The ultimate list of local Ankeny restaurants
Zombie Burger's 'The Walking Ched' has people fighting on social media. Some people argue that it's all things bad while others desperately need it in their lives. Would you possess the bravery to eat this monster burger? Brian Taylor Carlson
Ankeny has grown by leaps and bounds in recent years. And its culinary scene has been keeping up, with more locally-owned eateries and satellite locations of downtown restaurants opening.
With a population approaching 60,000 people, Ankeny has more places than ever to grab everything from barbecue and Chinese food to steak and seafood.
This list — like previous roundups — includes only locally or regionally owned restaurants. Let this be your ultimate guide to eating local in Ankeny.
Abelardo's Fresh Mexican Food
This regional chain has five locations throughout the Des Moines metro, one in Ames and eight in Omaha. It's known for fast service and reasonable prices. Abelardo's menu has an extensive selection of Tex-Mex classics and combinations.
Location: 209 S. Ankeny Blvd., Ankeny
Hours: Sunday through Thursday, 8 a.m. to 12 a.m.; Friday and Saturday, 8 a.m. to 3 a.m.
Alohana Hawaiian Grill
If you haven't tried Hawaiian food yet, this is the place for you. Enjoy potstickers, pineapple chicken and Spam (Yes, Spam) masubi — a popular Hawaiian snack made with grilled Spam over rice, wrapped in nori seaweed. Or try saimin, a noodle soup made with a choice of vegetables, barbecue chicken or beef, and, of course, Spam.
Location: 802 S.E. Oralabor Rd., Ankeny
Hours: Monday through Sunday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Contact: 515-964-2800; Facebook
So many doughnuts, so little time. This place has homemade hand-glazed doughnuts with different flavors, toppings, fillings and sprinkles. But check out the twists, cinnamon rolls, holes, and other baked goods.
Location: 106 S.W. State St., Ankeny
Hours: Tuesday through Friday, 5 a.m. to 1 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday, 6 a.m. to 1 p.m.; closed Sundays.
Contact: 515-965-0915; Facebook
This throwback family diner with checkerboard floors fills up fast and serves American-style comfort breakfast like biscuits and gravy, French toast, pancakes, and eggs with toast and hash browns.
Location: 310 S. Ankeny Blvd.
Hours: Monday through Friday, 6 a.m. to 11 p.m.; Saturday, 6 a.m. to 1 p.m.; closed Sundays.
This nostalgic diner takes people back to a time of jukeboxes and whitewall tires with its menu of burgers, fries, onion rings, sandwiches and blue plate specials. But don't skip Ankeny Diner's all-day breakfast. And save room for a refreshing ice cream shake, malt or sundae.
Location: 133 S.E. Delaware Ave., Ankeny
Hours: Sunday through Thursday, 6 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 6 a.m. to 11 p.m.
B-Bops is a regional chain with a retro look and an equally retro menu of classic items like burgers and fries; breaded chicken, fish and pork tenderloin sandwiches; and chocolate shakes.
Location: 2205 S.E. Delaware Ave., Ankeny
Hours: Sunday through Thursday, 10 a.m. to 11 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 12 a.m.
Benchwarmers is a neighborhood sports bar where pizza and wings are the thing. Other items round out the menu like burgers, pasta dishes, nachos and loaded potato chips.
Location: 705 S. Ankeny Blvd., Ankeny
Hours: Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 12 a.m.; Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m. to 2 a.m.; Sunday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Contact: 515-965-2556; Facebook
Big Açaí Bowl
Açaí (pronounced ah-sah-EE) is loaded with antioxidants and is considered a superfood. Big Açaí Bowl has turned the sweet-tart juice of this berry from South American palms into a healthy sorbet. All bowls come with granola and banana and can be topped with things like goji berries and slivered almonds. Look for its food truck around the metro in the warmer months.
Location: 1711 S.W. Plaza Parkway, Ankeny
Hours: Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Cabaret Sports Bar & Grille
This sports bar has been serving up pub fare since 2012. Choose from pizzas, burgers, appetizers, wings and more. Be sure to check out the Centennial Burger with smoked bacon, cheddar cheese, ranch and jalapeño peppers.
