Patio season goals: Get outside and sample all the best al fresco options in Greater Des Moines, as voted by locals. Give us all the sunshine, the string lights, the appetizers, and the cold drinks, because in Des Moines, patio season means it’s always happy hour.

*All of our Des Best lists are crowdsourced and voted by locals.*

Either/Or might just be the coolest new place in town, and that’s not even accounting for its patio, which is the perfect solution to “I want to take the kids with us, but I don’t want to compromise.” E/O’s massive outdoor space includes a covered patio for dining, five fire pits, a kid’s play space, and an acre of green space. The sister restaurant of everyone’s favorite brewery, Lua, you can enjoy Lua lagers, Mexican cheese curds, and Korean Philly cheesesteaks, and a brief respite from the kids asking for more snacks.

You know what they say about mullets. Business in the front, party in the back (patio). Don’t let Mullets' unassuming vibe fool you...these patio views are perhaps the classiest in the city, overlooking two rivers, Principal Park, and the downtown skyline. One of the best places in town for a patio brunch and to get your Sunday Funday off on the right foot.   

Bartender’s Handshake
Something about an astroturf patio just hits different. That’s what you’ll find tucked away at the small but mighty Bartender’s Handshake on Ingersoll, replete with patio furniture, plants, cozy firepits, craft cocktails, and small bites. It’s like the hippest backyard BBQ that you’ve ever stumbled upon.

Trellis Café
Located in the Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden in the East Village, Trellis is the perfect spot for a work lunch or catching up with friends. Open for lunch from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. Wednesday – Saturday, enjoy the plant-inspired menu on their outdoor patio overlooking the lush gardens. You wish your garden at home looked this stunning. 

The Dam Pub
The only thing better than a place with a great outdoor patio? A place with three great outdoor patios. The vibes are funky and nostalgic at this Beaverdale hot spot, with fun murals paying homage to everything from ALF to Eddie Vedder. The comfort food menu is the perfect companion to the drink menu of Rooftop Refreshers and classic beach cocktails, best enjoyed on the colorful rooftop patio that screams “it’s five o’clock somewhere.”

The Beerhouse
We just ask for three things out of life: beer, sports, and a pergola-covered patio with greenery. Lucky for us, we can find all three in Urbandale at The Beerhouse, so no need to travel abroad to enjoy these finer things in life. A beer garden in every sense of the word, it feels only right to pair one of their 15 beers on tap with their huge cobb salad…and maybe an order of nachos to start.  

Captain Roy's
Sitting directly on the Des Moines River and right off the Neal Smith bike trail, Captain Roy's is an idyllic, impossibly cool place to grab a drink and some apps. Grab a seat at any of the picnic tables to recharge after a long ride, ideally with a tall boy of Confluence Long Ride. We highly recommend their Italian egg rolls and cheese curds because a little grease to replace those bike ride calories goes a long way. Live music every Friday and Saturday starting at 7 p.m. adds to the ‘why didn’t I know about this place earlier?’ sentiment.  

Park Street Kitchen and Bar
Located within the Hilton Des Moines Downtown, Park Street Kitchen is a picture-perfect spot for visitors and locals alike. They have a spacious patio perfect for drinks and apps, as well as a fireplace for those cool summer evenings. It’s a great option for pre-game drinks and snacks before an event at the Iowa Events Center or Wells Fargo Arena.  

Big Grove
If size matters, and it does, Big Grove’s 12,000-square-foot, pooch-friendly patio is courtyard nirvana, with outdoor fireplaces, cornhole boards, and panoramic views of downtown and Ingersoll Avenue. Flagship beers like the crushable Easy Eddy are the star here, but don’t sleep on the food here, like the bao buns and crispy cauliflower, which don’t require a PhD in beer snobbery to enjoy.

