In honor of Black History Month, we're proud to highlight several Black-owned restaurants throughout the metro. Small businesses are the lifeblood of our community, and this month, we celebrate the diverse businesses contributing to the beautiful fabric of Greater Des Moines' culture. Support local every month and #CATCHdsm!
Blk & Bold
Not a restaurant, perse, but essential to mention here, as the coffee roasting experts at Blk & Bold have put Greater Des Moines on the map. Blk & Bold's coffees and teas have been featured on Yahoo! Finance, GQ, Fortune, and AdAge. Grab a fresh cup at the new Surety Hotel, or pick up a bag of Blk & Bold beans at Hy-Vee, Target, Whole Food, or order online from Amazon. Not only will you enjoy a delicious brew, but your purchase also supports nonprofit organizations serving at-risk youth.
Coaches Kolaches and Unrvld Barbeque
A staple in Texas, kolaches are savory pastries brought to Des Moines courtesy of former Cyclone football player (and Houston native) Brent Curvey. Think fresh pastry dough filled with egg, sausage, cheese, and jalapeno. Be sure to order a side of the housemade hot sauce! And at Curvey’s newest venture (along with another former Cyclone, DeAndre Jackson), Unrvld Barbeque, reviewers rave about the beef brisket and mac and cheese. Get there early, because once they sell out of something, it’s gone for the day...and word has gotten out about how good it is!
You don't have to travel that far south for the authentic taste of New Orleans, just a few miles southeast. Fat Tuesday serves up rib-sticking dishes like gumbo, catfish, and po'boy sandwiches (and frog legs for the adventurous) so you can feel like you experienced Mardi Gras, minus the debauchery and hangover.
GG's Chicken and Waffles
Introduce yourself to the famous southern dish of chicken and waffles at GG's. The family business is headed up by GG, who learned how to fry chicken at his local church. The traditional southern comfort food is beloved for its magical combination of sweet and savory. Order a plate every Friday at Kitchen Spaces in Des Moines or order delivery via Uber Eats and Door Dash.
This smoothie and juice bar serves up fresh juices for a healthy and quick lunch or snack. Try a wheatgrass shot for a refreshing dose of your daily vitamins. Find Lifestyle Juices on University near Drake's campus and enjoy a natural and tasty energy boost.
Palm's Caribbean Cuisine
Enjoy island vacation flavors right here in Des Moines. Palm's serves up authentic Caribbean flavors like jerk chicken (carefully prepared over a 3-day process) and candied yams. Fans keep coming back for the oxtail and jollof rice. The caterer and food stand only offers limited pre-order days, so watch their website and be sure to order a side of beef patties and fried plantains!
Taste of Africa
Tucked away from the street on MLK, it would easy to miss this hidden gem, but with 4.7 stars from more than 100 reviews, you know this restaurant is worth the treasure hunt. The menu features Somalian dishes influenced by Indian flavors, including curry, tandoori, and sambusas. Bring your appetite, as many reviews mention the generous portions!
Veggie Thumper Food Truck
Look for this colorful vegan food truck at community events throughout the metro. The menu features healthy, plant-based versions of popular comfort foods such as Cajun "Alfredo Shrimp," cinnamon roll pancakes with maple cream, and Philly "cheesesteak." Be patient while you wait for your order – creating these vegan delights takes time!
Another famous Iowa State Cyclone, Seneca Wallace, returned to his roots and opened three Wingstop locations recently in central Iowa; one in Ames chock full of Wallace sports memorabilia, and two in Des Moines on Merle Hay Road and East 14th. The restaurants primarily cater to takeout business, but the wings are top notch according to Wallace. Do "The Run," don't walk to Wingstop.