Des Moines Iowa Cafes With Great Coffee

The 7 Best Coffee Shops In Des Moines

When travelling there’s nothing quite like a quick jolt of caffeine to wake you up and get you ready to head into the city to explore. If you’re visiting Iowa, you’ll find numerous trendy choices for coffee shops in Des Moines. Yes, even a few specialty ones.

The best coffee shops in Des Moines are the ones where you feel as if you’re entering the family home of a friend who’s inviting you in for a warm cup of Joe and hours of storytelling in a cosy armchair. 

From specialty tasting flights to a regular ole cappuccino that’s made with lots of care and flavour, you’ll find what you’re looking for here. Check out the seven best coffee shops in Des Moines, Iowa.

Best Coffee Shops In Des MoinesHow do these rankings work?

1. Horizon Line Coffee

Horizon Line Coffee is a coffee bar and roastery located in the Western Gateway neighbourhood of downtown Des Moines. The sun-drenched café is a delight to chill or work in with a cup (or two!) or their ethically sourced coffees. They also serve coffee tasting flights of coffee from one particular region, co-op, or coffee farm, brewed three different ways: a double shot of espresso, cold brew, and pour over.

Best Coffee Shops in Des Moines

2. Smokey Row

Looking to hang out for hours with new friends or get some much needed work done on the road? Smokey Row is one of the best coffee shops in Des Moines for, well, pretty much anything you need to do. It’s a great meeting spot for friends, it’s super Instagrammable (peep the marquee lights outside), it’s historic, and the coffee is superbly prepared. Not in the mood for coffee? Try one of their loose-leaf teas.

 Des Moines Best Cafes

3. Freedom Blend Coffee

It’s all about the beans here. Okay, they also deliver in terms of atmosphere and service, but regulars rave about the quality of their beans, especially those from Guatemala. The cafe itself feels cosy and familiar; snuggle up to the fireplace on a cold day. And, if you’re visiting around the holidays, you’ll be able to indulge in delectable holiday drinks such as a Honey Dirty Chai, Bonfire Mocha, or a Coconut Milk Lavender Cold Brew.

Des Moines Iowa Cafes With Great Coffee

4. Ritual Cafe

Ask any local where their favourite coffee shop in Des Moines is and they’ll likely tell you it’s Ritual Cafe. It’s a local staple, with guests commenting about the friendly, helpful baristas.  All in all, it’s a great place to work, have a meeting, meet friends for a drink or even treat yourself to something sweet. The menu is all vegetarian and vegan, and the greenery that lines the walls creates a pretty relaxing atmosphere.

5. Waveland Cafe

Waveland Cafe is home to the “best hashbrowns in the galaxy,” making it one of the best coffee shops in Des Moines for those interested in more than just a cup of coffee. Especially if you’re visiting from out of the country, this is the go-to spot for an All-American breakfast. You can get bottomless coffee for just two dollars and sip it as you devour a breakfast skillet. Hey, you’ve gotta fuel up for a day of exploring, right?

6. Zanzibar’s Coffee Adventure

A stunning ceiling and unique interior decor touches fill up the space that is Zanzibar’s Coffee Adventure. On top of being perhaps the most Instagrammable cafe in Des Moines, they’ve got creative drinks you won’t find anywhere else. The Mocha Mex, for example, features Mexican spiced chocolate and the Red Espresso uses Rooibos prepared on an espresso machine.

7. Mars Cafe

And, finally, we obviously couldn’t forget about one of the absolute best coffee shops in Des Moines. Mars Cafe has got a few locations all over the city, ensuring you’re always close to an excellently-prepared cup of coffee. To top off the hipster, artistic vibes, their signature drinks are outer space themed and honestly, really, really delicious. Count on a variety of other drinks, baked goods, and even beer to sample while you’re there.

Elizabeth Thorn

Elizabeth has lived and worked in North America, South America, Europe, and Asia, all of which have contributed to her passion for travel writing. When she's not writing, you can find her exploring little hideouts in Colombia or watching photography tutorials on YouTube.

Contact: [email protected]

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