10 Best Restaurants In Dubuque, IA

Dubuque, Iowa, is quickly becoming a hot spot for food lovers. With its unique blend of local restaurants and eateries, this small city has something for every kind of foodie. Dubuque has everything from delicious BBQ to world-class seafood and everything in between.

Whether you’re a local looking to spice up your dining experience or a visitor wanting to try the best of what Dubuque offers, you won’t be disappointed. 

From cozy neighborhood bistros to award-winning fine dining hotspots, we’ll take a look at some of the city’s best places to grab a bite. So if you’re planning an upcoming trip and looking for top-notch restaurants—you’ve come to the right place!

Where to Eat: The 10 Best Restaurants in Dubuque Iowa

Dubuque, Iowa, may be small, but it’s big on flavor. From classic American cuisine to international dishes, there’s something for every palate in Dubuque. Here are 10 of the best restaurants in Dubuque to indulge in:

L.May Eatery

Address: 1072 Main St, Dubuque, IA 52001, United States

L.May Eatery is one of the 10 best restaurants in Dubuque, Iowa. Located on the beautifully restored 1000 block of historic Main Street, this upscale-casual restaurant offers an array of delicious market-driven plates and cocktails, wine, or craft beer to enjoy in their warm and comfortable environment.

The menu features quality cuisine for all tastes, including gluten-free items and seasonal vegan dishes – so there’s something for everyone. You can find it here whether you’re looking for pizza, steak, or fresh seafood. And if you want to soak up some sunshine while dining, they also offer a sidewalk patio open all summer. Plus, they have intimate spaces to book for groups and special occasions.

Brazen Open Kitchen | Bar

Address: 955 Washington St #101, Dubuque, IA 52001, United States

Located in the heart of the Historic Millwork District, Brazen Open Kitchen | Bar is a stylish eatery with an exposed-brick interior serving elevated New American fare and craft cocktails. With its mission to provide guests with a comfortable, stylish, and exciting experience, its menu is thoughtful, local, and from scratch.

If you’re looking for something light to snack on before dinner, try out the BRAZEN SALAD. With HillTop greens, maple vinaigrette, apple, fennel, walnuts, and pecorino—you can’t go wrong! Or if you’re feeling more in the mood for a heartier meal, you’ll love their PORK BELLY dish served with rojo salsa and cabbage along with cotija cheese, cilantro, and chicharrones.

See: Where to Find The Best Breakfast In Dubuque, IA

Pepper Sprout Midwest Cuisine

Address: 378 Main St, Dubuque, IA 52001, United States

Whether trying their innovative American fare or just relaxing in the warm brick-walled surroundings, dining at Pepper Sprout is an unforgettable experience.

If you begin your meal with an appetizer, try their popular Winter Dip, which features caramelized onions, mushrooms, and bacon in a cheddar three-cheese blend. And if you’re looking for something even more indulgent, their Baked Brie is wrapped in puff pastry and served with a delicious caramelized onion, roasted garlic, apple sauce, and warm pita.

For seafood enthusiasts, check out the Oysters Rockefeller — baked oysters topped with spinach, red onion, bacon, and bleu cheese sauce and finished with parmesan cheese breadcrumbs. This dish is sure to satisfy any seafood craving!

Whether you’re looking for a casual night out or an upscale dining experience, Pepper Sprout has something for everyone. So if you’re ever in Dubuque, Iowa, add this place to your list of must-try restaurants!

1st & Main

Address: 101 Main St, Dubuque, IA 52001, United States

Have a craving for something special? Head over to 1st & Main—Dubuque’s hip, brick-lined joint. It offers specialty drinks, a pub-style menu with daily specials, and even weekend breakfast.

If you’re looking for something savory, try the Wednesday Blackhawk Chicken lunch special: blackened chicken served on fried pita bread with lettuce, pico de gallo, and sriracha mayo, complemented with fries. You can also indulge in the Certified Angus Beef Steak & Eggs any style, served with two eggs* and toast.

No matter your foodie preference, you’ll be sure to find what you’re looking for at 1st & Main—the hippest spot in town.

Copper Kettle

Address: 2987 Jackson St, Dubuque, IA 52001, United States

When you need hearty pub grub to fill up on, head straight over to The Copper Kettle. This lively bar & grill has elevated pub fare and craft beers sure to quench your thirst.

Of course, TV sports fans have plenty of options here too. But let’s talk about the food! A few must-tries include the Cauliflower Buff Bites, Wings, and their signature Bacon Wrapped Meatloaf. The Cauliflower Bites come seared (or breaded), with a choice of buffalo or habanero sauce, and are served with a side of ranch. Their Wings are a fan favorite—buttermilk fried with your choice of bbq, teriyaki, garlic parm, sweet and spicy thai chili, buffalo, or honey garlic habanero sauce. Six wings are priced at US$8.95, while 12 wings go for US$13.95. Popular choices for dinner include the Bacon Wrapped Meatloaf —ground chuck and pork served over garlic mashed potatoes covered in rich brown mushroom gravy and topped with fried shallots plus a seasonal vegetable side.

