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Feature Story

Bullseye! CITYVIEW Best of Des Moines


Local people, places and events hit the target in our 2020 Best Of Des Moines readers’ poll.

The Best Of Des Moines Awards act as all great democracies should. There is no unelected oligarchy pulling strings and artificially orchestrating wrong-headed outcomes. Instead, the choice belongs to you, the many, the collective judgment of Greater Des Moines’ unhindered populace.

The following pages consist of the city’s most deserving businesses, nonprofits, sports franchises, malls, doctors, lawyers, politicians and
just about every other category imaginable.

Altogether, thousands of votes were cast by central Iowa residents after they reached conclusions based on infinite customer experiences and accumulated wisdom. CITYVIEW proudly accepts this annual responsibility. It is our great honor and privilege to affix these lofty designations, affirming the winners and recognizing them as the “Best Of Des Moines.” Let us be the first to congratulate those who finished on top this year, as well as to each and every one of the runners-up, and to all who received votes.

And now, without further delay, the people of Des Moines have spoken. Enjoy the results, and let’s meet back here and have this
conversation again in 2021.


Best New Local Restaurant

Dirt Burger
The new vegan meals at Des Moines’ new Dirt Burger are served fast and done right. As such, the city’s vegan population feels downright giddy about the East Village eatery’s menu overflowing with flavorful plant-based burger options. Dirt Burger’s website states that it specializes in doing “Slow food …Fast!” CITYVIEW readers say they like what they see so far, naming Dirt Burger the Best New Local Restaurant around. 407 E. Fifth St., Des Moines, 515-850-3890;
Runners-up: Teddy Maroon’s, St. Kilda Surf & Turf

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Best Kept Secret on the Local Restaurant Scene

Shhh! When in the mood for well-prepared food enjoyed with good friends, family, possibly some live music and first-rate service, CITYVIEW readers say the word is getting out about Simon’s. The Beaverdale boutique-style restaurant may not be the biggest eatery in town — it seats approximately 60 — but it is one of the best, as evidenced by the lines forming outside prior to its 5 p.m. opening times, Monday through Saturday. Simon’s is the Best Kept Secret on the Local Restaurant Scene, according to CITYVIEW readers, but loose lips… Shhh! 5800 Franklin Ave., Des Moines, 515-255-3725;
NOTE: Simon’s features weekly jazz music by Willy Shay on Wednesdays and Fridays, starting at 7 p.m.
Runners-up: Cooper’s on 5th, The Angry Goldfish Pub & Eatery

Best Local Restaurant Period

House specialties at Simon’s include beef tenderloins; New York strips, with mushrooms, spinach and topped with cream sauce; Pork DeBurgo; Chicken DeBurgo; Chicken Florentine, and Cordon Bleu with chicken breasts stuffed with Graziano Brothers sausage, asiago cheese, red pepper and topped with alfredo sauce. The eatery’s entrees are served with a veggie of the day, a potato, a choice of a soup or a salad, and, of course, Simon’s top-notch service that is its hallmark. 5800 Franklin Ave., Des Moines, 515-255-3725;
Runners-up: Centro, Flying Mango

Best Local Fine Dining

801 Chophouse
Set within an intimate, comfortable, upscale atmosphere, 801 Chophouse boasts a menu loaded with USDA prime steaks, fresh fish entrees, crustaceans and an award-winning wine list. This downtown establishment has long been known as one of the city’s premier places for fine dining or for celebrating special occasions. Congratulations, 801 Chophouse, central Iowa voters say you are the Best Local Fine Dining establishment around. 801 Grand Ave., Suite 200, Des Moines, 515-288-6000;
Runners-up: Centro, Simon’s

Best Valley Junction Restaurant

G. Mig’s 5th Street Pub
Oozing with ambiance, nostalgia and history, Valley Junction has roots dating all the way back to the beginning of West Des Moines. A big part of this quaint shopping district’s tradition is its track record for having good food offerings easily at the ready. G. Mig’s 5th Street Pub lives up to this grand culinary tradition. According to our readers, G. Mig’s is the Best Valley Junction Restaurant, especially to enjoy burgers, sandwiches and wraps. 128 Fifth St., West Des Moines, 515-255-4550;
Runners-up: Cooper’s on 5th, Chuck Celsi’s Tavern Restaurant

Best West Glen Restaurant

The Macadamia Nut Mahi-Mahi at Bonefish Grill — topped with a house-made mango vanilla rum butter sauce and a sprinkle of toasted Macadamia nuts — delights diners in central Iowa. Photo submitted

Bonefish Grill
Since the inception of the Best West Glen Restaurant category in 2015, Bonefish Grill has taken the title each and every year, and our readers have kept the streak alive in 2020. Bonefish Grill in West Glen offers intriguing menu offerings, such as its succulent Chilean Sea Bass, which is described as a “melt-in-your-mouth fish” that is “tender, buttery, and moist.” Yum. 650 S. Prairie View Drive, Des Moines, 515-267-0064;
Runners-up: Blu Toro Cantina & Grill, Banana Leaf

Best East Village Restaurant

Zombie Burger + Drink Lab
East Village eateries compete hard to win this title, but overpowering the undead is a tall order. As such, it is no surprise that Zombie Burger + Drink Lab has again taken this title, repeating as champion in the category of Best East Village Restaurant. Be sure to watch out for the “They’re Coming to Get You Barbara!” that is best if washed down with a Rice Krispie Treat vanilla ice cream shake. Can’t wait. 300 E. Grand Ave., Des Moines, 515-244-9292;
Runners-up: Lucca, Alba

