Artful Food With A Local Flair

117 First Street W, Mt. Vernon IA 52314 / Tel: (319) 895-4041

Hours: Tues-Sat, 11-2 & 5-9 | Sun brunch, 10-1

  • Great Food = A Great Experience

    Great Food = A Great Experience

    That's why we work hard to make even the simple sublime.

  • Fresh Fare for All

    Fresh Fare for All

    Palisades Cafe specializes in creative food with a local flair.

  • Delightfully Different Dishes

    Delightfully Different Dishes

    We source many of our ingredients locally for the freshest taste.

May is going to be a busy month, so we hope the weather will cooperate and warm up for everything!

The weekend of May 4th and 5th is Chalk the Walk, one of our best festivals. We are always stunned by the art, and this year's big community square is in celebration of Woodstock's 50th anniversary. Cornell's commencement weekend will be held May 10-12, and don't forget that the 12th is also Mother's Day!

Later in May, we will be closing for vacation. We will be open for lunch on May 25th, but then we will be closed for dinner as well as the entire following week. We'll re-open on Tuesday, June 4th.

And last but not least, we have a wonderful new rosè for you to try, plus delicious, hand-squeezed lemonade.

See you soon!

May Menu


marinated in ancho and chipotle and served with chimichurri, fried potatoes and pickled onions.


stuffed with garlic sausage and served with asparagus risotto and bacon.


with German style potato salad, mustard dill cream, and sauteed zucchini.


with cannellini beans, fennel, onion, arugula pesto and pancetta.


served with mushroom duxelles, garlic and herb cream cheese, and carrot- star anise cream.


Check out our creme brulee French toast or bloody Mary mussels, along with the rest of the great menu. Lovin' it! Sunday 10 am - 1 pm


Something for everyone

Reservations accepted: Online at or call 319-895-4041

Palisades Cafe - artful food with a local flair

Sandwich/Salad Menu




(with burger, veggie patty or grilled chicken. served with chips,
substitute fries - extra)

topped with boursin, veggies and bagna cauda.

SOUTHWEST - Black bean, avocado, salsa, sour cream

PALISADES - Pickled beets, chevre, horseradish aioli, arugula

GREEK - Cucumber, tomato, feta, Kalamata olives

JAMAICAN - Jerk rub, mango salsa


Choice of burger, grilled chicken breast or veggie patty
Cheeses: American, cheddar, provolone, Swiss, chevre, blue, ghost pepper
Bacon, egg, avocado, salsa, grilled mushrooms/onions

All sandwiched served with chips. Handcut fries or mixed greens available.


(add chicken, extra)

MIXED GREENS - w/ buttermilk, balsamic vin, blue cheese

CAESAR SPINACH-ARUGULA - w/ fennel, feta. red onion, pomegranate vin

SMOKED TROUT - w/ mixed greens, chickpeas, cucumber, lemon caper dill


GRILLED PORTABELLO SANDWICH- w/ spinach, peppers,grilled onion, red pepper aioli

HAND BREADED PORK TENDERLOIN SANDWICH - w/pear slaw and gorgonzola

BLT - yep, a timeless favorite with only the best bacon, fresh, ripe tomato and lettuce w/ mayo

SPICY CHICKEN SANDWICH - w/grilled red onion, spicy mayo


Please see the board for daily soup and desserts

Beer and wine list available


(12 and under, please)

Noodles w/ butter and parmesan



All beef hot dog

Grilled cheese


Sandwiches served with chips.
Fries may be substituted for slightly more.

Brunch Menu

House Favorites

Ribs and eggs with home fries

Bloody mary mussels with baguette

Shrimp, grits and eggs

Biscuits and gravy

Huevos rancheros with mango salsa


Served w/ white or whole wheat toast

Florentine: spinach, provolone, tomato

Denver: prosciutto, peppers, onion, cheese

Palisades Poutine: cheddar,hash, sausage gravy


Crème brulee French toast


Waffles with whip and berries

We use Great River Maple Syrup – Iowa

Ala Carte

Eggs - local Sparboe Farms


Home fries

Toast (white or whole wheat)


Spicy chicken



Build your own:

Choice of: beef, chicken, or veggie patty

Cheese: american, cheddar, provolone,swiss, chevre,

blue, ghost pepper

Bacon, fried egg, avocado, salsa, grilled mushroom/onion

*served with chips, home fries substitution available.

Something extra

Bloody Mary

Irish Coffee

Beer, wine, and craft cocktails are also available

Kid menu

(12 and under, please)

noodles with butter and parmesan



all beef hot dog

grilled cheese


Sandwiches served with chips.

Yelp logo/link to Yelp reviews


"Love this place. Menu changes every month and the specials are fantastic. Great atmosphere, service, drinks, and food."

