A Foodie’s Adventure in #MasonCityIA

Are you a Foodie?!

Are you interested in the latest food fads? Do you enjoy gourmet meals and love the thrill of dining in a new restaurant? If that sounds like you, then you’re in luck – Mason City has great dining options!

Suzie-Q Café

Suize-Q Cafe

One of only 52 surviving “Valentine-style” diners in the United States, the Suzie-Q Café has been at home in Mason City since 1948. This cute little café is a great stop. We highly recommend you try the Omwich breakfast sandwich or the Spic ‘N Span Tenderloin – rated second in the nation!

Hungry Mind

The Hungry Mind has been serving the best soups, salads, sandwiches and gourmet hamburgers in the Mason City area since 1976 Be sure to try one of the local favorites such as the Philly Cheese Steak,  quiche, or the ultimate Bayou Burger.

Las Palmas Mexican Restaurant

Add a little spice to your life! Enjoy authentic Mexican cuisine while sipping on a refreshing margarita – recently ranked “Readers’ Choice” by locals.  Our staff favorites include their chimichanga, taco salad, and their burritos!



Craving something sweet? Birdsall’s Ice Cream has been serving refreshing, handmade ice cream since the 1930’s. Not only will you appreciate the homemade ice cream, but the building itself will remind you of a vintage ice cream parlor from days gone by. Be sure to try a local favorite such as a hot fudge sundae, hot fudge marshmallow malt, or everyone’s favorite summertime treat – FRESH PEACH!

Bill’s BBQ

Enjoy the best ribs in Mason City! Hickory smoked loin back ribs, savory baked beans, cabbage salad, and fresh baked bread await! (Is your mouth watering yet?) Dine-in or carry out… whatever suits you best!

Northwestern Steakhouse

Northwestern SteakHouse

Family-owned since 1920, Northwestern Steakhouse is well known for their mouthwatering, Greek-style steak (don’t forget the side of savory spaghetti). If steak’s not your thing, be sure to try their roasted chicken, broiled shrimp, Canadian walleye or lamb chops. Recently named ‘Most Iconic Restaurant in the State of Iowa’,  you don’t want to skip out on this stop.  One last guarantee, besides the food being delicious, is that this is perhaps the most in-demand restaurant in town, so be there early to get your name on “the list.” We promise, it’s worth the wait. (Advance reservations are available for parties of 6 or more.)

Papa’s American Café

In the mood for cold beer, good food and catching the game on TV? Well then, Papa’s American Café is the place for you! Legendary food, a relaxing atmosphere and 35 flat screen TVs…  what else could you possibly need? As for favorites, there are many – such as fresh soups (made daily), hand-pressed burgers and delicious salads. Bring your friends, family, neighbor and dog… well, maybe not the dog, but you get the idea – Large crowds are welcome!

State Street Deli

State Street Deli offers a little taste of Chicago right here, in Downtown Mason City. Menu “creations” (named after streets in Chi-town) offer a variety of options. Traditional favorites include the Reuben, Ham & Swiss, Roast Beef, and Swiss & Pastrami.

Cabin Coffee

Cabin Coffee

Any average day starts off with a cup of coffee, right? Well, start your morning off GREAT with a locally roasted and packed-fresh-daily coffee from Cabin Coffee. Experience a cabin-like atmosphere while enjoying your made-to-order coffee, latte, espresso or a cold drink (my favorite is the Twister Frappuccino). If coffee isn’t your thing,  the menu features a variety of other options including Italian Sodas, teas, hot chocolate, smoothies and more!  Don’t forget to grab a bite to eat… Choose from their famous cinnamon rolls, scones, muffins, butter biscotti, sandwiches, and more!

Thai Bistro

Thai Bistro & Sushi Bar offers a variety of traditional and modern Thai cuisine. Recently listed by the Des Moines Register as one of the ‘New Restaurants to Try in Iowa’.


Lorados, located right on the Plaza in Downtown Mason City, is where you will find great service AND the best Bloody Mary in town! Enjoy a relaxing lunch on the Plaza (Blackened Chicken Pasta Salad… YUMM) or partake in the nightlife atmosphere, including live music most weekends!

