My Favorite Spots for Soup in and Around Cedar Rapids

January is upon us, which usually brings a bitter cold.  For me, nothing beats a hot bowl of soup on a shivery cold winter day.

(Or if we just got blasted with a large amount of snow like over New Year’s weekend!)

When I thought of where one could get a bowl of hot soup in our city – I had no idea there were so many spots. I could not even begin to try them all!

My Favorite Spots for Soup in and Around Cedar Rapids

Here are my favorite spots in Cedar Rapids for a yummy bowl of hot soup:

The Prairie Soup Company – downtown Cedar Rapids

425 2nd Street SE- 8 AM -3 PM Monday through Friday.

Tucked away on the second floor of the Ground Transportation Center, Prairie Soup offers a couple of flavors of fresh, hot soup. It is served with crusty bread for dipping. Their Facebook page is updated often with specials, along with specialty variations of their soup. Flavors seen on the menu include lasagna, beer cheese, cheddar potato, chicken enchilada, avocado chicken with lime- even a roasted pumpkin! It’s a great spot if you’re downtown.

Kava House and Café – Swisher

122 2nd Street SE – 6:30 AM-3 PM – Tuesday through Saturday

Nestled in the heart of Swisher, Kava House offers at least two flavors of soup that rotate daily. You can find them on their Facebook page or by just stopping in. They do offer a breakfast and lunch menu as well, but my focus was soup. The ham & potato soup I had was divine and tasted homemade. This spot is a winner if you live in that area, or are looking for just a new spot to try and don’t mind a small jaunt down to Swisher.

Nelson’s Meat Market & Deli – northeast Cedar Rapids

1140 Old Marion Road – 11 AM -2 PM – Monday through Friday- deli only

Nelson’s has been around for what feels like forever. According to their website, it has been around for eight decades! They also update their Facebook page daily with the daily specials of two varieties of soup and a sandwich. Flavors seen include beef & cabbage, mac and cheese, cheeseburger chowder, and beans & weenies. This is a nice change from your standard flavors of soup (which are also rotated in regularly). BONUS -they offer their soups frozen as well! You won’t be disappointed here.

Lu’s Deli – NewBo

1010 Third Street SE – 8 AM-3 PM Monday through Saturday (till 7 PM on Wed)

Right in Newbo: Lu’s Deli is next door to Fong’s Pizza and has that small-town feel even though you’re right in downtown! They do not have their menu online nor do they post daily specials so you’ll have to call or just go in and be surprised! The soups are made homemade daily and you can taste it. My favorite is definitely the Beer Cheese soup.

This is a great spot for moms of kids as they serve PB&J AND have Donutland donuts (especially if you’re looking for something local)! You can also order delivery on CHOMP. Something I noticed in the past was that because it was Lent -they had a sign indicating which items were Lent-friendly which I thought was a nice touch. Lu’s definitely has that family feel and has great options for everyone!

West End Diner – Marion

809 Sixth Ave – Marion – 7:30 AM- 2 PM – Monday through Saturday

Just down from the library construction in Marion. West End Diner is a charming old house that’s been renovated and feels like you’re sitting in your grandmother’s kitchen. They offer breakfast and lunch that include four soups. Flavors that are consistent include a yummy tomato bisque and a delicious chicken wild rice, all of which are served with a crusty baguette for dipping. They do not update their Facebook page every day, but they have their menu posted and have online ordering through Toast!

I have to sneak in that they offer brisket on Wednesdays that reminds me of my Jewish mother-in-law’s! They also offer a wide variety of hot drinks and coffee flavors! It’s a great little out-of-the-way spot.

We also cannot forget the old standbys – Panera Bread and Chick-Fil-A.

Panera has the famed Broccoli Cheddar that I have come so close to perfecting (a copycat recipe is simmering on my stove as I write this)! They also serve various flavors that change out with each season – such as Ten Vegetable or Vegetarian Autumn Squash.

Chick Fil A offers its no-fail chicken soup with big chicken chunks and just seems to have that “cure” for when you feel icky. They also offer a seasonal chicken tortilla soup that has a huge following, and I will agree is pretty yummy!

So there you go: my favorite spots to get a hot bowl of soup in Cedar Rapids. While this is not a comprehensive list – this is a good place to start! Where do you find your favorite bowl of soup?

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Samantha was born and raised in Cedar Rapids. She grew up around a large, crazy, loving extended family who gets together every Sunday for lunch and to catch up. She spent six years working for The Walt Disney Company - where she met her husband directly in front of Cinderella Castle. They moved back to Iowa in 2016 to be near family and have three rambunctious kiddos who are 5, 6 &10. Autism awareness & understanding is a close cause to her heart as two of her kids have autism. When not working or spending time with family, Samantha enjoys reading, listening to music or a podcast, cooking, baking, and binge-watching shows with her husband.