LV Recommends: International fare for RAGBRAI visitors in Iowa City

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For the first time in over 40 years, Iowa City is hosting bicyclists and their entourages from all 50 states and a multitude of countries for the Register’s Annual Great Bike Ride Across Iowa — better known as RAGBRAI. In celebration of our international guests, we’ve put together this guide to eating cross-continentally in our fine town.

Crepes de Luxe Cafe

L’ocean crepes at the Crepes de Luxe Cafe table. Monday, Feb. 27, 2017. — photo by Zak Neumann.

309 E College St, Iowa City

Reward yourself twice over and sleep in for Crêpes de Luxe Café’s mid-morning opening. Crêpes de Luxe serves its eponymous dish in many savory and sweet styles, with buckwheat or gluten-free batters also available. Head chef and owner Hicham Chehouani hails from Morocco; after a stint in France, he brought his delicate culinary creations to the streets of Iowa City.

Oasis Falafel

Oasis Falafel, Iowa City
Oasis Falafel, Iowa City — photo by Zak Neumann

206 N Linn St, Iowa City

To fuel up for a long day on the tires, head to Oasis Falafel on the north side of Iowa City for the Madjadra falafel, made of Basmati rice with lentils, spices and caramelized onions. As they say on their menu, “Never tried falafel? Let us know — we’ll bring you a free sample!”


Spicy sampling: Appetizer platters allow diners to taste around Haveli’s vast menu. The vegetarian (pictured) includes Samosas and paneer pakoras. — photo by Adam Burke

943 25th Avenue, Coralville

Venture out to Coralville to enjoy traditional and innovative foods from Haveli Indian Cuisine. Accompany your meal with a mango lassi (cool yogurt beverage), all the while enjoying the Indian soap operas playing in the background.

La Regia Taqueria

Street tacos from La Regia Taqueria. — photo by Frankie Schneckloth

436 Hwy 1 West, Iowa City

La Regia Taqueria is a food-truck-turned-casual-restaurant formerly known as La Michoacana. Coupled with a market full of piñatas, fresh chorizo and sauces, La Regia boasts “the best authentic Mexican food in Iowa City.” Pro tip: Order your food with a glass bottle of classic soda, such as Jarritos or Mexican Coca-Cola.

Island Vybz

Island Vybz at the 2017 FryFest in Coralville. — photo courtesy of Island Vybz on Facebook

Moves throughout the greater Iowa City area (see Facebook for details)

If you’re lucky enough to spot the tie-dyed “mobile rasta-rant” Island Vybz, be sure to get in line. Whether you order the Jerk Pork specialty meal or the Yah Mon Burger, you’ll be bobbing your head to reggae beats while enjoying a hearty portion of spicy and sweet Jamaican flavors. We recommend sipping a ginger beer with your plantains.

Baroncini Ristorante

Baroncini Ristorante Italiano, Iowa City — photo by Zak Neumann

104 S Linn St, Iowa City

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It doesn’t get more authentically Italian in Iowa City than at Chef Gianluca’s restaurant, Baroncini Ristorante Italiano. From hazelnut cake to Gelato Affogato — as described on their menu: “a traditional Italian vanilla ice cream immersed in warm espresso, served with homemade biscotti, drizzled with a dark chocolate sauce” — ending your night never tasted so good.

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  1. Okay one of the reasons people come to Iowa to do RAGBRAI is to experience Midwest cuisine – burgers, corn, pie, ribeye sandwiches, corn and pie, pork chops, pie, homemade ice cream and pie. Good for IC for wanting what IC
    wants but keep good old Midwest food on the table and RAGBRAIers will come back again amd again to participate in this great tradition. Oh, and don’t.forget the PIR!

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