25 Best Restaurants in Ankeny, IA

This article was written by local contributor Riley Solomon & edited by the Travel Lens team.

Best Restaurants in Ankeny, IA

Welcome to Ankeny, Iowa!

As a longtime resident of this charming city, I know that one of the best things to experience here is our diverse and delicious dining scene.

Over the years, I've had the pleasure of tasting my way through the many incredible restaurants Ankeny has to offer.

From savory comfort food to innovative fusion cuisine, our local eateries have something to satisfy every craving.

In this article, I'm excited to share my personal recommendations for the best restaurants in Ankeny, Iowa, that you simply can't miss.

So, grab your forks and get ready to dig in – your taste buds are in for a treat!

Mangos Gourmet Paletas

I have a weakness for frozen treats, so when I stumbled upon Mangos Gourmet Paletas, I knew I had to give it a try.

The first time I went, I chose a cheesecake paleta with strawberry topping, Graham cracker crumbs, and caramel drizzle.

The chewy texture of the paleta ice cream won me over instantly!

The prices at Mangos Gourmet Paletas are reasonable, and the toppings are inexpensive but generously applied.

I love the variety they offer, with both fruit-based and milk-based paletas, as well as ice cream.

They even have some creative shakes and waffle paletas for those willing to spend a little more.

On a recent visit, I decided to try the limon paleta, and it did not disappoint! It was so refreshing and delicious.

I also ordered a mangonada, which was equally fantastic.

Mangos Gourmet Paletas · 2005 SE Delaware Ave Suite B, Ankeny, IA 50021, United States
★★★★★ · Ice cream shop

Amigos Mexican Grill Ankeny

Oh, how I love Amigos Mexican Grill Ankeny!

This one has become my go-to spot for mouthwatering Mexican food.

The freshness of the ingredients at Amigos Mexican Grill Ankeny is truly impressive, and their flavorful dishes never disappoint.

My go-to meal is the shrimp burrito – so tasty and filling!

My spouse usually opts for the barbacoa burrito, which they always rave about.

We sometimes bring our kids along, and they enjoy the steak tacos.

One of my favorite things about Amigos is that we each get our own salsa and chips, which is a nice touch.

Their service is always quick, and I appreciate being able to customize my burrito or tacos with the ingredients I love.

Amigos Mexican Grill Ankeny · 502 N Ankeny Blvd Suite 5, Ankeny, IA 50023, United States
★★★★★ · Mexican restaurant

Firetrucker Brewery

My friends and I often find ourselves at Firetrucker Brewery after a long day at work or just to catch up on weekends.

The service is always top-notch, and their beer selection is unbeatable.

It's the perfect spot to wind down and watch the sunset on their huge patio.

I also love how they team up with local restaurants and food trucks to offer dinner options, making it a one-stop destination for a night out.

Firetrucker Brewery is a must-visit for anyone in the area, and I'm so glad I got to learn about it through word of mouth.

With their happy hour deals, I get to enjoy a few pints at an incredible value – it's no wonder the brewery is always buzzing with people, even on weekdays.

Firetrucker Brewery · 716 SW 3rd St, Ankeny, IA 50023, United States
★★★★★ · Beer hall

Ankeny Cafe

One of my favorite spots to start the day in town is the quaint and friendly Ankeny Cafe.

There's something special about walking in and being greeted by the familiar checkered floor and the warm, welcoming atmosphere.

The breakfast options are delicious and satisfying - I often find myself choosing between their classic pancakes or a hearty omelet.

Even on the rare occasion when I stop by for lunch, their burger selection never disappoints.

The portions are generous, and the food is consistently hot and freshly prepared.

Ankeny Cafe · 310 S Ankeny Blvd, Ankeny, IA 50023, United States
★★★★★ · Cafe

Flame Cantina

Let me tell you about my new favorite spot in town - Flame Cantina.

I recently visited this amazing place with some friends, and we had a fantastic experience.

The food was not only delicious but also well-portioned.

We started off with the loaded queso fries, which were so tasty and a great way to kick off our meal.

Then, I tried the birria tacos, and they were just perfect!

