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Diners' Choice: Innovative restaurants in Des Moines

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OpenTable
Updated June 05, 2024

Looking for the best restaurants that are fit for foodies in Des Moines? You’re in the right place. Each month, OpenTable analyzes nearly 2 million global diner reviews from the past four months. We sort the results by location and category to help you discover new favorite restaurants. It's a great partnership: you reserve, eat, and review. We listen...and deliver the results for all to benefit. Enjoy!

A photo of Alba Restaurant restaurant
4.8
4.8 (377)
$31 to $50
Contemporary American
Des Moines
About the restaurant
Alba offers a creative culinary twist on traditional American cuisine. Dishes are prepared using fresh seasonal ingredients, the finest cuts of meat, and the freshest fruits, vegetables and herbs. Our menu changes often, we invited you to join us to discover a new favorite.
Top review
OpenTable Diner
Dined 5 days ago
We had dinner at Alba to celebrate our wedding anniversary. We split an appetizer of Maryland lump crab on brioche toast with pea pistou that was delicious. My husband ordered gnocchi with prawns and savored every bite, with a side of potato pave that we shared. The pave was fantastic: creamy inside and delightfully crisp outside, served in a small cast iron skillet. I ordered duck ragu, which was served over house-made papardelle with Pico Limon olives and cherry tomatoes. Absolutely outstanding! We splurged on dessert; my husband raved over his pot de creme and I savored every bite of my snickerdoodle creme brulee. Our server was delightful: well-informed about every item on the menu, attentive without hovering, friendly with a wonderful sense of humor.
A photo of Bar Nico restaurant
4.8
4.8 (63)
$30 and under
Mexican
Des Moines
About the restaurant
Our restaurant's mantra is "Sin Maiz, No Hay Pais" meaning "without corn there is no country" as such, our tortillas are hand ground in house from heirloom organic Mexican corn varietals - made daily & cooked to order. As a result of our corn obsession, we have no flour in house & are a completely gluten-free kitchen.
Top review
OpenTable Diner
Dined on May 18, 2024
Great food and atmosphere. Staff was stressed given every table and bar was full, but we did not feel rushed nor did the staff act anything but pleasant and welcoming. Dishes were distinct and flavors were memorable.
A photo of Eatery A restaurant
4.7
4.7 (513)
$30 and under
Mediterranean
Des Moines
About the restaurant
Eatery A is Des Moines's destination for Mediterranean-inspired cuisine. Perfecting simple dishes that focus on local, quality ingredients, we strive to offer our guests exotic flavor profiles that let the ingredients take center stage.
Top review
JustJames
Dined 3 days ago
Always a good time...if in doubt go for the happy hour, daily 3-6...
A photo of Fresko restaurant
4.7
4.7 (1117)
$30 and under
Farm-to-table
Des Moines
About the restaurant
“Fresko” meaning “fresh” inspires our creation of seasonal menus made from locally sourced ingredients. Fresko makes natural food from the bounty of Iowa farms whenever possible. The culinary team prepares product from start to finish applying natural time honored techniques with care at every step. This enriches the flavorful and nutritious product we serve and benefits our community. Fresko believes we are what we eat and eating well means living well.

