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10 Must-Try Restaurants In Dubuque

Exploring the city where Iowa started can cause you to work up quite the appetite. Thankfully, Dubuque is full of amazing eateries that are sure to satisfy any craving you may have. From farm-to-table favorites to traditional supper club experiences, this river town has some spots worth savoring. 

A club sandwich and fries at Caroline's Restaurant

The next time you’re looking for a good meal, check out one of these 10 great restaurants in Dubuque, Iowa. 

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L.May Eatery

Pizza at L.May Eatery in Dubuque. Iowa
Photo courtesy L.May Eatery

Located along Dubuque’s historic Main Street, L.May Eatery is a cozy eatery that serves a rotating menu of pizzas and entrees along with a full selection of wine, beer and craft cocktails. Named after the owners’ grandmother, ‘Lil May, the eatery specializes in what they refer to as “gourmet comfort food.” Stop by this downtown bistro for some delicious food in a relaxing atmosphere. 

L.May Eatery, 1072 Main St., Dubuque 

Brazen Open Kitchen + Bar

Brazen Open Kitchen + Bar has a private chef's table for up to 12 people
Photo courtesy Brazen Open Kitchen + Bar

At Brazen Open Kitchen + Bar, made-from-scratch New American fare and craft cocktails come together for a truly elevated dining experience. This Dubuque restaurant prides itself on honest food made from fresh, locally-sourced ingredients.

The menu changes seasonally and includes an array of meats, fish, and even house-made pastas. They also offer “Brazen Reserve,” a private 12-seater chef’s table that includes a six- to eight-course dinner (pictured). 

No wonder, Brazen Open Kitchen + Bar is on the most unforgettable Iowa restaurants list!

Brazen Open Kitchen + Bar, 955 Washington St., suite #101, Dubuque 

Vinny Vanucchi’s Little Italy

Up-close photo of a pasta dish

If you’re craving a classic Italian meal, look no further than Vinny Vanucchi’s Little Italy. What started as a Galena, Ill., staple has now expanded across the river with a location on Dubuque’s Main Street.

Vinny Vanucchi’s promises a “taste of the old neighborhood” with made-from-scratch Italian food that will truly make you feel like family. Plus, you won’t want to miss their famous garlic bread!

Vinny Vanucchi’s Little Italy, 180 Main St., Dubuque 

Pepper Sprout

A woman with a glass of red wine

Located on Dubuque’s Main Street, Pepper Sprout specializes in seasonal, Midwest cuisine. This upscale bistro is the perfect spot to grab a full-bodied wine and catch up with friends over some deliciously done appetizers. Its cozy interior also makes for the perfect, romantic date night.

Pepper Sprout, 378 Main St., Dubuque 

Sunshine Family Restaurant

A plate of biscuits and gravy

If you’re craving a classic diner, Sunshine Family Restaurant is the place for you. Known for its hearty portions and classic menu items, this wholesome eatery is most popular for its breakfast items.

From heaping piles of pancakes and biscuits smothered in gravy to crispy hash browns, there’s something for everyone here. The Sunshine Family Restaurant has expanded and now has two locations in Dubuque. 

Sunshine Family Restaurant, 401 Central Ave., Dubuque 

7 Hills Brewing Co.

Gourmet macaroni and cheese

There’s no quicker way to my heart than a brewery with a delicious food menu. And 7 Hills Brewing Co. does not disappoint. While this local craft brewer is committed to creating quality beers, they’re also in the business of dishing up delicious bites like shareable munchies, brisket burgers, innovative mac and cheese combinations and more. 

7 Hills Brewing Co., 1085 Washington St., Dubuque 

Moracco Supper Club

Martini glass

Experience a Midwest dining staple with a visit to the Moracco Supper Club. This classic eatery has all of the things you’d expect to find at a supper club, from stiff cocktails to whipped cheese spreads to after-dinner ice cream drinks. Whether you stop by for a drink in the bar or opt for a full-on supper club experience, the Moracco is not to be missed. 

Moracco Supper Club, 1413 Rockdale Road, Dubuque 

Copper Kettle

Bowl of onion rings

For food that elevates typical pub fare, head to the Copper Kettle. This easygoing bar and grill serves staples like fried cheese curds and onion rings alongside creative entrees like pretzel-crusted pork chops and seared sesame tuna bowls. 

Copper Kettle, 2987 Jackson St., Dubuque 

Caroline’s Restaurant

Dinner entree at Caroline's Restaurant, located inside Hotel Julien in Dubuque.
Photo by Matt Haas and courtesy Caroline’s Restauran

Located inside the historic Hotel Julien, Caroline’s Restaurant serves up classic American fare with a twist. With expansive breakfast, lunch and dinner menus, Caroline’s is worth a visit whether you’re a hotel guest or not. Grab a booth in the simple but elegant dining room and indulge in sweet treats, savory sandwiches and hearty, meat-forward entrees. 

Caroline’s Restaurant, 200 Main St., Dubuque 

Catfish Charlie’s

Fried fish and french fries

As a riverfront city, it should come as no surprise that an eatery like Catfish Charlie’s is a local favorite. Located steps from the Mississippi River, this laidback seafood spot is consistently voted one of the best in the area.

In addition to Cajun favorites like jambalaya, fried oysters and more, this popular eatery added on and opened the Catfish Creek brewpub in 2016. Plus, during the summer Catfish Charlie’s has a great patio that often hosts live music. 

Catfish Charlie’s, 1630 E. 16th St., Dubuque 

Great restaurants in Dubuque, Iowa - From fine dining at the chef's table to wood-fire pizza and classic diner food, the town's food scene has it all

About the Guest Blogger

Megan Bannister is a freelance writer and blogger at Olio in Iowa based in Des Moines, Iowa. When she’s not sampling and writing about food, Megan enjoys visiting unique destinations, roadside attractions, and “world’s largest” things across the Midwest and beyond. Her book, Iowa Supper Clubs, highlights classic eateries past and present from around the state.

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