Best of the CRANDIC 2018: Food & Drink

The results are in! Here are the winners of Little Village’s 2018 Best of the CRANDIC competition in the Food & Drink category, representing voters’ favorite restaurants, bars, growers and innovators in the Cedar Rapids-Iowa City area. Browse the winners in the other four categories here.

Best Restaurant:

Cobble Hill Eatery and Dispensary

219 2nd St SE, Cedar Rapids

Best Chef:

Andy Schumacher

Owner and chef at Cobble Hill Eatery and Dispensary, Caucho

Chef Andy Schumacher at Cobble Hill in Cedar Rapids — Jav Ducker/Little Village

“I think the award that means the most is Food-Scene Game Changer. To be able to come back to my hometown of Cedar Rapids and be part of the growth of the community means a lot.”

— Andy Schumacher

Food Scene Game Changer:

Cobble Hill Eatery and Dispensary

219 2nd St SE, Cedar Rapids

“They were the first truly great food we had in Iowa, and we still measure each new restaurant against them as a benchmark.”

— Sheila O.

Shout outs

Goosetown Cafe

“Poptarts?! Fuckin’ poptarts!! Everything else is great too, but, jeezy Pete, what a great idea.”

— Seamus D.

Chomp Delivery

“My favorite scene is my living room, but with Chomp, I can order just about any food and have it delivered straight to my door. Plus, Chomp is totally local, so I feel good about supporting my community.”

— Amanda A.

Bread Garden Market’s food kiosks

“Super good food, not a bad price, fast and convenient.”

— Zoe H.

Lion Bridge Brewing Company

“This enterprise is becoming much more than an eating and drinking place. Happenings are sponsored here—it is becoming more like the the village gathering place that existed before the invention of the automobile destroyed it.”

— Patricia H.

Best Nightlife:

Downtown Iowa City

“It has so much variety, from college, sports, dive bars, to classy cocktail joints, delicious restaurants and scrumptious dessert shops.”

— Will S.

Best Cocktail Menu:

Clinton Street Social Club

18 1/2 S Clinton St, Iowa City

Best Restaurant Staff:

Pullman Bar & Diner

17 S Dubuque St, Iowa City

Staff at Pullman Bar and Diner — Zak Neumann/Little Village

“The bartenders, and even the kitchen staff, are always personable and want you to enjoy things as much as they do.”

— Nick K.

Best Place to Buy Wine:

John’s Grocery

401 E Market St, Iowa City

John’s Grocery in Iowa City offers a plentiful selection of win. — Jordan Sellergren/Little Village

“No one else has a high-end selection as expansive as theirs. It’s also incredibly difficult to find staff who are knowledgeable about fine wine, but John’s has several staff members who are very well-versed. I love asking for a recommendation and getting an honest suggestion, instead of being pointed to the most expensive bottle.”

— Kelly S.

Best Pizza:

Pagliai’s Pizza

302 E Bloomington St, Iowa City

Pagliai’s Pizza in Iowa City — Jordan Sellergren/Little Village

“It’s been the best since I was a kid. It is the standard with which I judge other pizza around the country — and they often don’t measure up! It’s not pretentious — they only do pizza — but they do it really well.”

— Alex F.

Runner-Up Pizzas

  • The Wedge Pizzeria, Iowa City
  • Wig & Pen, various locations
  • Need Pizza, Cedar Rapids
  • Lincoln Winebar, Mount Vernon
  • Maggie’s Farm, Iowa City

Best Produce:

New Pioneer Food Co-op

Various locations

New Pioneer Co-op in Iowa City — Adam Burke/Little VIllage

“Mostly local, always fresh, and seasonal surprises are at your fingertips. Lettuce buy all the veggies!”

— Katy B.

Best Grocery Store:

New Pioneer Food Co-op

Various locations

“Everything you need, nothing you don’t.”

— Seamus D.

Shout outs

Chong’s Supermarket

“Chong’s Grocery has the most amazing things packed into a store a little bit bigger than most Corridor living rooms. From seaweed rolls to cheap spices, kimchee and shumai, this place is the best. Try the frozen whole pompano fish. Great grilled or broiled. (You should probably unfreeze it first.)”

— Alexander L.

