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Restaurants & Nightlife in Downtown DSM

Best Places to Eat 

Downtown Des Moines (DSM) is a city bursting with flavor. Featuring farm-to-table eats, locally owned breweries and wineries and restaurants that are unique to Downtown DSM, you can find the perfect pairings for any craving. 

Famous Restaurants

In addition to numerous James Beard-nominated chefs and local eateries featured on The Food Network and The Travel Channel, the city also has many hidden treasures. You may remember seeing the East Village’s Tacopocalypse on an episode of Guy Fieri’s Diners, Drive-ins and Dives. Or if you’re a fan of the show Food Paradise, the episode featuring Downtown DSM staple Fong’s Pizza may have caught your attention.


Going out to eat with kids? Enjoy a fun atmosphere at Zombie Burger + Drink Lab with a twist on burgers and spiked milkshakes or check out the new restaurants near the Science Center of Iowa, such as Blaze Pizza or Fuzzy's Taco Shop in the same building as 300 Craft & Rooftop. And everyone loves the Downtown DSM staple Spaghetti Works! Other great restaurants that are family-friendly are:

For more restaurants with kid-friendly menus, take a look at the classics below!

The Classics

Sometimes it's best to keep it simple – a classic burger with a side of fries, a slice of pizza and never forget the mac and cheese:

Date Night

When you need somewhere special for that special someone, Downtown DSM offers fine dining with a view. Be amazed at Alba, get a taste of Italy at Lucca or soak in the Downtown skyline from Sam & Gabe's at The Lyon. Other popular places for couples include:

Need more food for thought? Visit Catch Des Moines for more inspiration.

Best Places to Grab a Drink

Local Breweries

A more recent addition to the Downtown DSM scene is the quickly growing collection of craft breweries. Peace Tree Brewery, originally from of Knoxville, Iowa, recently opened a new location in Des Moines’ Historic East Village. And Exile Brewing Co. serves delicious food and beer out of their location in Western Gateway Park. Other all-star additions to Downtown DSM include Madhouse, Confluence and Court Avenue Restaurant & Brewing Co.

Other great places to visit to grab a beer include:

Cocktails & Wine

All of the date night locations mentioned above have a bar area with an excellent list of fine wines and fancy cocktails, some other local favorites include:

Coffee Shops & Bakeries

Need caffeine or a sweet treat instead of a cocktail? Whether it's to meet up with a friend or for a business meeting or grabbing something to-go, you can find coffee shops and bakeries of every kind in Downtown DSM: