azteca’s food is unique while retaining what makes its roots so universally beloved. They serve Mexican fare with flair, serving countless classics (tacos, enchiladas, chile Relleno, etc.) alongside regional favorites such as Chori-Pollo (chorizo & chicken with cheese dip), Pollo al Chipotle, and more. Give El Azteca a try the next time you’re craving top-notch Latin food.
Head to El Azteca’s contact page for more information.
7. The Great Plains Sauce & Dough Co.
The Great Plains Sauce & Dough Co. is one of Ames’ most beloved institutions. They’ve served pizza to locals since 1979 and have built an excellent reputation for greasy pies, friendly staff, and a welcoming ambiance. Ultimately, they’re the go-to pizza joint in Ames. The Great Plains Sauce & Dough Co. is open from 11-11 p.m. seven days a week.
The Great Plains Sauce & Dough Co. obviously focuses on pizza – it’s in the name, after all. Importantly, though, their highlight is the fact that they’re able to create multiple styles of pizza crust, from Denver and Idaho to New Orleans or rolled-oat. While the pies themselves are mostly the same, it’s the crust that earned Great Plains a spot on this list.
Head to The Great Plains Sauce & Dough Co.’s Facebook page to get in touch.
8. Flame & Skewer
Flame & Skewer is something rather unique in Ames. They’re a Greek family-owned steakhouse that brings classic Greek fare into an intersection with American steakhouse favorites – and it’s a hit. Flame & Skewer is open from 11-2 p.m., from 5-8 p.m. Monday-Saturday, and from 11-2 p.m. on Sundays.
Flame & Skewer, as mentioned above, serves a rather eclectic assortment of food. From fried hot wings and crispy mushrooms or cheese balls to salads and gyros, the food is certainly varied. And best of all, each plate brings farm-fresh, lovingly made food to your table without fail. Give Flame & Skewer a try on your next night out – you won’t regret it.
Go to Flame & Skewer’s Facebook page to learn more.
9. Cafe Beaudelaire
Cafe Beaudelaire’s name may be misleading, but their food is to die for. I say this because, despite the French name, Cafe Beaudelaire serves Brazilian fare in one of the only Brazilian eateries in Iowa. If that’s not unique enough to catch your eye – I don’t know what is. Cafe Beaudelaire is open from 4-10 p.m. on Mondays, from 10:30-10 p.m. Tuesday-Wednesday, and from 10:30-12 a.m. Thursday-Friday. Cafe Beaudelaire is open from 9:30-12 a.m. on Saturdays and from 9:30-10 p.m. on Sundays.
For those unfamiliar with Brazilian fare, the menu is truly something else. Empanadas and fries are ever-present alongside their yucca counterparts, as are multiple lesser-known Brazilian meals, such as sandwiches, salads, and even the occasional breakfast on weekends! In short, Cafe Beaudelaire is an excellent stop for some warm, filling fare.
Go to Cafe Beaudelair’s contact page for more information.
10. Dublin Bay Irish Pub & Grill
And last on our list is Dublin Bay Irish Pub & Grill. They’re a small joint dedicated to recreating the warmth and coziness of Irish pubs, and they’ve built a name as a dependable stop to relax, no matter the time of day. Dublin Bay Irish Pub & Grill is open from 11-10 p.m. Monday-Saturday and is temporarily closed on Sundays.
Dublin Bay serves several American bar classics along with several imported beers to truly set the scene. While Dublin Bay has the classic soda bread, bangers and mash, and a handful of other Irish meals, they also offer classic American bar eats; burgers, salads, sandwiches, and more are equally present. Give Dublin Bay a try the next time you want a nice, cozy pint with a tasty snack.
Swing by Dublin Bay Irish Pub & Grill’s contact page to reach out.