Best Prairie Trail Restaurant

District 36 Wine Bar & Grille
1) Smoked chicken with jalapeno cream sauce served over linguini noodles, 2) Australian sea bass, 3) a bone-in 12-ounce aged Tomahawk pork chop… These are three of the tastiest reasons for why CITYVIEW readers are calling District 36 Wine Bar & Grille the Best Prairie Trail Restaurant. 1375 S.W. Vintage Parkway, Ankeny, 515-261-2502;
Runners-up: Fong’s Pizza, Flavory Bistro

Best Ingersoll Area Restaurant

Eatery A
The famous wood-burning oven at Eatery A outputs top-of-the-line Mediterranean-inspired cuisine that dazzles the foodies on Ingersoll Avenue. Eatery A’s menu is stocked with simple dishes fueled by quality ingredients that are sourced locally. Eatery A is the Best Ingersoll Area Restaurant, according to CITYVIEW readers. 2932 Ingersoll Ave., Des Moines, 515-282-8085;
Runners-up: Sakari Sushi Lounge, Cheese Bar

Best Local American Food

The offerings at Americana include steaks, chops and de Burgo entrees, but do yourself a favor and do NOT forget about the Lobster Mac & Cheese opportunity. This creative entree features butter-poached lobster served with a gruyere and cheddar cheese sauce and a garlic tomato and onion compote. Ready to indulge? 1312 Locust St., Des Moines, 515-283-1312;
Runners-up: Drake Diner, Jethro’s

Best Local Vegetarian/Vegan Food

Brightside Kitchen
When you need something to eat but prefer to ingest items that were originated without having parents, readers of CITYVIEW suggest the offerings at Brightside Kitchen. This plant-based food establishment has a knack for concocting delicious food that also serves the global purpose of supporting the wellbeing of people, the planet and its animals. 12493 University Ave., Clive, 515-336-4759;
Runners-up: Dirt Burger, A Dong

Best Local Gluten-Free Food

Louie’s Wine Dive
Gluten is a substance contained in certain kinds of cereal grains — especially wheat — that can cause illnesses in some people under certain conditions. When you want to stay away from this sometimes harmful substance, the Best Local Gluten Free-Food is served at Louie’s Wine Dive, according to central Iowa voters. 4040 University Ave., Suite A, Des Moines, 515-777-3416;
Runners-up: Veggie Thumper, Dirt Burger

Best Local Italian Food

Tursi’s Latin King Restaurant
This east Des Moines mainstay is truly a local treasure. Tursi’s Latin King continues to be a favorite for local foodies even after seven decades of service. When Italian eats are on the agenda, CITYVIEW readers say the Latin King is the best in the city. 2200 Hubbell Ave., Des Moines, 515-266-4466;
Runners-up: Tumea & Sons, Centro

Best Local Mexican Food

Bienvenidos, amigos! Monterrey offers enchiladas, tacos, quesadillas, burritos and other savory authentic Mexican options. Whichever your favorite entree happens to be, Monterrey is the Best Local Mexican Food in the area, according to CITYVIEW readers. Multiple locations;
Runners-up: Old West Mexican Restaurant, El Barco Mexican Restaurant

Best Local Thai Food

The East Village’s Molly’s Cupcakes bakes small batches every day and throughout the day. Flavors include: Boston cream, crème brülèe, peanut butter Nutella, twisted malt pretzel, mint velvet, apple pie, strawberry shortcake, lemon meringue, rainbow sherbet… Central Iowa voters say Molly’s is the Best Local Cupcake Shop in the metro. Photo by Jeff Pitts

Thai Flavors
Flavorful combinations of hot peppers, palm sugar, lime juice and fish and oyster sauces make Thailand’s unique cuisine a sublime pleasure. Authentic Thai cuisine is available at Thai Flavors. Central Iowa enjoys food offerings from halfway around the globe at the Best Local Thai Food in town, according to CITYVIEW’s Best Of Des Moines voters. 1254 E. 14th St., Des Moines, 515-262-4658;
NOTE: Thai dishes are prepared fresh and require a skilled kitchen staff with uncompromising standards, and typical Thai entrees are known for having a spicy, hot taste — chili is frequently the most important ingredient within many Thai dishes — but Thai Flavors allows its guests to dictate his or her own appropriate level of heat, so those who generally can’t take culinary heat need not leave the Thai Flavors kitchen.
Runners-up: Cool Basil, Blu Thai & Sushi

Best Local Chinese Food

Shanghai Chinese Restaurant
With ample entrees, egg drop soup, wantons, wild rice and more, Shanghai Chinese Restaurant opened for the first time in 2002. The Eastern-themed eatery had the goal of serving the best blend of Szechwan, Hunan, Mongolian and Cantonese cuisine to its customers. Shanghai quickly expanded to accommodate a growing customer base, and nearly two decades later, CITYVIEW readers say Shanghai Chinese Restaurant is the Best Local Chinese Food in the area. Mission accomplished. 33 N.E. Carefree Lane, Waukee, 515-987-3111;
Runners-up: Tsing Tsao, Hy-Vee

Best Local Japanese Food

Bringing New York City’s high-quality taste and style to central Iowa, the locally owned Wasabi restaurants have earned the title as the Best Local Japanese Food, according to Best Of Des Moines voters. Multiple locations;
Runners-up: Sakari Sushi Lounge, Miyabi 9

Best Local Mediterranean Food

Gazali’s Mediterranean Grill
This Drake University eatery is a Dogtown favorite featuring Mediterranean cuisine made in-house, fresh, and prepared to order. Popular menu items include fresh gyros, wraps, salads and sandwiches. Do yourself a favor and order the spicy chicken gyro… You can thank CITYVIEW later. 1205 25th St., Des Moines, 515-309-9167;
Runners-up: Fresh Mediterranean Express, Olympic Flame

