Dragon Wagon BBQ

1032 Main St
Grinnell, 50112
Reviews:
A great price and some really delicious food!! Only open seasonally for the summer, but very good!!

(641) 236-5860

Barbeque

Store is open now

Dari Barn

1810 6th Ave
Grinnell, 50112
Reviews:
I can't quite explain why I am so obsessed with this place. Maybe it is because I always have to trek through the hot Iowa summers to be rewarded with their cool treats. Maybe it is because it can only be found in Grinnell, IA and I will always have a special place in my heart for this one. Maybe because it is soft serve ice, and you can never go wrong with homemade soft serve. Whatever the reason is, I literally go there constantly. There's something about homemade soft serve that is just truly gratifying. It is thicker than soft serve you find at McD's but also not quite normal ice cream. They're cookie dough is delicious and they always load tons of it into their ice cream. Don't discount their side items, like their fried cheese curds or their corn nuggets. Typical Iowa delicious-ness. I always try to find to make a (very unhealthy) dinner out of just their sides and ice cream cyclones. Musts: -Any type of their cyclones -Cookie dough sundae -Grasshopper sundae -Corn nuggets -Cheese curds -Monkey bites -Money bite sundae Mehs: Uh, absolutely nothing. Okay the mini's are such a copout...really, you need to indulge in at least a small. Don't try to be healthy at this place! PLEASE BRING BACK THE REAL MONSTER COOKIE DOUGH CYCLONE!!! Bring back the cookie dough, marshmallows, chocolate chips, peanut butter cookie dough, and so much more--how could you get rid of this!?!! It was perfection. And the new version is nothing close to being as good, let's be real.
From Olympus the Spartans did descend.....I think it's because Dari Barn (Yes that's the correct spelling) was up top! Seriously, this spot is as real as it gets when you're looking for legit ice cream and fries to die for! Located just down the road from Grinnell college in what looks to be a renovated barn next to a tractor lot - sick I know! They've got 3 or 4 large tables for sitting at after your trip to one of the two walk up windows. The only downside here is they only take cash, but that's where the negative ends and it's a small price to pay for some amazingness! The ice cream is super thick and comes in plenty of flavors, however, the true excellence is in the shakes, malts and sundaes. They've pack it in thick, use really good ingredients and make you want more. This is the sort of stuff you'll spill on your shirt on purpose so you can have some later. We had chocolate and chocolate cherry shakes as well as a chocolate banana malt - all incredible. The close second prize at this joint was the fries. We straight up watched a dude, we assume the owner, peel the potato and fry it up right. Served in a styrofoam cup like when you were a kid and just as delicious! One of the top 5 places I've ever had ice cream and next to a tractor depot to complete the true Iowa experience! Go check this place out if you're town, passing through or a connoisseur of things that don't suck.
Try the Grasshopper. Mint + Chocolate + Iowa Countryside= Complete joy! Yes grasshopper, cash only... But with your cash comes goodness, happiness, possible super powers!

(641) 236-7828

Ice Cream & Frozen Yogurt

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Chuong Garden

915 Broad St
Grinnell, 50112
Reviews:
Holy cow, if I ever make it back to Grinnell the first place I want to go is to Chuong Garden. BEST lunch special ever! Pick any item on the menu and it is delicious! Crab rangoon is so good, I haven't found a better one anywhere. One of my friends always gets the shrimp fried rice and it was great. Not some measly little shrimp, big old things in tasty fried rice. One of my favorite things is that their orange chicken is slightly crunchy. I have yet to find a place that does this, and it is amazing!
We ended up here because everything else in town was closed. It's not easy to find food on a Sunday night in Grinnell. The service was great everything was quick. I ordered Mushu pork and thought it was just okay. My husband tried to special order a meal with no sauce ginger and garlic but it came full of sauce. Even though the price was reasonable we felt that we had overpaid for the quality.
5 Star review streak continues with me. Egg Drop Soup-Tasty soup with very good flavor. Egg Roll- Good eggrolls, crunch and filling done just right. Steamed Dumpling- Did a great job with them. Fried Rice-Good fried rice that does stand out from basic fried rice. Orange Chicken-Little spicy, right amount of orange flavor, great cut of chicken used to cook, has right crispiness, and great sauce. One of the best in Chinese restaurants in Iowa, there is one in Knoxville, IA and one in Des Moines, IA that round out top three that I have had here. They are a sit down place with no buffet which is great since every Iowa town has one. Nice to have a change in that trend.

