Take a look at our list of 10 of the best restaurants in Cedar Rapids, Iowa below and find a great place to eat with friends or family.
1. O’s Grill
First on our list is O’s Grill. What was initially a humble hot dog cart in 2009 has grown to create a brick-and-mortar shop and a food truck and has expanded the menu to meet demand. Now serving mouthwatering Mediterranean street food alongside their signature dogs, O’s is a Cedar Rapids Staple. O’s Grill is open from 11- 7 p.m. Monday-Saturday and is closed on Sunday.
The menu at O’s Grill is pretty simple. They focus on creating high-quality meals rather than speed – and it shows. They specialize in gyros, gyro platters, and gyro boxes (a to-go meal), along with classic Mediterranean eats like falafel, pita, hummus, and baklava for dessert. So give O’s Grill a chance – you won’t be disappointed.
Swing by the O’s Grill contact page to get in touch.
2. Cobble Hill Restaurant
It’s no secret that Cedar Rapids is small-town Americana at its best. But Cobble Hill Restaurant aims to fix that, bringing a taste of Brooklyn into Iowa. Taking inspiration from Brooklyn’s burgeoning food scene, Cobble Hill has created a rich and thriving gathering point for the community. Cobble Hill is open from 5-9 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday, from 5-9:30 p.m. Friday-Saturday, and is closed on Sunday-Monday. You can also swing by for social hours on weekdays from 4:30-6:30 p.m.
The menu at Cobble Hill pulls inspiration from several up-and-coming joints across one of America’s most thriving food scenes. As such, the menu is simultaneously eclectic, varying from Asian-inspired meals and Eastern European to Italian and French. The true highlight, though, is Cobble Hill’s spirit and cocktail menu, with aperitifs and desserts accompanied by top-notch liquors and spirits.
Head to Cobble Hill Restaurant’s contact page to reach out.
3. Lightworks Cafè
Lightworks Café is Cedar Rapids’ self-described “best cafe in the universe.” While that may seem like a touch of hyperbole, it may be closer to the truth than you know. Owners and brothers Nathan and Matthew Graham have created a locally and ethically from-scratch menu and paired it with single-origin coffee and tea. Lighthouse Café is open from 8-2 p.m. Thursday-Sunday and is closed Monday-Wednesday.
The menu at Lightworks Café is incredible. Each item is sourced with care, crafted in-house, and delivered with painstaking love to your table (and mouth). You’ll find pastries, light meals like overnight oats or parfaits, and hearty lunch meals. And for lunch, everything from burgers (both meaty and “Impossible”) and breakfast sandwiches to beignets and fries is just waiting for you.
Swing by Lightworks Cafè’s Facebook page to reach out.
4. The Map Room
The Map Room is another up-and-coming hipster-esque American gastropub. They’ve positioned themselves in an adorable little building, claiming to be the home of “explorers & adventurers, inquirers & observers,” and other creative folks. The Map Room is open from 11-9 p.m. Monday-Thursday, from 11-10 p.m. Friday-Saturday, and closed on Sunday.
The Map Room has two significant draws – an extensive tap and cocktail list and a hefty menu of burgers and fries. You can also grab naan-based flatbread “pizza,” sandwiches, and a drink from 32 taps of local beers. And if you’re in the mood for something more robust, grab a prohibition-inspired, constantly rotating house cocktail.
Head to The Map Room’s Facebook page for more information.
Brewheimia is a family-owned mainstay in Cedar Rapids’ New Bohemia District. This cafè is focused equally on serving top-notch drinks and ensuring each meal is worth remembering. They’ve become somewhat of a local brunch myth – so don’t miss out. Brewheimia is open from 8-2 p.m. Tuesday-Sunday and is closed on Sunday.
Their menu is quite simple. It consists of classic breakfast staples, such as breakfast sandwiches and burritos, (vegan) hash, quiche, and more. And for lunch, they serve classic, simple sandwiches, soups, and salads. The thirsty customers are those who will love Breheimia, though. From coffee and tea to a few brunch buzz-inducing sips, Breheimia is an excellent stop for breakfast or brunch.
