The Library has a big place in our hearts. It was a frequent spot in college and it's down the street from our old apartment (and now down the street from our house). If you know us, you've heard us talk about how often we go to The Library. We've celebrated, watched elections, mourned, watched the Olympics and played quarters at The Library. It's the place where everyone knows our names (or at least faces). Max is always trying something new on the menu. Annelise recommends the reuben and a Two Hearted.
Every Saturday morning, thousands of people flock to Court Ave for the produce, music, and people-watching. Lots of things to see, smell, and eat. Lots of dogs to pet.
Outside, inside, daytime, nighttime. You can't go wrong at Lua. Fantastic beer, gourmet brewery food. Max recommends the smush burger and Annelise loves the avocado toast.
Since they opened a few years ago, we've ordered out from Lucky Lotus a few times a month (at least). It's delicious whether you eat in or take it to go. Max loves the soups especially and Annelise always gets a Bing Bing Wrap and a thai tea.
Right across from the venue (and Max's job), Peace Tree is a frequent date location. Annelise also hosts many game nights and puzzle competitions here with The Rook Room. Annelise recommends the Blonde Fatale (but beware that ABV!) and Max recommends the East Village IPA.
A Des Moines staple. It's right downtown and it's a nice little stroll. Check out the Olafur Eliasson rainbow ring and take a picture inside Nomad.
This is a great lunch spot with great pasta. They make it fresh daily. Wonderful dinner prix-fixe as well. Max always gets either the al-forno or amatriciana. Annelise says to get extra bread!
We have had a lot of fun nights (and afternoons...) out here both in cozy booths and taking up most of the space out back. Max recommends the Old Fashioned No. 6. Annelise thinks you can't go wrong by asking for the "We'll Take It From Here" and asking for gin, herbs, and citrus. Every one of the snacks are also incredible. Kids in the know call the place B-Tenders H-Shake.
Breakfast classics, pastries as far as the eye can see. Get there early if you have a favorite you're looking for! Max loves the chocolate brioche and Annelise loves the spinach croissant.
We love The Slow Down. Great staff, great community-building, great clubs, great coffee. Annelise also hosts a lot of events at The Slow Down with The Rook Room. It's all good! Stop by the Hiland Bakery first for a donut, too. Then walk through Highland Park and check out Des Moines Mercantile, The Collective and Divine Times Vintage.
The OG Up Down. Beer. Pizza. Arcade Games. Pinball. Giant Jenga. 90s nostalgia. It's got it all. Annelise loves Marble Madness. Max thinks that game is really dumb. We also love making friends at the Killer Queen cabinets.
Right behind the Art Center (a fun and free activity as well!). Great place for a hike (but watch for trail riders). We wore our full packs over to Greenwood to prep for a backpacking trip on the SHT. Apparently a good place for bird watching, too. Max recommends a walk through the Rose Garden. Annelise recommends a hike on the the Roller Coaster trail.
One of our earliest fanciest dates was here. We had a gift card and couldn't afford a full meal for each of us so we split each course. They were so kind to us and we've had many really special dates here since then. We both recommend the osso bucco and save room for at least two desserts.
Always fun, always free. A beautiful building with world-class art of all kinds. Grab some food at Tangerine while you're there, too!
Couches, local art and martinis. Three of our favorite things. This was one of the first bars we frequented downtown when we turned 21 (and definitely NEVER before that). Head over for a nightcap! Max loves a dirty martini and Annelise loves the Cucumber Number.