New restaurants in Des Moines: 17 places that have opened this year
This city's culinary scene is doing some amazing things. With James Beard Award nominees, award-winning barbecue, and a fantastic farmers' market, this Iowa city's culinary creators keep climbing to new heights.
The first half of 2018 has been busy on the Des Moines dining scene, with at least 17 new restaurants opening.
From Puerto Rican food to barbecue and pizza to sushi, use this list to help find a new restaurant near you.
1884 Coffee Company
Located in a 70-year-old brick building that's also home to Reclaimed Rails Brewing Co., 1884 Coffee Company is named for the year Bondurant was founded. Sip on freshly-brewed espresso and nitro cold brew while nibbling on cake pops, scones and muffins. There are plenty of dairy-free options available for your coffee enjoyment.
Location: 101 Main St. S.E., Bondurant
Hours: Monday through Sunday, 7 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Contact: (515) 494-7013; Facebook
Billy Vee’s Italian Restaurant
At the end of 2017, Billy Vee's moved from Panora to Valley Junction, bringing its made-from-scratch Italian specialties to the metro. Enjoy appetizers, salads, sandwiches, pizza and pasta specialties like Pasta con Polpetti — tender meatballs in a slow-simmered ragú.
Location: 304 5th St., West Des Moines
Hours: Tuesday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 5 to 9:30 p.m.; Saturday, 5 to 9:30 p.m.; closed Sundays and Mondays
Contact: (515) 255-2000; Facebook
This new family restaurant in Pleasant Hill has plenty of variety on its menu. Enjoy breakfast items all day like omelets, skillets, pancakes, French toast and waffles. Dinners range from burgers and sandwiches to pasta and seafood dishes to "All American" dinners like beef liver with bacon and onions or country fried steak.
Location: 1225 Copper Creek Drive, Pleasant Hill
Hours: Monday through Sunday, 6 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Contact: (515) 214-1855; Facebook
Gastro Grub & Pub
For food truck fare on steroids, try this new gastropub in Waukee. The buttermilk fried chicken sandwich is a popular item, along with Deburgo poutine. Ingredients rotate depending on what's in season locally. Be sure to save room for the "coffee and doughnuts" — an espresso pot de crème with chantilly cream and hazelnut praline served alongside cinnamon-sugar doughnuts.
Location: 1378 East Hickman Road, Waukee
Hours: Tuesday and Wednesday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Thursday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Friday, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.; Saturday, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., Sunday, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.; closed Mondays
Hana Ramen Sushi
This new sushi and ramen house located across from Jordan Creek Town Center serves modern Japanese cuisine in an equally modern atmosphere. Try a lunch combo with your choice of two or three rolls from a lengthy list of options served with miso soup or ginger salad. Happy hours are Monday through Wednesday from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. with plenty of food and drink specials.
Location: 7450 Bridgewood Blvd., #205, West Des Moines
Hours: Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and 4:30 to 10 p.m.; Friday, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and 4:30 to 10:30 p.m.; Saturday, 11 a.m. to 10:30 p.m.; Sunday, 12 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Restaurant Review: Hana brings rich, soulful ramen to the metro
A build-your-own concept, diners choose the wrapping and then the filling. Each order comes with crispy tortilla chips and a trio of mild to spicy salsas.
Location: 525 E. Grand Ave., Des Moines
Hours: Monday through Wednesday, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Thursday, through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 3 a.m.; closed Sundays
The Hills Bar & Grill
The Hills Bar & Grill is a new neighborhood restaurant with a casual, family-friendly vibe and happy hour specials.
Location: 4830 Maple Drive, Pleasant Hill
Hours: Tuesday and Wednesday, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 4 to 9 p.m.; Thursday, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 4 to 10 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.; Sunday, 4 to 9 p.m.; closed Mondays
Contact: (515) 214-2347; Facebook
Lola’s Fine Kitchen
For a blend of Filipino and Pakistani foods, bring your appetites to Lola's in Ankeny for a taste of family recipes passed down through several generations of the Shah family. At this fast-casual restaurant, you pick the bowl: pancit (stir-fried mung bean noodles with vegetables) biriyani, dried fruit and warm spices, jasmine rice, toasted garlic cauliflower and quinoa "rice," or low-carb cabbage noodle pancit. Then you add the toppings, sauces and flavorings you want.
