*Based on chef credentials, industry awards and reviews

Greater Des Moines is known as the birthplace of the farm-to-table movement and for our diverse culinary cuisine with global flavors and creative fusions. Restaurateurs use locally-sourced ingredients, craft inventive recipes, and bring their own culture to the community's table. Among the abundant options available to diners, you'll find notable chefs and award-winning restaurants. Check out these inspired eateries! 


A plant-focused restaurant, Harbinger is determined to bring out Southeast Asian flavors using local ingredients. Joe Tripp, the chef of Harbinger, has earned two nominations for the James Beard Foundation's "Best Chef in the Midwest" award.  


You know Des Moines' culinary expertise is diverse when a Greek, Mediterranean, and Lebanese cuisine takes the top spot on Yelp.com. Gazali's is the highest-ranking restaurant in the area, serving up homemade hummus, falafel, gyros, wraps, salads, and more. Order for dine-in, grab and go, or for delivery – your taste buds will thank you. 


This Southern comfort spot is a hit among the Des Moines community, serving up fried chicken and waffles, po' boys, grits, chicken fried steak, and more. Not only is Bubba known for great food, but great hospitality as well. Chris Diebel, managing partner, won the 2019 Emerging Hospitality Industry Leader Award for his ability to bring together southern cuisine with a beautifully styled, homey atmosphere.  


Expand your palate with a unique culinary experience. Proof serves up innovative dishes, and their culinary team is known for their futuristic take on food. It's no wonder they've been James Beard Foundation semifinalists for two years and have even been named by Times Magazine as "The Best Restaurant in Iowa." 

The Cheese Bar

Every cheese-lovers' dream is brought to life at the artisanal Cheese Bar, where the grilled cheeses are gooey, and their cast-iron mac and cheese skillet is luxurious. The Cheese Bar was ranked #1 on TripAdvisor, and their sister store, "The Cheese Shop," was rated #1 on Hoodline.com's article in a list of America's Favorite Cheese Shops for their incorporation of over 100 selected cheeses from creameries and dairies around the world.  

Splash Seafood Bar + Grill and Jethro's Barbeque

Upscale seafood dining meets hearty plates of barbeque with these two Greater Des Moines hotspots. Check out Splash for juicy lobster, scallops, and other seafood menu items that'll have you daydreaming about the beach.  

Or head over to one of Jethros' many metro locations for some ol' fashioned Midwest barbeque and take a crack at the Adam Emmenecker Challenge. The Adam Emmenecker sandwich is made up of all the favorite foods from former Drake University basketball star, Adam Emmenecker. Many have failed, including Adam Richmond from Man v. Food. 

Lua Brewing

This new, modern brewpub is already making waves with its unique take on American cuisine that differs from classic pub fare. Executive chef James Arbaugh was formerly the chef de cuisine for four years at Plumed Horse, a Michelin-star restaurant. He studied at the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York.