Best Local Seafood

Waterfront Seafood Market
Mahi-Mahi, Chilean sea bass, red snapper, trout, lobster, sushi… When you salivate for saltwater savories that have been flown in fresh from far away oceans around the globe, Waterfront Seafood Market is an enduring local treasure and time-tested hotspot. The high-end eatery is also the area’s Best Local Seafood restaurant, according to Best Of Des Moines voters. Waterfront Seafood Market has locations in Ankeny and West Des Moines;
Runners-up: Splash, Seafood Trap

Best Local Sushi

Sakari Sushi Lounge
A variety of Japanese cuisine is on the menu for lunch, dinner or whenever you require a special way to celebrate. The succulent sushi rolls at Sakari Sushi Lounge are just one of the many tasty reasons this Dogtown (Drake-area) eatery has yet again been named as the Best Local Sushi in central Iowa, according to voters in CITYVIEW’s Best Of Des Moines poll. 2605 Ingersoll Ave., Des Moines, 515-288-3381;
Runners-up: Wasabi, Akebono

Best Local Hibachi

Ohana Steakhouse
Playing with your food isn’t acceptable. That’s the message for most of us at an early age. But fortunately, the chefs at Ohana Steakhouse never received the memo. According to CITYVIEW’s Best Of Des Moines voters, the Best Local Hibachi is served at Ohana Steakhouse. 2900 University Ave., West Des Moines, 515-225-3325;
Runners-up: Taki Japanese Steakhouse, Tokyo Steak House

Best Local Steakhouse

801 Chophouse
When award-winning USDA steak is the object of your desire, voters in CITYVIEW’s Best Of Des Moines poll say 801 Chophouse, a long-time metro fine dining hotspot, should be at the top of your agenda. 801 Grand Ave., Suite 200, Des Moines, 515-288-6000;
Runners-up: Iowa Beef Steakhouse, Texas Roadhouse

Best Local Brunch/Breakfast

Fong’s Pizza is the Best Local Place to Chow After 2 a.m., according to readers of CITYVIEW. Photo  submitted

Get blown away by brunch with Americana’s Bombshell Brunch Buffet. The weekend offerings include more than 40 items. Indulge in traditional breakfast items, classic comfort foods, a custom grilled cheese station, mashed potato bar, build-your-own breakfast taco options and there is even something called a bottomless mimosa and bloody mary bar. Americana’s brunch is served on Saturdays and Sundays, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Gluten-friendly options are available. Reservations are not required, but they are highly recommended. 1312 Locust St., Des Moines, 515-283-1312;
Runners-up: Waveland Café, Eggs & Jam

Best Local Delicatessen

Palmer’s Deli & Market
The Marshall, The Beef Eater, The Apple Orchard… These are just a few of the delectable menu options available at Palmer’s Deli & Market. The local outfit offers sandwiches, soups, salads or breakfast items. Palmer’s prides itself on producing quality food by using quality products and quality ingredients, baking its breads and desserts from scratch every day, and for being the area’s Best Local Delicatessen, according to CITYVIEW readers. Enjoy. Multiple locations;
Runners-up: Hagar’s Manhattan Deli, B&B Grocery, Meat & Deli

Best Local Burger

An unnamed source says that easy access to B-Bop’s might be the single best reason to live in central Iowa. If you wish to treat yourself to a perfect meal, consider driving through and ordering the No. 1 combo consisting of a quarter-pound cheeseburger with fries and a large Diet Mountain Dew — light ice — to wash it down. So good… According to a certain unnamed source. Multiple locations;
Runners-up: Zombie Burger + Drink Lab, Dirt Burger

Best Local Pizza

Gusto Pizza Co.
Laying claim to the title of having the city’s best pizza is a coveted honor. The area boasts a sweet selection of pizzerias that offer an array of styles differing in dozens of ways to create plenty of fun variations that are collectively capable of satiating nearly any appetite. As such, picking the best one is like determining which of your kids you love most. Be that as it may, central Iowa has spoken, and its favorite son is Gusto Pizza Co. for the seventh year in a row, according to CITYVIEW readers. Multiple locations;
Runners-up: Fong’s Pizza, Bordenaro’s Pizzeria

Best Local Bakery

La Mie Bakery
Eggs, omelets, quiche, french toast, tartines, sandwiches, soups, salads, pastries and yummies of so many kinds we can’t list them all, La Mie Bakery has become a central Iowa institution and a local favorite. La Mie is the Best Local Bakery around, according to central Iowa voters. 841 42nd St., 515-255-1625;
Runners-up: Scenic Route Bakery, The Bake Shoppe

Best Local Cupcake Shop

Hurts Donut Company has long been known for offering oversized specialty donuts and for staying “open 25 hours a day 8 days a week,” and now, central Iowa residents say it is the Best Local Place to get a Donut. Photo submitted

Molly’s Cupcakes
The staff at Molly’s Cupcakes works hard to output made-from-scratch cupcake delicacies every day, adding an influx of small batches throughout the day. Made with the finest and freshest ingredients, Molly’s provides a variety of flavor options to choose from before adding your own selection of frosting and toppings. Depending on the time of year, Molly’s menu offerings include Boston cream cupcakes, crème brülèe, peanut butter Nutella, twisted malt pretzel, mint velvet, apple pie, strawberry shortcake, lemon meringue, rainbow sherbet, peach cobbler, blueberry cheesecake or other classics. Is your mouth watering yet? Yum. 215 E. Third St., Des Moines, 515-244-0778;
Runners-up: Scratch Cupcakery, Crème Cupcake + Dessert

Best Local BBQ

Smokey D’s BBQ
Smokey D’s BBQ has won more than 90 state BBQ championships and more than 1,000 local, regional and national awards. Add one more to the list, because CITYVIEW readers say Smokey D’s is the Best Local BBQ around. Multiple locations;
Runners-up: Jethro’s, Big Al’s BBQ

