Choose Your Dining Adventure

Above: District 36 Wine Bar & Grill

Check out these local eateries to satisfy your hunger

Find independent options to suit any dining mood in both new and more established neighborhoods in town.

Fun for the Family

Main Street Cafe & Bakery: For early risers and breakfast fans, this spot in Prairie Trail is the best bet. Start the day with a scramble (the Iowan is loaded with bacon, turkey sausage, ham and pepper jack) or French toast made with brioche. Kid favorites include seven types of mac and cheese, burgers and toasted sandwiches.

Porch Light Coffeehouse: If you’re in the mood for something light, this caffeine place in Uptown showcases locally roasted coffees and mini doughnuts for the kids.

Outside Scoop: For a sweet treat made from scratch, grab some ice cream in Prairie Trail. Sample old-school classics such as strawberry or cookies ’n’ cream or updates such as goat cheese with roasted cherry and coffee toffee.

Take It Upscale

Clubby Tavern 180 is known for great steaks. Wagyu beef stars in apps, salads and main dishes. Order with a side of jalapeño bacon Brussels sprouts or asparagus risotto. The north-side spot is also a top brunch spot.

Above: Flavory Bistro

Flavory Bistro: In Prairie Trail, this spot specializes in all things Mediterranean. Try the sharables, including paella loaded with scallops and shrimp or a Mediterranean spread loaded with meats, salads and breads. Plus, there are vegetarian options.

The Fletcher Kitchen + Bar is a new arrival on the scene. It recently reopened with one of Des Moines’ top chefs, George Formaro, and his Orchestrate Group. The menu leans into its smoker and pizza oven capabilities. There’s special attention paid to cocktails, taps and spirits as well.

The Bistro by the Iowa Culinary Institute: On the Des Moines Area Community College campus, this eatery is open both fall and spring semesters for lunch. For just $12, enjoy an app, entree, desert and drink made by students and staff.

District 36 Wine Bar & Grill: This Prairie Trail spot is known for social hour. Taste wines from all over the globe plus signature pastas or salmon marinated in Hawaiian flavors.

Waterfront Seafood Market: A family-owned restaurant and market right off I-35, this eatery has oyster and sushi bars, with a casual restaurant feel. Check out the adjacent market, featuring fish, spices and kitchen tools.

Chill With Pizza

The Leaning Tower of Pizza is old-school Italian and the place to spend a Saturday night. Located in Uptown, the 50-plus-some-year-old eatery is known for classic pies. Their house-made sausage stars on their spicy grinder with banana peppers, and the Bubbie is also topped with pepperoni and sauerkraut.

Wig and Pen Pizza takes a British pub spin. Choose your crust and toppings, go with a flatbread, or try the topped tots to complement your pint.

Fong’s in Prairie Trail boasts creative pizza concoctions and drinks. The Des Moines-based restaurant is revered for its Asia- and Iowa-inspired pies, signature cocktails and local beers on tap.

Wheel House Pizza and Pub is another creative option in Uptown. It offers signature and build-your-own pizzas made with sauce and dough prepared fresh daily.

Relax with a Brew

Uptown Food and Beverage Co. is a must-stop for cyclists during a Saturday ride. Pair comfort food—burgers, onion rings, wings—with a Moscow mule or locally crafted brew.

Firetrucker Brewery: This Uptown spot sits right off the High Trestle trail, making it the perfect patio ending to your ride. Try the 2 Alarm Red, which pays homage to the original firehouse structure, or one of the seasonals.

Trailside Tap is right next door, serving tasty cocktails, wine and beer, plus a variety of eats.

Mistress Brewing Company on the north side crafts wheats, IPAs, sours and more to tempt beer enthusiasts. Pull out one of their board games for an afternoon of hanging out. Plus, there are Iocally made snacks, meats, salsas and more to enjoy.

Experiment With International

Lola’s Fine Kitchen, famous for their hot sauce, in Prairie Trail is all about building your own bowls or rotis (flatbreads). Try your own combo of zippy flavors such as citrus-marinated pork, spicy sweet potatoes and pickled jalapeños, or opt for one of Lola’s signature dishes.

Siam Table excels at curries. Pick your flavor profile, meat or tofu, and spice level; finish with a sweet treat of mango with sticky rice.

Wasabi specializes in sushi. Book at table at the Prairie Trail establishment and enjoy sashimi, rolls, Japanese noodles, or grilled chicken or salmon.

Magee’s Irish Pub & Eatery: For a taste of Irish, order the seafood-studded chowder, a traditional stew with filet and lamb, or asparagus fries breaded in panko and topped with cheddar. Creative cocktails with whiskey and Irish cream also stack the menu.


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