Mental Spaces – Z’mariks

Greetings, Honorables!

It gives me great pleasure to announce that my featured Mental Space for this week is Z’mariks Noodle Café.

2013 Logos - Final

(Branding photo credit: Z’mariks Noodle Café)

On top of being the coolest people to end words in the letter “z” since I frequented the phrase “kewl beanz” on AIM, Z’mariks has served delicious noodle bowlz to the people of Iowa City for quite some time. It holds a special place in my heart–er… stomach, I guess–because it was the first Iowa City restaurant I visited when I came to discuss my financial aid options at Calvin Hall before becoming a student at UI. It’s also the location of the last meal I shared with a few friends before they departed to spend their summer in the suburbs last year as well as the place I reunited with my friend when she returned to Iowa City from Quincy after winter break this year.

I am definitely a “Frequent Noodler,” though I haven’t signed up for their promotion (I totally should). Basically, you get a card that racks up points for each bowl you buy. Once you reach 100 points, you get a free bowl. How great is that?

Now, many of you probably know Z’mariks for their mac n’ cheese (if you don’t, you should because mac n’ cheese bowlz are $5 every Monday); however, I swear by the udon. The original recipe consists of udon noodles, broccoli, mushrooms, carrots, sprouts, and cilantro with an amazing spicy chili & garlic sauce. I always add tofu due to my vegetarian style, but you can add chicken, shrimp, or meatballs, too.


(The delicious udon paired with a greek salad… also my sticker-coated laptop)

I have studied at Z’mariks between classes before, but it’s mainly the place I go if I need a quick, inexpensive, and tasty meal before I have to go to work or an event. (I’ve also had to get one of their soups to-go once because my partner *cough, cough–Nathan I’m calling you out on the internet* was sick and begged to tag along on my carry out order.) Most recently, I visited with two of my wonderful writer friends before attending the Alison Bechdel lecture at the Englert Theatre to learn more about my three favorite things: writing, art, and feminism.


(L-R: The beautiful Ameena and Lilly, then bundled up me)

With several locations in Iowa, the Z’mariks closest to our UI community is conveniently right downtown at 19 S. Dubuque–yes, just a hop, skip, and a jump away from Nodo. The staff has always been friendly, and the service is incredibly quick. Additionally, they are on OrderUp, so you can eat noodles in your bed. What could possibly be better?


Here is a link to their website so you can check their hours of operation and explore the menu:

Noodle on, my friends.


Style- Casual

Food- Noodle Bowlz, Rice Bowlz, Soup & Salad Bowlz

Pricing- Inexpensive

Location- Downtown

Accommodations- WiFi

Ideal Mental Space for- Friendly get-togethers / Solo or Group Studying


by Katie Kiesewetter, Sophomore

Areas of Study: English; Studio Art (Graphic Design); Gender, Women’s, and Sexuality Studies

Hometown: Farmington, IL



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