It is a universal truth that food tastes better outside. And now that restaurants are fully opening up again, mask mandates are being lifted, and more and more people are getting vaccinated—we can’t wait to start participating in our favorite summer ritual: eating on restaurant patios.
We rounded up our favorite local spots in Council Bluffs—complete with cool shaded options, beer gardens and fireside lounges—so you can spend more time under the sun this season. Have fun!
This German-style bierhaus/sports bar features a menu packed full of tasty drinks, burgers and other pub grub. Inside, you’ll find cozy bar seating, plenty of TVs to watch the big game and tons of draft and bottled beer options. Outside, you can enjoy their adorable patio, offering fantastic views of West Broadway and ample opportunities for people watching.
1851 Madison Avenue, Council Bluffs
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This contemporary restaurant is named, of course, after Council Bluffs’ area code and features a menu full of mostly scratch-made recipes full of locally made ingredients. But that isn’t the only piece of CB you’ll find in this atmospheric eatery—there are plenty of elements of our stunning city found within the massive mural on the back wall of the restaurant. As for the patio, theirs is a roomy, partially covered space featuring twinkling fairy lights, comfortable seating and plenty of room to soak up the Iowa sunshine.
Barley’s Bar is one of the best places to “Eat. Drink. Gather.” in the area. This neighborhood spot has a laid-back atmosphere perfect for grabbing a beer or one of the best burgers around. While we’re in love with practically everything on their menu, it’s their cozy patio that has us coming back day after day in the summer, offering plenty of comfortable seating and West Broadway views. Just don’t forget to top off your visit with one of their famous cocktails while you’re there!
Beer garden, bar, cigars, craft drinks—The BLK Squirrel really is a destination for entertainment in Council Bluffs! Nestled on the historic 100 Block, this neighborhood bar focuses on “classic cocktails with an open approach” allowing you to really customize your drink to your perfect taste. Their beer garden is one of our favorite spots to hang out in the city, tucked away behind the building and covered by bright yellow umbrellas.
The popular Buck Snort sports bar opened their doors in Council Bluffs in 2016. Since then, they’ve been offering delicious and unique burgers, sandwiches, wraps and more in their casual bar space. Their patio space features picnic tables and a covered awning to keep you dry in case of any sudden, inclement weather. While you’re there, take advantage of their arcade machines, many TVs and, of course, their spectacular bar.
Opened on the historic 100 Block in downtown Council Bluffs in 2018, Caddy’s is another venture from local masterminds Jayme and Brian Cadwaller, the same ones behind The Salty Dog Bar & Grill and Caddy’s Parkside Grill in Ashland! Here, you can expect scratch-made American cuisine, classic cocktails and craft-brewed beers—served inside their homey dining room or outside on their 40-seat patio.
The Thunderbowl is one of our favorite spots in CB for fun and a little friendly competition. While you’re there, be sure to stop by McCoy’s, the full restaurant and bar located inside the bowling alley. This spot is not only home to some of the best food in town, they also have 15 huge TVs and a fantastic patio complete with two outdoor firepits, sunshades and a tiki bar.
2327 South 24th Street, Council Bluffs
This newer Council Bluffs hotspot loved their outdoor spaces so much, they named the whole restaurant after them! The Porch is a homestyle bar and restaurant serving up pub-grub favorites like burgers, gourmet mac and cheese, and pizzas, along with healthier options like wraps, grilled chicken sandwiches, and an all-you-can-eat salad bar. Stop by for a drink on their porch or a round of volleyball on their sand volleyball court this summer!
Tish’s started as a walk-up ice cream and sandwich counter in 1980 and has since grown into a full-service restaurant. They serve a variety of entrees to satisfy every age group—and signature margaritas and martinis for the adults! Their patio is a hidden gem here in Council Bluffs, featuring ample covered seating, sparkling mood lighting, and ceiling fans for those super-hot days.
What about you?
Did we miss your favorite spot to dine outdoors in Council Bluffs? Let us know all about it in the comments below!