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Cover Story

Who Wins the Titles?


Our readers have voted. The ballots have been counted. Some favorites continue to dominate. Some newcomers pull off upsets. See a list of all the champions here. Dear reader. This edition is all about you. For a couple of decades now, we’ve asked for, and received, your opinions on who are the BEST (fill in the blank). Every year you tell us who does what and how well. And every year this edition keeps getting bigger and better. We’ve added more categories this year, and we’ve made it more informational.

We had a great time figuring out who’s the champion of what, or who’s an up-and-coming contender and where. Putting this together is always a great reminder of how good things are in Des Moines.

There were nearly 11,000 votes cast. Almost 300 champions were crowned. And 104 pages were printed in the Cityview you’re reading right now.

But enough about us, this is all about you. Without further adieu, check out which businesses made the cut this year and who YOU crowned: Cityview’s Best of Des Moines.


Best New Local Restaurant

CNA - Stop HIV Iowa (June 1)CNA - Stop HIV Iowa (June 2)

Guru BBQ
With a mix of Cajun, French, Korean, Mexican, Spanish and Thai cuisine styles, it’s no wonder Guru BBQ has been tabbed as the best new spot in town to grab a bite to eat. Guru didn’t open its restaurant until late in 2015, but they’ve been catering events since 2009. You’ll find a local twist on all-time classic dishes and drinks, and best of all, there are three exquisite barbecue sauces at the ready and on the table. 300 W. MLK Jr. Parkway #170, Des Moines. 515-777-2500;

Runners-up: Lurra Cocina; Fuzzy’s Taco Shop

Best Local Family Restaurant

Tursi’s Latin King
No stranger to Cityview’s “Best Of” list, Latin King is a regular on these pages. This year, the longtime reader favorite has wrangled itself the top spot on the best family restaurant list by our readers. The classic Italian restaurant and its authentic old country dishes is a Des Moines staple, since 1947. 2200 Hubbell Ave., Des Moines. 515-266-4466.

Runners-up: Tumea & Sons, Noah’s Ark Restaurant & Lounge

Best Kept Secret

Short for Restaurant on Court Avenue, RoCA is one of the newest additions to the downtown area. Open for business in October of 2014, this restaurant quickly became known for its wide selection of entrees, wines and cocktails. The beautiful building and elegant décor bring customers through the door, but it’s the delicious entrees made to share that keep customers coming back over and over again. 208 Court Ave., Des Moines. 515-282-3663;

Runners-up: Simon’s; Flying Mango

Best Local Restaurant, Period

For the second year in a row, Centro tops the list as the best local restaurant. With phenomenal service, fine wines and mouth-watering Italian cuisine, it’s no wonder the people of Des Moines still love this restaurant as it enters its 14th year of service. Our readers adore Centro’s combination of Italian food, fine wine, excellent service and sophisticated atmosphere. Voters say it’s the best restaurant around, period. 1003 Locust St., Des Moines. 515-248-1780;

Runners-up: John & Nick’s Steak & Prime Rib; Zombie Burger + Drink Lab

Best Local Fine Dining

No surprise here, Centro is our readers’ choice for fine dining as well. The classic Italian menu is unparalleled, the wait staff is superb, and the food is the highest quality. Every dish is expertly crafted, and every visit to Centro is elegance at its best. 1003 Locust St., Des Moines. 515-248-1780;

Runners-up: 801 ChopHouse, Tursi’s Latin King

Best Local Chef

George Formaro
When it comes to creating great local fare, George Formaro knows what central Iowans like. This culinary mastermind is the driving force behind local favorites such as Centro, Django, South Union Bread Café, Gateway Market & Café, Zombie Burger and Malo; there’s no question that Chef Formaro knows his way around a kitchen.

Runners-up: John Jaeger — John & Nick’s Steak & Prime Rib; Tom McKern — Zombie Burger + Drink Lab

Best Local Wait Staff

Eatery A
With a menu filled with classic Italian dishes, they also feature a wait staff who know what they’re talking about. At Eatery A, guests are served by friendly, conversational staff that knows their menu and how to serve guests in the best way possible. A great staff and great food, readers say there’s nothing better than Eatery A. 2932 Ingersoll Ave., Des Moines. 515-282-8085;

Runners-up: John & Nick’s Steak & Prime Rib; Centro

Best Valley Junction Restaurant

G Mig’s 5th Street Pub
Named after the head chef, George Migliero, G. Mig’s 5th Street Pub has that great hometown bar feel and food that can’t be beat. This pub’s friendly staff, and menu filled with unique burgers, drinks and even breakfast, have earned G. Mig’s the No. 1 spot to grab a quick meal or watch the game in Valley Junction. 128 Fifth St. West Des Moines. 515-255-4550;

Runners-up: Tavern Pizza and Pasta Grill; Cooper’s on 5th

Best West Glen Restaurant

Bonefish Grill
Bonefish Grill does it again. Our readers truly adore this West Glen treasure. Bonefish Grill takes the fish dinner to the next level with dozens of dishes on its gourmet menu. And it’s no secret the drink menu is top notch as well. In short, Bonefish Grill is a great first stop for a night out, a dinner date or even an elegant night cap.  650 S. Prairie View Drive, West Des Moines. 515-267-0064;

Runners-up: Wellman’s Pub and Rooftop; Cowboy Jack’s

Best East Village Restaurant

Zombie Burger + Drink Lab
Zombie Burger has become a downtown destination. While shopping in the East Village, it’s the only burger joint around with deep fat fried mac & cheese buns, an undead theme or a beer selection this size to slosh down all that goodness. 300 E. Grand Ave., Des Moines. 515-244-9292;

Runners-up: Alba Restaurant; Lucca

Best Drake Area Restaurant

Drake Diner
One of the best things about college is finding the perfect gathering spot for you and your new friends — a place to have fun and enjoy great food. For many students at Drake University, that place is Drake Diner. The food is great, the wait staff is experienced, and eventually you become part of the Drake Diner family. 1111 25th St., Des Moines. 515-277-1111;

Runners-up: Gazali’s; Jethro’s BBQ

Best Beaverdale Area Restaurant

Chef’s Kitchen
True to its name, Chef’s Kitchen serves just about anything you would find in a chef’s kitchen. They serve breakfast, pizza, sandwiches and often have fresh fish specials. Voters say this is truly a place for everyone. 1903 Beaver Ave., Des Moines. 515-255-4411;

Runners-up: Christopher’s, Flying Mango

Best Ingersoll Area Restaurant

Eatery A
Unique Mediterranean food might be hard to find in Des Moines, but Eatery A has it all. Our readers love the food, but that’s just the half of it. Great service, incredible décor and did you know about the half-off pizzas during happy hour? Our readers find this Des Moines restaurant to be one of the best. 2932 Ingersoll Ave., Des Moines. 515-282-8085;

Runners-up: Sakari Sushi Lounge; Noah’s Ark Restaurant & Lounge

Best Local American Food

Americana Restaurant and Lounge
There’s nothing better than the old red, white and blue — except for maybe the food that comes with it. Americana Restaurant and Lounge is the best place to start your week with BYOW Sundays — bring your own wine — and Winner Winner Chicken Dinner Monday nights. All we know is that our readers love this classed-up American food, and we do, too. 1312 Locust St., Des Moines. 515-283-1312;

Runners-up: Zombie Burger + Drink Lab; Jethro’s BBQ

Best Local Vegetarian/Vegan Food

A Dong
After a late summer setback and closing due to fire, our readers have shown their love for A Dong by returning in force. Back in action and going full steam ahead, this Des Moines favorite has reopened and its Vietnamese fare is loaded with options for vegans and vegetarians. As a family-owned restaurant in the heart of Iowa, A Dong uses fresh, local ingredients to serve its guests. Our readers have chosen A Dong as one of the best. 1511 High St., Des Moines. 515-284-5632;

Runners-up: Ritual Café; Fresh Café

Best Local Gluten-Free Food

Gusto Pizza Co.
In this day and age, good gluten-free food is getting easier to find. That makes winning this award more challenging each year, but Gusto Pizza Co. tops the list again. Everyone seems to love Pizza, and at Gusto, the gluten-freers can partake as well. Our readers think the Gusto gluten-free pizza is unparalleled, and with so many different combinations and flavors, we agree.

Runners-up: Biaggi’s; Lurra Cocina

Best Local Italian Food

Tursi’s Latin King
For more than 60 years, Latin King has been serving perfect dishes from the mother country. Dozens of pasta dishes, desserts and a unique wine list — based primarily on Italian wines — are why our readers keep coming back. It’s also why they keep voting for Latin King as their favorite Italian eatery. 2200 Hubbell Ave., Des Moines. 515-266-4466;

Runners-up: Tumea & Sons; Sam & Gabe’s-third; Centro-third

Best Local Mexican Food

Tasty Tacos
What began as a small family business has grown to be one of Des Moines’ favorite Mexican restaurants. The Mosqueda family has been serving delicious Mexican food since 1961. Their menu is filled with low priced, authentic tacos, burritos, enchiladas and a whole lot more. So not only does Tasty Tacos have great food, it’s well priced and conveniently located throughout the metro area.

Runners-up: Monterrey Mexican Restaurant; El Rodeo

Best Local Thai Food

Cool Basil
Cool Basil is more than just pad thai, it’s the preferred place for people wanting to share good food and good laughs. Now serving sushi, sashimi and nigiri in a casual, fun environment, Cool Basil is the preferred destination for people wanting something fun to eat. Cool Basil has been voted Best Thai yet again. 1250 86th St., Clive. 515-225-8111;

Runners-up: Thai Flavors; Lemon Grass

Best Local Chinese Food

Hy-Vee Chinese Express
Let’s be honest here, Chinese food is almost always good. But according to our readers, there’s no better Chinese than the Iowa-based grocery store and its humongous menu. What’s better than bringing home groceries without having to make dinner afterward? Hy-Vee’s Chinese Express has all the offerings of a classic Chinese restaurant and offers both dine-in and takeout. Hy-Vee is conveniently open every day of the week. Multiple locations.

Runners-up: Tsing Tsao; China One International Buffet

Best Local Japanese Food

New to Des Moines, Akebono is making a splash by topping the list of best Japanese food. Akebono features four owners, all chefs, and they seamlessly blend style and taste into each recipe. Each owner works in the kitchen and has a hand in creating every order. The menu, featuring dozens of popular Japanese dishes and sushi options, and the fantastic customer service are what make Akebono our readers’ choice. 215 10th St., Suite 120, Des Moines. 515-244-5972;

Runners-up: Taki; Sakari Sushi Lounge; Miyabi 9

Best Local Mediterranean Food

Fresh Mediterranean Express
When it comes to Mediterranean food, Fresh Mediterranean Express must have it right. Voters have tabbed Fresh Mediterranean as the best two years in a row. With a heart for local businesses and fresh ingredients, this restaurant uses locally-made tortillas to craft its famous wraps. Don’t forget the Iowa-made hummus and gyros that are to die for. 15 N.E. Carefree Lane, Waukee. 515-987-6870;

Runners-up: Open Sesame; Olympic Flame

Best Local Vietnamese Food

A Dong
Back at it again, A Dong steals the show for Vietnamese food, according to our readers. For another year, A Dong’s versatile menu, featuring more than 140 entrees, has made taste buds rejoice. Vegan and vegetarian options, healthy appetizers and an array of drinks and desserts are just a few reasons our readers love A Dong. 1511 High St., Des Moines. 515-284-5632;

Runners-up: Pho 888; Vietnam Café

Best Local India Food

India Star
If you’ve never had an authentic Indian dish, trust our readers who voted India Star the best of Des Moines. This India Restaurant has been a family-owned business since the early 1990s, and it’s a Des Moines favorite for the authentic North India dishes and daily lunch buffet. 5514 Douglas Ave., Des Moines. 515-279-2118;

Runners-up: Namaste India; Taj Mahal

Best Local Seafood

Waterfront Seafood Market
Good seafood in the Midwest isn’t always easy to come by, as our location can create an obstacle. But Waterfront Seafood Market brings all your favorite saltwater treats and does it in the best ways possible. You can order phenomenal sea fish dinners consisting of fresh fish from the deepest oceans. The staff, whether in the restaurant or in the fish market, is knowledgeable and offers advice you can trust. Locations in Ankeny and West Des Moines.

Runners-up: Splash Seafood Bar & Grill; John & Nick’s Steak & Prime Rib

Best Local Sushi

Sakari Sushi Lounge
With a variety of Japanese cuisine, an excellent selection of Sushi Rolls and a full sushi and liquor bar, there’s no shortage of reasons Sakari Sushi Lounge has been voted the best. Whether it’s your first time trying sushi, or if you want a quick bite after work, our readers say this sushi is fantastic. 2605 Ingersoll Ave., Des Moines. 515-288-3381;

Runners-up: Wasabi Chi, Miyabi 9

Best Local Hibachi

Ohana Steakhouse
Hibachi gives new meaning to getting “dinner and a show.” At Ohana Steakhouse, our readers say you’ll definitely enjoy both. The food is prepared right in front of you, and the talented chefs at Ohana’s engage each table in conversation while showing off impressive food tricks and giving guests a truly unique experience. 2900 University Ave., West Des Moines. 515-225-3325;

Runners-up: Taki Japanese Steakhouse; Appare

Best Local Steakhouse

John & Nick’s Steak & Prime Rib

It isn’t easy finding a good steakhouse with the perfect balance of affordability and quality. Luckily, John & Nick’s is top notch in both arenas, at least according to our readers. With mouthwatering prime USDA steaks and arguably the best salad bar in town, this menu features items for everyone’s taste and price range. 15970 Hickman Road, Clive. 515-987-1151;

Runners-up: Chicago Speakeasy; 801 ChopHouse

Best Local Brunch

Americana Restaurant and Lounge
There’s nothing better than treating yourself and taking the family out for a top notch meal, especially on a weekend morning. Our readers seem to be drawn to Americana and the endless buffet that’s provided here every Saturday and Sunday. Starting at 10 a.m. on Saturdays and 9:30 a.m. on Sundays, guests can enjoy the Bombshell Brunch at Americana for $18 or bottomless Bloody Mary and Mimosa bar for $14. Even better, buy both for $28. 1312 Locust St., Des Moines. 515-283-1312;

Runners-up: Granite City; Malo

Best Local Delicatessen

Palmer’s Deli & Market
Has Palmer’s Deli & Market mastered the art of sandwich? According to our readers, they certainly know what they’re doing. With five locations open in the metro area, and a long list of homemade sandwiches, freshly tossed salads and pasta salads, Palmer’s is a Des Moines favorite deli for lunch, dinner and everything in between. 2843 Ingersoll Ave., Des Moines. 515-274-4004;

Runners-up: Manhattan Deli; B&B Grocery, Meat & Deli

Best Local Burger

Repeat champion alert. Yet again B-Bop’s takes the top spot as the best burger in Des Moines. This has been Iowa’s favorite burger restaurant for many years running. B-Bop’s keeps its menu as classic as it can, and chocolate shakes, chili fries and ice-cold lemonade are just a few of B-Boppin’ good that’s served here. Multiple locations.

