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Coffee Shops in the Des Moines Area

Hey, hey! It’s time for our annual coffee shop update. If you’ve met with Jessica, Tawnia, or me to discuss real estate, kids, families, houses, and/or life, you’ve probably noticed we LOVE our coffee and tea. And we really love supporting local coffee shops. So, without further ado, here’s our “Best of the Best” (Note: This is not an official award … but it should be).

PS – There’s one shop on this list that hasn’t opened yet…. But it’s coming this spring. Can you find it?

South Side / Norwalk

What We Love: This coffee shop JUST opened this winter, and they bring a Nepali twist to your favorite lattes and chais. The staff is wonderful, and the couch in the sunny windows is my favorite spot to sit. Oh… and if you love samosas, you need to try the samosas here!

What We Love: This Mahalo’s location has a drive-thru, a great sitting area, and the BEST donuts in the metro. We love the Hawaiian flavors in the coffee and recommend some of the house blends.

Highland Park

What We Love: Having a fabulous coffee shop in the heart of Highland Park, right by Hiland Bakery, Chuck’s Restaurant, and ALL the revitalization in this area! This is a true community coffee shop, with local art gracing the walls and open mic nights!

East Side

What We Love: What’s NOT to love? We’re suckers for breakfast food and a laid-back diner atmosphere, and this restaurant has both.

Downtown / Sculpture Park

  • Ritual Café: 1301 Locust Street, Suite D, Des Moines, IA 50309

What We Love: This is one of my favorite spots in the dead of winter; the décor is warm and inviting, and we can have lunch here if needed. Try the grilled hummus!

What We Love: Bright and airy space and VERY smooth coffee. Chai is also a favorite here.

What We Love: This is a new entry in our coffee shop list, and a welcome addition on Keo Way! The staff is super nice, and the window seats are perfect for sitting, reading, and caffeinating.

What We Love: The BAKERY! It’s the perfect place to indulge in pastries or yummy lunch options. With windows all around, in the midst of a bustling East Village, Scenic Route also makes for great people watching.

Ingersoll / Sherman Hill

  • Smokey Row: 1910 Cottage Grove Avenue, Des Moines, IA 50314

What We Love: The coffee here is great, but the true gem is the FOOD. Breakfast sandwiches, biscotti, lunch, and a great kid’s menu. In the summer, Smokey Row’s patio is fantastic.

  • Zanzibar: 2723 Ingersoll Aveune, Des Moines, IA 50312

What We Love: Visiting Zanzibar’s is an experience. We love the wide variety of coffees, teas, and the support for the community: check out the local art hung on the walls. Note: Zanzibar’s does not have wifi, by design. We get to have conversations instead of working!

So this shop isn’t open yet, but it’s coming in spring of 2023! Give them a follow on social media and check out the amazing building renovation they are doing.


What We Love: There are three main locations, and each has its pros and cons: The 86th Street location has a cozy indoor seating area and a drive-thru. The 22nd Street location in West Des Moines has an amazing outdoor patio for summertime. And, the 42nd Street location in Beaverdale plays the best 90s grunge music. So, pick your location based on your needs!

What We Love: The location is perfect; we meet with folks from Ankeny, Johnston, Urbandale, and we have easy access to/from the highway. We also love that there is a meeting room that can be reserved cheaply for bigger meetings.


What We Love: Their passion about their coffee, and their Little Smitty menu popular with the kids! We also like the ever-changing inspirational pictures and the abundance of outlets.


What We Love: We love having local coffee in Grimes! The lattes are especially creamy… try the almond milk. Trust us.


What We Love: The cozy atmosphere! This is yet another perfect place to catch up with long-lost friends.

What We Love: Definitely the food! We’re especially partial to the pastas and breakfast sandwiches.

Licensed in the state of Iowa

Home Sweet Des Moines – Realty ONE Group

Some caveats:

  • Some businesses have multiple locations; we’re only listing out one location per business.
  • No business paid to be on this list. They had to earn it!
  • We have no scientific knowledge of what makes a good coffee bean or tea leaf, just personal opinions.