Des Moines, the capital city of Iowa is teeming with rich art scene, historical landmarks, captivating museums, stunning botanical gardens, as well as exceptional restaurants just waiting to be discovered.

So whether its your first time visiting Des Moines, or are already a resident here, the amazing selection of vegan and vegetarian eateries will surely leave you impressed!

Our list below will help you discover some of the best vegan and vegetarian restaurants in Des Moines. Expect some exclusively plan-based options, as well as some that offer cuisines inspired from around the world.

So let’s get started!

display of salad on table
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Five Exceptional Vegan &Vegetarian Restaurants In Des Moines: Food Worth Waiting For!

1. Ritual Cafe

Cafe with a chilled atmosphere serving an internationally-inspired menu. With live music, many social games and a book club area, this spot has it all!

Situated right next to Pappajohn Sculpture Park, we’re certain that you’ll certainly work up an appetite just exploring this 4.4 acre park and what better pick than an exclusively vegetarian restaurant just next door?

Ritual Cafe is a super relaxed spot with a homey vibe. The cozy atmosphere is created thanks to the stunning local artwork on the walls, super kind and welcoming staff, a great book club spot, as well as many social games such as crossword puzzles.

Not impressed yet? Well, Ritual Cafe is the perfect oasis downtown for some social activities such as live music and open-mic nights held monthly, as well as getting some work done in a peaceful environment, or even under the sun on their outdoor patio!

Now onto the food, believe us when we say their breakfast and lunch options won’t disappoint. We recommend going for their Breakfast Tostados which is prepared with two steamed eggs, cheese, black bean mix and finished with their homemade salsa. Another great choice is Mediterranean Bowl which consists of two steamed eggs, roasted red peppers, kalamata olives, homemade hummus and feta cheese.

One of the popular lunch options is their Po’ Boi consisting of red and green peppers, onions, artichoke hearts, cheddar and feta cheese on a garlic focaccia. Another great pick which is 100% vegan is their Black Bean Burritos which are prepared with a well-seasoned black bean mix, sweet potatoes and serrano peppers and served with their homemade salsa and tortilla chips.

There are many vegan options at this restaurant and if you find a sandwich that contains dairy or eggs, you can always ask the helpful staff if it can be made vegan as most sandwiches on their menu can be adapted to suit vegans.

Ritual Cafe is open Tuesday to Saturday from 8am to 3pm, but is closed on Monday and Sunday.

Address: 1301 Locust Street STE. D, Des Moines, IA 50309

Display of burrito
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2. New World Kitchen

A takeout only spot offering some wholesome and heartwarming options, perfect for a cozy night in!

New World Kitchen had to be included on our list of vegan and vegetarian restaurants in Des Moines. Not only for the super tasty dishes, but also because this is the sole 100% vegan restaurant in the area with a super appealing menu.

So if you want to enjoy some nutritious, healthy and super tasty food at your place after exploring this city, then this will be the ideal pick for you as this restaurant is a takeout only business. So order online and opt for either delivery or pick up and just reheat the meals for the ultimate night in!

Since it’s a takeout only, we’ve got to mention that the staff and owner here always maintain a very high level of cleanliness and utmost care is taken to deliver a satisfying meal.

When it comes to the food options, one of the most wholesome and energizing is the Chimichurri Power Bowl which is prepared with seasoned quinoa, black bean and potato patties, sweet potato, cauliflower, chimichurri sauce and many more tasty ingredients.

For a heart and super flavorful option, the Smoky Mac is a great pick. This meal is prepared with a smoky and creamy cashew and vegetable cheese sauce, sauteed kale, garlic, roasted cherry tomatoes and finally topped with a smoky mushroom and bean bits for that extra full-bodied flavor that’s crave-worthy.

Whether you’re under the weather or just want a comforting and heartwarming dish that’s super nutritious, we recommend going for their hearty Chickpea Pot Pie Soup which is packed full of chickpeas, carrot, celery and peas cooked in a vegan chicken-style broth and a dash of oat milk.

New World Kitchen is open for orders from Tuesday to Thursday and delivery or pick up can be made only on Mondays from 5pm to 6:30pm.

Address: 1620 Pleasant St, Des Moines, IA 50314

vegetarian bowl
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3. Centro

A restaurant set up in an ex-Masonic temple, teeming with character and upbeat atmosphere serving some of the best Italian food in town.

Centro is a loved spot in Des Moines for its unique and interesting history. This ex-Masonic temple has been converted into a casual, yet upscale restaurant with an appealing outdoor patio and serves some of the best Italian food in town.

Expect to be be greeted by a super fun and lively atmosphere as this renowned restaurant is the perfect place for catching up with friends, or even making new ones whilst you’re at it! The social and vibrant vibe here is also powered by a nice selection of drinks, as well as different menus for lunch, midday, brunch and dinner featuring diverse choices.

