This could be a fun challenge to complete this summer!

Late last year, the website Love Exploring put together a list of the best food tours in all 50 states. Not surprisingly, the pick for Iowa has to do with one of our food staples: the breaded pork tenderloin.

Iowa's best food tour is the Iowa Tenderloin Trail, which was put together by the Iowa Pork Producers Association. The latest trail consists of restaurants all over the state that are known for their amazing tenderloins. And, if you take part in the trail, you could be rewarded! The official passport reads:

"Visit at least 10 restaurants listed and receive a stamp in this passport for devouring their delicious breaded pork tenderloin sandwich. Return your completed passport to the Iowa Pork Producers Association if you received ten stamps within a 24-MONTH PERIOD and you’ll receive an 'I Conquered the Iowa Tenderloin Trail 2.0' t-shirt!"

Google Maps
Google Maps

When the Pork Producers first released the Tenderloin Trail 2.0 back in 2021, there were 14 restaurants on the list. Unfortunately, one of them has closed. Number 10, Wood Iron Grille in Oskaloosa, is no longer in business. But, there are still 13 other awesome places to check out! Here's the official trail:

The Iowa Tenderloin Trail 2.0

Gallery Credit: Courtlin

  1. The Emerald Isle, Imogene - Recommended by 2021 Iowa Pork President Dennis Liljedahl
  2. Darrell's Place, Hamlin - Recommended by Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig
  3. The Feed Mill Restaurant at Waspy's Truck Stop, Audubon - Recommended by Iowa State Athletic Director Jamie Pollard
  4. Birdies, Burgers & Brews at Hillcrest Golf Course, Graettinger
  5. Iowa Taproom, Des Moines
  6. Jethro's BBQ, ANY LOCATION - Recommended by Drake University Athletic Director Brian Hardin
  7. Whatcha Smokin' BBQ + Brew, Luther
  8. Grid Iron Sports Bar & Grill, Webster City
  9. Stumble Inn, Bradford
  10. The Pub at the Pinicon, New Hampton
  11. PrairieMoon On Main, Prairieburg
  12. Bump's Restaurant at Finkbine Golf Course, Iowa City - Recommended by University of Iowa Athletic Director Gary Barta
  13. The Buffalo Tavern, Burlington

Speaking of tenderloins, here are all of the winners of the Iowa Pork Producers Association's annual Breaded Tenderloin Contest (that are still open for business):

All the Restaurants That Have Won Iowa's Best Pork Tenderloin Contest

The Iowa Pork Producers Association has been hosting their annual Best Breaded Pork Tenderloin Contest since 2003! Here are all of the winning restaurants that are still in business as of January 2024:

Gallery Credit: Courtlin

More From 98.1 KHAK