Money magazine names Des Moines fourth-best city in America for eating out affordably
You’re going to need to bust open that piggy bank if you want to live in one of these pricey metro areas. Buzz60's Sean Dowling has more. Buzz60
Grabbing a great meal in a restaurant doesn't have to break the bank. And dining out in Des Moines is proof of that.
Money magazine named Des Moines one of the best cities in America for catching a meal out on a budget.
In a recent article by Shaina Mishkin, headlined "These Are the 10 Best Cities in America for Eating Out Affordably," Des Moines was ranked fourth in the nation for having cheap eats. San Antonio took the top spot, followed by Oklahoma City and Knoxville, Tenn.
To name its winners from a list of 300 U.S. cities, Money used data from Numbeo, Yelp and WitLytic. They evaluated locations based on the quality of restaurants, number of places to eat, and the average cost of food and drinks in the area.
Des Moines, the city of affordable dining
"Traveling through Des Moines?" Mishkin wrote. "You’re in luck. The city’s Eatery A — and, specifically, the Mediterranean restaurant’s $11 cioppino — was named the “best cheap eats” in Iowa by Travel + Leisure. The fish stew dish isn’t the only affordable meal you’ll find in the state capital. The average meal at an inexpensive restaurant costs $12, according to Numbeo, while, at just $3, the average price of a domestic beer is among the cheapest on this list."
► From 2017: This restaurant has the 'best cheap eats' in Iowa
Travel + Leisure's article from 2017 involved all 50 states. Ali Khan, host of Cooking Channel's "Cheap Eats," and author of "Bang for Your Burger Buck," dined his way around Des Moines on Dec. 2, 2016, as part of his season two tour of the show.
He feasted on four items from four different eateries in 12 hours — all for less than $35 total:
- Breakfast: Breakfast nachos at University Library Café, made by Chef Charles Johnson ($8.99)
- Lunch: Broasted chicken with mashed potatoes and onion rings from High Life Lounge, created by Chef Jeff Bruning ($8.99)
- Snack: Napoleon dessert at Strudl Haus (now closed), by Chef Michael Leo ($3.50)
But the cioppino at Eatery A, made by Chef Nic Gonwa, received special notoriety as the best cheap eat in the metro.
"It was our goal with Eatery A to give people five-star food at a two-star price," Gonwa said in 2017. "We make it affordable for people to come experience and order multiple things, and come in multiple times a week and feel good about the food they're getting — and not break the bank."
Other statistics about Des Moines dining from Money magazine:
- Restaurants with four or more stars, Yelp: 200
- Average price of a three-course meal at a mid-range restaurant for two people, Numbeo: $40
- Average price of a domestic beer, Numbeo: $3
Top 10 best cities for cheap eats
Here is the full list of cities that were recognized in Money magazine for affordable dining:
- San Antonio, Tex.
- Oklahoma City, Okla.
- Knoxville, Tenn.
- Des Moines, Iowa
- Detroit, Mich.
- Huntsville, Ala.
- Lexington, Ky.
- Cincinnati, Ohio
- Reno, Nev.
- Portland, Ore.