Location: 2785 N. Ankeny Blvd., Ankeny
Hours: Monday through Sunday 11 a.m. to 2 a.m.
A coffee roastery with three other locations in Ames and on the DMACC campus, Cafe Diem serves muffins, scones, bars and other baked goods. But look for grilled sandwiches and paninis for more filling fare.
Location: 2005 S. Ankeny Blvd., No. 800, Ankeny
Hours: Monday through Thursday, 6:30 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Friday, 6 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Saturday, 7 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Sunday, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Cazador Mexican Restaurant
This Tex-Mex house in Ankeny dishes up the classics along with a carb-friendly menu. Try the Chicken en Mole — boneless chicken in a sweet Mexican mole sauce.
Location: 103 N.E. Delaware Ave., Ankeny
Hours: Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 4:30 to 10 p.m.; Friday, 11 a.m. to 10:30 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Contact: 515-963-0486; Facebook
For a quick and inexpensive meal, this buffet does the trick. Look for standard Chinese fare like dumplings, lo mein and General Tso's chicken. In addition, this buffet has assorted sushi to choose from.
Location: 2010 S.E. Delaware Ave., No. 240, Ankeny
Hours: Monday through Sunday, 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Contact: 515-963-9599; Facebook
China Moon Restaurant
Open seven days a week for dine-in, delivery and takeout, China Moon offers traditional dishes in a casual atmosphere. Look for specialties like Peking duck, Hunan tofu and shrimp fried rice.
Location: 225 S.E. Oralabor Road, Ankeny
Hours: Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.; Sunday, 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m.
CJ’s Bagel Basket
For freshly-made bagels, CJ’s has a wide assortment of flavors. But croissants and cookies are also made here. Breakfast sandwiches, soups and salads make the menu and CJ’s serves Verena Street coffee from Dubuque. For a sweet treat, try the frosted bagel bits in blueberry, cinnamon-apple, berry-berry and cinnamon raisin.
Location: 127 N. Ankeny Blvd., Ankeny
Hours: Monday through Saturday, 6 a.m. to 2 p.m.; Sunday, 7 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Contact: 515-965-1004; Facebook
District 36 Wine Bar & Grille
For a more upscale dining experience, District 36 in Prairie Trial offers elevated American dishes. Dine on lobster-stuffed deviled eggs, blackened shrimp nachos and peppercorn-encrusted Steak de Burgo.
Location: 1375 S.W. Vintage Parkway, Ankeny
Hours: Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.; closed Sundays.
This Ankeny favorite serves standard fare, a wide range of a la carte items and combination dinners. From quick lunches and vegetarian dishes to a full line of nachos, there are plenty of options. And, of course, there's always room for a 60-ounce specialty margarita or daiquiri.
Location: 1701 S.E. Delaware Ave., Ankeny
Hours: Monday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Sunday 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Have a Mediterranean feast at Prairie Trail in Ankeny. Flavory Bistro's menu features breakfast, lunch and dinner items with Greek flair. Grilled paninis, crunchy salads and gyros dominate the lunch menu while dinner ranges from sharable fare like a fully-equipped hummus platter to ground lamb patties seasoned with secret spices. Call a day ahead to order the paella, a saffron scented dish that's lavishly laden with fresh seafood ($50 for two).
Location: 1450 S.W. Vintage Parkway, No. 60, Ankeny
Hours: Tuesday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and 5 to 8:30 p.m.; closed Sundays and Mondays.
Contact: 515-443-7272; Facebook
Fong's Pizza Ankeny
For more of that great Chinese-Italian taste, Ankeny’s version of the popular downtown Des Moines restaurant is more convenient for the “Ankenese.” The same great choices make an appearance on this menu like the famous crab Rangoon pizza, mozzarella stick “egg rolls” and dragon balls — a blend of chicken, cream cheese, pepper jack and jalapenos wrapped in bacon and fried, served with a side of ranch. But don’t forget to try one of the 88 beers on draft.
