10 New Greater Des Moines Restaurants & Breweries You Haven't Heard Of
Not only has Greater Des Moines (DSM) been consistently recognized as one of the best places to live in the United States, it’s also quickly becoming one of the best places to eat. The food scene in Greater Des Moines has exploded in the last few years, bringing not only a large number of new restaurants but a variety of choices as well. From an Australian-style cafe to a Cheese Bar, there seems to be no end to the culinary options popping up in DSM.
New restaurants, bars and breweries provide more than just tasty things to eat and drink. They also bring jobs for residents and the chance to draw tourism from food enthusiasts.
The DSM food scene is not typical for a city the size of Des Moines. In fact, Des Moines has one of the highest per capita restaurant densities in the country. This means that the number of options for restaurants is unusually high for a city with a relatively small population. Greater Des Moines is quickly becoming the can’t-miss destination for foodies in the Midwest - and even in the US. We put together this list of new restaurants in Greater Des Moines you need to try, along with some breweries and other local recommendations.
Greater Des Moines’ Newest Restaurants You Have to Try
1. Bistro Nomad
Bistro Nomad opened in early 2019 and is located near the Pappajohn Sculpture Park in Downtown Des Moines. They are open Tuesday-Sunday for lunch and dinner, serving Mediterranean dishes like seafood paella, along with delicious desserts and craft cocktails.
2. The Kitchen DSM at The Hall
In 2017, Iowa’s only food and beverage hall opened in the Valley Junction area in West Des Moines. Since then, The Hall has offered food from a rotating lineup of local food trucks. In May 2019, their food service shifted with the addition of The Kitchen, a place where caterers, aspiring restaurant owners, guest chefs and food truck operators can prepare food and experiment with different menu options. This means the menu at the Hall is dynamic, but there are always delicious items available.
The Kitchen is also used as a training facility to help prepare at-risk youth and adults for careers in the food service industry, and a portion of profits from food sales at The Hall goes to support the mission of alleviating poverty, homelessness and hunger in Central Iowa.
3. R I Restaurant
R I Restaurant is a unique, New American restaurant that just opened up in Windsor Heights. Located in the former Baru 66 space, R I Restaurant offers creative cuisine in a friendly atmosphere. If you’re ready to try something new in Greater Des Moines, give R I Restaurant a try!
4. Winchester Pub
Winchester Pub is a very cool new bar in Valley Junction. Located at 226 5th Street, Winchester Pub serves beer, wine and signature craft cocktails. But perhaps the most notable feature is the great atmosphere: exposed brick, hardwood floors, rustic fixtures and a huge, stunning shelf behind the bar.
5. Blue Sushi Sake Grill
The newest Des Moines sushi spot is Blue Sushi Sake Grill, a sushi restaurant with a focus on sustainably-sourced seafood and a commitment to ethical and responsible suppliers. Blue offers a wide selection of traditional sushi, signature rolls and vegan options, along with other seafood dishes and a variety of drinks. They have great happy hour deals on weekdays from 3 to 6:30 p.m.
6. Hare + Hound
There’s a brand new restaurant in the heart of Earlham, Iowa that is generating a lot of buzz. Hare + Hound serves artisan fired pizza, house made soups and salads with beer, wine and cocktails to go with it. Just about a half hour outside of Des Moines, Hound + Hare is the perfect stop to explore the growing Greater Des Moines food scene outside of your usual favorites.
7. Motley School Tavern
In July 2019, Motley School Tavern opened on Beaver Avenue in Des Moines. With nondescript signage reading simply MST, you could miss it if you blink. Motley School Tavern serves breakfast, lunch and dinner and features a full bar. If you’re a fan of local favorite Eatery A, give Motley School Tavern a try - they’re operated by the same team.
Newest Breweries in Des Moines’
8. 1717 Brewing Co.
A new addition to the Historic Court District in Des Moines, 1717 Brewing Co. opened in June 2019. Founded by three brothers, 1717 Brewing was started as a tribute to hospitality, community and a feeling of family and friendship. This laidback locale offers a wide selection of beer styles and invites visitors with the tagline “Come on by the house.”
9. Uptown Garage Brewing Company
Located in Ankeny, Uptown Garage Brewing Company used to be a Ford showroom and garage. It maintains its rustic, vintage character with antique automotive signs and original dealership decor. Check out taproom and patio and their lineup of more than 30 Iowa beers and ciders on tap!
10. Lua Brewing
One of the newest breweries in Des Moines and coming to the Sherman Hill neighborhood, Lua Brewing, is slated to open its taproom soon. The brewery will feature a patio with views of the Downtown Des Moines skyline. One of Lua Brewing’s owners used to be the head brewer at Big Grove Brewery in Iowa City.
Best Local Winter Beers You Need to Try
As we’re getting into the late fall and winter season, many local breweries in Des Moines will start to brew their winter stouts and porters. Winter beers tend to be heavy and dark compared to lighter summer beers. Some winter beers incorporate flavors like chocolate and coffee, and some even take inspiration from Christmas favorites with flavors like eggnog, gingerbread and fruitcake! Check out some of the best winter beers brewed locally in Des Moines:
- First up is Sir Moch-A-Lot from Exile Brewing Co., a mocha stout brewed with Columbian coffee beans. This beer is a collaboration with Horizon Line Coffee, and it’s one of the best winter beers to be found in Des Moines.
- Yer Killin’ Me S’mores is an imperial milk stout created by Barn Town Brewing in West Des Moines. This s’mores inspired beer is brewed with chocolate, marshmallow, graham crackers and milk sugar flavors.
- For a spiced brown ale, try Numb Nut, brewed by 515 Brewing Company. It’s brewed with cinnamon and allspice, and it’s perfect for a cold winter day.
- O Tannenbock is a bock-style Christmas beer brewed by 515 Brewing Company especially for the Des Moines Christkindlmarket in December.
Discover More Uniquely Des Moines’ Restaurants, Bars and Breweries
It’s hard to keep up with all of the new breweries, bars and restaurants in Des Moines. If you’re looking for more recommendations for places to eat and drink locally, check out our guide to the best Downtown Des Moines restaurants and nightlife, or read about food and drink options in Des Moines surrounding communities and suburbs.