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Rick Bayless, chef and owner of Frontera Grill in Chicago, talks about the ingredients he keeps in his pantry for making traditional Mexican cuisine. Reviewed - Jeremy Stamas

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Des Moines' East Side is a diverse area. And its restaurants prove it with menus full of global flavors and local traditions.

You can find all kinds of eats on the East Side — Asian, Mexican, Honduran and Italian cuisine alongside Americana, diners and biker bars. 

Interested in Iowa food news? Follow @briantaylorcarlson on Facebook, @BriinDSM on Twitter and @briindsm on Instagram.

For this guide, we scoured the map for eateries east of the Des Moines River and/or E. 14th St., south N.E. 66th Ave., west of Rt. 65 and north of the Des Moines River. This guide also includes Pleasant Hill.

Here are the restaurants of Des Moines' East Side:

Abelardo's

This regional chain has five locations throughout the Des Moines metro, one in Ames and eight in Omaha. It's known for fast service and reasonable prices. Abelardo's menu has an extensive selection of Tex-Mex classics and combinations.

Location: 205 E. 14th St., Des Moines

Hours: Monday through Wednesday, 8 a.m. to 11 p.m.; Thursday through Saturday, 8 a.m. to 2 a.m.; Sunday, 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Contact: (515) 266-6598; abelardosmexicanfood.com

Bailey's Pub and Grub

This little pub on Euclid Avenue serves breakfast, lunch and dinner. Try a filling Tink Special for breakfast — loaded hashbrowns smothered with gravy. For lunch and dinner, go for a hot sausage sandwich with mild or hot peppers, mozzarella and marinara with fries.

Location: 918 E. Euclid Ave., Des Moines

Hours: Monday through Saturday, 6 a.m. to 12 a.m.; Sunday, 8 a.m. to 12 a.m.

Contact: (515) 266-6560Facebook

Bianchi's Hilltop Restaurant

Since 1950, this family-owned Italian eatery is famous for its pizza and pasta dishes. The neighborhood mainstay offers homemade, thin-cut onion rings in several sizes, baked cavatelli with bread and salad, and Italian sausage sandwiches with cheese on Vienna bread. Try the butter-fried chicken livers.

Location: Hilltop Center, 2820 Hubbell Ave., Des Moines

Hours: Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 4:30 to 9:30 p.m.; Friday, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 4:30 to 10:30 p.m.; Saturday, 4:30 to 10:30 p.m.; closed Sundays.

Contact: (515) 265-2746; bianchishilltop.com; Facebook

El Buen Sabor Latino

For El Salvadoran food on the East Side, try El Buen Sabor for its pastelitos de carne, or meat pastries, and pupusas. Lunch and dinner entrees range from tacos to chile rellenos to the Especial Latino featuring grilled steak chicken, shrimp and bacon with avocado and two handmade tortillas. For a sweet treat, try the nuegados con chilate, or fried sweet dumplings served with a drink made from cocoa, cinnamon, sugar and rice.

Location: 1130 E. 9th St., Des Moines

Hours: Wednesday through Monday, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.; closed Tuesdays.

Contact: (515) 265-2895Facebook

Café Fuzion

Fans of pan-Asian cuisine rave about this East Side restaurant serving apps, soups and salads, pho, noodles, curries, rice entrées and stir-frys dishes. Enjoy some coconut-curry marinated chicken satay with pickled cucumber, carrots and peanut sauce before a dish of shrimp and ginger stir-fry sautéed with mushrooms and bell peppers with a light sauce. But be sure to save room for some mango mochi, or Japanese rice cakes.

Location: 1240 E. 14th St., Des Moines

Hours: Monday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.; closed Sundays.

Contact: (515) 262-8488; cafefuziondsm.comFacebook

Captain Roy's

Like a vacation in the middle of the city, you can watch the boats come and go from Birdland Marina on the Des Moines River while listening to live music and nibbling on some pickle chips. Other items like breakfast dishes and sandwiches are available from the bright orange food bus including fried chicken strips and a 9-inch Belgian waffle with butter and syrup or a third-pound mushroom Swiss burger.