Location: 1450 S.W. Vintage Parkway, No. 120, Ankeny
Hours: Sunday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Fresh Fit Meals
For convenient and healthy grab-and-go options, Fresh Fit Meals is a great place to stop for all your diet-friendly needs. Choose high-protein breakfast items like low-fat buckwheat crepes with whey protein, stuffed with strawberries and blueberries and served with a side of cream cheese topping. For lunch and dinner, salads, seafood, beef, bison and poultry options are available like southwest bison quinoa with brown jasmine rice, kidney beans, cheddar cheese and green onions. But save some room for some healthy smoothies, snacks and sweets like gluten-free brownies.
Location: 2005 S.E. Delaware Ave., Suite B, Ankeny
Hours: Monday through Saturday, 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Sunday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Grumpy Goat Tavern
The newest location of Grumpy Goat Tavern features a rooftop bar and patio and a menu with something for everyone, including pizza, pasta, sandwiches, salads and steak dinners. Appetizers like wings and nachos make an appearance as well as elevated choices like cast iron baked brie with garlic, rosemary, olive oil and sun-dried tomatoes, served with warm toast points. Try a spicy Rootbeer Sauce Burger — a ground beef patty topped with pulled pork, onions, fresh jalapeños and pepper jack cheese, finished off with homemade habanero root beer barbecue sauce.
Location: 810 E. First St., Ankeny
Hours: Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 12 a.m.; Friday, 11 a.m. to 2 a.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m. to 2 a.m.; Sunday, 10 a.m. to 12 a.m.
Guadalajara Mexican Restaurant
Feast on regional Mexican cuisine at this Ankeny eatery. Classic choices like quesadillas, tacos, burritos and enchiladas fill out the menu, along with specialties like the Chori Pollo with sliced grilled chicken breast and chorizo, topped with cheese sauce and served with rice and beans. A must-try is the Mexi-Wings — crispy breaded wings tossed in "border sauce" and served with a choice of dressing for dipping.
Location: 202 S.E. Delaware Ave., Ankeny
Hours: Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m. to 10:30 p.m.; Sunday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Contact: 515-963-0054; Facebook
Jade Garden Chinese Restaurant
For more than 30 years, this Chinese food house in Ankeny has been dishing up family favorites like Mongolian beef, garlic chicken and sweet and sour pork. Enjoy lunch specials, soups and appetizers.
Location: 602 N. Ankeny Blvd., Ankeny,
Hours: Sunday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.
Jethro’s BBQ n’ LakeHouse
With 10 years under its belt and seven locations, each with its own special take on barbecue, Jethro's has become a great place to enjoy its signature fare and more name-inspired dishes, and LakeHouse features a focus on Cajun and Creole seafood dishes. Try smoky ribs, brisket, pulled pork, pit ham, burnt ends and wings in dinners, combos, platters and sandwiches. But don’t forget about Jethro’s Sunday brunch when you can have barbecued meats alongside your eggs and toast.
Location: 1425 S.W. Vintage Parkway, Ankeny
Hours: Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Friday, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.; Saturday, 9:30 a.m. to 11 p.m.; Sunday, 9:30 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Leaning Tower of Pizza
For more than 50 years, this landmark has been baking pies with its signature caramelized edges, and it now has a location on the DMACC Ankeny Campus for hungry college students. Create your own pizza or try one of Leaning Tower's specialty pies like the Harrington — homemade Italian sausage, pepperoni, cheddar and mozzarella cheeses and zesty sauce. But don't forget about the thick-cut onion rings served with a side of house dressing.
Location: 512 S.W. Third St., Ankeny and DMACC Ankeny Campus, 2006 S. Ankeny Blvd., Ankeny
Hours: Ankeny: Monday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 4:30 to 9 p.m.; Saturday, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 5 to 10:15 p.m.; closed Sundays. DMACC: Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.; closed Saturday and Sunday.
Lola’s Fine Kitchen
This Pakistani-Filipino fast-casual restaurant is all about honoring personal choices: diners can choose the base of their bowl, fill it, pick a side, sauce it up and top it off. Try some pancit—stir-fried mung bean noodles with vegetables—and top it off with some tandoori chicken and top it off with some mango pickles and sisig slaw. But save room for the crispy turons—fried banana- and jackfruit-filled spring rolls dusted with cinnamon sugar and drizzled with Noah's chocolate ganache.
