If you are in the downtown area and looking for some good food/bars head down to the Court Avenue Area.
Judge Roy Beans (love the club sandwhich) , Johnnys All American (the frisco burger is my fav) and the Spaghetti Works are all on Court Avenue. You can also find the Court Avenue Brewery (which has some great food and nice beer - I like the jumbalya and the Pointer Brown Ale).
For my money he best places in the Court Avenue Area are:
The Royal Mile - English pub atmosphere (0n 4th street just off Court Ave).
- over 30 beers on tap (mostly imports), a lot of imports available in bottles and cans.
- excellent pub grub - try the stew or the fish and chips
- reasonable prices
- interesting crowd
- if you really like your beer try the Red Monk upstairs!
The High Life Lounge:
- just opened groundhog day 2005!
- the bar is supposed to look and feel like it is stuck in a time warp from 1964. By and large they hit it! wood paneling, carpet, the beer signs and most importantly the menu takes you back to the wonder years! As a small town Iowa boy born and raised the menu took me back to the small town cafes/bars I frequented as a child.
- if you want to fit in the with regulars order a TANG and jaeger! It is surprisingly good.
- The bar is at 200 2nd Street (near Sec Taylor)
- Cajun food done Iowa style (ie not as spicey).
- decent selection of beer (try crappy beer night on Thursdays if you love your low end American beers).
- nice courtyard for outdoors dining and drinking when the weather permits.
- I love the armadillo eggg appetizers
- the place is decorated with a movie/tv show feel. Movie posters are all over along.
- German style beer hall on 4th Street near the railroad tracks.
- On the inside the place looks like I imagine a small beer hall to look like. they have all your German beer needs covered here.
- The place really rocks when they have a polka band in action
- try a boot of beer with your friends
- not a place for lunch but like the Bavarian nachos and the Hunters pizza!