Fresko features a splendid assortment of original cocktails with a deep spirits menu and a beer program with sixteen beers on tap in addition to bottles and cans. Fresko's wine menu focuses on quality selections at a great value to our guests.
Top review
KristieW
Dined 4 days ago
We always enjoy Fresko. The food is delicious and the wait staff is very nice and professional.
A photo of Aura Restaurant & Lounge restaurant
4.7
4.7 (189)
$31 to $50
American
Urbandale
About the restaurant
Lively & flavorful tapas along with vibrant cocktails offer a unique shared experience that challenges the traditional. At Aura, it's good vibes only! Our invigorating environment is the perfect place to gather friends & family.
Top review
SteveM
Dined 4 days ago
Both the service and the food were excellent. Nice ambiance. You can eat inside or outside.
A photo of HoQ restaurant
4.6
4.6 (333)
$31 to $50
Farm-to-table
Downtown Des Moines
About the restaurant
Welcome to Hoq Restaurant! Experience delicious, sustainable farm-to-table dining in the historic East Village of Des Moines.
Top review
OpenTable Diner
Dined on May 19, 2024
HoQ always provides a deliciously amazing meal of high quality. The new Hoqtail area was exquisite and we enjoyed our drinks with an amuse bouche and lemon verbena sip.
A photo of Blue Sushi Sake Grill - Des Moines restaurant
4.6
4.6 (178)
$30 and under
Sushi
Des Moines
About the restaurant
Blue Sushi Sake Grill unites creative ingredients with energetic vibes, premium cold sake with happy moments to give you a fresh and fun new way to experience sushi. Our sushi and grill menus allow you to explore your sushi favorites in new and unexpected ways. We like to say that sushi is for sharing, and our menu encourages it. Order a spread of all your maki, nigiri and sashimi favs from the sushi bar, and throw in a few orders of starters from the grill. We'll stagger your plates so you can savor it all bite-by-bite, and maximize the sushi experience you've been craving all week. If you're not sure where to start, tour the menu during Happy Hour, where all our guest favorites — from our sushi, grill and drink menus — are available at an amazing value. We offer Happy Hour every day of the week at Blue Sushi Sake Grill!
Top review
OpenTable Diner
Dined on May 31, 2024
From the time we entered to the time we left our experience was fantastic. We will definitely be back!
A photo of Destination Grille restaurant
4.4
4.4 (341)
$31 to $50
Contemporary American
Grimes
About the restaurant
Welcome to Destination Grille. A contemporary, upscale yet casual restaurant that reminds us of travels and destinations around the globe. We are an experience like non-other!

Please join us Monday through Saturday from 11am-9pm and Sundays 11am-8pm.

Don't forget to join us for a night cap Fridays and Saturdays, our bars remain open until 11pm on both levels!

We have a lot of options with a fabulous ambience on each level, but it can be overwhelming your first time, please call if you have any questions!
Top review
aarie03
Dined 3 days ago
Came here for our anniversary. They had a Happy Anniversary card for us. Food & service were excellent. I love the atmosphere. A little loud, but not too bad - we could hear each other talking.
A photo of In Confidence Speakeasy restaurant
4.4
4.4 (13)
$30 and under
Speakeasy
Des Moines
About the restaurant
For Large reservations or other inquiries please call 515-528-7733 x 4627 f=

SPEAKEASY BAR IN THE HEART OF DOWNTOWN DES MOINES

Hotel Fort Des Moines brings the Prohibition-era feel to downtown Des Moines - In Confidence. Enjoy our hidden secret with a curated wine collection and crafted cocktails.
Enjoy your downtime in a unique casual setting deserving of the Great Gatsby himself!
Top review
OpenTable Diner
Dined on May 18, 2024
Super super cute speakeasy. We had a reservation for dinner right after and service was super quick! Very pleased and will be back
A photo of Tupelo Honey - Des Moines restaurant
3.9
3.9 (645)
$30 and under
Contemporary Southern
Des Moines
About the restaurant
Tupelo Honey is a revival of Southern food and traditions rooted in the Carolina Mountains we call home. We craft brunches, lunches and suppers that bring family and friends around the table and allow for conversations and cocktails to linger longer than usual. Please arrive on time with all members in your party present. We will cancel reservations 15 minutes after the scheduled time. The combining of separate reservations will not be honored. We look forward to seeing you soon!
Top review
OpenTable Diner
Dined on May 26, 2024
This was a very pleasant surprise!! Great food, great service, chill atmosphere. We had the Breakfast Bowl- fantastic flavors!!! The fried green tomatoes were excellent and the breakfast platter was great for something so basic (chorizo sausage was really tasty and not too spicy) Overall was thrilled to find this little gem on our first visit to Des Moines 😊👍🏼🩶
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