Iowa's Best Burger Contest

Iowans submitted nominations between Feb. 10 and March 10 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 2020 Top 10 restaurants. The restaurants making the Top 10 list (in alphabetical order) include:

• AllyCatz GrubHouse, Denver.

• Big Schwilly’s Chicken Dillys, Fairfield.

• Birdies, Burgers, & Brews at the Hillcrest, Graettinger.

• Brady’s Pub, Sheldon.

• BurgerFiend, Cedar Rapids.

• Lucile’s at the Continental Hotel, Centerville.

• The Buck Snort, Council Bluffs.

• The Twisted Tail Steakhouse & Saloon, Beebeetown.

• Troy’s Bar and Grill, Earling.

• Wink’s Bar & Grill, West Liberty.

"Iowa has over 25,000 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% real beef patty served on a bun or bread product. Burgers may include any combination of condiments, sauces, cheese, or toppings.

“Several restaurants have really unique and creative ways to encourage customers to vote. It was a close race to the finish line,” commented Kylie Peterson, Director of Marketing for the Iowa Beef Industry Council. “In total, we had nearly 300 towns and cities across Iowa represented, which proves that there are a lot of great tasting burgers all across the state.”

Eight of the Top 10 restaurants are new qualifiers. Returning contestants include The Twisted Tail Steakhouse and Saloon in Beebeetown and BurgerFiend in Cedar Rapids.

The quest for the winner of the Iowa’s Best Burger will now begin. All Top 10 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 to kick off May Beef Month.

“This year’s Top 10 restaurants are award-winning worthy,” says Peterson. “But they are only a few of the many restaurants in Iowa that do an outstanding job of promoting and serving our beef products to their customers on behalf of Iowa’s beef farmers.”

To learn more about the contest and the Top 10 restaurants, including addresses and hours, visit

Last year, Wood Iron Grille of Oskaloosa took home the title of 2019 Iowa’s Best Burger. Winners in previous years are:

• 2018 - Café Beaudelaire of Ames.

• 2017 – The Smokin’ Hereford BBQ of Storm Lake.

• 2016 - The Chuckwagon Restaurant in 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.

• 2010 - Sac County Cattle Company of Sac City.

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