Location: 1900 Saylor Rd., Des Moines

Hours: Tuesday and Wednesday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Thursday and Friday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Sunday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.; closed Mondays.

Contact: (515) 631-2223; Facebook

Cheng's Garden

Cheng's Garden has three locations serving Chinese specialties including Hunan and Szechuan classics for dine-in, carryout and delivery. Share some appetizers like steamed dumplings and shrimp toast or go for some egg drop soup. Affordable lunch specials served with pork fried rice or white rice and an egg roll or crab rangoon are available from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., but larger dinner combos are served all day. Don't forget to break open your fortune cookie.

Location: 1246 E. 14th St., Des Moines

Hours: Monday through Saturday, 10:30 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Sunday, 11:30 to 10 p.m.

Contact: (515) 262-1999; atchengsgarden.comFacebook

Chicago Speakeasy

Food, fun and booze are the calling cards of Chicago Speakeasy, which opened in 1977. Look for prime rib, steaks, seafood, pasta, chicken, ribs, chops and sandwiches as well as a salad bar featuring more than 50 homemade items. Try one of six surf-and-turf style Mafia's Combinations with prime rib or sirloin steak and a choice of shrimp, scallops and king crab legs.

Location: 1520 Euclid Ave., Des Moines

Hours: Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Friday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Saturday, 4 to 10 p.m.; closed Sundays.

Contact: (515) 243-3141 ; chicagospeakeasyrestaurant.comFacebook

China House

For Chinese food on the East Side, this restaurant has a widely-varying menu with dinners, specialties and combinations served with rice, soup and a spring roll or a crab rangoon. Spicy Szechuan and Hunan dishes with chicken, beef or shrimp dominate the spicy selections but don't miss the fried wontons and barbecue spare ribs. Family dinners for up to six people are available, along with healthy options with lots of vegetables.

Location: 2916 E University Ave., Des Moines

Hours: Sunday through Thursday, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 10:30 p.m.

Contact: (515) 266-7000; chinahousedm.chinesemenu.comFacebook

Chuck's

Chuck's began serving its Italian-American dishes in 1956. A full menu of appetizers, salads, pizzas, sandwiches, pasta and other entrees can be enjoyed in-house or takeout. Munch on some homemade onion rings in half or full orders and baked cavatelli with red sauce and melted mozzarella. For pizza, try the Vegetarian or the Meat Lover's. Or get them combined in the Everything pizza. 

Location: 3610 6th Ave., Des Moines

Hours: Tuesday through Thursday, 4:30 to 9:30 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 4:30 to 10:30 p.m.

Contact: (515) 244-4104; chucksdsm.comFacebook

Copper Kitchen

Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, Copper Kitchen offers family diner classics melded with Italian specialties. Check out the burger line with options like the half-pound Bubba Burger made with bacon, barbecue sauce and fried onions. Or go for the comforting Chicken and Shrimp Carbonara with bacon, roasted red peppers in an egg-thickened cream sauce with pasta. Kids' and seniors' menus are both available.

Location: 1225 Copper Creek Dr., Pleasant Hill

Hours: Monday through Saturday, 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Sunday, 7 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Contact: (515) 214-1855Facebook

La Cuscatleca

This hidden El Salvadoran pupuseria has 10 varieties of pupusas to choose from, including spinach, shrimp and pork with beans. For breakfast, try chorizo with eggs, beans, cheese and cream. Or snack on fried yuca and plantain empanadas. Entrees include pollo guizado (stew), carne asada and pescado frito served with rice, beans and salad.

Location: 1832 Hubbell Ave., Des Moines

Hours: Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Sunday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Contact: (515) 262-1158Facebook

Donut King

Donut King recently reopened two locations in the metro making its fresh, sweet doughnuts in a variety of flavors and styles including honey-dipped (glazed), chocolate-frosted, toasted coconut, long johns, pecan and chocolate rolls along with powdered and sprinkled doughnuts.

