If you’re hungry and want to eat out, we’re here to help. Below we’ve featured 10 of the best restaurants in Iowa City, IA.
1. Crêpes De Luxe Cafe
Crêpes De Luxe Cafe is something that isn’t often seen in the Midwest – a restaurant dedicated entirely to the refined French craft of creating crêpes. Each dish is served with the freshest, healthiest, and most local produce possible – and it shows. Crêpes De Luxe Cafe is open from 11-2 and 5-9 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday, from 10-4 p.m. on Sunday, and is closed on Monday.
The menu at Crêpes De Luxe is pretty straightforward – it’s all crêpes, baby! Savory eats with feta, dried cranberries, sundried tomatoes, spinach, pesto, and chicken are great for lunch, but there are brunch and breakfast ones, too. You’ll find fruity, sweet crêpes, innovative takes on the traditional style, and countless tasty French snacks.
Go to Crêpes De Luxe Cafe’s Facebook page to reach out.
2. Orchard Green Restaurant and Lounge
Orchard Green Restaurant and Lounge is Iowa City’s premier fine dining stop. They specialize in modern American meals with fresh Mediterranean takes and inspiration alongside excellent wine. Orchard Green Restaurant and Lounge are open from 5-9 p.m. Sunday-Thursday and 5-10 p.m. Friday-Saturday.
The menu at Orchard Green is focused on serving the absolute best possible meal every time. Entrees, appetizers, and desserts alike each boast fresh flavors and experimental Greek-American takes on beloved classics. You’ll find seafood, poultry, steak, and pasta dishes along with more delicate risotto and vegetarian options.
Swing by Orchard Green’s Facebook page to learn more.
3. Trumpet Blossom Cafe
Trumpet Blossom Cafe is a unique entry on this list for one reason – it’s a vegan joint! While my more carnivorous readers may object, the truth of the matter is that plant-based food is just as good (if not better) than traditional “meat and potatoes” style plates. Trumpet Blossom Cafe is open from 11-8 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday, 11-9 p.m. Friday-Saturday, and closed Sunday-Monday.
While dine-in is undoubtedly the primary goal at Trumpet Blossom, they offer a tremendous deli-style takeout menu for those who want to munch from the couch. The in-house meals consist of wraps, burgers, salads, fries, and soups, each made with entirely vegan ingredients. And for the gluten intolerant out there, Trumpet Blossom’s entire lunch and dinner menus can be made gluten-free (with four exceptions).
Go to Trumpet Blossom Cafe’s contact page for more information.
4. Her Soup Kitchen
Her Soup Kitchen is a family-owned-and-operated joint dedicated to affordable, healthy, and filling seasonal dining. They opened in 2009, intending to feed everyone who needs it with local, seasonal, and sustainably harvested produce. Her Soup Kitchen is open from 11-2 p.m. Tuesday-Friday and is closed Saturday-Monday.
Unsurprisingly, the menu at Her Soup Kitchen primarily features soup in multiple forms. Filling sandwiches and salads are familiar mainstays here, but the true heart of the operation is the daily-made soup du jour. Each bowl is crafted with love and attention, evoking the feeling of comfort and safety – so give Her Soup Kitchen a try on your next grey-skied Iowan day.
Head to Her Soup Kitchen’s contact page to reach out.
5. Nodo Downtown
Nodo Downtown is one of two Nodo locations in Iowa City, with the other in IC’s Northside. They’re known for tasty coffee and drinks, fresh eats, and a healthy helping of vegan, gluten-free, and vegetarian offerings. Nodo Downtown is open from 9-9 p.m. Monday-Saturday and from 10-8 p.m. on Sundays.
The menu at Nodo Downtown is quite unique. Grilled peanut butter and banana sandwiches, breakfast sandwiches and burritos, and burgers are equally present, with dozens of other offerings. From burgers (both veggie and meat options) to wraps, salads, and deli sandwiches, Nodo has a bit of something for everyone.