Location: 1615 S.W. Main St., Ste. 106, Ankeny
Hours: Tuesday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Sunday, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.; closed Mondays.
Serving traditional and Tex-Mex cuisine, Los Charros in Ankeny has an extensive menu including chile rellenos, quesadillas and shrimp chimichangas. There are healthy options at this restaurant like lettuce tacos and a chicken avocado salad with spinach, green and red bell peppers and a salsa dressing. But the sizzling fajita platters are hard to pass up, especially with a refreshing strawberry margarita.
Location: 2010 S.E. Delaware Ave., No. 230, Ankeny
Hours: Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m. to 10:30 p.m.; Sunday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Lucky Bamboo Asian Cuisine
Celebrating 15 years of bringing Asian food to the masses in Ankeny, Lucky Bamboo features everything from pho to fried wontons to fresh seafood dishes. Entrees can be ordered as a special for one — including soup, egg roll, crab Rangoon and fried or steamed rice — or as a large portion for two with fried or steamed rice.
Location: 1555 S.E. Delaware Ave., No. 1, Ankeny
Hours: Sunday through Thursday, 11 am. to 9:30 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Contact: 515-965-5749; Facebook
This regional chain with 34 locations in Ohio, Missouri, Minnesota, Illinois and Iowa serves up its popular hot loose meat sandwiches made from seasoned ground beef and soft buns. People will tell you the only way to eat a loose meat sandwich is the way it’s made in its original and purist form, but variations are available like American, shredded or melted cheddar, blue cheese and jalapeño cheddar. The menu also offers a range of sides and other sandwiches.
Location: 802 S.E. Oralabor Road, No. 132, Ankeny
Hours: Monday through Wednesday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Thursday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Sunday, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Main Street Cafe & Bakery
Since its opening in 2016, Main Street Café & Bakery has become a great place to go for coffee, breakfast, lunch and dinner. A wide assortment of baked goods are available for purchase daily, along with custom cakes and platters of cupcakes, cake balls, cookies and bars for preorder. Try a savory breakfast scramble, a crispy panini or a soft naan flatbread.
Location: 2510 S.W. White Birch Drive, Nos. 1 and 2, Ankeny
Hours: Monday through Sunday, 6 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Pho 85 (Pho K & K)
No more driving to Des Moines for a nice bowl of comforting pho. Pho 85 in Ankeny specializes in Vietnamese cuisine and other Asian dishes like steamed pork dumplings, fried rice, pad thai and shrimp tempura. But with 17 kinds of pho in small, medium and large sizes, plus a kids’ version, this Vietnamese staple is the focus. Vermicelli noodle buns, or bowls, assorted rice plates and noodle soups with a variety of meats, vegetable and seafood round out the menu.
Location: 1701 S.E. Delaware Ave., Ankeny
Hours: Monday through Sunday, 10:30 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Porch Light Coffeehouse
For a little pick-me-up, Porch Light Coffeehouse is a locally-owned coffee shop in the heart of Ankeny with a comfortable, modern vibe and coffee from its own in-house roaster — Black Silo Roasting Co. From cold brew coffee and white mochas to cinnamon bun and pistachio lattes, frappes and smoothies, there are plenty of options. Breakfast sandwiches, wraps and croissants — along with a variety of fresh muffins, scones and bars — are available to curb your appetite. Try the Coffee Rings — mini-doughnuts served warm and dusted with a choice of sugars: cinnamon, apple cider and salted caramel.
Location: 417 S.W. Third St., Ankeny
Hours: Monday through Thursday, 6:30 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 6:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Sunday, 7:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.
For a taste of Thailand, head to Siam Table. Enjoy classic Thai dishes like spicy shredded green papaya salad with carrots, tomatoes and green beans with a splash of lime; fresh healthy rolls with marinated chicken, shrimp and vegetables, wrapped in rice paper and served with a peanut sweet and sour sauce; or drunken noodles — stir-fried flat rice noodles with garlic, onion, bell pepper, cabbage and sweet basil leaves with a choice of protein. Don’t forget to try one of the eight kinds of curries in the perfect spice level.
Location: 757 N. Ankeny Blvd., Ankeny
Hours: Monday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 5 to 9 p.m.; Saturday, 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Sunday, 11:30 a.m. to 8 p.m.
