Vegetarian Journal's Guide to Natural Foods Restaurants in the U.S. and Canada
§ Reviewer's choice
120 Hayward Ave., Ames, IA 50014
Indian. India Palace offers vegetarian options and an inexpensive lunch buffet. They are located near Iowa State University. The restaurant is closed between lunch and dinner, so please call ahead for hours.
226 W. 3rd St., Davenport, IA 52801
Vegetarian/café/coffeehouse/juice bar. Downtown Central Perk is an affordable vegetarian restaurant and coffeehouse wrapped into one. They offer made-to-order juices like Strawberry Kiwi Apple Juice. The menu includes a variety of breakfast and sandwich selections, as well as wraps, salads, and flatbread pizzas that can be ordered with vegan cheese and soy sausage. Downtown Central Perk serves direct trade specialty coffee and tea, including unique options such as the Raspberry Cheesecake Latte and Tropical Breeze Mocha. This spacious café is located on the street level of the Central Office Building, built in 1906, and only a few blocks from the Mississippi River.
1600 N. Harrison St., Davenport, IA 52803
Natural foods store/deli/bakery. Greatest Grains is a natural foods store with a bakery and dine-in deli. Selections may vary from day-to-day but usually include Vegetarian Pizza, Tofu & Brown Rice, Spinach Potato Pie, Vegetarian Lasagna, along with salads, soups, side dishes, and desserts. The in-house bakery features fresh, made-from-scratch bread daily. The store offers a large variety of natural product groceries, organic produce, bulk herbs, grains, personal care items, and specialty gifts. Greatest Grains, located in the Quad Cities, also holds educational classes.
(For restaurant listings in the surrounding areas, see Urbandale.)
1511 High St., Des Moines, IA 50309
Vietnamese. A-Dong Vietnamese Restaurant features a separate vegetarian menu that includes appetizers, vegetarian egg and spring rolls, soups, noodles, and rice dishes. Interesting offerings include the Bo Kho Chay (tofu and vegetable stew over noodles), Com Tau Hu Xao Hanh (Mongolian tofu over rice), Com Tau Hu Don Chay (stuffed tofu with a sweet and sour topping), and the Banh Xeo Chay (tofu and vegetables in Vietnamese pancakes).
4040 University Ave., Des Moines, IA 50311
Natural foods store/deli. Campbell's features a variety of vegetarian sandwiches. They are located in the Uptown Shopping Center.
2002 Woodland Avenue, Des Moines, IA 50312
Café. This café located in a market serves some vegan dishes including tofu scramble for breakfast, black bean burger, chili, tofu bahn mi, and pad Thai.
5514 Douglas Ave., Des Moines, IA 50310
Indian. India Star offers many vegetarian meals; vegan items are noted on the menu. Their daily lunch buffet is a great value and includes four vegetarian dishes. Enjoy dinner entrées such as Mushroom Mattar, Channa Masala, and Alu Palak. India Star is closed between lunch and dinner, so please call ahead for hours.
223 E. Walnut St., Des Moines, IA 50309
Vegan/organic/café/juice bar. New World Café is an all-vegan eatery in Des Moines, Iowa! Although they rotate menu items weekly, some foods that are frequently served include their spicy black bean hummus sandwich, falafel salad, lentil burgers, roasted squash tacos, and Creamsicle orange smoothie. They use organic and local foods as much as possible and compost all food scraps. The business model of New World is unique and community-focused; they provide a non-hierarchical work and service environment with volunteer opportunities. Prices are inexpensive, and there is always at least one sliding-scale option (pay what you can afford) available. The café is closed between lunch and dinner, so please call ahead for hours.
1301 Locust St., Ste. D, Des Moines, IA 50309
Vegetarian/coffeehouse/café. Ritual Café is an all-vegetarian eatery and coffeehouse as well as a venue for local artists. Enjoy sandwiches, paninis, salads, breakfast items, or just a cup of Joe in a relaxed and comfortable setting. Live music is regularly featured. Ritual Café is in downtown Des Moines between Locust and Grand Avenues.
50 W. Burlington Ave., Fairfield, IA 52556
Indian. The menu at India Café; offers vegetarian entré;es, including their special Vegetarian Thali. They are closed between lunch and dinner, so please call ahead for exact hours. Reservations are accepted.
101 W. Broadway Ave., Fairfield, IA 52556
Vegetarian/Indian. At Mohan Delights, food is prepared in the traditional Ayurvedic way in small portions. Choose the light, standard, or full meal or order the curry of the day. The meals often consist of Dahl, rice, a vegetable, Indian bread, Samosa or other savory, lassi, and dessert. It's a casual eatery where the food is served in a Styrofoam container (for take-out as well as dining in). The curry is very popular at Mohan.
345 S. Dubuque St., Iowa City, IA 52240
Café/bakery/coffeehouse. Fair Grounds Café has extensive vegetarian and vegan selections. Vegan items are noted as such on the menu. Breakfast foods include Virgin Bananas Foster French Toast and Apple Sage Waffles. Choose from a variety of vegan paninis on their lunch menu. Their in-house bakery can accommodate most vegan needs. Fair Grounds is located in the Court Street Transportation Center in downtown Iowa City.
227 E. Washington St., Iowa City, IA 52240
Indian. See description under Fairfield, IA.
9 S. Dubuque St., Iowa City, IA 52240
Vegetarian/Indian. Masala Indian Vegetarian Cuisine is an all-vegetarian and very vegan-friendly restaurant in downtown Iowa City. Their extensive menu of authentic Indian cuisine notes which items are vegan. Masala is quite popular, often winning awards (even against non-vegetarian restaurants!). Prices are good, food is fresh, and service is friendly. Don't miss their daily lunch buffet. The restaurant is located near the University of Iowa. Masala is closed between lunch and dinner, so please call ahead for hours.
310 E. Prentiss St., Iowa City, IA 52240
Vegan/natural foods. Trumpet Blossom Café offers a warm and comfortable atmosphere and an all-vegan menu. Try dinner plates like Cumin Tempeh with Polenta and Cilantro Lime Sauce or the Chipotle Quesadilla served with mashed black beans. Happy Hour is between lunch and dinner. Live music and other events are sometimes scheduled. Outdoor seating is available. Trumpet Blossom is located next door to 30th Century Bicycle. Reservations are accepted.
2749 100th St., Urbandale, IA 50322
Natural foods store/deli. Campbell's in Urbandale is located in the Deerfield Crossing Center. See description under Des Moines, IA.
6151 Thorton Ave., West Des Moines, IA 50266
Vegetarian/organic/juice bar. Fresh Café & Market is all-vegetarian and very vegan-friendly. Their menu varies but consists of soups, salads, wraps, sandwiches, and raw foods. Any item can be made vegan. For dessert, try the vegan Black Bean Brownie. Wheatgrass shots are quite popular here. Fresh Café & Market is closed on weekdays between lunch and dinner, so please call ahead for hours.