IOWA Magazine | 11-01-2022

The Best Places to Visit in Iowa City

2 minute read
A trip back to Iowa City isn't complete without checking these places off your list
Alt Text PHOTO: UI OFFICE OF STRATEGIC COMMUNICATION Downtown spots top the list of favorite places to visit in Iowa City.
If you’ve been to Iowa City, you know there’s something special about this place.

Only here can you go from breakfast at Bluebird Diner to tailgating in University Heights, or a walk around Hickory Hills to lunch with friends at George’s Buffet.

Hawkeye alumni and friends weighed in on their favorite places in Iowa City, and the list was extensive.

Whether you’re looking for a trip down memory lane or new places to visit next time you’re in town, you won’t want to miss these Iowa City favorites.

Kinnick icon

Kinnick Stadium

There’s no place like Kinnick Stadium on game day.

Popcorn icon

Joe’s Place

The free popcorn is enough to keep going back, and the rooftop bar might be the best hangout spot from spring to fall.

pizza icon

Wig & Pen

Where else can you get a Flying Tomato pizza?

building icon


An Iowa City staple since 1944.

table icon

Ped Mall

It’s changed throughout the years, but the Ped Mall is still a staple in downtown Iowa City for free concerts, festivals, and meeting up with friends.

drink icon


Perfect for getting your late-night pinball fix.

book icon

Prairie Lights Bookstore

Iconic for bringing award-winning authors to share from their work in an intimate setting.

food icon

George’s Buffet

Some things never change, and that’s what makes George’s Buffet a Hawkeye favorite throughout the decades.

theatre icon

Englert Theatre

From comedians to poets to award-winning musicians and authors, the Englert Theatre continues to bring world-class entertainment to Iowa City.

burrito icon


They win the burrito battle every time.

Old Cap icon
“Anywhere I can see the Old Capitol from. Love the beautiful views of it all around campus!” —Linda Smith Morris

shake icon

Hamburg Inn No. 2

Politicians and pie shakes. Need we say more?

table icon

Bluebird Diner

You might be waiting to get a table for brunch, but it’ll be worth it.

tree icon

Hickory Hill Park

Where else can you get away from the city while staying within its limits?

table icon

The Vine Iowa City and Coralville

There’s something for everyone at The Vine.

drink icon

Big Grove Brewery

This might be the newest favorite place in Iowa City, but don’t be surprised if it continues to make the list for decades to come.

apple icon

John’s Grocery

For all those last-minute staples.

grilled cheese icon

Marco’s Grilled Cheese

Especially at 11 p.m. on the Ped Mall. If you know, you know.

iowa icon
“The whole place! 🖤💛” —Dawn Funk

Join our email list
Get the latest news and information for alumni, fans, and friends of the University of Iowa.
Join our email list
Get the latest news and information for alumni, fans, and friends of the University of Iowa.
Related Articles

We use cookies to understand how you use our site and to improve your experience. By continuing to use our site, you accept our use of cookies in accordance with our Privacy Statement unless you have disabled them in your browser.