#RAGBRAI · Iowa Food · West Central Iowa

Scouting RAGBRAI-2018: Onawa’s Meatloaf on the Missouri…That’s Just the Beginning My Friends

Let’s add an “L” to the word widest, Onawa. Just for one day…

Onawa, IA: Monona County (Our 75th County!)

You’ll have a lot to prepare for when it comes to this year’s largest bike tour in the world. Luckily Onawa has you covered from the last minute tube of toothpaste to the first icy beverage on the route to the first carbo-load and protein punch of your many to come across Iowa. The Missouri will be all but a distant memory by the time you get to Davenport, however Onawa is fixing to make the first day one of the best you’re ever going to have.


The local pizza parlors have been in full force during all of our trips thus far on our RAGBRAI scouting missions and Onawa has one that can’t wait to see the Western Iowa invasion in late July. Dan’s Pizza has some of the best on the route so you might as well start the trek with a big’ole tomato pie.


Small town Iowa keeps showing us that they are the authority in the best Chinese food in the state. Onawa is home to the Bamboo Village and they have the noodles and a whole lot more to keep you energized. I think you better click on the video above to see how we enjoy the classic Crab Rangoon here at the The Iowa Gallivant.

Travel Iowa has a great program called 99 Counties in 99 restaurants and Monona County’s is right here in Onawa. One restaurant from each county was chosen as the one you must visit so that means a trip to MIller’s Kitchen! Homemade biscuits! Topped with hearty sausage gravy of course. Don’t sleep on those huge big beautiful blueberry pancakes and tons of fresh coffee. Coffee-Up here RAGBRAI!

Even in July, it’s always “April” at Fiesta Foods in Onawa. She and her co-workers are going to have the hot and cold cases loaded with all the fixings. April was eager to show us all they’re going to have during RAGBRAI like ready to go sandwiches, tons of all the Midwestern salads we love, tons of fried chicken and pans of meatloaf using her own Grandmother’s recipe. Now, that’s showing love for all of Onawa’s visitors. Slice of meatloaf, two sides, dinner roll….$6.99! It’s packed up and ready for the campsite or nearest picnic table.


The main campground near the fairgrounds will have plenty of room for your tent and as you can see it will look like a small military base. Take time to have your first dip in a community pool on the route and see the museum here to take in some local history. Then curl up in your sleeping bag with a fighter jet in your own front yard.

Lewis and Clark State Park is just a few miles away from Main Street and it’s well worth a short ride to it’s shoreline. This was one of the campsites for the Corps of Discovery in the early 1800’s and you can discover it for yourself. Huge trees in the lawns and cool water with its beach could supply plenty of relaxation.

*Our stay at the Super 8-Onawa was complimentary. The opinions expressed are of our own.

The hard working, professional and cheerful crew at the Super 8-Onawa welcomed us in with a very comfortable and clean room that supplied me with a proper nap before we hit the town that night. Look at the photography on the walls! We were very happy with our stay and most of all, the coffee in the lobby that was freshly brewed. Now I’m ready for second RAGBRAI wind.

Cool Down

Be on the look out for this classic ice cream treat because Onawa is the birthplace of the world famous Eskimo Pie! When’s the next time you’re going to be here so why not pay homage to the ice cream universe and grab a box. Sharing is optional as always when it comes to Eskimo Pies.

The public library will have the AC on and plenty of places to sit and cool-off when the Iowa sun starts beating down. And don’t forget to check out one of the coolest super hero inspired shirts you’re ever going to own.


Suds & Jugs Bar & Grill knows how to make the average RAGBRAI’er very happy with plenty of cold ones and they’ll have some specials cooking-up to keep you fed while you’re putting’em down. These locals know how to take care of crowd.

Fiesta Brava is just up the way from the downtown area and has the tequila selection to make you a refreshing Margarita to start your RAGBRAI off with a tangy tall one.

Stock Up

To all the support crews out there! Shopko-Onawa is ready for that last minute gear and supplies your team is going to need while you canvas the rest of the state. I stocked up and you can too!

The scenery on Iowa’s western banks is some the most unique you’ll find worldwide. The hills welcome thousands of visitors every year and now RAGBRAI is back to add their own memories to the ancient formations on this path. The folks we met in Onawa and surrounding area were elated to see us and talked about the excitement building up. The locals always guide us on our adventures and they steered us in all the right directions on this trip. The countless teams launching from Onawa are in for a great sendoff this July and the Onawa team is going to make it happen!

Thank you to the whole Onawa-RAGBRAI team! We had a great trip and look forward to coming back again and again!
Thank you to everyone at the Super 8-Onawa for a great stay and awesome experience! The whole crew was great and the room was wonderful!
Go to the RAGBRAI website to see the info on the world’s greatest bike tour! Like the RAGBRAI Facebook page to keep up on all the updates.

Be sure to read about our trips to…….. Overnight #1 in Onawa, Overnight #3 in JeffersonOvernight #7 in Iowa City and Overnight #8 in Davenport!

6 thoughts on “Scouting RAGBRAI-2018: Onawa’s Meatloaf on the Missouri…That’s Just the Beginning My Friends

Leave a Reply