Des Moines has a great tradition of Italian Restaurants. The Steak De Burgo started here brought over from Italy after World War Two. These local restaurants are doing a great job of keeping up that tradition.
1.Tursi’s Latin King– This is an eastside institution that offers consistently high quality food in a family- like setting. They’ve been around since 1947 for good reason. Their food is great for a romantic date or to take an out of town visitor that you want to impress. My go-to is the toasted ravioli with the giant meatball but every meal I’ve had there has been a winner. Click here for more information.
2.Baratta’s– They’re probably better known for their commercials pointing out how hard it is to find their restaurant, but once you find them you’ll be happy you made the trip. This is a cozy place to take a date or indulge in comfort Italian food. Their second, Café Baratta’s, has equally excellent food and has a wonderful view of downtown Des Moines. Click here for more information.
3.Noah’s Ark-One of the oldest restaurants in Des Moines, they’ve managed to keep their restaurant looking like a step in the past with the stained glass windows and deep leather booths. Their famous homemade rolls are so good that you’ll want to buy some after your meal to enjoy at home. Click here for more information.
4.Scornovacca’s– Located on the southside of Des Moines, their cavatelli comes with a heaping serving of perfectly cooked pasta and generous amounts of gooey cheese. Their staff is very friendly and very helpful. Perfect place to go in the middle of winter and you want something that will stick to your ribs. Click here for more information.
5.Cosi Cucina– This Clive restaurant offers a more sophisticated take on Italian food without getting too fussy. The open kitchen lets you peak in on the chefs as they work hard preparing scrumptious food. Be sure to remember the door to the restaurant is in the back of the building when you go. Click here for more information.
6.Sam & Gabe’s-This restaurant has been around for 20 years on Des Moines’s west side. They offer fresh takes on Italian food as well as perfectly prepared steaks. The chefs really make an effort to keep up with new trends in the food industry. Click here for more information.
7.The Tavern– Located in a couple of spots in town, my favorite being the location in Valley Junction, the Tavern has been around since 1945. Famous for their Grinder sandwich, the restaurant offers a variety of sandwiches and excellent pasta dishes. The service is quick which makes this a great place to go during a lunch break. Click here for more information.
8.Mama Lacona’s-Owned by the same people who created Noah’s Ark, they may have moved to a new location a while back but they managed to keep the same charm as their previous home. Their Sunday brunch is a must with both traditional breakfast items as well as their famous Italian dishes served. Click here for more information.
9.Tumea & Sons– This South side favorite may not have a fancy building but their food makes up for it. I love their creamy parmesan salad dressing and the chicken diablo pasta. Click here for more information.
10.Simon’s- Formerly known as J. Benjamin’s, this restaurant has been around since 1952, having changed their name a few times since then. Their steak Duburgo is one of the best in town. Though you may have to google what their name is from time to time, the food has always been wonderful. Click here for more information. For a look at some of the restaurants from Des Moines past click here for Des Moines most missed restaurants.