Five Iowa Restaurants You Need To Know About

If you’re planning a trip to Iowa and wondering where to dine, look no further than these five fantastic Iowa restaurants. From Greek steaks to sweet treats, these establishments have a little something for everyone.

If you are craving a steak, fried chicken, fresh salad, pork loin, or mouthwatering desserts; these great restaurants will satisfy you. I hope you will try a meal at five of my favorite places to eat in Iowa.

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Northwestern Steakhouse: Mason City

You should not be surprised that this iconic steakhouse is #8 in the book 100 Things To Do In Iowa Before You Die. Northwestern Steakhouse in Mason City, Iowa, offers an unparalleled dining experience that you won’t find anywhere else. From the moment you walk through the doors, you’ll be greeted with a warm and welcoming atmosphere that’s perfect for family dinners, date nights, and everything in between.

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But it’s not just the ambiance that sets Northwestern Steakhouse apart. It’s the quality of their food, from the perfectly cooked, Greek- seasoned steaks to the mouthwatering sides and desserts. The best tip I can give you is to order the pasta for your side.

Return of the American Road Trip

Starboard Market: Clear Lake

If you’re looking for a local culinary gem in Clear Lake, Iowa, look no further than Starboard Market. This charming eatery offers a unique dining experience combining farm-to-table freshness with delicious homemade dishes. One glance at the deli case and desserts are all you need to see. Your biggest problem will be deciding what not to order. Every menu item in this deli will leave your taste buds jumping.

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Starboard Market has something for everyone, from savory sandwiches to mouthwatering baked goods. Give me a bowl of chicken enchilada soup and I’m a happy camper. This is the second of five fantastic Iowa restaurants that you need to know about.

Photo Courtesy of: Starboard Market

The cozy atmosphere and friendly staff make it the perfect spot for a quick lunch or a leisurely meal with friends and family. Grab your lunch in the warmer months and take it to a picnic table in Clear Lake City Park. After all, who doesn’t enjoy lunch with a lake view? BONUS: Check off #1 in the book 100 Things To Do In Iowa Before You Die.

The Best Things To Do In Fort Dodge, Iowa

Gaga & Hoo: Fort Dodge

Who’s hungry for Korean food? If you’re looking for a dining experience that is both unique and memorable, look no further than Gaga & Hoo in Fort Dodge. Check off #4 in the book 100 Things To Do In Iowa Before You Die. With its eclectic menu and funky décor, this restaurant transports diners to a new world of culinary delight. I’m not a huge Korean food fan, but I adore the food at Gaga & Hoo in Fort Dodge, Iowa.

Whether you’re in the mood for a hearty meal or something light and refreshing, Gaga & Hoo Fort Dodge has something for everyone. From its inventive cocktails to its mouthwatering entrees, this establishment promises an unforgettable dining experience. If you are lucky, your server will serenade you as you enjoy your meal.

Machine Shed Restaurant: Urbandale & Davenport

Are you looking for a delicious meal to warm your soul and satisfy your hunger? Look no further than the Machine Shed Restaurant in Iowa and check off #30 in the book 100 Things To Do In Iowa Before You Die. With a menu filled with hearty dishes inspired by farm-to-table cuisine, this restaurant offers a dining experience that is both comforting and indulgent.

Whether you’re in the mood for a classic plate of fried chicken, a hot bowl of creamy potato soup (Sara’s recommendation), or a bowl of homemade vegetable soup, you’ll find something to love here.

Sara’s’ tip: Order the bread pudding!

Driving Iowa’s Scenic Byways

Misty’s Malt Shop: Keosauqua

While driving Iowa’s Historic Hills Scenic Byway, stop at Misty’s Malt Shop in Keosauqua. When I mentioned visiting Keosauqua for the first time, a few years back, I was told, “Order the soft-serve black raspberry ice cream.”

Ice cream cone

I did not understand why, but I do now. Breakfast is served, as is lunch and supper. You can dine in or grab your order at the pick-up window. From burgers, fries, corn dogs, and the best soft-serve black raspberry ice cream on the planet, Misty’s Malt Shop is a winner. Note: Misty’s Malt Shop is #12 in the book 100 Things To Do In Iowa Before You Die.

Iowa has a vibrant food scene, with diverse offerings that cater to different culinary preferences. From Greek seasoned steaks to Korean foods in Fort Dodge, there’s truly something for everyone in Iowa. These five fantastic Iowa restaurants are a tiny glimpse into the incredible Iowa food scene. Wherever you find yourself in Iowa, a local dining establishment is ready to welcome you.

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Sara is a travel enthusiast that resides in North Iowa. You can find her traveling where the plane, train, ship, or car will go. Are you looking to take a road trip? Sara has solutions for you!

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