Iconic Des Moines Meals

Looking for a true taste of Des Moines? Experience iconic dishes that have stood the test of time. From Latin King’s Chicken Spiedini to steak deburgo at Chef’s Kitchen, devour the staples of our city. Dive in to newer classics like bacon-wrapped tater tots from El Bait Shop or burnt ends from Smokey D’s. Order up the food that screams Des Moines. Taste the dishes that visitors and locals can’t get enough of.


Catch Culinary Creations

These iconic Des Moines dishes are delights to be discovered, savored and cherished.

801 Chophouse

Steak at 801 Chophouse

This downtown mainstay’s sumptuous atmosphere and impeccable service immediately raises expectations. Then 801 Chophouse exceeds them. The restaurant serves only USDA prime, from the velvety filet to the richly marbled rib-eyes. Each one is seared at temperatures of up to 900°F—its marbling softening into gentle streaks of bold, rich flavor.

Flying Mango Brisket

Brisket at Flying Mango

Behold Flying Mango’s 24-hour smoked beef brisket. “Why 24 hours?” you may ask. They have a ready answer on the menu: “Because 23 is not enough.” The Flying Mango does many things well; it does brisket to perfection.

Machine Shed Cinnamon Rolls

Cinnamon Rolls at the Machine Shed

At first, the sheer size of the Machine Shed’s giant cinnamon rolls may seem daunting. Then you taste just a corner and you want one all to yourself. There’s so much demand, the Machine Shed offers the recipe online. But nothing can rival the gooey Shed original, the one that tastes like a sweet piece of Des Moines.

Fong's Crab Rangoon Pizza

Fong’s Crab Rangoon Pizza

The crab Rangoon pizza is so remarkable that it outsells this East-meets-West eatery’s second best seller by six to one! In addition to the crab, the delicious pie is topped with asiago and mozzarella cheeses, crispy wontons and sweet chili sauce.

Chicken Spiendini Tursis Latin King

Chicken Spiedini at Tursi’s Latin King

This Italian-American restaurant’s best-selling dish features tender boneless breasts of chicken, skewered and marinated, rolled in Italian breadcrumbs and some bit of culinary magic, then charbroiled to perfection.

Written by Larry Erickson

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