Restaurants in Des Moines, IA

Even if you are not in town for the annual Iowa State Fair, which offers days’ worth of good food, Des Moines is a city of eating opportunities far more colorful than suggested by its old nickname, “Hartford of the West.” After coffee and a mighty cinnamon roll at Java Joe’s Coffee House, a visit to B&B Grocery or to Mr. Bibb’s provides a memorable taste of the state’s passion for outlandishly large breaded pork tenderloin sandwiches. Bauder’s Pharmacy is a must for its ice cream, especially peach and strawberry in summer. For a grand climax to the movable feast, tuck into a supper-club meat and potatoes feast at Jesse’s Embers.

Des Moines’s Most Famous Dishes

Huge slab of prime rib extends far beyond its plate

Beef

In a red drive-in basket, onion rings are crisp and golden-brown

Onion Rings

Scoops of strawberry, pistachio, and vanilla ice cream accompany a slice of 4-layer chocolate cake.

Ice Cream

A basket of thin French fries is smothered with molten cheese and beefy chili ... car hop service

Chili Cheese Fries

Des Moines’s Best Restaurants

Java Joe’s Coffeehouse - Dutch Letters
Java Joe’s Coffeehouse

DES MOINES, IA

Mr. Bibbs

DES MOINES, IA

Huge tenderloin stretches far beyond its bun.
B & B Grocery

DES MOINES, IA

Bauder Pharmacy

DES MOINES, IA

Sirloin steak with char marks from the grill
Jesse’s Embers

DES MOINES, IA

Smitty’s Tenderloin Shop - King tenderloin
Smitty’s Tenderloin Shop | Eat Large | An Iowa Best

DES MOINES, IA

Chile-orange beef and salsa fill a trio of tacos
Tacos La Barca

DES MOINES, IA

La Peña Mexican Restaurant

DES MOINES, IA

Des Moines Articles & Guides

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In a clear plastic cup, ice cream is topped with swirls of hot fudge and caramel, pecan halves, and a maraschino cherry

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Smitty’s Tenderloin Shop - King tenderloin

Iowa Tenderloins

There are excellent tenderloins in Indiana, and some in Illinois, but no state has as many great ones as Iowa. By tenderloin, we don't mean a roast that requires...

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