Eastern Iowa’s Best Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives
When it comes to delicious dining, there's something extra special about discovering a real gem sometimes hidden among all the same ol' boring chain restaurants.
Not all of these diners are truly "hidden". Many have been around for years. But if you're new in town, or just not getting out as often as you should, here are five more local dining locations that Eastern Iowa loves:
The Starlite Room at 3300 1st Ave. NE in Cedar Rapids has earned the name as "home of the Super Burger". The family-owned diner has been anchored in town for over 50 years. The interior is classic "diner", the tables lined with condiments and those little box napkin holders. The burgers are legendary, juicy and perfectly cooked. The tenderloin and battered fish specials are exceptional, too.
Vivian's Soul Food at 4342 16th Ave SW in Cedar Rapids has amazing fried chicken, and even more amazing soul food side dishes. Their collard greens are out of this world and the mac 'n cheese is super yummy. And their ribs are scrumptious, in part because all their meats are wood and charcoal smoked. Other choices include comfort classics like pot roast and meatloaf.
The Flying Wienie is more than just a hot dog stand...but that's a good start! The bright red building that features the yellow airplane on the roof is located at 108 8th St. SW in Cedar Rapids. The Wienie is renowned as "thee place" for Chicago style hot dogs and Italian Beef sandwiches. It has the ambiance of an old airport hanger or downtown garage from the 1930's so it's definitely got the coolest motif in Eastern Iowa.
Nelson's Meat Market and Deli 1140 Old Marion Rd NE is a neighborhood favorite that is a bit of everything, from Butcher Shop to Ice Cream Parlor. The old fashioned meat counter features fresh cuts of beef and home made sausages. The deli sandwiches and salads are a delightful break from the sleepy pizza routine. The catering menus runs from BBQ ribs and baked ham to smoked salmon. Did I mention Nelson's homemade ice cream?
Edith and Lucille's Bait Shack & Wing Depot is named after the Grandmothers of the owners who opened the rustic restaurant in 2016. The "Shack" is located at 6913 Mt. Vernon Road SE in Cedar Rapids.Their menu covers breakfast, lunch and dinner classics. Specialties include fried green tomatoes, catfish & hush puppies platters and a Friday/Saturday prime rib that is amazing!