Updated: June 29, 2023.
With a team full of self-proclaimed foodies, beer snobs, and wine aficionados, Two Rivers has a deep appreciation for patio season. What’s better than gathering outside with some friends, good drinks, great food, and if you’re lucky, a few pups? Nothing, that’s what.
To honor our shared love for patio season, our associates went to the polls and cast their votes. We present to you, dear reader, our top 15 bars and restaurants with patios in the Des Moines metro.
1. Eatery A
Source: Eatery A Instagram
Does this surprise anyone? Because it shouldn’t. There’s plenty of seating, great service, and some of the best food in town. If you have yet to check out Eatery A, it’s conveniently located off Ingersoll with a parking lot behind the building. We recommend going during happy hour for half off beer, wine, and pizza (get the #12) or for brunch (try the savory croque madame bread pudding)!
2. The Republic on Grand
If you love patios, The Republic on Grand is the place for you. Situated on the top floor of the AC Hotel, it has a great view of downtown and can be used during the summer and winter months (enclosed, of course). In addition to their bourbons and brews, they also serve up a tasty lunch and brunch.
3. El Bait Shop
El Bait Shop is a staple in Des Moines and a spot we patronize after our annual Iowa Cubs outing. It boasts having the largest selection of American craft beers in town with more than 200 on tap! It’s often a pitstop for the many bikers who are enjoying the nearby trails, but it’s also a great spot to stop for a beer and food for those of us who are less athletically inclined.
4. Confluence Brewing Company
Source: Confluence Brewery Instagram
A dog-friendly patio with board games?! Sign me up! Confluence is a beloved brewery just outside of downtown that exemplifies the realized dream of a man from small-town Iowa. It’s conveniently located near the Gray’s Lake bike trail and features a spacious beer garden. They also host a variety of food trucks and events like trivia and bingo competitions.
Malo is a great destination for Latin food and delicious cocktails. It’s also a great place to sit and watch the bustle of downtown. In addition to boasting tasty tacos, Malo serves up a good margarita that can be enjoyed outdoors when you can snag a seat on their street-level patio.
6. 300 Craft and Rooftop
As you may have guessed from its name, this bar has a rooftop patio with a great view of downtown. It’s the perfect spot for those summer nights when you’re looking to enjoy a drink outside with friends. Aside from the great outdoor space, 300 Craft and Rooftop has a variety of drinks to keep everyone in your group happy. Once you’re done enjoying the rooftop patio, you can head downstairs and grab some food at Blaze Pizza, Jimmy John’s, or Fuzzy’s!
7. Lua Brewing
Even if you don’t secure a spot on the coveted patio, this brewery’s large garage-style doors make it feel like you’re outside. The first brewery to open in the historic Sherman Hill neighborhood, Lua has earned a spot as one of the top 50 breweries in the world. We promise, you’ll want to try a pushpop smoothie sour.
8. Big Grove Brewery
Another dog-friendly brewery? Yes please! Big Grove, located in the Sherman Hill neighborhood, is a true taste of Iowa Nice with great service, fantastic food, and even better craft beer. Some associates say it's the best in the Midwest! Not a beer fan? Not to worry; they also make their own seltzer and offer a variety of cocktails, wine, non-alcoholic beverages, and ciders from Jefferson County Ciderworks. Big Grove is also one of Iowa's three Platinum-Certified Green Breweries.
9. Bix & Co
Bix & Co boasts the largest patio in Valley Junction, making it a great place to grab a bite after an evening browsing the shopping district’s Thursday farmers market. Grab one of the many seats on their patio to take in the views of Railroad Park while enjoying Midwest favorites like cheese curds and Italian beef hoagies.
10. Bartender’s Handshake
Source: Bartender's Handshake Instagram
Ingersoll’s best-kept secret! Seriously, if you haven’t made your way to Bartender's Handshake, you need to. Serving craft cocktails and mocktails, unique wines, and beer of all flavors, this little garden oasis provides plenty of shade for patio-goers.
11. Beaver Tap
Not far from Beaverdale Park, Beaver Tap provides a laid-back patio experience. And when you get tired of your patio table, go inside and find the pool table! Their menu includes everything from breakfast and sandwiches to pizza and burgers.
12. Kinship Brewing Company
Newer to the craft beer scene, Kinship Brewing in Waukee might have a small menu, but man, does it pack big flavor! Plus, you can bring your dog, park your bike, view original artwork, and enjoy live music while you’re there.
13. Coa Cantina
Coa Cantina calls itself Des Moines' finest tequila bar. And they just might be right! Located in the heart of the East Village, their margaritas and food have been well received by the masses. They placed first in the Des Moines’ People’s Choice Awards for Best East Village Bar and placed second for Best East Village Restaurant.
14. Rita’s Cantina
Source: Rita's Cantina Instagram
Margarita flights and queso flights? Say less. Thanks to the abundance of tacos and tequila, Rita’s Cantina at the south end of the East Village has become a lunch hot spot and happy hour favorite for our associates.
15. Mullets Restaurant
Business in the front. Party in the back. The two-level patio at Mullets provides amazing views of downtown. Located across the river from Principal Park, it’s the perfect pitstop on the way to an Iowa Cubs game or during a long bike ride on the nearby trails. Make sure you stop in for brunch!
And there you have it. Straight from our associates to your screen, these are the top 15 bars and restaurants with patios in and around Des Moines. For more recommendations and local insights, check out our Everything Iowa blog.