Fairfield – off the beaten path, but worth every bite!
By Visit Fairfield | August 8, 2022
Fairfield, Iowa refuses to be categorized. It's simultaneously both exciting and relaxing, with its serene landscapes that span from cornfields on the edge of town, to a delightful new age vibe that permeates this historic town.
Nestled in the rolling hills of southern Iowa, this town of 10,000 might be an out of the way drive. But it’s “home” to over 300 artists and musicians, a performing arts center, abundant outdoor space, and Maharishi International University. Fairfield has become a virtual melting pot of culture and creativity that has left an indelible mark on the community, especially the local food scene.
Foodies can choose from Indian, Thai, or Turkish food, Ethiopian, organic and vegan food, and so much more. With plenty of drool-worthy eateries, the town has earned the nickname of “Southeast Iowa’s foodie hub”.
But there’s something you should know; Fairfield’s food scene doesn’t get fancy. It gets comfortable! Comfort food reigns supreme here, even in the international, vegan, and organic eateries. We’re talking ooey-gooey, carby comfort food that makes you sigh with satisfaction!
And if you believe that a burger should be celebrated then you need to experience the farm to table burgers from Fishback & Stephenson’s Cider House. Not only have their burgers earned the title “Best in Iowa”, their ciders are top-notch, winning numerous awards, including top Iowa Cider Producer of the Year two years in a row. Their majestic taproom, built from local timber, serves up local favorite ciders like First Crush and is the best place in town to view Iowan sunsets.
Bountiful Bakery is a “must stop” at the start of any day. Be sure to get your camera out because these bakery treats are simply Instagram-worthy. Cheese and fruit filled pastries, flaky croissants, and gluten free cupcakes are baked fresh every day. But on the weekends their signature cruffins come out to play. Filled with a variety of designer creams like Earl Grey Caramel & Lavender, these works of art demand plenty of napkins!
Speaking of comfort food AND shopping, SOMM Wines is a destination in and of itself. Las Vegas transplant and Sommelier, Krista Matthes, has built a Midwest wine oasis and offers expert, customized wine experiences, attracting people from all over the Midwest. The comfy patio is open for sampling a new favorite vino paired with a “Best in the Midwest” charcuterie, which includes local breads, cheeses and herb infused oils.
Small town living has its perks--one of which is the charm exuded by the local shops and boutiques. The shopkeepers in Fairfield, Iowa take the time to get to know their customers, and shops like Adela’s, a local gift and décor boutique, provides a personal touch that you just don’t find in larger cities. Owner Kara Waugh, a Fairfield native who returned after living in the city, prefers doing business in a town where your customers become your friends. Adela’s iconic red door is the gateway to a gift selection that’s as eclectic as the community. Contemporary, Farmhouse and traditional décor items, jewelry, and gifts live in harmony here, just waiting to go home with you.
While small towns are typically known for being sleepy and boring, Fairfield Iowa is going to surprise you. From weekend getaways to a day trip escape, this eclectic hot spot is definitely a trip you’ll want to take a bite out of. With plenty of eateries, super cute shops, local music venues, and the great outdoors all within 6.5 miles, what are you waiting for? Isn’t it time you got off the beaten path?