If you are looking for the best restaurants in Johnston, IA, then you are in the right place.
Suburban Johnston, which is situated just north of Des Moines, the state capital of Iowa, offers a wealth of recreational amenities.
The city boasts more than a dozen parks, a top-notch educational system, responsive government, the growth of new businesses, and an exceptional quality of life that is unmatched anywhere in the country.
Johnston, established in 1969, has drawn attention and plaudits from across the nation.
A restaurant tour should be at the top of your to-do list if you are thinking about taking a trip to the beloved city of Johnston, and this article can assist you in choosing some of the most incredible restaurants there.
Below are the top restaurants in Johnston, IA, that is worth visiting.
Best restaurants in Johnston
1. Trostel’s Greenbriar
The first restaurant on this list of best restaurants in Johnston, IA, is Trostel’s Greenbriar. It has made quite a name for itself in the city, taking pride in offering the best dining experiences and services in the metro.
For customers who prefer a more casual eating experience, the restaurant enables an ambient air of ease and simplicity to create a homey atmosphere. But if you’re celebrating a momentous occasion, their white napery and lovely, fragrant flowers on the table form the ideal setting.
You can call ahead for seating at Greenbriar or make reservations. During lunch and supper serving hours, takeout orders are available.
From pizzas, sandwiches, and dinners like chicken marsala and parmesan-crusted chicken breast to their specialty steaks like gunpowder rib eye, slow-roasted prime rib, and baked Havarti shrimp, Greenbriar welcomes you whether you’re in the mood for ceremony or are just having a good time.
Their gluten-free menu is available upon request. Greenbriar also has an outstanding extensive wine selection and signature cocktails.
Trostel’s Greenbriar is open for lunch on Mondays to Fridays from 11:00 am to 2:00 pm and for dinner on Mondays to Thursdays from 4:30 pm to 9:30 pm.
Address: 5810 Merle Hay Road, Johnston, IA 50131, United States. Phone: 515-253-0124.
2. Jethro’s Pork Chop Grill
It’s a well-known fact that it took Jethro’s BBQ’s Pork Chop Grill 21 steps to change history. Due to their outstanding customer service and mouth-watering food, this BBQ restaurant, located in Des Moines, Iowa, has quickly gained “World Fame” in just five short years.
Jethro’s BBQ’s Pork Chop Grill offers patrons a cozy, welcoming environment thanks to its magnificent mahogany décor and huge windows that let in streaks of natural light.
The “half ribs plus two meat,” brisket platter, jalapeño cream corn, stuffed pork chop, snack house mac-a-noodle and cheese, and many other savory goodies are all on the menu.
You can find Jethro’s BBQ’s Pork Chop Grill open on Sundays to Wednesdays from 11:00 am to 9:00 pm and on Thursdays to Saturdays from 11:00 am to 10:00 pm.
Jethro’s Pork Chop Grill is among the best places to eat in Johnston, IA, and is worth adding to your list of best Johnston restaurants.
Address: 5950 Nw 86th Street, Johnston, IA 50301, United States. Phone: 515-421-4848.
3. Texas Roadhouse
Texas Roadhouse is the place to go if you’re searching for a buzzy chain steakhouse serving American cuisine with a Southwestern twist in a Texas-themed setting.
You might find it interesting to know that Texas Roadhouse is renowned for both its delicious food and its good times. The restaurant provides a variety of amenities, including dancers, a jukebox, and courteous servers, all of which make customers enjoy their time there.
Texas Roadhouse is well-known for its convenience. For guests with disabilities, the restaurant has a wheelchair-accessible parking space, a wheelchair-accessible entrance, and a wheelchair-accessible environment. Because of this, the place feels like a second home.
You may savor its extensive menu options, which include delicious ribs, salad, cheese fries, Andy’s steak, peanuts, onion bloom, and fried pickles. They also sell beer and alcoholic beverages like margarita mint shots.
Visit Texas Roadhouse on Mondays to Thursdays from 4:00 pm to 10:00 pm, on Fridays to Saturdays from 11:00 am to 11:00 pm, and on Sundays from 10:30 am to 9:00 pm.
