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Top 8 places to eat in DSM

Swain is a junior marketing and writing double major and can be reached at eryn.swain@drake.edu

Centro. Pronounced “Chen-tro”, this upscale Italian restaurant is the best place to eat in Des Moines. While the menu is relatively small, everything is made with such precision and pride you almost don’t want to eat off the plate. From fresh salads and soups, to delicious sandwiches and classics, you will find some comfort food at this restaurant. While it is a bit pricey, this makes for the perfect date spot.

Waterfront Seafood Market. This market and seafood restaurant has the freshest and tastiest seafood in town. If you are not a seafood eater, don’t fret. There are plenty of non-fish offerings, too. Also, this place has the best sushi I have ever tried. I have yet to find something at Waterfront I dislike.

Jethro’s BBQ. This has to be on the list. Who doesn’t like a good barbecue restaurant every so often? Jethro’s is just west of Drake on Forest Avenue and clearly supports Drake athletics. They named a sandwich after Adam Emmenecker, a former Drake basketball player and were even featured on the TV show “Man vs. Food” for the Emmenecker challenge. This is a restaurant that every Drake student must try.

Gateway Market. If you prefer natural and organic foods, this is the place for you. Made with fresh ingredients, this café inside of a market has delicious offerings for you. Gateway has the wonderful ability to make good foods like hummus, and the spinach artichoke dip tastes even better. Don’t forget to browse the market when you finish eating!

Fong’s Pizza. After taking over the location of Des Moines’ oldest Chinese restaurant in 2009 to found Fong’s, the owners decided to keep the Chinese theme but added a tiki bar and late night offerings. Thus, Fong’s Pizza was born. You can order pizzas in flavors such as crab ragoon and moo shu pork. This is definitely a restaurant to visit even if traditional Chinese food is not to your liking. You will find something to eat at Fong’s Pizza.

Court Avenue Brewing Company. Located in downtown Des Moines on Court Avenue, this brewery has more than beer. Owned by Scott Carlson, a 1993 Drake grad, Court Avenue Brewing Company  offers some of the best appetizers around DSM. Also, don’t pass up their very own root beer brewed right on site.

Mimi’s Café. Located in West Des Moines, this chain restaurant has a New Orleans theme at every location. The muffins served at breakfast are about the size of a softball and are amazing. Definitely go here if you want to try something safe, because this has typical offerings almost everyone will like.

Drake Diner. This old-fashioned diner on 25th Street is the perfect place for a hangout night. The breakfast is served all day and is killer. I would suggest one of the amazing milkshakes or pumpkin pancakes.


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  1. John Jayson September 15, 2011

    leave campus ever?

    1. ? September 20, 2011

      What are you talking about only one of these places, Drake Diner, is considered to be “on campus”

  2. student September 19, 2011

    I think you could have referenced Des Moines Register’s Metromix Top 100 Restaurants.

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