Oolong Asian Cuisine

Address: 145 W 11th St, Dubuque, IA 52001, United States

For a taste of the Far East, visitors to Dubuque, Iowa, can’t go wrong with Oolong Asian Cuisine. This award-winning restaurant offers a variety of Thai, Vietnamese, and other East Asian cuisines in casual digs. Relax and enjoy a great meal washed down with beer, wine, or sake.

The Oolong menu caters to even the most discerning palate. One of their most popular dishes is their Lobster Rangoon, four pieces boasting real lobster and imitation crab with a side of Thai sweet chili sauce—and you can order them at whatever level of spiciness speaks to you! If you’re feeling adventurous, why not order the sake flight? The white peach chilled sake was a hit, smooth and sweet. All this deliciousness underscores Oolong’s commitment to consistently delivering delicious meals and exceptional customer service.

Barrel House

Address: 299 Main St, Dubuque, IA 52001, United States

If you’re looking for a restaurant in Dubuque, Iowa, that offers great food and drinks, look no further than Barrel House. Established in 2011, Barrel House is a warm, fun, and inviting restaurant with the motto “taking care of people.” The atmosphere of Barrel House is relaxed but lively, designed to make guests feel welcome and comfortable.

Barrel House’s menu serves delicious pub-style favorites like wings, salads, and sandwiches. They also offer fantastic specials like Barrel Basket Mondays, Top-it-Off Tuesdays, Wine-Down Wednesdays, and Seltzer Sundays. Of course, no meal at Barrel House would be complete without a visit from the famous Burger Bus, which rolls around the dining area to pick up any last-minute orders!

Barrel House is open for brunch on Saturday and Sunday mornings and lunch and dinner throughout the week. So whether you’re looking for a spot to eat with friends or family or just hang out with your crowd, this cozy spot is worth checking out in Dubuque, Iowa.

Caroline’s Restaurant

Address: 200 Main St, Dubuque, IA 52001, United States

Caroline’s Restaurant at Hotel Julien Dubuque is a great spot to indulge in American cuisine with a twist. With an extensive breakfast, lunch, and dinner menu, Caroline’s will surely have something for everyone at your party.

For breakfast, try the French Yogurt Parfait, composed of French-style yogurt, fresh seasonal fruits, granola, and honey from Trails End Apiary. For lunch, you must try the Fish Tacos, with seared seasoned cod, pickled red onion, cilantro, avocado dressing, and shredded cabbage topped with pineapple habanero sauce.

The atmosphere of Caroline’s is simple yet stylish—elegant yet modern—and will create a unique dining experience for you and your guests. Whether you’re dropping in for breakfast before work or heading out for a romantic dinner date night, Caroline’s is the perfect spot for whatever occasion.

The Vault Restaurant & Cocktail Lounge

Address: 342 Main St, Dubuque, IA 52001, United States

Located in the historic German Bank Building, The Vault Restaurant & Cocktail Lounge offers a unique dining experience in Dubuque. The 1930s-style decor perfectly captures the ambiance of Dubuque’s past, and combined with fresh, seasonal ingredients and an eclectic menu, The Vault Restaurant is a must-try when visiting the area.

The menu features a variety of delicious options. Some favorites include their signature Prime Rib French Dip, made with shaved USDA choice prime rib, melted provolone cheese, horseradish cream, peppers, onions, and mushrooms, or their gargantuan Pork T Sandwich – succulent pulled pork served up with French fries and creamy coleslaw on top. For those looking for something heartier – try the 16-ounce hand-cut USDA choice Angus rib eye steak drizzled with garlic butter for only $36 – a real steal! Vegetarian and vegan dishes are also available.

Mario’s Italian Restaurant

Address: 1298 Main St, Dubuque, IA 52001, United States

For the last spot on our list, we have Mario’s Italian Restaurant—a local favorite since 1977! This is the place that Dubuque folks know and love, and it has something for everyone. Their menu has classic Italian favorites like pizza, pasta, and sandwiches and unique specialties like Sicilian Salad & Pizza Bread (Large) or Mario’s Reasonable Snacks.

The Sicilian Salad & Pizza Bread (Large) is a nostalgic favorite that’s been a big hit since Mario opened up shop. It’s their antipasto salad tossed in their house dressing and served with hand-tossed pizza bread. And for something a little different, try out Mario’s Reasonable Snacks—tender, bite-sized charbroiled sirloin with seasoned tomatoes and lettuce!

So if you’re looking for classic Italian fare to share with friends or family, you can’t go wrong with Mario’s Italian Restaurant.


Whether you’re a resident or a visitor, there’s something for everyone at the best restaurants in Dubuque. From classic Americana to upscale gastropubs and trendy bistros, you can have your pick of a diverse range of eateries. Dubuque will surely make your mouth water with its unbeatable hospitality, delicious fare, and creative atmosphere. So, what are you waiting for? Explore the culinary delights in Dubuque and eat your way around the city!

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