Fong’s Pizza cook Kaidyn Hamilton, dressed in a velociraptor costume, outside the Cedar Rapids restaurant in the NewBo District. (The Gazette)
Kyle Kilburg cooks onions, sauerkraut and spices for a relish for his pierogi at his food booth Torch Kitchen at NewBo City Market in Cedar Rapids. (Jim Slosiarek/The Gazette)
Hungry? Need a drink after the game? Looking for something to do with the kids in town for the Iowa high school girls’ state volleyball tournament at the Alliant Energy PowerHouse arena from Nov. 1 to 4? Here’s a guide to some things to eat, drink and do in downtown Cedar Rapids.
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Where to eat in downtown Cedar Rapids
Fong’s Pizza, 1006 Third St. SE
If you’re from Des Moines or have ever listened to a recommendation from a Des Moines local, you know about Fong’s Asian fusion pizzas. Get unique pizza styles like Crab Rangoon and Egg Roll at Fong’s third location, in the heart of Cedar Rapids’ NewBo District.
Need Pizza, 207 Second Ave. SE
If you’re looking for a pizza you can only get in Cedar Rapids, Need fits the bill. This full-service pizzeria offers an emphasis on New Haven style pizza with hearty toppings, robust appetizers and a full bar with 30 beers on tap.
Chophouse Downtown, 411 First St. SE
Get steakhouse staples and burgers with bold flares like cotton candy and Tomahawk pork chops at this newly opened option.
Popoli Restaurant, 101 Third Ave. SW
If you’re looking for a more dressed-up dinner after victory at the tournament, this newly reopened favorite in Cedar Rapids offers high-end Italian and American cuisine inside an iconic former bank building — complete with a restored vault. It’s open for dinner only, and reservations are recommended.
White Star Ale House, 305 Second Ave. SE
This downtown Cedar Rapids favorite reopened recently under new ownership and remodeling. It offers elevated American dining in a beautiful historic building. Open for dinner only.
LP Street Food, 302 Third Ave. SW
If you’re looking for something quirky or less fussy, try LP Street Food. With a fresh take on street foods, the menu offers a variety of options for everyone from picky eaters to the adults who can appreciate more sophisticated twists.
Caucho, 1202 Third St. SE, Unit 2
Upscale Mexican food that doesn’t break the bank is served in a cool, rustic setting just steps away from downtown. Specialties include tacos and housemade tortillas, alongside a full cocktail menu. Open for dinner only.
Black Sheep Social Club, 600 First St. SE
If you want to feel dressed up but don’t want to get dressed to the nines, Black Sheep is a nice option inside a renovated former warehouse. Quality burgers, steaks and salads are served alongside less common options like lamb and duck fat fries.
Housed with Clock House Brewing, you won’t be disappointed in the beer selection, either. Dessert isn’t neglected, with options like pot de creme.
Phong Lan, 216 Eighth St. SE
This Vietnamese staple in Cedar Rapids offers quality pho, spring rolls and Vietnamese options in a no-frills environment at an affordable price.
The Map Room, 416 Third St. SE
Have a burger just about any way you can imagine in this cozy restaurant. If you want to eat in during peak hours, plan to spend a little time waiting since the number of tables is small.
NewBo City Market, 1100 Third St. SE
Open only Thursday through Sunday, this New Bohemia District market offers a fun variety of food options from small, local vendors. It’s a one-stop shop for so many food options: Filipino, Mexican, Mediterranean, pizza, gelato, chocolate, soup, sandwiches, coffee, beer and more.
Where to drink in downtown Cedar Rapids
Quarter Barrel, 916 Second Ave. SE
This industrial, brick-walled pub offers arcade games, beer and pizza in one spot.
Iowa Brewing Company, 708 Third St. SE
A crazy number of taps offer beers for any taste, with a relaxing, modern lounge.
Fun things to do in downtown Cedar Rapids
Civil Axe Throwing, 375 Third St. SE, Suite 110
Channel your inner lumberjack with a hobby that’s becoming more popular. Located inside Gianna’s Italian Beef.
Raygun, 1028 Third St. SE
A distinctly Iowa brand offers novelty T-shirts and gifts that can get away with saying the things you wish you had thought of first.
Just over the river, minutes from downtown, is a district with a storied Czech and Slovak history and charming array of shops, restaurants, a bakery, cafe and brewery that make it a destination in itself. Spend an hour or half your day wandering this section of 16th Avenue Southwest to your heart’s delight.
Most of the village’s establishments are open between Wednesday and Sunday.
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