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You’ll be pleasantly surprised to experience the eclectic dining scene in Des Moines. Here are five Des Moines restaurants worth trying, according to Forbes Travel Guide editors:
1. Baru 66. An authentic French bistro located in a low-key neighborhood far from downtown, and well worth the trip. The frequently changing menu features fresh ingredients and innovative preparations, as well as standbys like foie gras, truffles and steak frites all paired with an excellent wine list.
2. Centro. This is classic Italian dining at Des Moines’ best in a bustling room located in Western Gateway’s historic Temple for Fine Arts building. You’ll find lots of pizza and pasta choices, with the pies featuring a thick, rich tomato sauce and coal-fired crusts, and the pastas including vegetarian choices like tofu or ricotta gnocchi. Carnivores will enjoy the delicious steaks and seafood as well. There’s a happening bar scene, and next door is South Union Bread Café, which offers up big sandwiches at lunchtime.
3. Django. Traditional French cuisine with a dizzying assortment of menu items, including oysters, shrimp and other fresh seafood, as well as bouillabaisse, cassoulet and duck, among other offerings. There are also sandwiches and burgers, including some with intriguing toppings like foie gras. For a lighter meal, have a charcuterie plate of cheese, pâté or cured meat, paired with a wine from their extensive cellar.
4. 801 Chophouse. If you’re looking for classic, All-American cuisine with a stylish flair, this upscale steakhouse is the place to go. Located on a lower level of the tallest building in Des Moines, it serves up perfectly broiled steaks, chops and other grilled favorites. Bartenders are known to be generous as they pour martinis and other drinks.
5. Miyabi 9. An East Village sushi bar that’s been around for decades, Miyabi continues to turn out some tasty rolls and individual pieces of sushi and sashimi. The menu also features plenty of other Japanese items, and there’s a full selection of sake, wine and beer.