Sorry, I can't help with any restaurant suggestions as I haven't been there in years myself.
I do remember a stand by the boardwalk at Arnold's Park where they sell delicious homemade salt water taffy in a myriad of flavors.
As a kid, it was a lot of fun watching the taffy stretching machine do its' work. I just loved the black walnut variety. Might make for a good vacation treat to bring home to famiy and friends.
Hope you get some restaurant reco's.
I was up there a few weeks ago, but didn't eat out. We stopped by Newman's and picked up some wine and snacks. They have a restaurant upstairs that had entrees that sounded promising (and they were busy). They also were cooking cinnamon rolls in the kitchen that smelled fantastic. Apparently there's a line out the door for them in the mornings and they usually sell out within an hour.
Minerva's is a regional standby. It's definitely decent, but nothing overwhelming. They have a summer menu right now with a Chicken Margarita Pasta that is really good.
Newman’s\Okoboji Lobster & Wine Company
Bistro & wine bar, casual dinning, interesting wine list, gourmet shop,
wine cellar, fresh fish, frozen seafood, coffee beans roasted on site
2323 165 St., (Hwy-71 N.)
Spirit Lake IA 5136
712 336-3771 or 712 336-9400
Minerva’s Restaurant & Bar
If you try any other good spots, please report back!