Terry S. - San Francisco, CA


"This is my favorite local café! I make the drive from CR every few months just to visit it. The atmosphere is super cute and cozy, and the food is always fantastic. The monthly special menu items keep things interesting and are always worth looking forward to.

I also think that there's something for everyone. I love how they offer simple and classic lunch items, but they also have more gourmet menu items with fancy ingredients that I can't pronounce! I also love their vegetarian options, despite being a meat eater.

I think Palisades makes the perfect spot to get lunch and catch up with a friend. I would recommend it to anyone"

Bailey B. - Cedar Rapids, IA


"I haven't had anything less than amazing here. The atmosphere is lovely, there are options for vegetarians, and one of my favorite places in town all around."

Natalie B. - Mt. Vernon, IA


"I'm a little late to post this but I ate here when I returned for a college reunion a few years back. By myself I sat at the counter near the grill and watched them make simply the BEST Iowa Beef burger with bleu cheese! I've told hubs about the crunchy sear, the grilled bun and creamy melted bleu so many times, he may just take me back! While I'm sure my love affair with Iowa Beef may have me dreaming of eats I can't get in Nashville (where we live), I'd say this was the best Burger of my life! (And I've had a few...). Yum!"

Michele S. - Franklin, TN


"This place is definitely a good place to eat in the Mount Vernon area. Their menu changes every month so you have to go in every month to see what the new menu is. I really like their hamburgers. You can build your own custom burger or order one of their specialty burgers as well."

Paul F. - Mount Vernon, IA


"Undoubtedly one of the best restaurants I have ever been to, and I travel a lot! The food is so fresh, and the menu can accommodate any budget. A must place if you're in town."

Rocky M. - Cedar Rapids, IA


"We do not live in Mt Vernon but make the short drive to eat at Palisades Cafe with regularity. There aren't many dining options in the area that compare. We love the food, intimate atmosphere, and friendly staff! Menu offerings are varied. There is something for everyone, and always a vegetarian option. Portions are perfect and presentation is lovely. Do save room for dessert! The chocolate brownie is one of the best we've had."

Laurie K. - Cedar Rapids, IA


"Well this was a nice surprise when I was in town for work a few weeks back. They have a nice menu that gives you different options in this smaller town.

I had the smoked salmon casserole, I was beyond excited to see this on special. I love a good casserole. They knocked this one out of the park, a very nice creation on their part. I did have a delicious salad with it as well, the good stuff not the cheap pieces of lettuce.

I will have to go back to try more dishes, they have some nice options here that should keep you coming back for more. Glad to see a nice place like this in a smaller city, this is the type of place that can draw people from all over. I look forward to going back to try a few different dishes."

Mark G. - Iowa City, IA

Trip Advisor Logo/link to review

"Wow! That was Incredible!!!"

"We stopped by Saturday night because the specials in the email looked so interesting and delicious. We split two: the special burger and the pheasant. Both were off the charts good!! This meal was pretty much the same as the old Lincoln Cafe. Everything was perfect!!!"

Reviewed March 15, 2019

"Quaint and cozy, food is excellent."

"Though we are locals, we only manage to eat here occasionally. The service is always great, their monthly menu has a unique and very tasteful choice of entrees. Always look forward to going back!"

Reviewed November 26, 2018
Brent S.


"Fabulous Caesar salad, delicious fish and chips, and tasty desserts. Service was great— highly recommend!!"

Reviewed October 6, 2018
Mari K.

"Hidden Gem"

"Went for dinner with some friends who had been here before, but it was my wife and my first time. It has a relaxed atmosphere and casual dress (jeans, shorts) is no problem. We all ordered drinks as well as the halibut small plate special to share as an appetizer. Delicious! We each ordered a different entree, with my wife getting Mahi Mahi and I got the breaded tenderloin sandwich. Our friends ordered the filet mignon and the house special hamburger. Again, everything was great. Then it was time for dessert. Again, we each ordered something different, but my Italian cream cake was hands down the favorite of the group. US guys topped everything off with a glass of port. All agreed that it was a great meal and that we will surely return again soon. "

Reviewed June 23, 2018
Herb M.

"Open Mic Night at the Pal"

"Great dinner or lunch spot. Very creative specials and great salads or burgers. Meet your friends or make new ones. Wine & beers or byob."

Reviewed February 8, 2016
Richard, Mt. Vernon

"Good food"

"We stopped in for lunch while traveling. My daughter had been to the dentist so she requested scrambled eggs - even though they were not in the menu. They were kind enough to make them for her. I had a great cheeseburger!"

Reviewed November 6, 2015
Susan M.Gunnedah

"Great food and friendly, hard-working staff.”

"Interesting fare, locally-sourced ingredients, & a passion for food. Need I say more?! Well, how about definitely worth the trip, as well."

Reviewed October 19, 2015
Mike Fallon
Iowa City, Iowa