Locations: 

  • 3304 E. University Ave., Des Moines
  • 3802 Ingersoll Ave. inside Bauder's

Hours: 

  • University: Tuesday through Sunday, 6 a.m. to 12 p.m.; closed Mondays.
  • Ingersoll/Bauder's: Ingersoll/Bauder's: Tuesday through Sunday, 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.; closed Mondays.

Contact: (515) 274-9892Facebook

Be sure to bookmark these frequently-updated dining guides:

Dragon House East

Open for lunch and dinner, this Chinese restaurant on the East Side offers plenty of affordable lunch dishes served with rice, appetizers and soups. For dinner, try a specialty like Dragon House Steak — broiled prime sirloin served on a sizzling hot plate with mixed vegetables and brown sauce. Or munch on some fried rice or lo mein. Order online for easy carryout or delivery.

Location: 2470 E. Euclid Ave., Des Moines

Hours: Sunday through Thursday, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 11 p.m.

Contact: (515) 262-0722; dragonhousedesmoines.com; Facebook

E. 25th Pub & Grub

This friendly neighborhood pub offers a menu full of affordable eats like the Capicola sandwich with Italian dressing and melted pepper cheese on an herbed focaccia roll. Burgers, pizza and tacos round out the menu along with wings and toasted ravioli on the appetizer list. Look for daily food and drink specials and the specialty tenderloin sandwich.

Location: 509 E. 25th St., Des Moines

Hours: Monday through Sunday, 11 a.m. to 2 a.m.

Contact: (515) 266-6885; Facebook

East Side Eddie's Neighborhood Bar & Grill

This East Side secret tucked away in a neighborhood strip mall serves lunch and dinner and breakfast on the weekends. Enjoy appetizers, burgers, pizza and tenderloin sandwiches, along with comfort classics like hot sliced roast beef served with brown gravy over white bread and baked cavatelli. Graziano sausage makes several appearances on the menu. For breakfast, try the plate-sized fried pancake. But keep an eye out for the chicken and noodle dinner special.

Location: 3517 E. 26th St., Des Moines

Hours: Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 12 a.m.; Friday, aa 1.m. to 2 a.m.; Saturday, 8 a.m. to 2 a.m.; Sunday, 8 a.m. to 11 p.m.

Contact: (515) 777-3401Facebook

La Favorita

This specialty Latin American grocer will make authentic and affordable specialties like barbacoa and chicharrones to order. Look for soups and stews to be simmering away for lunch and dinner like camaron con pescado (shrimp with fish). While you're there, explore the aisles for groceries and produce or shop for freshly baked Mexican pastries and cakes.

Location: 1700 E. Grand Ave., Des Moines

Hours: Monday through Sunday, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Contact: (515) 262-5489; Facebook

Fawn's Asian Cuisine

For a wide assortment of Asian cuisine, Fawn's is hard to beat, with Chinese, Thai and Lao cuisine making the menu for dine-in and takeout. Sip on a fruity bubble tea while deciding between vegetable spring rolls and chicken satay. Enjoy vermicelli salads, pho and lettuce wraps along with stir-fry, noodle, curry and rice dishes. Affordable lunches are served weekdays from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Location: 1107 E. University Ave., Des Moines

Hours: Monday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Sunday, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Contact: (515) 266-0664; fawnsasiancuisine.weebly.comFacebook

La Feria Mexican Restaurant

This family-owned Mexican restaurant in Pleasant Hill offers a full line of Mexican specialties and tequila cocktails. Have a seat on the outdoor patio overlooking a lake and enjoy some chips with queso or guacamole. Enjoy classic dishes like tacos, fajitas, chimichangas and enchiladas in combination dinners and vegetarian options. Not sure what to order? Pick and choose from the extensive a la carte menu.

Location: 4450 E University Ave, Pleasant Hill

Hours: Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m. to 10:30 p.m.; Sunday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. 