Best Local French Fries

Whether you dip your french fries into mayo, ketchup or some other type of sauce… Whether you prefer to roll down the car windows to enjoy B-Bop’s in your own auto, or whether you prefer going in and sitting down… B-Bop’s offers the Best Local French Fries around, according to our readers. Multiple locations;
Runners-up: Exile Brewing Company, Zombie Burger + Drink Lab

Best Local Chicken Wings

Jethro’s is the repeat champion in this category for concocting central Iowa’s Best Local Chicken Wings, according to our readers. The local BBQ chain has taken home this title in multiple years, and Jethro’s offers bone-in and boneless wings that are served tender, crispy and ready for dipping. Multiple locations;
Runners-up: The Chicken Coop Sports Bar & Grill, Gerri’s

Best Local Nachos

University Library Café
Fresh flour tortillas topped with pinto beans, shredded cheddar cheese, Monterey cheese sauce, salsa, pico de gallo, mild banana pepper rings and sour cream… It is no wonder the University Library Café has yet again won the title in the category of Best Local Nachos. 3506 University Ave., Des Moines, 515-255-0433;
Runners-up: Jethro’s, Smokey D’s BBQ

Best Local Tacos

Tasty Tacos
Famous for its homemade fluffy flour shell tacos that are loaded with seasoned beef, beans, chicken, pork or steak and accompanied with lettuce, cheese and plenty of homemade salsa, this eatery is at the ready. Don’t forget, at Tasty Tacos “Nada Es Imposible!” Multiple locations;
Runners-up: MALO, Fuzzy’s Taco Shop

Best Local Tenderloin

Serving big, breaded and hand-made breaded pork tenderloins in Des Moines since 1952, Smitty’s once again takes home the title as having the Best Local Tenderloin in the Des Moines metro area, according to voters in CITYVIEW’s Best Of Des Moines poll. 1401 Army Post Road, Des Moines, 515-287-4742;
Runners-up: Nick’s, Big Al’s BBQ

Best Local Bar Food

Neighborhood grub served hot from Francie’s southside grill excites appetites and dazzles the taste buds of Des Moines residents. Ever since the airport-area hotspot opened in 1987, Francie’s has been a local favorite, so it is no surprise that, after our Best Of Des Moines tally was finished, the Best Local Bar Food in the city is from Francie’s Bar & Grill. 2100 Wakonda View Drive, Des Moines, 515-285-5207;
Runners-up: High Life Lounge, The Angry Goldfish Pub & Eatery

Best Local Coffee/Coffeehouse

Smokey Row Coffee Co. — housed in a 5,000-square foot caffeine-ingesting haven on the edge of the Sherman Hills Neighborhood — offers live music, a variety of board games, food and other attractions. Photo submitted

Smokey Row Coffee Co.
This 5,000-square-foot coffee-drinking extravaganza is a mammoth coffee house generally full of people at all hours of operation. The enjoyment doesn’t end with Smokey Row’s offerings of caffeinated beverages. The Sherman Hills Neighborhood hotspot also regularly
offers live music opportunities, stocks a plethora of board games, and its menu offers tasty food items. For all of these reasons and more, the action at Smokey Row adds up to make it the Best Local Coffee/Coffeehouse in Des Moines, according to CITYVIEW’s Best Of Des Moines voters. 1910 Cottage Grove, Des Moines, 515-244-2611;
Runners-up: Zanzibar’s Coffee Adventure, Horizon Line Coffee

Best Local Wine Selection at a Restaurant

Louie’s Wine Dive
Louie’s Wine Dive offers assistance to food and wine lovers who wish to be social by fostering an easy-going and laidback atmosphere and a wine list that will impress even the most discerning wine lover. As such, readers of CITYVIEW have voted Louie’s Wine Dive as having the
Best Local Wine Selection at a Restaurant in central Iowa. 4040 University Ave., Suite A, Des Moines, 515-777-3416;
Runners-up: Django, 801 Chophouse

Best Local Power Lunch

A. B. C. You already know this sales acronym. It stands for: “Always. Be. Closing.” When closing time comes for you and your biggest, best and most important client, CITYVIEW readers advise you to pick up the tab at Centro, the winner in the category of Best Local Power Lunch to help enable closers to get big deals done. 1003 Locust St., Des Moines, 515-248-1780;
Runners-up: Palmer’s Deli & Market, St. Kilda Surf & Turf

Best Local Place to Chow After 2 A.M.

Fong’s Pizza
Last call has come and gone. The clock reads 2 a.m., but you are nowhere near ready to go toes up. No way. Not yet. Instead, it is time to enter the Fongolian territory. Fong’s Pizza offers delicious late-night treats, and combined with the eatery’s ambiance, Chinese decor, tiki drinks, and world-famous crab Rangoon pizza, CITYVIEW readers say Fong’s is the champion in the category of Best Local Place to Chow After 2 A.M. Dig in. Multiple locations;
Runners-up: Big Tomato Pizza, Abelardo’s

Best Local Hangover Food

The arithmetic is easy on this one. When you take the winner in the category of Des Moines’ Best Local French Fries — B-Bop’s — and you add in the top-vote-getter for having the city’s Best Local Burgers — also B-Bop’s — the equation adds up to… B-Bop’s as being the Best
Local Hangover Food in the metro area, according to voters in CITYVIEW’s Best Of Des Moines poll. Multiple locations;
Runners-up: Mullets, Waveland Café

