LV Recommends: The Map Room, a culinary tour of the world

  • 1

The Map Room. — photo by Zak Neumann/Bread and Butter

Crossing through the purple entrance curtain into the Map Room is a rewarding experience. Once inside, the modern patron is transformed by the little, nondescript, Cedar Rapids building into a world traveler from another age. The atmosphere at the Map Room is cozy with an old-world feel, the walls lined with world maps from periods when the contents lay only partially discovered.

The menu is suitably diverse, fitting the theme of the restaurant, and neatly combines modern American pub food with world flavors. Platters of fries offer a list of poutine-style options, ranging from the homegrown — beer cheese, chili, chipped beef — to the more exotic, such as the lomo saltado gravy.

An adventurous traveler can explore flavors from multiple continents over naan, from the Italian-themed Campania to the Agra, which is delicious naan smothered in garam masala, paneer, mango chutney and spiced peas.

The main attraction at the Map Room is without doubt the world-themed burgers. Thick, hearty, locally sourced beef is topped with ingredients from all across the globe: goat cheese and hummus on the Marrakesh Burger; green chili, braised pork and queso fresco atop the El Paso; kimchi and aioli on the Seoul. I thoroughly enjoyed the Saigon Burger: mortadella, ham, salami, cucumber cilantro, pickled jalapeños, carrots and radishes — a delicious flavor combination. An expansive list of build-your-own burger options exists as well, for those who desire to create unique, continent-spanning, fusion burgers.

One would not expect a tiny burger pub to provide a great deal of variety, but the Map Room does just that: flavorful combinations from around the globe, tastefully crafted into a (mostly) burger-and-fries platform, all in a cozy, serene setting. Add daily drink specials to the mix and one can experience a wide array of flavors in a single venue.

This article was originally published in Little Village issue 239.

  • 1

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


A collaboration between The Englert Theatre and FilmScene


Help us build the greatest small city for the arts in America—right here in Iowa City. Learn more »

Donate Today

Strengthen • Grow • Evolve is a collaborative campaign led by two Iowa City-based arts nonprofits, The Englert Theatre and FilmScene that seeks a major reinvestment to strengthen the arts through modern and historic venues, innovative programming, and new models of collaboration.

For 18 years...

Little Village has been telling the truth and changing our little corner of the world.

If you can, help us head into the next 18 years even stronger with a one-time or monthly contribution of $18, or any amount you choose.

Little Village
2019 Give Guide

Get to know some of the nonprofits helping to make the CRANDIC a better place to live.