The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

Point/Counterpoint | What is the best place in Iowa City for a Valentine’s Day date?

Opinions Editor Evan Weidl holds Dave’s Foxhead Tavern close to his heart, but Photo Editor Emily Nyberg argues Freddy’s is the best place in IC for a Valentine’s Day date.


Sometimes when you go on a date, you just want to sit down for some drinks. Whether this is a first date or your lifelong partner, it’s nice to be able to have casual conversation over two or three drinks.

The problem is that the University of Iowa is one of America’s top party schools. At least four days a week, you will find many of the bars on Clinton Street or in the Ped Mall packed wall to wall with students emptying their bank accounts in exchange for the weakest vodka lemonades you can imagine.

It’s hard to have a nice date when the air is tainted with the smell of Axe body spray and your conversation is interrupted by Drake’s newest song blaring through the speakers and the bass rattling all glasses in the building.

On the corner of Gilbert and Market Streets sits Dave’s Foxhead Tavern, an unassuming red rectangle that is the perfect spot for a casual date over drinks. Featuring several booths, a single pool table, a real jukebox with all the greatest classic love songs you could ever need, and a bountiful selection from concocted drinks to simple beers, the bar is a wonderful setting for tasty beverages and even better conversation.

Thanks to its small stature and older crowd, Foxhead is never an overwhelming space, even when it is busy. It is a perfect place to get to know someone or to fall more deeply in love with your partner.


After a semester of awkward flirting with your lab partner in your Intro to Earth Science class, they finally asked you out for Valentine’s Day. But where should you go? Nowhere. Because the best date spot in town, the Freddy’s on Clinton Street, just closed last month.

After five years as an Iowa City staple, Freddy’s closed its doors in January 2024, leaving a hole in the hearts and stomachs of Tinder matches everywhere.

While Freddy’s does not have the glamour of Sports Column, its friendly atmosphere makes it a great spot for a first date. Situated in the electrifying Old Capitol Mall, the 4.5-star hamburger restaurant had it all: a scenic view of the Iowa City Pedestrian Mall, indoor and outdoor seating, and the faint buzz of fluorescent overhead lights.

After ordering a flat burger and thin fries from a minimum-wage college student, you and your partner-to-be could sit down at a sticky red booth, hold hands across the table, and share a milkshake with two straws.

Closing merely a month before Valentine’s Day, Iowa City residents are left wondering “What could possibly replace such a pillar of the community?” and, “Did love die with Freddy’s?”

With no indication of new tenants, Freddy’s Frozen Custard and Steakburgers currently sits vacant. So instead of going on that long-awaited Freddy’s date with the lab partner you’ve been crushing on, consider going next door to the Italian classic, Noodles and Company, or the authentic Mexican grill, Chipotle, this Valentine’s Day.



Columns reflect the opinions of the authors and are not necessarily those of the Editorial Board, The Daily Iowan, or other organizations in which the author may be involved.


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About the Contributors
Evan Weidl
Evan Weidl, Opinions Editor
Evan Weidl is a senior majoring in political science. He previously worked in the opinions section as a columnist.
Emily Nyberg
Emily Nyberg, Visual Editor
Emily Nyberg is a second-year student at the University of Iowa double majoring in Journalism and Cinematic arts. Prior to her role as a Visual Editor, Emily was a Photojournalist, and a News Reporter covering higher education.