10 Best Restaurants in Dubuque Iowa (Recommended By A Local)!

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 restaurants in Dubuque in the Downtown Area that are well worth visiting!  Here are some of my favourite restaurants in Dubuque Iowa (recommended for choice and quality of food and good service)!

Updated: March 2021

Downtown Restaurants in Dubuque Iowa

River Rock Kitchen and Tap

Location: 450 Main St, Dubuque, IA 52001

See Menu

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 lemonade)!  Just like the Vue Rooftop in Iowa City (owned by the same group), it also has an outdoor fire pit!

Dubuque Restaurants Iowa

1st & Main

Location: 101 Main St, Dubuque, IA 52001

See Menu

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?!

1st & Main Dubuque Mural Iowa

Shot Tower Inn

Location: 390 Locust St, Dubuque, IA 52001

See Menu

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!

Shot Tower Inn Dubuque

L.May Eatery

Location: 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:

Dubuque Restaurants Iowa

Closed Tuesday & Wednesdays.  They also give a 5% discount when paying with cash!

Vinny Vanucchi’s

Location: 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!

The Kitchen Buffet

Location: 301 Bell St, Dubuque, IA 52001

The Kitchen Buffet is exactly what it says on the tin, an all you can eat buffet!  It’s located in the Diamond Jo Casino, so you do have to be over 21 to enter as you have to pass through into the actual casino to get to it.  You’ll find: soups, salads, chicken, meat carving stations, fish, different types of potato and of course my favourite, the dessert station!  The Kitchen Buffet is closed in Mondays.  The Casino also has free parking 24hrs a day, 7 days a week!

Yardarm Riverfront Bar & Grill

1201 Shiras Ave Ext, Dubuque, IA 52001, United States

(Open April – October)

See Menu

If you’re looking for relaxed riverside dining, 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.

Millwork District Restaurants

Brazen Open Kitchen & Bar

Location: 955 Washington St Suite 101, Dubuque, IA 52001

See Menu

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!

Brazen Open Kitchen Dubuque

7 Hills Brewing Company

Location: 1085 Washington St, Dubuque, IA 52001

See Menu

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!

Dubuque Restaurants Iowa

Related ReadingA Guide To Dubuque Iowa Breweries

Parking in 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

See Menu

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.

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

The Barrel House: 299 Main St, Dubuque, IA 52001

Restaurants Near Dubuque

Timmerman’s Supper Club – Illinois

Location: 7777 Timmerman Dr, East Dubuque, IL 61025

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!

Timmerman's Supper Club East Dubuque

(Looking back towards 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 🙂

Other Posts You May Find Useful

40 Top Things To Do in Dubuque Iowa, Recommended By A Local!

What are some of your favourite restaurants in Dubuque Iowa?

Kylie Signature

Visiting Dubuque soon? Pin it for later!

The best restaurants in Dubuque Iowa USA

9 thoughts on “10 Best Restaurants in Dubuque Iowa (Recommended By A Local)!

  1. Love this post. I travel to Dubuque almost every year during the winter. Galena is one of my all time favorite destinations in Illinois and that usually ends with us heading over to Dubuque for some Eagle watching or just looking around. Surprisingly we have never eaten in Dubuque – thanks for bringing some of these great ideas to your readers.

    1. Thanks, glad I could help! I live 20 minutes the other side of Dubuque so it’s where I always eat! I love Galena but I rarely get there!

    1. A few of them are quite new! Literally opened in the past couple of months or so! The salad bar may only be part of the brunch, I’m not too sure if they have it during the evening service! Brunch goes on until 1.30pm though on Sundays! 🙂

  2. I ate at Timmerman’s a few years ago, but not for the Sunday brunch. I’d love to go back sometime for the brunch—and to Dubuque to try some of the amazing restaurants you’ve recommended.

Leave a Reply