Runners-up: Zombie Burger + Drink Lab; Johnny’s Hall of Fame

Best Local Pizza

Gusto Pizza Co.
Three is the magic number for Gusto Pizza — three years as our readers’ choice for best local pizza, and now they have three locations to roll up your sleeves and get your pizza on. With dozens of pizza options, including a “Create your own Gusto,” this pizzeria offers a new experience with every visit. 1905 Ingersoll Ave., Des Moines. Multiple locations;

Runners-up: Pagliai’s Pizza; Fong’s Pizza

Best Local Bakery

Hiland Bakery
Hiland Bakery has been around since 1946, and those 70 years of experience must be paying off because they’re repeat champs as best local bakery. Every single pastry, cookie and fresh goodie is packed with yum. The bakery offers a daily menu of doughnuts, cakes, cookies, breads, buns and so much more. 3615 Sixth Ave. Des Moines. 515-282-4059;

Runners-up: La Mie Bakery; Scratch Cupcakery

Best Local Cupcake Shop

Scratch Cupcakery
Scratch Cupcakery is devoted to Iowa and the people here. Maybe that’s why the people crowned it the best cupcake shop. Or maybe it’s those delectable little frosted mouthfuls of sugary heaven on Earth. This cupcake shop offers more than 250 flavors of cupcakes, anything from the classic chocolate to banana split. 7450 Bridgewood Blvd. Suite 215, West Des Moines. 855-833-5719;

Runners-up: Crème Cupcake & Dessert; SmallCakes Cupcakery

Best Local Burrito

Bandit Burrito
It’s year two atop the charts for Bandit Burrito as the best burrito around. This burrito shop offers more than 35 options for you to add to your meal of choice. Open for lunch and dinner, they also offer breakfast starting at 6 a.m. 5340 Merle Hay Road, Johnston. 515-254-9999;

Runners-up: Abelardo’s Mexican Fresh; El Rey Burritos

Best Local Dessert

Crème Cupcake & Dessert
Crème Cupcake and Dessert offers a walk-in bakery with a mouth-watering selection of seasonal sensations, and guests can relax while dining on dessert and drinks in the glorious cupcake-style lounge. Custom house desserts are offered to guests along with cocktails personally designed by the mixologist. 543 28th St., Des Moines. 515-288-1050;

Runners-up: Scratch Cupcakery; La Mie Bakery

Best Local BBQ

Jethro’s BBQ
Des Moines’ BBQ selection has undergone a delightful renaissance in recent years, so this category’s competition was fierce. But our voters were most impressed with the flavorful, smoked goodness at Jethro’s BBQ. Jethro’s has been known for large portions, delicious food and superior service, and now they lay claim to the title of having the best BBQ in town. Multiple locations.

Runners-up: Smokey D’s BBQ; Woody’s Smoke Shack

Best Local Onion Rings

The debate is over. Maxie’s is now an eight-time winner when it comes to the best onion rings in the metro. If anyone had doubts, they can put them to rest: Maxie’s is the most dominant force in onion rings in central Iowa. They cut their onions by hand, then bread and fry them until golden crispy and tasty. Just don’t expect any kisses afterward if you’re on date.  1311 Grand Ave., West Des Moines. 515-223-1463;

Runners-up: Tavern Pizza and Pasta Grill; Jethro’s

Best Local French Fries

The Smashfries from Smashburger are the best fries in all of Des Moines, according to our voters. They’re tossed in Italian olive oil, rosemary and garlic, and then seasoned to perfection. This is what a potato is supposed to be. 1821 22nd St., West Des Moines. 515-661-6666;

Runners-up: Zombie Burger + Drink Lab; B-Bop’s

Best Local Chicken Wings

Jethro’s BBQ and Granite City Food & Brewery (tie)
Bok, bok, bok. Don’t be chicken to try Jethro’s wings. They are now the reigning five-time favorite of Cityview readers. Do you feel like chicken tonight? You better believe Jethro’s is a chicken wing lover’s paradise. These slow-smoked morsels of wonderful are perfect for whetting your appetite before getting started on an entrée or served alone as a full meal on their own. Multiple locations.

Runners-up: Chicken Coop Sports Bar and Grill

Best Local Nachos

University Library Café
“He’s at the library.” That’s what Drake students have been telling their roommates’ parents for years. Of course, this library isn’t the book-lined quiet zone the parental units imagine. University Library Café is the No. 1 place for nachos in the metro. Not only do the nachos come with all the fixings for an appetizer to share or a study snack to keep all to yourself, but the café also offers a breakfast version of its prized nachos — because nachos are always the right choice, especially when you should be studying. 3506 University Ave., Des Moines. 515-255-0433;

Runners-up: Jethro’s; Zombie Burger + Drink Lab

Best Local Tacos

Tasty Tacos
This long-time local taco hotspot is known for its delicious flour tacos, family recipes, homemade hot sauce and encouraging motto, “Nada es impossible!” Des Moines is loaded with incredible taco options, but our readers have named Tasty Tacos as the tastiest for the second year in a row. Multiple locations.

Runners-up: Tacopocalypse; Malo

Best Local Ribs

Jethro’s BBQ
This locally owned chain of hot spots is garnering attention and turning heads in all directions for its meaty, succulent ribs. Jethro’s has used its smoky, well-seasoned morsels of happiness to put them on the map in several metro locations. Our readers have spoken, and Jethro’s is the metro’s rib joint of choice. Multiple locations.

Runners-up: Smokey D’s BBQ; Woody’s Smoke Shack

Best Local Tenderloin

Smitty’s Tenderloin Shop
Good old Smitty’s does it again. Des Moines’ tenderloin lovers have adored this southside staple for three generations, and Smitty’s has again been named the No. 1 place in town when you have a hankering for breaded pork tenderloins. 1401 Army Post Road, Des Moines. 515-287-4742;

Runners-up: Nick’s Tenderloin and Italian Beef and Italian Beef; Jethro’s

Best Local Bar Food

Saints Pub + Patio
You know the best thing about a bar food? Everyone gets to eat, drink and be merry. The best part about Saints Pub? The food and drinks are top notch, according to our readers. A full menu of appetizers, burgers, flatbreads, soups and salads accompany this pub’s sports bar atmosphere. Not only is the menu huge, our readers think it’s the best in Des Moines, too. Multiple locations.

Runners-up: Francie’s; Johnny’s Hall of Fame

Best Local Appetizers

Eatery A
The Eatery A menu has mostly Mediterranean influences, but you’ll find hints of Spain, Morocco, Egypt and Italy as well. It’s these flavorful recipes that make the dozens of appetizers on the Eatery A menu the best in town. 2932 Ingersoll Ave., Des Moines. 515-282-8085;

Runners-up: RoCA; Trostel’s Dish

Best Local Coffee/Coffeehouse

Smokey Row
Life is good at Smokey Row, tabbed yet again as Des Moines’ best coffee shop. What’s not to like about a big, open place with fast, friendly service, live music, board games and even milk shakes? Oh, yeah, they have a glorious selection of caffeine, too. 1910 Cottage Grove Ave., Des Moines. 515-244-2611;

Runners-up: Zanzibar’s; Java Joes

Best Local Salad Bar

John & Nicks Steak and Prime Rib
John & Nicks Steak and Prime Rib has a salad bar with a selection that’s second to none. This Clive eatery is gaining fame for a salad bar that’s stocked daily with more than 60 fresh and homemade items including seafood salads and even pickled herring. The homemade ranch salad dressing is a fan favorite. 15970 Hickman Road, Clive. 515 987-1151;

Runners-up: Chicago Speakeasy; Iowa Beef Steakhouse

Best Local Wine Selection at a Restaurant

Louie’s Wine Dive
Louie’s Wine Dive has wines from regions around the world and in most price ranges. Whether you stop in for a sampling or go to enjoy a full meal, Louie’s Wine Dive is sure to impress. With an accessible list of wines that anyone can enjoy, readers didn’t have any difficulties choosing Louie’s as their No. 1 spot for wine. 4040 University Ave. and located in Waukee on Hickman Road. 515-777-3416;

Runners-up: Django; John & Nick’s Steak & Prime Rib

Best Local Power Lunch

When you need a business lunch to end with an important client inking the bottom line of a contract, Cityview voters agree that Centro is the place to be. The art of a productive power lunch is a critical part of modern-day business wheeling and dealing. At this popular downtown staple, you’ll enjoy yourself while you’re at it. 1003 Locust St., Des Moines. 515-248-1780;

Runners-up: Palmer’s Deli & Market; Big City Burgers and Greens

Best Local Place for $5 Lunch

Tasty Tacos
If there is ever a business that lives up to its name, Tasty Tacos is the one. It’s not easy to find a $5 lunch, but when you do, it’s hard to find food as great as Tasty Tacos. Every menu item is less than $5, but the quality is teeming within every taco. Our readers count Tasty Tacos as the best of the best for another year. Multiple locations.

Runners-up: Manhattan Deli; Hy-Vee

Best Local Place for $10 Dinner

Zombie Burger + Drink Lab
According to our readers, Zombie Burger + Drink Lab is once again the best place for a reasonable lunch. It’s hard to beat a good burger, but these unique patties are as unstoppable as a zombie. And for less than $10, it’s even more decadent. 300 E. Grand Ave. in Des Moines and in Jordan Creek Mall. 515-244-9292;

Runners-up: Tasty Tacos; Gateway Market

Best Local Place to Chow after 2 a.m.

Abelardo’s Mexican Fresh
It’s open all night. It’s affordable. And there’s no denying, it’s just good grub. Egg burritos, charizo, salsa, YES. It’s always go time at Abelardo’s. Whether it’s breakfast burritos for dinner at 3 a.m., or 4 a.m. or  even at 5 a.m. or later, any time is a good time for Abelardo’s, and it’s open all night. Multiple locations.

Runners-up: Fong’s Pizza; Big Tomato Pizza Co.

Best Local Hangover Food

Zombie Burger + Drink Lab
Avoiding the sunlight, walking slower than normal, confusion and hunger are common symptoms of being a zombie and/or having a blistering hangover. Maybe that’s why our readers say the best cure for the consequences of too much partying is a Zombie Burger (and maybe two bloody Mary’s). This is the place where zombies, hangovers and greasy food converge, and everything melts into deliciousness. Burgers, fries and deep-fat toppings are a big hit for our readers — hangover or not. 300 E. Grand Ave. in Des Moines and in Jordan Creek Mall. 515-244-9292;

Runners-up: Waveland Café; B-Bop’s

Best Local First Date Spot

You’ll probably stammer and stutter. Maybe you’ll hold the door, or maybe you won’t. Whatever you do, if you know what’s good for you, you’re first date will be at Centro — at least if you’re looking for a second date. Our readers suggest Centro as the best place to impress. Wood oven pizzas coupled with enough background ambiance to kill all the uncomfortable pauses. Centro will create the food, the scenery and the put you in a position to succeed, after that, it’s up to you….Don’t blow it. 1003 Locust St., Des Moines. 515-248-1780;

Runners-up: John & Nick’s Steak & Prime Rib; Zombie Burger + Drink Lab

Best Local Restaurant Patio

Saints Pub + Patio
Spring will soon be sprung, and the patios around the metro will be as busy as ever. There’s nothing better than drinking outside under the warm sun or having it made in the shade of a table umbrella, and according to our readers, both those options are the best at Saints Pub. Whether you’re out to watch the big game or just grab some drinks with friends, Saints Pub has a patio at all their locations. Multiple locations.

Runners-up: Eatery A; Wellman’s Pub and Rooftop

Best Local Place to get a Donut

Donut King
Donut King is truly the donut king, according to our readers. After a short break from operation in the fall of 2015, the donut maker, Lou King, has begun business again. His donuts, rolls, muffins, long johns and baked rolls are all behind the counter and waiting to destroy your new year’s resolutions.  With about 45 years of experience, King knows donuts… and our readers know it. 220 Grand Ave., West Des Moines. 515-274-9892;

Runners-up: Donut Hut; Dunkin’ Donuts

Best Local Caterer

Taste! To Go and Catering Events
Taste! To Go and Catering has been voted the champion of catering for the second straight year. With full service catering for all events, whether it’s a boxed lunch or a wedding buffet, Taste! To Go delivers. 4700 University Ave., Des Moines.515-277-8646;

Runners-up: Gateway Market; Christiani’s Catering

Best Local Restaurant Supply Company

Hockenberg’s Foodservice Equipment & Supply
This is how Des Moines’ best restaurants get stuff done. Hockenberg’s simply equips kitchen professionals with what they need, then they quietly get out of the way. For the third year in a row, our readers have come to the conclusion that Hockenberg’s knows best. 6000 Aurora Ave., Des Moines. 515-282-0033;

Runners-up: Bolton & Hay Foodservice Equipment; Iowa-Des Moines Supply Inc.

