Grownup Getaways · Iowa Wine, Beer, and Spirits · Southeast Iowa · The Mud Belt-Traveling the Mississippi

America’s Greatest Neighborhood Bars: The Buffalo Tavern-Burlington, Iowa

*This incredible day in Burlington, Iowa was made even more amazing by the folks of The Buffalo Tavern. They hosted this event and helped kickoff a new series on The Iowa Gallivant. The delicious meals we enjoyed and stay at the Comfort Suites-Burlington were complimentary and the opinions expressed are always of our own. Let’s gallivant this tavern!

Knock this pose of the bucket list! Found the perfect moment at The Buffalo Tavern in Burlington, Iowa! 2016 South Main Street

Burlington, Iowa: Des Moines County

There’s something about the “neighborhood bar”. What exactly does that mean? What gives it that classification? We don’t sit in front of giant chalkboard coming up with an ingenious algorithm or have a long list of what you need to have to qualify as one. It’s quite easy. Ask the gosh-darn locals! That’s right! A little human interactions and poof… we found a new favorite watering hole. And that was all the way back in May when we asked a friend in Burlington, Iowa, where we should head to for a place that could not only provide a tall beverage, but have fantastic food, too. We were directed to The Buffalo Tavern and, on that Spring weekend, this new series was officially coming to life. We knew that the Fall would be the perfect time to launch America’s Greatest Neighborhood Bars and we knew it must begin in Burlington, Iowa, where the little light bulb went off.

The Buffalo Tavern Stampede of The Iowa Gallivant!

Meet Brandi and the bucket of her best friends. 11:00 AM kickoff for the last Iowa Hawkeye home game brought in the regulars bright and early.
Bottles of Buds ain’t the only brews your’re getting at The Buffalo Tavern!
Craft beer enthusiasts and folks who love supporting Iowa brews can drink hand in hand with the selections The Buffalo Tavern has on tap.
Big Ass is the theme on the Buffalo Tavern’s menu and they made a special just for this stampede. Brandi’s Big Ass Breakfast Burrito! A huge flour tortilla loaded with juicy marinated green chili grilled chicken, rice, cheese scrambled eggs and topped with a perfect sunny side egg!
IMG-7581 (1)
That runny egg is meant for dippin’!
It must be Bloody Mary o’clock! The Buffalo Tavern has a great mix to be paired with your favorite vodka. Yes, you should order a beer back.

The Buffalo Tavern opened early for the inaugural Neighborhood Bar tour and at 10:00 AM we were enjoying that Big Ass Breakfast Burrito. Bloody Mary specials were served and the locals came out in force to get their premium seats for the Iowa-Illinois game. This is how you make your regulars and visitors like us very happy and excited for the rest of the day at The Buffalo Tavern!

Bring On the Regulars!

Beer bucket buddies! Trust me when I say this, they were not the only people to give the same reasons why they love this bar. Denise and Randy said they come back for “the atmosphere, food, and, always, the people of The Buffalo Tavern.”
Knocking back the cold ones is their specialty. Three more regulars that call this tavern one of their favorite bars.
The resident historian of The Buffalo Tavern! Dennis has been a regular of this establishment for years and he, like many locals, love how much Chase and the gang have made this into the lively and friendly neighborhood hangout that it is. Keep up the great work, Dennis!

Chase Gibb is the owner of The Buffalo Tavern and we knew he would love the opportunity to host us for this event. We met him at his other restaurant, The Coal Haus 337, where he was demonstrating how amazing their coal fired pizzas are. The Gibb family has made quite an impact on Southeast Iowa by contributing three restaurants in Burlington and one in Fort Madison called Buffalo61 Bar & Grill. Good Restaurant and Lounge is another part of the Chase Gibb adventures and it’s serving up amazing food for when you’re exploring historic Downtown Burlington! This team knows how to make great food, in all these locations, and show some out-of-towners like us how to have another memorable gallivant in Burlington.

The BigAss Specialties of The Buffalo Tavern!

