Iowa City Press-Citizen has put together a visitor’s guide to help people spend less time on Google and Yelp and more time trying local favorites.
Whether you’re visiting the area for the University of Iowa’s Hawkeyes wrestling game, the men’s or women’s basketball game, or the first women’s wrestling tournament, or just in town, Iowa is the place to eat, drink, and shop. This is the place to play and have fun. urban area.
11 Johnson County restaurants featuring wood-fired pizza, ramen, BBQ and more
Marquee Pizzeria Our wood-fired oven pizzas are topped with your favorite toppings such as pepperoni and mushrooms.
Sushi Shop A sushi bar serving nigiri, sashimi, udon, rolls, and more. His five-star Google reviews leave dozens of users more than satisfied.
Baroncini Italian Restaurant A fine dining experience serving homemade pasta daily. Linguini con gamberi is a slightly spicy pasta dish with seafood.
The Royal Taqueria A popular Mexican food spot where you can find al pastor tacos, birria tacos, enchiladas and fajitas at affordable prices.
webster This fine dining restaurant offers an elevated dining experience with a menu like no other. The menu changes frequently to reflect seasonal produce and produce. Expect more expensive menu items.
Oasis Falafel Another long-standing Iowa City staple that serves not just falafel, but chicken shawarma, beef kafta, baklava, and all the humus you’ll likely want again. It’s also a great option for on the go.
La Mexicana Grocery Store and Taqueria Another Mexican spot in the Iowa City area with dozens of positive reviews praising its excellent tacos, burritos, and margaritas.
ramen berry Tucked away in Iowa City’s Peninsula Neighborhood, this shop offers dishes like hot pork bone soup ramen and poke bowls. If you stop by, leave your signature or scribble on the restaurant’s large chalkboard.
Wilson’s Cider House & Venue Housed in a rebuilt 100-year-old barn, the menu features ingredients from local, sustainable farms and vendors. Between hearty dinner menus and brunch, Wilson’s Cider House & Venue is another sit-down option on a 90-acre apple orchard and farm.
Pops BBQ It’s one of those spots where you can smell the cooking when you’re nearby. Barbecue joints serve all the classic side dishes for barbecue staples such as brisket, pulled pork and smoked chicken.
Mesa 503 East of Iowa City serving delicious Salvadoran fare such as pupusas, enchiladas and tamales. The restaurant is small, so be prepared to take your food home.
- Where: 2302 Muscatine Ave., Iowa City
- Website: mesa503.com
4 places to satisfy your sweet tooth for dessert
cookies and dreams It offers giant freshly baked cookies in a variety of flavors, from Snickerdoodle Cheesecake to Rainbow Sprinkle Covered Sugar Cookies.
Deluxe Cakes & Pastries There are plenty of baked goods such as French macaroons, cookies, croissants, and baguettes.
Eat shop This is the place to check out when you’re looking for kolaches, gooey cinnamon rolls, or classic cookies. If you’re visiting on the weekend, check out the bakery’s Bagel Bomb.
hain ice cream Choose from dozens of ice cream flavors, including our popular Monster Mash with vanilla ice cream, cookie dough, peanut butter and M&M’s, and our rich Chocolate Delight with chocolate ice cream, fudge and brownies. Free, vegan, and dairy-free options available. and heath bars.
- Location: 811 S. First Ave. Iowa City, 25 E. Cherry St. North Liberty
- Website: heynsicecream.com
7 bars in Johnson County for drinks and mocktails
green house is a newly opened bar in Iowa City, adorned with over 100 plants and offering a unique green-themed drinking experience.
George’s Buffet It’s your local watering hole, and you don’t have to spend time on a fancy cocktail menu or worry that two drinks will break the bank. Plus, if you’re hungry, they’ll serve you a great cheeseburger.
go to 30 hops Rooftop bar and restaurant with views of Iowa River Landing. Call ahead to find out when the rooftop bar opens.
