The 9 Best Places To Eat In Iowa City For Every Taste

places to eat in iowa city
| 3 min read

Iowa City is a college town, but there’s so many dining options for everyone that visits. There’s plenty of coffee places, family options for eating as a group and fancy restaurants for a date night. Enjoy our selection of great restaurants to enjoy during your stay in Iowa City.

Date night

1. Orchard Green

pistachio crusted walleye and potato pancakes...this has quickly become a favorite!

Posted by Orchard Green Restaurant and Lounge on Wednesday, 31 March 2010

Orchard Green Restaurant and Lounge near Ralston Creek, founded in 2009, has a fireplace in the main dining room for diners. They offer valet parking and food in the lounge, in addition to four and three course meals for a complete evening. The menu features items like focaccia, and a blackened salmon sandwich, among more fancy items. Multi course meals include a salad, entrée and dessert, and their bar serves beer, wine and specialty drinks. They open in the evenings Sunday to Tuesday, from 5pm to 9pm and Wednesday to Saturday from 5pm to 10pm. During the summer months of June, July and August they are closed on Mondays. The lounge opens at 3pm.

Orchard Green

Address: 521 S. Gilbert Street, Iowa City, IA

Website: Orchard Green

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2. One Twenty Six

One Twenty Six is in downtown Iowa City, near the Old Capitol Museum and The University of Iowa’s Museum of Natural History. French-American cuisine made with local ingredients is served, and the chefs work with local farmers who give the produce, poultry and meats. The menu includes chicken Bourgogne, natural beef hanger steak, and butternut squash. Open Monday to Saturday for lunch, 11am to 2pm and for dinner 5pm to 9.30pm. On Sunday the restaurant is open for private events only.

One Twenty Six

Address: 126 E. Washington St., Iowa City, IA

Website:One Twenty Six

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3. Baroncini

Baroncini serves contemporary Italian using fresh ingredients. All meals are served with in house baked bread and olive oil and pasta made daily. Items on the menu include Canneloni Alla Rossini, Ravioli Ricotta Spinaci, and Tiramsu nel Cioccolato. Baroncini is open 11.30am to 2pm for lunch and 5pm to 10pm for dinner.


Address: 104 S Linn St, Iowa City, IA

Website: Baroncini

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Family dining

4. Bluebird Diner

At the Bluebird Diner, you’ll find well priced and delicious midwestern, homemade soul food. They have paired up with many local companies and their interior has checkered floor and vinyl seating. The menu includes Smores Pancakes, Shrimp Creole, and Pasta with Meatballs. They are open Monday to Saturday from 7am to 9pm and Sunday from 7am to 8pm.

Bluebird Diner

Address: 330 East Market Street, Iowa City, IA

Website: Bluebird Diner

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5. Northside Bistro

New menu item!! Hinterland farm lamb seasoned with fermented green garlic with white sauce, feta, country pickle and pac choy with crispy taro.

Posted by Northside Bistro on Wednesday, 30 November 2016

Northside Bistro in the North side neighborhood of Iowa City. It has an interior of reclaimed barn wood, up-cycled tin roofing and local artist pieces as decoration. There’s a bar with crafted beers, specialty cocktails and over fifty wines. On the menu is items such as Chicken Salad, Marinated Steak Skewers, a Bourbon Burger, Iowa Brave Heart Beef Tenderloin and Vegetable Stir-Fry. The restaurant closes on the following holidays: Christmas Eve, Christmas, New Years Day, Thanksgiving, Fourth of July, Labor Day and Memorial Day. They are open Monday to Saturday from 5pm to 10pm and closed on Sundays.

Northside Bistro

Address: 203 North Linn Street, Iowa City, IA

Website: Northside Bistro

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6. Midtown Family Restaurant

Midtown Family Restaurant on the East side of town, is perfect for adults and children with comfortable seating and a great menu that pleases everyone. Comfort foods like a Western Omelet, Country Fried Pork Chop, and Turtle Cheesecake are served here. They are open Monday to Thursday 7am to 8.30pm, Friday to Saturday 7am to 9pm and Sunday from 7am to 2pm.

Midtown Family Restaurant

Address: 200 Scott Court, Iowa City, IA

Website: Midtown Family Restaurant

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Coffee & dessert

7. Java House

The Java House was started by a college student on the second floor of a local bookstore in 1994. There are now several locations as well as hospital kiosks. They serve specialty coffee with names such as St Louis Blues, Sugar Cookie Latte and Nutty Caramel Latte. Fresh baked goods made by the company bakery are served here too. The three main stores are First Avenue, Mormon Trek and Downtown.

Java House

Address: 211½ E. Washington St. Iowa City, IA

Website: Java House

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8. Molly's Cupcakes

A bakery that serves cupcakes and in honor of the teacher who was the inspiration of the shop, Molly’s Cupcakes contributes a part of their sales to local schools. The cupcakes are made in small batches and allow customers to design their own cupcakes with a sprinkle station. There are classic flavors of chocolate, vanilla and center filled flavors like peach cobbler, and Boston cream. Winter and summer inspired fillings include pumpkin spice, eggnog, rainbow sherbet and key lime pie. If you’re not a cupcake fan, there’s homemade ice cream, bars, cookies, pies and cheesecake. Open Monday to Friday 8am to 10pm and Saturday 10am to 10pm. Sunday’s hours are 12pm to 10pm.

Molly's Cupcakes

Address: 14 South Clinton Street, Iowa City, IA

Website: Molly’s Cupcakes

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9. Cortado Coffee and Cafe

Freshly baked pastries. No filter needed.

Posted by Cortado Coffee & Cafe on Monday, 23 January 2017

Cortado Coffee and Cafe is a European style fast paced espresso bar, specializing in high quality drinks such as Espresso, Cafe Au Lait and Iced Chai Lattes. They serve pastries, sandwiches and salad with soup. Other items on the menu are flavored croissants, yogurt, and fresh fruit. Open Monday to Saturday 7am to 10pm and Sunday 8am to 4pm

Cortado Coffee and Cafe

Address: 26 S. Clinton Street, Iowa City, IA

Website: Cortado Coffee and Cafe

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Exploring the many eateries of Iowa City

Iowa City CRandIC Rail Bridge - University of Iowa (24514891741)
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Tony Webster used under CC BY-SA 2.0

No matter what your food craving is, you can find it in Iowa City. Enjoy your date night, family night or just your solo adventure with food from the places listed. They will not disappoint!

Any must-sees we missed? Tell us about them in the comments section or write a post here to help out fellow travelers!
Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.


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