The 10 Best Mom and Pop Restaurants in Iowa!

At mom and pop restaurants, you’ll find cozy, quaint vibes and smells that take you back to your childhood kitchen. Stretching from the small towns to the bigger cities, from Darrell’s Place in Hamlin to Noah’s Ark in Des Moines, you will find friendly faces and delicious food at these 10 awesome mom and pop restaurants in Iowa.

1. Darrell’s Place, Hamlin, IA

Darrell and Marilyn Munch first opened Darrell’s Place in 1980 in the rural community of Hamlin. Thanks to their loyal patrons and outstanding service, not to mention the appetizing entrees, Darrell’s place has evolved into a multi-generational family restaurant. Darrell’s Place has since expanded its location within Hamlin, and Darrell and Marilyn’s son and wife now run the daily operations, but what hasn’t changed in all this time is the friendly service, home cooking and welcoming atmosphere found in Darrell’s Place.

2. Her Soup Kitchen, Iowa City, IA

Striving to nourish the neighborhood in a fresh way, Her Soup Kitchen of Iowa City does just that with locally-sourced ingredients, seasonal entree options and a welcoming place for the community to gather. Family owned and operated, Her Soup Kitchen has been providing Iowa City with some of the freshest taste since 2009. Along the way, this locally owned, locally sourced restaurant has developed a web of local agricultural producers that contribute to the ever changing menu each week. For a fresh bite from a family owned facility, Her Soup Kitchen is the way to go. 

3. B&B Meat and Deli, Des Moines, IA

Since first opening in 1922, the B&B Meat and Deli has been passed down for three generations. Whether it was in the past or present, this neighborhood grocery store has always been serving up some of the best sandwiches and service you’ll find anywhere else in the metro. Though their meat-market style of ordering is now coined “old-fashioned,” there are plenty of new tastes to explore at this multi-generational conveyer of grocery goods. Whether you are looking for some home essentials, or some fresh meat from the butchers, or especially a thick sandwich to wrap your hands around, than B&B needs to be your first stop in Des Moines. 

4. SugaPeach Chicken & Fish Fry, North Liberty, IA

Carol “Sweetiepie” Cater-Simmons is the mastermind behind SugaPeach Chicken & Fish-Fry, which is quickly becoming one of the best places in the state to get your fried chicken fixings. It’s not all just about the chicken at SugaPeach though, and there are plenty of non-fried and side items to choose from with each visit, but even more so, it’s about the community surrounding the restaurant that makes this establishment so special. Whether you want to connect with the people around you, or get a two-piece chicken dinner, SugaPeach Chicken and Fish Fry can satisfy all your needs. 

5. Noah’s Ark, Des Moines, IA

Starting with humble origins in 1946, Noah’s Ark restaurant has evolved in the Des Moines community over the last 65 years to become one of the number one Italian restaurant in the state. Throughout all that time and menu expansion from Neapolitan pizza to first-class Italian fares, it’s been the Lacona family behind the wheel of the business. And between the personable service offered alongside the wide Italian options on the menu, with just one visit to Noah’s Ark, you too will feel like one of the family. 

6. Salt Fork Kitchen, Solon, IA

Locally sourced and made from scratch, the Salt Fork Kitchen in Solon might not be run by a mom and pop, but it’s connection to the surrounding community is so strong, it’s a restaurant mom and pop would approve of. Featuring rotating specials and menu items, the most consistent thing from Salt Fork Kitchen could be their connections with local farmers to provide all the ingredients for your next favorite meal. With the high-quality, fresh produce and ingredients going into every entree item, in combination with a secluded and comfortable dining area, the Salt Fork Kitchen provides a special eating occasion every time you visit this locally sourced restaurant.  

7. Zoey’s Pizzeria, Marion, IA

Serving the greater Cedar Rapids area since 1991, Zoey’s Pizzeria provides both Chicago-style and New York-style pizzas to go or to sit down with. Whether you like your crust crunchy or thin, there’s no disagreeing that Zoey’s Pizza provides some of the best family-owned pizza that everyone can enjoy. Whether you are just looking for a slice to hold you over, or you need enough pizza to feed a whole a family and more, look no further than the locally owned Zoey’s Pizzeria. 

8. Pasquale’s Pizza, Humboldt, IA

The good people at Pasquale’s Pizza have been making their pizzas the same way for over 60 years now. Pasquale’s is a multi-generational family restaurant that not only serves up some of the best pizza you’ll ever bite into, but the family-focused and always welcoming atmosphere of the business is exemplary of small town Iowa charm.  

9. Myers Grill & Catering, Williamsburg, IA

Featuring a multi-cuisine menu, Myers Grill & Catering is all about the home cooking and laid-back atmosphere it belongs in. Featuring T-bone steaks, fresh sweet corn and plenty of other tantalizing entree options, Myers doesn’t just offer great meals within their store, they also can cater your next party or get together. Whether you are looking for a quick bite from a locally owned, family restaurant, or you want to fulfill your family’s appetite at your next large special occasion, if one thing is certain, you’ll feel right at home when utilizing all the services offered by Myers Grill & Catering. 

10. Joensy’s Restaurant, Center Point, IA

Home to the self-touted biggest and best breaded pork tenderloin sandwich in Iowa, Joensy’s Restaurant serves up traditional American fare right, and won’t ever leave you unsatisfied after your meal. Serving the Center Point community for over 20 years, there has been plenty of time to develop some of Joensy’s favorites, and they all revolve around their world-famous tenderloin. Whether you opt for the Boss Tenderloin complete with American cheese and bacon, or the Texi-Melt Tenderloin with Swiss cheese and caramelized onions between garlic Texas toast, chances are that you won’t only run into Joensy himself, but you’re going to love the meal he serves up to you. 

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