Why You Have to Visit Caroline’s Restaurant

This past weekend my family and I visited the All-American Award winning city of Dubuque, Iowa. During our visit we enjoyed fine dining in the heart of the downtown area and discovered Why You Have to Visit Caroline’s Restaurant! 

There aren’t many things in life that I enjoy as much as a good meal and we are a very picky bunch when it comes to eating out. My daughter usually struggles to find something she will agree to not waste and my husband and I have a hard time finding food that is better than what we can make at home.

Although my meal was complimentary in exchange for my honest review, all opinions are my own. Like I said, we are a picky bunch but as always we were excited to try out a new place to eat and Caroline’s Restaurant exceeded my expectations!

We walked to the restaurant since it was only a few blocks from the hotel we were staying in and as soon as we rounded the corner we could smell delicious foods. The downtown area is full of restaurant’s, cafes, and diners so I wasn’t sure where the smell was coming from but after trying the food, I knew it had to be Caroline’s Restaurant.

Caroline's Restaurant

As we walked into the beautifully decorated restaurant we were greeted very warmly by a friendly woman named Fiona who showed us to our seats. As we sat down and glanced at the menus our waitress Sherry greeted us and took our drink order. She then informed us that the story behind the restaurants name was located inside our menu and that we might enjoy reading it, which we did!

The name is a tribute to the Fischer family Matriarch Caroline (Rhomberg) Fischer, one of Iowa’s first business women and the great grandmother of the current owners of Caroline’s Restaurant. She was a hard working widowed mom of 5 kids and led an interesting life. I could have read an entire book about this amazing woman and I am glad Sherry brought that to our attention, it was really nice learning about the history of the restaurant we were in.

Our waitress offered us a sample of Malbec wine explaining that is was best paired with the special of the evening, Prime Rib. I absolutely loved the wine and even though I wasn’t going to order the Prime Rib, I thoroughly enjoyed every last drop.

Caroline's Restaurant

We received our drinks and a warm basket of bread that we drizzled with the best infused olive oil I have ever tasted. We ordered our food, my daughter ordered the Dippin Chicken, my husband and I both had the Porterhouse Steak with a side of Mashed Red Potatoes, and Asparagus.

With our meal we had the choice of soup or salad, he ordered a salad and I chose the soup, Spicy White Bean Chicken Chili. It’s the Chef’s Signature Soup made from scratch with 20 Fresh Ingredients. How do you not give that a try?

Caroline's Restaurant

When the soup arrived, it smelled so good my daughter had to give it a try. We ended up sharing it and trying to figure out what was in it so we could try to recreate it at home. I know it couldn’t possibly live up to the soup served at Caroline’s Restaurant but since we don’t live nearby and can’t pop in anytime we get a craving, we will have to get by somehow!

Our meal arrived quickly and was cooked to perfection. My husband admitted that they could actually cook a steak better than he could at home on the grill. That took a lot for him to say because grilling is his area of expertise but I had to agree because he was right!

Caroline's Restaurant

The steak was exactly how I ordered it and it practically melted in my mouth! My husband devoured his asparagus which is unbelievable because he has never eaten asparagus that I have prepared for him.

My daughter loved the chicken and my husband grabbed a sample of the fries because they smelled so good. He said they were the best fries he has had in years.

Caroline's Restaurant

The bottom line is that the food was delicious, the service was excellent, the atmosphere was perfect for a family dinner, and that is why You Have to Visit Caroline’s Restaurant in Dubuque, Iowa.

The restaurant is located inside Hotel Julien at 200 Main St., Dubuque, Iowa and according to their site you can get their delicious foods delivered right to your room if you are staying at Hotel Julien. Visit their website to find more information by clicking here. 


  1. That soup looks so tasty and that steak is so mouthwatering!

  2. I am a big fan of diners of old as they bring back lots of childhood nostalgia for me! That steak looks absolutely delicious as well as the soup! Your daughter has beautiful blue eyes and glad you were able to enjoy the diner as a family!

  3. The White Bean Chili looks divine. Caroline’s looks like a great restaurant to visit. Steak and mashed potatoes are one of my favorite meals and this looks like it was absolutely delicious. That was so great that you were also able to learn the history of the restaurant too.

  4. Bonnie+@+wemake7 says:

    That is great that both service and food was great. Sometimes it’s hard to find a great experience all around. Sounds like a great place to eat. I will be sure to stop in if I ever make it that way. =)

  5. First off, what a cute picture of your daughter – and a great story of a strong Business Woman back in the day – and that Caroline’s Restaurant is still there – Wish I could go there!

  6. All of your food looks amazing! I love when we find new diners that serve food we love with good service. The restaurant looks very cozy and relaxing to enjoy a meal at while traveling.

  7. That steak looks just how I like it. The chicken and fries that your daughter got is exactly what my daughter would have ordered also. I am usually not a fan of white chili but I have to admit that soup looks and sounds really good. If i am ever in Dubuque, I will make sure to visit Caroline’s.

  8. Your daughter have such beautiful eyes and her smile is so contagious. The food makes me hungry!

  9. michele+d says:

    Caroline’s Restaurant sounds like a wonderful place to eat. That steak looks amazing! That’s the kinda place that my husband would love. Looks heavenly!

  10. You had me at soup. I do love a delicious smelling/tasting soup. Nothing quite hits the spot like it.

  11. This looks like a wonderful restaurant to visit in Iowa. I want a bowl of that White Bean Chicken Chili. It looks amazing!

  12. That sounds delicious, and it’s almost lunchtime here so I wish I lived near Dubuque! Texas is a long, long ways away. I’m glad y’all found a restaurant the whole family could enjoy. My kids are really picky too, and they usually end up eating just the chips or the fries if we go to a restaurant. We have to pack them pj&j’s to eat!

  13. It’s always so much fun to try new restaurants, I’m glad this one turned out to be a winner! The chili and steak both looked great. The steak in particular looked like it has a lovely seared crust (with crunch, it looks like?), and is well-seasoned. A classic combo, all around. It’s awesome to find a place where everyone in the family enjoys the food. Caroline’s Restaurant sounds like a lovely place to check out! (and maybe indulge in a stay-cation by staying at the hotel sometime, and have someone watch your daughter?) 😉


  14. I love the background of this restaurant – being a tribute to the first businesswoman in Iowa. I would have chosen the 20-ingredient soup too; it looks very tasty. The steaks also look well-cooked and juicy. Great review of this restaurant.

  15. Catherine S says:

    What a great review. All the food looks amazing especially your steak. I will keep this place in mind if I am ever in the area.

  16. The Caroline’s Restaurant looks like a great place to eat! If I am ever in Iowa I am going to be sure to check it out! I love to read reviews before taking my family so this is perfect. I am off to pin this to my travel board on Pinterest now!

  17. Hearing that the service was excellent and the food was great, we can’t wait to try it. Those are the most important aspects, in my opinion.

  18. I am a sucker for a good soup! One of my favorites is beer cheese soup, but that spicy bean looks really awesome.

  19. Caroline’s food looks really yummy! I would love to try the soup it really looks good. We are a picky bunch also so I totally understand how hard it can be to dine out when your standards are high.

  20. Maria-Teresa A. says:

    Sounds and clearly looks like a great place to grab some food. The pictures of the grub looks delicious!

  21. Very nice write-up. I definitely love this site. Keep it up!

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