Prairie Canary Restaurant & Bar

4.8
133 Reviews
$30 and under
American
Prairie Canary Restaurant & Bar serves comfort food with local flair in a historic building on Main Street in Grinnell, Iowa. Prairie Canary was opened in September 2012 and is currently owned by Chef, Paul Durr. Located in the city of Grinnell, also known as “The Jewel of the Prairie” and home to Grinnell College, Prairie Canary provides a gathering place where guests can enjoy Midwestern flavors in an inviting, understated atmosphere that speaks to the colors and textures of the Iowa prairie.
Prairie Canary Restaurant & Bar is all about being local. From the name of the restaurant to the dishes on which the food is served, effort was taken to showcase local talent and area producers. Enjoy your meal on hand-thrown plates and bowls. Sit at hand-made hickory tables. Savor farm-fresh produce grown just miles away. Sip on an Iowa wine or pint of beer. We look forward to seeing you!
What 133 people are saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.8based on recent ratings
4.8
food
4.8
service
4.8
ambience
4.8
value
Noise · Moderate
100% of people would recommend it to a friend
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PS
PhilipS
1 review
Dined 5 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience4

An excellent place for great food, wait staff and selection of specials daily. The beer cheese soup was really one of the best! No shortcuts here.

KW
vipKristenW
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on April 6, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Friendly service and yummy food in a welcoming atmosphere. The Brussels sprouts were so delicious. The portions are large. We couldn't finish the sprouts. We could have easily split a large pasta. We'll be back!

R
Rich
Des Moines
2 reviews
Dined on March 27, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Molly was a great server. Was attentive without being pushy. Would love to have her wait on us always.

JN
JeffN
1 review
Dined on March 19, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great Burgers! Very nice place to meet for dinner, quite and excellent food.

SR
SaraR
Des Moines
1 review
Dined on March 13, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Highly recommend, yet another wonderful meal with great service!

AB
AliciaB
Chicago
2 reviews
Dined on February 20, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Delicious food and wonderful service! We will be back soon!

LR
LoganR
1 review
Dined on February 20, 2021
Overall5food5service4ambience5

Very concise but varying menu. Absolutely delicious and fresh ingredients. We ate the generous portion of brussell sprouts like they were candy .Clean interesting decor. A great stop on a trip through downtown Grinnell.

JB
JillB
1 review
Dined on February 14, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Wonderful food, service and atmosphere. The perfect place for a much needed date night!

CL
ColbyL
1 review
Dined on February 14, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great food, service and amazing experience overall for their Valentine special.

B
Brooks
1 review
Dined on February 13, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Delicious and beautiful food along with great service make a perfect combination.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Hawaii
1 review
Dined on December 19, 2020
Overall4food4service4ambience4

The menu needs to be upgraded. Please add more or different entree’s. Things like:

Smoked Turkey Reuben
Soups say Corn Chowder with chicken
Bring back the crab cakes
A good panini with bacon and maybe chicken
Steak medallion plate with pasta in cream sauce
Maybe a cajon pasta with shrimp

R
Rich
Des Moines
3 reviews
Dined on October 10, 2020
Overall4food5service5ambience3

The food was excellent. Our server, Sienna, was terrific. She was knowledgeable about the menu, gave us great service without hovering and had a wonderful sense of humor. Definitely will go back.

EP
ElizabethP
1 review
Dined on October 4, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

One of my favorite restaurants around. The food is always delicious and the service is always fantastic. Can’t wait to go back!

TV
ThomasV
Des Moines
2 reviews
Dined on September 19, 2020
Overall4food4service5ambience4

Thoroughly enjoyed our first visit to Prairie Canary.
The service was excellent and efficient.
My wife had the Almond Salmon with the super food salad and I had the Duck special.
Both were very tasty.
We finished off our meal with a berry cobler and it was a real treat.
We will be back!

KD
KathrynD
1 review
Dined on July 28, 2020
Overall5food5service4ambience5

Great food, wonderful atmosphere. So glad we went.

