Breitbach's Country Dining - Balltown, IA

A few days after Christmas, we decided to get out of the house for a few days. The Mississippi River is always a fun destination for us, so we headed to Dubuque. On a cold and snowy day we thought a little drive would be fun (it wasn't) as we've been wanting to visit Breitbach's Country Dining in Balltown, IA. Breitbach's is Iowa's oldest food and drinking establishment and the Breitbach family has been in continuous ownership of the business since 1862. Twice, in eighteen months, Breitbach's Country Dining was struck by fire and completely destroyed. But the family has persevered and the great food and friendly atmosphere remains.


It was pretty quiet when we walked in the place around 11am, but owner Mike Breitbach was stocking the bar and invited us to sit down and have a drink. So we did. And what a beautiful bar! The decor in this place is amazing. They were still decorated for Christmas and they really go all out.


Even the elk head was dressed up.

After a couple of beverages, we were ready for lunch. The best thing about Breitbach's Country Dining is that everything - really, everything- is made from scratch. Delicious homemade soups, salads, pies, it's all prepared fresh daily.


A full menu is offered for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Dinner entrees include steaks, prime rib, chicken, fresh seafood, and more. There is also a full sandwich menu available. I loved this copper collection on the wall in the dining room.


Breitbach's serves a full buffet for both lunch and dinner. The soup and salad bar is chock full of fresh veggies and tons of salads to choose from.

There was crispy broasted chicken, fried cod, country ham and plenty of side dishes.

Grant went for the buffet and enoyed some homemade chicken rice soup and lots of pickled beets and selections from the salad bar.

He also had some of that wonderful broasted chicken, ham, fried codfish, and of course, he couldn't pass up real mashed potatoes and gravy. Is that MORE pickled beets? Why yes, it is. This buffet is truly homemade goodness.

In October 2012, the Iowa Pork Producers Association selected Breitbach's Country Dining as the winner of the 10th Annual Best Breaded Tenderloin contest. So guess what I ordered? A huge, lightly battered plate of pork happiness. Hot and crispy right out of the fryer, I totally agree on this sandwich winning the tenderloin contest. It was just about perfect.

Balltown, IA, is located along the Great River Road which offers some fantastic views of the Mississippi (even in late December) and the surrounding river valleys. We're already planning a return trip to Breitbach's this fall, when the 'wine shed' is open. The bartender, Jim, told us it's a really good time and judging from the friendly folks and excellent food, we have no reason not to believe we'll have even more fun at Breitbach's next time.

So should you find yourself around Dubuque, IA, don't hesitate to take the short drive to Balltown, IA, and Breitbach's Country Dining. Hometown hospitality and delicious made from scratch food are their specialities - we'll be back!

Breitbach's Country Dining

563 Balltown Rd.
Balltown, IA 52073


Hours, events, menus and more information at