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Des Moines Restaurant Recommendations

Sarah

Des Moines Restaurant Recommendations

Coffee Shops
Serves one of the best cups of coffee in Des Moines. It also happens to be in the Drake neighborhood and not far from this apartment. I love this place, not only because their espresso is good, they have good eats too and chill atmosphere to study or get work done. They are also unique in that they support local artists by rotating through artwork displays on the walls and playing music by local artists.
Mars Cafe
2318 University Avenue
Serves one of the best cups of coffee in Des Moines. It also happens to be in the Drake neighborhood and not far from this apartment. I love this place, not only because their espresso is good, they have good eats too and chill atmosphere to study or get work done. They are also unique in that they support local artists by rotating through artwork displays on the walls and playing music by local artists.
This hole-in-a-wall place is a Des Moines staple. It's also not far from the apartment. Here, they roast their own beans and sell only the finest beans, many of which are imported from all over the world. They also have a delicious breakfast/lunch menu available. My recommendations: the "Linda Special" for breakfast with either a black coffee or a vanilla latte. Other fun quirks about this place: 1) they support local artists by rotating wall displays of artwork, 2) there is no wifi (so not a great place for work on a laptop, but a FANTASTIC place for conversation or reading a book), 3) you must pay in cash for small purchases ($5 or under). This is where I buy my beans for home because they're just simply the best.
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Recomendado por los habitantes de la zona
Zanzibar's Coffee Adventure
2723 Ingersoll Avenue
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Recomendado por los habitantes de la zona
This hole-in-a-wall place is a Des Moines staple. It's also not far from the apartment. Here, they roast their own beans and sell only the finest beans, many of which are imported from all over the world. They also have a delicious breakfast/lunch menu available. My recommendations: the "Linda Special" for breakfast with either a black coffee or a vanilla latte. Other fun quirks about this place: 1) they support local artists by rotating wall displays of artwork, 2) there is no wifi (so not a great place for work on a laptop, but a FANTASTIC place for conversation or reading a book), 3) you must pay in cash for small purchases ($5 or under). This is where I buy my beans for home because they're just simply the best.
In downtown Des Moines, this artsy little shop has amazing roasted coffee and beans coffee if you want to grab and go or have a conversation. Elegant, simple -- minimalism at its best. Small selection, but everything is done oh so well!
Horizon Line Coffee
1417 Walnut St
In downtown Des Moines, this artsy little shop has amazing roasted coffee and beans coffee if you want to grab and go or have a conversation. Elegant, simple -- minimalism at its best. Small selection, but everything is done oh so well!
French style breakfast/lunch menu items, with fresh-baked fine pastries and interesting espresso selections. A Des Moines staple! There are two locations, with my favorite one near the Drake neighborhood, not far from the apartment. A favorite place for breakfast or a light lunch. Come early, because they get busy fast!
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Recomendado por los habitantes de la zona
La Mie Bakery
841 42nd Street
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Recomendado por los habitantes de la zona
French style breakfast/lunch menu items, with fresh-baked fine pastries and interesting espresso selections. A Des Moines staple! There are two locations, with my favorite one near the Drake neighborhood, not far from the apartment. A favorite place for breakfast or a light lunch. Come early, because they get busy fast!
Scenic Route Bakery
350 East Locust Street
DreiBerge Coffee
111 E Grand Ave
St. Kilda Cafe & Bakery - Temple
1013 Locust St
Foreign Cuisines
It may be a "hole-in-the-wall" type place, but you won’t find better Vietnamese pho anywhere else. I love the Beef Pho, and highly recommend the BBQ Spring Rolls as an appetizer. Soooo good. My mouth is watering for those spring rolls.
Pho 888
1521 2nd Ave
It may be a "hole-in-the-wall" type place, but you won’t find better Vietnamese pho anywhere else. I love the Beef Pho, and highly recommend the BBQ Spring Rolls as an appetizer. Soooo good. My mouth is watering for those spring rolls.
