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Bread Garden Market – Iowa City

We’ve recognized The Bread Garden Market as the best combined restaurant, coffee shop, and grocery store in downtown Iowa City. Visit their beautiful website (as shown below) for the latest news and information. [Visit Website]

Update: 5 October 2023

Iowa City is known for having great restaurants, coffee shops, and grocery stores. The Bread Garden Market combines all three, making it a destination you’ll want to experience. This page was originally created in 2008 as shown below. Some things have changed since then, but you may find this snapshot of details from 15 years ago interesting despite being a bit outdated. Or visit their website for the current awesomeness they offer.


The Bread Garden Market and Bakery is an amazing fusion of café, restaurant, pastry shop, deli, buffet, bakery, gift shop, and grocery store. With something for everyone, the selection of food includes gourmet quality meals and organic foods as well as value priced, but delicious, meal choices and groceries.

Contact Information

Brooke Brewer, Director of Store Operations, Bread Garden Market, 225 S. Linn Street, Iowa City, IA 52240. Phone: 319-354-4246. Fax: 319-887-0929.


The Bread Garden Market and Bakery is located on East College Street in the Plaza Towers on the pedestrian mall in downtown Iowa City. Managed by the Moen Group, the Plaza Towers building is also home to the Eastwind Healing Center, Formosa Asian Cuisine, Hotel Vetro, and Iowa City Fitness.


Plenty of comfortable seating is available indoors and on a glassed-in heated outdoor patio. The glass can be removed in the warmer months.

Excellent Management

The Bread Garden Market and Bakery is owned and operated by Jim Mondanaro who also owns Micky’s Irish Pub, Givanni’s, Joseph’s Steakhouse and The Saloon in Iowa City, as well as Mondo’s Tomato Pie located in Coralville. All of these businesses have done very well and offer some of the best food and service in the Midwest.

Media Coverage

The opening of the Bread Garden Market and Bakery received considerable media attention and community support. This is due, in part, to the loyal following of people who frequented the Bread Garden as a restaurant in its previous location at 224 South Clinton Street. A very nice article appeared in the Iowa City Press Citizen on 28 Feb 2008.

Urban Impact Assessment

There is a strong desire of many people in Iowa City to establish the downtown Iowa City area as a mixed-use urban space (New Urbanism). The Bread Garden Market and Bakery is an essential part of revitalizing downtown Iowa City. By having parks, green spaces, businesses, shops, restaurants, grocery stores, and residential living all within a few blocks, it is possible to live and work in the same neighborhood. This results in people walking and riding bicycles instead of driving cars. The following benefits are achieved:

  • Noise pollution is reduced.
  • Air pollution is reduced.
  • Global warming is reduced.
  • Health benefits result from people walking and/or riding bicycles.
  • Cost savings result from people walking and/or riding bicycles instead of driving.
  • More open space is available when people are not using cars to commute.
  • Social interaction is more likely when people pass each other on the sidewalk than if they pass each other on the highway at 70 miles per hour.

Impact on Housing

Integral to the cost of housing are numerous expenses associated with living where your home is located. Having a full grocery store in the downtown Iowa City area makes it more economical for people to live and work in the downtown area. For some people, it may mean the difference between needing to own a car or not. If a full grocery store is available just a few blocks away, it makes it easier to live in a smaller space with less storage for groceries.

Review Notes

Below are journal entries from Greg Johnson relating his experiences with the Bread Garden. These journal entries include notes about experiences with the products and the company. Entries are listed below with the most recent at the top.

  • Postal Mail and Phone Calls. A few weeks ago, I received a phone call from someone asking me for the store hours for The Bread Garden. I had to explain that I’m not the Bread Garden, but just someone providing company and product reviews. This past week I received some postal mail for The Bread Garden. So, today I added the store contact information to the top of this page so people know how to directly contact the store. (27 Aug 2008 – 11:58 AM)
  • Daily Dining. This past week, I started having lunch and dinner at the Bread Garden every day. Usually, eating at the same restaurant each day might get boring. However, the variety of food at the Bread Garden is so expansive that it’s like eating at a different restaurant every day. I like the salad bar because it gives me a chance to eat a wide variety of veggies and fruits. Choosing indoor or outdoor seating creates a change of venue from one day to the next. Many of my friends also eat and shop at the Bread Garden, so it’s a chance to connect with people I want to see. This week I special ordered some Clif bars which will be 5% additional off the regular $1.50 price. Most stores sell Clif bars for about $1.70 per bar. (16 Aug 2008 – 5:50 PM)
  • Early Years. I’d been visiting the Bread Garden at the old location on numerous occasions over the past seven years prior to their move to the new location and expanding to become a grocery store. (2001 to 2007)

Document History

  • 13 Mar 2008 – This page was originally created to provide information about The Bread Garden Market, as well as offering a well-deserved positive review.
  • 5 Oct 2023 – In the 15 years after this page was originally created, much has changed for The Bread Garden. They have a beautiful informative website. So, this page now directs people to the official website for the business. The original content remains above for historic reference. Also, this page has now been updated to accommodate the WordPress Block Layout page design. The page title was originally, “The Bread Garden Market and Bakery in Iowa City – Reference Page and Review.” It has now been shortened to “Bread Garden Market – Iowa City.”

By Greg Johnson

Greg Johnson is a freelance writer and tech consultant in Iowa City. He is also the founder and Director of the ResourcesForLife.com website. Learn more at AboutGregJohnson.com