A Feast for Foodies
Want to try the best of Iowa's locally-owned dining locations? Start with this list!
The Gathering Table, Orient
As part of the Wallace Centers of Iowa honoring four generations of Henry Wallaces, The Gathering Table serves delectable dishes with a French flair.
Blue Mountain Culinary Emporium, Orange City
Wood-fired pizzas, slow-smoked barbeque and specialty cocktails are some of the main attractions at the Blue Mountain Culinary Emporium.
Archie’s Waeside, Le Mars
When you’re in the mood for a mouthwatering steak, stop by Archie’s, where they dry-age and hand-cut their own beef.
J. Bruner's, Clarinda
J. Bruner’s onion rings run rings around the competition, piled high to greasy perfection. But be sure to save room for the main course – steak you’ll crave for weeks.
Carroll’s Bakery, Spencer
Carroll’s donuts, cream horns and fresh fruit puffs are a definite do. As in – stop what whatever you’re doing and go pick some up.
Crust is a must for fans of brick-oven pizza. Build your own or try one of their signatures, like Garden Party or Roasted Garlic Shrimp. You (and your taste buds) will walk away happy.
Birdsall's, Mason City
If ice cream is up your alley, get yourself to Birdsall’s, where they’ve been churning out their own ice cream since 1931.
Hickory Park, Ames
Hickory Park is your smoked meat headquarters. Beef, ribs, turkey, pork, chicken and sausage – the smell alone is reason enough to go.
Jaarsma Bakery, Pella
Jaarsma’s famous Dutch treats – like their puff pillows, apple rings and Dutch letters – have been beckoning people to Pella for more than a century.
Prairie Canary, Grinnell
Comfort food with a local flair will have you singing Prairie Canary’s praises long after you leave.
Gumbo in the heart of Iowa? You bet. Augusta is owned by former Louisianans who cook up authentic Cajun cuisine.
Baru 66, Des Moines
Recognized for its inventiveness, contemporary French bistro Baru 66 received five stars from the Des Moines Register’s Datebook Diner and was also a semifinalist for a 2011 James Beard Foundation Award for Best New Restaurant in the U.S.
Galleria de Paco, Waterloo
Galleria de Paco has an ambience you won’t find anywhere else – specifically, a replica of the Sistine Chapel ceiling created solely with spray paint.
Cafe Dodici, Washington
Italy meets Iowa at Cafe Dodici. A must-try is their chicken roulades, which was voted one of the Des Moines Register’s "100 Things You Have to Eat Before You Die."
Breitbach’s Country Dining, Sherrill
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At Breitbach’s, everything they serve is made from scratch. So it’s no wonder they won the James Beard America’s Classics Award.