Much like the citizens in the state, the restaurants of Iowa cover a wide demographic of flavors and entree options. If it’s French cuisine that you are looking for, you don’t have to look very far in Iowa. From some of the most delicious crepes you’ll find in the Midwest to the finest cuisine the French can offer, Iowa is serving up some of the best. Here are our 10 favorite French restaurants in the state.
One of Iowa’s newest French bistros, Crêpes De Luxe serves up the fare, ambiance and friendliness of French cuisine in style, and can provide a great meal that is worth coming back for more. Featuring fantastic crêpes ranging from sweet to savory, and including the likes of the De Luxe Crepe with Gran Marnier orange liqueur, butter and sugar, and the Roma Crepe with sun dried tomatoes, feta, cranberries, chicken, spinach and pesto. While the appetizing entrees at Crêpes De Luxe that will have you coming back for more at Crêpes De Luxe, it’s the cozy environment that will make you want to stay.
Featuring a fresh expression of French cuisine, Chez Grace of Coralville is a small restaurant that exclusively serves dinner fare Wednesday through Sunday. While Chez Grace is optimal for a special occasion, the wide menu of nightly features and daily French cuisine warrants random visits just because. Patrons to Chez Grace are offered two, three or four courses depending on their appetite, and each option features new daily specials and chef’s creations, making for a unique experience every time you visit Chez Grace.
Serving simple French cuisine in a comfortable atmosphere, L’Auberge of Cedar Rapids is a relaxing place for an outstanding meal. Between the low-key facade of L’Auberge and the soft lighting found on the inside, plus the wafting aromas from the house-cooked meals, you’ll feel immediately at home when eating at L’Auberge, even if you don’t have any French ancestry. Featuring a short menu of succulent entrees and appetizers, patrons of L’Auberge have a choice between dishes like shrimp with salmon soufflé and beef burgundy, all made fresh, all easily able to satisfy any sort of hunger you might bring to dinner.
Featured as one of Iowa’s most prominent French restaurants, Django of Des Moines is reported to provide all the French with no attitude. Whatever their service might be, and it is great, what really makes Django so state-famous is their award-winning menu of French and French-inspired cuisine. From the duck-fat fried French fries (duck frites) to the French ham and cheese (croque monsieur), there are enough entrees to explore at Django for multiple meals, and multiple visits.
The artist behind the French cuisine of Baru66 in Windsor Heights, Chef David Baruthio, has a long history and roots in French cuisine, having grown up and received an education in France. After touring the world and working for a variety of upscale restaurants, Baruthio landed in Windsor Heights, and is happy to share his culinary creations with all those in Iowa and beyond. Featuring a customizable menu of tantalizing appetizers, entrees and finishing courses, plus a la carte French signature dishes, the taste combinations are nearly endless at Baru66. Whatever you choose to order, know that behind each taste sensation is a head chef and staff that know what they are doing.
Serving as a cozy French bistro in the Beaverdale neighborhood of Des Moines, Le Jardin not only offers a comfortable atmosphere to relax in, but they also provide a full menu of authentic and inspired cuisine. Specializing in appetizers, entrees, crepes and dessert, Le Jardin also has a wide selection of flatbreads, cheese and meat plates to choose from. Whether you are looking for a fulfilling break in your day, or a special place to enjoy a meal on its own, Le Jardin is welcoming to everyone that walks through the door.
Cafe Fraiche is one of Dubuque’s newest bistros, and with a wide selection of sweet and savory crepes, plus a la carte breakfast items and orders, it’s quickly becoming one of the most popular places to get a bite to eat for breakfast. The Crepes alone at Cafe Fraiche are worth the visit, and with flavors ranging from mixed berry to Nutella drizzled, the hardest part of your visit to Cafe Fraiche will be choosing what to order. For something a little heartier for breakfast, a recommended way to go at the Cafe Fraiche is the Croque Madam, which features two slices of French baguette, an egg, a slice of ham and gruyere cheese served with hash browns.
Serving as the premiere French restaurant of Muscatine and the surrounding area, DaBeet’s Bistro offers a full menu of French-Italian inspired cuisine at an affordable price. Not only will the affordability appeal to the senses of everyone that visits DaBeet’s, but the locally sourced ingredients and award-winning entrees that come from the kitchen has everyone coming back for more. Whether you go for an appetizing appetizer like the truffle parmesan frites, or an elegant entree such as the Coq Au Vin with chicken, bacon and a red wine demi-glaze, if you top anything off with a decadent dessert like the Grand Marnier creme brule, you’ll be sure to leave DaBeet’s Bistro with a smile on your face.
For those with a little sweet tooth, Deluxe Cakes and Pastries in Iowa City is a hidden-gem coffee shop that couldn’t be more comfortable if you found it in your home. Featuring baked-fresh daily French pastries and cakes, perhaps one of the best ways to enjoy Deluxe is to bring a book and idly spend the day wafting in the aroma coming from the ovens behind the counter. For a quick fix or something to bring home with you, each trip to the glass counter displaying all the homemade French convections items is a clear view into the all the happiness found in the world.
Providing some of the finest French pastries found in the Quad Cities, the French Rose Bakery and Cafe is the perfect spot to pop in and grab what you need, or a welcoming place to simply stop and enjoy the morning or afternoon. Featuring sweet smells coming from the oven daily, the French Rose doesn’t exclusively deal with French pastries, but they have just about perfected them. Whether you want a comfortable place to read the newspaper or catch up with friends, or you want to grab something sweet to take home with you, look no further than the French Rose Bakery and Cafe in Davenport.