Location: 1615 S.W. Main St., Ste. 106, Ankeny
Hours: Tuesday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Sunday, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.; closed Mondays
Steps away from Principal Park, this new pizzeria serves up New York-style slices and whole pies, sandwiches and stromboli. Fast-casual for lunch, table service is provided for dinner. Try the house specialty — Mama's Stuffed Meatballs, filled with mozzarella cheese, breaded and deep-fried, served with red sauce for dipping.
Location: 550 S.W. 9th St., Ste. 4108, Des Moines
Hours: Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 5 to 9 p.m.
Contact: (515) 303-2366; Facebook
Ninja Hibachi Express and Sushi
For Japanese food in Clive, try this cozy little spot. Whether you like sushi, tempura or non-seafood items, this place has something for all Japanese food lovers. Splurge on one of 20 specialty rolls or go for some fresh, simple sashimi. A full line of appetizers, soups and salads are available to create your own small plate buffet.
Location: 15950 Hickman Road., Clive
Hours: Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and 4:30 to 9:30 p.m.; Friday, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and 4:30 to 10 p.m.; Saturday, 12 p.m. to 10 p.m.; Sunday, 12 p.m. to 9 p.m.
El Patron Mexican Restaurant
This Mexican restaurant is serving up plenty of traditional Mexican specialties like Fajitas Durango-style — an assortment of chicken, shrimp, steak and chorizo with a cheese quesadilla on top. Look for daily food and margarita specials.
Location: 1511 S. Union St., Des Moines
Hours: Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m. to 2 am.; Sunday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Contact: (515) 305-9436; Facebook
Puerto Rico Restaurant
Tucked away in a little shopping mall in Windsor Heights is a taste of the island of Puerto Rico where you can feast on empanadas, mofongos (meat-filled deep-fried plantain balls served with dipping sauce) and arroz con gandules y pollo (a chicken and rice dish with pigeon peas). But be sure to save room for tembleque, a jiggly coconut dessert pudding.
Location: 6611 University Ave., Ste. 101, Windsor Heights
Hours: Tuesday through Sunday, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.; closed Mondays
Contact: (787) 432-3045; Facebook
Railroad Bill’s Dining Car
New to the East Village dining scene, this quirky little spot offers breakfast and lunch dishes like biscuits and gravy, steak and eggs, burgers and sandwiches. After filling up at Railroad Bill's, take a spin around the attached antique store. A full line of classic sodas are available, and there's a sizable kids' menu to boot.
Location: 621 Des Moines St., Des Moines
Hours: Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 2 p.m.; closed Saturday and Sunday
Contact: (515) 243-0247; Facebook
Taste of Texas in Iowa
Ankeny's newest barbecue joint offers juicy hickory-smoked meats cooked in an open fire pit smoker and served in a Texas-themed atmosphere. Beef brisket is available in platters and sandwiches, along with pulled pork, smoked chicken, ribs and two kinds of sausage. Try the jalapeño sausage that's shipped to the restaurant from San Antonio. Burnt ends are an additional $2.
Location: 711 S. Ankeny Blvd., Ankeny
Hours: Tuesday through Sunday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.; closed Mondays
Truman’s KC Pizza Tavern
Get the Royal treatment at Truman's with its hand-tossed pizza, sandwiches and appetizers like the cheese balls — hand-breaded pepper jack cheese bites. A limited breakfast menu is available on Saturday and Sunday mornings. Monday through Friday, daily specials are featured for $7.99 including clam chowder and chicken and dumplings.
Location: 400 S.E. 6th St., Des Moines
Hours: Monday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 2 a.m.; Saturday and Sunday, 8 a.m. to 2 a.m.
Wisco Grub & Pub
For Wisconsin sports aficionados, this is the place for you. Shareable appetizers like chicken wings with mild, medium or hot Wisco buffalo sauce make the menu, along with a long list of entrees. Fill your belly with a Belly Buster Burger — a grilled half-pound burger made from ground beef and pork belly topped with your choice of cheese, lettuce and tomato. Add a fried egg for $1 more.
Location: 3015 Merle Hay Road., #1A, Des Moines
Hours: Monday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.; closed Sundays.
Contact: (515) 528-8069; Facebook
Woody’s Smoke Shack
Woody's Smoke Shack is back with all of the same award-winning smoked meats and sides people have come to expect from this little barbecue spot near Drake.
Location: 2511 Cottage Grove Ave., Des Moines
- Hours: Monday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Saturday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.; closed Sundays
- Contact: (515) 277-0005; woodyssmokeshackdm.com
Loyal fans and customers can enjoy all of the same doughnuts that Lou King offered for more than 40 years at the old West Des Moines location, including honey-dipped (glazed), chocolate-frosted, toasted coconut, long johns, pecan and chocolate rolls, and powdered and sprinkled doughnuts.