Best Local Food Truck

Street Eats DSM
Food trucks have been a growing business all across the country. So it is no wonder Des Moines’ food truck business has become such a hot commodity. Our readers have thought this one through, and in their minds, it’s Street Eats DSM that comes out on top. With a huge menu, all for $10 or less, Street Eats DSM delivers a variety of food that frankly, can’t be beat.

Runners-up: The Spot; Gastro Grub

Best Craft Beer

Confluence Brewing Company
The balloting is over, and the results are official. Des Moines is in love with this local brewery and its first-rate beer. Its wide selection of high-quality brews and fun location just south of Gray’s Lake near downtown keeps the diehard connoisseurs coming back. 1235 Thomas Beck Road, Des Moines. 515- 285-9005;

Runners-up: Exile Brewing Company; 515 Brewing Company

Best Import Beer

Stella Artois
Imported from Belgium, Stella Artois is a classic lager with a golden color and exceptional clarity along with a spicy hop character. The brew was originally brewed as a special holiday beer; it wasn’t until later it was christened “Stella,” which is the Latin word for “star.” The beer did so well that it became available year-round. Stella is a prominent brand of Anheuser-Busch and an obvious favorite for our readers.

Runners-up: Guinness; Corona

Best Domestic Beer

Good old-fashioned Budweiser-heavy. That’s central Iowa’s preferred domestic concoction of barley malt, yeast, hops, rice and pure water, brewed and then kept cold until it’s gulped down. Whether at a downtown bar, out for dinner or at home watching the game, our readers say Budweiser is the best.

Runners-up: Bud Light; Coors Light

Best Soft Drink

Good old-fashioned Coca-Cola classic. It’s had a slew of slogans over the years, from 1886’s Drink Coca-Cola, to 2009’s Open Happiness. It has always been a top contender in the soft drink category, and it takes back the title this year.

Runners-up: Pepsi; Diet Coke

Best Rum

Captain Morgan
The Captain’s original flavor of spiced rum is a smooth, medium-bodied taste with a subtle note of vanilla and caramel to give it a classic, distinctive, flavorful finish. This original flavor is a familiar favorite for our readers and once again takes home the prize for best rum.

Runners-up: Bacardi; Steel Drum Rum

Best Vodka

Intelligent vodka? That’s what IngeniOz is said to be. Created right here in Iowa, Iowa State University professor Hans van Leeuwen believes his creation to be the most refined vodka ever. Our readers agree it has a fresh, remarkably smooth taste that’s not likely to give you a hangover. Be smart. Drink IngeniOz.

Runners-up: Tito’s; Grey Goose

Best Whiskey

Maker’s Mark
In 1932, Prohibition was put out to pasture. Under-aged whiskey was all any distributor offered. Maker’s Mark was founded for the purpose of selling something smoother, something that went down easier. In the fall of 1958, after six summers of aging, the first bottle went to market. Less than 300 cases sold that first year, but today central Iowans are all over Maker’s Mark and voted it their favorite whiskey.

Runners-up: Templeton Rye; Jack Daniels

Best Tequila

This smooth tequila begins behind the grand walls of Hacienda Patrón, where only the best blue agave is taken to be crushed and its sweet juices extracted, then fermented for three days, then distilled and placed into handmade barrels. The resulting tequila is placed into glass bottles and topped with a high-quality cork. Uncorked, it goes down as the smoothest of tequila, earning its place in the hearts of our readers.

Runners-up: Jose Cuervo; Don Julio CV


Best Local Store (Overall)

Glazed Expressions
For the second year in a row, Glazed Expressions has earned the first-place spot as the best local store, according to our readers. Whether it’s the DIY craze that has hit the U.S. or the fantastic classes and parties thrown by Glazed Expressions, our readers have fallen in love with the pottery, painting and candles — and with the store itself. 8826 Swanson Blvd., Clive. 515-224-4700;

Runners-up: Hy-Vee; Raygun

Best Local Men’s Clothing Store

Mr. B Clothing
Mr. B began in the hopes of being the highest-quality men’s store in Iowa. More than 40 years later, the store is still offering exceptional service and designer clothing for metro men. With in-store tailoring services and high-end clothing lines, Mr. B’s clothing and service has become our readers’ favorite for 2016. 1995 N.W. 86th St., Clive. 515-276-8589;

Runners-up: Badowers; G & L Clothing

Best Local Women’s Clothing Store

Funky Zebra
Now with three locations around the Des Moines area, Funky Zebra has become the No. 1 pick for our readers. As a contemporary store offering anything from new fashion trends to classic corral country boots, our readers find the unique, ever-changing inventory of Funky Zebra better than ever. Multiple locations.

Runners-up: Aimee; Mint L.A. Boutique

Best Local Thrift Shop

Encore Thrift Store — Hope Ministries
Another year, another win for the best local thrift shop in the metro: Encore Thrift Store. At two separate locations, the store offers hundreds of thrifty items at solid prices. Not only are the items affordable, the money is going toward a good cause, which helps make Encore a favorite for our readers. Multiple locations.

Runners-up: Goodwill Industries International Inc.; Salvation Army

Best Local Resale/Consignment Boutique

The best thing that can happen when thrift shopping is finding something that shouldn’t be there, that is in pristine condition and worth a lot more than what it’s selling for. At Worn, the store has taken the searching and mess out of the ordeal. Delivering only the best to its shoppers, Worn has all things of quality, from designer jeans to high-end hand bags. Multiple locations.

Runners-up: Barbara’s Consignment Boutique; Stuff Etc.

Best Local Clothing Boutique

Funky Zebra
Funky Zebra has definitely impressed the people of Des Moines by carrying the most fashionable clothing for women and teens in the metro area, as well as offering unique furniture and accessories at its three stores in Des Moines. Funky is taking over the Des Moines area and the hearts and minds of our readers, one year at a time. Multiple locations.

Runners-up: Mint LA; Mainstream Boutique

Best Kept Secret on the Local Retail Scene

Encore Thrift Store — Hope Ministries
Encore isn’t out to make big sales or to become something it’s not. This thrift store has the right intentions and the right clothing, furniture and everything else. Encore has stayed out of the Des Moines’ shopping gossip, but it’s no secret that it’s a favorite among our readers. Multiple locations.

Runners-up: Zumi Collection; Hinge

Best Local Bridal Shop

Schaffer’s takes the cake once again. The store has been serving brides for more than 70 years, and it’s getting the respect it deserves all around Iowa. The Schaffer’s team is dedicated to each and every bride, from the day they say “yes” to the dress to the day they say “I do.” 5525 Mills Civic Parkway, Suite 100, West Des Moines. 515-288-0356;

Runners-up: Stacey’s; Bridal Connection

Best Local Tuxedo Shop

Milroy’s Tuxedos
Each bride should be the star of her wedding, but the groom also needs to dress to impress. At Milroy’s, tuxedos can be found for every special occasion. From prom to your special wedding day, our readers love Milroy’s for its one-stop shop. Find any style or almost any color imaginable at Milroy’s. 3839 Merle Hay Road. 515-232-4644;

Runners-up: Skeffington’s; The Tux Shop

Best Local Shoe Store

Fit to be Tied
As reigning champ for best shoe store, Fit to be Tied has been pleasing customers for years. As the original Crocs store in the country, Fit to be Tied has widened its inventory to feature shoes for every style and every foot. At Fit to be Tied, our readers have been nothing but pleased with fantastic service, knowledgeable staff and an inventory to match every style. Valley West Mall, 1551 Valley West Drive, West Des Moines. 515-221-2253;

Runners-up: Fleet Feet Sports; Brown’s Shoe Fit

Best Local New Store

At just about a year of service in Des Moines, REI has become our readers’ favorite new store. At REI, shoppers can fulfill many of their outdoor needs. Not only does REI have the best of the best when it comes to outdoor gear, REI has employees who know the products they sell and enjoy the outdoors just as much as their customers. REI isn’t just for the nature nerds either. The store also offers classes and events for the talented adventurer and the outdoor newbies. 5901 Mills Civic Parkway, West Des Moines. 515-221-1938;

Runners-up: Wanderlust; Charming Charlie’s

Best Local Music Store

ZZZ Records
Third year is the charm for ZZZ Records as the best music store in the metro. At ZZZ Records, customers can relive the glory days or hear how music should be listened to, on actual records. As the oldest independent record store in Des Moines, ZZZ offers customers good music, a knowledgeable staff and a step back in time to the good old days. 2200 Ingersoll Ave., Des Moines. 515-284-1401;

Runners-up: Wayback Records; Rieman Music Inc.

Best Local New or Used Book Store

Half Price Books
Whether it’s old textbooks or the fifth book of the Harry Potter series, we’re all searching for the best deal on books. At Half Price Books, our readers say they’ve found a used book paradise. Carrying thousands of books and an ever-changing turnover of page-turners, Half Price Books has Des Moines book lovers hooked yet again. Westridge Shopping Center, 10201 University Ave., Clive. 515-244-4429;

Runners-up: Beaverdale Books; Plain Talk Books & Coffee

Best Local Auto Shop

Westside Auto Pros
Car troubles have you down? Do you need a place for those yearly appointments? Readers say Westside Auto is the right auto shop for good, quality work and friendly service. 1901 N.W. 92nd Court, Des Moines. 515-309-1252;

Runners-up: Shade Tree Auto; Finishline Body & Paint

Best Local Car Dealership (Domestic)

Stivers Ford Lincoln
Known as the “No. 1 Ford Lincoln Dealer” in Iowa, Stivers holds on to the No. 1 spot for our readers yet again. Many pick a dealership based on car brands, but service and quality work has also kept people coming back to Stivers. For the best of the best, our readers have stayed loyal to Stivers Ford Lincoln. 1450 E. Hickman Road, Waukee. 888-624-0608;

Runners-up: Bob Brown Chevrolet; Karl Chevrolet

Best Local Car Dealership (Foreign)

Willis Auto Campus
Another repeat champion, Willis Auto Campus takes the title as the best local car dealership for foreign-made cars. Its large and diverse selection makes shopping easy; choosing between all those great cars is the hard part. 2121 N.W. 100th St., Des Moines. 800-568-0497;

Runners-up: Toyota of Des Moines; Hummel’s Nissan

Best Motorcycle Shop

Struthers Bros
Since 1968, Struthers Bros has brought the best new and pre-owned vehicles to Des Moines. This marks the second year in a row for Struthers as the No. 1 motorcycle shop on our list. Whether you’re looking for your first bike or your next toy to ride, our readers say Struthers Bros is the best. 5191 N.W. Second St., Des Moines. 515-282-3634;

Runners-up: Big Barn Harley Davidson; Fenders Cycle

Best Local Bicycle Shop

Bike World
For those looking for a non-motorized, two-wheeled way to get around town, Bike World is our readers’ choice as the best of the best in Des Moines. When you need a new bike, new parts, or when you’re repairing an old favorite, it’s Bike World or bust.

Runners-up: Rasmussen’s Bike Shop; Kyle’s Bikes

Best Local Liquor Store

Hy-Vee Wine and Spirits
Hy-Vee seems to have it all this year… and pretty much every year. With many locations around the metro, Hy-Vee has won the hearts of our readers once again as the best liquor store. With hundreds of options and staff who know their liquor, Hy-Vee Wine and Spirits promises customers the best. Multiple locations.

Runners-up: Ingersoll Wine & Spirits; Central City Liquors

Best Local Wine Store

Hy-Vee Wine and Spirits
As a one-stop shop, it’s no wonder our readers chose Hy-Vee once again as the best place to find wine around the metro. Did we mention that free samples are a thing, too? Nothing is better than a store that has it all. And when it comes to wine, Hy-Vee does. With hundreds of flavors, brands and styles in stock, and wine in every price range, Hy-Vee has been a favorite of our readers for years. Multiple locations.

Runners-up: Ingersoll Wine & Spirits; WineStyles Tasting Station Inc.

Best Local Pharmacy

Hy-Vee Pharmacy
No need to run around town doing errands — Hy-Vee is the one-stop shop to relieve some of that burden. Our readers love this pharmacy, from the helpful service and friendly smiles they encounter with every stop at the store and at the pharmacy. Multiple locations.

Runners-up: Medicap Pharmacy; Bauder Pharmacy

Best Local Health Food Store

Campbell’s Nutrition
Campbell’s Nutrition is a repeat champion and reader favorite. Campbell’s has a 75-year history in Des Moines and carries locally grown, organic foods. They must be doing something right, because it has topped this category for years. Multiple locations.

Runners-up: Whole Foods Market; Gateway Market

Best Local Grocery Store

Here’s another win for the grocery store chain. Hy-Vee proves itself over and over, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, as our readers’ favorite. Multiple locations.

Runners-Up: Fareway; Gateway Market

Best Local Furniture Store

Homemakers Furniture
When our Cityview readers refurnish their living rooms, bedrooms or any room in the house, they continue to choose Homemakers Furniture as their favorite spot. Homemakers has nearly everything, including beds, couches and even lemonade and freshly-baked cookies. 10215 Douglas Ave., Urbandale. 515-276-2772;

Runners-up: Redeker’s; Slumberland

Best Local Jewelry Store

Josephs Jewelers
Another year, another win for Josephs Jewelers. The store is prepared not only for the upcoming wedding season, but also setting each customer up with the best fit, too. Our readers have had nothing but the best service and selection from Josephs Jewelers this year, just as others have for the past 150 years. Multiple locations.