Contact: (515) 262-5448; laferiaiowa.com; Facebook

Fiesta Mexican

With two other locations in Iowa (Adel and North Liberty), Fiesta serves traditional fare with their own special twist. Share some sopes or nachos to start. Then go for a burrito, chipotle shrimp or create your own combination platter with a list of affordable a la carte items. And there are plenty of margaritas and other Mexican cocktails to relax with.

Location: 1100 N. Hickory Blvd. #203, Pleasant Hill

Hours: Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m. to 10:30 p.m.; Sunday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Contact: (515) 262-1520Facebook

Gerri's Tavern

Gerri's is a perennial top choice for wing aficionados in Des Moines. And there's only one buffalo-style sauce — it's not too hot and not too mild. It's just right. For $8.75, you get eight wings. Look for a full list of other appetizer choices and sandwiches, along with daily specials.

Location: 232 E. 30th St., Des Moines

Hours: Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 1:30 a.m.; closed Sundays.

Contact: (515) 265-8383; Facebook

Granny's Sweet Freeze

This tiny soft serve shop is another neighborhood favorite with single and double vanilla cones. Enjoy a wide assortment of dips and toppings. Or go for the current flavor-of-the-week. The menu features something for everyone like sundaes, malts, shakes, sodas, floats, slushes and ices. Arctic Swirls are Granny's answer to a blended ice cream treat with Granny's own secret recipe combinations like apple pie, cherry bon-bon and French silk pie. Treats start at $1.10.

Location: 3417 Hubbell Ave., Des Moines

Hours: Monday through Saturday, 12 p.m. to 9 p.m.; Sunday, 1 to 9 p.m.

Contact: (515) 266-0887Facebook

The Hills Bar & Grill 

Enjoy burgers and wings at Hills Bar & Grill, 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

International Buffet

This all-you-can-eat Asian buffet has a limited selection of classic favorites with crab rangoons, egg rolls, fried rice and entrées available.

Location: 901 E. Euclid Ave., Des Moines

Hours: Monday through Sunday, 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.

Contact: (515) 288-8889

Iowa Beef Steakhouse

Serving the carnivorous community since 1982, Iowa Beef Steakhouse is known as one of the premiere go-tos on Des Moines' East Side for seven cuts of beef, plus pork chops, ribs and chicken cooked over charcoal and served with a great choice of toppings and extras. But there are plenty of other options on the menu for lunch and dinner like burgers and desserts like the Black Forest cream pie.

Location: 1201 E. Euclid Ave., Des Moines

Hours: Monday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 5 to 10 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday, 5 to 10 p.m.

Contact: (515) 262-1138; iowabeefsteakhouse.com; Facebook

Isla Del Pacifico Mexican Restaurant

This cozy Mexican restaurant offers plenty of platters and specialties for lunch and dinner including burritos, tacos, tortas and quesadillas. There's even a full list of inventive margaritas to go with your fajitas.

Location: 1434 Des Moines St., Des Moines

Hours: Monday through Sunday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Contact: (515) 265-8660 ; Facebook

Kelly's Little Nipper

One of the oldest bars in town with a menu full of appetizers, sandwiches and pizzas. Happy hour runs from 2 to 7 p.m. with $1 off all drinks and free pizza from 4 to 6 p.m. People are crazy about the handmade vodka and beer battered onion rings and the Graziano sausage sandwich with marinara, a choice of hot or mild peppers and melted mozzarella or pepper jack cheese in either half or full pound sizes.

Location: 1701 E. Grand Ave., Des Moines

Hours: Sunday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 12 a.m.; Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m. to 2 a.m.

Contact: (515) 265-2031; kellyslittlenipper.com; Facebook

LJ's Burgers & Ice Cream

Americana classics like burgers and soft-serve ice cream are featured at LJ's. Tenderloin sandwiches are also served here. Try a mushroom and Swiss burger followed by an Avalanche — choose your favorite candy and have it blended into LJ's soft serve. 

