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Motley Cow Cafe

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160 N Linn St, Iowa City, IA 52245-2140
+1 319-688-9177
09:30 - 14:00
Open now
See all hours
Sun 09:30 - 14:00
Mon - Fri 11:30 - 14:30
Mon - Sat 17:00 - 22:00
More Info
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78 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

Traveller rating
Traveller type
Time of year
Showing 78: English reviews
Ames, Iowa
Level Contributor
16 reviews
10 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 13 February 2017

The small number of menu offerings was justified by an attempt to buy locally, a worthy principle that must be hard to implement in early-February Iowa. The atmosphere is basic (concrete floor, exposed utilities, plain wood tables. However,a very friendly and helpful waitress couldn't compensate for the overpriced and poorly prepared meals. We ordered two specials: baked mussels and kabocha... More 

Thank Mike B
Council Bluffs, Iowa
Level Contributor
106 reviews
65 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 January 2017 via mobile

Loved the choices on the menu, very unique and great choices for a variety of palettes. The pizza was great, the duck liver was a great experience. Full service bar with great wine choices.

Thank dmcnitt
Level Contributor
45 reviews
44 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 October 2016

Once graced with a seat at a table, you'll be expected to know/understand everything on the menu and order promptly. Wait too long, and you may not see your server for quite some time. Perhaps they were trying to tell you something, because the orders tend to arrive incomplete and, of course - you'll have to be patient while the... More 

1 Thank riverhino
Grand Rapids, Michigan
Level Contributor
86 reviews
49 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 July 2016

Visited for dinner while attending the Iowa Writers' Festival. It was recommended by the clerk at Prairie Lights and he was right. We had a lovely glass of wine, and I had the whitefish (they subbed corvina, since the whitefish seemed to be in short supply in Iowa City...I ran into this twice that week). It was excellent. My friend... More 

Thank Hope S
Level Contributor
137 reviews
122 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
Reviewed 15 July 2016 via mobile

This is the second time I have eaten at the Motley Cow. The first time was a business lunch, and we sat outside - so I thought they forgot about us because it took at least 45 minutes to get our food from the time we ordered. The food was good though. Today while traveling thru Iowa City I decided... More 

Thank Brophman
Level Contributor
6 reviews
5 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 June 2016

The Motley Cow Cafe is just a couple of blocks outside of downtown Iowa City, which is great for its low-key, quiet, pleasant decor. You walk in and the walls are a bright, open green with large photographs of textiles lining it. It's immediately welcoming and it really made my girlfriend and I feel right at home. Their waiters are... More 

Thank Justin C
Los Angeles, California
Level Contributor
74 reviews
29 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
Reviewed 25 May 2016

This restaurant has a very seasonal menu and in our party 3 out of 4 of us found our food excellent, the 4th member of the party did not enjoy his meal, but did relish the desert. Service is fast and efficient and it is a very pleasant modern space

Thank dgflys
Fairfield, Iowa
Level Contributor
39 reviews
35 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 April 2016

The Motley Cow is a really cool place to eat. The food is organic and, if not gourmet, at least approaching it. We always left raving about the food, and with good memories of culinary adventures that included learning to love kale from eating there. The decor is not so upscale you'd be afraid to wear your jeans there, but... More 

Thank tekodda
Level Contributor
543 reviews
262 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 147 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 February 2016 via mobile

My wife and I enjoyed a simply fantastic dinner at Motley Cow. We shared the tempura perch and roasted beets small plates. She had a fabulous lake trout entree and I had Beef Bourguignon special. Both were amazing. Nice wine and beer list. Great service. Perfect dinner.

Thank IaTravel
Iowa City, Iowa
Level Contributor
8 reviews
5 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 7 December 2015

Very nice Sunday brunch. A tastey twist on a simple menu. A hidden gem, never crowded. The toast (made at the restaurant) is fabulous.

Thank Sue S

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Restaurant Details

Rating summary
  • Food
  • Value
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Restaurant features
Reservations, Seating, Waitstaff, Serves Alcohol, Full Bar
Good for
Romantic, Local cuisine
Open Hours
09:30 - 14:00
11:30 - 14:30
17:00 - 22:00
11:30 - 14:30
17:00 - 22:00
11:30 - 14:30
17:00 - 22:00
11:30 - 14:30
17:00 - 22:00
11:30 - 14:30
17:00 - 22:00
17:00 - 22:00
Location and Contact Information
  • Address: 160 N Linn St, Iowa City, IA 52245-2140
  • Location: United States  >  Iowa (IA)  >  Iowa City
  • Phone Number: +1 319-688-9177

Questions & Answers

Questions? Get answers from Motley Cow Cafe staff and past visitors.
Posting guidelines
Typical questions asked:
  • Do you have gluten-free options?
  • Is there a dress code?
  • Do you allow dogs on the outdoor patio?