Runners-up: Elements; Anglo Diamonds

Best Local Antique Store

Brass Armadillo Antique Mall
Everybody’s talkin’ about the Brass Armadillo. Or at least our readers are. Voted the best local antique store in the metro, BAAM has an unbeatable selection and the most unique antiques. Brass Armadillo has been serving the Des Moines area for decades. Whether it’s memorabilia, vintage finds or collectables, Brass Armadillo has it all. 701 N.E. 50th Ave., Des Moines. 515-282-0082;

Runners-up: The Picker Knows Antiques & Collectables; West End Architectural Salvage

Best Local Greenhouse

Goode Greenhouses
Goode Greenhouses has been No. 1 for two years running. Its selection of annuals, perennials, herbs and other garden flowers has given Goode Greenhouses good reason to be growing its business, as they have for more than 110 years. 1050 N.E. 50th Ave., Des Moines. 515-262-6504;

Runners-up: Piney Ridge Greenhouse Inc.; Boesen

Best Local Art Gallery

Moberg Gallery
Moberg Gallery has been a popular spot for galleries and exhibits in the metro for years. From Des Moines artists to international exhibits, Moberg has been bringing art shows to Des Moines, and our readers have fallen in love yet again. 2921 Ingersoll Ave., Des Moines. 515-279-9191;

Runners-up: Des Moines Art Center; From Our Hands

Best Local Salon

Salon TEC
When it comes to our appearance, it’s hard to trust just anyone. Our readers have decided that Salon TEC is worth the jitters — or the lack thereof. They trust the highly-trained stylists to take care of them and their hair. Salon TEC gives customers a break from the stress of life in its laid-back salon atmosphere for everyone. 1234 Grand Ave., West Des Moines. 515-222-0200;

Runners-up: Salon Utopia; Bombshell Betty’s

Best Local Spa

East Village Spa
East Village Spa did it again, taking this category’s top spot as our readers’ choice for best local spa. East Village Spa is literally a “hot” spot, and it simply can’t be beat in Des Moines. East Village Spa is worth splurging on. Its long list of services, events and specials make it the place to go if you’re looking to relax and unwind. 601 E. Locust St. #202, Des Moines. 515-309-2904;

Runners-up: Skin Gym By Ashley; The Spa at West Glen

Best Local Waxing Salon

Waxing the City
For the second year in a row, Waxing the City has Des Moines as smooth as silk and has taken the reigns as the best waxing salon. Waxing the City offers a variety of services for men and women alike. 1300 N.W. 100th St., Clive. 515-225-4045;

Runners-up: East Village Day Spa; Pink Beaver

Best Tanning Salon

Tanique Airbrush Tanning
With a twist on this classic category, Tanique is a healthier way to get the golden tan everyone hopes for. Tanique is a promoter of healthy tanning and only uses spray tanning to take care of its customers. A growing number of our readers are saying goodbye to ultraviolet tanning beds and chemicals and “hello” to Tanique Airbrush Tanning. 720 S. 68th St. Suite 100, West Des Moines. 319-470-4584;

Runners-up: Classic Tan; Sun Tan City

Best Local Place for Aesthetic Surgery

Des Moines Plastic Surgery
We think all of our readers are beautiful just as they are, but when upgrades are needed, our readers have spoken. Des Moines Plastic Surgery is the best of the best for the second year. For aesthetic surgery, Des Moines Plastic Surgery comes out on top. 5901 Westown Parkway, Suite 250, West Des Moines. 515-221-9999;

Runners-up: Heartland Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery; Koch Facial Plastic Surgery & Spa

Best Local Hardware Store

Ace Hardware
Ace Hardware is the place for our voters when a hammer and nails are needed. If your home has a repair necessity, this chain of local hardware stores has the tools for all your needs. Not only do they carry it all, they have an experienced service team willing to help. Multiple locations.

Runners-up: True Value; Miller’s Hardware

Best Shopping District

East Village
Our readers voted East Village the recipient of the best shopping district in Des Moines once again, with its diverse array of vintage and modern stores, boutiques and thrift stores, and music and athletic stores.

Runners-up: Jordan Creek; Valley Junction

Best Local Flower Shop

Boesen the Florist
Whether it’s just because or for a special event, our readers have a clear first choice to find flower arrangements. Boesen the Florist has been voted the best local flower shop again in 2016. From less than $50 to more than $100, flowers can be found for any occasion at Boesen the Florist. Multiple locations.

Runners-up: Plaza Florist; Hy-Vee

Best Local Adult Store

Your love life is Romantix’s business, and apparently, business is good. These shops outshine the competition with a friendly, welcoming atmosphere and a knowledgeable staff.

Runners-up: Christal’s; The Gallery

Best Local Hotel/Motel

Holiday Inn Downtown
When it comes to enjoying your hotel/motel experience to the fullest, our readers chose Holiday Inn. With an incredible view of Des Moines, one of the best bars around and a restaurant that’ll make you salivate, Holiday Inn is the place to be. 1050 Sixth Ave., Des Moines. 515-283-0151;

Runners-up: Embassy Suites; Des Lux

Best Local Mom & Pop Store

B & B Grocery, Meat & Deli
When B & B Deli was first opened, it was a family business run by two brothers. Ninety years later, the grocery and deli is still the same family business. Many awards have followed the business throughout the years, and this year our readers are giving it one more as the best local Mom & Pop store in town. 2001 S.E. Sixth St., Des Moines. 515-243-7607;

Runners-up: Funky Finds Vintage and Rehab; Heart of Iowa

Best Iowa Product

IngeniOz Vodka
This ingenious new vodka is your best bet to avoid a hangover, and our readers voted it Iowa’s best product — better than corn, Hawkeyes, ethanol, you name it. The ancient distillation process has been perfected, and there are now zero impurities in this intelligent new alcohol.

Runners-up: Raygun; Templeton Rye

Best Local Gift Shop

Heart of Iowa
Sample, share and remember Iowa with distinctly Iowa gift items and products. Heart of Iowa specializes in Iowa gift baskets, gourmet foods and souvenirs and take great pride in designing every gift box or gift basket with personal attention to detail. 211 Fifth St., West Des Moines. 515-274-IOWA (4692);

Runners-up: Raygun; Tandem Brick Gallery

Best Local Chocolate/Candy Store

Chocolaterie Stam
Remember Charlie and the Chocolate Factory? This is his main supplier. Chocolaterie Stam specializes in fine European chocolate — the best of the best according to our readers. On second thought, maybe you should double-check.

Runners-up: Chocolate Storybook; Beaverdale Confections

Best Local Body Piercing Shop

Professional body piercing, adornment and bling placement at its finest. Appointments are highly recommended. 1551 Valley West Drive, Suite 104B, West Des Moines. 515-868-4653;

Runners-up: 5 Point Studios; Iron Heart Tattoo Company

Best Local Tattoo Shop

Color Works Tattoo and Body Piercing
When you need ink, hit up Color Works. They specialize in custom tattooing. Appointments are available, and walk-ins are always welcome. 1551 Valley West Drive #104B, West Des Moines. 515-457-3888;

Runners-up: Iron Heart Tattoo Company; Sacred Diamond Tattoos

Best Local Wireless Phone Carrier

Verizon Wireless
Can you hear me now? Well, Cityview hears its voters loud and clear, so they must be speaking on a Verizon Wireless cell phone.

Runners-up: US Cellular; Sprint

Best Local Internet Provider

When our readers are in a hurry and need information fast, they sign up with Mediacom and download to their hearts’ content. Whether it’s only you or a whole household that’s accessing the web all at once, Mediacom’s selection of high speed Internet will have something to fit the bill. 800-479-2082;

Runners-up: Century Link; Verizon Wireless

Best Local Herbal/Nutritional Supplement Store

Campbell’s Nutrition
Be healthy, get well sooner and get sick less. Plus, feel better even when you’re healthy. These are some of the goals of Campbell’s Nutrition, a locally owned organic food and natural supplement store. 2749 100th St., Urbandale. Multiple locations.

Runners-up: Complete Nutrition; Max Muscle

Best Local Place to Buy Makeup

Vanity & Glamour Cosmetics
Vanity and Glamour aren’t just magazines. Instead, the two words combine to make up the city’s favorite makeup store. There are more products than you can imagine at the shop in the East Village. Our readers seem to agree. 412 E. Fifth St., Des Moines. 515-778-9705;

Runners-up: Sephore; Ulta

Best Local Camera Store

Christian Photo
Iowa’s favorite local camera shop has all kinds of cameras for still image aficionados and gives classes for people still working to become one. The knowledgeable staff, coupled with the store’s wide array of quality products, makes this our readers’ choice as the best camera shop in town. 6721 Douglas Ave., Urbandale. 515-270-8030;

Runners-up: Alexander’s Photo; H. B. Leiserowitz Company

Best Local Ethnic Grocery Store

C fresh Market
International foods and ethnic specialties abound at this unique grocery store. If you are looking for something different, C fresh fills the bill. Dragon fruit, leafy green aloe vera plant leaves, Asian noodles, European cookies, great snacks and an amazing tea selection. Plus there are American products, too. 801 University Ave., Des Moines. 515-288-0525;

Runners-up: La Tapatia; Graziano’s

Best Local Bank

West Bank
West Bank is a full-service local bank for both businesses and consumers. This community bank has a reputation for responding to the needs of its customers. Top-notch customer service for each patron is this bank’s goal. Our voters must think they’re getting it done. Multiple locations;

Runners-up: Bankers Trust; Wells Fargo

Best Local Credit Union

Veridian Credit Union
Veridian is a not-for-profit financial cooperative owned by its members. What does this mean?  All net earnings are returned to members in the form of lower loan rates, higher savings rates and low-to-no fees.

Runners-up: Community Choice Credit Union; Tradesman Credit Union

Best Local Towing Service

Westside Auto Pros
Your car is broken down, or maybe it just stubbornly won’t move. Either way, you’re clueless. Luckily, Westside Auto Pros and its Certified Master Technicians can help. This auto shop not only specializes in making cars start and run, but it also specializes in honesty and integrity. 1901 N.W. 92nd Court, Des Moines. 515-225-9090;

Runners-up: Perry’s Service & Towing; Tie: Roy’s Towing; Hanifen Towing

Best Local Home Repair Service

Westside Appliance Repair
We’ve all opened the freezer, extracted the mint chocolate ice cream, and instead of finding ice cream, have found a runny mess. Cityview readers enjoy Shamrock Shakes as much as the next person, but freezers are for frozen stuff. Paying a service fee is nothing compared to the cost of a new refrigerator, and Westside Appliance is on call when you need them. 10306 Douglas Ave., Urbandale. 515-276-8899;

Runners-up: Bob’s Painting & Home Repair; Boisen Construction

Best Local Place to Purchase a Musical Instrument

Rieman Music
When your band needs new gear or musical instruments, Rieman’s is the spot Cityview readers suggest. Rieman Music has instruments of all kinds, from brass horns to strings or most anything in between. They’ll even help you learn something new by giving you a lesson or two. 6501 Douglas Ave., Urbandale. 515-278-4685;

Runners-up: Professional Music Center; UpTempo Music

Best Local Computer Repair Shop

Dymin Systems
When you need a hero, the computer repair people at Dymin Systems are the champions of the galaxy. These 21st-century firemen come to your home to help with IT, slay your viruses and even offer security solutions and other services. Take back your computer with Dymin. 3970 N.W. Urbandale Drive, Urbandale. 515-276-7447;

Runners-up: Little Dog Tech; 600Monkeys

Best Local Phone Repair Shop

We Fix It Repair
Cracked. Dagnabbit, your phone’s screen looks like Charlotte’s web. When you need help fixing your cell phone, tablet or laptop, our voters say We Fix it Repair is the place to call. They can service most brands and repair almost any damage, and that includes water, screens, charging ports and cameras. 111 Fifth St., West Des Moines. 515-829-7349;

Runners-up: Gophermods; AnkenyFixIt

Best Local Place to Get a Costume

Des Moines Theatrical Shop
Dress for success at the Theatrical Shop. Be a clown, nurse, ghost or goblin. Whatever the perfect costume is, it’s usually at the Theatrical Shop in Valley Junction. This is the fourth year running that the Des Moines Theatrical Shop has snagged this award. 145 Fifth St., West Des Moines. 515-274-6458;

Runners-up: Nobbies; Atomic Garage

Best Local Pawn Shop

Solar Loan + Sales
This Ingersoll Avenue pawn shop is friendly, helpful and some might even refer to it as elegant. Plus, it’s conveniently located just across from Caribou Coffee. Our readers say it’s the best pawn shop in the area. 3311 Ingersoll Ave., Des Moines. 515-244-7084;

Runners-up: Des Moines Gun & Pawnshop; The Pawn Store

Best Local Place to Get Your Nails Done

East Village Spa
The East Village Spa is as close to heaven as you’ll find on Earth. Look good, feel good, and enjoy every minute. The people of Des Moines have spoken, and the East Village Spa wins again. 601 E. Locust St. #202, Des Moines. 515-309-2904;

Runners-up: Top Nails; Andy’s Nails

Best Local Convenience Store

Casey’s General Store
Every day is a pizza party at Casey’s General Store. And a chicken fingers party, too. Same goes for fried cheese. Don’t forget to fill up on donuts while you’re there. Multiple locations;

Runners-up: Kum & Go; QuikTrip

Best Local Moving Company

Two Men and A Truck
When you need some muscle to help move from A to B, call Two Men and A Truck. This company does the heavy lifting so you don’t have to, and they’re always around when you need them. 3934 N.W. Urbandale Drive, Urbandale. 515-200-2405;

Runners-up: Iowa Moving 1; All Mighty Movers

Best Local Place to Buy Cigars/Tobacco

David’s Fine Tobaccos
David’s has more cigars than you might have dreamed existed. Fine tobacco products abound at this Clive smoke shop. David’s is a three-peat champion in this category, so you know it really is a favorite place for Cityview readers. 9759 University Ave., Clive. 515-278-8701;

Runners-up: Cigar Source; Tobacco Outlet

Best Local E-Cigarette Shop

Central Iowa Vapors
Central Iowa Vapors offers the best brands and a great selection of quality vapes. They also carry the top electronic cigarettes and e-juices. Its mission is to provide knowledge and services to ensure customers become life-long clients. 15960 Hickman Road, Clive. 515-255-0004;

Runners-up: Route 69 Vapor; Great Alternatives

Best Local Cleaning Company

Lust Cleaners
Cityview can’t say for sure what readers like the best about these sparkling makers of clean, but they must be good. No contact information found.

