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Historic East Village


Described as “the closest thing to Brooklyn that Iowa has ever seen,” the Historic East Village features historic buildings, boutique shopping and award-winning restaurants. It has grown into one of the trendiest neighborhoods around.

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.”

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 upscale furniture stores, restaurants, art galleries, a tea house, hotels and a bridal shop, to name a few. National home goods retailer West Elm joins the eclectic mix of shopping options combining to make the Historic East Village a gem of a neighborhood.

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.

Restaurants & Nightlife

Ever evolving, the recent addition of the boutique AC Hotel and its stylish rooftop bar, The Republic on Grand, is helping to set the Historic East Village apart.

For culture, character and funky charm, a day shopping and dining in the Historic East Village is a day well spent.


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.