For more than three years, Sorriso Grille has been serving breakfast and lunch to the masses. Enjoy both hearty and lighter fare. Classic breakfast menu items like eggs Benedict, pancakes, French toast and biscuits and gravy are accented with modern takes like burritos and bowls. For lunch, sandwiches, soups and salads are the focus, with burgers, dogs and a kids’ menu that’s easy to please. Look for daily specials like hot beef Tuesdays or Thursday’s chicken-fried steak or chicken.
Location: 7015 N.E. 14th St., Ankeny
Hours: Monday through Friday, 6 a.m. to 2 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday, 7 a.m. to 1 p.m.
With a 25-year history and three locations (the other two are in Indianola and Winterset), this sports bar and grill in Ankeny is a great place to grab some grub and catch a game. If burgers are your craving, there are 15 kinds to choose from, along with sandwiches, wraps and shareable apps like the Loaded Hayden Fries, piled high with a choice of bacon or chili and smothered with cheddar-jack cheese. Entrees range from pasta dishes to a 12-ounce N.Y. strip dinner with a choice of sides.
Location: 1701 N. Ankeny Blvd., Ankeny
Hours: Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m. to 10:30 p.m.; Sunday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Sweet Swirls Rolled Ice Cream
Sweet Swirls Rolled Ice Cream was inspired by videos on YouTube of rolled ice cream being made in Thailand. By July of last year, rolled ice cream was being served from a food truck outfitted with the special rolled ice cream machine and within just a few months, a new kind of ice cream shop was born in Ankeny. To enjoy this sweet treat, choose your size and then choose your ice cream flavor like vanilla peanut butter, coffee hot cocoa and chocolate. Then you add your mix-ins like fresh fruit, cereal, candy bar pieces, nuts and more. For special occasions, order a swirled ice cream cake.
Location: 303 S.W. School St., Ankeny
Hours: Monday through Thursday, noon to 10 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, noon to 11 p.m.; Sunday, noon to 9 p.m.
Sweet to Eat Bakery
Sweet to Eat Bakery in Ankeny was recognized as having the best cakes in the state by Food Network in an article on its website. From pillowy raspberry-white chocolate scones and cake pops to aromatic sweet cinnamon rolls and iced sugar cookies, this bakery located inside the entrance of the Fletcher Kitchen + Bar also makes fresh loaves of bread like brioche, baguettes, ciabatta and sourdough; and desserts like cheesecake and chocolate cake. Custom cakes can be ordered in 40 available flavors including chocolate, vanilla, almond, champagne and strawberry.
Location: 1802 N. Ankeny Blvd., No. 100, Ankeny
Hours: Tuesday through Thursday, 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.; Thursday, 4 to 7 p.m.; Friday, 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.; Saturday, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.; closed Sundays and Mondays.
Contact: 515-249-5054; sweettoeatllc.com; Facebook
Taco Hangover’s modern twist is like a gastropub version of a taquería. Enjoy Tex-Mex classics like queso dip, burritos and fajitas in combos including tacos filled with pork belly, portobellos and burnt ends. Or try a healthy, modern twist like the Mexican Cobb Salad with pollo asada, adobo pork, pico de gallo, avocado, eggs and radishes on field greens with field greens and shredded cheese. There’s even a 64-ounce margarita to share — or not.
Location: 1631 S.W. Main St., Suite100, Ankeny
Hours: Sunday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m. to 1 a.m.
The unmistakable fluffy flour taco shell filled with a choice of ground beef, bean, chicken, steak or pork with shredded lettuce and cheese is a regional chain favorite. But there are plenty of other dishes and sides to choose from like corn nachos with queso blanco and burritos filled with a choice of meat and cheese inside and melted cheese on top.
Location: 2401 S.E. Delaware Ave., Ankeny
Hours: Monday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.; closed Sundays.
Tavern 180, an upbeat, custom-crafted food and drink experience originating from Omaha joined the culinary scene in Ankeny in July 2018. It’s a new take on a gastropub featuring a mix of stylish cocktails and signature dishes like Kobe Beef Sliders, USDA prime steaks from Allen Brothers, Inc. of Chicago, and the signature Wagyu Hanging Beef Tenderloin, or hanger steak.