Best Local First Date Spot

Louie’s Wine Dive
Don’t be wishy washy. Don’t arrive late. Don’t order finger food. The aforementioned list includes some inadvisable actions on date No. 1, assuming you hope to acquire a date No. 2. The list of things you should do includes saying please and thank you, dressing sharp, and, if you are smart, eat at Louie’s Wine Dive — the Best Local First Date Spot in town, according to central Iowa voters. This may just be your first date, but it might also be the first step on the way to “happily ever after.” 4040 University Ave., Suite A, Des Moines, 515-777-3416;
Runners-up: Centro, Simon’s

Best Local Restaurant Patio

Eatery A
Spending a summer night under the stars enjoying friends and food on the patio at Eatery A… Life doesn’t get much better than that, according to the CITYVIEW readers who once again recognized the Ingersoll organization as offering the Best Local Restaurant Patio experience in the city. 2932 Ingersoll Ave., Des Moines, 515-282-8085;
Runners-up: Wellman’s Pub and Rooftop, MALO

Best Local Place to get a Donut

Hurts Donut Company
Known for its offerings of oversized specialty donuts, Hurts Donut Company says it is “open 25 hours a day, 8 days a week.” That is a good thing, because central Iowa residents say it is the Best Local Place to get a Donut. 5513 Mills Civic Parkway, Suite 105, West Des Moines, 515-267-1671;
Runners-up: Donut Hut, ChuChu Donuts

Best Local Caterer

When you need good food served on time for weddings, baby showers, business meetings, conferences or other special occasions, CITYVIEW readers say Hy-Vee is the Best Local Caterer in the city. Multiple locations;
Runners-up: Taste! To Go, Cyd’s Catering

Best Local Restaurant Supply Company

Hockenbergs’ food-service offerings include restaurant planning and design, installing equipment and an array of commercial kitchen services. The Hockenbergs team has been committed to excellence, reliability and personal attention for more than a century in central Iowa, which might be why local residents have recognized the company as the Best Local Restaurant Supply Company in the greater Des Moines area. 6000 Aurora Ave., Des Moines. 515-282-0033;
Runners-up: Bolton & Hay, Sysco

Best Local Vietnamese food

A Dong
The exquisite Vietnamese eats offered at A Dong restaurant, along with its bevy of vegan and vegetarian fare, have combined to make this popular Sherman Hill eatery the city’s Best Local Vietnamese Food option, according to voters in CITYVIEW’s Best Of Des Moines voting. 1511 High St., Des Moines, 515-284-5632;
Runners-up: Shanghai Chinese Restaurant, Pho 888

Best Local Food Truck

Top Bun
Iowa’s self-proclaimed “Flyest Food Truck” is passionate about serving its tasty brand of burgers. The meals-on-wheels apparatus offers a host of unique eats designed to tickle the taste buds, satiate enormous appetites and leave hunger in the dust. The next time you do a “fly by,” consider taking down the Danger Burger, served with roasted corn salsa, jalapenos, queso fresco and sriracha sauce. Can’t wait. 515-240-8487;
Runners-up: Veggie Thumper, Des.Fresh.Foods

Best Local Chocolate/Candy Store

Chocolaterie Stam
White chocolate, milk chocolate, mocha chocolate…Chocolaterie Stam offers chocolate products of the highest quality in flavors too numerous to list. This salivainducing chocolate hotspot satisfies the sweet tooth of incoming chocolate lovers, and it has been eradicating
their chocolate cravings for more than two centuries. And… chocolate, chocolate, chocolate. Multiple locations;
Runners-up: Chocolate Storybook, Beaverdale Confections


Best Local Store (overall)

Apricot Lane Boutique
Having fun with fashion is inevitable at Apricot Lane. The Valley West Mall women’s boutique offers a diverse selection of eye-catching apparel and stylish accessories to intrigue even the most discerning fashion experts. Apricot Lane is the Best Local Store (overall), according to CITYVIEW readers. 1551 Valley West Drive, #275, West Des Moines, 515-221-2221;
Runners-up: Mint Piercing, PetSakes

Best Local Men’s Clothing Store

Kunzler Studios showcases artwork and also helps people create it in the Historic Valley Junction shopping district. Photo submitted

Mr. B
Exciting new fabrics, colors, styles and trends have been on the agenda at Mr. B for more than four decades. The high-end clothing store offers a unique shopping experience to elevate and enhance the lives and wardrobes of its customers. By bringing Des Moines the finest threads, high-quality men’s dress clothing, suits and business casual apparel, Mr. B has earned its reputation as the Best Local Men’s Clothing Store in the area. 1995 N.W. 86th St. Clive, 515-276-8589;
Runners-up: G & L Clothing – now part of the Boot Barn family, Badowers

Best Local Women’s Clothing Store

Apricot Lane Boutique
Offering a wide variety of fashionable women’s apparel for all ages, Apricot Lane Boutique also prides itself on excelling at having friendly customer service within an easily accessible West Des Moines location at Valley West Mall. As such, whether you are a trendsetter looking to make a splash or a lover of classic all-American style, Apricot Lane Boutique is the Best Local Women’s Clothing Store, according to central Iowa voters. 1551 Valley West Drive, #275, West Des Moines, 515-221-2221;
Runners-up: The Funky Zebras, Empress Threads

Best Local Thrift Shop

Thrifting fun at Goodwill inevitably brings about righteous finds at the organization’s many locations across the Des Moines metropolitan area. With teeming aisles of nearly new clothes, housewares, books and other useful items that are priced to sell, it is no wonder the local thrifting hotspot is once again occupying the top spot in the category of the Best Local Thrift Shop in central Iowa, according to CITYVIEW’s Best Of Des Moines voters. Multiple locations;
Runners-up: The Salvation Army, Stuff Etc