The Iowa Taproom
For a literal taste of Des Moines, there are few better places than the Taproom. Featuring 99 taps from 35 different Iowa breweries, plus elevated twists on Iowa classics like ham balls, tenderloins, and sweet corn chowder, you can establish your sense of place on their patio and even snap a selfie in front of their patio mural to go full-blown Iowa.  

Eatery A
Eatery A on Ingersoll is known for its wood-fired pizza (we dream of that charred crust) and delicious Mediterranean small plates. But what they’re most famous for is the best happy hour deal in town, where from 2 p.m. – 6 p.m. every day, you can enjoy half-off wine, draft beer, and pizza. Setting our out-of-office message to WFEA (work from Eatery A).

Exile Brewing Company
If Instagram-worthy murals are your thing, Exile is home to the obligatory “Cheers From Des Moines” photo op. It’s also home to some of the most popular beers in Des Moines like Hannah and Ruthie, and a huge brewpub patio that is an exile from the daily grind.  

Gilroy’s Kitchen + Pub + Patio
With the word patio right there in the name, you’d hope they’d deliver, and boy do they. This West Des Moines favorite serves up live music every Wednesday, happy hour deals on mules, mocktails, apps, and pizza from 3 p.m. – 5 p.m., and a weekend All You Care to Eat Brunch (kids under 6 eat free!) that is such a kitchen sink crowd pleaser that it assures Gilroy’s will become part of your patio (and restaurant) rotation.

Smash Park
Iowa’s largest outdoor patio is epic in every sense of the word. It's all fun and games here, with pickleball, cornhole, shuffleboard, giant beer pong, bocce ball, foosball, and even axe throwing. All paired with live music, precocious pups, sheet tons of nachos, fishbowls, and buckets of beer. If you’d rather watch all the sports ball instead of playing, there are plenty of giant TVs inside to watch the big game. Catch our Des Best video on them here.  

Jasper Winery
Just because we’re not in wine country doesn’t mean we don’t appreciate a heavy pour of vino with a view. That’s what you’ll get at the beautiful Jasper Winery, located just south of downtown Des Moines. Taste local wines and listen to music (check out their Thursday Summer Concert series) on the vast front lawn patio. Bring your lawn chair or blankets and pair your wine (or beer) with burgers, brats, and other food truck options.

The Hall DSM
This spacious, modern beer hall in Historic Valley Junction is in a historic building that originally housed boxcars. The Hall now houses more than 54 beers on tap, four diverse food menus (German fare, burgers, pub fare, and pizza), and one of the slickest patios in the metro. The beer garden often features live music and seats more than 140 people, making it the perfect getaway. Check out their live trivia every Thursday at 7 p.m. and their epic Oktoberfest experience every September.  

Rita's Cantina
Is it margarita time yet? (SPOILER: The answer is always yes.) Check out Rita's Cantina, Des Moines’ buzzy summer hotspot, serving tacos along with margarita flights AND queso flights on their huge outdoor patio. That’s right, we said queso flights.

Confluence Brewing
One of the most popular and respected breweries in town, Confluence’s large, dog-friendly patio is a great way to spend a warm day. With 18 different beers on tap at one time covering just about every style imaginable, Confluence has something for every taste. Located just south of Gray's Lake, you can spend time exploring the trails with two feet or two wheels before heading over to their patio (replete with bike racks) to recharge. Food trucks, weekly events, and live music help set the scene for good times.  

1908 Draught House
With locations in Johnston, Norwalk, and West Des Moines, you can dine comfortably *almost* year-round on one of the most inviting patios in the metro, fitted with heaters and fans. As in, literal fans and Cubs fans. Cheese curds, cold Old Style, and day baseball. There are worse ways to spend an afternoon. In fact, we can’t think of many better ways. Fly the W flag for their awesome three-quarter circle patio booths.

