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Top Picks for Eating Out in Iowa City

Iowa City is a vibrant city, bustling with activity and offering a diverse range of dining experiences. From classic American fare to exotic international cuisine, it can sometimes be overwhelming to decide where to eat. To help you decide, we’ve put together our top picks for eating out in Iowa City.

1. Pullman Bar & Diner

Pullman Bar & Diner on East Washington Street is a classic American diner with a modern twist. Here, you can enjoy all your favorite diner fare, from burgers and fries to milkshakes and waffles. But it’s not all about the classics. Pullman also offers some truly unique dishes, like the Pullman Burger topped with bacon jam and smoked gouda, or the French Toast Monte Cristo with smoked ham, gruyere cheese, and raspberry jam. The atmosphere is cozy and inviting, perfect for a night out with friends or a family dinner.

2. Formosa

For a taste of something truly exotic, head to Formosa on East Market Street. This restaurant specializes in Taiwanese cuisine, offering a range of dishes inspired by the flavors of Taiwan. From classic dishes like beef noodle soup and pork dumplings to unique creations like the shrimp and pork potstickers, there’s something for everyone. The atmosphere is casual and relaxed, and the staff is friendly and knowledgeable.

3. El Banditos

El Banditos on South Gilbert Street is the place to go for Mexican food. This restaurant offers a range of classic Mexican dishes, from tacos and burritos to enchiladas and tamales. The atmosphere is lively and fun, and the staff is always friendly and helpful. Plus, El Banditos offers a great selection of margaritas and tequilas to wash down your meal with.

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4. Short’s Burger & Shine

For a truly unique dining experience, head to Short’s Burger & Shine on South Gilbert Street. Here, you can enjoy classic American burgers, fries, and milkshakes, but with a twist. The burgers are made with all-natural, hormone-free beef, and the fries are hand-cut and cooked in a special blend of oils. The atmosphere is lively and upbeat, and the staff is always friendly and helpful. Plus, they offer a great selection of craft beers to wash down your meal with.

5. Vesta

Vesta on East Washington Street is the place to go for modern American fusion cuisine. The menu offers a range of dishes inspired by classic American flavors, from the classic cheeseburger to unique creations like the truffle mac & cheese. The atmosphere is cozy and inviting, and the staff is always friendly and helpful. Plus, Vesta offers a wide selection of craft beers and cocktails to enjoy with your meal.

6. Brix

Brix on South Gilbert Street is the perfect spot for a romantic night out. This restaurant specializes in modern American cuisine, offering a range of dishes inspired by classic flavors. From steak and seafood to pastas and salads, there’s something for everyone. The atmosphere is intimate and inviting, and the staff is always friendly and helpful. Plus, Brix offers a great selection of craft beers and wines to enjoy with your meal.

7. The Airliner

For a truly unique dining experience, head to The Airliner on South Gilbert Street. This restaurant specializes in classic American diner fare, but with a twist. From classic burgers and fries to unique creations like the Greek burger with feta and tzatziki sauce, there’s something for everyone. The atmosphere is lively and fun, and the staff is always friendly and helpful. Plus, The Airliner offers a great selection of craft beers and cocktails to enjoy with your meal.

8. Takanami

Takanami on East Market Street is the place to go for Japanese cuisine. This restaurant offers a range of classic Japanese dishes, from sushi and sashimi to ramen and tempura. The atmosphere is casual and relaxed, and the staff is always friendly and helpful. Plus, Takanami offers a great selection of sake and beer to enjoy with your meal.

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9. The Hungry Hobo

The Hungry Hobo on East Washington Street is the perfect spot for a quick and easy meal. This restaurant specializes in classic American sandwiches and salads, from subs and wraps to salads and burgers. The atmosphere is lively and fun, and the staff is always friendly and helpful. Plus, The Hungry Hobo offers a great selection of craft beers and wines to enjoy with your meal.

10. Devotay

Devotay on East Washington Street is the place to go for creative, modern cuisine. This restaurant offers a range of dishes inspired by classic flavors, from the classic burger to unique creations like the house-made gnocchi with pesto. The atmosphere is cozy and intimate, and the staff is always friendly and helpful. Plus, Devotay offers a great selection of craft beers and wines to enjoy with your meal.

11. Hamburg Inn No. 2

For a truly unique dining experience, head to Hamburg Inn No. 2 on South Gilbert Street. This restaurant has been serving classic American diner fare since the 1940s, and it’s still just as popular today. From classic burgers and fries to unique creations like the apple-bacon burger, there’s something for everyone. The atmosphere is cozy and inviting, and the staff is always friendly and helpful. Plus, Hamburg Inn No. 2 offers a great selection of craft beers and wines to enjoy with your meal.

12. Motley Cow Cafe

For a taste of something truly unique, head to Motley Cow Cafe on East Washington Street. This restaurant specializes in modern American cuisine, offering a range of dishes inspired by classic flavors. From steak and seafood to pastas and salads, there’s something for everyone. The atmosphere is cozy and inviting, and the staff is always friendly and helpful. Plus, Motley Cow Cafe offers a great selection of craft beers and wines to enjoy with your meal.

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Iowa City offers a wide range of dining experiences, from classic American fare to exotic international cuisine. Whether you’re looking for a cozy atmosphere for a romantic night out or a lively spot to grab a quick bite, there’s something for everyone. Our top picks for eating out in Iowa City will help you decide where to go for your next meal.