Where to eat, things to do in Iowa City during state volleyball
For the first time, Coralville will host the Iowa High School Volleyball Tournament beginning Oct. 31 at Xtream Arena.
Previously held in Cedar Rapids since 1991the tournament will feature more than a dozen teams hoping for a win.
With the influx of people coming to the area through Nov. 3, the Iowa City Press-Citizen has put together a visitor’s guide so people can spend less time Google and Yelp and more time trying local favorites.
Here’s where to eat, drink, shop and play in the Iowa City area.
11 places to eat in Johnson County, including wood-fired pizza, ramen and barbecue
Pizzeria marquee serves wood oven baked pizzas topped with staples like pepperoni, mushrooms or whatever you want.
Formosa is a sushi bar with a seemingly endless number of options for sushi rolls, from spicy tuna to shrimp. Or try the Iowa City roll which features beef and cream cheese.
Baroncini Ristorante Italiano is an upscale dining experience serving homemade pasta, daily. Try the linguini con gamberi for a lightly spiced, seafood-filled pasta dish.
Taqueria Regia is a popular place for Mexican food where people can find tacos al pastor, tacos birria, enchiladas and fajitas at affordable prices.
The Webster is an upscale restaurant offering an elevated dining experience with a menu people won’t find elsewhere nearby, in part because the menu changes often to reflect seasonal foods and ingredients. Expect more expensive menu items.
The Hamburg Hostel No. 2 is an Iowa City staple offering dinner classics from a robust breakfast menu, sandwiches, and their standout pie shakes, which blend a whole slice of pie or cake into one rich shake.
Falafel Oasis is another longtime Iowa City staple that serves up falafel as well as chicken shawarma, beef kafta, baklava, and all the hummus you’re likely to crave again. It’s also a great take-out option.
La Mexicana grocery store and Taqueria is another spot for authentic Mexican food in the Iowa City area with dozens of positive reviews hailing it for its great tacos, burritos, and margaritas.
ramen belly is nestled in the Peninsula neighborhood in Iowa City with hot pork broth ramen bowls, poke bowls and more. If you stop by, leave a signature or doodle on the restaurant’s large blackboard.
Wilson’s Cider House and Venue sits inside a rebuilt century-old barn with a menu featuring ingredients sourced from local, sustainable farms and vendors. Between a thoughtful dinner menu and brunch, Wilson’s Ciderhouse & Venue is another sit-down dining option set on an apple orchard and 90-acre farm.
Pop’s BBQ is one of those places where, if you’re nearby, you’ll sense what’s brewing. The BBQ Joint serves beef brisket, pulled pork, smoked chicken, and all the classic sides you’d expect to accompany your barbecue.
Four places to satisfy your sweet tooth and grab some dessert
Cookies and Dreams offers freshly baked jumbo cookies with different flavors that will satisfy everyone, from snickerdoodle cheesecake to sugar cookies covered in rainbow sprinkles.
Luxury cakes and pastries has plenty of baked goodies, French macaroons, cookies, croissants, baguettes and more, making it not only a dessert spot, but also a great cafe for a light breakfast or lunch.
The food shop is the place to check when looking for kolaches, ooey-gooey cinnamon rolls or classic cookies. If you’re visiting on the weekend, check out the bakery’s bagel bombs.
Heyn ice cream offers gluten-free, vegan, and dairy-free options among their dozens of ice cream flavors, including the popular Monster Mash or the rich indulgence Chocoholic Delight.
Seven bars in Johnson County for a drink or a mocktail
The greenhouse is a newly opened bar in Iowa City, decorated with over 100 plants for a unique, environmentally-themed drinking experience.
George’s sideboard is a local watering hole where you don’t have to spend time pouring over a fancy cocktail menu or worrying if two drinks will break the bank. Plus they have amazing cheeseburgers if you’re hungry.
30 jumps is a restaurant with a rooftop bar, and it’s where you’ll want to have a drink with a view of the Iowa River Landing. Just be sure to call ahead to find out when the rooftop bar will open.
ReUnion Brewery recently opened a new location in downtown Iowa City, which means there are two places to grab a beer. Sours, IPAs, stouts – ReUnion Brewery has it.
Pocket brew is located right in Iowa River Landing, and a stone’s throw from 30hop if you’re looking to hit the bars.
Big Grove Brewery has a location in Iowa City and Solon, serving the beers that Iowans have come to know well over the years.
The dry bar intact is a dry bar offering people a place to have a cocktail with no added alcohol.
Five places to shop, from books to vintage finds
Iowa River Landing is home to restaurants, bars, and plenty of places to shop, including Lululemon, Anthropologie, and local stores like CIELO, which sells clothing, crystals, accessories, and more.
Coral Ridge Mall is less than five miles from Iowa River Landing, where people can find retailers such as Target, Barnes and Noble, HomeGoods and dozens more.
The Artisans of Iowa Gallery was founded in 1984 and specializes in selling artwork by Midwestern artists. Paintings, jewelry, home decor and more are just a few of what can be found at this long-running boutique in downtown Iowa City.
Artifacts is a vintage resale shop selling just about every item you can think of, including salt and pepper shakers, belt buckles, furniture, books and dozens more. It’s easy to lose track of time at Artifacts with all the inventory to go through.
Prairie Lights is an independent bookstore beloved by the Iowa City community and visitors for its book selection and intimate atmosphere. It also hosts author readings and discussions and has a cafe to top it all off.
11 places to have fun in the Iowa City area, including the Stanley Museum of Art and Wilson’s Orchard and Farm
MovieScene is Iowa City’s non-profit independent cinema with two locations in downtown Iowa City, showing current movies in theaters and movies you’ll be hard pressed to catch anywhere else.
Project Iowa Raptorsponsored by the University of Iowa College of Education and Kirkwood Community College, features birds of prey that cannot be released and is open to the public for an educational experience.
England’s theater is Iowa City’s historic theater that features musicians, comedians, dance and more year-round.
The Pentacrest Museums at the University of Iowa include the Old Capitol Museum and the Natural History Museum, with special exhibits, information on Iowa history, and a gift shop.
University of Iowa Stanley Museum of Art is a free-to-the-public visual arts institution with an array of contemporary art, African art and more. One of the best-known pieces in the museum is the “mural” by Jackson Pollock.
Tap twice is a bar in Iowa City with dozens of arcade games, including Mario Kart, “The Simpsons”, Guitar Hero and many more.
Theater by the river is an Iowa City professional theater company that, in addition to presenting its seasonal works, also presents Shakespeare for free in the park during the summer.
Save me is a bowling alley and arcade located inside the Chauncey, with a dozen bowling lanes and a bar.
Lake MacBride State Park is Iowa’s largest state park and features scenic trails for hiking and day trips, two campgrounds, and a lake.
Hiper Auditorium is the performing arts presenter at the University of Iowa, often showing renowned musicians, theater, lectures and more.
Wilson’s orchard and farm is a 90-acre farm where people can pick seasonal produce like apples, raspberries or pumpkins. Visit their farm market or smokehouse for a barbecue.
Where: 4823 Dingleberry Road NE #1, Iowa City
Paris Barraza covers entertainment, lifestyle and the arts at Iowa City Press-Citizen. Contact her at [email protected] or (319) 519-9731. Follow her on Twitter @ParisBarraza.