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Valentines Day Des Moines
February 10, 2020

Restaurants in Des Moines: Romantic Spots for Valentine’s Day

February 14th is fast-approaching, no pressure. You just need to research the restaurants in Des Moines, make reservations, buy over-priced flowers, buy heart-shaped chocolates, remember to shave, spray some perfume or cologne, choose the right outfit, be on time, *phew! * okay, that’s a lot.

Thankfully, Homemakers can help you out just a bit. We’ve compiled a list of romantic restaurants in Des Moines for Valentine’s Day! We know there can be a lot of pressure riding on this reservation. That’s why we broke this list down into different prices. We started with the most expensive and ended with the most budget-friendly options. (We won’t tell if you scroll right down to the bottom, though.)

$$$ Restaurants in Des Moines


On of the most popular restaurants in Des Moines, Django is described as “a comfortable, brasserie-style restaurant offering everything you love about French cuisine without the attitude.”  They offer classic French dishes, such as steak fries, Bouillabaisse, fresh salads, omelets and juicy hamburgers.  If you time it right, you can combine your Valentine’s Day dinner with  Happy Hour from 4-6pm, Monday-Friday.

Takes Reservations | Walk-Ins Welcome


Alba, named after the white oak trees in front of the building, has been around since 2008. Located in the Historic East Village of Des Moines, Alba is known for its American cuisine. The 1950s vibe and unconventional interior are another point of interest. Wine-lovers will adore the full-service wine bar. Alba is an excellent choice for someone who likes fancy food and eccentric decor.

Reservations Recommended | Walk-Ins Welcome

801 Chophouse

Enjoy beautiful views of downtown Des Moines and excellent customer service at 801 Chophouse. Using prime USDA steaks, they pair the entrees with innovative side dishes. 801 Chophouse has small-batch bourbons and scotches and fresh crustaceans and fish, meaning there’s something for everyone. The Chophouse boasts an intimate, romantic atmosphere, along with an award-winning wine list. It’s no wonder 801 Chophouse is one of the most popular restaurants in Des Moines.

Takes Reservations | Walk-Ins Welcome

Splash Seafood Bar & Grille

The idea for the restaurant was developed by a Florida Key’s fisherman, Bruce Gerleman. While fishing in the Keys, he experienced numerous meals cooked by the locals and began collecting recipes. Splash is inspired by flavors from Key West, Islamorada and Key Largo. Fresh seafood and wines from around the world make Splash one of the award-winning restaurants in Des Moines.

Takes Reservations | Walk-Ins Welcome

$$ Restaurants in Des Moines

Latin King

For more than 60 years, Tursi’s Latin King Restaurant has provided quality, traditional Italian food in Des Moines. In addition to authentic Italian dishes, Tursi’s Latin King has a wine list that is mostly focused on Italian wines. Revered as one of the best Italian restaurants in Des Moines, this could be the perfect spot for your Valentine’s Day dinner!

Takes Reservations | Walk-Ins Welcome | Good for Kids

Trostel’s Dish

Takes Reservations | Walk-Ins Welcome

Trostel’s Dish has contemporary small dishes and fresh flavors from all over the world. Their goal is to provide customers with a “variety of tastes, textures, interesting seasonings, and smart variations of the familiar that will give you a dynamic dining experience.” Sounds intriguing! The menu is seasonal, meaning you’ll never get tired of your options! Try some of the “Trostel’s Favorites” such as rib eye steak with gunpowder crust and cedar plank salmon. In addition to their specialty cocktails, they also offer wine in flights, glasses, or bottles!


Christopher’s is also known as one of the best Italian American restaurants in Des Moines. Operated by the Giudicessi family since 1963, this decades-old family run restaurant offers hearty Italian dishes. Their prime rib is possibly their most popular dish that draws customers back again and again. Additionally, specialty cocktails, paired with delicious Italian entrees, make Christopher’s a neighborhood favorite. 

Takes Reservations |  Walk-Ins Welcome | Good for Kids

Fong’s Pizza

This Chinese-Pizza fusion restaurant is certainly one of the most popular and well-known restaurants in Des Moines. With eclectic menu options and entertaining décor, this restaurant is a great place to have lively conversation with your loved one. If you haven’t tried their crab-Rangoon pizza yet, what are you waiting for? While you’re at it, treat yourself to a tiki drink in a funky mug! Ask your server for a “Kamikaze” to partake in a unique Fong’s tradition. On the other hand, if that’s not your style, choose from one of the many local, Iowa beers available.

Walk-Ins Welcome | Good for Kids

$ Restaurants in Des Moines


If a stereotypical, sit-down restaurant isn’t your style, Up-Down might just be for you. This year, Up-Down is having a Valentine’s special! for $35, you and your loved one can get a fanny pack, 40 tokens, 2 slices of pizza, and 4 beers or ciders. Spend your Valentine’s Day eating pizza, drinking 80s and 90s themed cocktails while playing retro arcade games, Sega, Nintendo 64, pinball, and ski ball!

Walk-Ins Welcome | 21+


For 15 years, Gazali’s has been serving the freshest Mediterranean food in Des Moines. Gazali’s offers fresh vegetarian and vegan dishes. Perfect for those with dietary restrictions, or for those who want to try something new! Try some award-winning, reasonably priced gyros, falafel, and chicken swarma at one of the top Mediterranean restaurants in Des Moines.

Takes Reservations | Walk-Ins Welcome | Good for Kids

Spaghetti Works

Located in the heart of downtown on Court Ave, Spaghetti Works is another Italian American restaurant in Des Moines. They’re best known for their boundless bowls. Additionally, Spaghetti Works has a salad bar with 20 selections and a Coke Freestyle Machine that has over 100 different choices!

Takes Reservations | Walk-Ins Welcome

Mi Patria

Although Mi Patria isn’t the most romantic out of all the restaurants in Des Moines, but the Latin atmosphere and Ecuadorian music certainly make it fun! Mi Patria could still be a great option because it’s so kid-friendly. It would be a great for those couples who couldn’t find a babysitter, for example. Or, for those who simply wanted to share the Valentine’s Day love with the whole family. Read about dining with kids at Mi Patria.

Walk-Ins Welcome | Good for Kids


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