Mason City Brewing

Mason City Brewing

If you are looking for great craft beer, look no further than Mason City Brewing. With eight locally-brewed taps, there is surely something for everyone. Brews change regularly, check their Facebook page or website to see what new styles they have on tap.

FION BARRA Ales & Spirits

Classy and sophisticated, this is a great place for a low-key night and conversation. With over 40 wines, 35 imported microbrew beers, and 8 varieties of Japanese sake to choose from, there is something to satisfy every palate.  Simple menu offers options such as charcuterie, cheese board, and shrimp cocktail.

Prime & Wine


Enjoy yourself  with a bottle of wine and dinner sure to please. Choose from steak, pastas, sandwiches, fish, salads, soups and more. Staff’s personal favorite is the Cajun Chicken Pasta, spiced chicken tossed with linguini in an alfredo sauce, topped with tomato and onion – Can you say, YUM?!


Locally owned for over 20 years, Jitters offers many flavored lattes, coffee, smoothies, Italian sodas, pastries, teas and more! My personal favorite is the Vanilla Chi Tea.

Pasta Bella

Best Italian food around! Your mouth will be watering the second you walk through the doors. Start by ordering a glass of wine while enjoying their homemade bread when looking through their decadent menu. Lasagna, manicotti, cannelloni, ziti, tortellini, pizza…it’s never ending! If you’re as indecisive as I am give the pasta combo or sampler a try for a little bit of everything.

The Quarry

The Quarry

Choose from fresh seafood, salads, pasta, steak, sandwiches and more all while dining at the best outdoor eatery in town.

LD’s Filling Station

Breakfast for dinner? Sure, why not!?! Serving the best breakfast in town – all day long, LD’s Filling Station is a haven for car lovers with décor dedicated classic cars, muscle cars, domestic and imports. This menu features a great variety of selections – named for various autos and car parts, of course…  Grand Prix, Rambler, Ferrari, Mustang 2+2 and Peterbilt. But breakfast isn’t the only thing that will get your motor running… burgers, sandwiches, and home-style entrees are also available. Family-owned and family-friendly, LD’s Filling Station also offer great options for the kiddos. Open at 5am every morning, 7 days a week.

Fat Hill Brewing

Fat Hill Brewing

Mason City’s newest 7-barrell brewery offers a variety of locally-brewed crafts and sixteen taps – including ciders! Personal favorites include the Foreign Export Stout and the Wilson’s Orchard Cherry Crush Cider. Mix and match with a flight and then enjoy your favorite by the pint of take a taste of Mason City home with you in a crowler.

Pastime Gardens

Since 1955, Pastime Gardens has been the taco heaven of the Midwest! Indulge in an amazing, wholesome dining experience with homemade Mexican cuisine. If you’re a sampler foodie, stop in every Tuesday and Saturday afternoon for an a la carte meal. That’s right, try out a variety of options without a hefty price tag – Enjoy big flavors at small prices.

1910 Grille

1910 Grille

Experience fine dining in a historic landmark in Downtown Mason City- whether you’re looking for an intimate setting or casual dining you’ve stopped at the right place. Chef Kurt Nyfuard is sure to impress when serving up any meal on the menu. We recommend the Chicken Marsala or the Prime Rib Sandwich. Groups of 7 or more should call ahead of time to arrange reservations.

1910 Lounge

1910 Lounge

After dinner,  mosie downstairs to the 1910 Lounge for an after dinner drink. You’ll instantly feel relaxed with dim lighting, comfy seating and a scotch in hand.


Aroma of coffee beans and fresh baked scones will be sure to get  you in the door of Beanzy’s! Once inside choose from fresh handcrafted coffee drinks and made from scratch baked goods. Perfect atmosphere for reading or catching up on office work.

I would love to stay and chat, but my mouth is WATERING!

– Sincerely, your local #MasonCityIA Foodie


About visitmasoncityiowa

Mason City, Iowa is best known as the hometown of "The Music Man", Meredith Willson. This charming town also showcases Prairie School Architecture designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, and is home to the only remaning hotel in the world designed by Wright. The largest selection of Bil Baird puppets can also be found right here in Mason City, located in North Central Iowa.

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