We also ordered their homemade tortilla chips with salsa, which were so fresh and flavorful.

And let's not forget about the margaritas - they were absolutely delicious!

Flame Cantina · 1315 SW Oralabor Rd, Ankeny, IA 50023, United States
★★★★★ · Mexican restaurant

Main Street Cafe & Bakery

One of my go-to spots in town has to be Main Street Cafe & Bakery.

I've been there several times on various occasions, and I've never been disappointed.

The atmosphere is stylish and contemporary, making it a perfect place for a casual meal or a special celebration.

The menu offers a wide variety of options, from breakfast items to soups and sandwiches.

I've tried many dishes, and they've all been delicious.

Another time, I arranged for catering for my mother's birthday party, and the whole process was a breeze.

The delivery was on time, and the food was amazing.

The pulled pork, pasta salad, and raspberry almond cake were especially delicious.

But what truly makes Main Street Cafe & Bakery stand out for me is their bakery, particularly their gluten-free options.

It's challenging to find delicious gluten-free treats, but this place has it all.

Main Street Cafe & Bakery · 2510 SW White Birch Dr #1,2, Ankeny, IA 50023, United States
★★★★★ · Family restaurant

Nonna's Pizza & Pasta

As a frequent visitor to Nonna's Pizza & Pasta in Ankeny, I must say that the experience never disappoints.

Just last week, my family and I decided to have dinner there, and, as usual, the place was bustling with energy.

We managed to snag a nice spot at the bar, enjoying some fantastic drinks as we waited for our meals.

The lively atmosphere is always a treat, perfect for people-watching and striking up conversations with fellow diners.

The food at Nonna's is nothing short of amazing.

We've previously indulged in their pizza by the slice, but on this visit, we opted for pasta dishes, which left us more than satisfied.

The bread that accompanies the meals is simply divine - a must-try for anyone coming in for a meal.

My 10-year-old absolutely adores their pizza and asks for it almost daily.

Nonna’s Pizza & Pasta · 1802 N Ankeny Blvd, Ankeny, IA 50023, United States
★★★★★ · Italian restaurant

TrailSide Tap

I love exploring new places to eat in town, and one of my recent favorites is TrailSide Tap.

My partner and I stopped by for lunch one day, and even though we were disappointed that they were no longer part of the Pub Pass, we decided to give their food a try.

We started off with Bloody Mary and Tip the Cow with Vanilla, both of which were quite enjoyable.

For our main courses, my partner had the Steak Sandwich, and I had the Cubano.

My partner really liked the cheesy Steak Sandwich, and I was pleasantly surprised by how authentic the Cubano tasted - especially after having just returned from a trip to Tampa, where we had some amazing Cuban sandwiches.

The pork, mustard, and bread combination was spot-on.

But what truly stood out were the french fries - thick, crunchy, and fried to perfection.

TrailSide Tap · 710 SW 3rd St, Ankeny, IA 50023, United States
★★★★★ · Restaurant

Flavory Bistro

One of my favorite places to eat is Flavory Bistro.

This family-owned eatery offers classic Mediterranean entrees that cater to various dietary preferences, including vegan options.

The moment you step inside the cozy atmosphere, you immediately feel relaxed and at home.

Despite being packed at times, I never had to wait too long to get seated.

I was impressed by how efficient the service was, even with only one person working the whole floor.

They also made sure to ask about allergies, which made me feel really cared for.

One of the dishes I fell in love with at Flavory Bistro was the mushrooms.

I know it may sound strange, but they were so buttery and flavorful that I couldn't help but savor every bite.

Another favorite of mine is their gyro selection. I've tried both the beef and falafel gyros, and they never disappoint.

Pairing them with Mediterranean fries makes for a satisfying meal.

Flavory Bistro · The District - Left on Main, 1450 SW Vintage Pkwy, Ankeny, IA 50023, United States
★★★★★ · Bistro

Cafe Diem

I finally had the chance to try out Cafe Diem for breakfast, and I'm so glad I did!

This relaxed cafe caught my attention with its stylish brick-walled space and modern decor.

I ordered a medium roast coffee that had an excellent flavor and a croissant sausage egg and cheese sandwich - it tasted amazing!

