Whether you want to watch a college game or just need a relaxing space for Happy Hour, there’s a Des Moines bar for you. The city has several tiki bars, beer halls, and breweries to choose from. Here are a few favorites:
1. Bellhop Tiki
Embrace tropical vibes all year long at the East Village’s Bellhop Tiki. From daiquiris and piña coladas to new twists on classic cocktails, this funky tiki bar has everything, including vintage glassware and whimsical twisty straws. Bellhop Tiki, 440 E. Grand Ave., Des Moines
2. El Bait Shop
The no frills vibe of El Bait Shop makes it a popular beer bar. The patio is filled with picnic tables perfect for catching up with friends and bike racks aplenty to accommodate beer-loving cyclists.
The bar’s location also makes it the perfect place to enjoy a beer or two before an Iowa Cubs baseball game across the street. El Bait Shop, 200 SW Second St., Des Moines
3. Exile Brewing Co.
In the warmer months, Exile’s taproom and patio are the perfect place to enjoy an afternoon or evening imbibing. Don’t miss Exile Brewing Co.’s all-day happy hour on Sundays.Exile Brewing Co., 1514 Walnut St., Des Moines
4. Fong’s Pizza
One of the quirkiest restaurants in the city also happens to have an impressive selection of tiki drinks. The more unique the drink, the more fun the cup it’s served in. Fong’s Pizza, 223 Fourth St., Des Moines
5. Hello, Marjorie
Located in the former offices of The Des Moines Register, a visit to Hello, Marjorie feels like stepping back in time. With an aesthetic that’s best described as retro glam, Hello, Marjorie’s craft cocktails pair perfectly with its velvet coaches, floral wallpaper, mismatched light fixtures and iconic neon sign. Hello, Marjorie, 717 Locust St., Des Moines
6. Hessen Haus
Enjoy live music and one of 50 beers on tap at the downtown German-style beer hall, Hessen Haus. They also serve a variety of German food. Hessen Haus, 101 SW Fourth St., Des Moines
7. High Life Lounge
If Miller High Life is the champagne of beers, then the High Life Lounge is the champagne of bars. Stepping inside this downtown dive feels like traveling back to the ‘70s.
With a Formica bar top, wood paneling and vintage signage, the High Life Lounge has everything you could want in a dive—with quality comfort food to boot. High Life Lounge, 200 SW Second St., Des Moines
8. Red Monk
Tucked away on the second floor of the Royal Mile, The Red Monk is a hidden gem in downtown Des Moines’ busy Court Avenue district. With 90 Belgian style beers on tap, dark wood paneling and vintage stained glass windows, this cozy pub is the perfect place for beer lovers. Red Monk, 210 Fourth St., Des Moines
9. Smash Park
Spend an evening enjoying yard games in West Des Moines at Smash Park. This indoor venue has a lot of tasty options to eat and drink alongside a wide variety of yard games including pickleball, cornhole, shuffleboard, bocce ball, ping pong and more. Smash Park, 6625 Coachlight Drive, West Des Moines
Tip: The Smash Park is a great option for a fun date night in Des Moines.
10. The Bartender’s Handshake
If unique cocktails and cozy ambiance are what you’re looking for, then The Bartender’s Handshake is the place for you. With high-backed vinyl seating, wood paneled walls and a mid century-inspired atmosphere, The Bartender’s Handshake is the perfect place to sip a cocktail while enjoying a shareable plate with friends.
The cozy neighborhood bar also has a bright green parking lot patio in the back complete with picnic umbrellas, mismatched chairs and even heaters during the colder months. The Bartender’s Handshake, 3615 Ingersoll Ave., Des Moines
11. The Dam Pub
The Dam Pub is a patio-lovers’ dream. This eclectic ‘80s and ‘90s themed pub has a variety of mouth-watering food options alongside inventive cocktails to enjoy on one of its many outdoor dining spaces. The Dam Pub has a dog-friendly front patio and a back patio with easy access for cyclists, as well as a small rooftop patio overlooking downtown Beaverdale. The Dam Pub, 2710 Beaver Ave., Des Moines
Head to downtown Des Moines’ East Village for an evening of throwback fun at Up-Down. This two-story arcade bar has all of your favorite nostalgic arcade games, skeeball lanes, giant Jenga sets and more. Up-Down Des Moines, 500 E. Locust St., Des Moines
13. Zombie Burger
Come for the burgers, stay for the boozie milkshakes. It’s not just milkshakes served at Zombie Burger. There’s a full bar of beer on tap, cocktails, and seasonal drinks. Zombie Burger, 300 E. Grand Ave., Des Moines