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Niland's Cafe - Colo

Advertised as "Great Food With a Side of History," we decided to take a little road trip and have lunch at Niland's Cafe in Colo. Located at 24 Lincoln Highway in Colo, Niland's Cafe is part of the historic Reed-Niland Restoration at the crossroads of the Lincoln and Jefferson Highways.

The historic complex includes a restored gas station, a self-guided walking tour, and the restaurant itself has some great museum quality displays.

The six-unit Colo Motel is also part of the complex. If you're a Lincoln Highway buff, or just a history junkie in general, this place is definitely worth a visit.

The cafe was originally restored and opened in 2003. It did close for awhile, but reopened under new management in July 2011 and serves classic road food for locals and travelers.

Be sure to take some time to look at all of the cool memorabilia on the walls.

And you can't miss the 1939 Cadillac (well, part of it anyway) in the corner.

But what about the food?! Niland's Cafe serves up daily specials Monday through Friday - great homemade stuff like meatloaf, lasagna, and taco salads. They also feature some signature items like the German Dip, Reubens with homemade thousand island dressing, the Olive Burger, and also a few salads and various sandwiches. The sides are homemade, and there's usually a great selection of pies and cakes, too. They also have brunch on Sunday mornings.

Grant decided on a Reuben and a cup of the homemade Ham and Bean Soup, which was served on historic Niland's menus. He really enjoyed the Reuben and said the soup was obviously homemade and really flavorful.

I decided on a Club Sandwich with a side of homemade potato salad. The sandwich was packed with meat and bacon, and the potato salad was creamy and delicious.

Of course, Grant couldn't pass up a chance for some homemade pie. He ordered up a slice of peanut butter pie - with a chocolate crust and sprinkles, it was so rich, almost cheesecake-like in texture. Definitely tasty.

Our server, Lisa, was a great source of information on the cafe. She was friendly and efficient, let us know about the specials and some favorites of hers' on the menu. Great service is such a treat.

So, if you're looking for a spot for a little history with your road food, Niland's Cafe in Colo could be just the place. Take the short drive and we know you'll enjoy the food and reading up on a slice of Iowa history. And be sure to have some pie!

Niland's Cafe

24 Lincoln Highway
Colo, IA 50056

641.377.FOOD (3663)


Tuesday - Saturday  6:30am - 8:00pm
Sunday  6:00am - 2:00pm (buffet from 6am - 1pm)
Closed Mondays

Check out their Facebook page here.

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