Perkin's: Good Chain Restaurant
$13 as of August 2013. Perkin's specializes in "comfort food" and baked goods (like great pies and cakes). The atmosphere tends to be casual and family oriented. This time I had some Cajun Tilapia, herbed rice, and steamed spinach. Everything was well-prepared and the portions were good. Perkins is open 24 hours a day.
- Family Travel
- Food and Dining
- Road Trip
A-Dong: Vietnamese in Iowa
This Vietnamese Restaurant on the west side of Downtown offers good Vietnamese food at reasonable prices. It seems to attract a good number of its patrons from the nearby medical school and hospital, but I've also noticed a fair number of college students eating here as well.
- Food and Dining
The Continental Lounge: Worth crossing the Alps to Get Here!
The Continental Lounge is a chic lounge/bar/restaurant in the heart of the East Village neighborhood, in the shadow of the imposing State Capitol. Handsome brick walls and a friendly and well-stocked bar up front, comfortable seating area for dining in the back. During the day, the lounge serves tasty tapas, while at night more substantial fare is offered.
La Mie: French Bakery Heaven
Luscious baked goods and a memorable brunchy menu make La Mie "La Favorite" in Des Moines. This very popular bakery-restaurant is a stellar attraction. It's located in a suburban style strip mall a few miles west of downtown, with very easy access to I-235, so it made for an excellent place to stop when I was driving in between Minneapolis and Kansas City in December 2012.
- Food and Dining
Centro: One of the WORST Restaurants in Des Moines
Place is WAY too LOUD, Pizza was COLD, and the PASTA was overcooked. Probably the snobbiest waitresses and waiters on planet EARTH. I don't know how this place gets such good reviews, if you read most of them, "food overcooked" "too loud" "bad service" and they still give 3 stars!! I feel sorry for Des Moines if this is considered one of the Best places there. Obviously the food critics have no taste or they are being bribed. Don't waste your time or money eating here. you are not missing anything but a miserable time.
Favorite Dish: nothing, i think the cook should go to cooking school, or have zinc therapy to restore his taste buds
- Gay and Lesbian
- Horse Riding
Gong Fu Tea: Zen experience
This is one of the best places to go to relax and talk for a while. Great service, atmosphere. There's so much variety, there's something for everyone in their tea selection. I like that I can get a whole pot of tea plus refills for the price of one specialty coffee somewhere else. Highly, highly recommended.
Favorite Dish: Blue Spring Oolong, Jasmine Dragon Pearls, Chai
- Luxury Travel
- Food and Dining
- Arts and Culture
Smitty's Tenderloins: The best tenderloins
Tenderloins are a true Midwest sandwich and no one does them better than Smitty's. It's a casual family-run restaurant that has been in business for 40 years. The tenderloins are thin, tender and HUGE. If you can't eat much you may want to split one (I never seem to have a problem eating a small King Loin by myself!) The onion rings and fries are very good as well. The place is clean and the counter staff are friendly. They also have burgers but I've never ordered one.
Favorite Dish: I always get a small King tenderloin with onion rings. It hits the spot when you have a craving for some fried food.
Sbrocco Wine Bar: Oustanding local fare
Sbrocco is billed as a wine bar, and indeed there is a bountiful list of wines by the bottle or glass, and a cellar which is fun to visit. But what really impressed me was the incredible food. The Iowa duck was meltingly delicious, perfectly cooked. (We all got it, so I didn't have a chance to try the Niman pork chops -- though I did spot some, and would order them next time.) I imagine it can get quite noisy because the tables are tin-topped and there isn't a lot in the way of sound-deadening wall hangings, etc., but the evening we were there, we had no problems. Service was efficient and friendly.
The set-up features a long bar on one side, with tables along the other wall. It is quite a large, deep space. Lighting was adequate to read the menu.