Location: 3702 2nd Ave., Des Moines

Hours: Monday through Friday, 10:30 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Saturday, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Sunday, 12 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Contact: (515) 288-8430; ljsburgers.com; Facebook

Los Laureles

For variety, Los Laureles' giant menu covers all the bases. From authentic lengua tacos to Tex-Mex specialties like fajitas and taco salads, there's something for everyone. For a hearty dish, try the pozole — red hominy soup with pork, served with crispy tostadas of lettuce, onions, radishes and lime.

Location: 1518 E. Grand Ave., Des Moines

Hours: Monday through Thursday, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Friday, 10 a.m. to 3 a.m.; Saturday, 9 a.m. to 3 a.m.; Sunday, 9 a.m. to 12 a.m.

Contact: (515) 265-2200; Facebook

Maingate Bar & Grill

Located by the Iowa State Fairgrounds, this neighborhood restaurant serves breakfast every day. The lunch and dinner menu includes appetizers, soups, burgers and sandwiches. 

Location: 2956 E. Grand Ave., Des Moines

Hours: Monday through Friday, 6 a.m. to 2 a.m.; Saturday and Sunday, 8 a.m. to 2 a.m.

Contact: (515) 266-2716; Facebook

Montana Mike's Steakhouse

This regional steakhouse chain with 14 locations in Illinois, Indiana, Missouri, Oklahoma and Texas has two locations in Iowa: Des Moines and Newton. Choice steaks are the centerpiece of the menu here, along with a big selection of burgers, appetizers, salads and other entrees with plenty of side dish options. Chow down on 18-ounce ancho pepper seasoned T-bone topped with ancho butter.

Location: 5030 N.E. 14th St., Des Moines

Hours: Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.; Sunday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Contact: (515) 528-2010; montanamikes.com; Facebook

Mr. Bibb's Tenderloin

This place is a local institution, being family-owned for almost three decades. Best known for its homemade tenderloin sandwiches, Mr. Bibb's also serves Italian grinders, homemade onion rings and okra. And these are just a few of the items on its giant menu. Save room for a malt, shake or sundae in a variety of flavors.

Location: 2705 6th Ave., Des Moines

Hours: Monday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Tuesday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.; closed Sundays.

Contact: (515) 243-0929Facebook

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Norwood Bar & Grill

Tavern food is the thing here with breakfast, lunch and dinner served every day. Enjoy biscuits and gravy in full and half orders. For lunch or dinner go for a popular item like the Italian sausage sandwich, smothered with hot or mild peppers and cheese. But be sure to get a side of the corn nuggets to go alongside. 

Location: 4592 N.E. 29th St., Des Moines

Hours: Monday through Sunday, 6 a.m. to 11 p.m.

Contact: (515) 265-6574; Facebook

Now or Later Restuarant

Comforting Italian-American fare can be found here like mozzarella sticks and other appetizers, sandwiches, salads, pasta and steaks for lunch and dinner. A few house favorites are the cavatelli with a choice of meatballs or Graziano Italian sausage and hand-breaded onion rings.

Location: 3750 E. University Ave., Des Moines

Hours: Tuesday through Thursday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 4 to 9 p.m.; Friday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 4 to 10 p.m.; Saturday, 4 to 10 p.m.; closed Sundays and Mondays.

Contact: (515) 266-9777Facebook

Over the Top

Take a trip to Pleasant Hill to cool off with some hard pack ice cream in cups and cones in a full roundup of regular flavors like Happy Wife Happy Life - dark chocolate fudge with Heath bar and chocolate-covered almond pieces with a caramel swirl. Or go for a dairy-free vegan option like watermelon sorbet. There are plenty of options like sundaes, shakes and floats.

Location: 955 N.E. 56th St, Pleasant Hill

Hours: Monday and Tuesday, 4 to 9 p.m.; Wednesday through Sunday, 12 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Contact: (515) 266-3313; overthetopiowa.com; Facebook

Paleteria La Michoacana

This Mexican ice cream shop is a hidden surprise in the Capitol East neighborhood, specializing in hard-pack ice creams, or cremas, and sorbets, or aguas. Cremas range from the familiar — like caramel, banana, strawberry and vanilla — to the unique, like mamey, a fruit from Cuba and Central America. Try the rompope, a crema made with an eggnog-like drink. Aguas come in various fruit flavors like pineapple, lime and mango with chile.

