The 10 Best Restaurants In Cedar Rapids, Iowa

Chloe Hay

A thriving hub of arts and culture, Iowa’s Cedar Rapids boasts an abundance of restaurants so varied they truly do have something for everyone. Whether looking for authentic Cuban food, an oven fresh pastry or a hearty plate of mac ‘n’ cheese, there are plenty of restaurants to choose from. Here is an updated version of the ten best restaurants in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

1. Cappy’s Pizzeria

Cappy’s Pizzeria

Choose between a New York thin, a Chicago deep dish or a house special calzone at Cappy’s Pizzeria. Verging on the retro in decor, diners at Cappy’s sit at vinyl tables and order from laminated rock album cover menus and the novelty fun factor doesn’t finish at ordering either – there’s also a deck of Trivial Pursuit cards on each table to keep diners entertained whilst their pizzas are cooking. Unfortunately not open for lunch, stop by for dinner to experience an all-American pizza with a bottle of beer or glass of wine.
Cappy’s Pizzeria, 7037 C Avenue NE, Cedar Rapids, Iowa, USA, +1 319 826 2625

Image Courtesy of Cappy’s PizzeriaImage Courtesy of Cappy’s Pizzeria

2. Cibo Fusion

Restaurant, American

Courtesy of Cobble Hill
Blending Asian, Italian, Latin American and North American cuisines, Cibo Fusion offers diners a variety of tastebud-tickling dishes to choose between. Start with the chicken, black beans, cheese and sweet Thai chilli sauce spring rolls, or for something Peruvian opt for the shrimp ceviche with tortilla chips. Choose an Italian-esque main course of Cibo carbonara which is a medley of capellini, chicken, green onion, mushrooms, prosciutto, creamy tomato sauce and shredded parmesan or for a fish option go for the pistachio crusted salmon served with a red pepper cream sauce, coconut lime rice and vegetable julienne. Cibo Fusion is also open for Sunday breakfast and brunch, when it serves up an array of pancakes, French toast, soups, salads, breakfast burritos, omelettes, sandwiches and eggs Benedict. Private dining events can also be organised to take place in the restaurant’s banquet rooms.

3. Cobble Hill

Restaurant, American

Brewing Equipment
Using locally sourced ingredients wherever possible, Cobble Hill is a family-run restaurant that prides itself on its food sustainability practices. The menu here may be slight but the dishes are anything but lacking in flavour and quality. Each dish is presented beautifully and served with a smile. For a delightfully satisfying meal start with the bacon and clams with braised potatoes, lime air, chowder sauce and celery, or go for the Grass Run Farm’s beef carpaccio with spring garlic and peas, miso, puffed sesame rice and mint. Save room for a main course of Salt Fork Farm’s chicken with popcorn grits, local baby kale, red eye gnocchi and pickled onions, or for the perfect twist on a Sunday lunch opt for the roast saddle of lamb with green garbanzo hummus, green garlic, peas, butter lettuce and mole spices.

4. Croissant du Jour

Restaurant, French

Carrot and Ginger Soup
©James Cohen/Flickr
Serving freshly made croissants and other pastry treats everyday, Croissant du Jour is a small, friendly place lovingly run by a husband and wife duo. Locals can stop by on their way to work for a steaming cup of coffee and a take away miniature apple tart, madeleine cookie, mixed almond fruit tart, chocolate brioche or vanilla eclair. Croissant du Jour is also open each day for lunch, when it offers a wide selection of tasty soups, salads, sandwiches and quiches which can be enjoyed either in the cafe or wrapped up to go. Whole cakes and boxes full of an assortment of pastries must be ordered either by telephone or in person at least 24 hours in advance.

