Restaurants Near Drake University

Des Moines Drake University
Many restaurants can capitalize on the fact that they are next door to a college campus. Photo courtesy of Flickr

Drake University is a small private university located in Des Moines Iowa. Home to more than 100 academic programs, graduate programs and a law school, many flock to Drake. The Bulldogs also participate in NCAA Division 1 sports and host The Drake Relays, one of the top track and field events in the United States. The surrounding area and being located in the capital of Iowa provides many opportunities for students whether that’s with food, entertainment or jobs. Below are some of the restaurants located near Drake and in the local neighborhood.

  1. Lucky Horse

A popular burger joint, this all-American restaurant offers classics like the bacon cheddar cheeseburger, boneless wings and buffalo chicken sandwich. There are also more unique options including a truffle pear flatbread, fried egg and chickpea salad and salmon burger. If you favor meatless options don’t fret as Lucky Horse has numerous options like the black bean burger or curried chickpea burger. You can wash down all of their delicious food with their draft beers or if that isn’t to your liking, there is a whole menu for drinks. Lastly, if you have room in your stomach you can finish your meal with their New York Cheesecake.

Address: 2331 University Ave. Des Moines, IA 50311

  1. Gursha Ethiopian Grill

For those who are wanting to taste flavors farther from home, look no further than Gursha Ethiopian Grill. This family-owned restaurant offers a fast-casual atmosphere and traditional Ethiopian dishes. No meal at Gursha is complete without injera, a spongy sourdough flatbread that is a staple in Ethiopian cuisine. Customers can also order rice with their food, if that is their preference. This restaurant is also a great place to visit if you are a vegetarian as there are many food options available. Alicha, a dish consisting of cabbage, potatoes and carrots cooked together with onions, tomatoes and spices is a great meatless option. For those who want meat, beef tibs and doro wot are popular options. Typical soft drinks like Sprite and Coke are available, but customers can also order a fresh mango smoothie.

Address: 2316 University Ave. IA 50311

  1. Lzaza’s Indo-Pak Cuisine

Lzaza’s Indo-Pak Cuisine offers traditional Indian and Pakistani dishes from classics like chicken tikka masala to goat biryani to butter chicken. Indo-Pak cuisine also offers a variety of vegetarian options like aloo gobi, channa masala and numerous dishes with paneer. Mainstays like naan and roti and samosas are also available to order. Lzaza has a lunch buffet from Tuesday to Sunday at 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. For an inexpensive, authentic meal and a quick walk from Drake University, Lzaza is a can’t miss restaurant.

Address: 1409 23rd Street Des Moines, IA 50311 

Cowles Library Archives in Des Moines

Cowles Library is the largest private academic library in Iowa. Under Drake University, Cowles Library supports a variety of digital and print collections. Cowles Library has several archive collections, including eScholarshare and a repository of work from Drake faculty and students. The archive is navigable through SuperSearch, and nearly 100 databases can be accessed through this interface. The library is open to the public, though a few resources are unavailable for non-university members. The Cowles Supersearch provides a quick guide to the Cowles archives. Databases can be browsed based on subject, major, or media. Drake University has a variety of archives outside of the library, too, that can be accessed through the web. Drake University Digital Collections is open to researchers worldwide. The Drake Law School has an archival collection within its library documenting the history of the school and library.

For students, the EBSCO online archives are available through the Cowles Library. Students can access EBSCOhost Web, the Spanish version, and the integrated search. They can also see the Business Searching Interface, the Literary Reference Center, Small Business Reference Center, Biological Abstracts, and a variety of other EBSCO services. These provide great resources for academics, and more limited versions of the archives are available to the public. More than just Drake University’s catalogs, though, the Cowles Library archives contain histories from other establishments like Cambridge University and the Chicago Tribune. For any student interested in history, there are a wide variety of subjects available for research. The Cowles Library archives have access to dozens of collections about a variety of topics. Declassified documents, Civil War Newspapers and magazines, a listener archive, and many more. Not only history students benefit from these collections, though. The archives also hold a complete collection of the Oxford Handbooks covering subjects such as business, philosophy, religion, literature, and psychology. Many classical books, letters, images, and thousands of academic journals provide a wealth of information for any curious student.

Found in Des Moines’ home university, Cowles Library acts as a free service for Drake University students as well as Des Moines residents. It acts as a service to connect Des Moines residents with books, texts, pamphlets, and vinyl that might otherwise be inaccessible to the public. The Cowles Library staff, too, are valuable wells of information. Occasionally, guest speakers and events are held in the library, providing Des Moines residents with invaluable insight from professionals.

The Best Restaurants In Des Moines

Exploring Des Moines and all the fabulous restaurant options the city has to offer

Des Moines’ restaurants are unique in both distinction and taste, creating one of the best pallets in America

#5 Americana

Americana, one of the more well-known restaurants in Des Moines’ downtown area, serving Asian inspired serving plates along with Steaks and Chops. Located just off the Papa John sculpture park in Des Moines, Americana is rated 4.4/5 stars on google.

The restaurant is most known for it’s atmosphere and taste, with a semi-formal atmosphere coupled with brilliant design features inside the restaurant.

Americana describes itself as a restaurant with a modern urban flair, delivering on a Midwest nice vibe. The taste of the food is renowned, and even with high prices, the view Americana offers of the Papa John sculpture park is one of a kind.

#4 Chophouse

Chophouse is a steak house restaurant located in the heart of downtown Des Moines. Chophouse offers prime USDA steaks along with innovative side dishes and an award winning wine selection from around the globe.

Chophouse is rated 4.7/5 stars on google, and is renowned for their high quality steaks that are unrivaled in downtown Des Moines.