Address: 8744 Northpark Dr, Johnston, IA 50131, United States. Phone: +1 515-251-4597.
4. Pagliai’s Pizza
Another great restaurant that has been a local favorite in Des Moines and Johnston since 1957 is Pagliai’s Pizza. It is a cozy, family-run restaurant that serves pizza, pasta, wine, and beer.
Since 1957, the Pagliai family has provided Iowans with genuine Italian pizza and pasta made with fresh, handcrafted ingredients. Everything is blended to order in their Italian kitchen.
Family-friendly, LGBTQ+-friendly, and a secure location for transgender people, groups, and visitors are all attributes of Pagaliai’s Pizza.
Garlic bread, Plagliai’s bruschetta, tossed salad, and cheese bread are some of their appetizers and salads; lasagne, ravioli, and spaghetti are just a few of the cheese pasta options. To spice up their menu, they also provide a vegetarian alternative and regular midweek specials.
Pagliai’s Pizza is open Tuesdays to Sundays from 4:00 pm to 9:00 pm. The restaurant is closed on Mondays.
Address: 5312 Merle Hay Road, Johnston, IA 50131, United States. Phone: +1 515-253-9800.
5. Cactus Bob’s BBQ Coral
Cactus Bob’s BBQ Coral is another wonderful barbecue establishment if you appreciate delectable BBQ delicacies, and it’s still on this list of best Johnston restaurants.
The restaurant’s crowning achievement is its strip-mall counter-sense operation, which serves local bears in addition to BBQ sandwiches, platters, and house-made sauces.
With its inviting and roomy ambiance, Cactus Bob’s BBQ Coral will ensure that your guests never leave hungry at any event, from small, private weddings to significant social events.
They offer authentic barbecues such as rib tips, BBQ nachos, hickory smoked wings, pig sliders, pork fingers, and chicken fingers. You can also enjoy several hot sauces on the meat if you are in the mood for something fiery hot, and spicy, like pure death hot sauce and tombstone barbecue sauce.
Cactus Bob’s BBQ Coral operates all week for lunch and dinner from 11:00 am to 8:00 pm.
Address: 5955 Merle Hay Road, Johnston, IA, 50131, United States. Phone: +1 515-331-0057.
6. El Mariachi
As Johnston’s top Mexican eatery, El Mariachi stands tall and assured. This family-run establishment was the city’s first Mexican eatery, and it has distinguished itself by bridging generational divides with its excellent meals and unusual cocktails.
The secret to their unwavering success is as easy as serving high-quality, consistently delicious meals.
You can eat in or take out at El Mariachi, and on a busy or leisurely day when you cannot go to the restaurant, you can always rely on their quick delivery services.
Besides its indoor dining area, El Mariachi has ideal outdoor seating for visitors, with giant table patio umbrellas to shield them from the sun.
On the menu are the famous chicken fajitas, chips and salsa, chori pollo, beef tamales, taco de carnitas, and chipotle chicken tacos.
El Mariachi is also a place to gather with your friends and enjoy some of the best margarita drinks, like Jose Cuervo margarita, Don Julio margarita, Patron margarita, and mango margarita.
They operate all through the week from 11:00 am to 10:00 pm, and it is one of the best restaurants in Johnston, IA.
If you are an ardent lover of Mexican food, get ready to visit El Mariachi because you will be in for a treat!
Address: 5825 Merle Hay Road, Johnston, IA 50131, United States. Phone: +1 515-276-3887.
7. Flying Mango
The Flying Mango has you covered whether you’re craving hearty amounts of BBQ or Cajun/Creole cuisine.
With its straightforward, down-home decor, what began as a substructure of uncertainty in 1971 has developed into one of the best restaurants for delectable meals.
It is renowned for its eccentric hot spot and staff members with the ideal amount of cheekiness. They freely confess that they do this to maintain a fun and humorous atmosphere.
The restaurant’s best features include outstanding desserts, Cajun and Caribbean cuisine, a bar, and live music. They also provide excellent services, including a wheelchair-accessible parking space, a wheelchair-accessible front door, wheelchair-accessible chairs, and a wheelchair-accessible bathroom.