- Business Travel
- Wine Tasting
Centro: Downtown Italian Restaurant
The name is pronounced Chen-tro. It is owned by Des Moines native George Formaro. The first thing you will probably smell is the coal burning pizza oven making fantastic thin crust pizza that reminds of something you may get in Italy. The restaurant has big windows all around so it feels very light. Last year at Christmas time we had a family dinner there and we could see the snow falling and the Christmas lights outside. My Mom still talks about that meal.
Favorite Dish: I love their Centro Salad with gorgonzola cheese, toasted pecans and balsamic vinegar dressing. I enjoy the pizza and handmade cavatelli (pasta dish). Don't overlook the South Union bread on the table. Mr. Formaro also owns that along with the South Union Bread Cafe next door.
- Food and Dining
- Business Travel
Hessen Haus: German themed pub with great food!
This place was so awesome! The whole bar/restaurant was themed like a German pub. It reminded me of the indoor scenes in the Beowulf movie with Angelina Jolie. The food was really great (my husband had the bratwurst and I had goulash). They have a fantastic beer selection (almost all German beers). It's in a really centralized location. The prices were pretty good for the quality of food we received. We parked at the Science Center parking ramp and walked over.
Favorite Dish: Goulash, thick and hearty with potatoes and a delicious creamy sauce.
Bratwurst, came with traditional sauerkraut.
Tasty Tacos: Great tacos!
Tasty Tacos is the hit of Des Moines. It is consistently in the favorites for the area and good luck finding someone who doesn't like it. It's not a big steakhouse and they don't serve alcohol but that's most of the charm. It's good food, cheap. Not "fast food" food although service is speedy. Just a tip: If it's a busy time of day (noon or early dinner time), call ahead to your favorite location to place your order or be prepared to wait in a line. Locals love this place.
Favorite Dish: My favorite food here is the original beef flour taco. It has freshly shredded cheese and lettuce (extra cheese for .50 more!) and the shell is amazing. They're big, but get two...you'll want the second. 2 tacos with extra cheese and a pop will run you about 8 dollars. The mushrooms are also very good!
Great Mexican Restaurant: Azteca
I and my friends usually went there during lunch. It locates in the Skywalk or you can get in from Capital Square Center exist. They serve Chips dip in tomato sauces before they take the order for free. The price is very reasonable. The food is excellent there too.
Favorite Dish: Chicken strip Fajita, they bring out grill chicken strip on a hot metal plate with grill onion, red & green bell pepper. Hot soft fajita wrap in a foil paper. The Chimi-chilada/Quesada there are also good, they served with mash bean(good touch on the taste) and salad with avocado and other sauce. Some orders serve with yummy whip cream.
Shagri-La Buffet: If you love Seafood and Hot Pot this is a must try
The regular buffet is not very special from other Chinese buffet, but their Hot Pot is a must try if you love seafood. All you can eat seafood. Cook your clams, shrimps, crab(the crab not very good there) and other seafoods in the soup. The spicy soup can remove the seafood smell but I prefer the clear soup, but they got both soup for one hot pot Try the white meat ball, there are 2 types, I like the one have meat in the middle. Remember to bring friends/family members, you must have at least 2 people to eat the Hot Pot.
Favorite Dish: Hot Pot. Remember to mention you want Hot Pot, they charge different price from the buffet if you want to eat Hot Pot.
I've put together a great resource to help you in your travels to Des Moines. It is a non-profit web site designed simply to help you.
Hopefully it will help you find the best place to eat in the area.
Buzzard Billy's Flying Carp Cafe: little gator anyone?
This is a neat little place downtown. They serve up some of the best Creole/Cajun food that I have had. Don't let the name fool you, there is no "carp" on the menu. When you walk down the steps it feels rustic and that it could be down on Bourbon Street. The best night to go is on Thursday, "crappy beer night". You can get your old fav's, Schlitz, PBR, Old Mil, the list goes on.
Favorite Dish: All of them, but I would have to say, get the stuffed mushrooms to start with. Just thinking about them makes me hungry.
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