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 because the Iowa State Fair is over doesn't mean your food regime needs to go back to boring. Returning for an 18th year, the World Food and Music Festival brings its eclectic eats and soulful music to Western Gateway Park from September 16 – 18. Enjoy exploring nearly 50 booths from 27 different countries across the globe. Take in culinary demonstrations, dance to Spanish salsa music, or listen to musical artists from across the world. Plus, the food and drink options are bountiful. With vendors from Bosnia to Vietnam, and everywhere in between, you can dine around the world and sample everything from tacos and ramen to soul food and sausages!
Take in Fall Faire the first three weekends in September at Sleepy Hollow Sports Park, Iowa’s only permanent Renaissance Village. The Renaissance Faire brings guests back to a time when Kings and Queens ruled the land. Lean into it and come dressed in your Renaissance best whether that’s a Knight or even a Viking (or you know, shorts and a T-shirt). Experience entertainment all weekend long including jousting, street dancing, juggling, and so much more. Plus, after hours is 21+ with a special show and beverages from the bar. Tickets start at $19, and you can get a season pass for $35.
Don’t let the name confuse you; though it may be September, Oktoberfest is back in full force this month. Find the best celebrations all throughout Greater Des Moines for all your authentic German celebration needs. Celebrate downtown with Des Moines’ Annual Oktoberfest, at Adventureland, or even a local brewery like Lua Brewing. We’ve gathered all the Oktoberfest celebrations throughout the city here, so you have all your stops in one place. Prost!
You know you missed it. Coaches Kolaches closed for a bit, but the storefront is officially returning! After six months of searching for the perfect location, owner Brent Curvey is having a grand opening in Urbandale on September 1. With the new location comes a larger kitchen, as well as an expanded menu. Coaches Kolaches gives a Texas twist on the Czech pastry. He will bring back favorites like brisket and sausage, egg and cheese, as well as sweet ones that are fruit-filled.
Looking for a new lunch spot in downtown Des Moines? Allora Café is located on the first floor of the Krause Gateway Center, Kum & Go’s headquarter building. Allora Café is an Italian-inspired spot that focuses on using not only seasonal ingredients, but locally sourced ones as well. Stop in for a pastry in the morning before work, or head over for your lunch break and get soup and a sandwich. We’re always looking for new lunch spots, and if the food tastes as good as the building looks, this is sure to be a hit.
The East Village just continues to get cooler. Barrelhouse Pub is a brand-new restaurant that opened at the end of August. With previous locations in Davenport, Dubuque, Marion, and Cedar Rapids, their mission is to have “food that lifts your spirits.” Their large menu of upscale tavern food includes over a dozen different burgers, a half dozen wraps, and dishes like firecracker shrimp tacos and Nashville hot chicken. Plus, every night after 9 p.m., with the purchase of a drink, receive an appetizer at half price!
School may have started, but that doesn’t mean all our festivals went into hibernation quite yet. On September 24 and 25, come explore Iowa’s Latino Heritage Festival at Western Gateway Park in downtown Des Moines. This is the only two-day Latino Heritage Festival in the state, filled with art exhibits, cultural booths, authentic food, music and dance performances, and kid activities. Adults are $5, kids 12 and under are FREE, and parking is FREE at the Nationwide Parking Ramp.
The local team behind Dough Co. Pizza is bringing a brand-new German themed beer garden pop-up to Water Works Park. Open Thursday – Sunday in September and October, this family-friendly event is the perfect way to enjoy the outdoors of Des Moines in the fall. There will be yard games, live music, German style food, and steins of beer.