No matter where I live, I am always one to scope out the local restaurants. You will not find Olive Garden, Houlihan’s, or HuHot Mongolian Grill listed here! In other words, CHAINS CAN’T HOLD ME!
If you have any favorites, I’d love to hear from you!
1. Asian Gourmet 113 W 11th St, Dubuque, IA 52001
Stick to Lien’s “House Specialities” if you want to play it safe. Her Pad Thai (#47 & 48) and Pad See Ew (#56) are the best I’ve ever had. To order just say the number and spice level (mild, medium, or hot). If you ask for substitutions, you’re usually asking for trouble.
2. Cannova’s Pizzeria 247 N Main St Galena, IL 61036
Cozy and intimate, this place has a nice wine selection, an amazing Sicilian salad, and wonderful wood fired pizza.
3. West Dubuque Tap 1701 Asbury Rd Dubuque, IA 52001
A neighborhood bar with hand-cut fries, good beer on tap, and fresh Wisconsin cheese curds. Very easy on the wallet. Need I say anything else?
4. Marco’s Italian 2022 Central Ave Dubuque, IA 52001
There’s something about the sauce at this place that I just love. One of my favorites is the “Hot Spaghetti”. It sounds tame, but hot means SPICY!
5. Athenian Grill 1091 University Ave Dubuque, IA 52001
Giant. Gyros. That is all.
6. Taiko Japanese Steakhouse 2155 Southpark Ct Dubuque, IA 52001 (I’m not sure if this place is a chain. Please let me know if it is!)
A Dubuque version of Benihana’s, this place actually has great sushi and miso soup. The live music can be super loud and annoying (Stevie Nicks covers anyone??), so go on weeknights or early in the evening on weekends.
7. 180 Main 180 Main St Dubuque, IA 52001
Great for a fancy burger, parmesan fries, and a good glass of house wine. Downstairs you’ll find an Irish pub called The Busted Lift.
8. Jack’s Chicken Palace 1107 University Ave Dubuque, IA 52001
You can only order your meals to-go at The Palace. Luckily, Fat Tuesday’s is right next door so you can grab a beer while your chicken is frying. The fried chicken and the coleslaw are equally brilliant.
9. Mario’s 13th and Main Dubuque, IA 52001
In Dubuque, people tend to be Marco’s fans or Mario’s fans. I happen to like both. You can usually find Mario himself hanging out at the bar while you try the speciality, the “Deep-Fried Panzerotti”.
10. Dottie’s Cafe 504 Central Ave Dubuque, IA 52001
The ultimate place for homeade hangover food and people watching. I’m a huge fan of the “Hillbilly Surprise”. I honestly can’t remember all the ingredients, but I know that sausage gravy and cheese are involved.