One of my friends opted for their cinnamon roll pancakes, which were not only huge but also rivaled any breakfast chain in terms of taste and presentation.

Those pancakes were fluffy, sweet, and topped with what I can only describe as the best-whipped cream I've ever had.

The texture and flavor were simply on another level.

Cafe Diem · 2005 S Ankeny Blvd Suite 800, Ankeny, IA 50023, United States
★★★★★ · Coffee shop

Sorriso Grille

One of my favorite spots to grab a comforting meal in town is Sorriso Grille.

It's a homey, old-school diner that serves breakfast and lunch comfort foods, daily specials, and pies.

I enjoy going there, especially on weekends, when they serve breakfast all day long.

The last time I went, I ordered their amazing blueberry pancake, which was so huge I couldn't finish it!

I've also heard great things about their Tuesday and Thursday specials, so I'll definitely have to try those out soon.

Sorriso Grille · 7015 NE 14th St, Ankeny, IA 50023, United States
★★★★★ · Restaurant

The Ornery Chicken

Oh, let me tell you about my experience at The Ornery Chicken!

This is hands-down one of the best places to get a chicken sandwich around here.

I recently tried their wings too, and they did not disappoint.

The ranch is so good, and you know what? Their fries are just perfect!

You get that satisfying crunch on the outside and the softness inside, just the way it should be.

On my second order, I got the ornery tots – amazing!

The Ornery Chicken · 121 SE Shurfine Dr Suite 6, Ankeny, IA 50021, United States
★★★★★ · Restaurant

Silk Elephant

I recently discovered a new Thai restaurant in Ankeny called Silk Elephant.

Being a local, I was curious to try this place since it's a sister restaurant to Siam Table, which is another favorite of mine.

I must say, their pork potstickers and crab Rangoon are quite delightful.

As for the spice level, I learned that their medium spice is pretty hot!

I couldn't finish my avocado curry, but it was still enjoyable.

I'd recommend future diners go a notch lower in spice levels if you have a milder palate.

Silk Elephant · 2410 SW White Birch Dr Suite 108, Ankeny, IA 50023, United States
★★★★★ · Thai restaurant

Leaning Tower of Pizza

One of my favorite spots to grab a delicious pizza in town is the Leaning Tower of Pizza in Uptown Ankeny.

The charming atmosphere with checkered tablecloths really sets the mood for an old-school Italian experience.

The pizza here is quite good - I love the crispy crust, though I must admit that the toppings can be a bit average sometimes.

On a recent visit to the Leaning Tower of Pizza, I went during the Farmer's Market happening just a few blocks away.

Keep in mind that Saturdays during the Spring/Summer can be quite busy at all dining establishments in the area.

Luckily, I was seated in no time and quickly placed my order.

I got the "Leaner" specialty pizza (medium) and half an order of onion rings.

The onion rings were spectacular, truly genuine, and delicious.

The pizza was great too, but the standout factor for me has always been their sauce.

In my opinion, it's the best sauce around, and it sets their pizza apart from other thin-crust options in town.

Leaning Tower of Pizza - Uptown Ankeny · 512 SW 3rd St, Ankeny, IA 50023, United States
★★★★★ · Pizza restaurant

Alohana Hawaiian Grill

Alohana Hawaiian Grill may not look like much from the outside, but once you step in, you're instantly transported to a tropical paradise.

The decor might need an update, but it doesn't bother me because the food is just too good.

I've tried many dishes on their menu, but my all-time favorite has to be the barbecue chicken.

The flavors are authentic and remind me of the time I visited Hawaii.

My friends really enjoy their chicken Katsu and house special, which are both under $10.

We can't forget to mention the Crab Rangoon - seriously, they're the best I've ever had!

If you're dining with a group, they also offer family-style meals for around $40.

Another great thing about this local gem is the portion size.

When I order the BBQ MIX, I'm always impressed by the amount of food I get for the price.

The meat is tender and full of flavor, and I especially love the thinly sliced beef.

I've also heard great things about their Katsu chicken and spam musubi, so I'm planning to try those on my next visit.

