Leaf Kitchen is a delightful little chef-owned restaurant on the south side of Iowa City on South Gilbert Street. It is a riot of both bright colors and wonderful flavor and features a surprisingly large breakfast and lunch menu for such a small place. It is also homey without being too hippy or scary. The setup is classic short-order cook style, with the stove right behind the counter but what comes off that stove is not short-order. In addition to the lunches and breakfast meals, Leaf offers a large number of different teas, coffees, and fruit drinks, and even alcoholic beverages to go along with each plate.
To help supplement the drink menu, Leaf Kitchen has a commercial-grade espresso machine. One feature that Leaf Kitchen offers is a classic afternoon tea. What other Iowa restaurants offer an afternoon tea or even a “high tea” on special events? OK, well a few, but one difference that Leaf Kitchen offers over some of the traditional “tea” joints that I’m familiar with (I have to admit that I usually don’t frequent places focusing on tea) is a real depth to the menu, both in the variety and complexity of the food.
Although the place was fairly busy, the service is quick and the kitchen just hums along. I tried the Ricotta Pancakes with Mixed Berry Sauce and Sour Cream ($7.50). It was a nice change of pace from the ordinary pancakes you usuall find. Our party also tried the Moroccan eggs with pita and hummus ($8.50) and the quiche of the day ($8.5). I tried a sample of the quiche and it was very good. The breakfast menu also includes breakfast crepes, granola, eggs benedict, cinnamon raisin french toast, and a cornocopia of side dishes, taost, rolls, potatoes, bacon and sausage. Others in our party have been to Leaf Kitchen many times for lunch and tell me that it is a great place to sit down for a great meal or even a tea.
301 Kirkwood Ave
Iowa City, IA 52240
Breakfast: Mon – Fri 8 am – 11 am
Lunch: Mon – Fri 11 am – 2 pm
Brunch: Sat – Sun 8 am – 2pm
Afternoon Tea: Mon – Sun After 2pm