Louisiana platter, chicken dip, BBQ pulled pork, braised collard greens, white chocolate bread pudding, duck breast, and jerk pulled pork sandwich are the dishes available at Flying Mango.
The online order menus are uploaded shortly before the dining room opens on each day of service.
Flying Mango is open to visitors on Wednesdays and Thursdays from 5:00 pm to 9:00 pm and on Fridays and Saturdays from 5:00 pm to 9:30 pm. It is closed from Sundays to Tuesdays.
Address: 4345 Hickman Road, Des Moines, IA, 50310, United States. Phone: +1 515-255-4111.
8. Cozy Cafe
Another excellent full-service sit-down restaurant that you can find in the city is Cozy Cafe. It is a vibrant family-run establishment serving breakfast all day long in addition to traditional American diner fare and a few Italian selections.
Additionally, the restaurant provides catering meals for special events and occasions, private dining, banquet dining, and banquet menus.
Cozy Cafe’s highlights include indoor eating, takeout, delivery choices, wheelchair accessibility everywhere, a bar on the premises, free Wi-Fi, and bookings.
Their breakfast served all-day menu comprises eggs, bacon, sausage patties and link, meatballs, pulled pork, and baby back ribs.
Cozy Cafe Johnston operates on Sundays to Saturdays from 7:00 am to 8:00 pm.
This restaurant is also one of the best places to eat in Johnston, IA; feel free to add it to your list of top Johnston restaurants.
Address: 8385 Birchwood Ct, Johnston, IA 50131, United States. Phone: +1 515-270-8000.
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9. Bennigan’s on Merle Hay
In Urbandale, Iowa, Benningan’s On Merle Hay is a restaurant connected to the Holiday Inn & Suites Des Moines NW hotel.
The freshly outfitted and rebuilt restaurant is vibrant, focusing on people and cuisine and making memorable moments for its patrons. They are a favorite in the neighborhood, not just for meals but also as a gathering spot for friends.
The employees at Bennigan’s On Merle Hay are skilled professionals who go above and beyond to render the best service to their customers.
The dine-in option, curbside pickup, and delivery services are available at this chain restaurant serving burgers and other traditional American pub fares.
Some popular cuisines of this restaurant are the Monte Cristo sandwich, onion rings, ultimate buffalo chicken salad, apple pecan salad, half rack of ribs, and broccoli bites. There is also the happy hour drinks menu that proffers a list of numerous alcohols and beers.
It is open to guests from 6:30 am to 10:30 am on Mondays to Sundays for their breakfast hours, lunch and dinner. They operate on Mondays to Saturdays from 11:00 am to 10:00 pm and on Sundays from 11:00 am to 9:00 pm.
Address: 4800 Merle Hay Road, Urbandale, IA, 50322, United States. Phone: +1 515-276-7777.
10. Bandit Burrito
If you are a fan of Mexican food, I suggest you also try out this Mexican delight. As the name implies, Bandit Burrito is a counter-serve Mexican joint renowned for its exquisite burritos with custom toppings, quesadillas, and nachos.
Their payment options include debit cards and NFC mobile payments.
The atmosphere in Bandit Burrito is cozy and casual, and the environment is user-friendly, comfortable, and convenient.
The menu includes salsa, sour cream, nachos, quesadilla, burrito bowl, salad, crispy rice bar, and street tacos.
Opening hours are on Mondays to Wednesdays from 10:30 am to 8:00 pm, Thursdays and Fridays from 6:00 am to 8:00 pm, on Saturdays from 7:00 am to 8:00 pm, and on Sundays from 8:00 am to 8:00 pm.
Address: 5340 Merle Hay Road, Johnston, IA 50131, United States. Phone: +1 515-723-9720.
11. Wasabi Johnston
Since 2011, Wasabi has delighted guests with its sumptuous meals. The institution has never stopped learning, researching, and innovating over the last eleven years.
You can savor delectable dishes, including sushi rolls, California rolls, Brussels sprouts, furious dragon rolls, and sangria, while visiting Wasabi.
Their opening hours are Sundays from noon to 9:00 pm, Mondays to Fridays from 11:00 am to 2:30 pm and 4:00 pm to 9:30 pm, respectively, and Saturdays from noon to 10:30 pm.