Runners-up: Molly Maid; MaidPro

Best Local Dog Groomer

Brenda Cosner-Anania
Brenda Cosner-Anania has been grooming pets for more than a decade, and her professional experience with almost all breeds is unparalleled. Bring dogs of any shapes and any sizes — they are all welcome. But Brenda especially excels at big dogs. 3009 Ingersoll Ave., 274-3555,

Runners-up: Prancing Paws Pet Boutique; Dogwoods Lodge

Best Local Doggy Daycare/Boarding

Downtown Doggy Daycare
Woof. If your dog likes a downtown lifestyle, this doggie daycare is the place to be, especially if you’re out of town or unable to take care of your best friend yourself. 724 Scott Ave., Des Moines. 515-288-0957;

Runners-up: Dogwoods Lodge; Barking Lot

Best Local Mall

Jordan Creek
Still “the new mall” to some Des Moines octogenarians, Cityview readers say it’s the best mall in town. With 1,340,000 square feet of gross leasable space, that’s hard to argue. It is the largest shopping complex in the state of Iowa. 101 Jordan Creek Parkway, West Des Moines. 515-440-6255;

Runners-up: Valley West Mall; Merle Hay Mall

Best Local Place to get a Massage

East Village Spa
Relax. You’ve earned a first rate massage by the city’s finest masseuses. East Village Spa is the spot to untie those tightly knotted muscle clumps. This is where you go when you want to be pampered by the best. 601 E. Locust St., Suite 202, Des Moines. 309-2904,

Runners-up: Blades Massage; Massage Heights

Best Valley Junction Store

A repeat winner, Hinge is the top store in Valley Junction for the second year in a row. The store sells primitives, antiques, vintage, industrial, one-of-a-kind salvaged furniture, gifts, home decor, jewelry, apparel, scarves and hats — a mix for all interests. 317 Fifth St., West Des Moines. 515-777-2770;

Runners-up: Theatrical Shop; Atomic Garage

Best West Glen Store

Taste, learn and enjoy while upgrading your life. WineStyles is a wine tasting station that offers guests a fun experience in warm atmosphere. Inside, you’re given the opportunity to sample the best in wine, craft beer, fine chocolates, artisanal cheeses, coffee, organic teas and other gourmet items. Oh, there’s frozen wine, too. 5515 Mills Civic Parkway, Suite  No. 110, West Des Moines. 866-424-WINE (9463);

Runners-up: MintL.A. Boutique; Josephs Jewelers

Best East Village Store

The East Village is a magnet for hip, cool shops, and voters say Raygun is the best of bunch. “The company’s goals remain unchanged: create stuff that makes people laugh, save America from 10,000 years of darkness, and find a way to get out of this T-shirt thing and into something more meaningful like pharmaceuticals or petroleum.” Voters agree they’re at least accomplishing the first part. 400 E. Locust St., Des Moines. 515-288-1323;

Runners-up: Kitchen Collage; Allspice

Best Drake Area Store

They carry lots of tie-dyed apparel and beads. Enough said. 2326 University Ave., Des Moines. 515-274-2799.

Runners-up: Creative-Coldsnow; Campbell’s Nutrition

Best Beaverdale Area Store

Back Country
This favorite on the northwest side of the city has great service with a staff that really knows its stuff. Back Country is for nature lovers, offering men’s and women’s clothing, axes, knives and rustic-style gifts for people who are more adventurous than the average city dweller. 2702 Beaver Ave., Des Moines. 515-255-0031;

Runners-up: Beaverdale Books; Beaverdale Bicycles

Best Ingersoll Area Store

Tandem Brick Gallery
Tandem Brick Gallery spotlights local artists and offers unique gifts, affordable jewelry and cards for all occasions. Its custom framing department is superb and features hundreds of frames and mat samples. 2722 Ingersoll Ave., Des Moines. 515-282-1031;

Runners-up: Badowers; Moberg Gallery. CV


Best Kept Secret on the Local Nightlife Scene

Do you have Pac-Man fever? Go to Up-Down and get a six-pack and a pound for $35 — that’s a six-pack of beer and a pound of arcade tokens. Up-Down is great place to go to feel like a kid again. Tokens are crazy cheap, and the beer selection is superior. It won’t be long until this little East Village secret is out. 500 E. Locust St., Des Moines. 515-243-4322;

Runners-up: Shorty’s; Carl’s Place

Best Local Annual Event

Iowa State Fair
Where else can you see a 1,200-pound boar, have yourself some fried butter, and get your age and weight guessed by a guy who hasn’t showered in three weeks? Nope, the Iowa State Fair is the only attraction offering that rare combination of cultured mayhem. So it’s no surprise the fair takes home the win for Best Annual Event for the sixth consecutive year. 3000 E. Grand Ave., Des Moines. 515-262-3111;

Runners-up: Des Moines Arts Festival; 80/35 Music Festival

Best Local Cultural Event

Des Moines Arts Festival
This annual favorite has come a long way since its first edition in 1958 on the grounds of the Des Moines Art Center. This year’s event is scheduled for June 24-26 in the Western Gateway Park. 700 Locust St., Des Moines. 515-286-4927;

Runners-up: World Food Festival; CelebrAsian

Best Local Community Festival

Des Moines Arts Festival
This Des Moines Arts Festival has become a favorite summer event of Cityview readers. The multi-day celebration of art adds vibrancy to Des Moines and brings the downtown alive. The event is scheduled for June 24-26 in the Western Gateway Park. 700 Locust St., Des Moines. 515-286-4927;

Runners-up: Beaverdale Fall Fest; Pride Fest

Best Local Place to Take Visitors

John and Mary Pappajohn Sculpture Park
Since its inception, the Pappajohn Sculpture Park has unofficially received more “oohs” and “aahs” than any other downtown attraction. But now our voters have made it official by naming this the Best Local Place to Take Visitors. So when you want to wow an out-of-towner, be sure to show off this neat gem nestled in the Western Gateway District of the city. At 13th and Grand Avenue, Des Moines.

Runners-up: Downtown Farmers Market; Iowa State Fair

Best Local Place to Take Your Parents

Downtown Farmers Market
Hi, Mom. Hi, Dad. Meeting the parents is easy for the Des Moines farmers market. They easily impressed our voters with hundreds of local vendors and entire city blocks full of fresh produce, baked goods and meats. This place is definitely in the circle of trust. 300 Court Ave., Des Moines. 515-286-4928;

Runners-up: Des Moines Art Center; Iowa Cubs; Botanical Center

Best Local Place to Take Your Kids

Glazed Expressions
Our voters have a soft spot for Glazed Expressions’ artwork, pottery and painting. They’ve also named it the Best Place to Have a Birthday Party, Best Local Paint & Sip Art Studio, and Best Local Store (Overall). 8826 Swanson Blvd., Clive. 515-224-2700;

Runners-up: Science Center; Blank Park Zoo

Best Local Place to Have a Birthday Party

Glazed Expressions
This is the place or organized arts and crafts, fun and excitement. This is the place where your creative side can come out and play. Glazed Expression is Des Moines’s premier do-it-yourself art studio. 8826 Swanson Blvd, Clive. 515-224-4700;

Runners-up: Science Center; Sky Zone

Best Local Place to People Watch

Iowa State Fair
Partying with carnies never gets old. And Iowans don’t easily tire of watching other Iowans either. People-watching has become a favorite diversion for many folks in central Iowa, and the Iowa State Fair is without a doubt the best place to secretly cast judgement on others in order to feel a modicum better about your own life while witnessing the spectacle that is humanity. Can’t wait. 3000 E. Grand Ave., Des Moines. 515-262-3111;

Runners-up: Downtown Farmers Market; Jordan Creek Mall

Best Local Museum

Science Center of Iowa
The science center is the best museum? Or is this more of a laboratory? We’ll defer to our readers and go along with the museum moniker. This science-focused museum of sorts has interactive galleries, learning labs, a planetarium and even an IMAX theater. 401 W Martin Luther King Jr Pkwy., Des Moines. 515-274-6868;

Runners-up: Des Moines Art Center; Iowa Historical Museum

Best Local Place to Catch a Flick

Flix Brewhouse
Located in Merle Hay Mall, Flix Brewhouse is America’s Cinema Brewery. Flix is the only “first run” movie theatre with a fully functioning microbrewery. So if you love craft beer, and you love movies, then look no further, your paradise awaits. 3800 Merle Hay Road No. 1300, Des Moines. 515-612-9200;

Runners-up: Fleur Cinema; Jordan Creek Century

Best Local Theatrical Value

The Des Moines Community Playhouse
The Playhouse was founded in 1919 and has operated continuously, under various names and in various homes, since its founding. That’s upwards of 90 years of uninterrupted service making this playhouse one of the six oldest continuously operating community theatres in the nation. More than 55,000 visitors attend in an average season, and, apparently, some of those folks pulled the lever and voted for the old playhouse. Here’s to 90 more continuous years. 831 42nd St., Des Moines. 515-277-6261;

Runners-up: Civic Center; Stephens Auditorium

Best New Local Bar

Juniper Moon
“A place where deals are done. Where Fitzgerald toasts Gatsby over classic cocktails for the modern person. Where companions raise a glass of craft beer forged by American hands. Where love is bolstered, sharing a worldly boutique vintage. Where life is the celebration and every day is special at the Juniper Moon.” That’s verbose prose, but we like it, and so do our voters. Juniper Moon is the bar that calls itself a “conversation lounge.” They are the talk of the town. 2005 Ingersoll Ave., Des Moines. 515-369-7786;

Runners-up: Draught House 50; Lefty’s Live Music

Best Local Patio Bar

Saints Pub + Patio
Ding, ding, ding… We have a repeat champion. Saints + Pub and Patio did it again, taking home the title as the best patio bar in the city. This shouldn’t come as a surprise; Saints actually incorporated “patio” into its name, so you’d think they mean business when it comes to patio pleasure. Our readers say they do. Multiple locations.

Runners-up: Wellman’s Pub and Rooftop; Mickey’s Irish Pub

Best Local Irish Bar

Mickey’s Irish Pub
Get your green on and party like it’s St. Patrick’s Day 365 days a year. Mickey’s has now won this category for the sixth year straight by being named Cityview’s best Irish Pub. This chill hangout has an easy vibe, offers occasional live music and has a pretty cool patio. Multiple locations.

Runners-up: Sully’s; Cooney’s

Best Local Dive Bar

Carl’s Place
Carl’s Place is the winner in this category for the second year running. PBR is on tap, and it looks a little shady from the outside. But don’t be fooled; that’s just all part of the dive bar image. Cheap drinks will make up for the lack of sign on the exterior, and there are four dartboards, a pool table and even arcade games. This place is a gem among dive bar gems. 1620 Woodland Ave., Des Moines. 515-243-9727.

Runners-up: Toad’s Tavern; Greenwood Tap

Best Local Fancy Pants Bar

Juniper Moon
Talking. That’s what Juniper Moon is setup for. That and classic cocktails for the modern person. This place is nice. It’s high-end. It’s high class. In fact it’s the best local fancy pants bar in town according to our readers. So when it’s time share a boutique vintage with someone you love, check it out. 2005 Ingersoll Ave., Des Moines. 515-369-7786;

Runners-up: RoCA; The Exchange

Best Local Hipster Spot

Ever wonder who would win in a rumble between a gang of fancy-pantsers and an angry group of hipsters? Well, Up-Down takes the prize as the bar for both, so maybe one day that championship of the titans will erupt. We hope for your sake you’re there, drinking a beer, watching it unfold when it does. Plus, this place is straight-up fun, so you might as well hang out there and wait. 500 E. Locust St., Des Moines. 515-243-4322;

Runners-up: The Lift; Carl’s Place

Best Local Sports Bar

Johnny’s Hall of Fame
Johnny’s Hall of Fame lays claim to being the first sports bar in Des Moines, and, once again, our voters say this bar is the best. Johnny’s is equipped with HDTVs seemingly everywhere, and they’re all showing games of all kinds. 302 Court Ave., Des Moines. 515-280-6679;

Runners-up: Saints Pub + Patio; Draught House 50

Best Local Bar (Overall)

Beer Can Alley
Beer Can Alley does it again. Congratulations to the two-time honky-tonk champion. This country western bar is where readers go to have a great time. Incidentally, it’s also where non-country fans go to have a good time. 216 Court Ave., Des Moines. 515-421-4389;

Runners-up: Johnny’s Hall of Fame; Sully’s

Best Bar District

Court District
Downtown is where our readers say the best bar action is. Planted in the heart of downtown, the Court District is an entertainment destination where adventure abounds. On any given night, the sounds of jazz, hip-hop and indie rock music spill into the ears of the passersby, tantalizing scents fill the air, and fun can be found anywhere. From baseball to Broadway, the Court District is also the heart of Des Moines’ downtown activity base.

