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Diners' Choice: Lively restaurants in Iowa

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OpenTable
Updated April 05, 2024

Looking for restaurants that have the most vibrant bar scenes in Iowa? You’re in the right place. Each month, OpenTable analyzes nearly 2 million global diner reviews from the past four months. We sort the results by location and category to help you discover new favourite restaurants. It's a great partnership: you reserve, eat, and review. We listen...and deliver the results for all to benefit. Enjoy!


A photo of Maxwell's on the River restaurant
4.9
4.9 (103)
$30 and under
Contemporary American
Davenport
About the restaurant
From Muscatine native Executive Chef Tessa Crookshanks, the artful cuisine of Maxwell's at the River is poised to please. With an emphasis on fresh, local and sustainable fare, the Modern American menu showcases the finest in Muscatine dining in the heart of downtown. Enjoy the sweeping Mississippi River views gathering with friends or meeting other like-minded travelers and locals for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or happy hour.
Top review
OpenTable Diner
Dined on Apr 15, 2024
The food, service, and ambiance are always great for our monthly Bookclub group
A photo of The Stuffed Olive - Des Moines restaurant
4.7
4.7 (681)
$30 and under
American
Des Moines
About the restaurant
The Stuffed Olive is about the entire “Martini & Tapas Experience.” From your favorite classics to new and exciting blends you’ve never seen before, you’re sure to find a cocktail to love on our vast martini menu. Add a warm, comfortable atmosphere, great wines, beers and top-shelf spirits, and The Stuffed Olive will become your favorite place to start, end or spend your entire evening. Our tapas menu offers appetizer-sized portions of globally influenced entrees, for a sampling and sharing dining experience. Pair tasty tapas with your favorite martini for happy hour, dinner or a late-night snack. We welcome you to sit back, relax, enjoy great food, good conversation and your favorite martini. Welcome to the Stuffed Olive!
Top review
FloydS
Dined 7 days ago
An exceptional improvement ambiance, food and service !
A photo of Fresko restaurant
4.7
4.7 (1094)
$30 and under
Farm-to-table
Des Moines
About the restaurant
“Fresko” meaning “fresh” inspires our creation of seasonal menus made from locally sourced ingredients. Fresko makes natural food from the bounty of Iowa farms whenever possible. The culinary team prepares product from start to finish applying natural time honored techniques with care at every step. This enriches the flavorful and nutritious product we serve and benefits our community. Fresko believes we are what we eat and eating well means living well.

Fresko features a splendid assortment of original cocktails with a deep spirits menu and a beer program with sixteen beers on tap in addition to bottles and cans. Fresko's wine menu focuses on quality selections at a great value to our guests.

Top review
Denise
Dined 6 days ago
We had a large group and were going to a show at the Temple Theatre. Our server had us in and out in 1 1/2 hour without feeling rushed. She was very responsive and friendly. All 8 of us were very pleased with our meals! Wonderful experience and we will return!
A photo of Parlor restaurant
4.7
4.7 (18)
$30 and under
Pizza Bar
Des Moines
About the restaurant
At Parlor we've created relaxed, social surroundings with family booths, shuffleboard, patio seating, full bar and sports on tv. Reconnect with the simple joy of a cold drink and a hot slice of pizza, or sausages and slaw. Everything is curated for you to enjoy yourself, so what are you waiting for?
Top review
MattD
Dined on Mar 30, 2024
I don’t do a lot of reviews. In the case of Parlor I don’t mind at all. Everything is great. Happy Hour is a treat and the beers are pretty good.
A photo of Eatery A restaurant
4.6
4.6 (504)
$30 and under
Mediterranean
Des Moines
About the restaurant
Eatery A is Des Moines's destination for Mediterranean-inspired cuisine. Perfecting simple dishes that focus on local, quality ingredients, we strive to offer our guests exotic flavor profiles that let the ingredients take center stage.
Top review
KimR
Dined 6 days ago
Met friends for dinner. We were seated immediately and server came over right away. She was very attentive. Food and drinks were wonderful.
A photo of P.F. Chang's - West Des Moines restaurant
4.6
4.6 (65)
$30 and under
Chinese
West Des Moines
About the restaurant
We are an Asian & Chinese restaurant offering dine-in, takeout, to-go, delivery, and catering. Make a reservation online to dine in. Order Asian and Chinese food delivery, takeout, and catering online or through the P.F. Chang's mobile app. Let us cater the perfect feast for you - corporate office catering menus are also available. P.F. Chang's offers a variety of signature Asian, Thai, Korean, Japanese, Mongolian, and Chinese food dishes including Chicken Lettuce Wraps, Chicken Pad Thai, Signature Lo Mein, Fried Rice, Mongolian Beef, Chang's Spicy Chicken, and Pork and Shrimp Dumplings. Order online for sushi delivery and takeout. Many gluten-free and vegetarian menu items are available. Try our seasonal cocktails and seasonal menu items.
Top review
OpenTable Diner
Dined on Mar 28, 2024
The dish wasn’t prepared in the same way it was described on the menu.
A photo of Mulberry Street Tavern restaurant
4.6
4.6 (519)
$31 to $50
American
Des Moines
About the restaurant
Mulberry Street Tavern brings a fresh yet nostalgic vibe to Downtown Des Moines. Once a hub for the city transit, it is now adorned with rich woods, leather, and a zinc bar that create a warm and timeless social destination. The open-hearth kitchen produces shareable worldly tavern fare, hearty entrees and, hands down, the best burger in Des Moines. Enjoy perfect classic cocktails, eclectic award-winning wines, and interesting regional and foreign beers on draught.


