The 10 Best Restaurants In Ankeny, Iowa

Photo of Marcelina Morfin
9 February 2017

A fast growing city with small town charm, Ankeny is part of the Des Moines metropolitan area. A friendly place, the city offers many tasty restaurants that will sate anyone’s hunger. From laid-back, budget-friendly options to more upscale dining, here is a list of some of the delicious places to eat in Ankeny, Iowa.

Old barn on the edge of Ankeny | © Carl Wycoff/Flickr

Bandana's BAR-B-Q

Bar, American, BBQ
Established in 1996 in Missouri, Bandana’s BAR-B-Q is a family friendly, regional chain serving hungry diners mouthwatering barbeque. Southern-style barbeque choices to try include the award-winning ribs, which are seasoned and slow smoked and the smoked sausage platter. Flavorful side dishes include fried corn, fried okra, and potato salad to name but a few. For desert the fresh donut holes are a good choice.

The Bear Restaurant & Wine Bar

Bar, Restaurant, Wine Bar, American, Cocktails, Wine, Beer
The Bear Restaurant and Wine Bar is a lovely venue, offering guests a casual yet fine-dining experience perfect for any occasion. Must-try options include the lunch favorite smoked prime rib Philly made with shaved prime rib topped with sautéed onions, roasted poblano peppers, and aged provolone all on a toasted hoagie and the Maple Leaf Farms duck seared with a sun-dried cherry sauce, crimini mushrooms, and roasted poblano peppers accompanied by grilled zucchini and wild rice.

Cafe Diem

Cafe, Coffee Shop, Coffee, Contemporary, American, Tea , Fast Food
Cafe Diem is a family-owned café with a relaxing atmosphere perfect for hanging out with friends or getting some work done. As well as great coffee, the cafe also offers a wide range of snacks. Some of the tasty options visitors might find include scones, muffins, cinnamon rolls, and bagels, sandwiches, including the ever-popular chicken salad sandwich with a twist, plus soups and salads. Dessert can also be found in the way of freshly baked cookies.

Leaning Tower of Pizza

Founded in Des Moines in the 1960s, Leaning Tower of Pizza moved its operation to Ankeny in the 1970s. Within a bright, lively environment, complete with red-and-white checkered tablecloths, diners can sample homemade dishes from the restaurants famous pizzas to sandwiches and pastas, all made with the best ingredients available. Something to suit every taste, highlights include the veggie alfredo pizza topped with mushrooms, sweet red peppers, onions, and tomatoes plus alfredo sauce, Charlie’s pizza with Italian sausage, mushrooms, and green peppers, and mac ‘n cheese with a white cheese sauce.

Leaning Tower of Pizza, 512 SW 3rd St., Ankeny, IA, USA, +1 515 964 0401

Main Street Café & Bakery

Bakery, Cafe, Steakhouse, Contemporary, Fast Food, Pastries, Dessert, $$$
A wonderful spot to enjoy a relaxing meal with family and friends, Main Street Café and Bakery specializes in tasty baked goods. The triple berry French toast or any one of the scrambles are great options to begin the day while the lunch crowd can enjoy a fresh salad, including the steak gorgonzola salad, sandwich, or naan flatbread, such as the veggie option with cream cheese, red onions, red peppers, mushrooms, tomatoes, and cheddar.

Noodle Zoo Café & Catering

Diner, Restaurant, American, Vegetarian, Vegan
Wanting to spend more time with her children and family, Verlene Vanderpool founded Noodle Zoo Café and Catering, an eclectic place serving an array of sandwiches, salads, and noodle bowls. The menu is varied ensuring something tasty for every diner from meat lovers to vegetarians. Within a friendly atmosphere, diners can sample highlights such as the parmesan grill, which features a choice of turkey, ham, or roast beef along with melted Swiss all on grilled parmesan cheese bread, and the Sicilian vegetarian with a variety of marinated and grilled seasonal veggies plus feta cheese on a baguette. One of the pasta highlights is the pesto shrimp pasta with seasonal veggies and tomato-cream sauce.

Ranallo's on 3rd

Restaurant, American, Vegetarian, Vegan
Ranallo’s on 3rd tantalizes taste buds again and again with its New American and Italian cuisine. Owned by Chef Pete Ranallo, this upscale yet casual restaurant is a lovely spot for a night out with friends or an intimate outing. From entrées featuring beef, poultry, pork, or seafood to pasta to flat bread pizza and more, the menu offers flavorful options that will suit many tastes. Notable highlights include the steak Oscar, which is a petite filet char-grilled and topped with a crab cake, asparagus tips, and béarnaise sauce, and the spicy seafood pasta with shrimp, mussels, scallops, mushrooms, fire-roasted red peppers, and spinach all in a spicy tomato sauce.

Sorriso Grille

Restaurant, American, Vegetarian, Vegan, Dessert
Sorriso Grille is a friendly place, specializing in American fare. Delighting guests with home-style dishes, this casual, family-owned and operated restaurant features a selection of comforting dishes that are sure to satisfy the hungriest of appetites. The bacon and eggs served with crispy hash browns and toast and the reuben sandwich with house-made chips get great reviews. Daily specials are available during the week with the hot beef sandwich topped with mashed potatoes and smothered with gravy accompanied by green beans being a popular choice. Desserts are often available as well.

Tasty Tacos

Established in 1961 by Richard and Antonia Mosqueda, Tasty Tacos has grown to become a small, local chain within the Des Moines area. Featuring flavorful Mexican cuisine, this laid-back joint entices customers with its budget-friendly options. Known for their flour tacos, which feature a tortilla shell stuffed with meat or beans plus lettuce and cheese, the menu also offers corn tacos, enchiladas, burritos, nachos, salads and more. A host of side dishes are also available, including refried beans, Spanish rice, and guacamole and chips. For those with a sweet tooth, desserts, such as krispos or fried flour chips sprinkled with sugar and cinnamon and served with honey, are also on the menu.

Tasty Tacos, 2401 SE Delaware Ave., Ankeny, IA, USA, +1 515 964 2400

Waterfront Seafood Market

Restaurant, Seafood, American, Mediterranean, $$$
Fish and seafood lovers will enjoy the Waterfront Seafood Market with its fresh catches transformed into succulent dishes. Opened in 2008 by the Hanke family, the Market procures the freshest fish and seafood,it’s flown in, directly from fishermen when possible and makes everything to order. The blackened catfish with a choice of two side dishes, including sweet potato, rice pilaf, or steamed vegetables, or the potato-encrusted halibut served with a choice of sides are two excellent choices.

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