Runners-up: East Village; Ingersoll

Best Downtown Bar

Beer Can Alley
It’s three-peat for Beer Can Alley as the best bar in all of downtown. That’s no easy feat considering the stiff competition offered by Court Avenue’s plethora of party hot spots. Central Iowa has officially “gone country.” 216 Court Ave., Des Moines. 515-421-4389;

Runners-up: Johnny’s Hall of Fame, el Bait Shop

Best West Side Bar

Wellman’s Pub & Rooftop
Wellman’s has about everything you want when it comes to weekend fun. That’s probably why voters say it’s the best bar on the west side of Des Moines. The rooftop patio is a summer delight and offers a fantastic view. 597 Market St., West Des Moines. 515-222-1100;

Runners-up: Tonic; Sully’s

Best Central Bar

Star Bar
This fun Ingersoll treasure is becoming a weekend staple when making the rounds. This relaxed bar has a patio for seating and a menu inspired by international small and large plates, or sandwiches. 2811 Ingersoll Ave., Des Moines. 515-244-0790;

Runners-up: 515 Brewing; Lefty’s Live Music

Best North Side Bar

Cooney’s Tavern
Cooney’s has been a Beaverdale tradition for 31 years, making it a Beaverdale staple. The Irish bar claims the coldest draught beer around. Cooney’s is a casual neighborhood place. There’s no dress code, only great service in a smoke-free environment. 3708 Beaver Ave., Des Moines. 515-255-5566;

Runners-up: Hull Avenue Tavern; Doc’s Lounge

Best East Side Bar

Toad’s Tavern
Toad’s is pretty much always voted the best east side bar, and this year is no exception. Their loyal regulars and neighborhood frequenters vote for Toad’s over and over. This bar has been around since WWII and has an eight-hour happy hour. 3002 State Ave., Des Moines. 515-264-8623;

Runners-up: Cheap Seats; Blazing Saddle

Best South Side Bar

Francie’s Bar & Grill
Wow. It’s now six straight years and counting that Francie’s has been named the best bar on the south side. Located just off Fleur and south of the airport, this place has been around since the ’50s because the seats fill up quick with thirsty locals who can’t get enough of their favorite watering hole. 2100 Wakonda View Drive, Des Moines. 515-285-5207;

Runners-up: Thirsty Sportsman; Club 2000

Best Local Winery

Jasper Winery
Summer is a special treat out at Jasper Winery, which is our readers’ favorite spot for wine again in 2016. This local treasure is adept at scoring talented musicians and pairing them with just the right flavorful wine. 2400 George Flagg Parkway, Des Moines. 515-282-9463;

Runners-up: Summerset Winery; Penoach Vineyard and Winery

Best Local Brewery

Confluence Brewing Company
Craft beer is at its finest at Confluence Brewing Company. The local favorite has taken the title again in 2016 as the best brewery around. Their wide variety of seasonal flavors has beer lovers drooling, sipping and, apparently, voting for the champ. 1235 Thomas Beck Road, Des Moines. 515-285-9005;

Runners-up: 515 Brewing; Exile Brewing Company

Best Local Beer Selection

el Bait Shop
Life is full of difficult decisions, but there are no wrong answers at el Bait shop. It’s a beer lover’s paradise. Fortunately, with more than 100 beers on tap, they made our voters’ decision an easier one than choosing which brew to choose. 200 S.W. Second St., Des Moines. 515-284-1970;

Runners-up: Keg Stand; 515 Brewing Company

Best Local Place to Get Drunk for Cheap

Blazing Saddle
Every penny counts when the only money you have is the coinage you turn up from under your roommate’s couch cushions. If this is you, then Blazing Saddle will help you get through the weekend. The pours are heavy, and every little bit always helps. 416 E. Fifth St., Des Moines. 515-246-1299;

Runners-up: Carl’s Place; Sully’s

Best Local Place for a Cold Beer

el Bait Shop
Grab a refreshing cold beer on hot summer day, or even on a cold winter night. Come to think of it, anytime is actually a good time to head to el Bait Shop for a cold beer. 200 S.W. Second St., Des Moines. 515-284-1970;

Runners-up: Confluence Brewery; 515 Brewing Company

Best Local Moscow Mule

Copper Cup
The Copper Cup offers a cozy atmosphere, but let’s face it, you’re going because you want to be kicked by those mules. This is the place for the best Moscow Mules in town. Try as many of the different types as you like off the new menu of copper cup favorites. 207 Fourth St., Des Moines. 515-554-2606;

Runners-up: Cumming Tap; Court Avenue Brewing

Best Local Bloody Mary

Americana Restaurant and Lounge
Beat the morning blues with a Bloody Mary from Americana. This restaurant and bar provides an exceptional experience with a stimulating environment. Customers have an incredible culinary experience, too, and when ordered, they have the best bloody Mary in town, at least according to Cityview voters. This downtown establishment even offers free parking after 5 p.m. on weekdays and all day on weekends directly east and west of the building. 1312 Locust St., Des Moines. 515-283-1312;

Runners-up: Toad’s Tavern; Mullets

Best Local Place for the Strongest Drink

The Blazing Saddle
After a long day grinding out a living, it’s time to saddle up at the Blazing Saddle. Voters agree that if you do, you’ll be rewarded with the strongest pour in town. 416 E. Fifth St., Des Moines. 515-246-1299;

Runners-up: Toad’s Tavern; Sully’s

Best Local Bar to Play Games

Fun. That’s what you need on the weekend. If you’re in the game playing mood, Up-Down has 80 vintage games and skee ball and Jenga. Come one, come all and remember how glorious it was to be at the arcade. 500 E. Locust St., Des Moines. 515-243-4322;

Runners-up: Barcadium; Keg Stand

Best Local Place to Hook Up

The Garden Nightclub
This is the best spot in town to hook up, and we’re not talking about installing car stereos or electronic equipment. The connection of two people, forming a relationship, that’s the type of arrangement we’re talking about, and, generally, there are no strings attached. Sin originally began in a garden… Just sayin’. 112 S.E. Fourth St., Des Moines. 515-243-3965;

Runners-up: Blazing Saddle; Beer Can Alley

Best Local Place to See Beautiful People

The Garden Nightclub
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and if the beholder is our voters, then their eyes say there are beautiful people at The Garden Nightclub. This gay and lesbian club features drag shows, karaoke and techno music to dance the night away. 112 S.E. Fourth St., Des Moines. 515-243-3965;

Runners-up: The Exchange; Vanity & Glamour

Best Local Happy Hour

Eatery A
Eatery A has the best happy hour in town with half-off pizzas, brews and wines every day from 3-6 p.m. They also serve fun dishes like bruschetta with tomato and chickpea, octopus with chorizo and red pepper, and house marinated olives. Or you can enjoy craft beer at the bar. Happy hour or not, this is a happy place to be. 2932 Ingersoll Ave., Des Moines. 515-282-8085;

Runners-up: Toad’s Tavern; Johnny’s Hall of Fame

Best Local Bartender

Matt Ferguson – 34’s Sports Bar
34’s Sports Bar is located in Valley West Mall, and if you’re lucky, Matt Feruson will be tending bar there when you need him. Whether you need a cold beer or a heavy drink, Matt can fix you up. 1551 Valley West Drive, West Des Moines. 515-224-4104;

Runners-up: Danny Fuller- The Garden; Ashley Norland- Johnny’s Hall of Fame

Best Local Martini Menu

The Lift
The Lift is a bohemian bar located in downtown Des Moines’ Court Avenue District. It features an award-winning martini menu, and our readers have noticed. Wednesday night is Martini Night, in case you were wondering. 222 Fourth St., Des Moines. 515-288-3777;

Runners-up: Stuffed Olive; Lime Lounge

Best Local Margarita

Mi MeXiCo
Tacos, burritos, enchiladas and fajitas — these are the treats that most people cross the border into Clive for. But seasoned Mi Mexico fans know to order a Margarita as well. Voters agree it’s the best salted rim in the area. Vaya con dios! 11407 Forest Ave., Clive. 515-222-6933;

Runners-up: Dos Rios; Tie Monterrey Mexican Restaurant-third; Malo-third

Best Local Gay/Lesbian Hangout

The Garden Nightclub
For more than a decade, this nightclub has been voted the best dance club in Des Moines. It’s also a mecca for drag queens in the area and has shows almost every weekend. Straight people are welcome, but our voters have spoken, and they say it’s the best hangout for gays and lesbians in the area. 112 S.E. Fourth St., Des Moines. 515-243-3965;

Runners-up: Blazing Saddle; Buddy’s Corral

Best Local Indoor Live Music Venue

This East Village live music hot spot is a favorite of Cityview readers and music lovers alike. The club brings in top talent from around the country and locally. 504 E. Locust St., Des Moines. 515-244-0550;

Runners-up: Lefty’s Live Music; Vaudeville Mews

Best Local Outdoor Live Music Venue

Simon Estes Riverfront Amphitheater
Originally born in Centerville, Iowa, to a coal miner, Estes is an operatic bass-baritone of African-American descent. The local talent hit the big time and had a major international opera career. The amphitheater with his name is a favorite venue in Des Moines for live music in the summer.

Runners-up: Iowa State Fair; Brenton Skating Plaza

Best Local Place to go for a Comedy Show

Funny Bone Comedy Club
If laughter is the best medicine, then the doctor is definitely “in” at Funny Bone Comedy Club. This local stage brings in national talent on a regular basis. 500 S. Prairie View Drive, Suite 100, West Des Moines. 515-270-2100;

Runners-up: Last Laugh; Lefty’s

Best Local Dance Club

The Garden Nightclub
If they call you “sweet feet,” and dancing is your way of keeping fit or having fun, it’s probably a good idea to head to The Garden Nightclub to get your groove on. 112 S.E. Fourth St., Des Moines.

Runners-up: Joker’s; Miss Kitty’s

Best Local Artist

Marina Van Leeuwen
Marina Van Leewen was a late starter at painting, but she’s working to make up for lost time. She uses all kinds of paints including oils, acrylics and watercolors to work her magic on the canvas.

Runners-up: Alex Carter; Van Holmgren

Best Local Drag Queen

Tyona Diamond – The Garden Nightclub
Tyona has been confusing straight guys at the Garden for a long time, and, once again, the title of best local drag queen is well earned. Tyona continues the reign that began in 2012. Seeing is believing. 112 S.E. Fourth St., Des Moines.

Runners-up: Jupiter Phuckit; Domita Diva Sanchez

Best Local Band

The Nadas
The band was called “The Best College Band You’ve Never Heard Of” by Playboy Magazine in 2001, but Des Moines music fans definitely know who they are. The Nadas is a former Ames fan favorite, and they’re as popular as ever.

Runners-up: Brothers Trucker; The Maytags

Best Local Musician

Justin Hashman
Hashman is the repeat winner in this prestigious category that singles out the voters’ pick for the best musician in Des Moines. This guitarist and vocalist has left quite an impression on music fans in the metro. His band, Street Thieves, brings musical influences from many different genres, including melodic punk, pop and hardcore, and combines them to make a sound that is its own.

Runners-up: Richard Arndt; Andy Fleming

Best Local Place to Karaoke

AJ’s on East Court
Lyrics, lullabyes, melodies? It must be AJ’s on East Court for karaoke. It’s the rare place in Des Moines where you can karaoke any day of the week. Sing any kind of music you want with their expanded lyrics menu. Come early and come often; it’s time to sing. 419 E. Court Ave., Des Moines. 515-282-1888;

Runners-up: Cheap Seats; Rockstar

Best Local Place to Gamble

Prairie Meadows Racetrack and Casino
Hit the jackpot at Prairie Meadows. It’s where big city players head when they’re looking for action, table games and slots. It’s the only place in town to plunk down money on the ponies, or, if you prefer, gorge yourself on a Vegas caliber buffet. They have it all. 1 Prairie Meadows Drive, Altoona. 800-325-9015;

Runners-up: Lakeside Casino; Meskwaki Casino

Best Local Place for a Wedding Reception

Holiday Inn Downtown
Here comes the bride. After they each say “I do,” it’s time to get down to the business of celebrating their upcoming life together. Get that life off on the right foot by utilizing the big banquet rooms at the downtown Holiday Inn. 1050 Sixth Ave., Des Moines. 515-283-0151;

Runners-up: Temple for Performing Arts; Art Center

Best Local Place to Hold a Corporate Event/Party

Holiday Inn Downtown
Corporate events and functions are too important and too valuable to leave to chance. Readers suggest the downtown Holiday Inn and their helpful staff for large groups, business functions and parties. 1050 Sixth Ave., Des Moines. 515-283-0151;

Runners-up: Pinots Palette; Science Center

Best Local Place for a Bachelor/Bachelorette Party

The Garden Nightclub
If it’s time to get the girls together for a big night out, our readers agree, it’s time to go to the Garden Nightclub. 112 S.E. Fourth St., Des Moines. 515-243-3965;

Runners-up: Pinots Palette; Beer Can Alley

Best Event Décor Company

Bella Flora Event Design
Bella Flora helps you make hosting look easy. Impress your people by planning an event with these maestros of the perfect party, event or reception. Transform ordinary spaces into gallant rooms suitable for any attraction. 3100 Justin Drive, Suite A, Urbandale. 515-554-6964;

Runners-up: Stuart Alexander; Plum Event & Design

Best Local Place or Event to Ring in the New Year

Beer Can Alley/The Exchange
When the clock strikes midnight, the confetti flies and the noisemakers scream, Beer Can Alley/The Exchange is the perfect kind of crazy, and it’s where you want to be. The appealing atmosphere brings luxury to meet raw urban architecture. Lush booths line exposed brick walls, and the menu is complete with great food, a well-crafted cocktail menu and an immense beer selection. 216 Court Ave., Des Moines 515-421-4389;

Runners-up: The Garden; Science Center

Best Local Party/Event Transportation

Majestic Limo
Ride in style. Majestic Limo will pick you up and take you where you want to go, but you might not want to leave once you’re inside these first-class cars, oozing with class and teeming with comfort. 515-650-5555;

Runners-up: Luxxor Limos; Chauffers of Distinction

Best Local Paint & Sip Art Studio

Glazed Expressions
Cheaper than therapy and way more fun. That’s what voters say about Des Moines’ favorite do-it-yourself art studio. Good for a girls’ night out, pottery painting, glass fusing, paint and sip canvas painting, candle making and wood decor. 8826 Swanson Blvd., Clive. 515-224-4700;

Runners-up: Pinots Palette; Wine & Canvas

Best Local Place to Call for a Sober Ride Home

Cityview readers keep Uber’s contact information nearby so when they go out to drink, they’ll be ready to ride home safe when it’s time to turn in.

