Have you visited the oldest restaurant in Iowa?


The next time you’re in the Dubuque area, you might want to take a little detour through Balltown, Iowa. The small town is home to the oldest restaurant in the whole state!

Breitbach country dinner has been around for a long time. A REALLY A long time. The iconic restaurant, located at 563 Balltown Rd near Sherrill, opened in the 1850s. According to the official website:

“Opened in 1852 by federal permit issued by President Millard Fillmore, Breitbach’s is Iowa’s oldest food and beverage establishment. Jacob Breitbach, great-great-grandfather of the current owner, bought the business in 1862, and through six generations the Breitbach family has been in ownership ever since. “

Unfortunately, the original building in which Breitbach’s operated was totally destroyed in 2007 following a gas explosion and fire. They rebuilt the restaurant in the same location and reopened in 2008, but ANOTHER fire was destroyed again only 10 months later. The restaurant that stands today opened in 2009.

Despite these major setbacks, Breitbach’s has never stopped serving food! The website says they were operating from a small apartment building across the street during construction times. Some of the popular dishes on the menu include pork tenderloin, roast chicken, breaded fish and shrimp, and pie. They also offer lunch and dinner buffets on weekends.

The Wikipedia Breitbach’s page says the restaurant was featured on Food Network season five Asphalt’s Feast 2: The River Run and in the Documentary 2012 Spinning plates. It is not only the oldest restaurant in Iowa, but also one of the oldest in all of the United States!

If you are planning a visit to Breitbach’s Country Dining, you must plan a weekend. The restaurant is not open during the week, except Thursday noon from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. You can spend Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Consult the official website for more information HERE.

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