Do note that they’re open mainly for dinner on most days, but serve lunch on Friday from 11am-3pm, their midday menu is served on Fridays – Sundays from 3-5pm, and brunch on Saturday and Sunday from 11am-3pm. And for those who want to enjoy the delicious pizzas and get the most bang for their buck, visit on Mondays where you get half-price pizza and Peroni beers with the code “PizzaMonday” valid from 4pm to close.

All the Italian-inspired dishes are prepared with some of the freshest ingredients, with a creative touch from the culinary team at Centro. So expect some photo-worthy gourmet dishes coming your way, along with a huge portions (which do come at a higher price compared to other restaurants on this list).

One of the popular vegetarian dinner items perfect for sharing with your family and friends is the Hummus Plate. This appetizer is a beautiful display of traditional hummus, Kalamata olive tapenade, roasted red peppers and spicy vegetable relish and served with za’tar spiced flatbread.

As for mains, we recommend trying the George’s Veggie Burger which consists of grilled veggie burger, pepperjack cheese, roasted corn relish, avocado, chipotle dressing and other tasty toppings. For a different take on the 4 cheese pizza, we recommend going for the Quattro Formaggi Red which is topped with red sauce, mozzarella, asiago, Parmesan, Provolone.

Vegans will also have nice choices such as The Vegan Sausage Pizza which is topped with their house-made vegan sausage, vegan mozzarella and red sauce. Another popular choice is the Tofu Gnocchi which is prepared with shiitake mushroom, red onion, tomato, spinach, garlic, basil, shallots, olive oil. Do mention to the staff that you’re vegan for them to inform the kitchen of your dietary requirements.

Centro is open Monday to Thursday from 4pm to 9pm, Friday and Saturday from 11am to 10pm, and Sunday from 11am to 9pm.

Address: 1003 Locust St, Des Moines, IA 50309

vegetarian pizza on a board
Photo for illustrative purposes only: Unsplash+/Ahmed

4. A Dong Restaurant

A laidback eatery specializing in Vietnamese dishes that are full of flavor and aromas.

A Dong Restaurant is a down-to-earth restaurant serving incredible Vietnamese food, as well as other Asian-inspired dishes that will keep you coming back for more.

Vietnamese food is know for its heartwarming and wholesome dishes that are prepared with diverse flavors, creating an incredible combination of aromatics, heat, sweetness and sourness. And A Dong is no less with its tempting menu, including an extensive vegetarian menu that’s two pages long!

Choosing the most recommended dishes have never been easier. You’ll find a small icon on the menu pointing out the popular selections. There are many choices ranging from appetizers, noodle entrees, rice entrees and for thos ewho fancy something lighter, they’ll be delighted by the light entree options.

So for appetizer, they recommend the Cha Gio Chay which are egg rolls stuffed with tofu, served with lemon sauce and a side of veggies. Another loved appetizer is their heartwarming Sup Rau Cai which is a simple, yet tasty vegetable soup.

As for mains, one of the stand out dishes is their Ca Ri Chay which is a tofu and veggie curry, served with either rice or vermicelli noodles. Another tasty choice is the Lau Canh Chua Chay which is a firepot with tofu and veggies in a tangy soup and served with either rice or vermicelli noodles.

This restaurant on our list of vegan and vegetarian-friendly restaurants in Des Moines is open Tuesday to Sunday from 11am to 9pm.

Address: 1511 High St, Des Moines, IA 50309

Korean food
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5. Eatery A

Enjoy some delicious gourmet-style Mediterranean-inspired dishes, including delicacies from Spain, Morocco, Egypt and Italy at Eatery A.

Are you on the lookout for an impressive restaurant with an inviting and upscale feel? We’ve got the perfect pick for you with this next choice that’s open as late as 12am on some days!

Eatery A has a very appealing decor with the dark wood, dim lighting, comfortable booth seating, a large bar area with a huge selection of drinks and an open kitchen where you can watch the chefs work their magic.

So whether you’re planning on a romantic evening, celebrating a special occasion with your family or just want to have a relaxed dining experience around great food, this restaurant will appeal to you.

They specialize in Mediterranean-inspired dishes, but you’ll also find a great selection of food inspired by Spain, Morocco, Egypt and Italy. This spot knows how to create the perfect blend of blend old-world and contemporary cuisine, and that too by using quality local ingredients!

We recommend starting with the Warm Olives and Artichokes, as well as the Brussels which is prepared with pomegranate molasses, breadcrumbs. As for soup, their warm and comforting Butternut Squash Bisque which consists of curry, sweet potato and yogurt won’t disappoint.

For a vegetarian main, we recommend their Baked Spinach Rigatoni which is prepared with wild mushroom bolognese and topped with Edam ball cheese. Another popular choice is the wild mushroom bolognese, Edam Ball cheese which is served with sumac flatbread, hummus, pickled veggies and raita.

Eatery A is open Monday to Thursday from 11am to 10pm, Friday and Saturday from 9am to 12am and on Sunday from 9am to 9pm.

Address: 2932 Ingersoll Ave, Des Moines, IA 50312

Falafels stacked
Photo for illustrative purposes only: Unsplash+/Pablo Merchan