One of my very favorite parts of Des Moines is a “little” neighborhood called the east village. It’s (as you’d imagine) east of the river and very near the state capitol building. It’s still considered downtown, but has a very different, eclectic feel to it. You can’t walk five steps without gazing into the windows of a beautiful storefront, or sweet coffee shop. I can spend hours there wandering around. (while stopping for coffee refills + snacks). Our dog even likes it; her favorite store is nestled in the midst of it all. So, I’ve compiled a list of everything you’d need in a neighborhood + where to find it in the east village. (if you like to walk, they’re all within walking distance).
In the market for a graphic tee? Find yourself at RAYGUN | 505 East Grand. You will wander around the store laughing. They’re creative geniuses, to say the least.
Do not leave the RAYGUN building without walking down three (ish) stairs, where you will be surrounded by Thelma’s ice cream cookie sandwiches.
Go to Scenic Route Bakery | 350 East Locust. This can be your coffee, sweet treat, breakfast + lunch destination. They do it all really, really well. Plus the decor is adorable + cozy!
Craving something completely crazy + weird? Take yourself to Zombie Burger | 300 East Grand. You will need a few minutes to digest the menu, because the burger toppings are not the norm. Whatever you do, don’t count calories + do order a milkshake (add alcohol if preferred).
Bizarre burgers not your jam, go to Tacopocalypse | 407 East 5th. They’re in the taco + burrito business and they know what they’re doing. They even caught Guy Fieri’s eye. He shot his show Diners, Drive-ins & Dives there.
In the mood for some retro arcade games, take a trip to Up-Down | 500 East Locust (It may resemble your grandparent’s basement). Pac-Man? Mario Bros? Mortal Kombat? To name a few.
If you love your fur children as much as I do, you can’t walk by a sweet little dog shoppe without stopping (they have stuff for kittens too). Bring home treats + toys to your four-legged family members from Jett and Monkey | 503 East Locust.
Iowans take pride in their craft beer. We have local breweries popping up frequently. Interested in trying a lot of local brews but not traveling around the state? Go to the Iowa Taproom | 215 East 3rd. It has all of the best under one roof.
Do you have a favorite spot in the East Village? Is there a coffee shop or store you can’t get enough of?