Best Burger Contest Names It’s Top 10

Iowans submitted nominations between February 11 – March 11 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 2019 Top Ten restaurants. The restaurants making the Top Ten list (in alphabetical order) include:

Ankeny Diner, Ankeny; Dotzy’s Restaurant and Saloon, Elgin; Landmark Restaurant, Williamsburg; Morgan’s Corner Bar & Grill, Ottumwa; Rides Bar & Grill, Fort Dodge; Robin’s Nest Café and Bakery, Clarinda; Saucy Focaccia, Cedar Rapids; The IowaStater Restaurant, Ames; The Twisted Tail Steakhouse & Saloon, Logan (Beebeetown); and Wood Iron Grille, Oskaloosa.

“Iowa has over 28,000 beef producers, and this contest is a great way to celebrate the beef they produce and the impact they have on Iowa,” says Katie Olthoff, Director of Communications for the Iowa Cattlemen’s Association.

To qualify, the burger must be a 100% beef patty or patties, although other ingredients may be added such as spices, and served on a bun or bread product. Burgers may include any combination of condiments, sauces, cheese or toppings.

“Several restaurants have really unique and creative ways to encourage customers to vote. It was a close race to the finish line,” comments Kylie Peterson, Director of Marketing for the Iowa Beef Industry Council. “In total, we had over 500 towns and cities across Iowa represented which proves that there are a lot of great tasting burgers all across the state.”

Three restaurants are new to the contest’s Top 10 list and include: Dotzy’s Restaurant and Saloon, Elgin; Landmark Restaurant, Williamsburg; and Wood Iron Grille, Oskaloosa.

Returning contestants include: Ankeny Diner, Ankeny; Morgan’s Corner Bar & Grill, Ottumwa; Rides Bar & Grill, Fort Dodge; Robin’s Nest Café and Bakery, Clarinda; Saucy Focaccia, Cedar Rapids; The IowaStater Restaurant, Ames; and The Twisted Tail Steakhouse & Saloon, Logan.

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 crowned on May 1.

“We encourage everyone to visit the Top Ten restaurants,” says Peterson. “These 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.”

To learn more about the contest and the Top Ten restaurants, including addresses and hours, visit

Last year, Café Beaudelaire of Ames took home the title of the 2018 Iowa’s Best Burger. Winners in previous years are: 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.

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