There Are Only 4 Valentine Diners Left In Iowa, Here Is How You Can Still See Them
If you love history or great food, it's time for a road trip. At this time it looks like Iowa is home to only three or four Valentine Diners.
For those of you who might not know what this means, A Valentine Diner is as follows:
A Valentine Diner was a prefabricated mail order small diner produced in Wichita, Kansas after the Great Depression. The concept was created by Arthur Valentine in the 1930s, who had experience operating lunch rooms.
While on Facebook I discovered one of Iowa's most famous Valentine Diners. As a history buff, I immediately fell in love with it.
The Four Spots
Nothing is more American than checking out these spots! Besides the Dinky Diner, there appear to be three more spots according to Iowa road trips. Though after doing some research myself, it sadly looks like one of these locations may now be closed. It is the last one on our list.
1. Dinky Diner Decatur City Iowa
Iowa Road Trips reports that the diner was brought to Decatur City in 2005 by Loren and Karen Boger. It was purchased and run by Jacky Kuster in 2009 before her death in 2015. Their Facebook page reads,
Small town diner featuring all your favorite menu options as well as home cooked daily specials. Relaxed family friendly atmosphere where the coffee is always hot and the food is always good.
You can find more here.
2. Susie Q’s Mason City Iowa
As of the last operating Valentine diner cars in America, this is a great spot to enjoy the classics like a burger, fries, and a malt for lunch, or try our Famous Spic-N-Span Tenderloin! Business hours are as follows,
Tue: 11:00 AM – 2:00 PM
Wed: 11:00 AM – 2:00 PM
Thu: 11:00 AM – 2:00 PM
Fri: 11:00 AM – 2:00 PM, 5:00 – 8:00 PM
Sat: 11:00 AM – 2:00 PM, 5:00 – 8:00 PM
You can learn more here.
3. Grand Lunchbox Spencer Iowa
The most recent update on their page is about when they reopened after the pandemic. Many were excited to once again enjoy this classic American food! Their Facebook page reads,
Awesome Homemade Food
You can learn more here.
4. Clamshell Muscatine Iowa
This one has a shout-out on the food network! This one also appears to either not be open year-round, or permissibly closed. You can see that here. They do still have a website, however. There is also a note:
Formerly of Mount Pleasant, Mount Union, Danville (Cracker Box Diner). Originally slated for scrapping, it was rescued and restored, and is currently a seasonal extension of Contrary Brewing Co.
Other sources claim the spot is permits closed. You can see and learn more here.
At this time that means there may only be three Valentine Diners left in Iowa. Now is a great time to give them a try!