When you think of summer in the Great Lakes, you probably think of Okoboji in Dickinson County, Iowa.
In 1922, Okoboji formally became a city.
In 1930, Okoboji was first included in an official census, recording a population of 176 people.
Known for its beautiful lakes, charming atmosphere, and abundance of outdoor activities, Okoboji is also a hot spot for delicious dining options.
Nestled on the shores of West Okoboji Lake, the city's highlight is the glacier-formed lakes that attract tourists from across the Midwest.
Before you hit the beach or take a boat ride, fuel up with some of the best meals in Okoboji.
From casual lakefront dining to fine dining experiences, here are the best restaurants in Okoboji.
Outrigger Restaurant & Lounge
Eat good old home-style meals at Outrigger Restaurant & Lounge.
Try Outrigger Restaurant & Lounge's local favorites, such as the savory Lighthouse Chislic or the Surf and Turf.
Sandwiches are also available for those who like something lighter and served with one side.
Choose from chicken and Swiss, Reuben, and the Outrigger Steak Sandwich between a hoagie bun.
For those who are looking for seafood, Outrigger Restaurant & Lounge also offers shrimp kabobs, fried shrimp, salmon, tilapia, and walleye.
O'Farrell Sisters has earned its fame from locals and visitors, serving all-day breakfast, smoothies, sandwiches, and salads.
Located in the heart of downtown Okoboji at the Parks Marina, O'Farrell Sisters is known for its unique breakfast lines.
Try their Friends with Benedicts options, which offer Traditional, Florentine, Country Chicken, and BBQ Chicken.
If you have the whole day, you can try the O'Farrell Sisters' specialties, including the Triple K, which consists of eggs, meat, and the famous pancake.
You can also order the more filling option, the Hangover Helper.
If you arrive in the area during lunchtime, you can start with fried pickles, gizzards, and cheese balls, then proceed to Boji Favs.
Boji Favs features either fries, sweet potato salad, or coleslaw.
You can also have your hamburger, pork tenderloin, grilled chicken sandwich, or patty melt.
To finish, order a piece of pie, cinnamon roll, or giant milkshake for dessert.
Minervas Restaurant & Bar
Sitting adjacent to Brooks National Golf Course, Minervas Restaurant & Bar offers a fun dining experience in Okoboji.
The restaurant features live entertainment, delicious American cuisine, the freshest seafood, CAB beef, and delectable pasta.
You can sit on the patio with your family while savoring the shareable Asian lettuce wraps, Black and Blue Steak Tips, coconut shrimp, Labella flatbread, and potato nachos.
Grab a bite of the blackened salmon made of field greens, salmon, and spicy pecan.
Taste the mouthwatering Minervas Chop, consisting of field greens, Italian olive dressing, and parmesan.
Likewise, try pasta options like Cajun chicken linguine, chicken carbonara tortellini, seafood mac & cheese, and chicken alfredo.
Finish your meal with a delicious dessert such as the house cheesecake or chocolate brownie soufflé a la mode.
Minerva's Restaurant & Bar also offers customizable menus and private rooms for events and special occasions.
Tweeter's Bar & Grill
The cozy and intimate Tweeter's Bar & Grill is a hidden gem in Okoboji known for its seafood, Mexican and American options.
Start your meal with the appetizers of Wisconsin curds, crab rangoon, coconut shrimp, cheese quesadilla, and jalapeño bites.
Order their soups and salads, such as BEETs Me, chilled salmon salad, and chicken Fajita salad.
You can also try their grilled chicken Caesar salad, Soup of the Day, and chicken breast salad.
Tweeter's Bar & Grill also offers Skillets options, such as the Combination Skillet, boasting beef, chicken, and shrimp.
Shrimp lovers should choose the shrimp skillet, which comes in either a three- or six-piece order.
These skillet choices come with rice, topped with roasted onion, mushrooms, and bell peppers.
Tweeter's Bar & Grill serves some of the best tacos, burritos, and enchiladas for those craving Mexican delights.
Located in Okoboji Commons Hotel, SmackHaus is a trendy spot serving delicious sandwiches and gourmet burgers.
SmackHaus serves well-loved smacking sandwiches such as the Double Smack Burger, made with two beef patties, cheese, and Smack Sauce in a brioche bun.
