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Ratings and reviews

RATINGS
Food
Service
Value
Atmosphere

Details

PRICE RANGE
$8 - $20
CUISINES
Pizza, Italian
Special Diets
Vegetarian Friendly, Gluten Free Options
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meals, features, about
Reviews (200)
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200 results
Traveler rating
116
48
17
12
7
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LanguageEnglish
Traveler rating
116
48
17
12
7
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All reviews lasagna salad bread salmon bird feeders delicious italian food the red velvet cheesecake prom night cedar valley busy night service was top notch bb patrons pepper
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Restaurant's Favorite
Reviewed April 28, 2022

We were in Cedar Falls for the weekend (to watch our university play softball at UNI), and The Brown Bottle was recommended by a friend who grew up in the area. On a busy Saturday (prom night!), we were able to walk right in and...be seated at a table in the bar area, which was perfect. Literally everything about this dinner was outstanding, from the atmosphere to the service to the food. We were extremely impressed by the professionalism and genuine friendliness of the staff (the owner himself seated us, and then came back to chat later in our meal). We were thanked for coming in, by both the owner and by our server. We ordered the seafood lasagna and the rosemary cashew pasta (recommended by our server), and then shared the red velvet cheesecake and the apple tart for dessert. Everything was delicious!! I cannot say enough positive things about this experience. If you find yourself in Cedar Falls and are looking for a wonderful dinner, go to The Brown Bottle. It is only a couple minute drive from the historic downtown, and it will not disappoint!More

Date of visit: April 2022
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Reviewed March 10, 2022

Had not been to the Brown Bottle in many years and it did not disappoint. Had several different entrees and all were delicious. The service was top notch. The drinks were on the week side.

Date of visit: March 2022
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Reviewed November 21, 2021

We enjoyed great food one weekday evening in November. The restaurant was fairly busy downstairs but we were put on a table upsatirs at the furthest point away from the stairs. A bit strange really as it really lacked any kind of atmosphere up there....The pasta dishes we had were delicious and our server was friendly and helpful when choosing what to eat. A great place to visit when in Cedar Falls!More

Date of visit: November 2021
Helpful?1  
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Reviewed September 20, 2021 via mobile

My husband and I ate at Brown Bottle on a recent Saturday night. It was hopping! We didn’t have reservations, but manager Brad found a spot for us at the bar, which gave us a perfect view of all the “action” and it was impressive!...The staff worked well together, kept on task and kept smiling all the time we were there! And to top it off, the food was delicious!More

Date of visit: September 2021
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Reviewed August 30, 2021

They absolutely have the best lasagna, the best mashed potato casserole, and their ravioli with meat sauce even beats their lasagna. The only downfall is they are very pricey. Expect to pay about $5 more per meal than most places. It is worth it for...a special night out, though. And, they limit your bread--odd, considering their meal pricing. Expect to pay for more than 2 pieces of bread, which is excellent by the way.More

Date of visit: June 2021
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Reviewed May 5, 2021

My husband and I have been dining at the Brown Bottle in Cedar Falls since it opened in 1972 and have continued to eat there whenever we come to town. This past Sunday, May 2, 2021, we had reservations to dine there again. Upon arriving...we noticed that not one staff person was masked, including the manager. Since the country is only about half-way through this COVID pandemic, we thought it was highly irresponsible of management to permit this practice. Not only does it put their staff at a health risk, it puts their patrons at risk as well. As staff moves from table to table viruses can be spread throughout the restaurant, possibly infecting those who haven't been vaccinated or who are more at risk for infection. It was very disappointing, and if we hadn't been meeting another couple there, we would have turned around and walked out as soon as we noticed the maskless staff. Sadly for us as we always enjoy the food, we will not be back to the Brown Bottle again for a very, very long time.More

Date of visit: May 2021
Helpful?1  
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Reviewed May 3, 2021

We appeared at the Brown Bottle in Cedar Falls at 4:30 pm for dinner before driving home (90 miles). I had eating at the downtown Waterloo Brown Bottle in 1974--as a southern Iowa junior college student attending a play at UNI with a drama professor....We at there on our wedding night in 1987, too--a drunk was obnoxiously trying to bribe a kid to eat until he threw up. This time at the original BB on the river, we were seated in a room with a fascinating view of trees and bird feeders to which woodpeckers, red-winged blackbirds, sparrows, cedar waxwings, et al., flocked. We were masked; the waitperson was too. A young couple who came into the room was maskless. The menu had gunk on it. The waitperson was efficient; I ordered an iced tea and she brought me a second without being asked. Scout decided to try the Italian manicotti; I, the salmon with peach salsa. We both had spring green salads with raspberry vinaigrette and parmesan dressing--they came with a tiny piece of toast. The salmon was done with a funky spice mixture, and the peach salsa was delicious. My side of herby sweet potatoes could have been warmer, but it was tasty. We cleaned our plates and decided not to order a Pink Squirrel because we had Cupcakery cupcakes in the car. As Scout put it, "the ambiance was great; the food was good."More