300 Craft and Rooftop
Boasting some of the best views of the city, a convenient location to Principal Park, and a vibe that can best described as “Let’s gooooooo!”, 300 Craft and Rooftop has an upscale design and upbeat atmosphere that’s perfect for weekend warriors. Its big, wide-open space makes it great for large groups and hosting everything from birthdays, bachelor parties, and even the baby shower once you’ve settled down. Pro tip: Time it right on a Friday evening and it’s the perfect spot to catch the I-Cubs postgame fireworks!  

Lua Brewing
When it comes to creativity, Lua has the market cornered. Known for their interesting beer (try their "push pop sours") and food ranging from caviar to smush burgers, Lua offers the perfect patio to get outside and enjoy the spoils of their creativity. Located in Historic Sherman Hill, pair a Call It Dreaming hefeweizen with a Cubano, and you're assured to find your new happy place. Located right across from Big Grove Brewery for easy patio hopping.  

Wellman's Pub and Rooftop
Wellman's Pub has two locations within the Greater Des Moines area. Double the locations, double the fun, right? With an outdoor patio on Ingersoll and a rooftop in West Des Moines, and hours extending from 11 a.m. – 2 a.m., this is where you get the party started if you’re an early riser or end the evening if you’re a night owl. Live music, sports on giant TVs, and DJs on the weekends assure big fun.    

Surety Hotel
Downtown Des Moines’ hottest boutique hotel is home to the Surety Courtyard, a chic place to see and be seen. An extension of the Lobby Lounge, the Courtyard is an open-air oasis with exposed brick and a neon “City of Certainties” sign that begs for a place on your Instagram feed. Grab a cocktail and some conversation before hitting up the attached Mulberry Street Tavern, which also has vibes for days.

The sister spot to the popular wine boutique, Wine Styles, Beer Styles in West Des Moines has more than 100 craft beers on tap and stylish made-from-scratch food options like Kung Pow Brussels Sprouts and Pork and Beer Poutine. Enjoy the view of the West Glen fountain and green space under the dim of patio lights while you plot out the rest of your weekend adventure.   

Paws and Pints
We don’t know for sure what doggie heaven looks like, but we imagine Paws & Pints is a pretty good guess. It consists of five areas, including a giant outdoor doggie park with a doggie jungle gym, and a separate patio for their two-legged best friends. Enjoy a cold drink, along with human treats like Cuban sandwiches and cheese curds, enjoy their outdoor TVs, live music, and games to keep the kids entertained while your pup has the time of their life.

Trailside Tap
Conveniently located right off the High Trestle Trail in Uptown Ankney, Trailside Tap is like your favorite pair of jeans that you can dress up or down. Whether you’re enjoying their 80+ seat patio dolled up for date night or after a sweaty bike ride, you’ll find plenty to enjoy with their menu of American classics ranging from a salmon club sandwich to steak frites, paired with a cold beer or room temperature glass of your favorite vino.   

Destination Grille
Chart a course for Grimes and head to Destination Grille, where big flavors are paired with an even bigger rooftop patio. With couches, cabanas, and unique pop-up experiences, it’s the perfect place for a night out with the girls or to get the boys together to watch the game on their 170-inch (not a typo) TV inside.

Pelican Post
The beach vibes here will transport you to Margaritaville, but you only have to transport yourself to West Des Moines to enjoy great food, local music, and cold beer on an epic patio. Come for the friendly faces and sunny attitudes, stay for the gallon of nachos. Literally, it needs to be seen to be believed.

Secret Admirer
The cutest cocktail bar in Des Moines is also home to the most charming patio for a summer hang. Head just south of the tracks to the old boiler house building on 5th Street for perfect patio season cocktails like Rum Punch, Paloma Party, or a Cold Brew Martini. Colorful chairs, painted murals, and a killer view of the downtown skyline make for an idyllic experience that you’ll want to spread the word about.

Click for a listing of even more Greater Des Moines restaurants, bars, breweries, wineries, and distilleries with patios. 

And check out our Des Best Breweries for a full list of their patio information.