Tuesday, June 9, 2015

10 patios to enjoy this summer in Des Moines

First off, let's just get it out there that when I say Des Moines, I'm usually talking about the Des Moines metro as a whole, which includes the surrounding cities. Second, when it comes to eating out, if I'm ever trying to think of places with patios, it always seems like there are only a couple to choose from. But that could not be further from the truth. In making this list, I came across dozens of bars and restaurants with patios in the metro. I even had a hard time narrowing it down to 10, but I think I did a pretty good job with my picks (if I do say so myself ;).

1. The Riverwalk Hub / Des Moines
I love the Hub because it sits right beside the Des Moines River, and it's got a beautiful view of downtown Des Moines. It has great coffee, but it also serves a variety of food, plus beer and wine. This would be a perfect stop before a concert at the Simon Estes Amphitheater.

2. Food Depot / Grimes
The patio at Food Depot just opened this year, and while it might not look like much, I had to include it in the list because the food is just so good here. It's typical sports bar fare, but they've also got a store room full of the frozen items so you can take them home and make dinner yourself. But if you're not feeling like cooking, grab a pizza and head out to the patio, because food just tastes better outside.

3. Brewhouse No. 25 / Altoona
Another place that opened last summer, Brewhouse is along one of the metro's many bike trails, so it's typically home to a dozen bikes and their owners. It's a large venue with space for live music inside and games outside. It features two bars, beer pong, bags and a signature blue drink that's perfect for a sunny afternoon.

4. Mickey's Irish Pub / Des Moines
You'll be hard pressed to find this patio empty this summer, as it's one of the top places to be for the downtown nightlife crowd. It's got a large bar outside and a few booths around the edges, but it turns into standing room only — and even that can be difficult. But still, it's a great place to spend a Saturday night.

5. Wellman's Pub and Rooftop / West Des Moines
Wellman's has been one of our favorite places for the last year, because it's got a great atmosphere. It has a patio with a pretty fountain area on the first floor (first picture) and a rooftop patio with heat lamps above the bar. Both have their own bars and no shortage of people when the weather warms up.

6. Draught House 1908 / Johnston
If you love baseball, this place as all the memorabilia you could want on your walls. But also if you like good food and tasty drinks, this place is a win. It opened last year and it has a really nice patio with an outdoor bar and covered seating so you won't bake in the sun. It really is a home run — pun intended.

7. Barcadium / Des Moines
When it comes to eclectic entertainment, Barcadium is definitely near the top of the list. It features dozens of vintage arcade games inside, but it also has a large patio in the front with more games, like life-size Jenga, and an outdoor bar. Perfect for a summer day when you're feeling competitive.

8. Isla Cozumel / Urbandale
In my opinion, guacamole and margaritas are made better only with the opportunity to enjoy them outside with the sun shining and a cool breeze. Isla Cozumel has a large patio with the comfiest patio furniture, which is an under-appreciated detail that I love.

9. Cowboy Jack's / West Des Moines
The bar at Cowboy Jack's serves dual purposes in the summer, when the windows open up to the deck/patio. Take your choice of bar stools, tables or wooden swings. Between the fountain and the hanging lights, there's not a bad seat in the house.

10. Hessen Haus / Des Moines
Hessen Haus is an experience every Des Moines resident should have at least once, regardless of the patio (although it's a pretty great patio). Share "das boot" with your group and try one of the many German beers this bar has to offer.

P.S. The best happy hours in Des Moines, summer concert venues in Des Moines

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