Bandito Billy’s: Here’s how to eat at one of Derek Perez’s restaurants for the next few weeks

El Bandito’s is currently closed for renovations, but their dinner menu is available at Billy’s High Hat Diner (pictured) — photo by Matthew Steele

If you live in Iowa City and have been brave enough to leave the house recently, you’ve probably noticed that El Bandito’s (327 E Market St) is closed.

Here’s what’s up, as confirmed by owner Derek Perez:

• The 327 E Market St location is currently closed for renovations. It is expected to re-open in about three weeks with an expanded service and events area stretching into 323 E Market St (the former Decorum space). Most of the same menu items will still be available at that time, plus a lot of new additions including expanded vegetarian options.

• El Bandito’s dinner menu is available now at Perez’s other restaurant, Billy’s High Hat Diner (nearby, at 630 Iowa Ave) during special hours: 4-9 p.m., Tuesdays through Saturdays.

• Billy’s High Hat Diner’s breakfast and lunch menu is available from 7 a.m.-2 p.m. daily.

• Nobody is calling the restaurant at 630 Iowa Ave “Bandido Billy’s” except for me. You can totally call it that, though. It’s fine.

Watch for further updates and, as always, support your local restaurants! I’ll be in soon to see if the Green Gigantic Burrito (smothered, of course) is as delicious on Iowa Avenue as it always has been on Market Street.

Buen Provecho.

Thoughts? Tips? A cute picture of a dog? Share them with LV »


Iowa City Book Festival

Oct. 18-24

A celebration of books, writing and ideas

Find Out More


Summer Programs 2020

Get 150+ local restaurants delivered to your door in the Iowa City & Cedar Rapids areas!

The Future is Unwritten

You look to Little Village for today’s stories. Your sustaining support will help us write tomorrow’s.


$10/mo or $120/year
The cost of doing this work really adds up! Your contribution at this level will cover telephone and internet expenses for one month at the LV editorial offices.


$20/mo or $240/year
$240 is enough to cover one month’s costs for sending out our weekly entertainment newsletter, The Weekender. Make a contribution at this level to put a little more oomph on your support and your weekend.


$30/mo or $360/year
(AUTO-RENEW) connects eastern Iowa culture with the world. Your contribution at this level will cover the site’s hosting costs for three months. A bold move for our boldest supporters!

All monthly and annual contributors receive:

  • Recognition on our Supporters page (aliases welcome)
  • Exclusive early access when we release new half-price gift cards
  • Access to a secret Facebook group where you can connect with other supporters and discuss the latest news and upcoming events (and maybe swap pet pics?) with the LV staff
  • Invitations to periodic publisher chats (held virtually for now) to meet with Matt and give him a piece of your mind, ask your burning questions and hear more about the future plans for Little Village, Bread & Butter Magazine, Witching Hour Festival and our other endeavors.