March 30, 2023

10 Best Local Restaurants in Des Moines, IA: A Guide for Foodies

Discover the top 10 best local restaurants in Des Moines IA with our comprehensive guide for foodies. From Italian to Vietnamese Cuisine, find out where to go for the best dining experience in the city. Don't miss out on these must-visit culinary destinations.

Welcome foodies!

Are you tired of trying different restaurants and ending up with bland, boring food and poor service?

We know we are, so we set out to try and gather the crème de la crème and create the top 10 best local restaurants in Des Moines IA.

If you're looking for the best local restaurants near Des Moines, IA, you've come to the right place.

Whether you are a contractor, a local small business owner, or college student looking for a great place to eat for lunch break or dinner, this is for you.

At Performance Financial CPA Tax & Accounting, we love good food and know that great food is an essential part of the work week, and we're excited to share our top 10 picks with you.


1003 Locust Street, Des Moines, IA 50309

515-248-1780 |

If you're in the mood for Italian food, Centro is the place to be.

This restaurant offers a cozy atmosphere and mouth-watering dishes such as pasta and wood-fired pizza.

Prices range from $10-$30, and Centro is located in Downtown Des Moines.

On Mondays from 4pm to close, they offer half-price pizzas and Peroni beer for dine-in and carry-out only(use code "Pizza Monday") .

They offer dine-in, carry-out, and delivery(GRUBHUB & DOORDASH).

Don't believe us? Take this outstanding Google review's word for it:

You can learn more about reservations, the menu, scheduling an event, and purchase gift cards here.

Get social with Centro  FACEBOOK | TWITTER | INSTAGRAM



300 E Grand Ave, Des Moines, IA 50309  


This unique "Goremet" burger joint offers more than just your standard burger.

With names like "Undead Elvis" and "The Walking Ched," the menu will keep you entertained.

Prices range from $10-$15, and the restaurant is located in Downtown Des Moines.

From Zombie Swag to revolving weekly specials, this restaurant is sure to please any meat-eating carnivore or veggie-lover alike.

They offer dine-in with an outdoor patio, catering services, carry-out through online ordering, and DOORDASH delivery.

Reservations aren't accepted, but you can easily get your name on the waitlist through the Yelp App on Apple or Google Play, if it is busy.

You can also walk in and get your name put on their list and they'll text you when your table is ready - giving you time to sift through the Zombie Burger Swag store or order a specialized drink at the full bar while you wait.

This fabulous Google review is sure to persuade you:




223 4th Street, Des Moines, IA 50309


Voted best pizza in Iowa from Food Network Magazine and described as "Asian-inspired pizza," Fong's Pizza offers a fusion of flavors you won't find anywhere else.

Prices range from $10-$20, and the restaurant is located in downtown Des Moines.

Monday thru Friday are Lucky Lunch Specials between 11am-2pm.

The Tiki Bar is the destination for year-round, M-F happy hours from 3pm-6pm with $2 off all Tiki Drinks and $1 off Wells, Domestics and Drafts AND every drink purchase scores you a FREE slice!

We at Performance Financial are not one to turn down a free slice of pizza!

Looking for a late night hang-out on Friday or Saturday? Fong's is the place to be - they serve pizza until 3 am!

While you are down here, grab some Fong Swag and get lucky with The Year of The Rabbit 2023 t-shirt or a Kitty mug.

If you can't dine-in, Fong's offers specials for online ordering for pick-up or delivery.




2925 Ingersoll, Des Moines, IA, 50309


If you're a cheese lover, this restaurant is a must-visit.

They offer a wide variety of cheese boards, sandwiches, and salads.

Prices range from $10-$20, and the restaurant is located in the East Village.

You cannot miss their World-Famous Cast-Iron Mac & Cheese! Gooey and delicious! Yum!

Champagne and bubbly wine happy hour Tuesday through Friday! Only $5 per glass and $5 bites between 2pm-5pm.

