Iowa may be known as the top pork producing state in the country, but we know something about veggies as well. We rounded up a list of Best Vegetarian and Vegan Options in Greater Des Moines, as voted by the locals, and rest assured, these places are always in season. Don't let anyone kale your vibe, cause these places are all a big dill!
The runaway winner of the popular vote, Dirt Burger in the East Village has become a vegetarian mecca since opening in 2019. With more options and toppings than your traditional burger joint (they even made our Best Burger List), they make believers out of even the most dubious meat eaters. Try the Torta Frita, which is loaded with Pineapple Cactus Pico, Queso, and Guacamole, and pair it with an order of (vegan) chili fries. That sounds like a party in our bellies.
Food so pretty you won’t want to eat it! Except, you will because it’s amazing. Luckily, nearly all their food is vegan friendly. Start your meal with some Vegan Egg Rolls and Lucky Tofu and work your way through some Pad Thai or their crowd favorite, Tom Yum Noodles. This place is as cute and Instagrammable as it is delicious, so grab some swag (pins, stickers, coasters) to commemorate your new favorite restaurant.
Des Fresh Foods
Is Des Fresh Foods Des Best? Quite possibly! What started out as a food truck has now blossomed into a store front at Cityville on 9th in Des Moines. They are only open Friday -Sunday, so you’ll make sure to clear your calendar so you can try the Sushiritto. Yep, you read that right. SUSHIRITTO. Burrito + Sushi = swoon. And it’s vegetarian, of course! SIGN US UP.
You know that Fresko is going to have the freshest of foods when “fresko” literally means “fresh.” Though not a strictly vegetarian/vegan restaurant, their options leave little to be desired. Try the woodfired margherita flatbread or chorizo seitan tacos and thank us later. Both the food and the trendy atmosphere are a fresh take on healthy dining in downtown Des Moines.
This trendy new cool kid may be known more for their buzzy craft cocktails, but their vegetarian snacks and entrees deserve a share of the spotlight as well. Pair your Old Fashioned or 50/50 Martini with some pepper poppers or a kale salad. Promise us you’ll try their BBQ Jackfruit Sandwich? Should we shake on it?
An organic vegan food truck that also sells body care products? What a time to be alive! Veggie Thumper thrives on making you feel amazing inside and out. With a bus as bright as the vegetables that go into making your food, the truck is hard to miss. Featuring anything from a Smokey Red Bean Burger to BBQ “Chick’n” Nachos, Veggie Thumper is sure to make you say, “Kale Yeah!”
The fresh sushi at this downtown favorite will make you feel anything but blue. The menu that is full of delicious vegan options, including crispy brussels sprouts, charred edamame, and more than 15 different vegan maki rolls. We recommend the Thai Hippie lavished with tofu vegan tempura, avocado, cucumber, carrot, and cashews.
Family owned since 1989, Á Đông is a Sherman Hill staple that is sure to please. Whether you’re in the mood for pho, rice or noodles, Á Đông has a menu as dense as a phone book and more than 30 vegetarian choices on the menu, so you’re sure to find something fresh.
Lola’s Fine Kitchen
Lola’s Fine Kitchen in Ankeny puts the choice in your hands. With a build your-own style menu, you can build a bowl or a roti (thin house-made Pakistani bread), filled with everything from tofu to lentils. You choose a side (we recommend the spiced sweet potatoes or garlic green beans), then finish it off with one of Lola’s famous hot sauces. They are FIRE. Literally. Prepare yourself for some serious heat and serious yum.
La Mie Bakery
If you’re looking for somewhere to get a light and hearty breakfast or lunch, La Mie is the place to be. With two convenient locations downtown, including one in the skywalk, they offer plenty of vegetarian options. From quiche to quinoa, this makes for the perfect delicious no fuss breakfast or lunch. Pro Tip: No trip to La Mie is complete without one of their pastries for dessert (or the whole meal).
Located in the heart of downtown Des Moines, Centro is the local “seen and be seen” dining destination. Featuring authentic Italian food and wood-fired pizzas that would make an Italian grandmother proud, Centro is one of those consistent places where you can rest assured that you’re going to have a great experience. Start your meal with Fried Brussels Sprouts and then move on to a comforting plate of Tofu Gnocchi. We’re drooling just thinking about it.
Fresh Mediterranean Express
This unassuming restaurant in Waukee has been awarded Best Mediterranean Restaurant in Des Moines four years running, so don’t let the strip mall location fool you. Their falafel is some of the best we’ve ever tried, and don’t get us started on the hummus and warm pita bread. Give us the Fresh Platter and a side of sweet potato fries and we won’t ask for much else.