One of my favorite things about Des Moines is how it’s always changing and growing. We’ve got a fantastic selection of new local restaurants opening all the time, plus lots of other new businesses coming to town. I love that there’s always something new to explore!
Here are some of our favorite new places and ones still coming to Des Moines in 2019.
St. Kilda Surf & Turf
The original St. Kilda was an instant hit with Des Moines diners, so it’s exciting to see it expanding with two new locations. The new St. Kilda Surf & Turf serves breakfast, lunch, dinner, and brunch daily in a modern dining space in the East Village. The menu has a healthy vibe, with several salads and bites, a variety of souvlaki dishes, and, of course, surf dishes like fish tacos, fried cod, grilled salmon, and pan-fried walleye. The restaurant doesn’t take reservations, so be prepared to wait if you’re planning to dine at peak meal times. You can also check out their other downtown location in the former home of Starbucks in the Temple for Performing Arts building.
Main Street Cafe & Bakery
Main Street Cafe & Bakery in Ankeny is one of my go-to spots, so I’m excited to add their new downtown Des Moines location to my list of go-to stops for a delicious breakfast or lunch. The downtown menu is a bit smaller than the original location, but offers plenty of delicious bites and beverages. The menu includes fresh pastries brought in from the Ankeny location, plus a selection of waffles, french toast, and egg scrambles for breakfast. At lunch, you can choose from 13 fresh salads, plus burgers, melts, sandwiches, paninis, pasta dishes, and naan flatbreads. Their gorgeous and delicious homemade cakes can be ordered in advance to pick up downtown. Find the downtown location at 801 Grand Ave., Suite 370, on the skywalk level.
This American tavern in the former Champps location at Jordan Creek Town Center celebrates Iowa. Union 29’s menu features locally sourced ingredients and culinary favorites. Choose from a large selection of Iowa pork dishes, including an Iowa chop, a tenderloin, pork mac & cheese, chipotle ribs, and house sausage. Their list of specialties includes Des Moines’ beloved Steak De Burgo. I’ve also heard good things about the deviled eggs. Check out their brunch on Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. or stop by for happy hour specials from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday.
DreiBerge Coffee (pronounced Dry-Burg) opened in July in the same East Village building as St. Kilda Surf & Turf. The coffee roaster and café (whose name means three mountains) believes in simplicity and excellence. They source their coffee beans from single farms or small groups of farmers. This cuts out unnecessary middlemen, getting the freshest and best coffee for customers. The next time you’re looking for a fresh spot for a cup of Joe, head to DreiBerge Coffee for “a place to be who you are.”
Lauridsen Amphitheater & Killinger Family Stage
The inaugural season of the new Lauridsen Amphitheater in Water Works Park began in June. The amphitheater’s two-way design offers two configurations based on the size of the audience. The north-facing Lauridsen Amphitheater is great for crowds of 2,000 to 25,000. The south-facing Killinger Family Stage is for more intimate crowds (less than 2,000). Upcoming concerts include The Flaming Lips on July 24, A John Williams Spectacular on July 28, Ben Folds & Violent Femmes on Aug. 15, and Cody Johnson (part of the Big Country Bash series) on Sept. 7.
Lauridsen Skate Park
Construction on Des Moines’ much-anticipated skatepark got underway earlier this month, and skate enthusiasts are expected to be able to enjoy the park by fall. Located along the Des Moines River at the northern edge of the Principal Riverwalk in downtown Des Moines, the finished Lauridsen Skate Park will have 88,000 square feet of skate-able surface, making it the largest skatepark in the United States. With skateboarding becoming an official Olympic sport in 2020 and increasing in popularity with kids, this is a great addition to Des Moines.
Though both of Des Moines’ axe-throwing destinations (think darts with muscles) opened last year, they’re probably still considered “new” to anyone with kids under the age of 3. Lumber Axe DSM in downtown Des Moines offers a full social entertainment experience all in one location. It has Escape Chambers, Tactical Laser Tag, and Elixir Pub in addition to axe throwing. At Ironside Axe Club in West Des Moines, you can enjoy a fun, safe group activity with family, friends, or co-workers. Ironside offers walk-in, small group, large group, and competitive axe throwing. They are the first member range of the World Axe Throwing League (WATL) in the area. If you’re looking for a fun date night or outing with friends, give one or both a try!
Bellhop Neighborhood Tiki
Planning a staycation in Des Moines? Be sure to add Bellhop Neighborhood Tiki to your list of destinations. Bellhop brings a vacation vibe the East Village (across from Raygun). You’ll find craft cocktails made with fresh fruit and spices, some with more than eight ingredients! Relax and enjoy the tiki bar vibe while sipping on drinks like a Painkiller, Dark n’ Stormy, or a Jungle Bird.