What’s the best thing about Downtown Des Moines (DSM) shopping? It might be shopping at locals’ favorite screen print shop, Raygun. It might be perusing the artsy boutiques of the Historic East Village. Or it might be the ease of moving from one area of Downtown DSM to another with ease on the D-Line shuttle. If you ask us, it’s all of these and more. Specialty shops filled with unique, one-of-kind items are filling Downtown DSM and shop owners are collaborating and innovating in a whole new way, on the lookout for ways to bring their passion to the forefront, while working together on a shared vision for their city.
The Historic East Village has long been known as a unique and eclectic shopping district dotted with local shops. Boutique clothing stores like Aimee, Preservation and Dornink are plenty. The Bridal Boutique is ideally located for when you’ve finished scouting all of Downtown DSM’s many reception options.
Food and Bakery Shops
The Fourth + Court Hy-Vee is just one of several grocery stores that has made grocery shopping even easier with its new location in the Historic Court District. South Union Bakery, near Western Gateway, provides 50 types of baked goods, while Della Dolce Bakery offers cinnamon rolls and pastries. Thelma's offers fresh-baked, warm cookies and cool ice cream sandwiches, while AllSpice Culinarium and Kitchen Collage offer high quality spices, kitchenware and entertaining items.
The A-Ha store, offering all things science from educational merchandise to unique gifts for your inner explorer, is located in Historic Court District inside the Science Center of Iowa & Blank IMAX Dome Theater. From books and posters to puzzles and games, there’s a variety of items for all science-minded interests. The Capitol Gift Shop, located in the rotunda of the Iowa State Capitol keeps books, postcards and clothing on hand as well.
The Historic East Village is also home to antique stores like Porch Light, cultivated gift shops such as Domestica and jewelry stores like Leona Ruby. Buy spices at Allspice Culinarium, tea at Gong Fu or gear from Ichi Bike for when you’re ready to hit the trails. Try Jett & Monkey’s Dog Shoppe for toys, food and more for your favorite feline or fluffy friend. Move a little further west to West End Architectural Salvage, a not-to-miss stop that’s been featured on HGTV!
West Elm is the newest national store to find a home in Downtown DSM. The Historic East Village welcomed the modern home goods shop in September of 2017. Thanks to Downtown DSM’s rapid growth, national and local brands are neighbors in a unique setting found only in Downtown DSM.
Specialty items are available for purchase every Saturday May-October at the Des Moines Farmers’ Market as well, with holiday items sold at the two-day Winter Markets in November and December. Additionally, Market Day Iowa brings together Iowa artists and crafters in a pop-up-like marketplace periodically throughout the year including Black Friday, providing an opportunity to shop local for holiday gift-giving.
Huffington Post recently wrote a feature article on the top five stores to visit in Downtown DSM. From “vintage and modern lifestyle shopping and photo studios” to “treasure troves of on-trend fashion and accessories,” this article provides a great look at some of Downtown DSM’s most appealing shopping locations.