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5 Places to See Live Music in Iowa

Whether it’s blues, country or classic rock, there’s nothing better than enjoying a bite and a beverage with live music to amplify the atmosphere. Don’t miss out on your chance to enhance your evening with live music in Iowa.

Before summer ends, make sure to check out some of Iowa’s most charming and chic live music establishments. Here are our top five picks to love this summer and beyond:

Vue Rooftop

Iowa City

Live music meets striking views of the Iowa City skyline at Vue Rooftop, a restaurant and bar located on the 12th floor of the Hilton Garden Inn. The rooftop offers cozy yet contemporary indoor and outdoor seating, alongside a modern menu and locally inspired cocktails. Stop in for happy hour and stay for the show; both Vue Rooftop’s drink menu and performance schedule are constantly changing. Some current bar features include the Sunset Sangria, the Golden Hour Margarita and the Adult Root Beer Float. It doesn’t end there; in the same way the spotlighted artists are local, so is the cuisine. Explore Iowa-inspired dishes like the Iowa City Caesar, or the oven-baked brie accompanied by apricot chutney and crostini. To check out all of the menus and the upcoming setlist, visit www.vuerooftop-ic.com.

Yardarm Bar & Grill

Dubuque

Romantic Mississippi River views from the waterfront deck pair perfectly with the music lineup and flavorful food list, making it a top spot for live music in Iowa. Yardarm Bar & Grill is the perfect weekend destination; live music begins on Friday and lasts through Saturday night, with many Thursday nights and Sunday afternoons also scheduled for the summer. Catch a sunset and a show at the tiki bar, where classic cocktails include the Mississippi Mai Thai, the Mermaid Lemonade and the Watermelon Margarita. But don’t forget to sample the dinner selection. The menu highlights everything from Pretzel Buoys with beer cheese to Boom Boom Shrimp Wraps with a spicy twist. The locally owned Yardarm Bar & Grill is a sublime retreat, creating truly unforgettable experiences from start to finish. Set the scene with sparkling waterfront dining, take an intermission to enjoy a drink while overlooking an impressive 30 miles of stunning countryside sights and conclude your evening with inspiring Iowa live music. To check out everything that Yardarm Bar & Grill has to offer, visit dubuquemarina.com/about-yardarm.

Pura Social Club

Pura Social Club

Des Moines

A celebrated hub for local entertainment, and a recent addition to the downtown scene, Pura Social Club has been cited as the best “Up and Coming New Cocktail and Tapa Bar” in Des Moines. Pura Social Club brings the community together with themed music nights like Blues Thursdays, Retro Fridays and dueling piano events over the weekend. The tapas-style menu presents guests with simplicity and flair. Some original dishes include shrimp and shitake lollipops, chicken and waffle tacos and curried calamari. You also can’t go wrong with trying out one of the signature salads, festive flatbreads or premium pasta dishes. For an added kick, make sure to order the mojito, a local favorite at Pura Social Club. For more information and a look at the weekly live music schedule, check out www.purasocialclub.com.

Trumpet Blossom Cafe

Iowa City

Make sure to check out Trumpet Blossom Cafe, known for its locally sourced ingredients and emphasis on cruelty-free dining. Every weekend, Trumpet Blossom Cafe spotlights a different music artist, whether it’s a folksy vibe or a prod-punk phenom, this cafe is far more than what its soothing name suggests, offering some stellar live music in Iowa. Fresh from the bar, the cocktails are energizing and enlightening, even without the addition of alcohol. The “bar” menu features a variety of lush lattes, fresh-squeezed juices and silky smoothies. Additionally, at Trumpet Blossom Cafe, the plant-based menu provides guests with a variety of vegan dishes including mango-habanero seitan wings, hearts of palm crab cakes, as well as a never-before-seen meatless Rueben topped with a plethora of delicious toppings. For a closer look at the menus and a blurb of all of the upcoming live music events, visit www.trumpetblossom.com.

Gypsy Highway

Davenport

Featuring both indoor and outdoor stages, Gypsy Highway offers a full food and beverage menu to appreciate alongside an ever-changing lineup of live music, consisting of current genres, as well as keeping the classics alive. But, what’s a show without dinner? Gypsy Highway offers a fabulous fusion of Thai and American food. The menu presents a variety of opening acts, including appetizers like pot stickers and shrimp in a blanket. However, you can’t overlook the headliners: a variety of delectable burgers, scrumptious sandwiches and classic Thai cuisine. And it doesn’t end there as Gypsy Highway also serves up 12 beers on tap and a collection of mixed drinks, including favorites like Long Island iced teas, Lemon Drop martinis and Moscow mules. Make sure to ask about the venue’s famous mason jar punch, if you’re up for a challenge! To take a peek at the entire menu and the upcoming live music lineup, visit
www.thegypsyhighway.com.

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