Take 'N' Bake Mac & Cheese and Make At Home Fondue, a person cannot simply walk past The Cheese Bar empty-handed.

With 30 beers, 18 wines, as well as cider and mead on tap - The Cheese Bar cannot be passed up.

While they do not accept reservations at this time, you can dine-in, order online or call for carry-out or curb side.

There is no question why they are rated with 4.5 stars and 749 Google reviews (as of the publish date of this article).

Get Social with Cheese | FACEBOOK | INSTAGRAM



900 Mulberry Street, Des Moines, IA 50309

(515) 244-5000

This restaurant offers a unique blend of Mexican and Latin American cuisine.

The atmosphere is modern and trendy, and the prices range from $10-$30.

Malo is located in the East Village.

Let's just say that a restaurant that offers four different kinds of flavor-filled guacamole will always rank high in my books.

From the Drunken Nachos to the Taco Platters, you really can't go wrong.

Our goal is to come back and try everything on the menu at least once!

Beer choices include selections from local breweries such as, Barntown Brewing “Neon” Hazy IPA, Confluence Brewing “Long Ride” Hazy Pale Ale, and Exile Brewing “Tico Time” Tropical Wheat Ale with Passionfruit and Guava.

Slide up to the bar while you're waiting for your table for one of their delicious, exotic drinks - sure to get your taste buds going and ready for an appetizer.

Easily make a reservation here. Purchase gift cards, make large reservations, learn about parking, and more here.

Available for dining in, carry-out, or delivery(DOORDASH & GRUBHUB).

Savory Google reviews include:

Get Social with Malo on FACEBOOK | INSTAGRAM

Menu & online ordering CARRY-OUT | DOORDASH | GRUBHUB


1420 Locust St., Des Moines, IA, 50309

(515) 288-0268

Located in the historic Hotel Fort Des Moines, Django offers French-inspired cuisine in an elegant atmosphere.

Prices range from $20-$185, and the restaurant is located in downtown Des Moines.

What is really great about Django, is the experience and non-pretentious menu selection.

Django has an interactive Chef station with fresh seafood.

This is one of the very few restaurants where I have seen Escargots, mussels and oysters on the menu, let alone a Scotch & Oyster Flight.

If you don't like seafood, don't let that keep you from trying their delicious steaks, burgers, and sandwiches.

Don't forget about Happy Hour! Weekdays 4pm-6pm and all evening Tuesdays 4pm-close including half-price mussels, a cheese & charcuterie plate, and more!

My favorite cocktail, which I haven't experienced anywhere else is the Cutting Corners made with Appleton Signature Rum. Delicious!

Django accepts online reservations and gift card purchases and offers private dining and event-hosting.

Available for dining in, to-go, or delivery.

Check out their Google Reviews here and get Social with Django FACEBOOK | INSTAGRAM



1511 High St, Des Moines, IA 50309

(515) 284-5632

If you're in the mood for Vietnamese food, A Dong is the place to be.

They offer a variety of dishes such as pho and banh mi sandwiches.

They also have a wide selection of vegetarian and vegan options, making it a good place for those with dietary restriction.

This is a family-owned restaurant and has been serving up authentic Vietnamese cuisine for over 35 years, earning a reputation as one of the best restaurants in the city.

Prices range from $5-$15, and the restaurant is located in the Drake neighborhood.

They have a cozy and inviting atmosphere, with colorful decor and comfortable seating.

I can't complain about the staff - they were very friendly and attentive, always willing to help me - especially making recommendations and helping navigate the menu.

A Dong offers dine-in and takeout for those of you who are on the go and prefer to enjoy their food from home or work.

There is no question as to why they have become a local favorite.

Their social media presence is probably one of my favorites of all these restaurants with their humorous posts and memes.

A Dong has over 1,000 positive and glowing Google reviews and counting!

