Iowans submitted nominations between February 15 – March 15 to kick off the quest to find the best burger in Iowa. Nominations were accepted online by the Iowa Beef Industry Council and the Iowa Cattlemen’s Association. The number of votes each restaurant received determined the 2021 Top Ten restaurants. The restaurants making the Top Ten list (in alphabetical order) include:
Arty's Ice Cream & Grill, Wilton; Bambino's, Ossian; #DutchFix, Pella; Fishback & Stephenson Cider House, Fairfield; Foodie Garage Eatery, Dubuque; Moo’s BBQ, Newton; Murph’s Creamery & Grill, Toledo; Saucy Focaccia, Cedar Rapids; The Map Room, Cedar Rapids; and Troy’s Bar and Grill, Earling.
To qualify, the burger must be a 100% real beef patty served on a bun or bread product. Burgers may include any combination of condiments, sauces, cheese or toppings.
“After a challenging year for Iowa’s restaurant industry, it was refreshing to see Iowans rally behind their favorite local burger joint,” comments Kylie Peterson, Director of Marketing for the Iowa Beef Industry Council. “In total, we had more than 200 towns across Iowa nominated which proves that there are a lot of great tasting burgers all across the state.”
Seven of the Top Ten restaurants are new qualifiers. Returning contestants include Moo’s BBQ, Saucy Focaccia, and Troy’s Bar and Grill.
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 Fahrenheit). The judges’ scores and comments will be accumulated and the winner will be announced on May 3 to kick off May Beef Month.
“This year’s Top Ten restaurants are award-winning worthy,” says Peterson. “But they are only a few of the many restaurants in Iowa that do an outstanding job of promoting and serving our beef products to their customers on behalf of Iowa’s beef farmers. With spring upon us, I challenge Iowans to rally their support behind restaurant owners and Iowa’s beef farmers by choosing to order a beef burger one additional time per week.”
To learn more about the contest and the Top Ten restaurants, including addresses and hours, visit www.iabeef.org.
Last year, The Twisted Tail Steakhouse & Saloon of BeeBeeTown took home the title of 2020 Iowa’s Best Burger. Winners in previous years are: 2019 – Wood Iron Grille of Oskaloosa; 2018 - Café Beaudelaire of Ames; 2017 – The Smokin’ Hereford BBQ of Storm Lake; 2016 - The Chuckwagon Restaurant Adair; 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 nearly 9,000 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: 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 www.iabeef.org.