Great Eats in Des Moines!
Recently, my family and I were invited to the beautiful city of Des Moines, Iowa, hosted by Catch Des Moines. We ate our way through this charming midwestern city, visited the Farmers Market, met up with friends and family and visited the Botanical Garden.
Every city has unique eats and local favorites and I think we were only able to catch a glimpse of all the amazing places there are in Des Moines. There were so many more places I wanted to try but one weekend is not enough time. If you’re ever in the area, or thinking of visiting Des Moines, here are the places and restaurants we visited.
This was the first time my husband accompanied me on a trip like this. I’m used to traveling and pacing myself, as far as the food is concerned. That’s the only way to do it on trips like this. But my husband doesn’t understand eating small portions and not finishing all of the food on his plate (like most guys), so to say we ate a lot this weekend is an understatement.
Here we go!
First up: Zombie Burger! Known for their crazy burgers and delicious milkshakes, this place did not disappoint. It took us about 4.5 hours to drive to Des Moines from Madison, so by the time we got to Zombie burger, we were hungry! My kids didn’t like the decor, zombies and scary things everywhere but it was fun. We were there for the food so the ambiance didn’t bother me.
I ordered the Raygun and we also ordered poutine. The Raygun was loaded with Monterey jack cheese, fried jalapeños, caramelized onion, bacon, guacamole and chipotle mayo. This burger was good!!! Definitely make sure you go to Zombie burger hungry.
The poutine was also fabulous. Here’s an action shot of me going for it. And remember, this is burgers, milkshakes and poutine guys. If you’re looking for a good, greasy, yummy burger, this is the place to go!
After lunch, we checked into the Renaissance Des Moines Savery Hotel. It’s family friendly and we got the suite on the top floor so there was plenty of space. Two bedrooms, a living/sitting area, dining table and small kitchen area. Note: there’s no pool in case you are traveling with kids.
For dinner, we ate at Centro. Now, we just may have to go back to Des Moines just so we can eat here again and order a proper dinner. By the time dinner rolled around, we were still extremely full from lunch so honestly, we didn’t eat very much here. I couldn’t just order food and not eat it so we just ordered the pasta special, which was amazing, and a salad. Our waitress was extremely kind and helpful when it came to menu choices for us and the girls.
Before heading back to the hotel, we had to get dessert, at least a few bites of one. We went to Creme Cupcake. This place was featured on Cupcake Wars and was packed when we got there. They have more than just cupcakes and I believe the wait staff helps you pair something to drink with your dessert. We were able to grab a table and just ate two cupcakes (so happy they had vegan and GF options) and chocolate truffles. Such a cute little place and definitely worth a stop if you’re in Des Moines.
If you know me, you know I have to have a cup of coffee every morning. Every morning while in Des Moines, I walked over to Java Joe’s, just a few minutes from the hotel and got some coffee. Very cool place and they have donuts too!
The next morning, we visited the Des Moines Farmer’s Market. It was bustling with people and fresh produce and it reminded me a lot of home. I love the Farmers market and was able to meet up with a dear friend who lives in Des Moines.
The first thing I noticed was an incredibly long line for Farm Boys Hearty Food Company’s breakfast burritos. So, naturally I had to have one. So good! I also ate some stuffed cabbage rolls and Thelma’s ice cream sandwiches (featured at the very top of this post).
Everyone told us we had to get pizza from Fong’s Pizza so my husband wasn’t eating anything until lunch time. He loves pizza. Well, sadly, we got there and Fong’s was closed due to a fire from a nearby apartment complex. So, we went for my husband’s second favorite food: sushi.
The sushi at Wasabi Tao was excellent and it’s right next to the farmers market so we didn’t have to walk far. The sushi was fresh and good and the wait staff was nice. They even wrapped and kept my ice cream sandwiches in the freezer for us. I definitely recommend this place!
My sister’s family came into town for the day and joined us for dinner at HoQ Table. I was so impressed with the food here! The Cod Brandade (Crispy cod beignets with tomato sauce and salsa verde) is featured above. This dining experience was the best! And because my sister’s family was with us, we ordered a ton of food (I love doing this so you can try a little bit of everything) and we loved everything!!
This was their Fried Asparagus Salad: Wonton wrapped fried asparagus, local greens, creamy dressing and shaved prairie breeze. So good you guys!!! Rather than list out the full menu of what we ate, you can check out their menu here. We pretty much ordered everything on the menu. No joke! The next time I’m in Des Moines, we will definitely be going back to HoQ Table!
We ended our eating extravaganza at Eatery A on Sunday for brunch. It was Father’s Day so the perfect place to go and get some delicious food.
I ordered the Adobo Fried Chicken with a buttermilk waffle above. It was SO GOOD you guys. Oh my goodness! So good! My husband had the Mustard Braised Pork Shoulder, my sister ordered the Shrimp + Creamy Polenta, we also ordered the Wild Crab Benedict and the Lemon Ricotta Pancakes!!! Everything was delicious! Definitely a great place for brunch and dinner!!
We ended our visit with a quick trip to the Des Moines Botanical Garden. Such a beautiful place and huge display and collection of all kinds of plants, flowers, herb gardens and more!
We had such a lovely weekend in Des Moines, Iowa and we will definitely be back! My only regret: not being able to eat at Fong’s Pizza. So, I already know Fong’s is on my list for our next visit! Have you guys ever visited Des Moines? If so, where did you eat???
“Des Moines is a city where you can catch a Broadway show on a Friday night and spend a Saturday morning at the Downtown Farmers’ Market. A place where you can experience locally-owned restaurants and live music venues. Spend your day shopping boutiques in the Historic East Village, Valley Junction and West Glen Town Center. Explore public art, endless trails and family-friendly attractions. Catch a city where affordability and easy meet fun and unique. Catch it all in Des Moines.“
Disclosure: This is a sponsored post in partnership with Catch Des Moines. All opinions are 100% my own.