Address: 8705 Chambery Blvd, Johnston, IA 50131, United States. Phone: +1 515-252-9998.
12. Mandarin Noodle House
Are you looking for a restaurant where you can enjoy lunch, dinner, and traditional menus with various Chinese and other Asian fares in a relaxed setting? Well, look no further because Mandarin Noodle House is here for you!
This locally owned Chinese restaurant is responsible for modern and traditional Asian dishes prepared according to original recipes.
They serve quick eats, vegetarian alternatives, comfort cuisine, wine, and beer.
Mandarin Noodle House makes an effort to keep a fun and welcoming atmosphere for families.
Among other delicious meals, some of their most well-known specialties are bibimbap, takoyaki, and beef ramen. To provide their clients with the most satisfactory experience, they provide a lunch menu, a dinner menu, and a traditional menu.
The restaurant is closed Mondays but is open to the public on Saturdays and Sundays from 11 am to 8 pm and Tuesdays to Fridays from 11 am to 2 pm and 4 pm to 8 pm, respectively.
Address: 8769 Northpark Dr, Johnston, IA 50131, United States. Phone: +1 515-251-3975.
13. Short E’s BBQ
Short E’s BBQ is another unique barbecue spot you must visit in the city for an outstanding BBQ experience. They aim to provide the best barbecue in the Des Moines metro area, one plate at a time, and to introduce authentic Southern barbecue to the region.
For patrons with little time during lunch, the restaurant’s counter service is quick and effective. Their table service typically begins at 2 pm, and they offer a full bar, happy hour, and evening specials for a more leisurely evening meal.
Along with a full catering menu, they also offer a personalized menu and flexible pricing.
The counter service establishment offers some of the most delicate BBQ meat, such as pulled pork, smoked wings, BBQ nachos, BBQ ranch wrap, and BBQ salad. You can also find baked potatoes, seasoned tater tots, and bacon bomb cheesy corn on their menu list.
Short E’s BBQ operates on Wednesdays from 11 am to1pm, Thursdays and Fridays from 11 am to 2 pm and 4 pm to 9 pm, respectively, and Saturdays from 11 am to 9 pm.
Address: 8805 Chamberry Blvd, Johnston, IA 50131, United States. Phone: +1 515-252-9887.
14. Pancheros Mexican Grill
Johnston offers the best Mexican meals from the best Mexican restaurants, and the best part is that there are so many options! If you genuinely love Mexican food and plan on visiting Johnston for a while, you are in luck.
Pancheros Mexican Grill is another establishment at the forefront of dining at its finest regarding locally made Mexican cuisines. Imagine tasting an entire country in one restaurant and leaving satisfied.
Pancheros offers affordable meals of reliable quality. The atmosphere is bright and clean, the staff members are friendly, and the menu has a lot of tasty options such as tacos, burritos, quesadillas, chips, and more.
Their opening hours are Sundays to Wednesdays from 10:30 am to 11:00 pm and Thursdays to Saturdays from 10:30 am to 12:00 am.
Address: 965 South Riverside Dr, Iowa City, IA 52246, United States. Phone: 319-887-2600.
15. China Cafe
As implied by the name, China Cafe serves authentic Chinese, Vietnamese, and Asian cuisine. Van, the company’s founder, acknowledges that before discovering cooking, he had no interest in anything.
Their five-star meals are the reason for their rapid growth and success.
You may order takeout or eat at China Cafe.
Sesame chicken, egg drop soup, king Pao chicken, egg rolls, pepper steak, and many other dishes are on their menu.
The restaurant is open every Monday to Saturday from 11 am to 9 pm. It is closed on Sundays.
Address: 5969 Merle Hay Road B, Johnston, IA 50131, United States. Phone: +1 515-214-1750.
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Plan a trip to Johnston
If you’ve been hesitant about making a trip to this beautiful city, you can pack your bags and worry no longer because now you have fifteen solid reasons why you should get on the next plane to Johnston!
Whether you are looking for a great get-away spot or your taste buds are just excitingly curious, we invite you to come and see what tourists and food maniacs are raving about.
Discover the fine eating experience that awaits you by visiting the great city of Johnston, Iowa!