In Iowa, we know better than to take beautiful weather for granted. When the sun comes out (preferably with a slight breeze, hold the humidity), you’ll find us on a patio, cold drink in hand, appetizers on the way. Here is a list of the best al fresco options in Greater Des Moines, as voted by locals. Because patio season is the best season.
You’ll have a smashing good time at Iowa’s largest outdoor patio. It's all fun and games here, literally. Pickleball, cornhole, shuffleboard, giant pong, bocce ball, foosball, you name it. All paired with live music, sheets of nachos, fishbowls, buckets of beer and dogs. And it’s weather-proof too, with an indoor space that has games and giant TVs for the big game.
The Des Moines hot spot for Latin cuisine (and margarita shakers), Malo is an artsy urban oasis surrounded by the beautiful cityscape. The patio includes umbrellas to shade you from the sun and bistro lights for relaxing ambiance after dark. Don't sleep on the tasty sangria and seafood nachos!
Eatery A on Ingersoll is known for the wood fired pizza and delicious Mediterranean small plates. But what they’re most famous for is the best happy hour deal in town, from 2pm – 6pm every day, where you can enjoy half-off wine, draft beer, and pizza. Sounds like a good reason to cut out of work early to us.
Gilroy’s Kitchen + Pub + Patio
With the word patio right there in the name, you’d hope they’d deliver, and boy do they. This West Des Moines favorite serves up live music every Wednesday, happy hour deals on Moscow Mules from 4pm – 5pm and stylish American comfort food that all but assure that Gilroy’s will become part of your restaurant rotation.
Just because we’re not in wine country doesn’t mean we don’t appreciate a heavy pour of vino with a view. That’s what you’ll get at the beautiful Jasper Winery, located just south of downtown Des Moines. Taste local wines and listen to music (check out their Thursday Summer Concert series) on the vast front lawn with plenty of room to spread out and enjoy a picnic.
You know what they say about mullets. Business in the front, party in the back (patio). Don’t let Mullets unassuming vibe fool you...these patio views are perhaps the classiest in the city, overlooking two rivers, Principal Park, and the downtown skyline. This is favorite place to pre-game before an I-Cubs game.
The Hall DSM
This spacious, modern beer hall in Valley Junction is located in a historic building that originally housed boxcars. The Hall now houses over 54 beers on tap, four diverse food menus and one of the buzziest patios in the metro. The beer garden often features live music and seats over 140 people, making it the perfect place to catch up or get away. Check out their live trivia every Thursday at 7pm!
Is it margarita time yet? (SPOILER: the answer is always yes). Check out downtown Rita's Cantina, Des Moines’ buzzy new summer hotspot, serving tacos along with margarita flights AND queso flights on their huge outdoor patio.
The Iowa Taproom
All Iowa beer in one great place. The Iowa Taproom features 99 taps from 35 different Iowa breweries, so enjoy your brews and elevated bar food in front of their Instagram-worthy mural on the patio. Be sure to check out Ken's - A Not So Secret Speakeasy downstairs while you’re there!
Exile Brewing Company
Speaking of Instagram-worthy murals, Exile is home to the obligatory “Cheers From Des Moines” photo op. It’s also home to some of the most popular beers in Des Moines like Hannah and Ruthie, with a full food menu that is as creative and inspired as the beers.
1908 Draught House
With locations in Johnston, Norwalk, West Des Moines, and downtown, you can dine comfortably *almost* year-round on one of the most inviting patios in the metro, fitted with heaters and fans. As in, literal fans and Cubs fans. Cheese curds, cold beer and day baseball. There are worse ways to spend an afternoon.
Located in the stunning Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden, Trellis is the perfect spot for lunch in the East Village. Open for lunch from 11 am - 1:30 pm Thursday-Saturday, enjoy the plant-inspired menu on their outdoor patio overlooking the lush gardens. You wish your garden at home looked this good.
When it comes to creativity, Lua has the market cornered. Known for their interesting beer (try their "push pops") and food, Lua offers the perfect patio to get outside and enjoy the spoils of their creativity. Located in Historic Sherman Hill, pair a Call It Dreaming hefeweizen with one of their killer smash burgers, and you're assured to find your new happy place.
Sitting directly on the Des Moines River and right off the Neal Smith bike trail, Captain Roy's is an idyllic place to grab a drink and some apps. Park your bike and take a seat at any of the picnic tables to recharge after that long ride. Preferably with a tall boy of Confluence Long Ride. We highly recommend their fried pickle chips and cheese curds because who doesn't love a little grease right after burning those calories?
One of the most popular and ubiquitous breweries in town, Confluence’s large, dog-friendly patio is a great way to spend a warm day. With 18 different beers on tap at one time, Confluence has something for everyone. Located just south of Gray's Lake, you can spend time exploring the park before heading over to sip on a few brews. Though they don't serve food, they have food trucks parked at the patio throughout all of spring and summer.
Downtown Des Moines’ boutique hotel, Surety Hotel, recently opened the Surety Courtyard. An extension of the Surety Hotel Lobby Lounge, the Courtyard is an open-air oasis with exposed brick and the perfect spot for photos in front of their neon sign “City of Certainties.” Grab cocktails and a shareable plate Thursdays through Sundays.
300 Craft and Rooftop
What's better than a patio? A rooftop patio! 300 Craft and Rooftop is the place to see and be seen. This bar and rooftop is next door to Principal Park, as well as above Blaze Pizza, The Poke Company and many other food options. If you time it right, you can even get a perfect view of Friday Night Fireworks after a Cubs game!
Wellman's Pub and Rooftop
Wellman's Pub has two locations within the Greater Des Moines area. Double the location, double the fun, right? With a patio on Ingersoll and a rooftop in West Des Moines, Wellman's has offerings for whatever you're feeling and is especially popular with night owls. They have live music, sports on giant TVs, as well as DJs. Grab some wings alongside one of their 24 different beers on tap.
Everyone loves a good dog friendly patio, right? Well, Kinship Brewing in Waukee takes it a step further. They have a half-acre dog park right next door to the patio! Not only do they serve beer, but cocktails and wine as well. They also offer food from local food truck, Knead Pi & Q. Next time you want let your pup burn off some energy while also sipping on a cold one, Kinship Brewing is your destination.
Featuring a Taproom and Gastropub, Beerstyles is the perfect spot for your afternoon patio hangout. With over 100 different craft beers on tap and a killer pub food menu, you're sure to find something your style. Enjoy the view of the large fountain right outside the patio while basking in the shade and taking a break from that Des Moines sunshine.
Click for a listing of even more Greater Des Moines restaurants, bars, breweries, wineries, and distilleries with patios.