Off-Campus Dining

Ames, IA
Tuition (in-state)
$19,838 ($7,726)
Admission Difficulty
Very Easy
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3 College Sophomore

Off-Campus Dining: Tbell is always an option along with bdubs and chipotle

4 College Sophomore

Off-Campus Dining: There are a variety of different restaurants that people can go eat at anytime that they do not want dining hall food.

1 person found this useful Report
3 College Senior

Off-Campus Dining: Most of the food off campus is either fast food or average sit down restaurants. Most of the restaurants have a lot of variety, but most of it isn't healthy. If my roommates or I don't feel like eating on campus we can take a drive down town and take our pick from a variety of restaurants.

4 College Sophomore

Off-Campus Dining: There are a few places in town for students to dine at. Many of those places offer student discounts which is nice. There are mostly chain restaurants with a couple on non-chain.

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Junior

Off-Campus Dining: There are quite a few different restaurants in Ames that are both affordable and delicious.


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Rankings View more rankings . . .

  • 40th
    Best Off-Campus Dining Cost
  • 341st
    Best Off-Campus Dining Variety

Student Author OverviewWhat's This?

Staci Harper
English/Rhetorical Studies/Speech minor
View all previous student authors

In the heart of Iowa, meat and potatoes reign supreme, so Hickory Park is the favorite among students. But those who prefer other flavors will have no problems finding food they enjoy. Carlos O'Kelly's has great Mexican food at reasonable prices. If you want to really impress a date, take them to Aunt Maude's, which is more upscale and classy—just be sure you make reservations.

The city council allows each individual restaurant to decide whether or not they will allow smoking in their restaurants. Many restaurants decided to stick with the ban, so if you smoke and you want to eat in Ames before 8 p.m., you may have to hold off on your cigarettes, smoke outside, or eat in a place where smoking is allowed. Other than that, off-campus dining is great, and Ames has a lot to offer. Make sure to visit the gyro stand, Hickory Park, Great Plains Sauce & Dough Co., and La Fuente. If you're still left unsatisfied, Des Moines is only a few miles down the road and has some really great restaurants of its own.

Facts & Statistics

24-Hour Dining
Perkins Restaurant & Bakery
Best Asian
  • King Buffet
  • Little Taipei
Best Breakfast
  • Angie's Café
  • Perkins Restaurant & Bakery
Best Coffee
  • Lorry's Coffee
  • Starbucks
  • Stomping Grounds
Best Dessert
  • Cold Stone Creamery
  • Orange Leaf Frozen Yogurt
Best Healthy
  • Panera Bread
  • Subway
Best Late-Night
  • The Fighting Burrito
  • Jimmy John's Gourmet Sandwiches
Best Mexican
  • El Azteca
  • The Fighting Burrito
  • La Fuente Restaurant
Best Pizza
  • Great Plains Sauce & Dough Co.
  • Jeff's Pizza Shop
Best Wings
Buffalo Wild Wings Grill & Bar
Best Place to Take a Date
Hickory Park
Best Place to Take Your Parents
Hickory Park
Other Places to Check Out
  • Ames Cupcake Emporium
  • Applebee's Neighborhood Grill
  • Arby's
  • Arcadia Café
  • Aspen Leaf Yogurt & Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory
  • Battle's Bar-B-Q
  • Black Market Pizza
  • Café Beaudelaire
  • Café Diem
  • Chinese Home Style Cooking
  • Chocolaterie Stam
  • Cookies Etc.
  • Domino's Pizza
  • El Rodeo Mexican Restaurant
  • Fuji Japanese Steak House
  • Grove Café
  • Joy's Mongolian Grill
  • KFC
  • La Mie Bakery
  • Little Caesars Pizza
  • Mandarin Chinese Restaurant
  • McDonald's
  • Mongolian Buffet
  • Mr. Burrito
  • Noodles & Company
  • Okoboji Grill
  • Old Chicago
  • Olde Main Brewing Company
  • Pammel Grocery
  • Pancheros Mexican Grill
  • Papa John's Pizza
  • Pho 888
  • Pita Pit
  • Pizza Hut
  • Pizza Pit
  • Pizza Ranch
  • Red Lobster
  • Shogun
  • The Spice Thai Cuisine
  • Super Dog (cart)
  • Taco Bell
  • Taco John's
  • Texas Roadhouse
  • Thai Kitchen
  • Vesuvius Wood Fired Pizza
  • Village Inn
  • Wallaby's Bar & Grill

Grocery StoresWhat's This?

