Top 5 Restaurants in East Village

In Des Moines, Iowa’s East Village, five standout restaurants promise diverse and exceptional dining experiences. From local favorites to global cuisines, these spots encapsulate the area’s rich culinary scene. Let’s explore these top eateries defining the East Village dining landscape

1. The Iowa Taproom

The Iowa Taproom in Des Moines is a bustling spot that proudly serves an extensive selection of craft beers from local Iowa breweries. It’s a welcoming environment where beer enthusiasts can explore a diverse array of flavors while supporting the state’s brewing community.

2. Barrel House

The Barrel House in Des Moines, Iowa, is a popular gathering place known for its fusion of delectable food and a wide selection of craft beers. With a cozy atmosphere and a menu highlighting comfort food with creative twists, it’s a favorite spot for locals and visitors alike. The establishment’s emphasis on quality brews and delicious dishes makes it a go-to destination for those seeking a relaxed yet vibrant dining experience in Des Moines.

3. Lucca


Lucca in Des Moines, IA, is a chic and inviting restaurant celebrated for its contemporary take on Italian cuisine. Known for its elegant ambiance and a menu featuring creative Italian-inspired dishes made with locally sourced ingredients, Lucca offers a refined yet approachable dining experience. With a focus on culinary innovation and impeccable service, it’s a beloved spot where patrons can savor modern Italian flavors in a sophisticated setting.

4. Café Baratta’s

Café Baratta’s in Des Moines, IA, is a beloved eatery nestled in the historic State Historical Building. Known for its charming ambiance and diverse menu featuring American and international dishes, it’s a go-to spot for locals and tourists alike. With a focus on quality and a welcoming atmosphere, Café Baratta’s offers a delightful dining experience perfect for casual meals or a quick bite amidst the city’s cultural hub.

5. Liberty’s – An Iowa Grill


Liberty’s – An Iowa Grill in Des Moines embodies Iowa’s culinary essence with locally sourced ingredients and a menu blending traditional Iowa flavors with modern twists. Its inviting atmosphere and commitment to showcasing the region’s food culture make it a beloved spot for locals and visitors alike seeking an authentic taste of Iowa’s vibrant culinary scene.

The Holidays in Des Moines

Embracing Holiday Magic: Thanksgiving and Christmas in Des Moines

The holidays in Des Moines consisting of Thanksgiving marks a time of heartfelt gratitude in Des Moines. Families and friends gather around tables adorned with the bounties of the season, savoring the traditional flavors that define this holiday. From turkeys to pies, local eateries in the city prepare a feast that embodies the essence of Thanksgiving, inviting everyone to indulge in the warmth and richness of this cherished celebration.

Moreover, Thanksgiving in Des Moines extends beyond personal gatherings. It’s a time when the community gets together to ensure that the spirit of gratitude touches every heart. Charitable organizations host drives and events, ensuring that everyone in the city can partake in the joy of a fulfilling meal, fostering a sense of togetherness and kindness that epitomizes the season.

Drake University becomes one of these charitable drives as the members of SAAC reach out to their friends and family of the Bulldog community to donate cans and non-perishable items for those who are in need.

As December arrives, Des Moines transforms into a sparkling winter wonderland, ushering in the spirit of Christmas. The city streets come alive with a symphony of lights, casting a magical glow on storefronts and homes. The historic East Village becomes a beacon of festive cheer as it is adorned with vibrant decorations, creating an enchanting atmosphere that captivates residents and visitors alike.

Families eagerly embrace beloved traditions during Christmas in Des Moines. Visiting Santa at Jordan Creek Town Center, marveling at the whimsical displays at the “Festival of Trees and Lights,” or enjoying the captivating holiday performances at the Des Moines Performing Arts Center are just a few of the magical experiences that create lasting memories for all ages.

