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Historic East Village


Located on the east side of the Des Moines River in Downtown Des Moines (DSM), the Historic East Village begins at the Des Moines River and extends east to the beautiful Iowa Capitol building.

Things to Do

It’s also home to the “the greatest store in the universe,” Raygun, a clothing company owned and operated by “extremely attractive Midwesterners.”

The interior of a Raygun store

Like Greenwich Village in New York City, a strong, independent scene has led to the neighborhood’s regeneration with cafés, eateries, retro entertainment spots (think ‘80s arcade games) and music venues. The neighborhood continues to receive national buzz.

Walkable, cool and full of character, the Historic East Village offers residents and visitors alike an experience for all senses with a fascinating assortment of small businesses and merchants. Current establishments include clothing boutiques, a plant store, independent book stores, kitchen stores, spas, upscale furniture stores, restaurants, art galleries, a tea house, hotels and a bridal shop, to name a few. National home goods retailer West Elm joined the eclectic mix of shopping options combining to make the Historic East Village a gem of a neighborhood. Browse the full lineup of shops here.

Held annually in November is the Historic East Village Holiday Promenade, a festive celebration of holiday shopping, food and drink, fireworks, carolers, horse-drawn carriage rides and more.

Additionally, the Historic East Village is where PrideFest originated. Coming up on its 45th year, it takes place annually in June and includes a vibrant community parade, pet parade, Ms. Mr. Mx. Pageant, 5k Stride and more — with 40,000+ attendees participating each year! Other major events taking place in the Historic East Village include the Iowa State Fair Parade and Yankee Doodle Pops, to name a few! 

Restaurants & Nightlife

From a stylish rooftop bar to a bakery, cozy eateries and unique cocktail spots, you’ll want to be sure to come to the Historic East Village hungry.

top down image of pizza and salad

Dining in the Historic East Village is an ever-expanding adventure. Take a peek at a full menu of options here.


There is no shortage of chic apartments and condos hovering above and alongside Historic East Village boutiques, restaurants and nightlife.

Along the Des Moines River, The Bridge District development offers both rental and for-sale housing opportunities with some of the best views of the Downtown skyline and State Capitol. These three-level townhomes are connected to the Bridge art sculpture as well as the Robert D. Ray Asian Gardens and Women of Achievement Bridge, all of which are just down the street from the Des Moines Botanical Garden.