You can also order the vegetarian sweet potato guacamole burger featuring sweet potato and black bean patty, guacamole, and tortilla strips.
For a spicy twist, choose the spicy fried chicken thigh sandwich.
It has chicken breaded with habanero-buttermilk and generously drizzled with Smack Sauce.
Visit on Fridays and Saturdays to order the Lobster Roll.
It has lobster accompanied by fresh dill squeezed with lemon, with salt and vinegar chips.
SmackHaus can also accommodate meetings and other events with its private dining room.
Bring your family and start your newest habit in the Iowa Great Lakes Region: breakfast at Wyman's Spudnuts.
Choose from freshly made donuts with cinnamon sugar, glazed, or chocolate sprinkled options.
Wyman's Spudnutz, which opened in 2012, has become a mainstay of the neighborhood.
Check out the colorful feel of this historic property housed in a former Standard service station.
Situated directly beside Highway 71, Wyman's Spudnutz is the place to go whether you want a donut for yourself or to bring it for a group.
Monarch Art Café
For a unique artistic experience, Monarch Art Café offers not just coffee and tea options but also live music performances.
Before indulging in some of its tasty quiches, salads, breakfast, and protein plates, you can enjoy the music.
Mexican fares, such as burrito hut, made of beef and cream cheese with lettuce, olives, and avocado, are also available.
Otherwise, try the Taco Plate, made of warm flour tortillas or corn.
Light eaters will delight in the toast options, such as avocado toast topped with goat cheese or smoked salmon and sprouts.
Monarch Art Café has a wide selection of wines, from Merlot, Zinfandel, and Moscato to crafted domestic and fancy beers.
If you want cocktails, pick the Mariposa, Carajillo, South Porch, and Strawberry in a Field of Sand.
Enjoy the artistic atmosphere and great drinks in Monarch Art Café.
Okoboji Store Bar & Kitchen
Originally a skating rink, the Okoboji Store Bar & Kitchen has transformed into a restaurant and bar serving classic American cuisine.
Live music is also a staple in the Okoboji Store Bar & Kitchen.
Sit by the lake to revel in the beauty of the surroundings and the tasty food options.
Enjoy the fish tacos featuring seared ahi tuna or battered bluegill smothered with Sriracha slaw and flour tortilla.
You can also order the Chef's Scratch Specialties, such as Pocahontas Point Walleye, which comes with mango salsa and edamame quinoa.
Otherwise, try the mouthwatering pesto chicken with mashed potatoes.
Meat lovers will enjoy the steak and baked filet mignon, made of Black Angus beef and comes with baked potato and vegetables.
Try the cocktails with freshly squeezed juice at Okoboji Store Bar & Kitchen, including the Store Screwdriver, Sunset Beach Bum, Resting Beach Face, and Paloma made of Exotico Tequila.
Give its Tap Beer a try with sixteen shooters and flavors ranging from 1919 rooter, West O Pils, Big Grove West Eddy, Peace Tree Get a Little Hazy, and Exile Ruthie.
Casey's General Store
Casey's General Store is the best place in Okoboji for made-from-scratch pizza dough and savory toppings.
Casey's General Store's pizza is well-loved in the area; it features the freshest toppings and a generous serving of mozzarella cheese.
Flavors such as chicken, bacon & ranch will tease your taste buds, as will the BBQ Breakfast, Taco, and Meat Galore options.
If you're looking for something else to munch on, Casey's General Store also serves donuts, premium pastries and cookies, and muffins.
Ice cream is also on the menu.
Satisfy your caffeine fix with a cup of freshly brewed hot or cold coffee from Casey's General Store.
Snappers Turtle Bay Cafe
Come to Snappers Turtle Bay Cafe to experience the unique relaxed island vibe you can only find near Turtle Bay's seas.
The public is welcome to eat at Snappers Turtle Bay Cafe for lunch and dinner.
The cuisine at Snappers Turtle Bay Cafe is exclusive to Okoboji and features high-quality fare and attentive service that should win over its guests.
Try their famous frosting served in a souvenir cup, such as Butchwacker, a combination of Kahlua, dark island rum, and whiskey.
Order the strawberry daiquiri and add a banana rum shooter for that extra kick.
