When you visit Des Moines, Iowa, do not go home without sampling some of the city’s best restaurants. Downtown Des Moines is home to such a wide variety of restaurants with different cuisines and styles that you are guaranteed to find something to satisfy your tastes. Since Iowa is one of the nation’s top pork producers, BBQ is one of the things the city’s population enjoys the most. If you love BBQ, you need to check out at least one of the best BBQ joints in downtown Des Moines.Woody’s Smoke Shack is downtown’s most popular BBQ joint. For 10 years, Woody Wasson and his wife Cheryl have shared their passion for pork and reverence for ribs by operating a catering service. In the process, they picked up a number of awards, including the Iowa State BBQ Championship. Eventually, they grew so popular that they opened a dine-in restaurant at 2511 Cottage Grove Avenue. Try their award-winning baby back ribs, and do not forget to help yourself to their complimentary corn bread while you wait.
With three locations, Jethro’s BBQ serves a wide variety of delicious slow-smoked meats, fixins, burgers and sandwiches. Its location at 3100 Forest Avenue also has a sports bar where you can watch University of Iowa Bulldogs sports events on a large-screen TV.
Smokey D’s, located at 601 Locust Street, has won more than its share of prizes for its barbecue; it claimed victory in 34 state championships and received over 400 local, regional and national prizes. Try its beef brisket sandwich with a side order of macaroni and cheese or cole slaw. Its prices are very reasonable; a Smokey D’s Special gives you a chopped pork sandwich, BBQ beans, cole slaw and a fountain drink all for only $6.99.
If you like your barbecue a little more upscale, head to the Flying Mango at 4345 Hickman Road. Take advantage of its traditional BBQ dishes infused with Caribbean-influenced flavors as well as its unique selection of homemade sides. In addition to its passion for great cooking, it has an equally great passion for music and arts, featuring a number of musicians and bands. You should get tickets for those in advance because they tend to sell out.
Dining out is a great way to make your visit in Des Moines more memorable, and staying at The Valley West Inn makes it more convenient to do so. The Inn is located in the heart of West Des Moines and provides convenient access to downtown and the many great BBQ joints that are sure to whet your appetite for ribs, brisket, cole slaw, baked beans and corn bread.