Iowa Food · South Central Iowa

Getting Dinky in Decatur City

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Right off of Iowa’s HWY 2 in Decatur County is a slice of Kansas history. Seriously! We’ll explain…Just hold on!

Decatur City, IA: Decatur County

It’s that old story that you’ve heard so many times before. You see a diner you’re partial to in Ellsworth, Kansas, and you decide to buy it, load it on a huge trailer and reopen it in rural Iowa. Yup….That story was a first for us too. While cruising Route 2, we motored into Decatur City because the Dinky Diner caught our eye immediately.

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The red and white siding pop out to any traveler passing by. We knew it was a unique Iowa destination we had to stop at. 104 NE 4th Street, Decatur City.

We’ve stumbled on so many roadside experiences in our travels throughout Iowa. On this trip, we were doing a feature on Leon, IA for our 2016 RAGBRAI series. Very similar to our discoveries of Donutland in Cedar Rapids, The Ladora Bank Bistro in Ladora, and the historic Reed-Niland Corner in Colo. We pulled up and peered inside and knew we made the right decision to stop. (Click on the pictures to see the descriptions.)

Tricia Kuster was serving the customers on the Saturday afternoon we stopped into the Dinky Diner. Her late great-grandmother, Jacky Kuster, was the original owner of the Dinky Diner and literally brought it to Decatur City from Kansas. Her menu is still pumping out great food since it opened its nostalgic doors in 2005. A full breakfast menu with fresh homemade cinnamon rolls, classic sandwiches, and dinner selections with daily specials. Not to mention fresh pies and the traditional giant sized Iowa Pork Tenderloin. You know you’re still searching for the best tenderloin of your life, so maybe the Dinky has it. Decatur City….ROAD TRIP!

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I was in the “health food” mood. Something to go along with a lettuce and tomatoes. Like fried onion rings and a double bacon cheeseburger. If only the had a Happy Day’s promotional glass to pour my drink in….HEY there’s one! Ayyyyy!

Don’t even try to tell me you didn’t put up your thumbs when saw the picture above. The fresh ground beef double cheeseburger was girdled to juicy perfection with crispy bacon and cheese melting before our eyes. We enjoyed the company, but kept waiting for Chachi to join us. Mrs. Kuster brought Iowa a classic diner and it fits in perfectly with the classic road trip. Iowa’s landscape is packed with family owned and operated gems like the Dinky Diner. Make the stop and stay awhile. Gals like her great-grandaughter are still ready to serve you up a great meal.

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Pictured provided by roadsidearchitecture.com

Thanks for reading! -Team Goodvin

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