Try the premium aged Iowa sirloin beef or the delicious tomahawk pork chop.
If you'd like to add some seafood flair, order add-ons of three jumbo shrimps and side salads.
Snappetizers are also must-tries, particularly the shrimp cocktail made of Florida Coast jumbo shrimp.
Then, grab chicken wings and choose from five sauces.
Other Restaurants Nearby
Though the restaurants in Okoboji all serve delicious fares, you might want to explore nearby restaurants for a complete Okoboji experience.
Five minutes from Okoboji, you'll find Ciao Boji, which offers Italian and Mediterranean cuisine.
The female-owned restaurant uses its family heirloom recipes for guests to savor.
Ciao Boji prides itself on using only fresh ingredients for its dishes, such as its homemade lasagna, which is creamy and delectable.
For those who want tomato-based pasta, order their spaghetti with meatballs and travel back in time with its old-fashioned taste.
Ciao Boji also offers sandwiches such as the handcrafted Caprese chicken sandwich with fresh mozzarella and roasted tomatoes.
Meat lovers can choose 16 to 18-oz lamb shanks on top of Israeli couscous, made more delicious with Mediterranean spices.
Ciao Boji is in Arnolds Park, Iowa, five minutes from Okoboji.
Nautical Bar and Grill
Nautical Bar and Grill is also in Arnolds Park, about six minutes from Okoboji.
This restaurant serves delicious dishes and live entertainment.
Moreover, Nautical Bar and Grill features American cuisine.
Their menu boasts dishes such as hot beef on top of bread toast, served with mashed potatoes.
Guests love its Nauti Burger served with generous heaping cheddar, bacon and onions, and exclusive Nature sauce.
Depending on when you visit, you can choose from Nautical Bar and Grill's Weekly Special.
Surprise yourself with tasty meals such as its famous fried chicken or enchiladas.
Finish your meal with the restaurant's homemade desserts and wash them down with a beer on tap or a glass of wine.
Bob's in Arnolds Park
Another restaurant in Arnolds Park is Bob's in Arnolds Park, continuing a tradition of over 70 years.
Grab a taste of the 50-year-old Bob Dog or the delicious Tavern Sandwich made of seasoned lean ground beef.
Bob's in Arnolds Park has sandwiches, salads, and burgers for lunch and dinner with sides.
Try all the sides at Bob's in Arnolds Park, such as French fries, onion rings, cheese balls, and cheese fries.
Drinks include Mr. Pibb, Mellow Yellow, Minute Maid, Bob's Root Beer, and Fanta Orange.
For desserts, you can try its soft-serve delight and get a taste of Malts & Shakes, Sundaes, Cones, and Floats.
This restaurant is only seven minutes from Okoboji.
Waterfront Grille and Event Center
For heavenly food, visit Waterfront Grille and Event Center in Arnolds Park, seven minutes from Okoboji.
Revel in the lightness of the Cajun salmon tortellini from the restaurant's fall menu.
Hold on to spring when you order the Bracco fish tacos available on Tuesdays.
Try the flavorful steak au poivre for heavier fare, served with thick gravy, mashed potato, and asparagus.
Grab an order of tempura battered surimi roll and wasabi cream to freshen your palate.
Save room for dessert.
Try the melt-in-your-mouth cookie milk cake, and cap it with a glass of fall Sangria and butterscotch martini.
Los Pueblos is a family-run Mexican restaurant known for its lively atmosphere, located in Arnolds Park, six minutes from Okoboji.
Enjoy various nachos, such as cheese or a combination of meat, cheese, and beans.
Try the nachos fajitas made of grilled meat with onions, tomatoes, and guacamole.
Likewise, their lunch enchiladas are filled with either chicken or ground beef mixed with shredded cheese, rice, and beans.
Otherwise, try their Baja fish tacos, baked tilapia, Caldo de Camaron, Camarones Mojo de Ajo, and Camarones Acapulco.
Vegetarians can order the veggie fajita, veggie quesadilla, and veggie combo.
Los Pueblos has everything you need for a fantastic Mexican meal.
From Italian to Mexican, donuts to burgers, there's something for everyone in this lakeside city.
Your meal will surely be enjoyable thanks to stunning views and a laid-back atmosphere.
Check out the best restaurants in Okoboji, Iowa!