Last Updated on September 8, 2022
Visiting Dubuque Iowa or even live in Dubuque? It’s easy to get wrapped up in just eating at the large chain restaurants, they are near all the biggest shopping areas, with the largest car parks. We’re all guilty of sticking to what we know are safe options. But you’re missing out! There are plenty of small business and independent restaurants in Dubuque that are well worth visiting! Here are some of my favourite Dubuque restaurants (recommended for choice and quality of food and good service)!
*I have personally eaten at all of these restaurants…including more that haven’t been listed!*
Restaurants in Dubuque Iowa
🗺299 Main St, Dubuque, IA 52001, United States
The Barrel House is an Iowa based ‘pub’ with locations in Dubuque, Davenport, Cedar Rapids, Des Moines and Marion. What I love about the Barrel House is that the menu is HUGE with some unique flavours too. There are burgers, sandwiches (the Avocado Chicken is good!), salads, wraps and tacos. They have a large drinks menu too, with local and micro brewery beers on tap.
River Rock Kitchen and Tap
🗺450 Main St, Dubuque, IA 52001
River Rock Kitchen and Tap is located along Main Street on the ground floor of the Holiday Inn hotel, opposite the Five Flags Center. As someone that misses British chip shop chips (fries), I’m often not much of a fan of American fries, HOWEVER, I loved the fries at River Rock! They are yummy and chunky and look like a potato has been on a spiral cutter (featured image above)! I also had the warm apple tart with ice cream and an actual pint of shandy (half local beer/half Sprite)! Just like the Vue Rooftop in Iowa City (owned by the same group), it also has an outdoor fire pit!
1st & Main
🗺101 Main St, Dubuque, IA 52001
1st & Main is good enough to tell you right where it is located in the name of the restaurant! It’s in the heart of the Dubuque Street Art area and has a sunshine mural painted on the ‘First Street’ side of it! I had the Breakfast Club sandwich (bacon, egg, ham, turkey, lettuce, tomato – with no cheese or aioli) with sweet potato fries! Their breakfast menu looks awesome, how does pancakes with cinnamon custard and pecans sound?…or biscaffles and sausage gravy?!
Shot Tower Inn
🗺390 Locust St, Dubuque, IA 52001
The Shot Tower Inn is a big building that looks like a wooden cabin, located on Locust Street! It seems to always be PACKED out which can only mean the food is great right?! They mainly serve up pizzas, pasta and burgers, but for me the highlight was the fried ice cream!
🗺1072 Main St, Dubuque, IA 52001
L.May is another restaurant that I featured alongside the Shot Tower Inn as part of my post about the best places for dessert in Dubuque! They partnered with Betty Jane Candies and serve a dessert that’s made using their chocolates! They pride themselves on being locally owned and being able to give back to the community! When you pay the bill, they even tell you the following:
Closed Tuesday & Wednesdays. They also give a 5% discount when paying with cash!
🗺180 Main St, Dubuque, IA 52001
Vinny Vanucchi’s is almost opposite 1st & Main! It specialises in Italian themed dishes such as pizza and pasta. It’s one of the more expensive options but the dishes are a good size and packed with flavour! I had the Spaghetti Olio…which was one of the only cheese-less dishes! I went as part of a large work Christmas meal and we had a whole private room to ourselves which was nice as we didn’t have to worry about disturbing other diners that were after a quiet meal! They also have a 2nd location in Galena Illinois!
Yardarm Riverfront Bar & Grill
🗺1201 Shiras Ave Ext, Dubuque, IA 52001, United States
(Open April – October)
If you’re looking for Dubuque Restaurants on the river, the Yardarm Riverfront Bar & Grill is a fun choice. It has tiki bar vibes with a large waterfront deck. There’s a large cocktail menu and food options are mainly appetisers, burgers and wraps. During the summer months they have live music.
More Dubuque restaurants on the river: Tony Roma’s is located within the Grand Harbor Resort. Tony Roma’s is a chain restaurant and not a local independent business, but they do have great food!
