Cafe Felix is a great place to go for a drink and for people watching when you just want to have a lazy summer evening. The sidewalk tables offer lovely outdoor seating and there is a good drink list and decent appetizers for small snacks as well. However, service can be very slow so don't go if you are in a hurry!
Vogel's is located downtown and has the feel of a true local fixture. Their service is always very speedy and friendly and their rates are quite affordable.
Noah's Ark may not be world class, but the atmosphere is cozy and the food is good. Service is also friendly. My favorite entree is the fettuccine alfredo.
My parents took my husband and I to this place while we were visiting for the 4th of July last summer. The atmosphere is very casual and laid-back, the food was good (including the margaritas), and service was fast and friendly. Definitely a recommended stop for Mexican food in the area!
This is a favorite place to visit for Mexican food for the denizens of Grinnell College. The menu is fairly standard for small, non-chain Mexican restaurants (I think there must be a template somewhere), but the sauces are good, service is very friendly, and it's the best Mexican in the area.
This place has some great sales. I got my wedding dress here on the sale rack and saved hundreds of dollars. This is a bit hit or miss of course, depending on whether you find something you like and something that fits on the sale rack. They also have occasional sale events. I needed some minor alterations done on my dress and these were done in a timely and professional manner.
As a vegetarian, Cafe Phoenix is a favorite stop with several options. Highly recommended is the Vegetable Wellington -- a house specialty. Atmosphere is casual.
Don't be fooled by the foul smells blowing out of the vent and onto the sidewalk from this place. Once you are inside the atmosphere is cozy and homey, service is friendly, and the food is good. My favorite part is the bread served in a flower pot!
Saints Rest is a great place to study, meet a friend, or catch a show of local talent. I am a wimp, but I find the coffee pretty strong so approach with care. The atmosphere is cozy -- a great place to escape cold Iowa winters.
This is one of Grinnell's more upscale dining establishments. As a college student, this is a place to visit for parents' weekend. The bar off to the side also makes a good meeting place on weekend evenings.