Top 10 Restaurants In Cedar Rapids, Iowa

Corn Field, Cedar Rapids, Iowa | ©Alan Kotok/Flickr
Corn Field, Cedar Rapids, Iowa | ©Alan Kotok/Flickr
Photo of Chloe Hay
9 February 2017

The second largest city in Iowa, Cedar Rapids is already renowned for being a thriving arts and culture hub. But it’s also getting increasing praise for its exciting restaurant scene, including the state’s only Cuban restaurant. Here are 10 local favorites to choose between.

The Irish Democrat

A restaurant and bar, The Irish Democrat is a great spot for a casual, relaxed dinner or wholesome lunch with a game of pool. The bare brick walls and wooden tables and booths create a cozy, welcoming atmosphere and the bar area provides a place to sit for those who just want a drink. Stop by at lunch to try the gourmet soup of the day or a signature salad such as the strawberry poppy seed salad or the maytag grilled chicken cobb salad. For those after something a little heartier at dinner time, go for the slow-smoked hickory baby-back ribs in a barbecue sauce or the tarragon buttered sirloin. Burgers, sandwiches and pizzas are on the menu in abundance too.

Pulled Pork Burger | ©Jerry Huddleston/Flickr


Offering an intimate dining experience, Zins specializes in small plates, perfect for sharing. Dress up, make use of the valet parking and settle down for a beautiful meal with friends. Small plates include seared scallops, crispy kale, lamb lollipops, steak di burgo and wild rice crab cakes. There are also a couple of big plates too for those who aren’t very good at sharing food. Zins prides itself on serving fine wines by the glass so everyone can have the exact wine they wish even if it differs from the rest of their table. Open for Sunday brunch between 10am-2pm, visitors can stop by then to sample the omelettes, pancakes and chorizo and eggs. Reservations advised.

Seared day boat scallops with saffron gnocchi, poached lobster, and early Spring vegetables at Troquet | © Dale Cruse / Flickr

White Star Ale House

Restaurant, American, Pub Grub, Wine, Beer, Cocktails, $$$
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Vegan Toasted Marshmellow Pumpkin Cheesecake
Vegan Toasted Marshmellow Pumpkin Cheesecake | ©librarianfinsen/Flickr
Proud to be American, White Star Ale House serves only American classics; American beers, American wines and American sodas. Step through the doors into the contemporary restaurant and be transported into a world of all things U.S.A. Start with the Ale House sliders or Wisconsin Wontons appetizer, followed by either the crispy chicken, meatloaf or pot-roast main and finish with the cheesecake or cookies and ice cream. To drink, it has to be a bottle of Coors or a large glass of Mountain Dew. There’s an extensive cocktail menu too and free entertainment on Friday and Saturday nights.

Oyama Sushi

Turning food into art, Oyama Sushi is a Japanese restaurant plating up technicolored dishes to delight all of the senses. Guests can choose to sit at the sushi bar and choose a selection of rolls including spicy tuna, salmon and avocado, and yellowtail, or sit at a table and order from the kitchen dishes such as yaki soba, bento dinners and shrimp tempura. For something a little different, sit at a Hibachi table and have their own chef prepare a Teppanyaki feast of salmon, red snapper, filet mignon, scallops and lobster tails right before your eyes.

Tairyo, Teppanyaki, Beijing | ©Giorgio Minguzzi/Flickr

Cobble Hill

Restaurant, American
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Brewing Equipment
Brewing Equipment | ©Pixabay
Supporting local farmers and encouraging sustainable food practice, family-run Cobble Hill sources their ingredients locally whenever possible. The menu is small but decadent and each dish is presented beautifully on the plate. Start with the bacon and clams with braised potatoes, lime air, chowder sauce and celery or the Grass Run Farm’s beef carpaccio with spring garlic and peas, miso, puffed sesame rice and mint. For the main course, opt for the Salt Fork Farm’s chicken with popcorn grits, local baby kale, red eye gnocchi and pickled onions or the roast saddle of lamb with green garbanzo hummus, green garlic, peas, butter lettuce and mole spices for a meal to remember.
Granite City Food & Brewery
Brewing their own beers on site, Granite City Food & Brewery is an attractive restaurant for anyone who likes a stein of ale with their dinner. Serving up hearty yet wholesome fare, signature dishes include grilled chicken and asparagus linguine and Barramundi Buerre Blanc. Pair these dishes with one of the signature brews for the full Granite City experience. The Duke is a delicious pale ale and The Batch is a double IPA and there are many more varieties to choose from too.

Cappy’s Pizzeria

Retro in style and delicious in taste, Cappy’s Pizzeria gives diners the choice between a delicious New York thin pizza, a firm favorite Chicago deep dish or a house special calzone, all of which are equally good. Sit at a retro vinyl table and order from a laminated classic rock album cover menu and then play with the Trivial Pursuit cards on the table while waiting for the pizza to arrive. Cappy’s is licensed and serves wine and beer, but is not open for lunch.

Cappy’s Pizzeria, 7037 C Avenue NE, Cedar Rapids, Iowa, USA, +1 319 826 2625

Pizza | ©Pixabay

Pizza | ©Pixabay | ©Pixabay

Flying Wienie

In true Chicago style, Flying Wienie is all about the simple, yet highly sought after, hot dog. All dogs are freshly made under the Red Hot Chicago Brand and served with homemade chips and a choice of toppings including ketchup, mustard, onions, sweet relish, dill spears, tomatoes, mayo, kraut, peanut butter and spicy peppers. For those not so keen on the dog option, Flying Wienie also offers a range of sandwiches including pulled pork, chicken chunks and BBQ beef, and fries can be swapped for a second dog instead. If the weather’s nice Flying Wienie will prepare diners with a picnic to take away with them and true hot dog fans can buy their favorite sausage variety by the foot.

Flying Wienie, 103 8th Avenue SW, Cedar Rapids, Iowa, USA, +1 319 861 3036

APulled Pork/ ©Pixabay

APulled Pork/ ©Pixabay

Croissant du Jour

Restaurant, French
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Carrot and Ginger Soup
Carrot and Ginger Soup | ©James Cohen/Flickr
Run by a husband and wife duo, Croissant du Jour is a delightful place to stop off for a cup of coffee and a perfectly formed pastry. Made fresh each day, choose between a miniature apple tart, chocolate brioche, vanilla eclair, madeleine cookie or a mixed almond fruit tart. Also open for lunch, Croissant du Jour offers a wide selection of tasty soups, salads, sandwiches and quiches to be devoured inside the restaurant or to take away. Whole cakes and pastry boxes are also available but need to be ordered either by telephone or in person at least 24 hours in advance.

The Lost Cuban

Restaurant, Cuban
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Mojito | ©Billy Millard/Flickr
As Iowa’s only authentic Cuban restaurant, locals keep flocking back to The Lost Cuban for its famous ribs and Cuban sandwiches. A tiny, order-at-the-counter restaurant, the atmosphere is great with joyful Cuban music, traditional artwork on the walls and dominoes tables. In the summer, guests can dine al fresco and the selection of mojito flavors is great any time of the year. Portions are huge and burgers are available with a choice of one, two or three patties. For those who have room after the main course, the guava pastries are exceptional.

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