AMES, Iowa – Iowans submitted nearly 9,200 nominations between February 12 – March 12 to kick off the quest to find the best burger in Iowa. Nominations were accepted online by the Iowa Beef Industry Council and the Iowa Cattlemen’s Association. The number of votes each restaurant received determined the 2018 Top Ten restaurants. The restaurants making the Top Ten list (in alphabetical order) include:
- BurgerFiend, Cedar Rapids
- Cafe Beaudelaire, Ames
- The IowaStater Restaurant, Ames
- Moo’s BBQ, Newton
- Morgan’s Corner, Ottumwa
- Rides Bar & Grill, Fort Dodge
- Robin’s Nest Cafe, Clarinda (formerly Vaughn’s Cafe & Bakery)
- Saucy Focaccia, Cedar Rapids
- The Twisted Tail Steakhouse, Logan (BeeBeeTown)
- Wrangling Grace Cafe, Bancroft
"Iowa has over 27,000 beef producers, and this contest is a great way to celebrate the beef they produce and the impact they have on Iowa," says Katie Olthoff, Director of Communications for the Iowa Cattlemen’s Association.
To qualify, the burger must be a 100% beef patty or patties, although other ingredients may be added such as spices, and served on a bun or bread product. Burgers may include any combination of condiments, sauces, cheese or toppings.
“We moved all of the voting to online this year and set a new record with over 700 restaurants receiving at least one nomination,” comments Brooke German, Director of Marketing for the Iowa Beef Industry Council. “In total, we had over 300 towns and cities across Iowa represented which proves that there are a lot of great tasting burgers all across the state.”
Seven restaurants are new to the contest’s Top 10 list and include: BurgerFiend, Cedar Rapids; Cafe Beaudelaire, Ames; Iowa Stater Restaurant, Ames; Moo’s BBQ, Newton; Morgan’s Corner, Ottumwa; The Twisted Tail Steakhouse, Logan; and Wrangling Grace Cafe, Bancroft.
Returning contestants include: Ride’s Bar and Grill, Fort Dodge; Robin’s Nest Cafe, Clarinda (formerly Vaughn’s Cafe and Bakery); and Saucy Focaccia, Cedar Rapids.
The quest for the winner of the Iowa’s Best Burger will now begin. All Top Ten restaurants will be visited by a panel of anonymous judges who will evaluate the burgers based on taste, appearance, and proper doneness (160 degrees Fahrenheit). The judges’ scores and comments will be accumulated and the winner will be crowned on May 1.
“We encourage everyone to visit the Top Ten restaurants,” says German. “These are only a few of the many restaurants in Iowa that do an outstanding job of promoting and serving our beef product to their customers on behalf of Iowa’s beef farmers.”
To learn more about the contest and the Top Ten restaurants, including addresses and hours, visit www.iabeef.org.
Last year, The Smokin’ Hereford BBQ of Storm Lake took home the title of the 2017 Iowa’s Best Burger. Winners in previous years are: 2016 - The Chuckwagon Restaurant Adair; 2015 - The Cider House of Fairfield; 2014 - Brick City Grill in Ames; 2013 - 61 Chop House Grille in Mediapolis; 2012 - Coon Bowl III in Coon Rapids; 2011 - Rusty Duck in Dexter; and 2010 - Sac County Cattle Company of Sac City.