Skip to content

Top restaurant recommendations from locals

Burger Joint
$$
“This is a local staple. Out-of-towners, as well as locals, love to stop here for a bite.”
  • 14 locals recommend
Pizza Place
$$
“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!”
  • 21 locals recommend
Brewery
$$
“Exile’s brewed beers are distributed throughout the Midwest. It's a solid place to visit if you’re downtown and in search of a good beer and burger!”
  • 13 locals recommend
Restaurant
“If you like beer, you will LOVE the Taproom. A beer hall-style setting in downtown Des Moines with 99 taps featuring all Iowa craft brews and a variety of American food favorites. 99 Taps from over 35 Iowa Breweries Browse the beers. Good food too! And a CupCake shop next door. ”
  • 7 locals recommend
Italian Restaurant
$$
“Sunday brunch is great and reasonably priced. Dinner entrees are over-priced and mediocre. Hamburgers are very good and reasonably priced. ”
  • 8 locals recommend
Restaurant
$$
“A favorite place if you're in the mood for fancy brunch and mimosas, but also an excellent choice for well-priced, elegant dinner or for parties/events.”
  • 10 locals recommend
Café
$$
“Coffee and baked goods. Large amount of seating. Close to the State Capitol which is fun to see. Both the grounds and inside are open to the public (check hours first for inside). Metered parking. ”
  • 4 locals recommend
Restaurant
“Personally, my favorite cocktail bar in Des Moines if for no other reasons than the Caipirinha (not on the menu, be sure to ask), the hidden outdoor patio, and the occasional jazz on the weekends. ”
  • 6 locals recommend
German Restaurant
$$
“The biggest thing here is the beer! They've got some of the finest German beers this side of Munich.”
  • 8 locals recommend
Bar
$$
“It's French and tastes expensive. I think it's popular because it sounds like a Quentin Tarantino movie. Service can be good or just plain terrible. Similar results with food. Dress to impress. Make a reservation. ”
  • 6 locals recommend
Bar
$$
“ Has a TON of beers on tap from all over the world. Nice outdoor seating area in the summer.”
  • 7 locals recommend
Restaurant
“Restored fire station has great ala carte tacos and other Mexican cuisine. ”
  • 5 locals recommend
Night Club
“This restaurant is in the basement of our building. Tell them that you are an airbnb guest of the Kirkwood and they'll give you 10 percent off your bill! :)”
  • 5 locals recommend
American Restaurant
$$
“Smokehouse and bar with awesome patio scene close by. Usually packed for weekend breakfast when weather is nice”
  • 6 locals recommend
Café
$$
“This place is all about brunch, and you will need reservations. Everything is perfect, the space is hip: literally try anything on the menu, but I like the Australian coffee, which is just iced coffee wit a scoop of ice cream!”
  • 5 locals recommend
Bar
$$
“My favorite restaurant in Des Moines. Chef Sean Wilson is a three-time James Beard award semifinalist. You can't go wrong with anything on the menu. Great cocktails too.”
  • 5 locals recommend