Des Moines: Best Food & Beer

Discussion in 'Midwest' started by redblacks75, Sep 7, 2012.

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  1. redblacks75

    redblacks75 Aspirant (228) Oct 29, 2010 Iowa
    Beer Trader

    Taking a trip to Des Moines with the family this Saturday, and I'm curious as to peoples recommendations where to get good food, and beer.

    I have been to El Bait Shop and have enjoyed that. I would certainly consider it again. Zombie Burger? Royal Mile? Court Ave? What are peoples preference, and why? Also, is there any places I may not have listed. Thanks in advance.
  2. Cyclone8

    Cyclone8 Devotee (419) Oct 19, 2011 Minnesota
    Beer Trader

    I was just there for a reunion during the State Fair. Based on some recommendations I got, we ate at the Rock Bottom in West Des Moines. They let you try a couple of samples (4-5 oz!) for free, then charge you a few bucks if you want more than that. I tried 8 different beers (splitting them w/ my party), and many of them were truly amazing. They have rotating sours and barrel aged treats - I tried the ones they had at the time, and they were both wonderful. I was truly surprised at how much we all loved their brews.
  3. cyclonece09

    cyclonece09 Meyvn (1,133) Aug 5, 2008 Maryland

    Go to the Hessen Haus. If you have a large enough group, you can enjoy a good German beer in a "Das Boot". Love the genuine German atmosphere. El Bait Shop, Royal Mile, and Court Ave Brewing Co were also in my rotation when I would go to Des Moines when I was in college at ISU.
  4. Bond111

    Bond111 Aspirant (228) Feb 14, 2011 Minnesota
    Beer Trader

    I'm heading down there from Rochester /weekend for my brothers wedding. When I lived in Iowa I never did make it to Zombie Burger. My wife & I decided we needed to go there. Supposed to have great taps & great food.

    I'd say if you want both then check out Court Ave as well. I've never been to Hessen Haus but I've never been that impressed with most typical German beers that they would serve. No offense to @cyclonece09.
  5. JediMatt

    JediMatt Initiate (81) Jun 18, 2010 Iowa

    Royal Mile has good food and british taps. Upstairs is the Red Monk, which has a good belgian beer selection. Hessen Haus has a really great german beer selection. I'm not a fan of Raccoon River's beers. Court Ave. Pub used to be good, but I haven't been there since they replaced their brewer. There are two new places: Exile Brewing and Number 7 Brewery, but I haven't tried either yet. I like Zombie Burger's food, and their beer selection is good, but their service can be lacking and it is usually a long wait to get in.

    And yes, the Rock Bottom in West Des Moines has a very good brewer. :slight_smile:
  6. BikingDutchman

    BikingDutchman Initiate (0) Aug 9, 2012 Iowa

    Zombie Burger does have very good food as well. If you go for lunch (or really any time other than a weekend evening) there usually isn't much of a wait. I would suggest going there just for the unique experience alone.

    Otherwise, I would usually go to El Bait Shop or Hessen Haus.
  7. jlpred55

    jlpred55 Initiate (0) Jul 26, 2006 Iowa

    Zombie Burger has Toppling Goliath- or at least they did last time I was there. A fresh Golden Nugget with a good burger is where it is at.

    The rest are all great suggestions as well. Though the Royal Mile is a little dumpy these days.
  8. redblacks75

    redblacks75 Aspirant (228) Oct 29, 2010 Iowa
    Beer Trader

    Allot of great input here. Thanks again.
  9. msubulldog25

    msubulldog25 Initiate (0) Aug 3, 2005 Oregon

    I was just in Des Moines last week on business (first time, so take this for what it's worth).

    Really enjoyed dinner at Exile ~ food is top-notch but beer selection is sparse for now (1 house tap - a very good hefeweizen - and a few others Millstream, Goose Island, Sam Adams - but I get that they've only been open a few weeks). Zombie Burger was a blast and I'm still thinking about how good that burger was (Undead Elvis); they'd just had a 'tap takeover' by Founders so no locals on at the time. As was suggested above, go for lunch.

    El Bait Shop was great, but didn't eat there. Enjoyed Court Ave, too.


    PS: ZB just added to their facebook a Google Maps walk-through of the inside. Pretty cool!
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