Favorite Iowa City Restaurants, Chosen by Hawkeyes

By Megan Walsh
Restaurant Graphic

Do you need restaurant recommendations? Ask a Hawkeye.

From handmade Italian cuisine to beautifully plated scallops to mouthwatering hummus, Iowa City has something for everyone.

Nearly 300 alumni and friends shared their favorite place to eat near campus, and a consensus was reached—Hawkeyes just can’t get enough of these Iowa City staples.

Hamburg Inn

“If it still exists, best lunch burger ever!” —Tony Harper
“It's been there forever, and I hope it will forever remain. Whether for lunch, dinner, or a meal before partying at the downtown IC bars or before going home for the night, this place has all the right foods. And they are all delish! I’ve been there a million times, and I hope to go a million more!” —Kim White Drenth (87BS)
Hamburg Inn image Photo courtesy of Hamburg inn

Bread Garden Market

“I love love love Bread Garden! They brought back their mac and cheese, and when I drive through town, I make sure to grab one bowl for now and one for later!” —Angie Benda (19BA)
Bread Garden Market Photo courtesy of the Bread Garden Market

Wig and Pen

“The Flying Tomato Pizza!” —Hailey Blevins
Wig and Pen Photo courtesy of Wig and Pen

The Vine

“Always The Vine. The original Vine, walkable from downtown.” —Jay Jacobs (99BA)
The Vine Photo courtesy of the Vine


“The food is delicious, and the service is impeccable.” —Karen Neuoroth


“Monica’s is a great spot for a midwestern meal, and it's very grandchildren-friendly.” —Dave Linder (80BGS, 82MA)
“Monica’s is great food and service.” —Dennis Wilson (61BA)
Monicas Photo courtesy of Monica's

Oasis Falafel

“Oasis is great!" —Heather Gudenkauf (92BA)
Oasis Falafel Photo courtesy of Oasis Falafel

A&A Pagliai’s Pizza

“Pagliai's Pizza is our favorite spot. It is a long-established, very well-run business that serves great food." —Leslie Eggers (72BA)
“Pagliai’s for Friday night pizza!" —Amanda Fitzgerald (03BA)
A&A Pagliai’s Pizza Photo courtesy of A&A Pagliai’s Pizza

Orchard Green

“Operated by Culinary Institute of America chef Bryan Herzic, Orchard Green offers the best food and a great atmosphere for dinners, conversation, and the gathering of friends. While working at the UI, I found Orchard Green to be the perfect place for meals with friends, work colleagues, and professional guests." —Bill Decker (66BA, 68MS)
“Orchard Green for upscale (the lounge is a hidden gem)." —Shea Becker (98BA, 00MA)
Orchard Green Photo courtesy of Orchard Green
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