Discovering the Top 5 Restaurants in Panora, Iowa

Discovering the top 5 restaurants in panora iowa

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Nestled along the banks of the Middle Raccoon River, the picturesque town of Panora, IA, is known for its rich history and small-town charm. Its close proximity to Des Moines makes it easy for locals to access the metro area for both work and recreation.

When it comes to dining, there are a few noteworthy restaurants locals love, and tourists should try during their visit to this city. The culinary scene in Panora will surely satisfy every craving.

This article is your ultimate guide to the best restaurants in Panora, Iowa. Let’s get started!

Exploring the Culinary Scene

Going on a gastronomic adventure in this small town will lead you to an amazing discovery of dining spots that offer delightful cuisine, from classic American food to international flavors.

classic bacon cheese burger with fries in restaurants in panora iowa

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Classic American Fare

Pedal-in serves classic American fare, from classics like burgers and tenderloins to salads and wraps. One of their other specialties is ice cream, you must try their shakes, sundaes, and soft serve on cones. And on Fridays, they offer all-you-can-eat fish starting at 5 PM.


  1. Philly Cheesesteak – Philly meat with onions and peppers topped with chipotle ranch and pepper jack. Served on a hoagie.
  2. Southwest Salad – Lettuce, cheese, pico de gallo, chicken, and chipotle ranch topped with croutons and served with two dressings on the side.
  3. Bacon Ranch Wrap – Lettuce, cheese, tomato, bacon, chicken, and ranch rolled on a tortilla.


“Great little diner located along the bike trail in Panora! The food is great and so is the service! The malts are amazing! Friendly, family-oriented atmosphere. Indoor and outdoor dining available. Dine in or place an order to go. Handicap accessible. (Used to be Pj’s. Under new ownership.)”
Becky Walker

Restaurant Information:

mexican food in restaurants in panora iowa

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International Cuisine in Panora

If you’re a Mexican cuisine lover, come to Los Altos. This spot is one of the best Panora, Iowa, restaurants where you can enjoy fajitas, salads, and chicken in a casual setting with a homey atmosphere. Food is always served hot and in good portions by warm and friendly staff.


  1. Patron Dinner – Fried shrimps wrapped with bacon, thin-cut steak grilled to perfection, and seasoned grilled chicken breast topped with sauteed onions, bell peppers, mushrooms, and queso fundido. Served with a side of rice, beans, lettuce, sour cream, guacamole, pico de gallo, and tortillas.
  2. Guadalajara Special – One chicken burrito and one chicken enchilada topped with enchilada sauce, lettuce, sour cream, pico de gallo, and sliced avocado.
  3. Chilaquiles Mexicanos – Fresh nacho chips topped with cheese and chicken cooked in red sauce, served with rice, lettuce, guacamole, sour cream, and tomato.


“Los Altos is always a good bet. The food is typical Mexican fare. They do a good job with it. The food is hot and portions good sized. Service is generally good. As a smaller restaurant they can occasionally get overwhelmed, but as long as you’re patient, this isn’t a problem. Prices are fair and what I would expect ($30 after tip without drinks for two) at any other place like this.”
Sean B

Restaurant Information:

Navigating Panora's Restaurant Landscape

A visit to Panora, IA, won’t be complete without going to these restaurants and cafés that locals love to go to for their amazing food, great views, and cozy ambiance.

a plate of steak and roasted vegetables in restaurants in panora iowa

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Hidden Culinary Hotspots

Owl’s Nest is popular for its perfectly cooked chicken strips, pizza, and tenderloin. Many diners also come to this cozy spot to try their tasty Brezeln soft German pretzels.


  1. Chopped Steak – Juicy ground sirloin steak grilled to your specifications.
  2. Smothered Grilled Chicken – A tender grilled chicken breast smothered with sauteed onions and mushrooms topped with melted mozzarella cheese.
  3. Jumbo Shrimp – Seven jumbo shrimps, battered and fried crisp.


“Love finding hidden local spots you have to bribe folks to find. We stopped by during a local festival so the menu was limited. No disappointment. Wife chose a grilled chicken salad and I opted for the tenderloin. Salad was fresh, crunchy, and the grilled chicken was tender and full of flavor. Tenderloin. Amazing. Top 5 of my entire life. Believe me, this Iowa boy has eaten an abundance of loins. Crispy, juicy, seasoned perfect, same crisp fresh veggies and it fit the bun. Or the bun fit it. Best hidden secret in a few counties.”
Scott Nuckolls

Restaurant Information:

a pasta dish in restaurants in panora iowa

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Unearthing Panora's Culinary Treasures

The Port on Lake Panorama is the perfect place to enjoy great food with breathtaking views of the lake. Their menu features tender steaks, juicy burgers, pastas, and a selection of seafood dishes.


  1. Shreveport Pasta – Fettuccine pasta sautéed with mushrooms, zucchini, roasted red peppers, and wilted spinach. Topped with Cajun spices and Romano cheese. Choice of meat: chicken, shrimp, or salmon.
  2. Jack Daniels Bourbon Chops – 2 Grilled boneless pork chops smothered with “House Jack Sauce.”
  3. Port Asian Stir Fry – Choice of meat: chicken, steak, shrimp or salmon. Choice of fettuccine or wild rice. Sautéed with garden vegetables. Finished with a sweet Thai chili sauce and teriyaki glaze.


“Great place. Excellent food. Super drinks selection. A little bit out of the way if you aren’t in Panora but it is worth the trip.”
Brad Fuller

Restaurant Information:

a plate of sandwich in restaurants in panora iowa

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Cozy Cafés and Bakeries

Crafty’s Coffee & Gifts serves meticulously crafted coffee drinks, from traditional lattes to creamy cappuccinos and a delicious array of freshly baked goods and savory sandwiches. The aroma of coffee provides a soothing and cozy feel all throughout the café.


  1. Grilled Ham and Swiss – Sliced ham and Swiss cheese. Served on panini-pressed Italian bread.
  2. The Jam – Roasted turkey, scratch-made bacon jam, a slice of mozzarella cheese, and crispy onion strings. Served on a panini pressed ciabatta hoagie.
  3. Reuben – Sliced corned beef, Swiss cheese, sauerkraut, and thousand island dressing. Served on marble rye and panini pressed.


“Very lucky to have such an amazing shop in small town Panora. The owner is absolutely wonderful ! She’s an all around great person & one heck of a barista. Tasty treats & delicious biscuits & gravy. Tons of unique drink options from coffee, teas, to smoothies !A hidden treasure right here in Panora. Make sure to stop by next time you’re in the area. Keep up the great work, Kristen ! 5 Stars !!”
Brandi Rockwell

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Wrap Up

There you have it – the top 5 restaurants in Panora, IA!

If you’d like to know more about this beautiful town, feel free to contact us:

Kane Powell

Dee Powell

Frequently Asked Questions

The meals in these dining spots are affordable, ranging from $10 to $20.

Crafty’s Coffee & Gifts offers a cozy setting in which to enjoy your brunch.