Enjoy live music at the Ames Main Street Farmers’ Market and maybe even a cameo from Cy before the big game Saturday. Photo: Ames Main Street Farmers’ Market
The entire state (and country, thanks to ESPN’s “College GameDay” show) seems to be converging in Ames on Saturday for the annual Cy-Hawk football showdown. With a 3:30 p.m. start time, there are plenty of reasons to get an early start to experience some of the town’s highlights, even if you’re tailgating.
Each Saturday morning starting at 8, the Ames Main Street Farmers’ Market takes over the 300 and 400 blocks of Main Street. Shop for tailgating snacks—fresh produce, meats and cheeses, and baked goods to complement your spread.
While downtown, order a flight of java at Morning Bell Coffee Roasters. Make sure to check out Back Alley House Plants behind the coffee shop for the latest plant and container trends—it opens early. For tea lovers, find special blends at Little Woods: Herbs and Teas; it’s across the street.
If you’re eager to make it to the heart of campus early, park it at the Memorial Union ramp for the day and explore the area on foot. While you’ll find typical college cuisine in Campustown, several international and upscale options add flavor to the day. In business since the 1990s, Café Beaudelaire dishes Brazilian beats and eats such as yucca fries, empanadas and feijoada, one of Brazil’s best-known dishes. Make sure to sample a Latin drink (open at 10 a.m.).
For more empanada and yucca bites, stop by Macubana on Welch Avenue. The Tempura Mac Attack and Cubanos (including a vegan option) are top draws (open at 11 a.m.). New on Welch Avenue, Ichiban Japanese Restaurant serves sushi, bento boxes and ramen. And for relaxed outdoor dining with great student-watching, Bar La Tosca delivers. Order an early lunch of small plates such as antipasti.
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