Top review
KariRvip
Dined on Apr 13, 2024
Great, as always. We love the craft cocktails and the wine selection.
A photo of Blue Sushi Sake Grill - Des Moines restaurant
4.6
4.6 (171)
$30 and under
Sushi
Des Moines
About the restaurant
Blue Sushi Sake Grill unites creative ingredients with energetic vibes, premium cold sake with happy moments to give you a fresh and fun new way to experience sushi. Our sushi and grill menus allow you to explore your sushi favorites in new and unexpected ways. We like to say that sushi is for sharing, and our menu encourages it. Order a spread of all your maki, nigiri and sashimi favs from the sushi bar, and throw in a few orders of starters from the grill. We'll stagger your plates so you can savor it all bite-by-bite, and maximize the sushi experience you've been craving all week. If you're not sure where to start, tour the menu during Happy Hour, where all our guest favorites — from our sushi, grill and drink menus — are available at an amazing value. We offer Happy Hour every day of the week at Blue Sushi Sake Grill!
Top review
OpenTable Diner
Dined 4 days ago
Great food! The sushi rolls are awesome! Lettuce wraps are phenomenal. Service was good. They were super busy but food came out fast. Drinks were slow. Will definitely be back.
A photo of Range Restaurant + Cocktail Bar restaurant
4.4
4.4 (290)
$30 and under
American
Urbandale
About the restaurant
Range Restaurant and Cocktail Bar is casual fine dining establishment that combines prime proteins with signature cocktails, perfectly matched with each other. Our menu is crafted with locally sourced ingredients, the unique background of two talented chefs, and served by a talented team of servers and bartenders working to make your dining experience a Range experience.

You can enjoy any part of our facility individually or come and enjoy all aspects of Range with friends, family, co-workers, and teammates. You can dine in our restaurant, cocktail lounge, or our indoor golf simulators. We invite you to stop in and see what Range is all about!

Top review
OpenTable Diner
Dined on Feb 15, 2024
Food was great, steak was perfect. Better environment than i expected. Could not tell the indoor golf was even there!
A photo of Granite City Food & Brewery - Cedar Rapids restaurant
4.0
4 (282)
$30 and under
American
Cedar Rapids
About the restaurant
With its warm, inviting and modern design, Granite City Food & Brewery’s expansive interior features a spacious and comfortable dining room, four-sided modern, full-service bar, as well as an outdoor patio. The on-site brewery, with award-winning hand crafted micro-brews, is visible from the main dining and bar areas. The restaurant also showcases an open kitchen featuring chef developed, handcrafted made-from-scratch cuisine, including innovative signature entrees, flatbreads and more.

Granite City Food & Brewery’s signature brews, which are made on-site, include The Duke (Pale Ale), The Bennie (Bock), The Northern (American Style Light Lager) and The Stout. Seasonal brews are featured throughout the year.

Top review
JonGvip
Dined on Feb 27, 2024
Very good, everything went well and service food was very good!
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