Dubuque Millwork District Restaurants
Brazen Open Kitchen & Bar
🗺955 Washington St Suite 101, Dubuque, IA 52001
⭐️Farm to table restaurant
I make it no secret that I love Dubuque’s Millwork District! As I mentioned in a previous post, there are NO freezers at Brazen! They work alongside local farmers to bring the freshest food to the table. In the past they have held special ‘Farm to Table’ events. They also have their own garden on the edge of Dubuque, where they grow produce to use in the restaurant! Sticking with the look and feel of the Millwork District, the inside has lots of exposed brickwork and dark wood furniture.
Dishes are on the pricey side but are very tasty and complimentary bread and butter is served. Their burgers are massive and their fries are actually potato wedges so that makes me a happy customer! The focal point of Brazen is that the kitchen is open so you can see the food being prepared!
7 Hills Brewing Company
🗺1085 Washington St, Dubuque, IA 52001
7 Hills doubles up as a brewery as well as being a restaurant. You can even watch the workers checking the equipment and it has a very unique smell! They used to have pretzel crust pizza which was AMAZING, but I think they have now been switched to flatbreads. Other menu items include salads, sandwiches and burgers.
Related Reading: A Guide To Dubuque Iowa Breweries
🚙Parking in Downtown Dubuque
For the most part, the restaurants in Downtown Dubuque have on street metered parking. However the meters are free on Sundays and after 5pm Monday to Saturday. There are parking garages nearby too or you could park for free down near the Mississippi River Museum and then walk back across the bridge, which comes out on Main St.
Restaurants in the Dubuque Business District
Dubuque Mining Company
🗺555 John F Kennedy Rd #600, Dubuque, IA 52002, United States
Located next to Kennedy Mall is the Dubuque Mining Company. They serve up appetisers, burgers, sandwiches and dinners, including a giant pork tenderloin! Their cocktails are also served in mason jars.
Restaurants Near Dubuque
Breitbach’s Country Dining
🗺563 Balltown Rd, Sherrill, IA 52073, United States
⭐️Iowa’s oldest food & drinking establishment
A VERY popular Dubuque restaurant is Breitbach’s Country Dining. It’s not actually located in the city of Dubuque, it is however within Dubuque County. Balltown is approximately a 25 minute from Downtown Dubuque. Breitbach’s Country Dining is Iowa’s oldest ‘food and drinking establishment’, opening in 1852.
They pride themselves on their homemade food and have a regular lunch and dinner menu as well as an all you can eat buffet on Friday, Saturday and Sundays. There’s a soup and salad bar but the options of meat change depending on the day. Cod, chicken and shrimp is available most nights but the main dishes are: Friday’s – fish, Saturday – barbecue ribs, Sunday – chicken, pork, ham. I mostly had the cod!
Timmerman’s Supper Club
🗺7777 Timmerman Dr, East Dubuque, IL 61025
⭐️Sunday Brunch Buffet
Timmerman’s Supper Club do an AMAZING Sunday Brunch and are literally just a short drive across the river in East Dubuque, Illinois. There have all the usual breakfast choices, including a live omelette station, as well as a lunch station, fruit/veg/salad bar and a HUGE selection of pies for dessert! Part of its draw, is that it sits up on top of a bluff so has some great views!
Typically I visited on the morning of the first winter snow and no word of a lie, the hill leading up to Timmerman’s was the CLEAREST road out of all of them! You can’t deny people their breakfast buffets!! It is expensive but worth it for a treat!
Unlike the Sunday buffet, the evening dinner service is a regular menu. Again, it is expensive compared to some other options listed in this post. Dishes include pastas, seafood/fish, pork, chicken and beef. (There’s only one burger on the menu). Entrees are served with a choice of soup or various salads, a starch and rolls.
Chain Restaurants in Dubuque
Some of my favourite chain restaurants in Dubuque include:
Red Robin: 2775 NW Arterial, Dubuque, IA 52002
Buffalo Wild Wings: 2805 NW Arterial, Dubuque, IA 52002
Texas Roadhouse: 845 Wacker Dr, Dubuque, IA 52002
HuHot Mongolian Grill: 555 JF Kennedy Rd #685, Kennedy Mall, Dubuque, IA 52002
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