Farm to Table, Iowa-Style

Food & Beverage, Iowa Tour Guide


Much of the nation relies on the food produced by Iowa farmers, so it makes sense to include a farm meal or farm visit on your group tour itinerary. It’s also a place to tap into the farm-to-fork concept that fuels a growing number of restaurants that take pride in using local, seasonal ingredients.

Embarking on a journey through farm states like Iowa offers a delicious bonus – the food. From farm-fresh milk to delectable dinner rolls and iconic pork tenderloin sandwiches, every bite resonates with the authentic flavors of the heartland. This guide outlines an immersive experience, from Amish feasts to dairy farm tours, bringing you closer to the bounty of Iowa’s rich agricultural landscape.

Read More About Iowa in the Iowa State Guide for FREE

Amish Culinary Experience in Kalona

In Kalona, Iowa, home to the state’s largest Amish colony, immerse yourself in the heartwarming tradition of farm-to-table dining. The tourism team can arrange a hearty, family-style meal for groups of 10 or more in a Conservative Mennonite home. Indulge in Amish staples like roast beef, dressing, mashed potatoes, and more. Enhance your experience with a full-day tour of Amish Country or a speaker shedding light on Amish and Mennonite lifestyles.

Hansen’s Farm Fresh Dairy in Hudson

Cuisine in the Corn

Cuisine in the Corn

A short drive from Waterloo, Hansen’s Farm Fresh Dairy offers an inside look at dairy production, from cow to table. Visitors can feed a calf, milk a cow, or try their hand at making butter. Cap off the tour with premium ice cream or cheese curds and crackers. Arrange a catered meal in the new visitor center for a complete farm-fresh experience.

Cinnamon Ridge Farm in Donahue

Near the Quad Cities, Cinnamon Ridge Farm provides an exciting tour featuring robots milking cows and cheese-making operations. Some tours even include a visit to the hog barn, offering a comprehensive insight into modern farming practices.

Downtown Farmers’ Market in Des Moines

Discover a taste of the country in the heart of Des Moines at the Downtown Farmers’ Market. Held every Saturday morning from May through October, this market spans nine city blocks in the Historic Court District. With over 200 vendors from 51 Iowa counties, it’s recognized as one of America’s best farmers’ markets. It’s the perfect place to source fresh produce, cheeses, wines, and baked goods.

Farm-to-Fork Restaurants Across Iowa

Explore the rise of farm-to-fork restaurants in Iowa, with establishments like HoQ in the historic East Village of Des Moines. HoQ’s evolving menu showcases flavors from around the world, with almost 90% of ingredients sourced from local farms. Other notable mentions include Proof and Table 128 Bistro, both committed to using locally-sourced ingredients.

RiverLoop Public Market in Waterloo

For a farm-fresh feast in Waterloo, head to the RiverLoop Public Market. The market’s cafe offers an all-you-can buffet featuring locally grown delights, making it a favorite among tour groups.

Fresh Deli at the Freight House in Davenport

Nostalgia Farms operates Fresh Deli at the Freight House on Davenport’s riverfront. Providing chemical-free produce since 1996, it’s a haven for made-from-scratch soups, sliders, salads, and desserts. Don’t miss the adjacent Freight House Farmer’s Market, open every Tuesday and Saturday year-round.

Greater Burlington Partnership’s “Farm to Fork” Itinerary

Customize your culinary adventure with the Greater Burlington Partnership’s “Farm to Fork” itinerary. This tailor-made experience includes farm and winery tours, along with meals crafted from crops and animals raised in the very places you’ve visited. Highlights include a visit to a Mennonite creamery, dining in an Amish home, touring an elk farm, and exploring Iowa’s oldest working orchard.

Embark on a gastronomic journey through Iowa, where farm-to-table experiences abound. From Amish feasts to dairy farm tours and vibrant farmers’ markets, Iowa’s culinary landscape offers a true taste of America’s heartland. Customize your adventure and savor the flavors of locally-sourced ingredients at every stop.

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