When people think of Iowa, the first thing that comes to mind is usually cornfields. While this is undoubtedly a big part of what the state has to offer, there are also plenty of great things to do and fantastic restaurants to visit in Davenport.
Sitting on the banks of the Mississippi River, Davenport, Iowa, has a variety of restaurants to experience, each with its own unique flavors. Whether you are looking for a casual dining experience or want to savor something more exotic, Davenport has something to offer everyone.
I visited the Quad Cities in August and was blown away by the food in this Iowa town.
Here are some of our favorite places to eat in the vibrant city of Davenport. Each eatery offers a unique experience that you won’t want to miss. The restaurants are listed in no particular order.
My visit to the Quad Cities was part of a press trip hosted by VisitQuadCities; all opinions are my own.
Cavort is a unique bar and restaurant in downtown Davenport specializing in tropical vibes and
unique dishes. The menu is tropical-themed. Bright tropical-colored paper fans hang from the ceiling. When you enter, you feel like you are at a beach bar along the ocean.
The drinks are tropical as well, with umbrellas and hibiscus flowers for decoration, and many of the drinks are served in pineapple-shaped containers.
What To Order At Cavort
When we visited, we were a party of six. We all ordered something different, and everyone enjoyed what they ordered. I think you could order anything on the menu and be thrilled with your meal. Here are my recommendations:
- Drinks – Two favorites, the Hibby With It, which includes a hibiscus flower, and the Prickle My Fancy with prickly pear syrup
- Starter – Steamed Edamame enhanced with spicy garlic, sesame, salt, and red chili flakes
- Salad – Tropical Salad served with Romaine lettuce, pineapple, toasted coconut, cantaloupe, red onions, and a raspberry dressing
- Main Entree – Crying Tiger Filet is a USDA choice filet grilled and seasoned with black lava salt served overtop garlic rice and roasted asparagus with Crying Tiger Sauce served on the side
2. Front Street Brewery
A popular restaurant in Davenport, Front Street Brewery offers a variety of delicious beers and pub-style foods. It is the second oldest brewery in the state of Iowa. The restaurant has a casual atmosphere and is a great place to watch a game or relax with friends. They also have live entertainment. Front Street Brewery is on the Quad City Ale Trail.
What To Order At Front Street Brewery
- Starter – Front Street Pretzels: two pretzels served with dipping sauces; the wings are great, too
- Salad – Summer Citrus or the Buffalo Chicken Salad
- Pub Fare – Bucktown Stout Pulled Pork Sandwich — Bucktown Stout BBQ sauce is drizzled onto the slow-roasted pork and topped with coleslaw; served with a side of your choice
- Main Entree – Peach Whiskey Chicken — my favorite! — grilled chicken breast topped with a peach whiskey sauce and served with grilled asparagus and garlic mashed potatoes
3. Me & Billy Kitchen And Bar
Known as “a bar with great food,” Me & Billy offers a great drink menu with fun cocktails and delicious food. You will notice a welcoming vibe when you enter. The service is excellent, and locals frequent the restaurant.
What To Order At Me & Billy Kitchen And Bar
- Drink – Two favorites: the Pear Martini and Something With A Punch
- Salad – Orchard Apple Salad: a spinach salad topped with granny smith apples and a bacon-pecan crumble, roasted red peppers, dried cranberries, red onions, and cheese — the best part is the blood-orange vanilla-bean vinaigrette drizzled over it
- Sandwich – Salmon Naan — seared, smoked salmon, tomato confit, spinach, herb ricotta cheese, red onion, and Italian caper vinaigrette on naan bread; or you can build your own burger from a list of 27 different choices.
4. Taste Of Ethiopia
If you enjoy Ethiopian food or just want to try something new, check out the Taste of Ethiopia restaurant in Davenport. They serve authentic Ethiopian dishes that are hard to find. They have a variety of options for vegetarians and vegans.
