7 Best Restaurants in Iowa City
The city of Iowa is often referred to as the ‘heart of America’, because it can convey the feel and taste of the real Midwest. From a number of existing cities such as Des Moines, Cedar Rapids, Iowa and Davenport able to attract tourists every year to visit. It even became the first literary city in the world to receive an award from UNESCO. The food industry is one of Iowa’s biggest. Food and restaurant management is packaged in such a way that it becomes a major concern. Even routinely also featured in television programs. Here are 7 recommendations for the best places to eat and drink in the city of Iowa.
Backpocket Brewing is a microbrewery and restaurant that provides Iowans with handcrafted German-inspired beers. The front of the building houses the restaurant, with a simple but comprehensive menu pies, grills, including soups, salads, flatbreads and brick oven pizza. All of the beers on offer are brewed on the premises, and the highly knowledgeable staff are more than happy to provide beer recommendations to accompany your meal. You can also venture outside to sit on the terrace and enjoy sitting in the open fire pit. At the rear of the building is the place for the brewing process which also takes place during tours throughout the week.
Breitbach’s Country Dining
Since it opened in 1852, Breitbach’s Country Dining is one of the oldest restaurants in Iowa City.. The great-grandfather of the current owners bought the restaurant in 1862 and has remained in the family ever since. After recovering from fires in 2007 and 2008, Breitbach reopened in 2009 to great acclaim, with visitors having traveled from across the state to support this Iowa institution. The hotel’s restaurant serves traditional American breakfast, lunch and dinner, and all dishes are made from scratch on the premises. Outside, there are the views that can be seen is the the fields, Mississippi, and the river valley, providing one of the best dining spots in the state.
Canteen Lunch in the Alley
On a piece of the Americana menu from Canteen Lunch In The Alley you can see the quality or expertise in making sandwiches with loose meat cakes, a lunch favorite for Ottumwa residents. The original restaurant first opened in 1927 before moving to its current site in 1936. This is a very small restaurant, inside the restaurant there are only 16 seats available for diners. In general, the 16 chairs surround the counter and are horseshoe-shaped. Meanwhile, the quality of food can be answered by the density of visitors at lunch time. The restaurant has also earned pop culture status by modeling for the restaurant ‘Lanford Lunch Box’ on the sitcom Roseanne.
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Clinton Street Social Club
A true gastropub and Iowa City speakeasy, Clinton Street Social Club serves great local cuisine, including a large selection of meats, seafood and sandwiches. They also proudly list all of their food sources on the back of the menu, as well as interesting facts about their cooking process and the sources of some of the restaurant’s interior features. Did you know that lamps are made from used chicken feeders? The interior décor is far from traditional speakeasy, with a commendable selection of alcohol and cocktails, and if you look outside you’ll be able to see some of the best views of Pentacrest in town.
Lucky Pig Pub & Grill
Popular with families and business people alike, Lucky Pig Pub & Grill has truly made a name for itself since it first opened in 2011. The family run restaurant is Iowan through and through, with simple, delicious home cooking, a relaxed atmosphere and friendly service. The interior is simple but cheerful, with a selection of assorted Americanas lining the walls, booths to the side of the main dining area and pool table in the back, and a few ‘lucky’ pigs strewn about, all creating a cozy and friendly atmosphere. The pub area, with regular events and themed evenings, has also proven to be very popular with locals.
Orchard Green Restaurant and Lounge
Orchard Green Restaurant and Lounge is Iowa City’s premier premier dining venue. Typical menu items include swordfish, ‘cowboy’ ribeye, sea scallops, bouillabaisse, filet mignon, and New York steak, with Executive Chef Bryan Herzic regularly updating menu options according to availability of fresh and seasonal ingredients. Selected wines and specialty specialty drinks make the perfect accompaniment to a meal, or to relax at the bar. The two main seating areas are in the upstairs dining area. In this place, you will see an elegant cathedral ceiling and chandelier, plus the downstairs lounge which makes the atmosphere more relaxed. The wooden furnishings, white tablecloths and splashes of flowers throughout the area are sure to give Orchard Green a high-quality air, enhanced by the food.
Mediterranean and North African dining in Iowa’s capital, Proof is proof that there’s more to Iowan food than Americana and competition eating. It still recognizes its place in Des Moines however, by using local ingredients in all its cooking. Executive-level chef Sean Wilson was able to use his South Carolina born talent to serve as inspiration for making Mediterranean specialties and many restaurants too have started to follow in his footsteps and use the same central to their fresh dishes, the menu changes according to seasonal availability. From fine cheeses and charcuterie samples to complex molecular dishes, Proof offers an enviable menu both in terms of the variety of foods on offer and the processes that go into their creation. The interior is simple, airy and bright, creating a fun atmosphere that allows the food to be the star of the show.