Best Local Resale/Consignment Boutique

Did you know that 60 percent of the hangers in American closets hold clothes that are rarely if ever used? Worn works to buy designer labels out of these closets, and it then resells them to savvy customers who prioritize maximum value while acquiring still-stylish apparel. Renewing wardrobes easily at affordable prices is best accomplished at Worn, according to CITYVIEW readers who recognized the retail clothing store as the Best Local Resale/Consignment Boutique in the area. Multiple locations, 515-224-6880;
Runners-up: Stuff Etc, Plato’s Closet

Best Prairie Trail Store

Taste. Learn. Enjoy. That’s the motto at WineStyles. WineStyles strives to pair premium products with unparalleled customer service to create a community gathering place with an atmosphere conducive to important conversation. Food, friends and drinks… Fun is on the agenda at WineStyles, located within The District at Prairie Trail in Ankeny. 1450 S.W. Vintage Parkway, Suite 170, Ankeny, 515-963-9463; NOTE: WineStyles also has locations in West Des Moines and Johnston.
Runners-up: Mainstream Boutique, The Elements

Best Local Frame Shop

Tandem Brick Gallery
Tandem Brick offers hundreds of frame samples to help ensure you get what you want and inspire ideas for frame options you didn’t know existed. No framing job is too big or too small. Tandem Brick Gallery’s team of professional framers has helped the Ingersoll Avenue shop become recognized as the Best Local Frame Shop in the city, according to readers of CITYVIEW. 2722 Ingersoll Ave., Des Moines, 515-282-1031;
Runners-up: Terri’s Frame Shop, The Great Frame Up

Best Local Bridal Shop

Schaffer’s customer service and outstanding selection has left no shortage of satisfied customers. One former bride-to-called the company a “beautiful bright spot” in her wedding dress shopping experience, and CITYVIEW’s Best Of Des Moines voters agree, recognizing Schaffer’s as the Best Local Bridal Shop in the area. 5445 Mills Civic Parkway, West Des Moines, 515-288-0356;
Runners-up: Weddings By Design, Something Blue

Best Local Tuxedo Shop

Skeffington’s Formal Wear
Skeffington’s Formal Wear provides tuxedos, suits and high-end threads for formal occasions. With premier offerings of formal wear and casual groom attire for weddings, proms and other special black-tie events, Skeffington’s is a one-stop-shop for sharp-dressed men. In addition, Skeffington’s is the city’s Best Local Tuxedo Shop, according to CITYVIEW’s Best Of Des Moines voting. Multiple locations;
Runners-up: The Tux Shop, Milroy’s

Best Local Children’s Store

Once Upon a Child
Known for friendly prices on its offerings of kids clothing, costumes, dancewear, beach attire and too many other options to list, Once Upon a Child pays cash for kids toys and equipment and resells them for less than the items would otherwise cost. The shop’s selection includes gently-used clothing and accessories for sizes ranging from preemie to age 20. 10465 Hickman Road, Urbandale, 515-222-0774;
Runners-up: The Learning Post, Swell Shop for Baby

Best Local New Store

THE COLLECTIVE offers vegan and other ethically made goods to help customers live a more compassionate and eco-friendly life. The shop works to create a community of sustainability where all are welcome. “Sustainable living isn’t just about making less trash,” says Owner Jamie Nicolino on the company website. “It is deeper than that, and that is why THE COLLECTIVE began. I want to create a safe space for us to grow and learn together. Throw perfection out the window, because it is suffocating. Do what you can. Learn about how you can do more, ask questions, and go at your own pace. This is a journey and I will be with you — learning right alongside you — every step of the way. My mission at THE COLLECTIVE is to protect and preserve our planet, stand up for what we believe in as a community and take action by making conscious, compassionate choices as consumers to have a global impact. I cannot wait to welcome you into my home (literally… I live upstairs), and continue to grow and learn together as we make Des Moines a more compassionate, sustainable community.” 340 S.W. Fifth St., #122, Des Moines;
Runners-up: Orange Chic Boutique, Bozz Prints

Best Local Music Store

Zzz Records
Specializing in new and used vinyl LPs, Zzz Records also offers used CDs, new CDs, 8-tracks, cassettes, reel-to-reel tapes and other music delivery mechanisms. 2200 Ingersoll Ave., Des Moines, 515-284-1401;
Runners-up: Vinyl Cup Records, Marv’s Music

Best Local New or Used Book Store

The East Village in downtown Des Moines teems with boutiques, salons and spas, hotels, specialty shops, and one-of-a-kind shopping hotspots. Photo by Jeff Pitts

Half Price Books
“A room without books is like a body without a soul,” said Marcus Tullius Cicero, an ancient Roman statesman, orator, lawyer and philosopher. Being a leader of one of the mightiest republics in world history, it is likely that Cicero could have paid full price for as many books as he needed, but, if a Half Price Books had existed during the first century BC, historians believe Cicero would have been a frequent customer. Patrons of Half Price Books can buy, sell or trade books of nearly every genre. CITYVIEW voters say the discount book shop is the Best Local New or Used Book Store in the city. 10201 University Ave., Clive, 515-224-4429;
Runners-up: Beaverdale Books, Plain Talk Books & Coffee

Best Local Car Dealership (Domestic)

Stivers Ford Lincoln
Looking for a new or used car, truck or sport utility vehicle without enduring an onslaught of aggressive sales tactics? For more than 35 years, the Stivers Ford Lincoln staff has afforded incoming car shoppers the requisite space to enjoy perusing its family-operated Ford dealership’s automobile offerings. 1450 E. Hickman Road, Waukee, 1-800-747-2744;
Runners-up: Willis Automotive, Bob Brown Chevrolet

Best Local Car Dealership (Foreign)

