The 33 Best Des Moines Restaurants

By on September 9, 2021 0


Iowa isn’t just about fried food on a stick, bulk meat Maid-Rite sandwiches, and presidential hopeful photo ops at the Iowa State Fair. A tour will tell you that there is more to Hawkeye State than cornfields and corn dogs.

With foodie destinations like Lua Brewing and Clyde’s Fine Diner, local food brands like La Quercia charcuterie and Maytag blue cheese, and pioneers from the World Food Prize Foundation (which promotes food security and global agricultural innovation) , Iowa is slowly moving back to its roots: more small farms and more local businesses to compete with industrial agriculture and restaurant chains. This is especially true around the state’s largest metropolitan area, Des Moines, where young hospitality professionals are opening up new venues, advancing the city’s restaurant and bar culture in a much more diverse direction. .

The capital of Iowa, including the hospitality industry, has been significantly affected by COVID-19. But innovative concepts exploded at the same time. Fine dining restaurants have tested new angles, like Harbinger’s Korean Fried Chicken Take-Out Operation or Django’s Virtual Hamburger Spin-off. Take-out cocktails and prepared wine packages have helped places like Bartender’s Handshake and Bubba Southern Comforts recoup lost revenue below capacity limits. Others have used the pandemic as an excuse to leave the corporate world and join the baking world. Pastry lovers can now find farmer’s market stalls like Bread by Chelsa B, where Chelsea Smith channels her creative energy into homemade focaccia and sourdough donuts, and Pie Bird Pies, where Kristen Daily and Andrea Piekarczyk feed the addiction. locals for the pies.

From quintessential pork tenderloin sandwiches to a traveling vegan pop-up on a converted school bus, here are 33 reasons Des Moines isn’t a land of flyovers.

Note: The inclusion of restaurants with on-site catering should not be considered an approval for indoor dining. Studies indicate a lower risk of exposure to COVID-19 outdoors, but the level of risk depends on social distancing and other safety guidelines. Check with each restaurant for up-to-date information on catering offerings. For up-to-date information on coronavirus cases in your area, please visit Iowa Department of Public Health.

Karla Walsh is a writer, freelance writer, level one sommelier, and former fitness instructor and personal trainer based in Des Moines, Iowa, who balances her love of food and drink with her passion for fitness. His handwriting was printed in All Recipes, The runner’s world, Form, and Aptitude, and appeared online in Form, Better houses and gardens, Reader’s Digest, and Women’s health. Stay with her on Instagram and find out more about

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To note: The restaurants on this map are listed geographically.


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