Location: 1975 N. Ankeny Blvd., #117
Hours: Monday through Sunday, from 4 to 11 p.m.; lunch is served from 11 a.m. on Fridays.
This new fast-casual teriyaki bowl restaurant in Ankeny has a streamlined menu for streamlined schedules. There are only three steps in ordering teriyaki bowls. First choose your protein — like vegetables, tofu, chicken, salmon, shrimp or beef. Then choose the bowl like fried rice, white rice, noodles or salad. Finally, pick your dressing like ranch, Yum Yum Sauce or ginger. A selection of appetizers, sushi rolls and a kids’ menu are also available. Guests can dine in, carry out or order from MyTown2Go or GrubHub.
Location: 1802 S.E. Delaware Ave., Ste. 108 Ankeny
Hours: Monday through Saturday, 10:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.
The Fletcher Kitchen + Bar
This neighborhood restaurant located in the former space of a supermarket has plenty of room for lunch, brunch and dinner dining. Enjoy sandwiches, salads, burgers, pizza for lunch. Dinner fare includes a more elevated entrée and barbecue menu. Try the Fletcher Nachos — warm corn tortilla chips, black beans, sour cream, pico de gallo and a choice of smoked pork belly or smoked chicken. Look for daily happy hour specials and for a decadent treat, try a baked good from Sweet To Eat Bakery located on the premises.
Location: 1802 N. Ankeny Blvd., Suite100, Ankeny
Hours: Tuesday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.; Sunday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.; closed Mondays.
The Juice Company Café
Enjoy hundreds of smoothie and fresh juice combinations using fresh ingredients at the Juice Company Café in Ankeny. In the winter, home-made soups like chicken vegetable and chicken noodle are available (it takes six hours to roast the chickens and make the bone broth). Look for vegan and vegetarian options as well. The Juice Company Café is one of the only local sources for juice fasts — also called juice cleanses — and vegetarian soup fasts.
Location: 833 E. 1st St., Ankeny
Hours: Monday through Thursday, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Friday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Contact: (515) 964-1537; Facebook
The Other Place
This regional chain has two locations in the metro serving lunch and dinner. For lunch, enjoy burgers, wraps, salads, pizza and combo plates. The dinner menu broadens to include a wide range of appetizers, sandwiches, chicken tender baskets and pasta entrees. Daily specials are also popular. Try the oven-baked Big Pig sub with freshly-seasoned sausage, pepperoni, crispy bacon and ham topped with homemade pizza sauce and mozzarella cheese.
Location: 2010 S.E. Delaware Ave., Ankeny
Hours: Sunday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to midnight; Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m. to 2 a.m.
The Whiskey House and Bourbon Grill
As one might gather from the name, this restaurant focuses on whiskey and bourbon, with a 14-page menu dedicated to the wide variety of these spirits. But the food menu is also notable, with its popular jumbo wings served with spicy bourbon barbecue sauce and house-made ranch dressing. Entrees range from poutine and burgers to steaks, seafood and pasta. Try the 5-Cheese Bourbon Mac, made with smoked cheddar, Swiss, Parmesan, American and bleu cheese with bacon or brisket or both. Enjoy nightly live entertainment.
Location: 2510 S.W. White Birch Drive, Suite 8, Ankeny
Hours: Sunday through Thursday, 4 p.m. to midnight; Friday and Saturday, 4 p.m. to 2 a.m.
Enjoy a nutritious blended meal in a cup. Thrive Nutrition is the place to go to for people looking to get on board with a new diet and nutrition plan. Protein shakes in more than 80 flavors are available along with herbal teas and aloe shots that help rev up the metabolism. Thrive associates are on hand to provide nutritional coaching.
Location: 1370 N.W. 18th St., Ankeny
Hours: Monday through Friday, 6:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.; Saturday, 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.; closed Sundays.
