Iowa City’s Bluebird Diner – updated review

I’ve eaten at Iowa City’s Bluebird Diner several times since it opened in 2008. It is a very straightforward eatery just a few blocks east of the Iowa City bar and restaurant scene at 330 E Market Street. It is usually fairly busy on any weekend with a fame or some other event going on where alumni are prowling around looking for real food. Generally speaking, Bluebird offers up straightforward food with a little extra twist.
Bluebird dining room

Breakfast. I have had a couple of breakfasts at Bluebird lately. One question we always have is whether to go to Lou Henri or the Bluebird. The Hamburg Inn is usually left out of the conversation for some reason. It is sort of a toss-up. I think that the coffee at Bluebird may be better on average. It is hard to tell who makes better pancakes, since a pancake is usually a pancake. The same is true with omelets. As long as the ingredients are fresh and the cook competently prepares the dish then it ought to be good. It is clear that Bluebird has more of a small-town diner feel than Lou Henri which is ever so slightly more upcale, but truth be told there are not that many differences. Lets get to the food.


Bluebird Belgian Waffle $5.75

Cinnamon Roll French Toast $5.50

Cinnamon Roll French Toast $5.50

The only disappointment was the Cinnamon Roll French Toast. It seems that it was made of the previous day’s roll and was dry — too dry to make a good french toast.

Lunch. The lunch offerings tend toward the burger and sandwich fare but like a lot of diners there is something to please just about anybody. I had the Krakatoa, which was a massive burger with cheese, bacon, and an olive on a spear. It was one of the better burgers I’ve had. In fact, Big City Burgers in Des Moines ought to try to duplicate the heft of this burger. Prices are commensurate with the larger size of the offerings. The Classic Reuben was just as it should be and the soup of the day was declared to be great. This is not a cheap place to eat. Service was diligent and competent.

Bluebird Krakatoa

Bluebird Classic Reuben

330 E Market St.
Iowa City, IA

Bluebird Diner on Urbanspoon


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