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
Chicago
2 reviews
Dined on March 11, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Amazing place in little Grinnell, Iowa. We are locals and regulars at Prairie Canary, often a few times a month. We love the staff, especially Alex's attentiveness and sense of humor. This reservation was our last visit before social distancing, but it has not stopped us from enjoying the food at PC! They are doing take out, and were very prompt, respectful and helpful with our order tonight (3/28). We are so pleased that we can still dine "with" them even while at home.

TM
ThomasM
Seattle
1 review
Dined on March 8, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We have visited many times and love the place. It was our first time for brunch and it was excellent as well. (Wish they would add bacon to the menu)

RH
RobertaH
1 review
Dined on February 28, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We really enjoyed Prairie Canary. Our server was wonderful in guiding us through the menu; our reservation was honored early and the food was delicious! Highly recommend.

J
Jamie
1 review
Dined on February 16, 2020
Overall3food2service5ambience5

Mediocre food but great atmosphere. Service was great!

B
vipBluersky
Chicago
7 reviews
Dined on February 15, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

This is a gem of a restaurant in Grinnell. The service is friendly and the food is fantastic. We stop here for a meal p we are in town

S
Simi06
1 review
Dined on February 15, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Extremely nice dining experience both lunch and dinner. Great non standard menu options and excellent specials. Chicken Wellington a few weeks back was awesome. Falafel is very tasty. Every time we go it is an outstanding meal.
Truffle Fries and the Apple Salad are perfection to both myself and my wife.
Only issue I have is what happened to the Risotto Balls?
We love the place and it is very much worth the drive.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Des Moines
1 review
Dined on February 14, 2020
Overall4food4service4ambience4

Our Open Table reservation was missing but we were graciously and quickly seated. Our server/waitress was friendly, efficient, and professional, and our meal was delicious- although the chocolate cake did not have the same “home made” quality as the rest of the meal.

We had a great time and hope to return soon.

MD
MarkD
1 review
Dined on February 7, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great menu and I love the simplistic modern style! A fantastic option for a romantic dinner for two or a gathering place for a group of friends!

DS
DaveS
1 review
Dined on February 5, 2020
Overall4food3service5ambience5

Great specials. Varied Menu. Really good service the night we were in. Super place to have a romantic dinner.

y
vipyummy
Des Moines
9 reviews
Dined on January 26, 2020
Overall4food3service5ambience5

Nice place with open seating and very friendly staff. We had 3 of our 6 orders incorrect and one simply had too much of one seasoning. When they fixed it all the food was good. Enjoyed the lunch.

EH
ElizabethH
1 review
Dined on December 20, 2019
Overall5food4service4ambience5

We had reservations at 6:45 and tickets for a show at 7:30. I arrived a little early (6:37) and let them know that I was in a bit of a rush. They took our orders immediately and offered to bring us the check early. We managed to make y it to our show on time. The food was great--especially the fruit cup which came with the kids meal and the soup that came with our burgers.

F
Frustrated
1 review
Dined on December 7, 2019
Overall1food5service1ambience1

We had 4 adults and 2 children, ages 8 & 11. Of the 6 meals, 4 orders were not correct. My sandwich didn't come with a side. My younger son asked for fruit and got cold fries. My older son got a pizza instead of a cheeseburger. We didn't get our sauces, like ranch or ketchup. When they finally brought the ketchup, it was two small cups for 5 servings of fries. We had a reservation. The restaurant wasn't busy until well after we should have gotten our meals. Our drinks weren't refilled, until we flagged someone down.
We will not be returning.

G
Greear
1 review
Dined on November 23, 2019
Overall2food5service2ambience2

I would have to recommend the restaurant- there are SO FEW others in Grinnell. The food was great - but took way too long to arrive. WAY TOO LONG! Once the food arrived, the Vodka pasta had sausage in it- when my friend and I asked specifically to remove it!
The restaurant has great food - when you eventually get it. And then, they ask you to pay for it!!!! Too little too late!!
Still - Prairie Canary is really the only restaurant in the place!! - in the town.

LG
LaurenG
Omaha
1 review
Dined on November 7, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Always our favorite! Truffle fries, great kids meals and fantastic drinks. Great time for the whole family.

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
San Francisco
26 reviews
Dined on September 5, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Excellent staff. Interesting cocktails. Wide-ranging menu. All good!