Get Social with A Dong | FACEBOOK

Online Menu for TAKE-OUT


524 E 6th St Des Moines, IA 50309

(515) 244-0261

This restaurant offers a farm-to-table experience with fresh, locally-sourced ingredients, so their menu changes seasonally, and prices range from $20-$40.

Alba is located in the East Village.

The restaurant has a cozy and intimate atmosphere, with dim lighting, exposed brick walls, and stylish decor. The reclaimed doors on the ceiling are very unique.

The large windows and doors really open the restaurant up. The amount of fresh sunlight is refreshing.

Alba features a wide variety of Italian dishes, from classic pasta dishes to hearty meat dishes and seafood options.

The fresh ingredients, food preparation, and bold flavors really make this restaurant stand out.

There is a definite flavor difference between freshly sourced and restaurants that keep their food frozen from large suppliers.

It is difficult to make food recommendations as there menu changes frequently, but I loved their Farmhouse Burger and the NY Strip Stroganoff - amazing!

The customer experience is excellent from beginning to end and really made me feel like a VIP.

Alba opens at 4pm and their happy hour is daily from 4pm-6pm on the patio and at their bar.

Reserve your table online here.

Get Social with Alba | FACEBOOK |

View the Current 2023 Winter Dinner Menu, Happy Hour Menu, Cocktails, and Desserts here.

9) The Latin King

2200 Hubbell Avenue, Des Moines, IA 50317

This Italian restaurant has been a Des Moines staple and fixture in the community for over 70 years on Des Moines' south side.

They offer authentic Italian dishes such as Salmone alla Riviera and Spaghettini Scarpara as well as American-based foods such as hamburgers and fried chicken.

Prices range from $10-$60, and the restaurant is located in the Drake neighborhood.

What really stands out about The Latin King is authenticity. From the food to the staff, it is a great experience all around.

With their excellent service and warm atmosphere, it is no wonder they have received numerous awards, including the Restaurateur of the Year Award from the Iowa Hospitality Association.

Happy Hour on Friday and Saturdays are between 3pm-5pm.

I recommend their in house limoncello drink, The Italian Mule.

There are daily soup specials as well as Prime Rib Tuesday!

The Latin King accepts online reservations, gift card purchasing, order pick-up, curbside, and delivery options.

Reviews such as, "homemade pasta to die for," "phenomenal," and a praise for the seafood dishes, "always fresh and flavorful" make it a great spot for anyone from families to groups.

Get Social with The Latin King | FACEBOOK | TWITTER | INSTAGRAM |



4337 Park Ave, Des Moines, IA 50311


If you're in the mood for barbecue, Jethro's is the place to be.

They offer a variety of meats such as brisket and ribs, and their portions are generous.

Princes range from $10-$20, and there are multiple locations throughout Des Moines.

Daily specials, online ordering, catering, parties, and rewards are just a window into what Jethro's offers.

Looking to watch UFC, ESPN, and other sports? This is a great spot for sports fans with their large TVs playing the latest games.

Looking for a $5,000 challenge? Eat the The Adam Emmenecker sandwich and fries within 15 minutes to break the record from former Drake University basketball star, Adam Emmenecker.

Jethro's is highly praised. One customer noted that the "brisket is the best I've ever had", while another praised the "juicy and flavorful" pulled pork.

Get Social with Jethro's | FACEBOOK | INSTAGRAM | YELP | TWITTER

Order online | PICKUP |

10 Best Local Restaurants in Des Moines IA Brought to You By Performance Financial CPA Tax & Accounting

We hope you enjoyed our top 10 picks for the best local restaurants near Des Moines IA.

Whether you're in the mood for Italian, Asian-inspired pizza, or barbecue, there's something for everyone near Des Moines.

And if you're ever in need of tax or accounting services, remember that we are Performance Financial CPA Tax & Accounting, located near Des Moines, IA.

Schedule a Tax & Accounting Analysis Now

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