Dining in Des Moines’ East Village? Here’s a guide to the best spots

Eclectic shops and good dining sit side-by-side in the East Village, just west of the Iowa State Capitol and east of the Des Moines River. This update includes some of the newer restaurants in the neighborhood.

Alba Restaurant

Alba opened under Jason Simon more than a decade ago with globally influenced cuisine served in a modern and eclectic space with accents of reclaimed wood. Seasonal menus define the restaurant, and ask for a seat in front of the kitchen to watch the chefs conjure up their dishes. The cocktail program and house burger are must-tries.

Location: 524 E. Sixth St., Des Moines

Hours: Daily from 4 p.m. to close. Happy hour from 4 to 6 p.m. in the bar and on the patio.

Contact: 515-244-0261; albadsm.comFacebook

The Breakfast Club

In February 2021, The Breakfast Club opened its doors for the bright and early crowd. The restaurant serves more than 40 brunch items with spiced-up classics such as monster cookie pancakes and a boba yogurt parfait with fried bananas. There are ample vegan and vegetarian options and an extensive brunch cocktail menu. In warmer months, diners can brunch on the restaurant’s adjacent patio.

Location: 212 E. Third St. Suite B, Des Moines

Hours: Daily from 6 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

Contact: 515-280-5251; thebreakfastclubusa.com; Facebook

Ceviche Bar

Owner Tanya Suarez channeled her Cuban heritage to create dishes she grew up making and eating. Feast on ceviche, of course, Cuban sandwiches, ropa vieja, arroz con picadillo and bistec de palomilla. Vegan and gluten-free options are available. Sip on mojitos, smashes, mules, Cuban-inspired cocktails and martinis. Or just enjoy a simple Cuba Libre (rum and cola with lime).

Location: 223 E. Walnut St., Des Moines

Hours: Open Monday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Wednesday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 2 a.m.; closed Sunday.

Contact: 515-770-9795; cevichebardsm.comFacebook

Clyde’s Fine Diner

At the helm of the modern Clyde’s Fine Diner is owner and chef Chris Hoffman, a Chicago transplant who is transforming simple classics into something new. The menu gives a fine dining touch to diner fare with dishes such as steak frites — house fries buried in creamed spinach, pickled mushrooms and hanger steak — and the CB & J — a grown-up PB & J made with cashew butter, smoked apple jam and raclette on house-made whole grain bread. Be sure to try the seasonal soft serve, which often comes in funky flavors like Lucky Charms cereal.

Location: 111 E. Grand Ave. Suite 111, Des Moines

Hours: Open Tuesday through Wednesday from 4 to 9 p.m.; Thursday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 4 to 9 p.m.; closed Sunday and Monday.

Contact: 515-243-3686; clydesfinediner.com; Facebook

HoQ

Chef and co-owner Suman Hoque opened his Iowa-focused restaurant in the East Village more than nine years ago. The constantly changing menu adapts as ingredients come in season so those bright, fresh flavors shine through. Look for dishes such as local grass-fed steak, salmon en papillote, lamb shank, and a vegetarian dish that can become vegan upon request.

More:Prominent chef celebrates five years of bringing local food to East Village

Location: 303 E. Fifth St., Des Moines

Hours: Open Tuesday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 5 to 10 p.m., and Saturday from noon to 2 p.m. and 5 to 10 p.m. Closed Sunday and Monday. 

Contact: 515-244-1213; hoqtable.comFacebook

The Iowa Taproom

This ode to Iowa beers features 120 brews on tap in a beer hall setting replete with a bar top from the 1880s salvaged from a bar in Jewell, reclaimed barn wood, historic signs, grain bins, machinery parts, salvaged furniture and more. Customers can swill beer with Iowa ham balls, fried cheese balls, or wings swaddled in one of nine sauces. Other options include a barbecue meatloaf, breaded pork tenderloin, and burgers, burgers, burgers. 

Location: 215 E. Third St., #100, Des Moines

Hours: Open Sunday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., Monday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to midnight.

Contact: 515-243-0827; iowataproom.comFacebook

Lucca

James Beard Foundation semifinalist for Best Chef Midwest in 2009 Steve Logsdon serves his elevated four-course prix fixe that changes weekly at Lucca. A pasta course and mains such as salmon, eggplant, scallops or a New York strip steak anchor the menu. During lunch, spiced chicken sandwiches, light salads and ricotta and spinach rigatoni lead the way. 

Location: 420 E. Locust St., Des Moines

Hours: Tuesday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and Thursday through Saturday from 5 to 9 p.m.; closed Sunday and Monday.

Contact: 515-243-1115; luccadsm.netFacebook

Miyabi 9

Osaka, Japan-native Mike Miyabi stepped down from his role as owner of Miyabi 9, but the restaurant still serves Japanese favorites for Des Moines patrons. Diners can try udon noodles, katsu, teriyaki favorites, and yakitori dishes, but the main draw here is the sushi and sashimi.

Location: 512 E. Grand Ave., Des Moines

Hours: Open Tuesday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. for lunch and 5 to 9 p.m. for dinner, and Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. for lunch and 5 to 9 p.m. for dinner.

Contact: 515-288-8885; miyabi9official.comFacebook

More:Des Moines’ 2021 skywalk dining guide: Where to find food downtown (without having to go outside)

Trisha Anderson

Next Post

Eat Your Way Through East Portland’s Vegan Destinations

Fri Jan 21 , 2022
While central Portland gets all the hype for its popular vegan-friendly spots, outer East Portland is one of the most economically and racially diverse parts of the city — and that includes the food. From restaurants to delis, cafes to bakeries, East Portland boasts plenty of destination restaurants and local […]