Location: 1552 E. Grand Ave., Des Moines

Hours: Monday through Sunday, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Contact: (515) 265-0696; Facebook

Papa Kerns Cafe

For great diner food near the Iowa State Fairgrounds, Papa Kerns is the place. You can find hot breakfast items all day like biscuits and gravy, omelets and pancakes. For lunch and dinner, enjoy appetizers, sandwiches and comforting dinners like meatloaf with mashed potatoes and gravy.

Location: 304 E. 30th St., Des Moines

Hours: Monday through Saturday, 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Sunday, 7 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Contact: (515) 262-7692Facebook

Pho All Seasons

Pho is found at this Vietnamese restaurant on the East Side in build-your-own combinations along with plenty of other soups and specialties like rice and noodle dishes. Start with some chicken wings or spring rolls with a variety of fillings. And don't forget to order a fruity bubble tea.

Location: 1311 E. Euclid Ave, Des Moines

Hours: Monday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.; Tuesday through Sunday, 10 to 9 p.m.

Contact: (515) 330-1840; pho-all-seasons.business.site; Facebook

Polito's La Pizza House

Polito's serves original family recipe pizza from Abbie Polito including build-your-own and specialty pies in a range of sizes. Mini pizzas and 10-inch gluten-free pizzas are also available. Be sure to check out the list of tempting appetizers, sandwiches and pasta dishes and dinners like the 4-piece fried chicken dinner served with salad, potato and garlic bread.

Location: 1440 Maury St., Des Moines

Hours: Tuesday through Thursday, 4 to 9 p.m.; Friday, 4 to 10 p.m.; Saturday 4 to 9 p.m.; closed Sundays and Mondays.

Contact: (515) 288-2211Facebook

Pueblo Viejo

For Mexican, Pueblo Viejo is an East Side favorite. Lunch specials and dinner combinations dominate the menu, along with specialties like fajitas and carne dishes. Try the Viejo — 12 shrimp wrapped with bacon served with a 5-ounce portion of carne asada, rice and beans and pico de gallo. You can even choose between eight kinds of nachos.

Location: 3841 E. 14th St., Des Moines

Hours: Monday through Sunday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Contact: (515) 265-1720

El Rincon Catracho

Head to this East Side restaurant for authentic Honduran food. Fish, chicken, pork and steak entrées are served with green plantains. Try some pastelitos — Honduran turnovers filled with ground beef and fried. Or go for some chicken flautas or baleadas, flour tortillas filled with beans, cheese and cream. Hearty soups and stews are served on the weekends.

Location: 3310 E. 14th St., Des Moines

Hours: Thursday through Tuesday, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.; closed Wednesdays.

Contact: (515) 803-3382Facebook

El Rodeo

El Rodeo has three locations in the metro serving a wide-ranging menu of Mexican dishes including vegetarian options. The margaritas alone are worth a trip.

Location: 1234 E. Euclid Ave., Des Moines

Hours: Sunday through Tuesday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Wednesday and Thursday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m. to 10:30 p.m.

Contact: (515) 265-0551

Rolling Wok Cafe

Pick up a diverse medley of Asian foods ranging from Thai drunken noodles, Vietnamese pho and Laotian larb with sticky rice. Or go for Chinese dishes such as Hunan noodles with a spicy brown sauce or sesame chicken.

Location: 1534 E. Grand Ave., E, Des Moines

Hours: Monday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 4 to 9 p.m.; Saturday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Sunday, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Contact: (515) 266-3787; rollingwokdesmoines.com; Facebook

El Salvadoreño

You can find plenty of pupusas at this unassuming Salvadoran restaurant. But for breakfast, feast on chorizo and eggs. Lunch and dinner entrees like carne asada and chicken dishes are served with salad and rice.