Runners-up: Drivers on Call; Yellow Cab

Best Local Bail Bondsman

Kenny’s Bail Bonds
This just in: Jail is not the preferred destination for most Cityview readers. But if you find yourself in a bind, and you need to be bailed out, Kenny’s is the preferred way to be sprung from the clink. Kenny Nulph has a reputation for helping his clients quickly and professionally. 3937 48th St., Des Moines. 515-707-5000;

Runners-up: All Iowa Bail Bonds; Avery & Sons CV


Best Local Place to Play Golf

Waveland Golf Course
Waveland Golf Course is the oldest municipal golf course west of the Mississippi. It celebrated its 100th birthday in 2001. Waveland is set apart from Des Moines’ other public courses by its incredible amount of slope due to being built on wooded hillsides. Mature trees litter the landscape, so make sure to pack your accuracy in the bag. 4908 University Ave., 515-248-6302;

Runners-up: Sugar Creek; TCI

Best Local Yoga Studio/Instructor

Powerlife Yoga
Ever wonder how to place your feet while transitioning from “up dog” to “downward-facing dog”? at Powerlife Yoga, you’ll soon find out. A healthy lifestyle is paramount in importance at Power Life Yoga.  It’s a place to get healthy in a way that works for you. Meet friends, meet goals and meet yourself. Multiple locations;

Runners-up: Mathew Koder; Ben Spellman

Best Local Massage Therapist

Amanda Lundstedt — Active Edge Sports Massage
You’re in good hands with Amanda Lundstedt, she’s our readers’ choice as their favorite massage therapist. Amanda is educated in advanced and established sports massage techniques. She’s a life-long learner and continually looks to add innovative techniques to her treatments. 12493 University Ave., Clive.

Runners-up: Kevin Thoren – Banyan Tree Health & Wellness; Justin Behanish – East Village Spa

Best Local Sports Team

Iowa Cubs
Take me out to the ball game. I don’t even need any peanuts or Cracker Jack, just good old-fashioned baseball at its best. That’s what our readers say, as they once again vote the Iowa Cubs as their favorite local sports team. The Cubs’ home opener is Thursday, April 7, at 3:08 p.m., so start planning your “sick” day at work for that date. 515-243-6111.

Runners-up: Iowa Wild; Iowa barnstormers

Best Local Bike Trail

High Trestle Trail
High Trestle Trail wins again as our readers’ choice for the best bike path. This trail is 25 miles long and is incorporated into the 670-mile central Iowa trail system. The trail runs through five cities and four counties in all. 515-465-3577;

Runners-up: Raccoon River Trail; Great Western Trail

Best Local Place to Work Out

You get five gyms in one when you choose this hot workout spot. All that variety helps ensure you won’t ever get bored. There’s pole dancing, ninja training and aerial tricks to learn like silks, the hoop and the hammocks. Do you have a desire to fly? Readers say, this is the place to be. Locations in both Des Moines and Ankeny;

Runners-up: YMCA; Fitness World

Best Local Place to Kickbox

Farrell’s eXtreme Bodyshaping
Get your body back. Farrell’s eXtreme Bodyshaping is a group fitness program built to put you back on track to feeling good and looking even better. The 10-week program is based on 45-minute workouts six days a week, which includes some fat-burning, muscle-toning kickboxing sessions. And do it all in an encouraging environment.  Multiple locations.

Runners-up: Krave Gym; Kosama

Best Local Group Fitness

TGR Fitness
TGR Fitness, or “The Girls Room,” opened in 2010 and has conducted cutting edge small group personal training classes designed to keep fitness fun ever since. There are dozens of different types of classes, so you won’t get bored while you get your figure back.  Locations in both Des Moines and Ankeny;

Runners-up: Farrell’s; Fitness World

Best Local Place to Go Swimming

The YMCA offered organized swim lessons before any other organizations, beginning their group lessons in 1907 at the Detroit gym. Children and adults learn to swim in a positive, fun manner at the YMCA with a goal of building athletic, social and interpersonal skills. Multiple locations;

Runners-up: Lifetime Fitness; Ashworth Pool

Best Local Place to Bowl

Val Lanes Recreation Center
Let’s go bowling! And when you do, voters suggest Val Lanes as the place to pick up spares and knock down strikes. Gutter balls aren’t so bad, as long as you’re playing with state-of-the-art automatic scoring and automated bumpers for the kids. Val Lanes was built in 1957 and has been a longtime West Des Moines staple. 100 Ashworth Road, West Des Moines. 515-274-0493;

Runners-up: Plaza Lanes; Air Lanes Bowling Center

Best Local Place to Miniature Golf

West Grand Golf
Whispers: “Cinderella story. Outta nowhere. A former greenskeeper, now, about to become the Masters champion. It looks like a mirac… It’s in the hole! It’s in the hole! It’s in the hole!” So said Carl Spackler, the famous character played by Bill Murray in the movie “Caddy Shack,” and so says nearly every miniature golfer who ever played. At West Grand Golf, miniature golf is fun. Go play all 18 holes. They’re challenging and pleasurable for kids and adults alike. 6450 Raccoon River Drive, West Des Moines. 515-225-7076;

Runners-up: Blank Golf Course; Toad Valley

Best Local Indoor Sporting Event

Iowa Wild
Hear the sharp skates carving up the freshly-laid ice rink? See the pucks whipping through the air? Hear the sticks slapping? If you don’t, you should go watch an Iowa Wild game — it’s a hockey nirvana. 730 Third St., Des Moines. 515-564-8700;

Runners-up: Iowa Ninja Warrior; Iowa Barnstormers

Best Local Outdoor Sporting Event

Iowa Cubs
There’s nothing quite like sitting outside, sipping an icy beverage and hearing the crack of the bat, the roar of the crowd and just enjoying the summer night. Every seat is a great seat at the old Sec Taylor Stadium, now known as Principal Park. 1 Line Drive, Des Moines. 515-243-6111;

Runners-up: Des Moines Marathon; Drake Relays

Best Local Place to Watch a Sporting Event

Principal Park
Any summer night is a good night to head out to Principal Park to root, root, root for Des Moines’ hometown Cubbies. America’s pastime is in full effect along with fireworks, easy parking and future stars soon headed for the Windy City, see them here first at 1 Line Drive, Des Moines. 515-243-6111;

Runners-up: Wells Fargo Arena; Bucs Arena

Best Local Running Event

Des Moines Marathon
Twenty-six miles in a car is no big deal, but 26 miles running a race on foot is another matter entirely. A total of 1,392 athletes crossed the finish line in 2015. To those crazies, this grueling 26-mile torture fest might be a good time. For the rest of us, it’s a nightmare. Our hats are off to those who finished, and to those with the guts to go for it next time.

Runners-up: Dam to Dam; Drake Relays

Best Local Obstacle Running Event

Iowa Ninja Warrior
Get your Ninja on for this thrilling race against time. Go flying through the obstacle course with calculated abandon. For this moment in time, you can be a warrior. Channel your inner Ninja and compete with the best. 515-710-4158;

Runners-up: Wild Boar; Titan MOB

Best Local Farmers Market

Downtown Farmers Market
Not only is this the best farmers market in the area, it’s arguably one of the best in the whole United States. Consumers have the chance to buy direct from Iowa farmers and Iowa producers from 58 counties across Iowa. There is a wide assortment of fresh fruit, vegetables and too much else to mention. It’s open rain or shine, every Saturday in May through October.

Runners-up: Valley Junction Farmers Market; Beaverdale Farmers Market

Best Local Personal Trainer

Amber Cahill – TGR Fitness (The Girl’s Room)
Getting fit is never easy, but it sure helps to have the right help. That’s where Amber Cahill comes in. Growing up, she competed in both dance and gymnastics, but now she’s also competing in many different kinds of competitions. She has a passion for movement, health and wellness. She now teaches in a slightly different arena through fitness instruction, personal training, pole fitness and aerial silks/tissue. 1605 S.E. Delaware Ave., Suite C, Ankeny. 515-964-5927.

Runners-up: Shelbi Alex; Jeff Coder

Best Local Camping Spot

Life is good when you’re out in the wilderness, under the twinkling stars, roasting marshmallows over an open campfire and enjoying friends and family. Readers say Saylorville is the best place to make camping happen.

Runners-up: Jester Park; Yellow Banks CV


Best Elected Official

John P. Sarcone – County Attorney
Voters tabbed longtime Polk County attorney John Sarcone as their best elected official – apparently, the people he’s been putting away since 1991 aren’t voting. Sarcone’s staff works hard to achieve justice for the victims of crime and to serve the community of more than 430,000 residents in Polk County. They prosecute violations of state law and provide legal counsel to the county government. 222 Fifth Ave., Des Moines. 515-286-3737.

Runners-up: Frank Cownie, Gov. Branstad

Best TV Station for News

KCCI News 8
Get the scoop and stay up on the local happenings at KCCI News Channel 8. Cityview voters say it’s the best way to stay informed on local news, entertainment, politics, health, travel and wealth of other topics so you can contribute to the public conversation and be informed.

Runners-up: Channel 13; Channel 5

Best TV Station for Sports

WHO TV Channel 13
What’s bugging Andy? That’s the name of a popular WHO TV sports segment featuring Andy Fales, but apparently very little is bugging our readers about the sports desk at WHO TV 13. Throw in “Murphy’s Law” and “SoundOFF,” and you have the best lineup of sports news in the metro, according to our voters.

Runners-up: Channel 8; Channel 5

Best TV Station for Weather

KCCI News 8
KCCI is the repeat champ in this category and for good reason. During drastic weather episodes, the CBS affiliate has scrolling weather reports across the bottom of the screen and offers to send notifications to the cell phones of users about school and event closings. The station also offers an app with breaking news and weather updates for people on the go.

Runners-up: Channel 13; KCWI

Best Local TV Anchor

Kevin Cooney – KCCI News 8
Cooney is gone. He retired. He doesn’t even do this job any more, but Cityview readers tabbed him as the best anyway. That says something. In KCCI’s 60-year history, there have only been three evening male anchors, and, of course, Cooney is one of them. He joined the team while still in high school and worked his way up to a news anchor. Cooney has done it all in his tenure, and our readers say he’s done it the best.

Runners-up: Elizabeth Klinge; Erin Kiernan

Best-Looking Male Media Personality

Frank Scaglione – KCCI News 8
Frank Scaglione joined KCCI Storm Team 8 in March 2009 and hasn’t looked back, except when he’s doing so to look at weather patterns, cloud formations and double checking barometric pressure. Scaglione gives viewers real-time reports from the field during breaking weather.

Runners-up: Dan Winters; Steve Karlin

Best-Looking Female Media Personality

Elizabeth Klinge – KCCI News 8
One word. Wow.

Runners-up: Jackie Schmillen; Erin Kiernan

Best Self-Righteous Media Hog

Scott Casber – KXNO
Scott Casber has a passionate voice for wrestling and mixed martial arts (MMA), and he isn’t afraid to use it. Central Iowa wrestling and fight fans know all about how Casber champions the sport, and himself, on Takedown Radio, his Saturday morning radio show that is broadcast on 1460 KXNO.

Runners-up: Ed Wilson; Donald Trump

Best Local Sports Commentator or Columnist

Keith Murphy – WHO Channel 13
“Murph” has a full plate. He’s been the sports director of Channel 13 news since 1996, and he’s also the sports anchor for the shows at 6 p.m. and 10 p.m. In addition, Keith hosts Iowa’s most watched and talked about sports-based show — “SoundOFF”— on Sunday nights at 10:35 p.m. Oh, yeah. And he co-hosts a radio show with Andy Fales.

Runners-up: Andy Garman; Andy Fales

Best Local News Commentator or Columnist

Rekha Basu – The Des Moines Register
The Des Moines Register’s Rekha Basu wins again. Basu joined the Register in 1991 and gives her opinion on a range of topics including human rights, racial justice and gender equality. She was born in India, grew up internationally and graduated from the United National International School.

Runners-up: Andy Fales; Daniel Finney

Best Meteorologist

Ed Wilson – WHO Channel 13
When you need to know whether to wear a parka or if you should pack an umbrella, or if sunscreen should be SPF whatever, voters say Ed Wilson is the man to help you make your plan. Ed has been the chief meteorologist at Channel 13 the past 17 years. He can recount legendary tales of Iowa weather mayhem.

Runners-up: John McLaughlin; JeriAnn Ritter

Best Local Talk Radio Show

Murph & Andy – KXNO
The weekday afternoons are a little easier to get through while listening to this sophomoric duo. The two talk about sports — both local and national — and they also have funny takes, jibs and jabs on just about anything going on in current events.

