A New Bohemian’s Guide to New Bohemia

Want to explore more of NewBo and Cedar Rapids while you’re here? Czech this out.

Ben Kaplan
Aug 3, 2018 · 4 min read
We will all be sick of seeing this on instagram so, so soon.

Welcome to NewBo evolve everybody! This weekend promises to be an epic series of concerts, speakers, artists, and more. It is an auspicous and groundbreaking event that cements the 3rd Street Corridor as the cultural heart of Cedar Rapids.

If you’re willing to head a few blocks off 3rd Street Cedar Rapids has some incredible shops, restaurants, and bars that are worth checking out while you’re here. This list is by no means comprehensive, so keep an eye out for other great local places in our resilient little city while you’re here!

I’ve lived in New Bohemia/Oakhill Jackson since 2011 and have watched the neighborhood change. Here are my recommendations for places to grab a cup of coffee, a bite to eat, shop, or grab a drink in New Bohemia and around Downtown that aren’t on the 3rd Street Corridor.

Coffee ☕️ and Food 🍱

A charming light-filled modern cafe with great local art on the walls. Most importantly there menu is expansive, inventive, and universally delicious. And, of course, they make great coffee.

I recommend: The miso cauliflower and the chorizo burger. Make sure to check out the specials!

Super hip new coffee shop in the extremely up-and-coming Kingston Village neighborhood on the westside of the river. They serve great coffee, pastries, and have a full lunch and breakfast sandwich menu. Don’t miss the small plates menu on the counter before you order.

I recommend: A vanilla bean latte and the Don’t Go Bacon My Heart sandwich.

An instant institution once it opened this spring Local Pour serves up incredible cocktails, has a menu based on global street foods, and a shaded patio. What more do you need?

I recommend: The Poutine and the Stick Donut. They also have fishbowl cocktails for sharing. Or not sharing. You do you.

Kolaches, a Czech pastry, are the unofficial pastry of Cedar Rapids. Actually they’re probably the official pastry. I don’t feel like checking. People dress as kolaches for parades! This place makes great kolaches, as well as any other pastry you can possibly desire.

I recommend: The kolaches.

This old shool shop retains the look, feel, and menu it’s had for generations. Come for a briscuit sandwich and fries, stay to czech out (sorry) all the incredible artifacts of Cedar Rapids history lining the walls.

I recommend: BRISCUIT

Shopping 🛍

Cedar Rapids best skate shop also screenprints incredibly cool t-shirts with hyperlocal designs.

I recommend: You buy a badass t-shirt.

This hemp heavy store’s focus is on the benefits of CBD oil and medical marijuana. Come for the hemp soap, stay for the well reasoned and thoughtful discussion on the benefits of medical marijuana.

I recommend: The Iowa Legislature join the 21st century.

Inside this behemoth are an incredible collection of shops, galleries, and the Ceramics Center. A visit to New Bo isn’t complete without exploring the Cherry building.

I recommend: The Ceramic Center Gallery will blow your mind.

Brews 🍺 and Cocktails 🍹

Featuring a lunch and dinner menu where you build your own chicken, burger, or pasta entree, this local haunt is a third shift staple. Speaking of third shift, the breakfast here is top notch and goes great with their Bloody Mary.

I recommend: The bloody mary or a build-your own burger.

Great pizza, great beer, and classic arcade games in an industrial setting.

I recommend: The frickles, and the Chicago Dog Pizza. I’ve never actually had that pizza, and it sounds insane, but YOLO.

No expense was spared in the design for Black Sheep (peep those bathrooms!). Thankfully the food lives up the decor. The drinks will take you over the top. Great food, great cocktails, great atmosphere.

I recommend: Any of their specialty cocktails.

Speaking of cocktails, don’t forget Local Pour, mentioned above.

Okay, I know I just told you all the places off 3rd you have to see, but there’s some great stuff along 3rd Street itself. Make sure that while you’re here you stop by: Mad Modern, Raygun, Caucho, Lion Bridge Taproom and Brewery, Pig and Porter, Rawlicious, Parlor City, Iowa Brewing Company, Black Earth Gallery and Next Page books. And, of course, the NewBo City Market.

This list is by no means comprehensive, nor is it intended to be. Have fun checking our city out! Please don’t tell anyone how great it is so I can continue to afford to live here.

Corridor Urbanism

What’s happening in Iowa’s 380 corridor when it comes to…

Ben Kaplan

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Corridor Urbanism

What’s happening in Iowa’s 380 corridor when it comes to urbanism and urban planning?

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