Each month, we highlight the most buzzworthy places and events in Greater Des Moines in a feature we call Des Buzz. It's your “in the know” list of places to go!
Just in time for cozy coffee season, a brand-new coffee shop is opening in Des Moines. Located on Keosauqua Way (just north of Mainframe Studios), Northern Vessel gained a cult following the past few years as they operated as a coffee cart, did weekend pop-ups, and even tried home deliveries. Later this month, they get a permanent brick and mortar location just east of Wells Fargo Arena in the old Reliable Rug Factory building, where customers can enjoy a full espresso menu, as well as grab-and-go meals. We’re positively buzzing in anticipation (that might just be the caffeine speaking).
A new hotspot for Mexican cuisine is open in Historic East Village, nestled into the spot formerly occupied by The Continental. The brainchild of Jason Simon, owner of Des Moines staples like Alba and Eatery A, Bar Nico offers a modern take on Mexican fare, with a mod vibe featuring lime green booths, string lights, and exposed brick walls. Their main menu includes menu items like sweet corn esquites, pork empenada, Bershire pork shank, and tacos with fillings like braised short rib and battered walleye. Wash it all down with a cold can of Modelo, or heat things up with a fancy Mezcal cocktail.
The Des Moines Holiday Boutique returns to the Iowa Events Center November 4 – 6. Spend the weekend exploring dozens of vendors for all your holiday gift needs. Tickets are $12, but if you buy your tickets online before the show, you can save $2. Enjoy Girls Night Out on Friday night, as well as Mother Daughter Night on Saturday night. Shop for anything from home décor to toys to food. There’s something for everyone on your list at the Des Moines Holiday Boutique.
It’s time for tip off for the Iowa Wolves, Des Moines’ NBA G League affiliate of the Minnesota Timberwolves. This season, things get especially interesting with the addition of some familiar faces on the floor. Do the names Luka Garza and Jordan Bohannon ring a bell? The former Hawkeye legends will be lacing up for the Wolves, but get your tickets early, before Minnesota comes calling. They open their season on Saturday, November 5 at Wells Fargo Arena against the Sioux Falls Skyforce, and November 6 is Marvel Superhero Night.
Nothing screams holiday spirit quite like twinkly lights, giant Christmas trees, ice skating, shopping, and Santa, and you can experience all those things during the always popular East Village Holiday Promenade. Stroll the streets of Historic East Village on Friday nights for extended shopping hours and pick up local gifts for everyone on your nice list. Along with shopping, enjoy holiday-themed activities, entertainment, and family-friendly fun like carriage rides and scavenger hunts. Enjoy the Promenade every Friday from November 18 – December 16 from 5 p.m. – 9 p.m.
The equally fun cousin to the East Village Promenade, Jingle in the Junction lights up Historic Valley Junction on Thursday nights, beginning November 17 from 5pm - 9pm. Under the glow of 125,000 holiday lights, enjoy extended shopping hours in your favorite Valley Junction stores like Hinge, MoMere, Bing’s, and Bozz Prints. You can find carriage rides and Santa (he’s pulling double duty), along with some of the tastiest comfort food in town, courtesy of places like G Mig’s, Cooper’s on 5th, and Mitzi’s Sausages. Jingle on Thursday, Promenade on Friday sounds like the gift that keeps on giving.
‘Tis the season for getting a head start on holiday shopping! Along with all the local shopping events happening here like Black Friday and Small Business Saturday, there are also new openings throughout the metro. The brand-new Von Maur at Jordan Creek mall will officially open on November 5. Also, if you head east to Altoona, Forever 21 has opened at Outlets of Des Moines. It joins the recently opened Puma, Bizzy’s Boutique, Windsor, and J Crew Factory, bringing the total at the Outlets to more than 50 stores.
The holiday favorite from last year is returning to Exile Brewing Company this season starting November 15! Snowglobe Christmas Bar turns Exile into a holiday winter wonderland. With more than a mile of Christmas lights and nearly a semi-full of holiday décor, you are surrounded by Christmas magic for your meal. Open for brunch on the weekends, as well as lunch and dinner throughout the week, you’re sure to feel the holiday spirit. Reservations fill up quickly, so make yours here.