Location: 2728 2nd Ave., Des Moines

Hours: Monday through Saturday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.; closed Sunday.

Contact: (515) 244-1027; Facebook

El Salvador Del Mundo

Traditional Salvadoran cuisine is served at this cozy East Side spot. Start the day off with a breakfast platter. For lunch and dinner, handmade tamales and pupusas in a variety of fillings are available along with soups, seafood dishes and vegetarian options. Try the grilled chicken with fried yucca, served with rice, beans and salad.

Location: 2901 6th Ave., Des Moines

Hours: Wednesday through Monday, 9:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.; closed Tuesdays.

Contact: (515) 244-5224; Facebook

The Seafood Trap

If you are in the mood for a seafood feast, The Seafood Trap has that covered. Order the perfect seafood boil by the pound like crawfish, clams, shrimp, mussels, lobster tail and snow or Alaskan king crab legs. Throw in some corn on the cob, potatoes and sausage and you have yourself a 'roll-up-your-sleeves' feast with customizable spice levels. Fried seafood baskets are also available. 

Location: 1552 E. Grand Ave., Des Moines

Hours: Tuesday through Thursday, 5 to 9 p.m.; Friday, 5 to 10 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday, 3 to 10 p.m.; closed Monday.

Contact: (515) 266-6244; theseafoodtrap.com; Facebook

Sir's Kitchen

Sir's Kitchen is one of the newest restaurants to hit the East Side, serving chicken and waffles in fun flavors like red velvet along with Fruity Pebbles and Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereals. There are plenty of options like burgers, wings, soups and salads. For dinner, enjoy a rotating menu of daily entrée specials. 

Location: 2905 N.E. Hubbell Ave., Des Moines

Hours: Tuesday through Sunday, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 4 to 8 p.m.; closed Mondays.

Contact: (515) 864-9092; sirs-kitchen.business.siteFacebook

Social - Eats & Crafts

Located inside Great Escape family entertainment center, Social - Eats & Crafts serves appetizers, salads, sandwiches, burgers, pizza and entrées. And there are plenty of craft beers to go alongside. Try a mushroom and Swiss chicken sandwich — grilled garlic and Parmesan marinated chicken breast topped with melted Swiss cheese, sautéed mushrooms and onions and served on a toasted brioche bun. And keep an eye out for weekly specials.

Location: 655 N.E. 56th St., Pleasant Hill

Hours: Tuesday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m. to 1 a.m.; Sunday, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.; Monday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Contact: (515) 263-1700; greatescapeiowa.com/social/; Facebook

Smokey D's BBQ

This barbecue restaurant began in 2006 in a trailer in a driveway. Since then, Smokey D’s has become known for its nationally competitive barbecue. Enjoy award-winning ribs, chopped pork, pulled chicken, turkey, pit ham, smoked sausage, sliced brisket and burnt ends in platters and sandwich baskets. If you’re extra-hangry, you can order the Farm Boy — a 5-pound concoction of two slices of white bread topped with a pork tenderloin, spud sticks, bacon, country gravy cheddar cheese and green onions.

Location: 5055 N.W. 2nd St., Des Moines

Hours: Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Sunday, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Contact: (515) 243-2747; smokeydsbbq.com; Facebook

Sonny's Pizza Bistro

Sonny's homemade family-recipe pizzas have drawn hungry customers from around the metro since 2006. And appetizers, salads, sandwiches and pasta dishes also make the menu. Try a Tuscan bistro pizza with shrimp, red onion, black olives and a roasted red pepper cream sauce.

Location: 6594 N.W. 6th Dr., Des Moines

Hours: Tuesday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 4:30 to 9 p.m.; Friday, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 4:30 to 10 p.m.; Saturday, 4:30 to 10 p.m.; closed Sundays and Mondays.