(641) 236-9900

Chinese

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Saints Rest Coffee House

919 Broad St
Grinnell, 50112
Reviews:
Saints Rest, you had me at compostable corn cup. Thanks to your napkins, I am well educated in the many ways to prevent unwanted or unintended pregnancies (Avoid the Stork). Not only do you have my best interest in mind, but you also make delicious italian sodas, smoothies and coffees. And if I need a little nourishment you provide, with a charge, cupcakes, scones, cookies, bagels and muffins. Theres no place better, in Grinnell, than Saints Rest to grab a chair, rest your derriere, open a book and study.
Good coffee with A great work environment. Super friendly staff. Great place to go to pick up the local newspaper, and within walking distance to the farmers market on a Saturday.
Wonderful ambiance-great coffee- these two Oregonians felt right at home! Only a 5 minute drive from the interstate, well worth the very slight detour from the main drag and we learned some commendable facts about this sweet little college town.

(641) 236-6014

Coffee & Tea, Art Galleries

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Casey’s Carry Out Pizza

217 6th Ave
Grinnell, 50112
Reviews:
Everything at Casey's is super cheap, and for a gas station their food is pretty good [keep in mind, I am reviewing their food based on the fact that they are a gas station/convenience store]. Their cheesy breadsticks are packed with garlicky cheesy warm goodness. They make their sandwiches and pizzas for you on the spot. Really as good as it gets for convenience store food. The staff are all super nice too! You'd think they'd be annoyed with having to make food at random, but they are always more than happy to do so!

(641) 236-7900

Pizza

Store is open now

Pizza Ranch

613 West St S
Grinnell, 50112
Reviews:
The staff at Pizza Ranch are literally the sweetest. I do not think a place could be owned by more kind or more considerate people. For Grinnell Games, they brought us free pizza just because we were working hard and they thought we would need a break. Once they got my pizza order wrong, and could not stop apologizing. They brought me a new pizza very quickly and let me keep my old one for free. Most of their pizzas are fairly standard. However, I love that you can put on as many toppings as you would like and still be charged the same price. They also have three pizza dough options, all of which are the same price. The options are endless! They're tuscan roma is delicious. I am such a sucker for pizza with fresh tomatoes. I also love their cheesy garlic sticks and their dessert pizza. Oh my goodness, I could literally eat an entire cactus bread dessert pizza on my own. It is your standard thick pizza dough dough topped with a streusel and white frosting. So delicious! I was blown away by the service at Pizza Ranch. Especially for a chain restaurant, nothing compares to the friendliness at this place.
Not bad for a buffet pizza joint in the middle of nowhere. Friendly service, clean and lots to choose from. Broccoli cheddar soup... Umm not so much.
The staff are extremely friendly and welcoming. I would come back just for them (if we weren't just passing through the area). Everything seems clean and well kept. The buffet is about average, but that's to be expected. They do take requests from their menu which is nice.

(641) 260-8020

Pizza, Buffets

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Jimmy John’s

812 6th Ave
Grinnell, 50112
Reviews:
Thank goodness Grinnell got a Jimmy John's. The only other place that delivers is Pizza Ranch, so I was very grateful when Jimmy John's opened just two blocks away from Grinnell College. In typical Jimmy John's style, their delivery is super fast. Literally, right after I hang up my phone, they will be at my doorsteps with a sandwich. I am sad they do not have alfafa. Is it just a Grinnell thing or was that change made to all JJs? Anyways, I always loved the sprouts in the veggie sandwich so that's unfortunate they no longer have it. All their ingredients are super fresh, which makes all their sandwiches absolutely wonderful!

(641) 236-0199

Sandwiches

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Lonnski’s Pub & Deli

910 Main St
Grinnell, 50112
Reviews:
Loved the food. The service was slow and impersonal. Still writes go back, but only if I have a lot of time.
My experience here was unprofessional at best! Our bartender was rude and treated us like we were unwelcome sitting at his bar. The good news is we left with no incident and did not spend our money in this establishment. As an owner of 2 businesses in my time, I can tell you this business is on a quick path to closing its doors
We were just run off by the bartender for asking him to change the TV to a football game. I travel all over this country and have never seen a more unprofessional person in my life. It's no wonder there was a total 2 people in the place. What a joke! I have never, never been treated this way, ever. I normally like going to local places like this when I travel, but not this one! Save yourself the trouble, look elsewhere!

