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Top recommendations from locals

From sightseeing to hidden gems, find out what makes the city unique with the help of the locals who know it best.
Restaurant
“As farm to table as possible. Over half of the menu rotates for what is best in season. Perfect for dates, groups, or foodies! Some the best dessert you’ll find in Ames.”
  • 14 locals recommend
Garden
“Rotating exhibits, indoor butterfly pavilion and lots of beautiful gardens to get lost in.”
  • 8 locals recommend
Meal Takeaway
$$
“An Ames staple. Midwest barbecue: nothing fancy but consistently solid. Save room for the ice cream/dessert menu!”
  • 10 locals recommend
University
“My wife and I met and graduated from Iowa State, so it holds a special place in our hearts. Campus is beautiful to walk around every season. Central Campus is 490 acres of beauty that shares awards with with Yale and Virginia from the American Society of Landscape Architects. I was a tour guide for Admissions all four years on campus, so if you want fun facts/useless info, hit me up!”
  • 5 locals recommend
Trail
“We love taking walks as a couple, or trio with Wrigley around Ada Hayden. We also loved bringing food to have a picnic, or utilize the bench swings by the lake. The lake is surrounded by a Figure 8 trail great for walking, running, biking or rollerblading. The North Loop is a 1.4 miles and the South Loop is 1.8 miles. Swimming is not allowed, but ”
  • 7 locals recommend
Café
“ Great coffee, comfortable relaxed seating, games to play too! Right on main street close to several shops”
  • 5 locals recommend
Restaurant
“Provisions is the south-side sister location of The Cafe! Same ownership group with a few similar menu items as up in North Ames at The Cafe. Same rules apply: perfect for dates, group gatherings or people on the hunt for a great meal.”
  • 3 locals recommend
Route
“Lots of great shops here to visit from food, dessert, secondhand clothing, tea, history, art, etc. Also some great art pieces to see while walking down the street.”
  • 4 locals recommend
Restaurant
$$
“Our favorite Mexican restaurant in town & the best crew of servers and chefs to make it even better. We haven't had anything yet that wasn't delicious. Full bar & margaritas are a must. It's our second home during the summer!”
  • 3 locals recommend
Grocery or Supermarket
“Looking for huge assortment of health food? You'll love Wheatsfield. It's been in Ames for centuries and growing every year! Load up your grocery bags (re-usable if you have them) and stock up our kitchen during your stay! To your health! Cheers!”
  • 6 locals recommend
Natural Feature
“ Ada Hayden is just down the road.( 6 blocks or less) You can also drive to the other side of the lake.”
  • 6 locals recommend
Grocery or Supermarket
$$
“It's a full grocery store with a pharmacy and liquor store as well. They have decent salad bar and different types of hot meals you can sit down and eat there. Starbucks inside. They have a large bakery and the cheeses are delicious.”
  • 2 locals recommend
Gym
“Lots of different small town store options, JC Penney's, TJ MAX, Kohl's, Shoe Carnival, Milroys, and more.”
  • 3 locals recommend
Food
“Great beers made right here, open patio in the summer, pool and fooze ball as well. ”
  • 3 locals recommend
Bar
“Sports bar with awesome burgers & hot dogs to boot! Service is always great and theres plenty of TV's to catch the game. There's some seating outside for summer. ”
  • 4 locals recommend
Café
“Cafe B is small in size but mighty in what they offer! Brazilian inspired food and drink menu with plenty of local favorites and classics mixed in. Food: We highly recommend the Gyro, Beirut or any of their burgers. (Their Cafe B burger won best burger in Iowa in 2018!) Drinks: Iguana Wanna, Long Islands ($1 on your birthday!) and the Kansas City Ice Water will knock your socks off!”
  • 5 locals recommend

Top restaurants

Restaurant
“As farm to table as possible. Over half of the menu rotates for what is best in season. Perfect for dates, groups, or foodies! Some the best dessert you’ll find in Ames.”
  • 14 locals recommend
Meal Takeaway
“An Ames staple. Midwest barbecue: nothing fancy but consistently solid. Save room for the ice cream/dessert menu!”
  • 10 locals recommend
Restaurant
“Provisions is the south-side sister location of The Cafe! Same ownership group with a few similar menu items as up in North Ames at The Cafe. Same rules apply: perfect for dates, group gatherings or people on the hunt for a great meal.”
  • 3 locals recommend
Restaurant
“Our favorite Mexican restaurant in town & the best crew of servers and chefs to make it even better. We haven't had anything yet that wasn't delicious. Full bar & margaritas are a must. It's our second home during the summer!”
  • 3 locals recommend
Bar
“Sports bar with awesome burgers & hot dogs to boot! Service is always great and theres plenty of TV's to catch the game. There's some seating outside for summer. ”
  • 4 locals recommend
Café
“Cafe B is small in size but mighty in what they offer! Brazilian inspired food and drink menu with plenty of local favorites and classics mixed in. Food: We highly recommend the Gyro, Beirut or any of their burgers. (Their Cafe B burger won best burger in Iowa in 2018!) Drinks: Iguana Wanna, Long Islands ($1 on your birthday!) and the Kansas City Ice Water will knock your socks off!”
  • 5 locals recommend
Coffee Shop
  • 2 locals recommend
American Restaurant
“best food in town. You can sit in the bar area in a booth immediate. they take reservations.”
  • 2 locals recommend

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