12 Best Brunch Spots in Des Moines

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BRUNCHThe writer Matt Basile said, “Breakfast is a meal, but brunch is a culture”. Luckily, in Des Moines have myriad options to dive into brunch culture. Whether a lazy Sunday or a special occasion, brunch is a feel-good winner. Here are a dozen of our locally-owned favorites and what makes them special!

Multiple Locations

What: St. Kilda

Where: Des Moines, Clive, and Vally Junction

Why: This Australian-style cafe has been a hit since it opened its original location in downtown Des Moines. Now you can brunch in Clive and Valley Junction as well. Their avocado toast is one of the best around and changes seasonally.

The New Kid 

What: Little Brother

Where: Windsor Heights

Why: They opened in early 2022 with great fanfare. From the same folks as adventurous dinner choice Harbinger, this modern diner has quickly become a favorite. Their aptly named Soon-to-be-Famous Breakfast Sandwich is a towering feat of an egg sandwich.

Outdoor Dining

What: Mullets

Where: Des Moines

Why: Head to this riverside bar and grill in warmer months for brunch with views of downtown from their two-level patio and large beer garden. Can’t decide between sweet and savory? Get their Chicken and Donuts, a plate full of mini donuts and chicken strips, and all the dipping sauces.

Brunch With a Side of Hip Hop

What: Eggs and Jam

Where: West Des Moines

Why: Because the only thing that can make brunch better is a ’90s hip hop soundtrack. With a menu of classics and specialties all with fun names like Yo Homes to Bel Air, the atmosphere is as fun as the food is delicious. Check out their Rumpshaker burrito which changes weekly.

Fun Cocktails

What: The Breakfast Club

Where: Des Moines

Why: Is part of the reason brunch is so awesome the cocktails? If you said yes, get to The Breakfast Club any day of the week. From mimosa flights to coffee cocktails, various bloody mary iterations, and more, there’s a drink for every imbiber. Need some carbs to soak up the booze? Try the Totchos or Breakfast Corn dogs!

Southern Flare

What: Bubba

BrunchDSM

Where: Des Moines

Why: Though heavier on the savory side of breakfast, this southern-style restaurant is a cozy spot for groups large and small. Take a trip to the south with brunch options like Chicken Fried Steak & Eggs or Kentucky Hot Brown.

For the Taco Lover

What: Malo

Where: Des Moines

Why: Almost 20 kinds of tacos to choose from for breakfast? Yes, please! Or go for the Chilaquiles, a dish at its basic can be called breakfast nachos. For the sweet tooth, the Tres Leches French Toast can’t be beaten. And those are just the tip of the iceberg of their expansive menu!

Craft Beer Brunch

What: Barntown

Where: West Des Moines

Why: Great beer and brunch food go hand and hand, and Barntown does both very well. From their Mexican twist on avocado toast to their pancakes of the month, like lemon poppyseed with blueberry syrup, this is a (somewhat) hidden gem of a brunch spot. Seasonally, they even have a chocolate milk stout for the kid in you!

Classic

What: Drake Diner/Waveland Cafe

Where: Des Moines/Booneville

Why: It’s impossible to choose the best classic diner in the metro, but these two are definitely top. Omelets, skillets, hash browns, two eggs any style, if these are what you are looking for on a brunch menu these are the stops for you. They have been doing the staples perfectly for decades in classic diner settings.

Seasonal Offerings

What: Fresko

Where: Des Moines

Why: Sourcing from local farms whenever possible, this bright spot lives up to its name. Follow them on social to keep up to date on their specials. Dig into a homegrown omelet with the Veg Out, stuffed with the chef’s choice of seasonal veggies.

Plant Forward

What: Kava DSM

Where: Des Moines

Why: Though predominately plant-based, their menu appeals to all. Almost too pretty to eat smoothie bowls are the star here, but they also have a variety of paleo almond waffles. Be sure to grab one of their mocktails featuring kava for a refreshing drink that you can feel good about!

What’s your favorite brunch spot in town?

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