Find after-work appetizers at Raccoon River

Find after-work appetizers at Raccoon River

When looking for a spot to enjoy an after-work beverage and some appetizers, there are plenty of options downtown. One solid member of this particular scene is Raccoon River Brewing Company, which elevates the standard beer and plate of nachos to a more upscale experience.

The restaurant presents a cozy pub vibe, with dark wooden tables and a long bar. Candles on the tables add a sense of intimacy. The large beer-filled vats visible behind glass remind diners they’re in an actual brewery.

When I visited on a recent Friday after work, the bar was crowded but plenty of tables were available. My friend and I sampled one of Raccoon River’s brews: Tallgrass Light, a pale golden beer with a mild, slightly sweet flavor.

Along with our beer, we tried two items from the starters menu: hot artichoke and asiago cheese dip, and the skillet nachos. The nachos ($9.49) arrived on a plate instead of a skillet. While most nachos are covered in cheese and toppings, Raccoon River’s nachos featured chips on a plate plus a bowl of chili-style dip. We could have used more of the multicolored chips, but the warm dip was nice on a cold day. It included traditional chili ingredients like ground beef and beans and was topped with cheese, sour cream and green onions.

The artichoke and asiago cheese dip ($8.99) came accompanied with slices of garlic beer bread dusted with parmesan cheese, plus some celery and carrot sticks. The hearty brown bread paired nicely with the rich and creamy dip. Tangy and cheesy, it was my favorite of the two dishes.

Raccoon River offers a variety of other starter options, such as calamari, hot wings, vegetarian dumplings and onion rings. The rest of the menu includes burgers, salads, pizzas and entrees that run the gamut from bangers and mash to a bourbon-glazed New York strip steak.

The rewards club is free to join, and includes perks such as a free upgrade from a 16-ounce house beer to a 20-ounce specialty glass, and Monday through Thursday after 4 p.m., if you’re feeling particularly hungry, it will get you a free app or dessert with purchase of an entree $12.99 or more.

Visitors should also check out the upstairs pool hall, where tables are often available to rent by the hour. Overall, Raccoon River offers a nice environment to kick back and enjoy some food and conversation.

Raccoon River Brewing Company

Find it: 200 10th St.

Hours: bar hours 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 11 a.m.-2 a.m. Friday and Saturday; dining hours 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 11 a.m.-1 a.m. Friday and Saturday (limited menu after 11 p.m.)

Info: 515-362-5222,

About the Author

Laura is contributor to Juice Magazine.

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