E
Elizabeth
1 review
Dined on August 23, 2019
Overall4food4service4ambience5

Ambiance was great. Waitress was good. It did seem slightly rushed compared to what I prefer (maybe this is just me) - meaning we were asked to order drinks, appetizers, main course very quickly. My falafel was not that great, honestly. But the other 5 people in my party had great food. Overall I did really like it. Would definitely go again.

BN
BeccaN
Chicago
3 reviews
Dined on August 22, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We loved it! We all had different things, steak, pasta, a burger, and everything was delicious! The egg roll appetizer was a stand out and my cocktail was also a big hit (cucumber gimlet). We’ll definitely be back the next time we’re in town. Oh, and our server was just lovely! Sadly, she’s headed back to college in NY but hope we have her again sometime.

t
terse
Des Moines
1 review
Dined on July 28, 2019
Overall4food5service5ambience4

I love this restaurant and love eating there to enjoy the great food.

MH
MikeH
1 review
Dined on July 26, 2019
Overall5food5service4ambience4

Great food in small town Iowa—worth the exit of if I-80 or an hour drive to try something different!

Our family (including our 14, 12, and 10 year olds) had a range of meals from pasta entrees to salads to burgers and every dish delivered except one appetizer. Shrimp pasta was flavorful and a good balance of shrimp and noodles, burgers were cooked exactly as ordered and all ingredients were tasty and fresh, salads were fresh mixed greens and none of the dreaded rotting bits so prevalent in salads today, and even the kids meal was a significant cut above. The truffle fries appetizer was amazing—the only feedback being the side of aioli was far too small for the generous healing platter of amazing house cut fries.

The only downside—the spring roll appetizer was not very flavorful and certainly not “repeat” inspiring even for our 12 and 14 yr old boys who rarely see an appetizer they don’t like..

Service was good, ambiance was Midwest bistro but a little noisy.

Not a “value” but well worth the drive and the bill even with our own practice of rounding up which led to a 23% tip....

Will repeat

AH
AmberH
Chicago
3 reviews
Dined on July 17, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Prairie Canary is my favorite restaurant. Their food and service never disappoint. Their burger night can't be beat when it comes to value and quality. They have fun tap-takeover nights where they feature Iowa based breweries, and have a delicious cocktail menu. My favorite menu items are: the kale salad (they have a ton of yummy salads, this is just the one my taste buds like the most!), the tomato feta soup, the fried brussels sprouts, the vodka pasta, and the prairie chicken sandwich. They also have amazing specials daily and you can never go wrong with choosing that option! Definitely a must if you are in Grinnell and looking for a place to grab something to eat!

TR
ToddR
1 review
Dined on July 12, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

An amazing restaurant hidden in the corn fields of Iowa. Worth the trip from anywhere!

JB
JudithB
1 review
Dined on June 27, 2019
Overall3food3service2ambience5

We had a table of 6 & the food did not arrive anywhere near together. Also, Happy Hour should be throughout the entire restaurant.

JK
JimK
Kansas City
4 reviews
Dined on June 22, 2019
Overall4food4service4ambience4

In the middle of rural Iowa stands a restaurant with charm and creativity. We found it on line and traveled some distance to get there, and we weren't disappointed. Both dishes my wife and I enjoyed were a bit on the spicy side, but still quite good.

BJ
BarbaraJ
1 review
Dined on June 16, 2019
Overall3food4service2ambience4

Using open table to make reservations has been problematic. Sometimes, the reservation gets lost!! This time, I had CALLED TO CONFIRM two days before Father's Day, and the person who answered the phone said that my reservation was entered. But when we arrived, the hostess could not find it and had to "fit you in". The service ended up being chaotic.

The food is yummy, and this is one of the few interesting, local places available on Sunday, but I am losing confidence in it as a place for holidays and special occasions.

W
vipWolfsong
Des Moines
10 reviews
Dined on June 2, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Sunday brunch was phenomenal! Will definitely be back and highly recommend! Love Prairie Canary!

FAQs

Prairie Canary Restaurant & Bar is rated 4.8 stars by 133 OpenTable diners.

Yes, you can generally book this restaurant by choosing the date, time and party size on OpenTable. Due to local restrictions, this restaurant may not be accepting reservations at the moment.