This place is in Ankeny, about 20 minutes away from your apartment, but it's worth it if you're in the mood for Filipino-Pakistani inspired dishes. Plates are more lunch-sized (meaning, it’s maybe not a good place to go you’re starving hungry). Make your own combo or request one of Lola's favorites. One of my own favorites is the Beef and Lamb Kebab Bowl. Amazing light and healthy combo of flavors. Their shaved ice and Halo Halo are unique treats to top off the meal!
Lola's Fine Kitchen
1615 SW Main St
This place is in Ankeny, about 20 minutes away from your apartment, but it's worth it if you're in the mood for Filipino-Pakistani inspired dishes. Plates are more lunch-sized (meaning, it’s maybe not a good place to go you’re starving hungry). Make your own combo or request one of Lola's favorites. One of my own favorites is the Beef and Lamb Kebab Bowl. Amazing light and healthy combo of flavors. Their shaved ice and Halo Halo are unique treats to top off the meal!
Serving the best Indian food in the area, this place is in West Des Moines near Jordan Creek Mall and is one of those hole-in-the-wall restaurants. My favorite orders are Gobi 66 (as an appetizer) and Chicken Tikka Masala. Their lamb and fish curries are delicious as well!
Paradise Biryani Pointe
6630 Mills Civic Pkwy
Serving the best Indian food in the area, this place is in West Des Moines near Jordan Creek Mall and is one of those hole-in-the-wall restaurants. My favorite orders are Gobi 66 (as an appetizer) and Chicken Tikka Masala. Their lamb and fish curries are delicious as well!
Des Moines’ first legitimately REAL good ramen noodles house. My favorite menu items are either the Char Siu Ramen or the Pork Katsu r=Ramen (get them with the spicy tonku/broth – it’s not too spicey but has amazing flavor!). They've got amazing cocktails here as well (you get a lot of bang for your buck, if you know what I mean😉). One of my top 5 favorite places to eat.
Hana Ramen Sushi
7450 Bridgewood Blvd
Des Moines’ first legitimately REAL good ramen noodles house. My favorite menu items are either the Char Siu Ramen or the Pork Katsu r=Ramen (get them with the spicy tonku/broth – it’s not too spicey but has amazing flavor!). They've got amazing cocktails here as well (you get a lot of bang for your buck, if you know what I mean😉). One of my top 5 favorite places to eat.
If you're in the mood for Thai food, this is the place to be! They are known for their Pad Thai and curries (I love the Penang Curry, myself). I also recommend the Thai Coffee or Thai tea. Deliciousness.
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Recomendado por los habitantes de la zona
Cool Basil
1250 86th St
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Recomendado por los habitantes de la zona
If you're in the mood for Thai food, this is the place to be! They are known for their Pad Thai and curries (I love the Penang Curry, myself). I also recommend the Thai Coffee or Thai tea. Deliciousness.
Serves a similar menu to Cool Basil (in fact, they are just across the street from the other), but not quite as “fancy” feeling as Cool Basil. They have the best Thai Fried Rice in the area!
Eat Thai, Thai Eatery
1821 22nd St
Serves a similar menu to Cool Basil (in fact, they are just across the street from the other), but not quite as “fancy” feeling as Cool Basil. They have the best Thai Fried Rice in the area!
It may be a bit of a drive from your Drake apartment (about 20 minutes), but this is another one of my top 5 favorite restaurants. Walking in, it feels like another "hole-in-the-wall" type place, BUT their hibachi grill is the best in the area. My favorite hibachi chef works Friday night, so if you're around -- he'll make you the best ever hibachi dish (get the Filet Mignon, yum!).
Tokyo Steak House
113 SE Delaware Ave
It may be a bit of a drive from your Drake apartment (about 20 minutes), but this is another one of my top 5 favorite restaurants. Walking in, it feels like another "hole-in-the-wall" type place, BUT their hibachi grill is the best in the area. My favorite hibachi chef works Friday night, so if you're around -- he'll make you the best ever hibachi dish (get the Filet Mignon, yum!).
The best gyro in Des Moines, and their fresh tabbouleh is a must-try as well. Great for take-out or dine in. If you stay, be prepared to chat with the shop owner. He is also soooo good-hearted and likes to come around chat with his guests if he gets the chance! I'm a committed regular here because the food is simply so delicious and filling. Make sure you give yourself plenty of napkins! 😉 One of my top 5 favorite places to eat if I want something quick and cheap.
