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Unusually Ames: Take it Outside!


What could be better than 26 different ways to enjoy patio dining this summer in Ames? Maybe just having a guide to all the options!

When it comes to having it all, a bar and grill is the way to go. If you are looking for family-friendly, Brick City Grill provides a diverse menu packed with American style favorites such as wings, nachos, burgers, and sandwiches as well as entrees including pork chops and salmon. Speaking of wings, Buffalo Wild Wings has the mantra of WINGS, BEER, SPORTS!! With 14 award-winning sauces, 30 beers on tap and a full menu that won’t leave you hungry. And be sure to try one of the tasty specialties at Wallaby’s Bar & Grille, Ames’ only rooftop-patio option with a fun and inviting atmosphere.

Take a break at one of our favorite coffee houses and bakeries. If you are craving a specialty coffee, Arcadia Café has just that, along with fine pastries and desserts all baked fresh daily. Take a trip around the world with Cafe Beaudelaire, known as “the Soul of Brazil in the Heart of Iowa,” featuring Brazilian fusion cuisine and a full bar. Stomping Grounds Café is a like a traveler’s getaway with its European-style café that serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner, as well as fine coffees, wine, and beer. The Café in Somerset is a fun, energetic restaurant featuring local and seasonal menus for breakfast, lunch and dinner along with Artisan-style breads, European pastries, and creative desserts in their bakery. Burgie’s Coffee and Tea Company is another patio option offering a wide variety of breakfast & lunch options made-to-order along with homemade bakery products and espresso bar. If you need something traditional, meet a friend on Main Street at Café Diem Coffee House, a classic American coffee house with a little something for everyone. Not into coffee? Downtown Ames’ Little Woods Herbs & Teas is a locally-owned artisan tea and spice blender with herbalist roots that also offers a variety of unique gift items. If your sweet tooth needs something more decadent, head west on Main Street to Chocolaterie Stam and be tempted by over 40 varieties of European chocolate bonbons, gelato, coffee creations, native Iowa wines, cookies and more.

Fast food is a relaxing experience when enjoyed on the patio. Iowa favorite B-Bops is famous for their burgers, chicken sandwiches, pork loin sandwiches, chocolate shakes, chili and more. Another great menu option is South Duff and West Lincoln Way McDonald’s Restaurant locations serving breakfast, gourmet coffee, Big Macs, fries, Happy Meals, salads and more that can be enjoyed on their outdoor tables. “Eat Mor Chikin” on the patio of Chick-fil-A on Duff after ordering off their menu of chicken sandwiches, strips & nuggets along with salads & sides. Of course, nothing says summer more than a trip to Dairy Queen where they serve soft serve, Blizzards, MooLattes, basket deals, burgers and more. Be on the lookout for the colorful Kona Ice of Ames & Ankeny trucks to grab a Hawaiian Shaved Ice with almost any flavor combination you can create!

Want to experience the tastes of the world without leaving town? Try these first-class cuisines without needing first-class flights! Italian is local at +39 Restaurant, Market & Cantina featuring a European style Market and vast Cantina with over 150 Italian wine labels. Want an international flavor mix? Bar La Tosca is the place to go with a blend of Mediterranean and Italian cuisines using locally-sourced Iowa ingredients. Mucky Duck Pub/Ames British Foods in south Ames offers a family-friendly, British-pub-style dining and drinking environment, market, and even an outdoor children’s play area. Stop by Dublin Bay Irish Pub and Grill for some good old-fashioned Irish hospitality along with their big “back yard” deck, unique menu and full-service pub with 16 beers on tap. Aunt Maude’s is nothing short of an Ames tradition and a foundation of Downtown Ames. Locally-owned and casual, the menu features fresh house-made food, full bar and a wine list that will leave you more than satisfied while dining on bistro tables facing Main Street. Provisions Lot F is a new Ames favorite in part because of their unique menu that changes seasonally. Far more than just groceries, Wheatsfield Cooperative offers a deli, prepared foods, sushi and bakery goods in addition to their wonderful array of natural foods grocery items.

Pizza lovers unite with Blaze Pizza. In the heart of Campustown, Blaze offers a menu of signature pies or you can choose a fast-fire’d, build-your-own original pizza that’s ready before you can say, “That’s amoré!”

If you’ve lived in Iowa for any length of time, you know you need to soak up summer as much as you can when you can, so we hope this list has given you some great places to help you choose your patio meal in Ames. Of course, for more to things to STAY, DO, EAT, SHOP and PLAN, check out