- Where: 900 E. Second Street, Coralville
- Website: 30hop.com
Reunion Brewery A new location recently opened in downtown Iowa City. So there are two places in the metro area where you can get beer from this local brewery. Sours, IPAs, stouts—ReUnion Brewery has it.
- Location: 516 Second Street, Coralville, 111 E. College Street, Iowa City
- Website: reunionbrewery.com
back pocket brewing Located right on the Iowa River Landing, just skip 30 hops to 1 if you want bar hopping.
Big Grove Brewery With locations in Iowa City and Solon, they serve beers that Iowans have known well over the years.
- Where: 101 W. Main St. Solon, 1225 S. Gilbert St. Iowa City
- Website: biggrove.com
fault free driver A driver who gives people a place to enjoy mocktails without adding alcohol.
5 shopping destinations for everything from books to vintage bargains
Iowa River Landing There are plenty of restaurants, bars and places to shop, including Lululemon, Anthropologie, and local shops like Cielo, which sells clothes, crystals, accessories and more.
Coral Ridge Mall Less than 5 miles from Iowa River Landing, shoppers can find retailers like Target, Barnes & Noble, Home Goods, H&M and Sephora.
Iowa Artisan Gallery Founded in 1984, it specializes in selling art made by artisans in the Midwest. Paintings, jewelry, and home décor are just some of the things you’ll find at this long-established shop in downtown Iowa City.
artifact A vintage resale shop that sells everything from salt and pepper shakers, belt buckles, furniture, books and more. At Artifacts, it’s easy to lose track of time as we have everything in stock for you to browse.
Prairie Lights is a privately owned bookstore that is loved not only by the Iowa City community, but also by visitors for its curated selection of books and intimate atmosphere. We also host readings and author discussions and conclude with a café.
12 things to do around Iowa City, like the Stanley Museum of Art and Wilson’s Orchard & Farm
movie scene is an independent, non-profit cinema in Iowa City with two locations in downtown Iowa City, showing films that are currently in theaters and rarely seen elsewhere.
- Location: 404 E. College St. #100 and 118 E. College St. Iowa City
- Website: icfilmscene.org
Iowa Raptor ProjectSponsored by the University of Iowa School of Education and Kirkwood Community College, the compelling raptors exhibit is open to the public for an educational experience.
Inglat Theater Historic Iowa City theater with year-round performances of musicians, stand-up comics, dance and more.
- Where: 221 E. Washington St, Iowa City
- Website: englert.org
University of Iowa Pentacrest Museum Includes the Old Capitol Museum and Natural History Museum with special exhibits, information on Iowa history, and a gift shop.
cryptic escape is an Iowa City escape room that caters to parties large and small, with themes like hotel hostage rescues and scary graveyards.
University of Iowa Stanley Museum of Art is a free visual arts institution with a large collection of contemporary art, African art and more. One of his most famous works in the museum is Jackson’s Pollock “Mural”.
double tap is a bar in Iowa City with dozens of arcade games, including Mario Kart, “The Simpsons”, Guitar Hero, and more.
Riverside Theater is a professional theater company in Iowa City that not only puts on seasonal productions, but also offers free Shakespeare performances in the park during the summer months.
Spare Me Bowling alley and arcade within the Hotel Chauncey with 12 bowling lanes and bars.
McBride Lake State Park is Iowa’s largest state park, with scenic trails for hiking and day trips, two campgrounds, and a lake.
Hancher Auditorium is a Performing Arts Presenter at the University of Iowa and a frequent guest with renowned musicians, plays, and speakers.
Wilson’s Orchard & Farm A 90-acre farm where you can harvest seasonal produce such as apples, raspberries and pumpkins. Enjoy a barbecue at a farm market or smokehouse.
Paris Barraza covers entertainment, lifestyle and art with Iowa City Press-Citizen. PBarraza@press-citizen.com or contact her at 319-519-9731. Follow her on her Twitter @ParisBarraza.