Live in Dubuque Iowa or visiting the area? 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. But you’re missing out! There are plenty of independent Dubuque restaurants in the Downtown Area that are well worth visiting! Here are 8 of my favourites!
Downtown Dubuque Restaurants
River Rock Kitchen and Tap
This restaurant is one of the newest in Downtown Dubuque! It’s 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 lemonade)! Just like the Vue Rooftop in Iowa City (owned by the same group), it also has an outdoor fire pit!
1st & Main
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 the yellow sunshine picture (see below) 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
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!
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!
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!
Millwork District Restaurants
Brazen Open Kitchen & Bar
I make it no secret that I love Dubuque’s Millwork District! As I mentioned in a previous post, there were NO freezers at Brazen! They pride themselves on using only the freshest ingredients! Their burgers are massive and their fries are actually potato wedges so that makes me a happy customer!
7 Hills Brewing Company
Another fairly new restaurant in Dubuque! 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! I loved their pretzel crust pizza! The pizzas at 7 Hills are made on a base that tastes just like a giant soft pretzel! It does mean that even a small pizza is very filling!
Restaurants Near Dubuque
Timmerman’s Supper Club do an AMAZING Sunday Brunch and are literally just a short drive across the river in East Dubuque, IL. 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!
(Looking back at Dubuque)
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 🙂
What are some of your Dubuque favourites?