Contact: (515) 289-2555; sonnyspizzabistro.comFacebook

La Tapatia Tienda Mexicana

This Mexican grocer has three locations in the metro: La Tapatia Tienda Mexicana, La Tapatia 2 and La Tapatia 3. All three serve carryout items like tamales and elotes (Mexican street corn on a stick rubbed with cheese, lime and chilies).

Location: 1440 Des Moines St., Des Moines

Hours: Monday through Sunday, 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Contact: (515) 265-3390; Facebook

Tasty Tacos

The unmistakable fluffy flour taco shell filled with a choice of ground beef, bean, chicken, steak or pork with shredded lettuce and cheese is a regional chain favorite. Tasty Tacos has two locations on the East Side.

Locations: 

  • 1400 E. Grand Ave., Des Moines; (515) 266-4242
  • 2900 E. Euclid Ave., Des Moines; (515) 262-1100

Hours: Monday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.; closed Sundays.

Contact: tastytacos.com; Facebook

Teriyaki House

There are just three steps to dining at the Teriyaki House: pick your protein, pick your bowl and pick your dressing. Veggie, meat and seafood options are available, along with plenty of appetizers like fried dumplings and crab rangoons. There's even a small sushi roll selection.

Location: 1014 E. 14th St., Des Moines

Hours: Monday through Saturday, 10:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.; closed Sundays.

Contact: (515) 262-2889; teriyakihouse.coFacebook

Tequila Restaurante & Cantina

From super nachos to chile verde, there’s plenty to like on the menu in this cozy little spot on Des Moines’ East Side. There are plenty of combination platters with classics such as burritos, enchiladas, tacos, chimichangas and chile rellenos.
Save some room for sopapilla for dessert.

Location: 2824 Easton Blvd., Des Moines

Hours: Tuesday through Saturday, 10:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.; closed Sundays and Mondays.

Contact: (515) 262-4485; Facebook

Thai Flavors

This East Side Thai restaurant has an extensive menu full of lunch specials, appetizers, soups and salads along with noodle, curry and stir-fry dishes. Sushi rolls are also available here. Or go for a chef specialty like stir-fried shrimp lemongrass with mushrooms, onions, bell peppers with a homemade lemongrass sauce. 

Location: 1254 E. 14th St., Des Moines

Hours: Monday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 5 to 9 p.m.; Saturday, 12 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Contact: (515) 262-4658; thaiflavorsiowa.comFacebook

Tsing Tsao Chinese Fast Food

With a streamlined menu for fast service, this Chinese fast food restaurant offers appetizers, soups and all-day stir-fried or deep-fried entrée special combinations served with soup, fried or steamed rice and a choice of an egg roll or crab rangoons. Look for daily specials.

Location: 2231 E. University Ave, Des Moines

Hours: Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.; Sunday, 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Contact: (515) 262-2775; Facebook

Tursi's Latin King

An East Side landmark, Tursi's Latin King has been serving Italian specialties in Des Moines for over 70 years. Appetizer favorites include toasted ravioli, antipasti plates and fried zucchini. There are plenty of sandwiches and entrées on the menu, but Latin King's Steak de Burgo is one of the metro's prized dishes. The tiramisú is worth saving a little room in your stomach.

Location: 2200 Hubbell Ave., Des Moines

Hours: Tuesday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 4 to 10 p.m.; Friday, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 4 to 11 p.m.; Saturday, 4 to 11 p.m.; closed Sundays and Mondays.

Contact: (515) 266-4466; tursislatinking.com; Facebook

Victory Lane Motorsports Cafe

Plenty of daily happy hour and food specials can be found at this restaurant with the motorsports theme. Accelerate with wings and other appetizers like nachos and onion rings. Then speed through the finish line with burgers, sandwiches, salads, pizza and pasta dishes. Try the cavatelli dinner with a side salad and garlic bread. 

Location: 3801 Easton Blvd., Des Moines

Hours: Sunday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 12 a.m.; Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m. to 2 a.m.

Contact: (515) 263-1811; victorylanedsm.comFacebook

Is your East Side restaurant not on this list? It needs to be. Please email Brian Carlson to have your restaurant added. 

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