Chophouse is located on Grand Ave in downtown Des Moines.

#3 Aposto at the Scala House

Aposto, an Italian dining experience housed inside of a Victorian mansion, is truly one of a kind. Aposto was founded by an award winning restauranteur, one Tony Lemmo.

Aposto is rated 4.7/5 stars on google, and is one of the more unique dining experiences within Des Moines.

Aposto is located on 18th street of downtown Des Moines.

#2 Harbinger

Harbinger is a vegetable focused restaurant located in downtown Des Moines. Their chef, bringing ideas formed throughout Asia, aims to keep the menu vegetable focused and true to those ideas.

Harbinger is rated 4.7/5 stars on google, and is one of the most highly rated restaurants in downtown Des Moines.

Many reviews state that Harbinger is a once in a lifetime dining experience due to their unique menu.

Harbinger is located on Ingersoll Ave in downtown Des Moines.

#1 Lachele’s Fine Foods

Lachele’s is located on Ingersoll Ave in downtown Des Moines, and is rated a 4.9/5 stars on google.

The rating alone puts this restaurant at the number one spot – the reviews claim that Lachele’s have some of the best burgers in the world, right here in Des Moines.

Best Brunch Spots in Des Moines

Let’s be honest: unless you’re religious, who’s really getting up on time for a true breakfast on a Sunday and ? Additionally, western cultures are lazy. Why wait for lunch? Why not just do both at once? That would be why they invented the term “brunch” in England in the 1900s, and Des Moines is no slacker in the brunch department. Here are three of our top brunch spots in Des Moines:

What to Eat at Brunch

Before choosing where to go, the first part is always the hardest: what do I even want to eat? If the answer is classic breakfast food, the destination may be a little different than if you’re feeling trendy. Personally, I’m a certified Big Omelette Guy, but the brunch spots in Des Moines have gotten me to branch out a little bit. Check it out!

Eggs and Jam

You’ve got to fight! For your right! To….pudding? According to this Des Moines brunch spot’s menu, that’s correct, and the Beastie Boys were right. In seriousness, for the food at this 90s hip-hop themed restaurant, the Sky’s the Limit, but I’m sure the staff would say it’s no Biggie.

Must try: the Slam-Wich. I don’t even know how to describe this one. It’s a sandwich with eggs , bacon, swiss and other breakfast goodies, but sub the bun for waffles. Yeah, it’s delicious.

The Breakfast Club USA

In the words of my mother, “it’s cute and fun.” Sharing a name with one of the greatest movies of the 80s, Des Moines’ The Breakfast Club USA prides itself on selling booze along with the breakfast. In fact, on my 21st birthday, I decided to test this theory and, uh, yeah, it’ll do. The Breakfast Club USA definitely ranks among the top Des Moines brunch spots.

Must try: Breakfast corn dogs. Yeah, it’s breaded sausage on a stick. It’s pretty awesome.

Waveland Café

When I think brunch, I think Waveland. It’s a quaint brunch spot on Unviersity Ave in the heart of Des Moines. You wouldn’t even know it’s there if not for the horde of cars outside any given morning. It’s nothing special, but that’s the charm of it. In a time when restaurants are going above and beyond to grab the consumer’s attention, Waveland is surviving on pure tradition.

Must try: they’re known for the hash browns, and for good reason. If I could live on plates of them, I would.

Best Hiking and Walking Paths in Des Moines

walking path hiking path Des Moines

#1 Walking Path – Gray’s Lake

Gray’s Lake is located in the heart of Des Moines. There is a lovely 2 mile walking path around a beautiful lake. This path can also be use for biking, rollerskating, and running. There is paddle boats and canos that you can rent to use on the lake. A small sandy area goes right up to the lake for kids to play, sand volleyball and pick nics. Public bathrooms are also available.

#2 Hiking trail – Raccoon River

The Raccoon River Valley Trail is a 56 mile paved loop that runs from Jefferson, IA to Waukee, IA.  In 2013, an additional 33.1-mile north loop was completed making the trail nearly 90 miles of paved road and having a paved interior loop of more than 72 miles. Bicyclists, joggers, walkers, skaters, campers, cross-country skiers, birdwatchers, hunters, fishermen, naturalists and snowmobilers all use the Raccoon River Valley Trail thought the year in all seasons.

#3 Hiking Trail – Browns Woods

Browns Woods is a wildlife preserve with oak & hickory trees as well as trails for hiking & geocaching. It is Iowa’s largest urban forest and offers around 5 miles to explore and hike. During the winter, lots of residents use Browns woods to snowshoe and cross country ski. In these woods, the public can also collect nuts, fruits and edible mushrooms for personal use.

#4 Walking Path – Saylorville Lake

Located on the Des Moines River in central Iowa, just north of the city of Des Moines. Saylorville Lake has a 24 mile paved path that can be used for a variety of recreational activities like biking, hiking, jogging, walking, and in-line skating. There is also spaces for fishing, picnic areas with group shelters, boat launches, an accessible fishing pier, river fishing, and hunting. A marina is also on this lake for residential use and a camping ground for anyone that is interested.

#5 Walking Path – Easter Lake Park

Located in Polk, Iowa this walking path is the home of the one of the most iconic photo opportunities with the only covered bridge in Polk County. There is five picnic shelters and three playgrounds for kids. A boat ramp for fishing allows the public to fish mainly for walleye, bass, crappie, bluegill and catfish all stocked by the Conservation Board into the lake every year. In the summer there is also a swimming beach, paddle boat, canoe and kayak rentals.

Come enjoy these walking paths and hikes this season!