Willis Automotive
Willis Automotive proudly offers prospective car buyers an array of attractive options. The dealership showcases premium vehicles while treating shoppers to what it calls, “the ultimate guest experience.” CITYVIEW readers have spoken, and say Willis Auto Campus is the Best Local Car Dealership (Foreign) in the area. 2121 100th St., Clive, 855-638-1176;
Runners-up: Toyota of Des Moines, Hummel’s Nissan

Best Motorcycle Shop

Big Barn Harley-Davidson
Vrrrrooom!!! Big Barn Harley-Davidson offers big-time bikes with booming engines, plus biker accessories, clothing, merchandise, collectibles, parts, service and more. Big Barn Harley-Davidson is the Best Motorcycle Shop in the Des Moines metropolitan area, according to voters in CITYVIEW’s Best Of Des Moines polling. 81 N.W. 49th Place, Des Moines, 515-265-4444;
Runners-up: Baumer’s Cycle, Des Moines Custom Cycle

Best Local Bicycle Shop

Bike World
Offering some of the best two-wheeled transportation devices available, Bike World is famous for its wide array of best-in-class bikes, biking products and for employing an easy-going staff armed with significant bicycle expertise. Bike World bills itself as “Iowa’s Local Bicycle Shop, Supporting The Sport Since 1979,” and its bevy of services include bicycle repair, bicycle fitting, a rewards club and a bike trade-in plan. CITYVIEW readers say Bike World is the Best Local Bicycle Shop in the city… “On your left!” Multiple locations;
Runners-up: Kyle’s Bikes, Rasmussen Bike Shop

Best Local Liquor Store

Hy-Vee Wine and Spirits
Hy-Vee Wine and Spirits has once again been named the city’s Best Local Liquor Store, according to readers of CITYVIEW. Hy-Vee’s offerings include craft beer, wine, liquor and other specialties. Multiple locations;
Runners-up: Ingersoll Wine & Spirits, Central City Liquors

Best Local Wine Store

The hundreds of wines and craft beers at WineStyles complement a large selection of handcrafted chocolates, artisanal cheeses and gourmet food. WineStyles offers wine by the glass, rotating craft beers on tap and a full menu of tapas. When you stop in at WineStyles, be prepared to taste, learn, enjoy and to witness the many reasons why central Iowa says it is the Best Local Wine Store in the area. WineStyles has locations in West Des Moines, Ankeny and Johnston;
Runners-up: Ingersoll Wine & Spirits, Hy-Vee

Best Local Grocery Store

Hy-Vee is a regional food powerhouse. The popular grocery store chain serves central Iowa by way of its top-notch customer service, easily accessible groceries and much, much more. Spinning up and down the aisles at Hy-Vee can be a fun event instead of a dreadful chore. As such, it is no surprise that the Des Moines area crowd has again gone wild for Hy-Vee, and CITYVIEW readers say it is the Best Local Grocery Store in the area. Multiple locations;
Runners-up: Fareway, Gateway Market

Best Local Jewelry Store

Josephs Jewelers
Stunning, elegant, shapely and graceful. When the time comes to take someone’s breath away, bring home a small but elegant box containing a heart-stopping treasure from Josephs Jewelers, the Best Local Jewelry Store in central Iowa, according to CITYVIEW readers. The local jewelry retailer offers fine diamonds, rare gems, Rolex watches and other items possessing unspeakable beauty. Multiple
Runners-up: Mint Piercing, Prysm Body Piercing & Jewelry Gallery

Best Local Antique Store

The Brass Armadillo Antique Mall
With 36,000 square feet of floor space stuffed full of retro finds, vintage treasures, antiques and classic pieces from the past, The Brass Armadillo Antique Mall’s treasure adventure awaits. Exquisite fine china dishes, historic postcards penned by yesteryear’s forgotten heroes, Japanese spaghetti western posters, GI Joe action figures, LIFE magazine images… It is no wonder that “Everybody’s talkin’ ‘bout The Brass Armadillo.” 701 N.E. 50th Ave., Des Moines, 515-282-0082;
Runners-up: The Picker Knows Antiques & Collectibles, Funky Finds

Best Local Art Gallery

Kunzler Studios
Create. Innovate. Educate. Celebrate. Located in the Historic Valley Junction shopping district and recognized by CITYVIEW readers as the Best Local Art Gallery in the greater metropolitan area, Kunzler Studios does art and teaches others to do the same. Kunzler has a wide
array of art for sale, and it also offers pottery classes for anyone wanting to learn basic throwing techniques, trimming and glazing. 324 Fifth St., West Des Moines, 515-279-0322;
Runners-up: Moberg Gallery, Liz Lidgett Gallery

Best Local Hardware Store

Ace Hardware
“Ace is the place with the helpful hardware folks…” Ace Hardware is also the place that is now recognized as the Best Local Hardware Store in central Iowa, according to CITYVIEW readers. Multiple locations;
Runners-up: True Value, Miller’s Hardware

Best Shopping District

Valley Junction is home to Bing’s, the Best Local Gift Shop in the area, according to our readers. Photo submitted

The Historic East Village
Trend-setting boutiques. Plush salons. Extravagant spas. High-end hotels. Fun specialty shops. Downtown Des Moines’ Historic East Village offers all of the aforementioned, and it also delivers Des Moines’ citizenry one-of-a-kind shopping hotspots like Raygun, unequaled eateries such as Zombie Burger, an ever enduring old-school watering hole known as the Locust Tap, and a gospel-preaching, Jesus-following group of Bible believing worshippers who fill the seats at Walnut Creek Church on Saturday nights.
Runners-up: Valley Junction, Jordan Creek