Date of visit: May 2021
Helpful?1  
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Reviewed April 20, 2021

Cedar Falls Brown Bottle has always been one of our favorite restaurants in the Cedar Valley. We went yesterday and was very disappointed. Now the food was VERY good. The disappointment was manger and employees not wearing masks. Cedar Falls has a mask mandate but...management decided it would be all the employees choice. We had a choice also and could’ve left. My wife wanted to but we decided to stay as it wasn’t busy. When we received our salad I was surprised they didn’t offer the special pepper they would grind on the salad. The waitress’s response was we can’t do this because of Covid. I thought about this for a short moment. They can’t grind pepper on your salad but the waitress can breathe on you and spread whatever it is that she may have. Next time we go out I will make sure I go to a restaurant that follows the mandate, that’s put into place to protect it citizensMore

Date of visit: April 2021
Helpful?2  
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Reviewed April 13, 2021

Food is good but management and staff(except for one person) disregarded pandemic health protocols with no masks. When we asked waiter he claimed they were 'following CDC guidelines' The Iowa governors' guidelines are not CDC guidelines. This contempt is as much a disrespect for customers...as a health issue.More

Date of visit: April 2021
Helpful?2  
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Reviewed July 3, 2020 via mobile

Hands down the best Italian restaurant in the area. The food is delicious. I’ve had lasagna, manicotti, pizza, prime rib and spaghetti and all very flavorful. My new favorite is the vegetarian lasagna. And the service is AMAZING every time I go there. Highly recommend!

Date of visit: March 2020
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Reviewed February 27, 2020 via mobile

We had a wonderful waitress and she was very attentive. Our food was absolutely delicious! The chicken marsala and twice baked potatoes word out of this world!

Date of visit: February 2020
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Reviewed December 24, 2019 via mobile

Excellent food and service. Good wine list. Seafood lasagna, garlic pasta with shrimp and pasta with mushrooms and prosciutto were all delicious! Wanted a special dinner with our son and his girlfriend and none of us were disappointed. Will definitely return the next time we...visit.More

Date of visit: December 2019
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Reviewed December 10, 2019 via mobile

Great food great dinning experience. This is a restaurant in a old four story home between the Cedar River and some creeks. Great location year round with lost of windows to see the river and animals. The food is Italian based with most dishes being...baked. The pizza is always great and there is a full bar. The wine menu is always good. Service is normally good. Parking in the upper lot is limited but there is plenty of parking in the lower lot. For a full Italian restaurant this is the best in Cedar Falls/Waterloo.More

Date of visit: November 2019
Helpful?1  
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Reviewed November 22, 2019 via mobile

I haven't eaten at The Brown Bottle for over 35 years. On a recent visit to Cedar Falls I had the opportunity to once again visit my favorite restaurant in the city. The food was as wonderful as I remembered with the lasagna being the...main star, as always. The decor had been updated but the restaurant was still the same wonderful experience as I recalled.More

Date of visit: November 2019
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Reviewed November 11, 2019 via mobile

We were in town from St Louis, it had been years since we'd been to Brown Bottle. I knew exactly what I was going to order at the first mention of going. Lasagna!! And Brown Bottle exceeded my memory! Their lasagna is perfection of meat...sauce, cheese and pasta, all hot and golden brown served in a large serving. I'm still thinking about my meal there. The restaurant has been nicely updated. Our server was nicely attentive. Highly recommend a visit when in Cedar Falls!!More

Date of visit: November 2019
Helpful?2  
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
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Questions & Answers
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Abbey W
October 12, 2017|
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Response from linda1930 | Reviewed this property |
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Tiffany B
January 16, 2015|
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Response from melissammb | Property representative |
Hi there - Looks like you may have accidentally posted your question on the wrong site. The Brown Bottle is located in Cedar Falls, IA and is not associated with any resorts. But your trip sounds lovely - good luck and have... More
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Frequently Asked Questions about The Brown Bottle

Yes, The Brown Bottle offers takeout services.

The Brown Bottle is rated accordingly in the following categories by Tripadvisor travelers:
  • Food: 4
  • Service: 4.5
  • Value: 4
  • Atmosphere: 4