Don't count Iowa out when it comes to good food!

The Des Moines Register recently published the results from Yelp’s Top 100 Midwest Restaurants 2023 list, and we're happy to report that five Iowa restaurants made the cut, two of them from here in Eastern Iowa!

Before we get to the list, you should probably know how Yelp came up with it. According to their site, they looked at restaurants from 12 total states, including Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, and Wisconsin. The article reads:

"We identified businesses in the restaurants category, then ranked those spots using a number of factors, including the total volume and ratings of reviews between January 1, 2021, and May 1, 2023."

The highest-ranking Iowa restaurant on the list is a place that has received quite a bit of recognition over the years. Brazen Open Kitchen + Bar, located in the historic Millwork District in Dubuque, came in at number 13 out of 100. The restaurant's website says they are an open scratch kitchen that serves "honest food made from fresh, locally sourced ingredients." The menu changes seasonally, but current dishes include Fried Chicken, Pork Schnitzel, Miso Short Ribs, Spicy Crab Pasta, Mushroom Pizza, Crispy Pork Belly, and more.

Brazen Open Kitchen Bar is owned by Galena-native Kevin Scharpf, who is also the head chef of the restaurant. If that name sounds familiar, it may be because Kevin was a semifinalist for the James Beard Award of ‘Best Chef: Midwest’ in 2022. You can experience his cooking at Brazen Open Kitchen Tuesday through Saturday from 4:30 p.m. to 9 p.m.

The other Eastern Iowa restaurant to make Yelp's list is Ramen Belly in Iowa City, coming in at number 83. Located at 1010 Martin Street, the official website describes the restaurant as a "small quaint ramen shop featuring traditional Japanese cuisine such as ramen, poke bowls, donburi, and dumplings." It's owned by Andy Diep and John Lieu, who have more than 18-years of experience in the restaurant industry.

Ramen Belly is open Monday through Saturday from 4:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. You can check out the official menu online HERE.

The three other Iowa restaurants to make Yelp’s Top 100 Midwest Restaurants list are:

42. Mi Patria Ecuadorian Restaurant - West Des Moines

69. Harbinger - Des Moines

97. Simon’s - Des Moines

You can read more about all of them in the Des Moines Register's article HERE.

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