15 of Our Favorite Des Moines Coffee Shops


coffee des moinesCoffee! Loved by many, an absolute necessity for some. Des Moines is home to countless fantastic, locally-owned coffee shops. From shops using house-roasted coffee to those sourcing from a local roastery, a perfect cup of coffee is not hard to find. But, what else makes a coffee shop a must-try? We’ve compiled a list of some of the many shops you can find and what makes them special. Grab a coffee or tea and read on!

15 Great Coffee Shops in Des Moines

Great Seasonal Drinks

What: The Coffeesmith

Where: Waukee

Why: Head out to Waukee to sip some seriously delicious seasonal drinks like their variations on the menu mainstay the Pablo Honey, An Espresso + Cinnamon + Honey + Milk mix. The seasonal spin also includes lovely additions like lavender. Either way, the combos are a big win!

Best Drive-thru

What: Smokey Row

Where: Various locations

Why: Not only can you get their locally roasted coffee but also enjoy a fabulous menu of sandwiches, soups, and other treats. Their famous cheeseburger soup can be yours without leaving your car thanks to a few new locations. Bonus, they are attached to Hy-Vee Fast and Fresh’s so if you need some bread and eggs, you can pop in for a one-stop-shop.

Relaxed Atmosphere

What: Scenic Route Bakery 

Where: East Village

Why: Take a coffee break while shopping in the East Village and enjoy pastries, Tugboat coffee and espresso drinks, lunch, and tasty baked goods! The atmosphere is warm and eclectic, welcoming you to slow down and savor the moment. We recommend the Honeybee: espresso with honey, steamed milk, and cinnamon along with a fresh cookie. 

Most Eco-Conscious

What: Horizon Line Coffee

Where: West End District

Why: All of their drinks are served in reusable glass jars, which you can return for a discount on your next drink. All of their syrups are homemade and vegan and they source local ingredients as much as possible. 

Best place to make a new animal friend

What: Coffee Cats Cafe

Where: Valley Junction

Why: Cats lovers unite! That’s right, you can enjoy your coffee and also their cat lounge, where 10-12 cats are not only available for a quick visit but can be adopted through the Animal Rescue League of Iowa.

Best Vegetarian Cafe

What: Ritual Cafe

Where: Western Gateway

Why: Their all vegetarian food menu boasts delights, like a black bean burrito or a spicy four cheese panini to please meat-eaters and vegetarians alike. Their cozy space is also perfect for grabbing a specialty beverage before or after strolling through the adjacent Pappajohn Sculpture Park. 

Best Kiosk

What: Twisted Bean

Where: Multiple

Why: Twisted Bean’s Kiosk on SE 14th in Des Moines is a super quick way to get one of their many specialty drinks, smoothies, and much more. With made-to-order breakfast sandwiches and seasonally rotating pastries and treats, it’s a quick stop perfect for any time of day.

For The Tea Lover

What: Mars Coffee

Where: Multiple

Why: Though Mars Coffee offers phenomenal coffee that’s expertly prepared, their tea latte’s deserve equal praise. From the ever-popular matcha to a recent seasonal latte made with herbal tea, rooibos, tea lattes are a tasty change-up.

For the Adventurer

What: The Traveling Bean

Where: Mobile

Why: Follow along on the journey of this female veteran-owned and operated mobile coffee experience. Marie Miller serves coffee from her restored and retrofitted VW Riviera Van as well as pop-up experiences around town. Check out her website to find where you can support her mission and enjoy micro-roasted coffees and teas. 

When You Need a Donut With Your Coffee

What: Porchlight Coffeehouse

Where: Ankeny

Why: Fresh hot mini donuts! That’s right, get into Porchlight for rotating flavors of tasty little treats. While you are in there, check out their retail section where they offer a unique selection of candy, cards, gifts, and toys.

Best Place to Snap a Pic

What: The Slow Down

Where: Highland Park

Why: Need a new backdrop for your coffee-sipping selfie? Look no further! The Slow Down’s gorgeous mural reflects the community of Des Moines and the neighborhood of Highland Park. Or just sit and enjoy one of many hand-crafted drinks while enjoying the art.

Most Unique Offerings

What: The Bean & Leaf Cafe

Where: Merle Hay

Why: New to the scene, The Bean & Leaf Cafe offers traditional coffee and tea drinks as well, variations such as Korean-style cold brew which is topped with whipped cream and housemade Dalgona Honeycomb toffee. Food offerings include Nama, a Japanese fudge, that comes in flavors like Pink Himalayan Salted Caramel.

Best Variety of Beans

What: Friedrichs Coffee Roaster

Where: Multiple

Why: This small-batch artisan roaster showcases a multitude of growing regions and processes.  Visit one of their cafes to taste your way through coffees of Ethiopia, Colombia, Costa Rico, and more. Buy some of their farm-specific beans or a honey-process pack to explore how different regions and techniques affect the flavors of coffee. 

The One That’s Always Been Here

What: Zanzibar’s Coffee Adventure

Where: Ingersoll

Why: Zanzibar’s has been small-batch roasting coffee since 1993 but the one thing that has not changed is their quality. A long-time trusted shop for specialty drinks and coffees from around the world. 

Best Place to Soak Up The Sun

What: Lightbrite Coffee Roaster

Where: Grimes

Why: Lightbrite is just that, a bight shop full of sunlight. Enjoy the Vitamin D while picking up one of their coffee flights – a single espresso, single cortado, 8oz of hot filter coffee and 8oz of nitro cold brew. Or snag a seat by the window and an iced coffee tonic to fully appreciate this spot. 

Get out there and grab some coffee. Got a favorite you want to shout out? Leave us a comment below!

We work hard to ensure the accuracy of this information. However, you should always call ahead to confirm dates, times, location, and other information before heading to a shop, since things may change.



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