Go to Nodo Downtown’s online ordering page to get a plate.
6. The Webster
The Webster is a very interesting joint. They’ve created a comfortable and welcoming environment, but that’s not focused on their focus. They’re a self-described “Cosmopolitan restaurant with a Midwest heart… serving contemporary American fare.” The Webster is open from 5:30-9 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday and from 5:30-10 p.m. Friday-Saturday.
Each plate is carefully prepared by highly talented chefs in an open-concept kitchen. You’ll watch as they prepare your meals of handmade pasta, various seafood (oysters, scallops, bass), and creative sides. From braised daikon and whole Wisconsin trout to dry-aged prime côte de boeuf (beef ribs), there are countless excellent plates on offer at The Webster.
Swing by The Webster’s Facebook page to get in touch.
7. Pullman Bar & Diner
Pullman Bar & Diner is a rebuilt diner from old town Iowa City that’s created a retro, welcoming environment to imbibe delicious cocktails and snack on tasty plates. They’re an Iowan business at heart, serving each dish with classic Midwestern friendliness and care. Pullman Bar & Diner is open from 8-10 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday, from 8-10:30 p.m. Friday-Saturday, and 8-9 p.m. on Sundays. Pullman is closed on Mondays.
The menu at Pullman is chef-driven, locally-sourced, and generally excellent. Breakfast, brunch, lunch, and dinner are all equally present, with offerings in all parts of the spectrum. From simple baked goods and French-inspired breakfasts to American classics with Asian, Italian, and French influences, there is legitimately something here for every palate.
Go to Pullman Bar & Diner’s contact page to get in touch.
8. The Dandy Lion
The Dandy Lion is one of Iowa City’s most beloved local stops for breakfast and lunch. They’re a casual joint in a homely exposed-brick building with lovely art adorning the walls, creating an ambiance of comfort and community. The Dandy Lion is open from 8-2 p.m. Wednesday to Monday and closed on Tuesdays.
The menu consists of several familiar favorites. Omelets, gravy-slathered biscuits, chicken-fried steak, and avocado toast accompany pancakes, French toast, and house-baked cinnamon rolls. And for lunch, you’ll find soups, salads, sandwiches, and excellent cups of coffee at all times of the day. So, the next time you’re craving some classic American comfort food, give The Dandy Lion a try.
Swing by The Dandy Lion’s Facebook page to reach out.
9. Big Grove Brewery & Taproom
Big Grove Brewery & Taproom is one of Iowa’s most beloved breweries and gastropubs. With four locations across the state, they serve fresh, local beer that’s constantly evolving alongside a sustainably-sourced menu full of top-notch brewery plates. Big Grove Brewery & Taproom is open from 11-11 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 11-12 on Friday-Saturday, and from 11-10 p.m. on Sundays.
While you should absolutely check out their hard seltzer and beer taps, their food is the true star at Big Grove. Fondue fries, giant soft pretzels, and housemade mac & cheese are some of the top-notch starters, and for dinner – oh, you’re in for a treat. Juicy sandwiches, burgers, salads, rice bowls, and more are all equally present at Big Grove – so give them a taste the next time you feel that summer-induced thirst.
Go to Big Grove Brewery & Taproom’s contact page for more information.
10. Ramen Belly
Ramen Belly is one of (if not the) best Japanese joints in Iowa City. It’s a small establishment with a simple goal – serve delicious donburi, poke, and ramen to Iowans in a quaint and welcoming environment. Ramen Belly is open from 4:30-9 p.m. Monday-Saturday and is closed on Sundays.
The menu at Ramen Belly is quite a focused affair. Incredible ramen made in the painstaking Japanese tradition is only one of the many offerings at Ramen Belly. You’ll find sushi, Japanese potstickers, short ribs, poke bowls, and donburi (various meat and veggies simmered into a stew and served over rice). At the end of the day, Ramen Belly is likely your best stop for authentic Japanese eats in Iowa City.
Go to Ramen Belly’s contact page for more information.