Eating here was my first time trying Ethiopian food, and I was a bit hesitant, but I enjoyed it. It was a unique experience since they served Ethiopia’s traditional injera with the meal. Injera is a type of bread. Instead of using utensils, you tear off a piece of injera and use it to grab your food, requiring no fork or knife at all! (They did provide silverware as a backup.)
What To Order At Taste Of Ethiopia
Again, we all ordered different things. This time we shared some dishes so we could taste a variety of things. Here are my recommendations:
- Starter – Ye’Siga Sambusa: these are thin hand-wrapped pastries stuffed with onions and steak
- Main Entree – Ye’Siga Tibs: Steak cubes or strips sauteed with peppers, onion, and garlic served with two sides and injera; this is what I ordered, and I had cabbage and potatoes and carrots for my sides.
- Bonus – A friend raved about the Timatim Salad, which included chopped tomatoes, green peppers, and onions in a house dressing
5. Duck City Bistro
For an upscale, intimate experience, visit Duck City Bistro to enjoy uniquely exquisite flavors from a carefully crafted menu. They have a different Chef’s Special each evening. It is hard to pinpoint items to recommend when everything on the menu is so delicious.
What To Order At Duck City Bistro
Regardless of which items you select, you will be thrilled with your choice and go home with wonderful food memories. These are the items I recommend:
- Starter – Prince Island Mussels — tender mussels are served with beurre blanc and beurre rouge sauce.
- Soup – Lobster Bisque
- Entree – Rack of Lamb Chops with a lamb reduction sauce
- Dessert – Pineapple Croustade, which is the house specialty
6. Miss Phay Cafe
Miss Phay Cafe is a traditional Viet-Thai kitchen, and the cuisine choices represent the saga of an imaginary Asian woman, Miss Phay. The food and atmosphere are a mixture of Miss Phay’s imaginary roots in China, Vietnam, and Thailand.
What To Order At Miss Phay Cafe
- Small Plate – Pork Belly Skewer: grilled pork belly served on a skewer with a spicy lime vinaigrette
- Entree Salad – Saigon Chicken Salad: A bed of cabbage with raw them, poached chicken, crispy shallot, rau ram, and crushed peanuts dressed with a Nuoc Cham vinaigrette
7. Redband Coffee Company
Redband Coffee Company is the place to go if you’re looking for a morning brew in Davenport. The coffee is delicious, and they’re known for their fried egg sandwich. They also have other pastries. Locals make this a routine breakfast stop. There are two locations in Davenport.
They have a variety of coffees, and you can have them shipped.
8. Chocolate Manor
If you are like me and need a chocolate treat in the afternoon, stop at the Chocolate Manor. They have a beautiful selection of handmade chocolate specialties. You can find everything from a pink chocolate high-heeled shoe to chocolate-covered caramels. Everything is made with high-quality ingredients. These make great gifts or special treats to take home for yourself.
9. Whitey’s Ice Cream
Whitey’s Ice Cream is an ice cream shop that’s been serving the Davenport community for over 75 years. The shop serves ice cream by the scoop, pint, quart, or gallon. Whitey’s offers various ice cream flavors, sundaes, milkshakes, banana splits, and floats.
Pro Tip: They even have dairy-free options.
10. UP Skybar
Wherever you choose to eat, end your day by heading to the UP Skybar in downtown Davenport for an after-dinner cocktail on the rooftop and enjoy the views of the Mississippi River, lock and dam, and the Quad Cities. They have an abundance of comfortable seating, serve delicious drinks, and often have live music playing. They have a snack and sandwich menu if you also want to eat there.
To get to the rooftop, you go through The Current Iowa hotel, which is unique and has some excellent photo opportunities.
I ordered a Strawbery Daiquiri, which came out in a big drink pouch. I didn’t have to worry about dropping the glass!
Davenport, Iowa, may not be the first city that comes to mind when you think of great food. But trust me, this Quad Cities gem has some delicious hidden treasures just waiting to be discovered. Next time you find yourself in Davenport, be sure to check out some of these fabulous eateries. Bon appétit!
Learn more about Davenport and the Quad Cities: