LV Recommends: Caterers and event spaces to make planning your next event a breeze

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Four unique caterers to consider for your next event

Oasis Falafel

206 N Linn St, Iowa City

Voted Best Wedding Catering in the 2018 Best of the CRANDIC competition, Oasis is a crowd-pleaser for all eaters. Vegetarian and vegan requests are easily accommodated and the food is always on-point; your guests will be in heaven and might remember the food they ate better than the vows you recited. Besides catering your nuptials, the team at Oasis also delivers boxed lunches to the office, which is truly great because you can easily avoid those curious sniffs and inquisitive glances towards your aromatic lunch by ordering one for everyone.

Leaf Kitchen

301 1/2 Kirkwood Ave, Iowa City

Hidden gem, Leaf Kitchen, makes amazing food—if you’ve not been yet, order their Moroccan Eggs or their special Bahn Mi sandwich when it’s available. Leaf Kitchen also offer catering services and will design a menu specifically for your event or private party. Give them a list of your favorite Leaf dishes or a theme to work from and Chef Masae will work her magic. Part of the draw of Leaf’s food is the undisputed charm of their cozy little cafe, their off-site work delivers delectable, mouth-watering food no matter what.

One Twenty Six’s Wood-fired Tandoori Chicken Wings — Zak Neumann/Little Village

One Twenty Six

126 E Washington St, Iowa City

Whether you’re hosting a chill backyard picnic or a social event for your colleagues, One Twenty Six will literally deliver you the perfect bites for whatever your vibe. The platters are a true hit with incredible flavors and artful presentation. Housemade Vegetable Samosas! Wood-fired Tandoori Chicken Wings! Street Tacos! All are great and worthy of your next cocktail party. Entrees are well executed, too, with flavor, spice and an attention to detail that is hard to come by for plated affairs.

One Twenty Six’s vegetable samosas — Zak Neumann/Little Village

Bread Garden Market

225 S Linn St, Iowa City

Bread Garden Market has a very straightforward catering menu with dishes time-tested and guaranteed to be great, making coordinating an event a breeze. The chef and catering managers at this bustling downtown lunch spot entertain custom requests to make your wedding or special event something unique and remarkable. Rumor has it their delicious burgers are something your wedding guests will continue to mention long after the sun goes down on your big day.

Wood-fired on wheels

Via Pilsen Photo Co-op

Lincoln Wine Bar

125 First St W, Mount Vernon

Expect a beautifully tiled Marraforni brick oven emblazoned with the phrase “Stay Gold” and a crew of passionate foodies and pizzaiolos to feed your hungry crowd. Ask about additional food and beverage service.

Maggie’s Farm Pizza

1308 Melrose Ave, Iowa City

This mobile brick oven will show up to your wedding or next special event and steal the show, cranking out classic Napoli pies all night long. Gluten-free crust is available by request.

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A wood-fired oven on wheels and it’s very own crew will bring a unique experience to any party or celebration you’ve got on the books. Expect pizzas and other treats pulled from the wood-fired hearth.

Extraordinary Event Spaces


Walker Homestead

8526, 3867 James Ave SW, Iowa City

Self-described as “a boundless venue for agricultural and culinary celebration” this sprawling farmstead on the southwest side of Iowa City is available to rent in addition to the events/classes hosted by the venue. Rental includes tables, chairs, linens, flatware, glassware and all place settings. It also includes access to the walking path and herb garden seating area, as well as an opportunity to visit with the goats, chickens, turkeys and rabbits. Provender, a mobile catering operation run by chef Chris Grebner, provides all the catering services, from wood-fired pizzas to multi-course menus.

Eastbank Venue

97 3rd Ave SE, Cedar Rapids

Located in the iconic Smulekoff’s building in downtown Cedar Rapids, Eastbank provides everything you need to host a social reception. Uniquely integrating a modern, urban sophistication while celebrating original design elements found in this historical preservation property, the venue boasts both a large scale event space (room for up to 475 dinner guests) and a more intimate lounge area. Both spaces are fully customizable and have access to dining tables and chairs, floor-length linens, classic china, stemware and flatware.

The University of Iowa Old Capitol Museum — Caroline Bryan

The University of Iowa Old Capitol Museum and Museum of Natural History

How about a bit of historical flair to spice up your next event? Have your wedding ceremony on the grand staircase of the Old Capitol. Throw your kid’s next birthday party among the beautiful winged specimens of Bird Hall at the Museum of Natural History. Catering services can be coordinated through University of Iowa’s Iowa Memorial Union Catering Department, or arrangements can be made with outside vendors. Because the sites are both a museum and historic site, guests must adhere to specific rules about food, drinks, flowers and decorations that may be different from other event venues, but that are necessary to protect the building and their collections.

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From Aug. 1-Sept. 30, cast your vote for your favorite places, people, eats and entertainment around the Cedar Rapids and Iowa City area.

Don't forget to explain your picks! The best answers will be published in LV's Best of the CRANDIC issue, out Dec. 3, 2019.