(641) 236-9880

Pubs, Sandwiches

Store is open now

Frontier Cafe

831 Main St
Grinnell, 50112
Reviews:
We've been waiting all summer for the Frontier Cafe to open, and finally got a chance to stop in tonight. It's the only place in town that serves breakfast all day, and in retrospect, we should have stuck with breakfast, since eggs and pancakes are harder to mess up. We got onion rings, which had a somewhat fishy/old oil taste and barely any discernible onion inside. I got battered walleye (again, probably a mistake, since it was obvious that it would just be some frozen fish sticks), which were quite salty and "old fried" tasting, with sides of salad (a fair amount of it starting to rot) and coleslaw (alright, but very mayo-ey). The condiments on the table were also ultra-budget, and the little packet of "Taste Pleasers Gourmet Tartar Sauce" was basically just sweetened mayo. Their prices are quite low, but to be honest, I would rather have paid a little bit more for a less fast-foody experience. They have an enormous menu, really much larger than they could be making fresh or well; there might be some hidden gems here, but someone would really need to explore the whole thing to find out! If I had to go back here, I'd stick with breakfast foods, but I'm certainly not rushing back... Edit to add, in response to another reviewer: my reaction to this place was based on disappointment with low quality ingredients, not the style of food. It's quite possible that things have improved since they first opened, but in my experience, we have much better Iowa comfort food elsewhere in Grinnell. (Yes, I do live here)
The reviewer above isn't from Iowa or Grinnell so I am sure his review is just another east coast snob staring down his/her nose at good old comfort Iowa Food. The place has fantastic food and is very highly regarded in our town. I have never had bad food at this place and the prices are unbelievable low. Right now I rate it as the best place in town to eat. On a side note I find it frustrating to have silver spoon outsiders from the tiny Grinnell College culture ruin the reviews of eating establishments in my town. They are like cockroaches..when one of them leaves another one shows up not knowing how to act in small town iowa. They pretty much end up making a fool of themselves.
Last Dinner before leaving town after May '15 graduation. Great menu! Wide selection. No frills or fads. Real food. Basic but traditionally cool atmosphere. Families, couples, solo . . . casual dress. Wait staff friendly and attentive. Could and would eat there often if it wasn't eleven hours away. Get a street side booth to watch the world stroll past.

American (Traditional)

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Pagliai’s Pizza

816 5th Ave
Grinnell, 50112
Reviews:
Met family and friends for a pre-graduation party in May. Enjoyed the food. Big table, lots of food and drink. The young waitress took care of us but seemed a bit overwhelmed. Could have used help.
As a local Chicagoan, I have very high expectations for pizza. And when you are paying the prices that you pay at Pagliai's, I really expect the pizza to be out-of-this-world good. Unfortunately, I cannot say that I was in any way impressed with the restaurant. The service and food were very average. We started with the cheesy garlic bread, which was pretty good, but no better than any garlic bread that you could find in the frozen food section of your local grocery store. Then we ordered the shrimp alfredo pizza and the magherita pesto pizza. I was a little annoyed when ordering to realize that their sizes are much smaller than the standard pizzas. Smalls are normally 12", mediums 14", and larges 16". For what they are serving up, their prices aren't very cheap either. All their pizzas are thin crust, so I left feeling very hungry. Still, every time I walk by Pagliai's the place is pretty crowded, so the majority of people must be pretty content with the place. If you want pizza that is only slightly better than Pizza Ranch, I would say you should head to Pagliai's. But if you've had Chicago pizza before, you'll be nothing but disappointed.
There really isn't a GREAT pizza place in Grinnell. Most have bad crusts, bland sauces, and a lack of originality. Pag's doesn't really improve much on this. Their pizza is alright, nothing amazing. Everything else on their menu tastes like cafeteria food, and doesn't look much better. A great place to take your kids or soccer team, but if you're looking for a good slice of pizza, you're probably better off making your own at home. It's always SUPER busy and overcrowded, and the way the booths are set up in the main room, there really isn't space for a decent dinner conversation. Not a great place for a date.

(641) 236-5331

Pizza, Gluten-Free

Store is open now