Contact: 515-964-3889; Facebook
Thunderhead Sports Bar and Grill
Storm into Thunderhead in Ankeny for a meal and a game. Flame-broiled wings are served in baskets of 10, 20 or 40. Try a Thunder Pie — 10- or 16-inch specialty pizzas available with a range of topping combinations including seven cheese and buffalo chicken. Burgers, wraps, sandwiches and salads also make the menu, and plenty of stick-to-your-ribs dinners. Speaking of ribs, baby back pork ribs are available in full and half racks, basted and broiled with a tangy barbecue sauce and served with signature sides. Be sure to try one of eight beers from Thunderhead Brewery.
Location: 1325 S.W. Oralabor Road, Ankeny
Hours: Monday through Sunday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Tin Cup Bar & Grille
Located at the Clubhouse at Otter Creek Golf Course, Tin Cup Bar & Grille offers a casual dining experience with unpretentious food in a cozy atmosphere. Share some appetizers and feast on burgers, pizza and specialty sandwiches. For a family outing, take advantage of its $18 dine-in only pizza special — a large two-topping with a choice of Italian cheese bread or basket of onion rings, and pitcher of soda. Try the Otter Burger — a third pound patty topped with cheddar cheese, homemade onion rings, lettuce and Tin Cup sauce, served with a choice of side.
Location: 4100 N.E. Otter Creek Drive, Ankeny
Hours: Monday through Sunday, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Tokyo Steak House
For Japanese cuisine, Tokyo Steak House’s menu covers all the bases. Sushi rolls and sashimi are available in dinners and bento boxes. Try a Gangnam Style roll filled with shrimp tempura and avocado and topped with spicy tuna and crabmeat and drizzled with special sauce. But the most popular dining options are the hibachi specialties — a choice of vegetables, meat and seafood cooked on a flattop grill before your eyes and served with soup, salad, fried rice, vegetables and a shrimp appetizer for dinner (soup or salad and fried rice for lunch). Soba or udon noodle, teriyaki and tempura dishes round out the menu.
Location: 113 S.E. Delaware Ave., No. 104, Ankeny
Hours: Monday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and 4:30 to 10 p.m.; Sunday, noon to 10 p.m.
Uptown Food & Beverage Co.
If you remember Encore Pizza in Johnston, the menu at Uptown will look familiar at this Ankeny eatery. Italian favorites like pizza, salads, sandwiches and pasta — and a great kids’ menu — all make the list. Try breaded Italian chicken wings served with a choice of dipping sauce. But hold out for the Uptown combination pizza with Italian sausage, pepperoni, capicola, mushrooms and green peppers.
Location: 302 S.W. Maple St., Ankeny
Hours: Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Waterfront Seafood Market Restaurant
Since 1984, Waterfront Seafood Market in West Des Moines has been one of the premier places to go for fresh seafood and sushi. The Ankeny location opened in 2008. Lunch and dinner menus revolve around seafood and sushi like the fried coconut shrimp appetizer served with sweet and sour and cocktail sauces; Alaskan Halibut Royale topped with a crunchy green onion cream; and the Ankeny sushi roll filled with shrimp tempura, mango, cream cheese and cucumber, topped with crab, eel sauce, spicy mayo and Sriracha. For the seafood-timid, vegetable and meat options are available.
Location: 2414 S.E. Tones Drive, Ankeny
Hours: Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Friday and Saturday 11 a.m. to 10:30 p.m.; Sunday, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Wheel House Pizzeria & Pub
Wheel House Pizzeria & Pub is all about pizza and beer, of course. Sauce and dough are made in-house daily. Create your own medium and large pies or try a specialty pizza like the Wheel House Egg Roll Pizza, made with pork eggrolls, Graziano sausage, a drizzle of Sriracha, red sauce, a melted cheese blend and teriyaki sauce and sprinkled with sesame seeds.
Location: 106 S.W. State St., Ankeny
Hours: Monday through Wednesday, 3 p.m. to midnight; Thursday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to midnight; Sunday, 9 to 11 p.m.
Contact: 515-964-1088; Facebook
Whiskey River Ankeny
With a rooftop patio and outdoor seating, this restaurant in the Prairie Trail entertainment district offers a full menu of elevated bar fare for lunch and dinner, and a Sunday bloody mary bar and breakfast menu. Start with Reuben egg rolls filled with diced corn beef, sauerkraut and Swiss cheese and served with Thousand Island dressing for dipping. Get the heat on with the “Fire" burger, seasoned with cayenne peppers and topped with ghost pepper cheese, caramelized onions, freshly sliced jalapenos and a secret "Fire" sauce, served on a warm, toasted bun. Look for daily lunch specials.
