It’s pretty safe to say that we had an active year. And you can also say that we didn’t skip too many meals. Or any. We travel through and find some of Iowa’s best places to eat and kickback with our stomachs guiding us at times. I can’t tell you how proud of Iowa I am with the ever changing culinary landscape. The classics are still being served and we seek them as well. However, not only are delicious, unique ethnic restaurants popping up all over the state, but also casual-fine and fine dining opportunities in rural and urban areas. There’s a higher demand for locally sourced ingredients with chefs and business owners answering the call. Many homegrown cooks are returning to Iowa and/or staying put and contributing to an epicurean wave that is sweeping through the cornbelt. Enjoy our unofficial gastro-tour of Iowa from the past 12 months. By the way…..we’ve incidentally increased our hiking, dog walking, and trips to the treadmill too. (Please click on the pictures for descriptions and the links below to see the blog that features these great establishments)
From Iowa farm to your favorite table, these restaurants are striving to support small Iowa growers and livestock producers to bring you some of our states most delicious creations… from specialty dairy products to heritage breeds… from certified fruits and veggies to state of the art hydroponic produce grown year-round. Iowa always finds away to keep its agricultural edge.
Some of our favorite restaurants showcasing local foods:
Rudy’s Tacos! With new locations popping up in Iowa and Western Illinois, Rudy’s is a homegrown multi-unit concept that knows how to source locally and successfully. http://www.rudystacos.com/about.html
The home team supporting the home teams. Say hello to your local farmers that keep Rudy’s Tacos on the table!
The Farmer’s Daughter’s Market in Hiawatha not only sources locally, but grows many of it’s own ingredients. The classic Iowa Pulled Por BBQ Sandwich with Cream of homegrown broccoli soup! http://www.fdmarket.com/
Brunch at Cedar Ridge Vineyards in Swisher! Griddle’d to order pancakes topped with a “little” butter and smothered with CRV’s own Bourbon maple syrup. Ihttp://crwine.com/
Sunrise Bakery 31154 210th Street Bonaparte, IA. This cheerful Amish family welcomes their guests with food raised and grown right out their front window.
A trifecta of homemade sodas from Fresh Deli in Daveport, IA. They make their own syrup and use their own Nostalgia Farms berries and grapes in these flavor varieties. On tap today was raspberry, huckleberry and concord grape! https://www.facebook.com/FreshDeliNostalgiaFarms?fref=ts
The award winning Grinnell restaurant, Prairie Canary is also championing the local movement. Grilled cheese with jam. You heard me right! Emily and Monie ordered the same meal and out came a duo of the best grilled cheese sandwiches we’ve ever had.http://www.theprairiecanary.com/
Vesta in Coralville plated up Iowa corn chowder with Iowa bacon and one of the best Reuben sandwiches ever! Made with Iowa raised Elk pastrami. https://twitter.com/vestaiowa
I give you…. the Dirty Canary from Prairie Canary in Grinnell. A burger with cheddar cheese, BBQ pulled pork, bacon and a fried egg! And by its side is the best soup I’ve ever had in the state of Iowa. A Bayou Potato Soup with Crawfish tails. Geaux seek this out! https://www.facebook.com/prairiecanary
Meet your new best friend, amigos. The potato dough is used for the crispy crust and is topped with duck confit, mozzarella, goat cheese, fresh basil, stone ground mustard and balsamic onion. Ladora Bank Bistro in Ladora. https://twitter.com/LadoraBistro