- Locations: 3304 E. University Ave., Des Moines and 3802 Ingersoll Ave., Des Moines
- Hours: University Avenue — Tuesday through Sunday, 6 a.m. to 12 p.m.; closed Mondays. Ingersoll Avenue/Bauder's – Tuesday through Sunday, 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.; closed Mondays
- Contact: University Avenue, (515) 274-9892; Ingersoll Avenue/Bauder's, (515) 255-1124; Facebook
1908 Draught House
The new location for 1908 Draught House in West Des Moines serves plenty of pub fare like chicken wings and onion strings. Fill up with pizzas, burgers and sandwiches like the Knock-U-Out chicken sandwich with pepper jack cheese, pickled jalapeños, bufffalo sauce and spicy mayo on Texas toast.
- Location: 196 50th St., West Des Moines
- Hours: Monday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.
- Contact: (515) 224-4114; draughthouse1908.com; Facebook
The Grumpy Goat Tavern
The newest locations of The Grumpy Goat Tavern in Ankeny and downtown Des Moines feature outdoor dining areas and a menu with something for everyone including pizza, pasta, sandwiches, salads and steak dinners.
- Locations: 810 E. First St., Ankeny and 1303 Walnut St., Des Moines
- Hours: Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 12 a.m.; Friday, 11 a.m. to 2 a.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m. to 2 a.m.; Sunday, 10 a.m. to 12 a.m.
- Contact: Ankeny — (515) 512-2100, Facebook. Des Moines – (515) 410-2107; Facebook; thegrumpygoattavern.com
Gusto's newest location opened recently in Clocktower Square. Choose your own toppings or order a signature pizza with names as unique as the toppings.
- Location: 2800 University Ave., West Des Moines
- Hours: Sunday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.
- Contact: (515) 225-1881; gustopizzaco.com; Facebook
The newest Maria's location serves up nachos, tortas and burritos 24 hours a day except for Sundays. If you like tacos, this place has 13 different varieties including lengua, ground beef and shrimp. A breakfast menu is also available. Try some rolled taquitos with guacamole and cheese.
Location: 5405 Douglas Ave., Des Moines
Hours: Monday through Saturday, 24 hours; Sunday, 12 p.m. to 4 a.m.
Contact: (515) 348-9859; Facebook
Nick's Town House Tenderloins
What's not to love when you have a crunchy disk of tender, juicy pork jutting comically from the sides of a much-too-small bun? The second location for this Des Moines favorite opened in West Glen at the end of December.
- Location: 5465 Mills Civic Pkwy., Ste. 101, Des Moines
- Hours: Sunday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m. to 12 a.m.
- Contact: (515) 225-1763; eatnicksloins.com; Facebook
Sweet Swirls Rolled Ice Cream
For this frozen dessert treat that immigrated from Thailand, head to Sweet Swirls Rolled Ice Cream's newest location in Johnston.
- Location: 5525 Merle Hay Road, Ste. 180, Johnston
- Hours: Monday through Thursday, 12 p.m. to 10 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 12 p.m. to 11 p.m.; Sunday, 12 p.m. to 9 p.m.
- Contact: (515) 276-4171; sweetswirlsrolledicecream.com; Facebook
With its newest location in Ankeny's Prairie Trail, Taco Hangover’s modern twist is like a gastropub version of a taquería.
- Location: 1631 S.W. Main St., Suite100, Ankeny
- Hours: Sunday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m. to 1 a.m.
- Contact: 515-348-9062; tacohangover.com; Facebook
Teriyaki House Ankeny
The newest iteration of the Teriyaki House continues in the fast-casual tradition of serving quick, healthy teriyaki bowls with a side salad and fountain drink. But there are plenty of appetizers and sushi rolls to round out the menu.
- Location: 1802 S.E. Delaware Ave., Ste. 108, Ankeny
- Hours: Monday through Saturday, 10:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.; closed Sundays.
- Contact: (515) 964-5055; teriyakihouse.co; Facebook
With a new location in Merle Hay Mall, there's more twistedness to love including the pulled pork pizza with barbecue sauce, smoked pulled pork, bacon, cheddar and mozzarella cheese.
- Location: 3800 Merle Hay Road, Des Moines.
- Hours: Monday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Sunday, 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.
- Contact: (515) 252-9843; twistedpizzaria.com; Facebook.
Have you opened a restaurant in the metro in 2018 and do not see it on this list? Please contact Brian Carlson to be added.