The Joan Bice Underwood Tearoom

The Tearoom is open for the spring semester. Extra safety and sanitary precautions, above and beyond our normal protocols, have been put in place due to Covid-19. For those who prefer, the to-go option is still available through JBU Backstreet Bistro in 16 MacKay Hall, but students would love to share the experience of the Tearoom with visitors in the dining room. 

The Joan Bice Underwood Tearoom is a restaurant/classroom teaching operation within Iowa State University’s world-renowned hospitality management program. The facility dates back to 1926, when it was built during an addition project in MacKay. It is named for Joan Bice, a 1952 graduate of Home Economics, who enjoyed working in the Tearoom. In 2001, a generous donation was made to honor Underwood and renovate and restore the facility, just like it would have been when she worked there.

The Food Production and Service Management Experience class (HSPM 380L) currently operates the restaurant/classroom. It is a non-profit, approximately 90-seat learning laboratory. Meal service is provided for faculty, staff, students, and visitors.


Students in HSP M 380L plan, prepare, and serve the lunch meal.

Lunch is served from Tuesday – Friday 11:30 a.m. – 12:45 p.m.

Reservations, Cancellations, and Payment

Reservations are required for dining in the Tearoom. To make a reservation, please use the OpenTable widget shown below. Start by selecting your date, meal time, and guest count, and clicking Find a Table. We recommend guests arrive at the tearoom between 11:30 and noon for dining room service.

Detailed directions for booking a reservation, as well as our cancellation policy, are included in the link below. For groups larger than 4, please call 515-294-3330.

Cash, check, credit and debit cards are accepted.

Gift Certificates

Gift certificates are available in increments of $1.00. They are available for purchase Tuesday-Friday, 11:30 a.m. – 12:45 p.m., in the Tearoom.

To-Go Options

All food items on the menu are available as a to-go option. You may call the Tearoom to pre-order food items, or stop in and order during normal business hours. Our retail operations are run out of the back of the Tearoom at the kitchen entrance (16 MacKay Hall).

If you would like to receive a daily email of what menu items we have available, please call 515-294-3330, or email at

Need More Information?

Joan Bice Underwood Tearoom

23 MacKay Hall
2302 Osborn Drive
Ames, IA 50011-1078

For reservations: