Iowa always gets a little extra attention each election cycle as caucus buzz starts to surface. So, we thought we’d use this 15 minutes of fame to highlight some of our favorite restaurants right here in the East Village.
Not to mention — all of these are within steps of the capitol building. That’s a good way to honor our political system, right?
Lucca is a modern and traditional Italian restaurant and is, in my opinion, THE best lunch you can get in Des Moines. Plus, it’s within walking distance from our agency! This is key because it means I can count the steps it takes to get there against my impending carbo-load. But if you’re looking for non-pasta options, they have plenty of delicious sandwiches and salads to choose from. This spot is a crowd-pleaser — guaranteed.
If you’re looking to impress, Alba is the spot for you. This upscale American restaurant and wine bar has a great atmosphere and an impressive menu. The selection changes with the seasons, so there’s always something new to try. Plus, if you’re curious about Alba but aren’t in the mood for steak tartare, try a $6 burger and fries from their Monday night bar menu. (Lucky for all of us, caucuses fall on a Monday night this cycle.)
St. Kilda Surf & Turf
One of the latest installments in St. Kilda’s takeover of Des Moines, the Surf & Turf branch offers a new spin on the chain’s usual menu. On the surf side, you can choose from dishes like fish and chips or fish tacos. Or you can opt for a lamb souvlaki on the turf side. Regardless, the atmosphere is gorgeous, the bar is impressive, and the location is great.
The Continental Lounge
Another mainstay in the East Village is The Continental. It’s a great place to stop, especially if you prioritize a fun cocktail first and delicious food second (as being crammed in a room with your neighborhood constituents may drive one to do, if we’re being honest). Think small plates/tapas and original drink specials.
Iowa is unique for a lot of reasons, including being the location for the first presidential caucus each election cycle. And the Iowa Taproom celebrates all things Iowa — including 99 taps from more than 35 Iowa breweries. The menu also includes Iowan-inspired selections like Iowa pork chops, Iowa ham balls, and a burger with Maytag blue cheese. Plus, the atmosphere is fun, making it a perfect place to unwind after kicking off a high-energy electoral event.
Regardless of where you end up, there’s truly no bad spot to grab a bite to eat right here in the East Village.