1301 Buckeye Ave.
Monday–Friday 9 a.m.–8 p.m., Saturday 9 a.m.–8 p.m., Sunday 10 a.m.–6 p.m.
Asia Food Store
516 Lincoln Way
(515) 232-8048
3015 Grand Ave.
(515) 233-1345
Daily 24 hours

Restaurant ListingsWhat's This?

Angie's Café
Food: American, breakfast
2416 Lincoln Way
(515) 268-1661
Price: $5–$10
Aunt Maude's
Food: American
547 Main St.
(515) 233-4136
Price: $15–$35
Food: Burgers
1112 S. Duff Ave.
(515) 233-5678
Price: $5–$10
Buffalo Wild Wings Grill & Bar
Food: American, wings
400 S. Duff Ave.
(515) 232-9464
Price: $8–$15
Carlos O'Kelly's Mexican Café
Food: Mexican
631 Lincoln Way
(515) 232-1500
Price: $8–$15
Food: Mexican
3605 Lincoln Way
(515) 296-1110
Price: $8–$15
Cold Stone Creamery
Food: Ice cream
1310 S. Duff Ave.
(515) 233-3911
Price: $3–$8
Downtown Deli
Food: Sandwiches, soup
328 Main St.
(515) 232-3626
Price: $5–$10
Dublin Bay
Food: Irish
320 S. 16th St.
(515) 956-3580
Price: $10–$20
El Azteca
Food: Mexican
2727 Stange Road
(515) 292-9494
Price: $8–$15
Food: Italian
2435 N. Grand Ave.
(515) 232-6009
Price: $5–$10
The Fighting Burrito
Food: Mexican
117 Welch Ave.
(515) 292-2222
Price: $5–$10
Golden Wok
Food: Chinese
223 Welch Ave.
(515) 292-2628
Price: $5–$10
Cool Features: Delivery
Great Plains Sauce & Dough Co.
Food: Pizza
129 Main St.
(515) 232-4263
Price: $8–$15
Hickory Park Restaurant Co.
Food: Barbecue
1404 S. Duff Ave.
(515) 232-8940
Price: $8–$15
Jeff's Pizza Shop
Food: Pizza
2402 Lincoln Way
(515) 292-2321
Price: $10–$20
Jimmy John's Gourmet Sandwiches
Food: Sandwiches
135 Welch Ave.
(515) 292-2868
Price: $5–$10
King Buffet
Food: Chinese
1311 Buckeye Ave.
(515) 233-5252
Price: $8–$15
La Fuente Restaurant
Food: Mexican
217 S. Duff Ave.
(515) 233-6696
Price: $5–$10
Cool Features: 44-ounce margaritas
Little Taipei
Food: Chinese
2514 Chamberlain Place
(515) 292-6123
Price: $5–$10
Lorry's Coffee
Food: Coffee/tea
2320 Lincoln Way
(515) 292-2735
Price: $3–$8
Lucullan's Italian Grill
Food: Italian
400 Main St.
(515) 232-8484
Price: $10–$20
May House Cuisine
Food: Chinese
3417 Lincoln Way
(515) 292-2089
Price: $5–$10
Orange Leaf Frozen Yogurt
Food: Frozen yogurt
637 Lincoln Way
(515) 233-5015
Price: $3–$8
Panera Bread
Food: Sandwiches, soup
309 S. Duff Ave.
(515) 956-4580
Price: $5–$10
Perkins Restaurant & Bakery
Food: American
325 S. Duff Ave.
(515) 233-3648
Price: $8–$15
Food: Coffee/tea, sweets
640 Lincoln Way
(515) 232-1961
Price: $3–$8
Stomping Grounds
Food: Coffee/tea
303 Welch Ave.
(515) 292-5258
Price: $3–$8
Food: Sandwiches
113 Welch Ave.
(515) 292-7917
Price: $3–$8
West Street Deli
Food: Deli
2810 West St.
(515) 268-4605
Price: $5–$10

Student Polls

Rate the off-campus restaurants on the following topics    Based on 134 responses

Very poor
  • Cost
  • Convenience
  • Healthy/organic options
  • Late-night options
  • Quality
  • Student discounts
  • Variety/number of options
  • Vegetarian/vegan options

How would you rate the diversity of off-campus dining options?    Based on 134 responses

  • 6% An endless repetition of the same few places.
  • 9% Mostly just chain restaurants and fast food.
  • 46% Enough variety to keep things interesting.
  • 39% A nice variety of local spots and ethnic cuisine.


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