Swing by Brewheimia’s contact page to get in touch.
6. Gianna’s Italian Beef
Gianna’s Italian Beef is a simple concept with a very clear vision – serve up the best east-coast Italian Beef sandwiches available in the Midwest. And, over the years, they’ve done precisely that – all in honor of the owner’s late daughter, Gianna Eve Hadjis. Gianna’s Italian Beef is open from 11-7 p.m. Monday-Friday and closed on weekends.
The menu at Gianna’s is wildly straightforward. There are six (yes, six) menu items: The Italian Beef & Sausage, the Chicago hot dog, classic Italian Beef, a grilled chicken sandwich, and fries. The last item is a kit for four, allowing you to make traditional Italian Beef wherever your heart desires, all while supporting a local mainstay.
Go to Gianna’s Italian Beef’s contact page to reach out.
7. Need Pizza
Need Pizza is named after the feeling we’ve all felt at some point in our lives. It’s been a long day, you’re exhausted, and you need only one thing – pizza. Need Pizza has you covered, serving up classic New Haven-style pies with creative toppings. Need is open from 11-9 p.m. Monday-Thursday, from 11-10 p.m. Friday-Saturday, and from 4-9 p.m. on Sunday.
For the uninformed, New Haven-style pizza is not your typical pie. It’s traditionally cooked in a charcoal oven, bringing a chewier and more charred texture and flavor, generally thinner than non-New York-style pies. Beyond pizza, Need has salads and over thirty beer taps just waiting for you.
Go to Need Pizza’s contact page to reach out.
8. Emil’s Hideaway
Emil’s Hideaway is a classic American eatery right in the heart of Cedar Rapids. The interior brings out memories of the Old Country you never experienced, and the meals evoke Sunday dinners at Grandma’s. In short, Emil’s Hideaway is an excellent stop for new-age American meals. They’re open from 4-11 p.m. Monday-Saturday and are closed on Sunday – though the kitchen closes at 9, so be warned.
The meals at Emil’s Hideaway are classic Italian at their best. From handmade creative pasta and starters to sandwiches, burgers, chicken entrees, and baby back ribs (on Wednesdays), there’s legitimately something here for everyone, no matter their taste. You can also grab a cocktail or beer from their extensive adult beverage menu.
Go to Emil’s Hideway’s contact page for more information.
9. Vivian’s Soul Food
Vivian’s Soul Food opened amid the pandemic and made the best of an overall terrible situation. They’ve earned community recognition for thinking creatively to ensure their customers could still eat their incredible food without risking their safety. Vivian’s Soul Food is open from 11-9 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday, from 11-10 p.m. Friday-Saturday, and from 12-8 p.m. on Sundays. Vivian’s is closed on Mondays.
The food at Vivian’s is, well, soul food – plain and simple. Each meal is inspired by classic southern American meals, from fried okra and Louisiana shrimp to wings, jerk chicken, and beef short ribs. You can also find fried catfish, red snapper, gumbo, and many other classics that really just can’t be missed.
Go to Vivan’s Soul Food’s Facebook page to get in touch.
10. Black Sheep Social Club
The final entry on our list is the Black Sheep Social Club. Dedicated to those who do things a bit differently, Black Sheep has earned love from the community for recreating classic Midwestern meals with a touch of modern flair. Black Sheep Social Club is open from 5-9 p.m. Monday-Thursday, from 5-10 p.m. Friday-Saturday, and closed on Sunday.
The meals at Black Sheep will all seem familiar but with a bit of a “facelift.” You’ll be able to devour burgers, sandwiches, duck fat fries, and prosciutto dip alongside steaks, a rack of lamb, and even snack on an entirely handmade dessert menu. In short, Black Sheep Social Club is an excellent stop for those seeking a taste of the more refined life.
Swing by Black Sheep Social Club’s contact page to reach out.