If you need a handy list of the best restaurants in Ankeny, IA to browse through, take a look at the selection of top places to eat in the city below.
1. Flavory Bistro
Flavory Bistro is an Iowan ode to the flavors of the Mediterranean. Opened in 2016 by owners Hector and Lisa Morales, Flavory has established a reputation for crafting flavorful food into genuine art. Flavory Bistro is open from 11-3 p.m. and 5-8:30 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday, from 11-2 p.m. on Sundays, and is closed on Mondays.
Flavory is the self-described “Home of the Paella,” and they’ve earned that title. The menu is chock-full of countless Greek, Italian, and Middle Eastern favorites, from hummus and gyros to pasta, paella, paninis, and more. For dessert, you’ll find homemade baklava, crepes, and bavarian cream pies, alongside gluten-free cookies and chocolate cake.
Swing by Flavory Bistro’s contact page to learn more.
2. Portofino’s Italian Restaurant & Pizza
We’ve actually covered Portofino’s Italian Restaurant & Pizza in the past! They made our list of the top ten best restaurants in Iowa, and they’ve absolutely maintained supremacy on our more local Ankeny-based list. Portofino’s is open from 11-9 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday, from 11-10 p.m. Friday-Saturday, and from 11-9 p.m. on Sundays. Portofino’s is closed on Mondays.
The menu at Portofino’s is classic Italian at its best. As the name implies, you’ll find loads of crispy, greasy pizza pies here, though they have quite a bit more to offer. Housemade soups, incredibly flavorful appetizers, and lovingly-crafted sauces and pasta are accompanied by all of the usual veal, chicken, and seafood dishes you’d expect from an authentic Italian joint.
Head to Portofino’s Italian Restaurant and Pizza’s contact page to reach out.
3. Main St. Cafe & Bakery
Main St. Cafe and Bakery is a new name in Ankeny’s food scene that’s developed a good bit of buzz over the past couple of years. They’re (as implied by the name) a quaint bakery focused on easy, quick meals, tasty baked goods, and friendly service. Main St. Cafe and Bakery is open from 6-9 p.m. seven days a week.
The menu on offer at Main St. is quite simple, but it’s for the best. They offer a small collection of simple breakfasts and lunches, each loaded with flavor and, importantly, at a reasonable price. The paninis, sandwiches, soups, and pasta they serve are each made with care and love, and it shows – while the food may be simple, it’s made with passion and dedication to excellence.
Go to Main St. Cafe & Bakery’s Facebook page to get in touch.
4. TrailSide Tap
TrailSide Tap is another favorite for Ankeny locals. Located directly next to the High Trestle Trail, they’ve positioned themselves as the one-stop-shop for drinks, live music, and snacks with friends after a lovely walk along the trail. TrailSide Tap is closed Monday-Tuesday and is open from 11-9 p.m. Wednesday-Thursday, from 11-9:30 p.m. on Fridays, and from 9-9:30 p.m. on Saturday, closing a half-hour earlier on Sundays.
TrailSide Tap’s menu is simple, yet chock-full of delicious eats. Breakfast lovers rejoice! Their breakfast sandwiches, donuts, pancakes, and French toast are local favorites, and the lunch and dinner offerings are no different. The other menus are classic gastropub fare – burgers, deep-fried cheese curds and potatoes alike, and countless creative specials that rotate consistently.
Swing by TrailSide Tap’s Facebook page to reach out.
5. The Outside Scoop
The Outside Scoop is a standout on this list, and one that I’ve been super excited to highlight. While we’ll occasionally cover a bakery or small location with great dessert, there are few opportunities to support everyone’s favorite ice cream shop! The Outside Scoop serves gourmet ice cream from 12-10 p.m. seven days a week.
The menu is, unsurprisingly, filled with creamy sweet scoops of deliciousness! While the flavors rotate consistently, that’s a good thing – it’s because they’re made by hand in small batches to ensure the best possible taste. The twelve usual include berry, cookie dough, vanilla, chocolate, and more – though the highlights are the rotating specials. Give The Outside Scoop a try the next time you’re melting alive on a hot August day.
Head to The Outside Scoop’s Facebook page to learn more.
