Top 10 Iowa's Best Burger

Top 10 Best Burgers in Iowa Announced

March 20, 2017
Brooke German, Director of Marketing, Iowa Beef Industry Council, 515-296-2305
Katie Olthoff, Director of Communications, Iowa Cattlemen's Association,, 515-296-2266

2017 Iowa's Best Burger Top 10

AMES, Iowa – Iowans have submitted more than 9200 nominations between February 13 – March 13 and the votes are tallied. The Iowa Beef Industry Council and the Iowa Cattlemen’s Association counted the nominations that were received via the website, texting and paper ballots.

The number of votes each restaurant received determined the 2017 Top Ten restaurants and their burgers. Those restaurants making the Top Ten list (in alphabetical order) include:

- Ankeny Diner, Ankeny                                               - Elm’s Club, Creston

- BeerBurger, North Liberty                                          - Saucy Focaccia, Cedar Rapids

- BW’s Burgers, West Des Moines                                - Smokin’ Hereford, Storm Lake

- Doc’s Stadium Bar & Grill, Jefferson                          - The Irish Shanti, Elgin

- Down Right Delicious, Clarinda                                  - Vaughn’s Café and Bakery, Clarinda

"Celebrating Iowa's best burgers is a subtle way to say 'thank you' to our hardworking cattlemen and women across the state," says Katie Olthoff, Director of Communications for the Iowa Cattlemen’s Association.

Nearly 500 Iowa restaurants were represented in the total nominations, which is a new record for the contest. “The previous record for the number of restaurants nominated was set in 2014, so we are thrilled that we were able to break that record this year with 487 restaurants represented,” comments Brooke German, Director of Marketing for the Iowa Beef Industry Council. “This proves that there are a lot of great tasting burgers all across the state of Iowa.”

New restaurants to the Top 10 list include: BeerBurger, North Liberty; Doc’s Stadium Bar & Grill, Jefferson; Smokin’ Hereford, Storm Lake; and The Irish Shanti, Elgin.

The quest for the winner of the Iowa’s Best Burger will now begin. All Top Ten restaurants will be visited by a panel of anonymous judges who will evaluate the burgers based on taste, appearance, and proper doneness (160 degrees). The judges’ scores and comments will be accumulated and the winner will be crowned on May 1. 

“We encourage everyone to visit the Top Ten restaurants,” says German. “These are only a few of the many restaurants in Iowa that do an outstanding job of promoting and serving our beef product to their customers on behalf of Iowa’s beef farmers.”

To learn more about the Top Ten restaurants and the contest, visit

Last year, The Chuckwagon Restaurant of Adair took home the title of the 2016 Iowa’s Best Burger. Winners in previous years are: 2015 - The Cider House of Fairfield; 2014 - Brick City Grill in Ames; 2013 - 61 Chop House Grille in Mediapolis; 2012 - Coon Bowl III in Coon Rapids; 2011 - Rusty Duck in Dexter; and 2010 - Sac County Cattle Company of Sac City.



About the Iowa Cattlemen's Association: The Iowa Cattlemen’s Association represents 10,000 beef-producing families and associated companies dedicated to the future of Iowa’s beef industry. ICA’s mission is “Grow Iowa’s beef business through advocacy, leadership and education.”

About the Iowa Beef Industry Council: The Iowa Beef Industry Council is funded by the $1-per-head National Beef Checkoff Program and the $0.50-per-head Iowa State Beef Checkoff.  Checkoff dollars are invested in beef promotion, consumer information, research, industry information and foreign market development, all with the purpose of strengthening beef demand.  For more information, visit