Gazali's Mediterranean Grill
1205 25th Street
The best gyro in Des Moines, and their fresh tabbouleh is a must-try as well. Great for take-out or dine in. If you stay, be prepared to chat with the shop owner. He is also soooo good-hearted and likes to come around chat with his guests if he gets the chance! I'm a committed regular here because the food is simply so delicious and filling. Make sure you give yourself plenty of napkins! 😉 One of my top 5 favorite places to eat if I want something quick and cheap.
Want those "high-end dining” feels without going broke? This is the place to be. Delicious Mediterranean/Italian/Moroccan-inspired food -- small plates, appetizers, and entrees. They also known for their AMAZING unique wood-roasted pizzas (I recommend). Come during their happy hours during 3-6pm and get your pizza and beer half off – super good deal.
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Recomendado por los habitantes de la zona
Eatery A
2932 Ingersoll Avenue
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Recomendado por los habitantes de la zona
Want those "high-end dining” feels without going broke? This is the place to be. Delicious Mediterranean/Italian/Moroccan-inspired food -- small plates, appetizers, and entrees. They also known for their AMAZING unique wood-roasted pizzas (I recommend). Come during their happy hours during 3-6pm and get your pizza and beer half off – super good deal.
If you love really good meat (all you can eat), and are willing to pay a little extra for it, come HERE. They will literally just parade around with PERFECTED meat on a stick and will shave it off directly onto your plate. Tell them it's your birthday and you'll get a free delicious dessert! 😉 Also note that if you go there for lunch, the price is significantly cheaper than supper (of course).
Brazil Terra Grill Steakhouse
2800 University Ave
If you love really good meat (all you can eat), and are willing to pay a little extra for it, come HERE. They will literally just parade around with PERFECTED meat on a stick and will shave it off directly onto your plate. Tell them it's your birthday and you'll get a free delicious dessert! 😉 Also note that if you go there for lunch, the price is significantly cheaper than supper (of course).
High-end Mexican.
Malo
900 Mulberry St
High-end Mexican.
High-end French.
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Recomendado por los habitantes de la zona
Django
210 10th Street
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Recomendado por los habitantes de la zona
High-end French.
Made fresh-to-order, the best poke bowl in Des Moines!
The Poké Company
300 W Martin Luther King Jr Pkwy
Made fresh-to-order, the best poke bowl in Des Moines!
High-end Peruvian.
Panka Peruvian Restaurant
2708 Ingersoll Ave
High-end Peruvian.
BAH Brazilian Steakhouse
2301 Ingersoll Ave
Korean-fusion.
Dumpling Darling
212 E 3rd St
Korean-fusion.
Pho 515
801 University Ave
Breweries/Distillaries/Wineries
Love this place. It’s a farm-to-table in all manners of the phrase with all the "Iowa" quirks and feels. You’re in for an experience, from the (real) old-fashioned truck that sits above the bar, to the popcorn you get to snack on while you wait for your food, and their desserts served in black iron skillets (I recommend the Apple Crisp Skillet!). Not only does it have upbeat vibes (if you go on a weekend night, you may get to hear some live music!), but it’s also one my top 5 favorite places to eat because they have AMAZING beer and burgers. Located in West Des Moines, this place brews their own variety of beers, including some pale ales, dark stouts, and sours. In fact, this place made me fall in love with sour beer (I usually preferred the stouts and porters). IF they have it on their beer menu (it's a seasonal beer), ask for their "S'more" stout – it’s the [heavenly] alcoholic version of chocolate, graham, and marshmallow. Insanely good. Huge hit among the Des Moines locals. Even if you’re not a stout person, it’s worth trying! This is also the place to go if you're looking for an amazing burger. Yum. Watch for their burger of the month. Always inventive and delicious!
