The owners and patrons of Cafe d’Marie are Yelping for joy, as the Davenport restaurant is the only one in the Quad Cities to make the 2023 Top 100 restaurants in the U.S., according to Yelp.com.
The atmospheric, tasty eatery at 614 W. 5th St., Davenport, is the only one in Iowa to make the Top 100 on Yelp’s 10th anniversary of the rankings. Cafe d’Marie cooks in at #36. To create Yelp’s Top 100 US Restaurants list, they first reached out to Yelpers for their favorite dining spots. Then, the site ranked each by total number of submissions, ratings, reviews, and geographic representation, among other factors.
Cafe d’Marie offers an eclectic selection of American dishes with the added European flair. Dr. Deanna Marie Walter and Rick Kimmel opened the cafe in 2007 (in their circa 1865 home) to provide a unique getaway and favorable respite from daily life, according to a Thursday release on the list.
Dr. Walter said Thursday she was surprised and humbled by this honor.
“We knew our ratings were consistently high and we would thank patrons as they came in for the success we have because of them!” she said by email. “We have been here 16 years and the LOVE people have shown by returning, bringing a friend or spouse and taking the initiative to review us online has pushed us to the top of a list that has been the BEST GIFT!
“We are truly grateful,” Walter said. “We have had some other awards like best lunch on Locals Love Us and best coffee in the state of Iowa based on reviews on USA Today. So again this is all such a blessing to be LOVED by these great people.”
Each year, Yelp analyzes millions of reviews and considers suggestions from its community of users to name the best local eateries for its Top 100 Places to Eat list – from white tablecloth establishments to food trucks and everything in between. Over the past decade, the list has recognized 775 restaurants across 376 cities in the U.S. with 152 recurring winners.
This year, California swept the list with 28 restaurants across Los Angeles, Sacramento, San Diego, San Francisco and more. Two Illinois places made it — XOchimilco Mexican in Chicago and Balmoral in Campton Hills.
“From food trucks and sandwich shops to fine dining establishments, the Top 100 list reflects the diverse tastes and uniqueness of our community of users,” said Tara Lewis, Yelp’s Trend Expert. “It is powered by the people, not a small group of restaurant critics, and we look forward to consumers continuing to share their dining experiences in their reviews.”
For the first time, island cuisine led the top 5 this year. High-ranking island restaurants include Kaaloa’s Super Js Authentic Hawaiian Food (#2)—a “favorite spot” on the Big Island for its juicy laulau (pork wrapped in taro leaf)—and Adela’s Country Eatery (#5), whose colorful “10-star” noodles made with local ingredients put the popular takeout stand on Oahu’s dining map.
Florida has 14 restaurants on the list; Texas followed with 8 restaurants across the Austin and Houston metropolitan areas. Rounding out the top 5 most represented states are Nevada and Arizona with 5 and 4 each.
Raves for the historic refuge
Yelp described the Davenport winner this way —
“Tucked in an 1860s house along the Mississippi River, Cafe D’Marie transports you to another place and time,” the Yelp site says. “Handcrafted European-inspired menu items are familiar enough, yet zhuzhed up with novel flavor combinations and local ingredients. They include a quiche du jour (such as one with artichoke, goat cheese, and spinach), a long list of panini (with ingredients like ham, turkey, pesto mayo, and muenster cheese on tomato basil bread), and colorful salads dressed in a blueberry-feta vinaigrette that Yelpers describe as “unlike any other.”
“[The menu] was put together with a lot of love,” says Dr. DeAnna Marie Walter, a practicing chiropractor who opened her namesake cafe 16 years ago with partner Rick Kimmel in the renovated first floor of their home. It’s an inviting atmosphere that makes you “feel like you’re eating in your grandparents’ house,” says Yelper Beth W.
Popular dishes: Comforting soups like cream of asparagus are “heaven in a cup,” while the lengthy list of teas and espresso drinks—like the “scrumptious” Honey Bee Latte, delicately sweetened with vanilla and local honey—keep locals coming back time after time. And don’t miss the amazing homemade baked goods. “Warm cookies + bread pudding = pure bliss,” writes Yelper Robert W.
Another Yelper said: “I love the eclectic style of this home-turned-restaurant!… [The owner’s] cream of mushroom soup is to die for. She made me one of the best grilled cheeses I have ever had! [And] don’t miss out on the blueberry vinaigrette.”
To learn more about Cafe d’Marie, visit its website HERE.