In the true spirit of the holidays, Des Moines emphasizes the act of giving back. The city becomes a hub of charitable initiatives food drives, toy collections, and various events aimed at supporting the less fortunate. Residents actively participate, spreading kindness and ensuring that the joy of the season reaches every corner of the community.

The winter holidays in Des Moines are not merely marked by festivities but by the embodying the essence of gratitude, togetherness, and goodwill. The city invites everyone to embrace these sentiments, whether it’s savoring the delicious Thanksgiving meals or immersing oneself in the enchanting lights and traditions of Christmas. Des Moines radiates warmth and joy, creating an inviting and inclusive atmosphere that celebrates the true spirit of the holidays.

Home for the Holidays in Des Moines

Des Moines, Iowa, offers a variety of holiday activities that cater to diverse interests and age groups. Whether you’re a resident or a visitor, the city has something special to offer during the festive season.

One of the most iconic holiday events in Des Moines is the “Jolly Holiday Lights” display at Water Works Park. This drive-through light show has been a beloved tradition for years, enchanting visitors with millions of twinkling lights, animated displays, and festive music. Families can pack into their cars and meander through the dazzling spectacle, creating lasting memories and getting into the holiday spirit.

For those who prefer a more traditional holiday experience, the Historic East Village is a must-visit destination. The area transforms into a winter wonderland with charming, independently-owned shops and boutiques adorned with holiday decorations. Stroll through the cobbled streets, enjoy the festive window displays, and find unique gifts for your loved ones.

Downtown Des Moines hosts the “Festival of Trees and Lights” at the Community Choice Credit Union Convention Center. This event features elaborately decorated trees, wreaths, and holiday displays, each sponsored by local businesses and organizations. The festival is not only a visual treat but also a charitable endeavor, as the proceeds support Blank Children’s Hospital.

To immerse yourself in the cultural side of the season, check out the holiday performances by the Des Moines Symphony and other local theater groups. The Civic Center of Greater Des Moines often hosts special holiday-themed shows, ranging from classic plays like “A Christmas Carol” to festive concerts featuring seasonal music.

For outdoor enthusiasts, Des Moines offers several opportunities to embrace the winter weather. Brenton Skating Plaza, located along the Des Moines River, provides a picturesque setting for ice skating. The plaza is typically decorated with festive lights, and skaters can enjoy hot cocoa and other seasonal treats.

Another outdoor attraction is the Jingle in the Junction event in Historic Valley Junction. This festive celebration includes a tree lighting ceremony, horse-drawn carriage rides, carolers, and visits from Santa Claus. It’s a perfect way to experience the warmth of a close-knit community coming together to celebrate the holidays.

Des Moines also boasts a vibrant food scene, and during the holidays, many restaurants offer special menus and themed events. From cozy cafes serving warm drinks to fine dining establishments with festive culinary creations, there’s something for every palate.

In conclusion, Des Moines, Iowa, has a plethora of holiday activities that cater to a wide range of interests. Whether you’re in the mood for dazzling light displays, cultural performances, outdoor adventures, or culinary delights, the city has you covered. These holiday activities not only bring joy to residents but also make Des Moines an inviting destination for visitors seeking a festive and memorable experience.

Three Festive Ways to Celebrate the Holidays in Des Moines

The holiday season is upon us in Des Moines, and what better way to celebrate than blasting Mariah Carey and heading out to some festive events! We’ve compiled a list of our three favorite activities to do when the weather gets a little colder. From the coziest date night spot to window shopping with the girls, to finding a cheerful holiday-themed nightcap, you’ll be sure to find your new favorite holiday tradition in the metro!

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Music in Des Moines

Highly Suspect at the Bourbon Theater – Music Des Moines

Des Moines is the music hub of Iowa, with dozens of exciting artists touring each year. Continue reading to discover a few of the most popular country and rock artists coming to Des Moines at the end of 2023 or the beginning of 2024. Additionally, check out the multitude of special Holiday music events taking place before Christmas. With beautiful music venues and incredible artists, Des Moines is prepared to wow visitors.

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