Runners-up: Van & Bonnie; Morning Moose

Best Radio Voice that Turns You On

Brian Holtz – KFMG
Des Moines, you’ve done it again. You’ve made this deep-voiced late-night radio legend Cityview’s sexy voice champion. Readers might be a little too excited while listening to him on air every weeknight, and if you want to see the face behind the voice, you can catch his band playing at venues around town. 1000 Walnut St., Suite 1107, Des Moines. 515-244-4146;

Runners-up: Heather Burnside; Tara McClure

Best Radio Station

KFMG is locally owned, and that’s not common these days. The station thrives on the input of the community, and the community doesn’t usually disappoint. Des Moines Community Radio Foundation is the nonprofit in charge of the station, and each broadcast works to inform the city’s residents about activities, events and charities happening daily. Their music is a mixture of jazz, soul, rock and roll and alternative. The station is on air at almost all hours, so don’t miss a minute. 1000 Walnut St., Suite 1107, Des Moines. 515-244-4146;

Runners-up: KIOA; Iowa Public Radio

Best Radio Personality

Ron Sorenson – KFMG
Sorenson was progressive before progressive was cool. KFMG originally employed Ron in the ’60s when Des Moines first got its taste of progressive music. Sorenson manages the station and is also the president of the Des Moines Community Radio Foundation, which owns and operates KFMG. Catch him live weekdays in the afternoon. 1000 Walnut St., Suite 1107, Des Moines. 515-244-4146;

Runners-up: Maxwell KIOA; Van Harden

Best Local Library

The Franklin Library
The Franklin Library might be exactly what Ben Franklin had in mind when he came up with the book lending concept. There are 100,000 items including books, audiobooks, music CDs, DVDs, magazines, and electronic resources, as well as more than 40 Internet stations for easy online access. There’s plenty of parking on either side of the building and study rooms for when you really need to buckle down and get some work done. 5000 Franklin Ave., Des Moines. 515-283-4152;

Runners-up: Urbandale; West Des Moines

Best Local Nonprofit

Hope Ministries
Mission Statement: “The purpose of Hope Ministries is to proclaim and demonstrate the life-changing Gospel of Jesus Christ, meeting the spiritual, physical and emotional needs of men, women and children who are homeless or in need of hope.” Their vision is to bring lasting hope to those who are homeless in Iowa by being the most comprehensive provider of holistic programs and services for men, women and children in need.  P.O. Box 862, Des Moines. 515-265-7272;

Runners-up: Animal Rescue League; Planned Parenthood

Best Local Place to Worship

Lutheran Church of Hope
Hope is everywhere in greater Des Moines, thanks to this Lutheran ministry that caters to all ages, groups, ethnicities and diverse backgrounds. Hope’s home church in West Des Moines is equipped with a gigantic auditorium where passionate preachers spread the good news. Online podcasts are available, and there is something for everyone at this fast growing church. 925 Jordan Creek Parkway, West Des Moines. 515-222-1520;

Runners-up: Plymouth; Christ the King

Best Local Realtor

Bob Eisenlauer
Our readers are sold. Eisenlauer is now the four-time champion in this category, and Cityview voters say he is the one to help get the job done. He continues to win awards and make customers smile. 525-979-2883;

Runners-up: Tim Scheib; Cathy Stevermer

Best Local Automotive Salesperson

Tim Gilman — Billion Automotive
Ladies and gentlemen… start your engines. Tim Gilman is the most trusted automotive salesman in the hearts and minds of Cityview voters.

Runners-up: Steve Johnson – Hummel’s Nissan; Jeff Nelmark – Stivers Ford Lincoln

Best Local College

Drake University
Go Bulldogs! Drake doesn’t have the biggest campus, but our readers say it has the best. Known for its acclaimed professors and cozy setting that’s nestled within the heart of the city, it’s a great place to learn. 2507 University Ave., Des Moines. 800-44-DRAKE;

Runners-up: DMACC; Iowa State University

Best Local Place for Continuing Your Education

DMACC offers 153 programs and short-term certificates that qualify students for the job opportunities in many fields. The school prides itself on getting students prepared and ready to enter the job market. This outstanding education is available at DMACC for thousands of dollars less than elsewhere. Higher education at a lower cost; that’s what Cityview readers like about DMACC. 1100 Seventh St., Des Moines. 515-244-4226;

Runners-up: Kaplan; Drake

Best Local Photographer

Creative Backing
If a picture says a thousand words, having professional photographs is essential to ensuring each image conveys the correct message. Our readers say Creative Backing is the best around. They feature experienced photographers and specialize in helping businesses. Ankeny. 515-661-4705;

Runners-up: Kerri Photography; Dan Meythaler

Best Local Financial Planner

Tony Niedert — Principal Financial Group
Tony Niedert is one of many at Principal Financial Group striving to help customers get their finances in order and formulate the best strategy when it comes to achieving financial goals. 6701 Westown Parkway, Suite 200, West Des Moines. 515-246-4048;

Runners-up: Dennis Markway – Iron Horse Wealth Mgmt; Jenny Smith – Principal Financial Group

Best Local Insurance Agent

Ben Buenzow — State Farm
Like a good neighbor, Ben Buenzow is there, providing options for insurance and financial service needs. Ben meets with customers face to face and listens to their needs. Ben is active with the Urbandale Chamber of Commerce. He’s been with State Farm since 2004. Our readers trust Ben Buenzow. 3273 100th St., Urbandale. 515-270-8870.

Runners-up: Mark Courter – State Farm; Doug Hoyng – Hoyng Insurance Group

Best Local Mortgage Company

Wells Fargo Home Mortgage
Wells Fargo has never lost sight of putting its customers first and helping them succeed.  They are one of the nation’s largest financial institutions, serving one in three U.S. households and employing approximately one in 600 working Americans. Forbes magazine has ranked them among the top 10 publicly traded companies in the world based on a composite of sales, assets, profits. 1-877-937-9357;

Runners-up: Bankers Trust; Prime Lending

Best Local Family Planning Services

Planned Parenthood
Planned Parenthood delivers health care, sex education and information to millions of women, men and young people worldwide. One in five American women have chosen Planned Parenthood for health care at least once for these many services including STD testing, birth control and the morning-after pill.

Runners-up: Agape; Vitae

Best Local Chiropractor

Dr. Braxton Pulley –

East Village Chiropractic
Pulley Chiropractic Health Center only accepts patients if the doctor believes it is likely that chiropractic treatment will provide a benefit. On your first visit, you should expect a complete chiropractic health care exam to determine what is happening with you, what is causing your ailment, what the problem is and how to treat it. 300 E. Locust St., Suite 140, Des Moines. 515-288-8058;

Runners-up: Dr. Kellie Hoover – Iowa Family Chiropractic; Dr. Quentin Huston – East Village Chiropractic

Best Local Doctor

Dr. Ed Steinmann – Steinmann Family Health
Edward A. Steinmann of the Steinmann Family Health Clinic takes the honor as best local doctor. Dr. Steinmann strives to serve his patients and quickly treat their ailments. 320 Watson Powell Jr. Parkway, Des Moines. 515-243-2888.

Runners-up: Dr. Kelly Reed – The Iowa Clinic; Dr. Eugene Cherney – Heartland Plastic Surgery

Best Local Eye Clinic

Wolfe Eye Clinic
In medical practice since 1919, Wolfe Eye Clinic is a recognized regional diagnostic and surgical center offering a broad range of professional care services. The surgeons at Wolfe Eye Clinic have performed more than 40,000 LASIK laser vision correction procedures to correct nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism. 6200 Westown Parkway, West Des Moines. 515-223-8685;

Runners-up: Vision Park; Ashworth Vision

Best Local Place to get Lasik Eye Surgery

Wolfe Eye Clinic
Seeing is believing, and our readers believe that Wolfe Eye Clinic is the best place in the city for LASIK eye surgery. The Des Moines office provides comprehensive medical and surgical eye care services. Areas of expertise include cataract, glaucoma, oculoplastics, cornea, LASIK and retina surgery including the treatment of macular degeneration and diabetic eye disease. 6200 Westown Parkway, West Des Moines. 515-223-8685;

Runners-up: Lasik Plus; Des Moines Eye Surgeons

Best Local Hospital

Mercy operates four not-for-profit Catholic hospital campuses, with a total of 875 beds, along with more than 20 additional facilities that house more than 50 primary care, pediatric, internal medicine and specialty clinics. Mercy Medical Center–Des Moines is the longest continually operating hospital in Des Moines and is also one of the largest employers in the state with about 7,000 employees and a medical staff of more than 1,000 physicians and allied health associates. 1111 Sixth Ave., Des Moines. 515-247-3121;

Runners-up: Methodist; Iowa Lutheran

Best Local Vet Clinic

Oaks Veterinary Clinic
When man’s best friend needs a helping hand, the vet is a welcome sight indeed. Oaks veterinarians know how to care for pets of all kinds, and they want the best healthcare outcomes. They come to the rescue when help is needed by pet owners. 2030 27th St., Des Moines. 515-279-3654.

Runners-up: Starch Pet Hospital; University West Pet Clinic

Best Local Physical Therapist

Leslie Foley – Ankeny Physical Therapy
This team of physical therapists has more than 45 years of combined experience serving the Ankeny community. Their focus is top quality rehabilitation and compassionate therapy for the patient and the injury. Ankeny Physical Therapy was founded on the premise of quality, hands-on, personalized service.  301 North Ankeny Blvd., Ankeny. 515-965-1422;

Runners-up: Erich Ottervanger – WDM Physical Therapy; Blake Hardy – Core Physical Therapy

Best Local Home Builder

Dreamscape Homebuilders
Home is where the heart is. It’s also where a family goes to grow up. Dreamscape Homebuilders custom-builds modern homes with unique architecture and innovative design. Their award-winning experts design dream homes. Quality comes first at Dreamscape Homebuilders. 4800 Mills Civic Parkway, Suite 204, West Des Moines. 515-802-3653;

Runners-up: Meadowbrook Builders; Superior Contractors

Best Local Landscaper

Frontline Lawn & Landscape
Making your lawn and landscape look excellent is an important part of making any house into a home. Our readers say no one does it better than Frontline Lawn & Landscape. Owner Joe Morton has been serving Iowans for more than a decade. 8308 N.E. University Ave., Pleasant Hill. 515-778-3969;

Runners-up: Ripke Lawn Service; Kaldenberg’s Landscaping

Best Local Chamber of Commerce

Urbandale Chamber of Commerce
Voted the best chamber of commerce for the second straight year, this organization has more than 750 businesses and 24,000 representatives. The Urbandale Chamber of Commerce plays a key role in making good things happen in Urbandale. 2830 100th St., Suite 110, Urbandale. 515-331-6855;

Runners-up: Pleasant Hill Chamber of Commerce; Des Moines East & South Side Chamber of Commerce

Best Local Customer Service (Overall)

East Village Chiropractic
This East Village chiropractic has been helping clients heal in mind, body and spirit for more than a decade. Their goal is to help you enjoy life to the fullest knowing your body is working with you instead of against you. This health care facility serves Des Moines with a smile. 300 E. Locust St., Des Moines. 515-288-8058;

Runners-up: Hy-Vee; Ben Buenzow – State Farm

Best Local Dentist Office

Advanced Family Dentistry
Trips to the dentist aren’t everyone’s favorite chore. Advanced Family Dentistry strives to make each client’s visit as comfortable, relaxed and as pain free as possible. Their first priorities are your comfort, health and smile. They provide personalized, complete dental care for you and your entire family with the best of today’s dental care options in a warm, welcoming environment. 515-964-1490;

Runners-up: Grove & Platt Dental Associates; Young General Dental

Best Local Law Firm

Baer Law
Kim Baer has practiced personal injury, business law and family law for 26 years. She’s dedicated to protecting each client’s rights and pursuing claims when one has been wronged. She works hard to provide clients with the advice and information needed to make crucial decisions about their future. 838 Fifth Ave., Des Moines. 515-279-2000;

Runners-up: Jennifer Meyer; Bradshaw Law

Best Local Pediatrician

Dr. Brian Waggoner – Des Moines Pediatric & Adolescents
Dr. Waggoner wins again. The good doctor has been working with kids for 27 years now, and he’s affiliated with multiple hospitals in the area, including Iowa Lutheran Hospital and Iowa Methodist Medical Center. He graduated from the University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine. 2301 Beaver Ave., Des Moines. 515-255-3181;

Runners-up: Dr. John VanRoekel – Mercy; Dr. Adam Secory – The Iowa Clinic

Best Local Daycare

Generation Next Child Development Center and Preschool
Generation Next Child Development Center attempts to focus on each child’s individual development and to build the confidence of children in their ability to function in a group setting. The facility is equipped to serve with creative arts, outside play time, a cafeteria and all sorts of special events. 5400 University Ave., West Des Moines. 515-226-6017;

Runners-up: 2 For U; Apple Tree

Best Local Marketing Agency

Blue Compass
This is a team of web and mobile experts striving to help businesses have success online. Whether it’s helping companies with web design, development or digital marketing, this local agency Iowa cares about each client and is focused on the web. 6701 Westown Parkway, Suite 260, West Des Moines. 515-868-0010;

Runners-up: Akili Design & Marketing; Flynn Wright

Best Local Community to Live in

For the second year in a row, Ankeny has been voted best local community to live in. This suburban city is still growing and keeps getting better. It’s far enough away from the crazy pace of big city life, but near enough to commute if necessary. This nurturing community is family friendly, and it’s a place that people are proud to call home.

Runners-up: Beaverdale; Urbandale

Best Local School District

The Waukee Community School District is the fasting growing school district in Iowa. They strive to be an innovative and professional learning community focused on student learning.

Runners-up: Ankeny Community School District; Des Moines Public Schools

Best Local Apartment Complex

Springs at Waukee
This new, gated apartment complex is pet-friendly and situated in a convenient location just off Hickman Road. Residents love the peaceful setting, great schools and resort like atmosphere. 500 N.E. Horizon Drive, Waukee. 866-801-3578;

Runners-up: Ingersoll Square; Broadmoor

Best Local HVAC Company

Wycoff has been providing Des Moines with top notch expertise in comfortable conditioned air since the ‘50s.  Their expert installation of new HVAC and air quality systems has made them Des Moines’ choice as the best local HVAC in the city. 95 Highway 5, Carlisle. 515-287-6000;

Runners-up: Kohles & Bach; 72 Degrees

Best Local Senior Living Community

They’ve earned it. With modern-day amenities and five-star dining, this senior living community is more like your favorite resort than a place to retire. You can rest assured your loved ones will get the attention they deserve.  Edgewater offers top-notch care by people who care. 9225 Cascade Ave., West Des Moines. 515-978-2395;

Runners-up: Wesley Acres; The Reserve CV


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Summer Stir (June 2023)