The tenderloin horseshoe and it’s truly as big as it looks. A BigAss breaded pork tenderloin served open faced on a toasted bun and topped with French fries, Monterey Jack cheese sauce, and then topped with peppers, onions, and jalapenos You may want to order a light beer but do what you want.
The burger special you’ll be dreaming of long after you eat it. A double cheeseburger with tons of melted cheese, grilled onions, jalapenos and their house-made sweet Serrano chili sauce. Those fries have that rich Monterey Jack cheese sauce we’re falling in love with.
The wing special of the day and they called them the Gallivant Wings! BigAss chicken wings tossed with a healthy dose of the sweet Serrano chili sauce. I think an icy Moscow Mule is in order for this juicy basket of spicy goodness.
Another ringer on the Horseshoe menu! The Buffalo Chicken Horseshoe is a heavy plate of breaded and fried chicken breast, beer battered sidewinders, Monterey Jack cheese, jalapenos and ranch dressing. Do not pass on a cup of the house-made blue cheese dressing. Beer-me again and again while working on this chicken sandwich.
I told you the Buffalo Tavern’s Horseshoes are huge!
Chpis and queso with a lot more than your average cheese dip. Seasoned ground beef takes a dip in the popular cheese sauce before you start dipping your crunchy tortilla chips into it while yelling at the secondary to cover someone and…..OOOOOO! Interception! Yea, baby!

You saw what breakfast brought to the table and now you see what lunch can do for your BigAss appetite. What else could make this better? How about a few slabs of beef! Time to ring the supper bell!

Bacon wrapped sirloin, y’all! 8oz of house-cut majesty meeting the grill and topped with a lot of mushrooms. Attack!
Your day is always made better during prime-time. Slow cooked and Burlington famous, this prime rib is the tender ending to our day.

House-cut steaks after a day of breaded pork tenderloins, cheeseburgers, chicken wings, queso, fries, burritos and a Buffalo chicken experience that’s still giving hints of a spicy zing when we think of it. This is how you conclude an eventful day at the Buffalo Tavern. Wait. That’s not how you end a day in one of America’s greatest neighborhood bars!


Yup! That Moscow Mule we mentioned earlier comes busting in right before we call it a night.

Our cab ride showed up around 10:00 PM and we were in need of a great night of sleep. The Comfort Suites were our destination for the very accommodating evening we needed to relax into the later hours of the Burlington night. Make this your destination whenever you’re visiting Southeast Iowa, especially when you need to stay toasty during the wintry months ahead.

The quiet countryside surroundings meet the incredible Comfort Suites of Burlington, Iowa! Remolded with a modern touch and absolutely magnificent inside. 1780 Stonegate Center Drive
The suite was open and man were we impressed. The hardest part was picking where to lay down first.
Bedtime can wait. These plush mattresses would get enough attention later when dreamland started.
This papa bear needed some recliner time. That is how a Burlington day should always be completed.

The staff here was very proud of their award winning and beautiful hotel. Comfort Suites was a premium lodging partner and we can’t thank them enough for having us visit. Just a second. We can totally thank them more! Stay tuned because there is a lot more you gotta see when it comes to our stay at Comfort Suites! We haven’t gotten into breakfast, the lounge, pool, fireplace……..

That huge smile was impossible to put away. The Buffalo Tavern knows how to stampede a travel blog with genuine enthusiasm.

Buffalo Tavern, you showed us why we had to start here… your place is nestled into a historic town and in a proud neighborhood with awesome food and drinks. We love our travels along the Mississippi and the incredible locals we always meet. We are so proud to start this adventure in Burlington and hope that many more of our readers find their way into this town and start discovering it for themselves. Chase and the entire crew of this tavern are eager to see you conquer their famous tenderloins, wings and refreshing beverages. Stampede this bar often, my friends. You’ll be a part of the neighborhood when you do.

Like The Buffalo Tavern on Facebook

Follow The Buffalo Tavern on Twitter

See The Buffalo Tavern’s amazing pics on Instagram

Let’s have another before we go…..

2 thoughts on “America’s Greatest Neighborhood Bars: The Buffalo Tavern-Burlington, Iowa

  1. Love your enthusiasm! We just added Buffalo Tavern to the must stop in list for our “Visiting Midwest Gardens” series when we spotlight Burlington’s Crapo Park Summer 2020. Thanks for featuring a longstanding local independent establishment in one of Iowa’s most historic towns …

Leave a Reply