Alohana Hawaiian Grill · 802 SE Oralabor Rd Suite 128, Ankeny, IA 50021, United States
★★★★★ · Hawaiian restaurant

Portofino's Italian Restaurant & Pizza

I just love living close to Portofino's Italian Restaurant & Pizza, as it's become one of my go-to spots for a delicious Italian meal.

The food selection is fantastic, and I've yet to find a dish I wouldn't happily order again.

With its quaint and cozy atmosphere, it's the perfect spot for both casual get-togethers and more dressed-up occasions.

The service is always friendly and attentive, ensuring that everyone has a great dining experience.

One of my favorite memories at Portofino's was when I went there for my 2nd-anniversary dinner.

The quality of the food was exceptional, and the prices were surprisingly affordable.

Portofino’s Italian Restaurant & Pizza · 711 S Ankeny Blvd, Ankeny, IA 50021, United States
★★★★★ · Italian restaurant

Siam Table

I have been a frequent diner at Siam Table for quite some time now.

The strip-mall location may not be the most glamorous, but the wide range of Thai favorites, sushi, and even a kids' menu has always been a draw for me and my family.

Their green curry is one of the best I've ever had.

The thick coconut milk base is always packed with a generous amount of veggies and meat.

I also love their spicy basil chicken.

Siam Table · 757 N Ankeny Blvd, Ankeny, IA 50023, United States
★★★★★ · Thai restaurant

Wig & Pen Pizza Pub

The other day, I finally decided to check out Wig & Pen Pizza Pub after hearing so much about it from my friends.

I went there with my partner, and as soon as we walked in, we were greeted by the upbeat, pub-like atmosphere.

We decided to stick around and wait for a pizza since it was our first time there, and Wig & Pen is known for its delicious pies.

While waiting for our pizza, I couldn't help but notice the friendly vibe at the bar.

I overheard a couple of customers raving about the homemade French onion soup and tomato soup.

It seems like a great spot to unwind after a long day, and I'll definitely keep that in mind for future visits.

Finally, our pizza arrived, and it was worth the wait.

The crust was perfect, and the toppings were generous.  

Wig & Pen Pizza Pub · 2005 S Ankeny Blvd Suite 300, Ankeny, IA 50023, United States
★★★★★ · Pizza restaurant

Cancun Grill and Cantina - Ankeny

I recently had the pleasure of dining at Cancun Grill and Cantina in Ankeny.

It was my first time visiting this restaurant, and I must say, I was pleasantly surprised.

As soon as my friends and I arrived, we were able to get a seat right away.

The menu was quite extensive, with a lot of different options to choose from.

We each tried something different, which allowed us to taste a variety of dishes.

The food was absolutely delicious and served hot. Just about 15 minutes from ordering, we had our meals in front of us.

I was particularly impressed with the fajitas, which, instead of the traditional sizzling plate with steak and veggies, came inside a hollowed-out pineapple.

The pineapple chunks in a sweet sauce on the side were the perfect complement to the dish.

Another highlight of the meal was the fajita nachos.

We had to assemble them ourselves, but it was worth it, especially with the fresh, warm tortilla chips and a bottle of salsa.

The margaritas were amazing, too – I tried the jalapeño and cucumber one, which was refreshing and flavorful.

Cancun Grill and Cantina - Ankeny · Suites 11 & 12, 2785 N Ankeny Blvd, Ankeny, IA 50023, United States
★★★★★ · Mexican restaurant

Filet Steakhouse

My friends and I decided to spend an evening at Filet Steakhouse last week, and it turned out to be an amazing dining experience.

The atmosphere was more casual than a typical steakhouse, but it was perfect for a relaxed night out.

I ordered the 7 oz filet cooked medium, and it was probably one of the best steaks I've had in Iowa.

It came with two sides, a baked potato, and broccoli, both of which were delicious.

I even asked for a side of béarnaise sauce, which they happily provided.

The meal was worth every cent of the $36 price tag.

Filet Steakhouse · 1802 N Ankeny Blvd Suite B & C, Ankeny, IA 50023, United States
★★★★★ · Restaurant

Yankee Clipper

One of my all-time favorite spots to grab a bite and chill with friends is the Yankee Clipper.