5. Oyama Sushi

Bar, Japanese, Steakhouse

Making plates of food look like works of art, a meal at Oyama Sushi is an experience to delight all senses. Japanese in cuisine and technicoloured in appearance, Oyama offers guests a number of different dining options. Sit at the sushi bar and sample a selection of rolls including spicy tuna, salmon and avocado, and yellowtail, or opt for table service and choose from a menu full of tasty dishes such as bento dinners, shrimp tempura and yaki soba. Or for something a little different ask to sit at a Hibachi table with its own chef who will prepare TeppanYaki salmon, filet mignon, scallops, lobster tails and red snapper right on the table top.

6. Short’s Burger & Shine

Restaurant, American, Pub Grub

For 50 years this was a working shoe shine shop; now it’s a gourmet burger joint and the staff at Short’s Burger & Shine have adapted the old motto ‘expert workmen – best materials used – prompt service’ to apply to the shop’s new function too. Only completely fresh black Angus beef sourced from local farmer Ed Smith is used for their burgers, the black bean burgers and homemade and the fries are hand-cut each day. The menu features only beef, chicken and black bean burgers served with or without fries, but when a restaurant does something so well there’s simply no need to complicate things by serving anything else. Alongside the food, Short’s also has ten different fine Iowa craft beers and cider on tap at any one time and has its own branded whiskey distilled from bourbon mash and finished with Iowa Bur Oak Staves.

7. The Class Act

Restaurant, American

Situated within the Kirkwood Center Hotel, The Class Act is open for breakfast, lunch, dinner and drinks daily. The chef uses only the highest quality, local seasonal ingredients in his creative dishes to designed to satisfy the most critical of palates. Order a breakfast of Cedar Rapidian omelette featuring a variety of seasonal vegetables, local milton creamery cheeses and green apple sweet potato hashbrowns. Stop by for a quick Class Act burger for lunch or reserve a table for a special dinner. Diners can choose a selection of small plates to share or pick a dish off of the entree menu, highly recommended is the platter of pulled pork, chicken wings, beef brisket, baked beans, coleslaw and honey cornbread.

8. The Irish Democrat

Bar, Pub, Restaurant, Irish

A great spot for a casual, relaxed dinner or tasty lunch with a game of pool, The Irish Democrat is both a successful restaurant and bar. Diners can choose a table or booth in the bare-bricked, cosy dining room, or pull up a pew at the bar to chat to locals whilst enjoying a drink. For a light lunch, order the gourmet soup of the day or one of the delicious signature dishes such as the strawberry poppy seed salad or the maytag grilled chicken cobb salad. At dinner choose something a little heartier – the slow-smoked hickory baby-back ribs in a barbecue sauce and the tarragon buttered sirloin are both great choices. Of course there are also lots of burgers, sandwiches and pizzas on the menu too.

9. The Lost Cuban

Restaurant, Cuban

©Billy Millard/Flickr
Famous amongst locals for its mouth-watering ribs and Cuban sandwiches, The Lost Cuban remains the only authentic Cuban restaurant in the state. There’s no such thing as table service here: diners choose which of the tasty dishes they want to try and order at the counter before retiring to a dominoes table to tuck in. Joyful Cuban music constantly plays in the background keeping the atmosphere lively and traditional artwork lines the walls splashing the restaurant in a good dousing of colour. When the weather warms up the restaurant opens up their al fresco dining area, giving diners the perfect excuse to sample a mojito from the extensive list of flavours. Be careful not to over order though, as portions are huge and burgers can be ordered with a choice of one, two or three patties.

10. Vino’s

Bar, Restaurant, Italian

Vino’s offers guests the choice to dine on a feast of flavours in the Ristorante or to relax in the plush furnishings of the R.G. Books Lounge with a pleasing cocktail, glass of wine or bottle of beer. The perfect setting for an intimate outing, the lights are kept dim and the decor dark giving both the restaurant and bar the feel of exclusivity and intrigue. Order a medley of starters to share including the sambuca steamed mussels and yellowfin tuna then choose between the picatta style veal or chicken, the shrimp florentine or the pan-seared filet mignon for main course. In the Lounge the array of alcoholic drinks on offer is endless but a few favourite cocktails include the citron raspberry lemonade, apple martini and the Irish Russian in Cancun.
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