STORY BY ANNA GLEASON
Coffee shops are a hotspot for most college students. While options like Scooters and Mars Café are great for their location, those willing to make the trek downtown will find Ritual Café to be a worthwhile alternative.
Located downtown at 1301 Locust St., Ritual Café is a hidden gem in the Des Moines coffee realm.
“We’re Des Moines’ best kept secret,” said Denise Diaz, the café’s sole owner.
Ritual Café is both independent and locally owned. They’ve offer a full menu of traditional coffee items as well as an all-vegetarian menu since their doors opened in 2005.
In addition to great coffee, Ritual Café provides a great atmosphere.
“When waking into Ritual, one immediately feels at home,” Diaz said. “It’s diverse, vibrant and eclectic!”
Ritual Café has a lot to offer in terms of entertainment and things to see. You can find events happening inside every week.
The first Monday of every month features The Tighten Up, a local funk band bringing elements of blues, rock and jazz into their music.
The second Thursday of every month is open mic night, an opportunity for anyone to share their own original creations.
On the third Wednesday of the month is an Irish jam session, which is open to anybody. Boisterous audience reactions are strongly encouraged.
The last Thursday of the month is “Poetry Unplugged.”
Ritual Café also helps to promote the Des Moines art scene. Inside, their bright red walls are lined with works by local artists that are switched out monthly.
The café is featuring Lisa Wright’s art for the month of November.
“Ritual Café is a great place to go to escape from the Drake bubble, especially if you are appreciative of art,” junior Isaiah Enockson said. “It’s mere steps away from the sculpture garden, so you can easily grab coffee and see one of the best aspects of downtown Des Moines. ”
If there is anything Ritual Café is known for, it is their specialty drinks.
“Our specialty drinks are amazing,” Diaz said. “We have a Horchata Latte, Mayan Mocha and Hemp Nut smoothies.”
Ritual Café is open 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Monday through Thursday and from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday.