Hamburg Inn No. 2

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Hamburg Inn No. 2

The Hamburg Inn No. 2 is a small family diner located near downtown in Iowa City, Iowa, in the United States. The Hamburg Inn is a regular stop for presidential candidates during the Iowa Caucuses. Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton, and Barack Obama have visited, and the restaurant was featured on the TV show, The West Wing. [1]


Joe Panther started the Hamburg Inn on Iowa Avenue in the mid 1930s. Later Joe's brother Adrian joined the business, and eventually bought the restaurant from Joe. In 1948, Mrs. Van's Restaurant at 214 North Linn Street came up for sale and was bought by another brother, Fritz and his wife, Fran which would become known as the Hamburg Inn No.2. Adrian and Fritz formed a partnership and over the years developed several restaurants, the Hamburg Inns No.1 and No.2, the Big Ten Inn on Riverside Drive and the Airport Inn in Iowa City. They also had the Hamburg Inn No.3 in Cedar Rapids on Center Point Road. As of 2011 Hamburg Inn No. 2 is the only location remaining of the three. Dave Panther, Fritz and Fran's son, bought the restaurant in 1979 from his parents and has continued the tradition.[2]

Food and Drink[edit]

The "Burg" has also been widely acclaimed as one of the best "greasy spoons" in Iowa. It serves breakfast all day long, and serves a wide variety of omelettes sided by homefries.[1][3]

One of the more famous Hamburg Inn concoctions is the "pie shake", a milkshake made by blending soft serve ice cream, milk, and a slice of cake or pie.[3]

Iowa Caucuses[edit]

During the Iowa Caucuses, candidates seeking the presidential nomination of their party frequently meet caucus-goers at the Hamburg Inn. The restaurant conducts a coffee-bean caucus, in which each guest is given a coffee bean to place in the jar of his/her candidate. Howard Dean won in 2004, with Dennis Kucinich and John Kerry coming in second and third, respectively.[3] In 2008, Barack Obama won the Democratic contest with John Edwards and Hillary Clinton coming in second and third. Mike Huckabee won for the Republicans. As of 2016, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders is winning with an overwhelming response that has resulted in multiple jars having to be used for the coffee beans. Each year many political candidates visit the Hamburg Inn to increase the publicity to Iowa. John Edwards visited there in the 2008 election. So far during the 2016 election cycle they have had visits from former governor Mike Huckabee and governor Chris Christie.


Major political appearances include:

Major surrogate appearances:

Appearances in Television and Film[edit]

  • The Hamburg Inn No. 2 was featured on the "King Corn" episode of NBC's The West Wing, although filming was done on a soundstage rather than the actual restaurant.
  • Much of the comedy Zadar! Cow From Hell was filmed at the Hamburg.[2]


  1. ^ a b "Best of the Area". Iowa City Press Citizen. 2010. Retrieved May 9, 2011. 
  2. ^ a b "Our Story". the Hamburg Inn. Retrieved May 9, 2011. 
  3. ^ a b c Kegans, Mark (July 9, 2004). "36 Hours in Iowa City 4) Breakfast Served Anytime". The New York Times. Retrieved May 9, 2011. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 41°39′51″N 91°31′53″W / 41.6641°N 91.5314°W / 41.6641; -91.5314