New taco restaurant to open in downtown Iowa City

Taco Depot, a restaurant native to Cedar Rapids, is opening its fourth location in Iowa City.


Matt Sindt

A basket with chips and queso paired with a margarita is seen at Taco Depot III in Cedar Rapids on Monday, April 20, 2023.

Hannah Lipski, News Reporter

A taco restaurant native to Cedar Rapids is coming to downtown Iowa City.

The restaurant, named Taco Depot, is opening this summer in the location that was once occupied by Tiki Tacos ‘n Burgers ‘n Wings, located at 119 E. Washington St.

The new restaurant is owned by couple Jimmy and Ally Ramirez. They opened the first Taco Depot location in March 2019 on Edgewood Road in Cedar Rapids. The other two sites are also in Cedar Rapids, located on First Avenue and by Kirkwood Community College.

Ally Ramirez said the downtown building owner, Joe Clark, approached the couple about opening an Iowa City location after eating at their original restaurant.

“And the first couple of times that he came, it was just not the right time,” Ally Ramirez said.

Despite the timing of opening an Iowa City location not initially working, Ally Ramirez said she and her husband stayed in contact with Clark over the years, and after a spot downtown opened, they accepted Clark’s offer.

Clark said he has owned the building for approximately five years, and Tiki Tacos ‘n Burgers ‘n Wings was a tenant for about two and a half of them.

“I approached Jimmy, the owner of Taco Depot, a few years ago, and we went and actually visited the restaurant in Cedar Rapids and ate there and really enjoyed the food,” Clark said.

Currently, Ally Ramirez said they have the keys to the new location and are working to get the restaurant up and running. She said they are now building booths in the restaurant to mimic the ambiance of the other Taco Depot locations.

Taco Depot in Iowa City is set to open at the end of May or the beginning of June. Ally Ramirez said the restaurant is known for its Tacos Ramirez street-style tacos, margaritas, and Taco Tuesday specials.

“Taco Tuesdays is nuts because, I mean, even with inflation and stuff, they’re still a dollar on Tuesdays,” Ally Ramirez said.

Some menu items include three types of unique burritos, Tacos Ramirez tacos, quesadillas, tortas, aguas frescas, and horchata.

In November 2022, a sign was posted on the Tiki Tacos ‘n Burgers ‘n Wings stating it was closed for the foreseeable future for remodeling. The restaurant’s Facebook account has not been updated since November.

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While the restaurant is being renovated, some community members are excited about its opening. University of Iowa first-year student Katherine Belken said she dined at Tiki Tacos ‘n Burgers ‘n Wings this past September for her birthday.

Belken said she really likes Mexican food and is looking forward to a new Mexican food restaurant in Iowa City.

“I would for sure go to try the new place on the Tuesday for the one-dollar tacos, too,” Belken said.