Trumpet Blossom Café in Iowa City

Trumpet Blossom Cafe - Iowa City(Check out a more recent post on their fall brunch here.)

When we were giving our friends, Melissa and Ray, a Midwestern tour earlier this month, we had to hit up Trumpet Blossom Café in Iowa City for a hearty mid-day meal.

You may remember from my post about Vegan Pizza Day that this all-vegan eatery in Eastern Iowa had a pie on the list. While their daily option of a seasonally-focused pizza is an excellent reason to visit, my favorite reason is for one of their weekend brunches.  Just like everything else on the menu, their brunches focus on using seasonal, local & organic ingredients.

citrus pepper tofu wrapThat afternoon I went the lunch route with their special of the day – a citrus hot pepper tofu wrap with shredded purple cabbage, cucumbers, and an herb aioli.  The warm slabs of tofu made it a filling meal, while the cool, crunchy vegetables made it a pleasantly light option for that hot summer day.

tofu tacosDavid opted for breakfast tacos filled with tofu scramble, yellow summer squash, zucchini, kale, sweet potato chunks, and peppers.  The tacos were served in two soft corn tortillas.  (If you’re also a taco fan, Trumpet Blossom has a changing taco special every week for Taco Tuesday.)

biscuits & tempeh gravyRay went for the breakfast-aspect of the brunch route and opted for the Biscuits and Tempeh Gravy.  Rich gravy was generously poured over two biscuits with a side of lemon roasted garlic greens.  Their savory biscuits and gravy used to be my favorite thing on the brunch menu until I was introduced to this dish that Melissa ordered…

vegan florentineThe Vegan Florentine made with seasoned tofu.  Rather than a dense tofu cutlet, the soft tofu had a creamy, velvety texture. It was covered in sautéed greens and drizzled with cashew hollandaise and an herb aioli.  All of that sat atop two English muffins.

house made ice creamWhen Melissa heard about the dessert specials, she couldn’t resist this housemade chocolate and cherry ice cream, served in a chilled glass.

Brunches at Trumpet Blossom are in the $9 to $11 range, and if you’re so inclined they have a stellar bar with fresh squeezed juices and local liquors.  They are located at 310 E. Prentiss in Iowa City.

Trumpet Blossom Cafe on Urbanspoon


  1. says

    I knew that mirror looked familiar – this place was a bar when I was in college! In fact, I lived just up the street on Linn. Wish it would have been Trumpet Blossom way back then. I’m putting this on my list for our next visit!

    • says

      Oh, funny! Yes, it used to be Hideaway. I love the long, dramatic bar. It’s a great centerpiece for the restaurant. The owner/head chef is one of the former owners/chefs of Red Avocado, which was demolished a year and a half ago. I was so bummed when Red Avocado was torn to the ground, and relieved when one of the owners decided to start up another vegan restaurant in Iowa City. Since both Masala & Fair Grounds started serving meat (and were formerly vegetarian), I’m glad that the city still has at least one meat-free restaurant! You should definitely check it out the next time you’re in Iowa City!

  2. says

    I love the filling of the tofu wrap with its contrasting textures and temperatures, and the breakfast taco looks delicious. Actually, everything looks good. If I ever find myself in Iowa City I’ll know where to eat.

    • says

      Yes, it really is a good summer wrap with a mixture of cool and crunchy along with spicy and substantive. This is definitely the place to go if you should find yourself in Eastern Iowa!

  3. says

    Everything looks so good, but I think I would have ordered the special too. I love having a crunchy bite of cucumbers to balance out softer textures. That ice cream looks killer too!

  4. says

    What a great choice of dishes – I like the idea of hot citrus tofu and cool veggies, but I think the florentine would just about win it for me!

  5. says

    I love Vegan Pizza Day and it’s a pretty fun event! I haven’t been to Iowa yet but that is certainly somewhere I would love to visit someday soon. And weekend brunches are yum! Blossoming Lotus in Portland has awesome weekend brunch. The citrus hot-peppery tofu wrap sounds so good with a herb aioli, especially for the hot summery days. Mmmm the dish, Biscuits & Tempeh Gravy look so good and tempting…And thanks for the recommendation!

    • says

      It’s so great that there are two 100% vegan restaurants in Iowa. Hopefully over time that number will grow!

      I wish I would have had a chance to visit Blossoming Lotus for their brunch. I went with Kristy from Keepin’ It Kind & Erin from Olives for Dinner along with all of our spouses for dinner while we were there, and it was terrific. Portland is definitely at no lack when it comes to stellar vegan cuisine!

  6. says

    Thanks for the lovely review and the gorgeous pictures, Cadry. It’s always great to see you two in the restaurant and I think I’m beginning to recognize your brunch orders when they print out in the kitchen! It was also really nice to read all the comments on your review. I tend to avoid reading reviews on sites like Yelp because I feel like they distract me too much so I enjoyed reading some feedback from potential customers. I always say that the compost/food scrap container in the bus tub with the customers’ dirty dishes is where I find my real reviews! 😉

    • says

      That’s so funny that you recognize our brunch orders. We must be pretty predictable! Oh, well, when you have favorites, it’s hard to order anything else.

      I don’t blame you for avoiding Yelp. I always take reviews there with a grain of salt, especially where vegan/vegetarian restaurants are concerned. The opinions of people who already have a negative slant where plant-based cuisine is involved aren’t necessarily the best gauge of whether or not I would like a restaurant. I can see how they would be counter-productive to your own creative cooking process. I think your bus tub method sounds a lot more useful!

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