Bread Garden Market

“This fresh food market not only stocks organic, vegan and fresh produce but also has a buffet station with eight fresh soups made daily as well as good cold and hot dishes. Recently added kiosks allow shoppers to order made-to-order pizzas and sandwiches which are served up fresh in minutes. A large outdoor seating area on the Ped Mall as well as off-street parking in the rear make this a must-stop.”

— Bobby J.

Lucky’s Market

“Great sushi, cheese, produce, beer, breads. This is the best thing to come to the Eastside.”

— Mary M.

Best Bartender:

Krista Burich, Goosetown Cafe

203 N Linn St, Iowa City

Kristi Burich shakes up a Earl Grey Gin Fizz, a Goosetown Cafe house specialty. — Zak Neumann/Little Village

Krista Burich has been bartending for 15 years, from college bars in Ames and Iowa City to a pool hall in Georgia, a wine bar in Maryland and, finally, Goosetown Cafe in Iowa City’s Northside.

Burich’s Three Ingredients for a Good Bartender

“People will know if you’re bullshitting them. You need knowledge of your basic drinks, wines and beers. Anyone can basically make a drink, following a recipe, but having a good memory and remembering all those recipes is harder.” (Krista’s favorite drinks are classic cocktails, such as the Last Word and an egg white whiskey sour.)

“Multitasking is important, so I can make a drink, or a couple drinks, while talking.”

Rapport with customers
“One customer’s favorite drink is not going to be another customer’s. Just knowing your customer and knowing what they will like is probably the best trait a bartender can have. More important than remembering their names is remembering their drink. I could still tell you from five years ago what my customers drank. I think people really appreciate that.

Best Local Farm:

TIE! Echollective and Muddy Miss Farms

Best CSA:


“Farmer Molly is the best farmer, and they care deeply about environmental and social justice.”

— Elizabeth B.

“The quality and diversity of their crops is exceptional. We love our weekly shares and the inspiration it brings to our kitchen!”

— Will S.

Farmers Market Fixture:

Muddy Miss Farms

“Farmer Molly is the best farmer, and they care deeply about environmental and social justice.”

— Elizabeth B.

“The quality and diversity of their crops is exceptional. We love our weekly shares and the inspiration it brings to our kitchen!”

— Will S.

Best Cold Treat:


811 S 1st Ave, Iowa City

25 E Cherry St, North Liberty

Best Craft Brewery:

Big Grove Brewery

1225 S Gilbert St, Iowa City

101 W Main St, Solon

Big Grove Brewery in Iowa City — Zak Neumann/Little Village

“Their tap room is beautiful and expansive, and their food is terrific — far above standard bar fare. I particularly like Arms Race and their sours.”

— Elissa C.

Shout outs

Lion Bridge Brewing Company

“It’s no contest, this place feels like it has always existed and is adored by beer snobs and the rest of us.”

— Sheila O.

Millstream Brewing Company

“Millstream Brewing has been doing it for decades, but they also find space to innovate while keeping a solid lineup of classics.”

— Nick K.

ReUnion Brewery

“Best in the area, hands down. Their ingredients are top quality and that speaks for itself in their brews. They’re always rotating new brews on tap and have a great selection of core beers. Great local brewery, the brewers are always open to chat, which adds a special touch that you can’t get from the other local breweries.”

— Anne P.

Best Wedding Catering:

Oasis Falafel

206 N Linn St, Iowa City

Oasis Falafel, Iowa City
Oasis Falafel, Iowa City — Zak Neumann/Little Village

“Incredible food that vegans, gluten free people and any foodie can enjoy and customize on their plate. Babaganoush me, STAT.”

— Katy B.

Best Coffeehouse:

Java House

Various locations

“This place caffeinates my soul.”

— Jacqueline B.

Best Place for a Business Lunch:

Goosetown Cafe

203 N Linn St, Iowa City

Goosetown Café serves up breakfast in a bowl — Frankie Schneckloth/Little Village

Best Burger:

Short’s Burger and Shine

18 S Clinton St, Iowa City

Runner-Up Burgers

  • George’s, Iowa City
  • The Map Room, Cedar Rapids
  • Pullman Bar and Diner, Iowa City
  • Newt’s Cafe, Nichols
  • Hamburg Inn, Iowa City

Best Fries:

Oasis Falafel

206 N Linn St, Iowa City

Best Late Night Food:

George’s Buffet

312 E Market St, Iowa City

George’s burger — Frankie Schneckloth/Little Village

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