Location: 1350 S.W. Vintage Parkway, Ankeny
Hours: Monday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 2 a.m.; Sunday, 10 a.m. to 2 a.m.
Wig & Pen Pizza Pub
With three other locations in Iowa, this regional chain serves Chicago-style deep dish pizza (two layers of homemade crust stuffed with freshly-shredded mozzarella and topped with sweet-savory sauce) with a touch of Britain. A royal assortment of appetizers, salads, sandwiches and pasta make the menu, along with fish and chips. But people come here for the pizza. In addition to the Chicago-style crust, Wig & Pen offers a pan-style version of crust called Flying Tomato and a thin crust. Try the Union Jack — a combination of Italian sausage, pepperoni, mushroom, onion and sweet Italian peppers.
Location: 2005 S. Ankeny Blvd., No. 300, Ankeny
Hours: Tuesday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.; Sunday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Monday, 4 to 10 p.m.
Contact: 515-963-9777; wigandpenpizza.com
WineStyles makes wine tasting easy with its innovative system of arranging wine by style instead of varietal or vineyard. There are plenty of tidbits to be found at this wine store to assist your palate like artisanal cheeses, charcuterie selections and fine chocolates. Each food item is labeled with a style to help guide you to the perfect wine to go with it and vice versa. Make it an event and feast on a cheese and charcuterie board while making a dessert from hand-selected truffles.
Location: 1450 S.W. Vintage Parkway, Suite 170, Ankeny
Hours: Monday through Wednesday, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Thursday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Sunday, noon to 6 p.m.
Open for 75 years in the heart of Uptown Ankeny, this bar and grill has a hometown feel and family-friendly food. Daily specials abound, but people come to the Yankee Clipper on Taco Tuesday for its crispy fried taco shells filled Mexican taco meat with cheese, lettuce and tomato or the American tacos filled with ham, lettuce and ranch dressing. The menu also features a full selection of appetizers and sandwiches that are perfect for any day of the week.
Location: 312 S.W. Maple St., Ankeny
Hours: Monday through Saturday, 9 a.m. to 2 a.m.; Sunday, 9 a.m. to 2 a.m.
Yanni's Grill & Vineyard
For a unique Greek-Italian fusion menu, head to Yanni’s Grill & Vineyard. The dramatic saganaki appetizer — flaming Asiago cheese with lemon and marinara sauce — is a must-try, along with classic Greek staples like spanakopita and dolmades (stuffed grape leaves). For more Italian fare, there are plenty of homemade pasta and seafood options like shrimp primavera with fresh vegetables in a light tomato cream sauce served on a bed of linguine. New York-style pizza is available, along with daily specials. Be sure to save room for baklava or cannoli.
Location: 410 S. Ankeny Blvd., Ankeny
Hours: Tuesday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and 5 to 9 p.m.; Friday, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and 5 to 10 p.m.; Saturday, 4 to 10 p.m.; Sunday, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.; closed Mondays.
Z'Marik's Noodle Cafe
This regional chain had its beginnings in 2002 in Iowa City and has since expanded throughout Iowa and South Dakota. The menu features fresh and fast bowls of soups, salads, rice and noodles in a variety of international flavors and styles. Try a z’fajita rice bowl with grilled chicken, red and green bell peppers and red onions sautéed in a zesty fajita sauce and served over cilantro-lime rice and garnished with sour cream and cheddar-jack cheese. Or go for a bowl of z’udon noodles, stir-fried with broccoli, mushrooms and carrots with a spicy chili-garlic sauce and topped with sprouts and cilantro. The z’mac and cheese bowls with cavitappi pasta is a popular treat.
Location: 1620 N. Ankeny Blvd., Ankeny
Hours: Monday through Saturday, 10:30 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Sunday, 10:30 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Do you have a locally owned restaurant within Ankeny city limits, and you would like it to appear on this list? Please contact Brian Carlson to be added.