We may have only spent a little over 24 hours in Mason City, but we discovered that it’s easy to treat yourself in this Iowa town. Our time allowed for three square meals, as well as a little sweet treat. Exploring walkable downtowns is always an adventure and is sure to build up our appetites. Let’s see what we discovered in this Midwest destination.
We want to thank Visit Mason City and the local businesses for hosting our visit. Rest assured that all opinions are our own.
I cannot remember the last day that didn’t start for us with some delicious coffee. It’s the go-go juice that gets us rolling for a day of exploring. Mason city has some unique choices, so we struggled with having to select just one. Just a couple of blocks from our hotel, we discovered Three on the Tree Coffee & Café. Located on a corner, this woman-owned eatery offers a relaxed setting for some serious sipping. Most mornings, the coffee would be enough to carry us until midday. Of course, the desire to explore the menu had us sampling a little of their edible menu items. A variety of scones were too tempting to pass up, and we added one to our table. Their Biker Bars are a sweet snack packed with nuts and fruit. We even sampled a couple of their egg balls that reminded us of mini-quiches.
Our lunches are usually a protein-packed outing that fuels the back half of our day. State Street Deli was a perfect fit for this approach. Offering a selection of hot or cold sammies makes this a good stop for a quick meal. Our early arrival ensured fast service, but even when the lunch rush arrived, the line still moved quickly. Crystal enjoyed her smoked turkey sandwich, although I think she was just a little jealous of my pastrami on rye. As you can see from the photo, they don’t skimp on the ingredients, so you can treat yourself to a filling meal for a fair price. Our bellies were happily stuffed by the time we finished our meal.
With a half-dozen Iowa cities under our belt, we have found some amazing meals all across the state. Mason City was beginning to rival some of the stops we made in Des Moines, and we were just now heading to dinner. Just around the corner from our lodging, we found our evening destination. The Quarry Restaurant is a popular upscale destination for distinct dishes. After scanning their robust menu, we decided on a couple of colorful plates. My choice of the Jambalaya Penne Pasta brought the flavors of Louisiana to the dinner table. Crystal went more traditional with the Filet and a side of Brussel Sprouts. A pair of flavorful salads added some more pops of color to our space.
As we continue to refine our visits, we have learned to look for historical anchors to add to our itinerary. While visiting with some of the locals, we were clued in about an ages old ice cream stop just a couple of blocks from where we were staying. Birdsall’s Ice Cream has been serving up a variety of creamy flavors since 1931. Even though the ice creamery has changed hands a few times over the decades, it is still ran with customer satisfaction being paramount. We found ourselves facing a long line of locals, who were more than happy to suggest their favorite flavors to us. This certainly added a sweet treat to our Mason City visit.