Where are the best burgers near me? In Iowa, these are the top spots.

Who can remember the iconic ‘Beef. Is it the ‘What’s For Dinner’ commercials that ran from 1992 onwards? In the National Livestock and Meat Board’s ad campaign, actor Robert Mitchum talked about dishes eaten with beef across the country: beef bourguignon, beef fajitas, kung pao beef, corned beef, beef skewers and a porterhouse steak. The crescendo of Aaron Copland’s “Hoe-Down” from the ballet “Rodeo” flows poignantly through the minute-long commercial that ran during the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona, ​​Spain.

The number of beef cows in Iowa, 810,000, ranks 13th nationally, according to the Iowa Beef Industry Council. Across the state, 17,214 farms raise beef cows, according to the 2022 U.S. Census.

In Iowa, you can bite into a beef patty, broken thin or kept thick, cooked over an open fire or on a griddle, served on a bun, at restaurants in towns and cities alike. This weekend, bring the outdoor barbecue inside and sink your teeth into one of these amazing burgers found in restaurants across Iowa.

Baraboo is on Main

The burgers at one of Dubuque’s newest burger joints are so delicious that Travel Dubuque named Baraboo’s on Main the best in town. Check out the restaurant’s Facebook page for specials like the chipotle cheddar topped with onion straws, melted cheddar and bacon.

Place: 345 Main Street, Dubuque

Contact: 563-231-3226 or

Great main burger

Broken beef, onion rings and barbecue sauce make the Western Burger at Big Head Burger in Waterloo stand out. It was one of the top 10 burgers in the state this year, according to the Iowa Beef Industry Council and the Iowa Cattlemen’s Association. All burgers here come on a potato bun.

Place: 324 W. Fourth St., Waterloo


Brick City Grill

Brick City Grill has moved its location a block south since receiving the award for Iowa’s Best Burger in 2014. But the burgers remain delicious, and the pretzel burger that was considered patty-perfect a decade ago is still a local favorite. The iconic burger is topped with American cheese, crispy bacon, Thousand Island dressing and lettuce and served on a warm pretzel bun. All Brick City burgers are available with a patty consisting of 60% ground beef and 40% ground smoked bacon. The 60/40 menu item is topped with American cheese, bacon, house-made bacon aioli, lettuce, tomato and onion. Brick City has an upscale sports bar atmosphere and a beautiful patio. The Somerset restaurant has been named the best burger in the Ames Tribune’s Best of Story County contest every year since 2015.

Place: 2640 Stange Road, Ames

Contact: 515-268-4224 or

More: Hungry for a delicious, juicy burger? Here are 5 of the best in the Ames area

Clyde’s Fine Diner

Every diner should have a burger, and elevated restaurant Clyde’s in the East Village offers a fine version. The CFD burger consists of two patties, American cheese, the restaurant’s own burger sauce, shaved onions and pickles. You can also find a veggie burger with field-roasted vegan cheese, veggies, shaved onion, and Dijonnaise, as well as an optional vegan bun and Dijon for $15. On Tuesdays, you can score a burger with a shot of Evan Williams Bourbon and a PBR.

Place: 111 E. Grand Ave., Des Moines

Contact: 515-243-3686 or

More: Do you like a good burger? Here are some of the best in the Des Moines metro

Flight bar and grille

The Foundation Burger, a double smash burger topped with cheddar cheese and bacon with caramelized onions, won the 2023 annual Best Burger Contest of the Iowa Beef Industry Council and Iowa Cattlemen’s Association. For every burger sold, a dollar goes to the Ballard Education Foundation to support local people. teachers and students of the school district. Last year, the restaurant donated $22,663.

Place: 931 NUS highway. 69, Huxley


More: Flight Bar + Grille in Huxley wins Iowa’s Best Burger award

The flying elbow

The Flying Elbow in Marshalltown takes its name from a wrestling move, and its line of burgers follows suit. Try the Bang! Pop! Burger smothered in Pepper Jack Cheese and caramelized onions with fried jalapeno chips on top, or make it a Texas Rattlesnake Burger with chili, chili cheese Fritos and fried jalapeno chips. The restaurant won the 2022 annual Best Burger Contest from the Iowa Beef Industry Council and the Iowa Cattlemen’s Association.

Place: 229 N. 13th St., Marshalltown

Contact: 641-758-3235 or

More: The Flying Elbow wins Iowa’s Best Burger Contest 2022 – as write-in candidate

The fine food of Lachele

Crispy on the outside, juicy on the inside. The eponymous Lachele burger, cooked on a griddle, comes with the standard: pickles, onions, romaine lettuce and American cheese on a sesame seed bun. No, it’s not a Big Mac; it’s much, much better. Cory Wendel named the restaurant after his wife Lachele. Gluten free option also available.

Place: 2716 Ingersoll Ave., Des Moines

Contact: 515-330-6876 or

Red’s Ale House

Red’s Alehouse may be best known for its extensive beer and cocktail menu, but a strong lineup of burgers anchors the food menu. The Alehouse burger is an elevated version of the classic burger with sweet chili aioli, crispy onion tangles and provolone. The burger has subtle smoky undertones with a sticky, crunchy texture. It is generously sized and every bite is perfectly balanced.

Place: 405 N. Dubuque St., North Liberty

Contact: 319-626-2100 or

More: Discover the 6 best burger restaurants in Iowa City, from gourmet to classic delicacies

Starlite room

If you’re in Cedar Rapids, head to the Starlite Room for hearty burgers from this family-owned and operated bar and grill. Cedar Rapids Tourism calls this the “OG burger joint and local legend.” Order the Super Burger, a half-pound burger served a la carte.

Place: 3300 First Ave. NE, Cedar Rapids

Contact: 319-362-4759 or

Steel plow Burger Co.

If you’re in the Quad Cities, check out the Steel Plow Burger Co. for new burgers like Dennis’ Taco Burgers topped with taco meat, queso, corn chips, lettuce and tomato, or Bre’s French Onion Burger with fried onions, French onion pasta and Swiss cheese. While you’re there, you might as well enjoy one of the crazy shakes in designs like birthday cake, stacked with a slice of cake on top.

Place: 1430 E. 52nd St., Davenport

Contact: 563-424-6640 or

De Wilder

Recently, The Wilder at the Graduate Hotel in Downtown Iowa City joined the ranks of one of the best burgers in Iowa. The Iowa Gold Burger is the star of the menu. Made with nine ounces of Jiyū Wagyu beef, the burger is not overdone and rich in flavor. The Wagyu beef is complemented with Gruyère cheese, caramelized onions and grain mustard aioli. Its richness and tenderness often fascinate guests, with many calling it the best they have ever had.

Place: 210 S. Dubuque St., Iowa City

Contact:319-327-8258 or

Susan Stapleton is the entertainment editor and restaurant reporter at The Des Moines Register. Follow her on Facebook, Xor Instagram, or message her at [email protected].

Jessica Rish is an entertainment, food and business reporter for the Iowa City Press-Citizen. She can be reached at [email protected] or on X, formerly known as Twitter, at @rishjessica_.

Ronna Faaborg covers business and arts for the Ames Tribune. Reach her at [email protected].