A college town's diverse student population means a myriad of restaurant choices, and locals reap the rewards. From falafels to fine dining, great food is always on the menu in Iowa City.
An Iowa City institution, the Hamburg Inn has been a landmark in both the culinary and political landscape. Classic diner fare is served, with one exception: the pie shake. A decadent blending of pie, milk and ice cream, the pie shake encourages diners to drink their dessert. The New York Times has raved about the pie shake and recommends strawberry rhubarb mixed with vanilla.
Iowa serves an important role in political campaigns, and the Hamburg Inn is a favorite stop for those participating in the Iowa Caucus. Former presidents Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton have rubbed elbows with locals at the restaurants, and it was even the setting for an episode of The West Wing.
Downtown Iowa City’s Atlas is an upscale eatery with affordable options. Located a block from the Old Capital, the restaurant has tripled in size since its opening more than 10 years ago. Atlas serves everything from seafood to fine dining version of macaroni and cheese, and diners love the Buffalo Chicken Burrito.
A & A Pagliai’s Pizza
A & A Pagliai’s Pizza is an Iowa City favorite. The pizza’s thin crust and zesty sauce is loved by diners. Visitors who have relocated away from the city and are nostalgic for A & A Pagliai’s familiar flavors make sure to get a pie as soon as they come to town because it's considered Iowa City’s quintessential pizza place.
Read about where to get falafel in Iowa City.