6. The Crafty Mac
The Crafty Mac is an exceptionally unique restaurant on this list for one reason – it’s a ghost kitchen. For the unaware, Ghost Kitchens (described here) are delivery-only restaurants with no physical location for customers. They offer excellent food for delivery with lower waiting times and better prices, earning quite a bit of popularity over the years. Crafty Mac is open for delivery from 11-7 p.m. Wednesday-Sunday and is closed Monday-Tuesday.
The menu at Crafty Mac is, unsurprisingly, absolutely loaded with gourmet mac n’ cheese. From a “Macritto” (mac n’ cheese burrito) to mac bowls, there’s something here for every cheese lover in Iowa. In equal numbers, you’ll find chicken pot pie, Philly cheesesteak mac bowls, and little nuggets of deep-fried cheesy goodness.
Go to The Crafty Mac’s online ordering page to get a taste.
7. The Ornery Chicken
And we have yet another ghost/virtual kitchen on the list! The Ornery Chicken is a pickup and delivery-only restaurant that serves crispy, juicy chicken in all its best forms. They’ve built a reputation for incredible speed coupled with delicious, reasonably-priced meals and are well-deserving of a visit any time of day. The Ornery Chicken is open for curbside pickup and delivery only from 11-7 p.m. Wednesday-Sunday and closed Monday-Tuesday.
The Ornery Chicken’s menu is (shocking, I know) loaded with nothing but chicken in numerous forms. You’ll find sandwiches, including their take on a club to a classic Nashville hot chicken and loads of tenders and wings. Additionally, those who want to eat more health-consciously have (a few) options, such as wraps and street tacos. With all said and done, The Ornery Chicken knows how to cook our favorite bird in every finger-lickingly delicious manner possible.
Swing by The Ornery Chicken’s Facebook page to reach out.
8. Tropical Smoothie Cafe
Tropical Smoothie Cafe is a franchised cafe dedicated to serving healthy, fresh eats to locals, and they’ve earned quite a following for it. While smoothies are clearly the focus, you’ll also find their sandwiches, salads, and breakfast bites are equally delicious and fresh. Tropical Smoothie Cafe is open from 7-9 p.m. Monday-Friday, from 8-9 p.m. on Saturdays, and from 10-8 p.m. on Sundays.
The menu is, as previously mentioned, health-centric. As such, you’ll find loads of salads, wraps, and sandwiches created to help customers watch caloric intake while still feeling filled. You’ll be able to munch on salads, wraps, grilled sandwiches, and more to accompany that fresh, fruity smoothie. So give Tropical Smoothie Cafe a try – you deserve it.
Head to Tropical Smoothie Cafe’s contact page to reach out.
9. Alohana Hawaiian Grill
Alohana Hawaiian Grill is Polynesian food at its best, no matter how you cut it. They’re known for serving up classic Hawaiian meals with friendliness, speed, and care, and it shows. Rice, fruit, and traditional Hawaiian BBQ are equally present, urging customers to open wide and order up. Alohana Hawaiian Grill is open from 10-8 p.m. Monday-Saturday and from 11-3 p.m. on Sundays.
Alohana’s menu is quite simple. It consists of chicken, beef, pork, and seafood, each served alongside a bed of rice, coming in countless flavors. Kalua pork, Hawaiian short ribs, and more are ever-present, but the true highlights are things you can’t get on the mainland, like Loco Moco (gravy, rice, egg, and meat – it’s divine) and Spam musubi. If you’re craving a taste of the Islands, Alohana is your best path forward.
Head to Alohana Hawaiian Grill’s Facebook page to get in touch.
10. Uptown Food & Beverage Co.
And finally, we make it to Uptown Food & Beverage Co. They’re a simple business in an unassuming building that serves classic American eats with no frills. If you want a simple meal eaten in a welcoming, small-town environment, Uptown is your best bet. Uptown Food & Beverage Co. is open from11-10 p.m. Monday-Thursday, from 11-11 p.m. Friday-Saturday, and is closed on Sundays.
The food at Uptown Food & Beverage Co is, simply put, classic and basic food for people who favor the simple things in life. Burgers, fries, and sandwiches accompany pasta and pizzas, ensuring every customer has a plate at Uptown. Whether you want something that feels like home or evokes Sunday dinners at Nonna’s, Uptown is sure to please.
Swing by Uptown Food & Beverage Co’s contact page to learn more.