Barn Town Brewing
9500 University Ave
Love this place. It’s a farm-to-table in all manners of the phrase with all the "Iowa" quirks and feels. You’re in for an experience, from the (real) old-fashioned truck that sits above the bar, to the popcorn you get to snack on while you wait for your food, and their desserts served in black iron skillets (I recommend the Apple Crisp Skillet!). Not only does it have upbeat vibes (if you go on a weekend night, you may get to hear some live music!), but it’s also one my top 5 favorite places to eat because they have AMAZING beer and burgers. Located in West Des Moines, this place brews their own variety of beers, including some pale ales, dark stouts, and sours. In fact, this place made me fall in love with sour beer (I usually preferred the stouts and porters). IF they have it on their beer menu (it's a seasonal beer), ask for their "S'more" stout – it’s the [heavenly] alcoholic version of chocolate, graham, and marshmallow. Insanely good. Huge hit among the Des Moines locals. Even if you’re not a stout person, it’s worth trying! This is also the place to go if you're looking for an amazing burger. Yum. Watch for their burger of the month. Always inventive and delicious!
Exile’s brewed beers are distributed throughout the Midwest. It's a solid place to visit if you’re downtown and in search of a good beer and burger!
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Recomendado por los habitantes de la zona
Exile Brewing Company
1514 Walnut Street
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Recomendado por los habitantes de la zona
Exile’s brewed beers are distributed throughout the Midwest. It's a solid place to visit if you’re downtown and in search of a good beer and burger!
Located in the East Village of Des Moines metro, this is another solid spot if you're looking for a good beer and snacks!
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Recomendado por los habitantes de la zona
Peace Tree Brewing Co. - Des Moines Branch
317 E Court Ave
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Recomendado por los habitantes de la zona
Located in the East Village of Des Moines metro, this is another solid spot if you're looking for a good beer and snacks!
Nestled in a green, scenic part of the city (near Des Moines Waterworks and Gray's lake), this place offers a variety of wine tastings and experiences. A solid choice if you're looking for a unique location to host events and parties!
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Recomendado por los habitantes de la zona
Jasper Winery
2400 George Flagg Parkway
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Recomendado por los habitantes de la zona
Nestled in a green, scenic part of the city (near Des Moines Waterworks and Gray's lake), this place offers a variety of wine tastings and experiences. A solid choice if you're looking for a unique location to host events and parties!
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Recomendado por los habitantes de la zona
The Iowa Taproom
215 E 3rd St
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Recomendado por los habitantes de la zona
The most popular street for bar-hopping and live music on the weekends!
Court Avenue
The most popular street for bar-hopping and live music on the weekends!
American Cuisine
If you like a good, fancy pizza, this place is delicious, and you get a lot of bang for your buck if you’re sharing your pizza.
Gusto Pizza Co.
1905 Ingersoll Avenue
If you like a good, fancy pizza, this place is delicious, and you get a lot of bang for your buck if you’re sharing your pizza.
This place is another Des Moines staple. They just opened a second location in Ankeny. Unique pizzas at a great price. Famous for their Crab Rangoon pizza!
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Recomendado por los habitantes de la zona
Fong's Pizza
223 4th Street
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Recomendado por los habitantes de la zona
This place is another Des Moines staple. They just opened a second location in Ankeny. Unique pizzas at a great price. Famous for their Crab Rangoon pizza!
A favorite place if you're in the mood for fancy brunch and mimosas, but also an excellent choice for well-priced, elegant dinner or for parties/events.
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Recomendado por los habitantes de la zona
Americana
1312 Locust Street
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Recomendado por los habitantes de la zona
A favorite place if you're in the mood for fancy brunch and mimosas, but also an excellent choice for well-priced, elegant dinner or for parties/events.
High-end American.
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Recomendado por los habitantes de la zona
Alba Restaurant
524 East 6th Street
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Recomendado por los habitantes de la zona
High-end American.
High-end Southern food.
Bubba
200 10th St
High-end Southern food.
High-end steak.
801 Chophouse
801 Grand Avenue
High-end steak.
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Recomendado por los habitantes de la zona
Centro
1003 Locust Street
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Recomendado por los habitantes de la zona
Motley School Tavern
1903 Beaver Ave
St. Kilda Surf & Turf
111 E Grand Ave