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IowaCooking Vacations, Foodie Tours, Culinary Getaways

Iowans consider their state the "breadbasket of the world," and the cuisine reflects this. Get ready for pork chops and pork BBQ, corn-on-the-cob, casseroles, and more just-plain-good Midwestern cooking than you can possibly eat in a lifetime. Most rural towns have a fast-food restaurant or two if you're in a hurry, but the best places are the ones which take a little more time, possibly giving you a chance to chat with friendly locals over a pie or coffee. Early morning in a rural diner might find you in the company of a bunch of farmers! Towns with strong ethnic identities often have restaurants devoted to a particular country's cuisine. There are vineyards scattered throughout the state, each producing their own wines, and the products of local craft breweries can be found throughout the state.

Ask Us About Special Unpublished Prices!
Depending on the season, some of the tours below might have sale prices too low to publish!

— Iowa Cooking Schools —

Ador Kitchens & Baths
Urbandale 515-331-3377
Ador offers monthly Culinary Arts Classes in their state-of-the art Culinary Center.  Each class features a unique theme along with useful culinary tips and techniques.  Cost of the class is $55 per person and includes appetizers, three entrees, beverage (including wine and beer), and take-home recipe booklet.  Call today for more information.
Becky's Mindful Kitchen & Cooking School
Solon 319-325-3464 website »
Escape to a countryside oasis at Becky’s Mindful Kitchen & Cooking School, where processed foods are trumped by real foods and traditional preparations. Becky sources all of her produce, meats and dairy from local farmers who share her philosophy of traditional grass farming practices, respect of animals and the environment.
Country Club Market
Clive 515-987-5957
Country Club Market offers both demonstration and hands-on classes designed to enhance your culinary skills by providing you with new techniques, as well as innovative recipes. All classes start promptly at 6 p.m. and cost $35, unless otherwise noted.
Gateway Market
Des Moines 515-243-1754
Gateway Market is a gathering place for the community. Our cooking classes, tastings, book signings and other events are part of the Gateway Market experience. Chatting with famous cookbook authors can make for a great memory and learning new cooking techniques is a fun family or friend activity.
The Cottage Bakery & Café
Iowa City 319-358-5533
We made it through a year of being displaced and cramped, and now we're in a big, beautiful new space. Be sure to stay tuned because our new location will mean many new things, including a variety of cooking classes offered by one of the Cottage’s fine chefs.

Taste What's Happening!

Watermelon Days

7/17/2015 - 7/19/2015
A July event where free watermelon is offered along with entertainment, tractor pull, dance and much more!

BBQ'Loo and Blues Too!

7/17/2015 - 7/19/2015
Come join us for great food, great music, and great fun in Lincoln Park in downtown Waterloo.

Watermelon Day

Since 1958, parade, carnival rides and games, ball games, free entertainment, and all the free watermelon you can eat!

Elkader Sweet Corn Days

7/23/2015 - 7/26/2015
Ice Cream Social, Golf & Softball Tournaments, Donut Hole Eating Contest, Parade, Car Cruise, Live Music, and Free Sweet Corn!

Up In Smoke BBQ Bash

Mason City
7/24/2015 - 7/25/2015
Great BBQ, big crowds, live music, cooking demonstrations, grilling and barbecuing tips, samples, really great energy, and fun!

Sweet Corn Serenade

Fresh cooked sweet corn meal, pie and ice cream, food vendors, crafters and live music.

Estherville Sweet Corn Days

7/30/2015 - 8/2/2015
Free sweet corn, Run for the Cob, car show, parade, inflatables, duck derby on the Des Moines River, fireworks, street dances and much more.

Iowa Irish Fest

7/31/2015 - 8/2/2015
Iowa's only large-scale Celtic festival with three stages of music and entertainment. Celtic gifts, food and highland games.

Annual Operation T-Bone

7/31/2015 - 8/2/2015
Celebrating the area's livestock industry, this event includes a parade, fun run, steak sandwich feed, tractor show & shine, and chili cook-off.

Lynch Livestock Pig Stampede

7/31/2015 - 8/2/2015
Come join our family orientated riverside park setting for one of the best contests ever, now even bigger!

Annual Lisbon Sauerkraut Days

8/13/2015 - 8/15/2015
Sauerkraut King and Queen, parade, street dances, golf and softball tournaments, cabbage weigh-off and more!

Iowa State Fair

Des Moines
8/13/2015 - 8/23/2015
One of the oldest agricultural & industrial expositions in the US - inspiration for the novel “State Fair”, 3 motion pictures, & Broadway musical.

West Point Sweet Corn Festival

West Point
8/13/2015 - 8/16/2015
Iowa's largest Sweet Corn Festival. All you can eat sweet corn, free entertainment, midway and more.

Festival of Iowa Beers

Sample some of Iowa's best brews at Millstream Brewing. Craft breweries and Iowa home brew clubs assemble for this unique tasting event.

World Food & Music Festival

Des Moines
9/18/2015 - 9/20/2015
More than 40 Cultural Cafes Featuring.  Cuisine from Around the World. Live Entertainment  –  Cooking Demonstrations.

Tri-City BBQ Fest

9/18/2015 - 9/19/2015
The festival pits three nearby metros in a battle for the best barbeque and bands,

Annual Chili & Salsa Cook-Off

Sioux City
Participants will compete for over $2,000 in cash prizes and top honors in the Chili or Salsa Division.

WQPT Brew Ha Ha

Sample hundreds of brews from Europe. Also features live comedy, music, food, and learn about ales, lagers, porters, and pilsners.


Try your hand at stirring the copper kettle of apple butter and take your turn cranking the cider press

World Series of Barbecue

10/1/2015 - 10/4/2015
Enjoy the best-of-the-best BBQ and support The American Royal Association’s tradition and dedication to supporting youth and education.
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