Best Restaurants in Des Moines for Every Occasion

Real Estate Agent with Amanda Fontana Real Estate LLC

Des Moines is full of wonderful art, museums, parks, and playgrounds. When you think of this vivacious city, you probably think: opportunity, creativity, and community. As the cherry on top of this already innovative metropolitan, we have the best restaurants in Des Moines for every occasion. Read below for highlights of my go-to grub for any mood.


Mood: Family Fun Day
RedRossa Napoli Pizza
12695 University Ave #100, Clive, IA 50325, USA
Price Point: $$

RedRossa Napoli PizzaWhen I say there’s something for everyone here, I mean EVERYONE. This is one of the few restaurants near Des Moines I can go to where all members of the family leave happy and full. RedRossa Pizza is unlike most dough shops because of the variety on their menu. At first glance, it looks like your typical pizza, salad, sandwich joint.

When you take a second look, you’ll notice the CUSTOMIZE sections of the menu. Yup, that’s right. The perfect pie for every palate. My children go for the classic three-cheese combo (sometimes with spinach if I convince them well enough). My husband loads up on his favorite meat and veggie combo without having to say, “No olives please.” And me? I customize a big salad just to my liking.

It’s not often you can find a place that pleases the whole family, and that makes ordering fun! I recommend RedRossa Napoli for anyone with picky eaters or out of town visitors.


Mood: But First, Brunch
St. Kilda Cafe & Bakery
300 SW 5th St, Des Moines, IA 50309, USA
Price Point: $$

St. Kilda Cafe & BakeryIf you follow my Amanda Fontana Real Estate Instagram account, you’ve seen my many stories and posts dedicated to the best meal of the week. I’m talking brunch. If it were up to me, brunch wouldn’t be restricted to one day a week. I’d make brunch a mandatory daily meal. Heck, I’d give it it’s own holiday.

So, I love brunch. I’ve recently become obsessed with St. Kilda Cafe & Bakery for several reasons. First, it’s in the best city in the world, Des Moines. Second, the environment is phenomenal. As a real estate agent, I’m keen on good architecture and design. From the exposed brick to metal accents and open floor plan, it’s perfection.

Last, but certainly not least, the food. Before I go into my favorite items, let me just say this...they serve breakfast ALL DAY. Music to my ears. I’ve tried every toast option on the menu and would order them 100 times over. My two favorite items are the Avocado Toast and Berries & Cream Toast. Yum!


Mood: Eat, Drink, Enjoy DM
Captain Roy’s
1900 Saylor Rd, Des Moines, IA 50313, USA
Price Point: $$

Captain Roy’sOne of my favorite summer activities is gathering up with my friends, listening to good music, drinking ice cold beverages and enjoying the great Iowa outdoors. If you’re on the same page as me, you’ll love this spot.

Captain Roy’s use to be a traveling food truck, but recently opened a permanent location along the Des Moines river. This is more than a restaurant, it’s a true entertainment hub. They host trivia nights, water-sport activities, cycling events and live bands to provide the perfect day or night out experience.

On top of that...the food. My oh my, the food. This is a great place to indulge in luscious greenery and loaded burgers. Any burger on the menu, the chicken and waffles, or the breakfast burrito are all huge hits in my crew. And if you’re interested, accompany your meal with one of the wide-varieties of local craft beer options.


Mood: Day After a Long Night
Cooper’s on 5th
227 5th St, West Des Moines, IA 50265, USA
Price Point: $$-$$$

Cooper’s on 5thAfter a long night of hard working or fun celebrating, what do you crave the next day? If you’re anything like me, you gravitate towards comfort food. Don’t get me wrong, salads and smoothies have their place, but the day or night after putting in 14 hours at work is not it.

The best restaurant in Des Moines for elevated comfort food is Cooper’s on 5th. I have two words for you. MEATLOAF MELTDOWN. Yes, it’s exactly what it sounds like. An ooey-gooey sandwich filled with the ultimate Iowa comfort food, sure to soak up any remnants of the previous long night. You can’t go wrong with anything on the menu. Side note: you must try the egg rolls too.


Mood: Grown Up Time
Akebono 515
215 10th St, Des Moines, IA 50309, USA
Price Point: $$-$$$

Akebono 515 When I’m not enjoying a weekend full of Des Moines real estate, kid’s soccer games or Spring Cleaning, I try to fit in time for a date night. With life’s busy schedule, it’s important for my husband and me to relax and treat ourselves when we have the time.

Our hands-down favorite Des Moines restaurant to unwind is at Akebono 515. This sleek Japanese dining offers the finest ingredients in their wide range of menu options. I’m a sushi-lover through and through, so I’m in my happy place when here. The specialty rolls are a true piece of art.

If you’re not a sushi person, don’t you worry! Akebono 515 has Japanese inspired options for any couple. If your sweetie prefers their food cooked, they can order a sandwich, stir-fry dish, or my personal choice, the ramen. This is not your every day Top Ramen. It’s a truly gourmet date night dish.


No matter how your mood, Des Moines has the best restaurants for every occasion.

Comments (1)

Joan Cox
House to Home, Inc. - Denver Real Estate - 720-231-6373 - Denver, CO
Denver Real Estate - Selling One Home at a Time

Amanda, great post, and residents always want to know where the great restaurants are.  Nice Localism post.  

May 03, 2018 08:11 AM
Amanda Fontana

Thanks, Joan!

May 09, 2018 07:42 PM