This old-time bar has a fantastic patio seating area, and they sure know how to pour a drink.

I often suggest to my friends from out of town to visit this place, and they have never been disappointed.

Among their classic bar fare, the burgers are the best in Ankeny, maybe even in the entire metro Iowa area.

It's not only the taste but also the affordability that keeps me coming back.

A delicious burger and a basket of fries will only cost you about $10.

One thing you shouldn't miss is their Taco Tuesday special, which is absolutely fantastic.

Yankee Clipper · 312 SW Maple St #2915, Ankeny, IA 50023, United States
★★★★★ · Bar & grill

Tasty Tacos

Whenever I feel a craving for authentic Mexican food, I know I can count on Tasty Tacos to satisfy my taste buds.

I remember the first time I walked into this local counter-serve chain, I didn't have high expectations given its low-key setting and outdated décor.

Little did I know that I was in for a pleasant surprise!

The service at Tasty Tacos is always fast and polite, even during peak hours.

I can't recall a time when I had to wait more than a few minutes for my order to be ready.

Their menu offers a variety of meat options for tacos, served on warm, freshly baked flour tortillas.

My personal favorites are the beef and chicken tacos, but I've heard rave reviews about their pork tacos as well.

Tasty Tacos · 2401 SE Delaware Ave, Ankeny, IA 50021, United States
★★★★★ · Restaurant


I have to tell you, Ziggi's Coffee has quickly become my go-to spot for a caffeine fix.

Their local coffeehouse chain offers classic brews, blended drinks, smoothies, and light eats, perfect for any time of the day.

Just last week, I decided to stop by Ziggi's at 18th and Irvinedale in Ankeny after hearing so many great things about it.

I ended up ordering a decaf coffee, which was absolutely delicious – smooth, without any of that metallic or bitter taste you sometimes get with decaf.

I also couldn't resist trying one of their freshly baked cinnamon buns, which I could smell from outside the shop.

Let me tell you, it was heavenly. Pairing it with my coffee was the perfect way to start my day.

One thing I absolutely love about Ziggi's is their commitment to providing excellent customer service.

Every time I visit, I feel valued and appreciated as a customer.

Ziggi’s Coffee · 1606 NW Irvinedale Dr, Ankeny, IA 50023, United States
★★★★★ · Coffee shop

Ben's Burgers

Last week I decided to give Ben's Burgers a try, and I must say it was a mixed experience.

I did appreciate the fast service, though, as my food was brought out to me quickly.

One thing I did enjoy was the crispy and well-seasoned fries, which definitely hit the spot.

Surprisingly, the standout item for me was the chocolate shake.

Though small in size, it was delicious!

Ben’s Burgers · 1325 SW Oralabor Rd, Ankeny, IA 50023, United States
★★★★★ · Fast food restaurant

Mojito's Mexican Restaurant

I decided to give Mojito's Mexican Restaurant a try last weekend.

I have to agree with some of the reviews I read that the guacamole chips were indeed amazing.

I ordered the steak fajitas, and although they were not the best I've ever had, they were still quite tasty.

The tortillas, on the other hand, seemed like they might have been store-bought, which was a bit disappointing.

Another thing I appreciated about Mojito's was the lively atmosphere.

The music was great, and it seemed like everyone was having a good time.

As for the portion sizes, I was pleasantly surprised by how generous they were.

I ended up taking home leftovers that lasted me for two more meals!

Mojito’s Mexican Restaurant · 802 SE Oralabor Rd #102, Ankeny, IA 50021, United States
★★★★★ · Restaurant

Final Thoughts

Ankeny offers a delightful variety of dining options that cater to every taste bud, whether you're in the mood for a juicy burger, authentic Italian pasta, or a zesty Mexican feast.

From the cozy ambiance at Main Street Cafe & Bakery to the delectable flavors at Siam Table, these restaurants have become a part of my regular dining routine, and I'm sure anyone who visits will feel the same.

So, if you ever find yourself in Ankeny, don't hesitate to savor the diverse culinary experiences that this charming town has to offer.

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