Best Local Flower Shop

Boesen the Florist
Nothing says what needs to be said like flowers. When your heart knows the perfect message, but your mind can’t muster an appropriate English translation, central Iowa opts for calling Boesen the Florist to interpret. Boesen is the Best Local Flower Shop in the metro,
according to CITYVIEW readers. Multiple locations;
Runners-up: Plaza Florist & Gifts, Stems Flower Shop

Best Local Gift Shop

Located within Historic Valley Junction, Bing’s is the Best Local Gift Shop in the area, according to our readers. 213 Fifth St., West Des Moines, 515-279-3141;
Runners-up: Tandem Brick Gallery, MoMere

Best Local Place to Buy Makeup

Ulta Beauty
When you want to put your best face forward, or lips, eyes or rosy cheeks, Ulta is the preferred shopping option for buying makeup, according to readers of CITYVIEW. Multiple locations;
Runners-up: Sephora, Vanity & Glamour

Best Local Camera Store

Christian Photo
Pictures are said to be worth a thousand words. If you want a never-ending story, consider Christian Photo to help you document your quest. CITYVIEW readers say it is the Best Local Camera Store in central Iowa. 6721 Douglas Ave., Urbandale. 515-270-8030;
Runners-up: Alexander’s Photo, Forever Gold

Best Local Place to Purchase a Musical Instrument

Rieman Music is a full-service music retailer owned and operated
by musicians for musicians. Rieman is also the Best Local
Place to Purchase a Musical Instrument, according to voters in
CITYVIEW’s Best Of Des Moines poll.

Rieman Music
Established in 1953, Rieman Music is a full-service music retailer owned and operated by musicians for musicians. Whether you are a beginner, a professional, or if you play at a skill level that is in between, CITYVIEW’s Best Of Des Moines voters have once again recognized Rieman as the Best Local Place to Purchase a Musical Instrument. Multiple locations;
Runners-up: Uptempo Music, Professional Music Center

Best Local Computer Repair Shop

Dymin Systems
Whether help is needed at home or at your place of business, Dymin works to provide outstanding IT services and technology advice by practicing good business via good processes and by implementing its industry’s best practices. When you hit the enter button, but your computer cursor won’t budge, how many times will you hit the button harder before calling for help? Dymin Systems is central Iowa’s
choice as the Best Local Computer Repair Shop in central Iowa, according to our readers. 3970 N.W. Urbandale Drive, Urbandale, 515-276-7447;
Runners-up: Little Dog Tech, 600 Monkeys

Best Local Phone Repair Shop

CPR – Cell Phone Repair
Your cell phone isn’t just a phone, it is your portal to everything. When it’s on the blink… ARG!!! If the screen has cracked, or if the caller ID doesn’t identify anymore, whatever your issue is, CPR wants to save the day… and your cell. For fast, affordable phone repair, CITYVIEW readers have voted CPR as the Best Local Phone Repair Shop in the area. Multiple locations,
Runners-up: Mobile Spot, AnkenyFixIt

Best Local Place to Get a Costume

Theatrical Shop
Wigs, hats, masks, novelties, Santa suits, tiaras, baton twirling supplies, cheerleading pom-poms, dance supplies, theatrical make-up, Halloween costumes, dress-up accessories… When you need to look like someone other than yourself, Valley Junction’s Theatrical Shop is the Best Local Place to Get a Costume, according to central Iowa voters. 145 Fifth St., West Des Moines, 515-274-3661;
Runners-up: Party City, Goodwill

Best Local Pawn Shop

Solar Loan & Sales
Solar Loan & Sales is Des Moines’ oldest pawn shop, and, according to voters in CITYVIEW’s Best Of Des Moines polling, it is also the Best Local Pawn Shop. Located on Ingersoll Avenue across from Caribou Coffee, Solar Loan & Sales offers cash for gold, jewelry, electronics and other valuables. 3311 Ingersoll Ave., Des Moines, 515-244-7084;
Runners-up: The Pawn Store, A to Z Pawn

Best Local Convenience Store

Casey’s General Store
Known for producing tasty slices of steaming hot pizza, Casey’s also offers gas, treats and courteous service. With more than 2,000 locations, Casey’s is known for having clean stores, quality products and competitive prices. When you add all of this up, Casey’s is being called the Best Local Convenience Store in the area, according to voters in CITYVIEW’s Best Of Des Moines poll. Multiple locations;
Runners-up: Kum & Go, QuikTrip

Best Local Place to Buy Cigars/Tobacco

David’s Fine Tobaccos
David’s Fine Tobaccos products include cigars, pipes, hookahs and more. CITYVIEW readers say David’s Fine Tobaccos is the Best Local Place to Buy Cigars/Tobacco in central Iowa. 9759 University Ave., Clive, 515-278-8701;
Runners-up: Leaf Brothers Cigar, Iowa Cigar Company

Best Local E-Cigarette Shop

Central Iowa Vapors
Central Iowa Vapors provides customers with vaping products, product knowledge and helpful services to go along with a wide selection of electronic cigarettes, e-liquid and other vaping accessories. Multiple locations;
Runners-up: Route 69 Vapor, 515 Vape & Disc Golf

Best Local Mall

Jordan Creek
Wooing customers with an array of enticing eats, lively events, loads of shopping and live music, Jordan Creek’s giant lifestyle center boasts upscale brand names at stores that include: Barnes & Noble, Banana Republic, American Eagle, Apple, Best Buy and Buckle. The area’s largest indoor shopping center is also equipped with a 20-screen movie theater, so get your popcorn ready. CITYVIEW voters have spoken, and once again they say Jordan Creek is the Best Local Mall in the area. 101 Jordan Creek Parkway, West Des Moines, 515-440-6255;
Runners-up: Valley West Mall, Outlets of Des Moines

Best Valley Junction Store

When you wish to give the perfect gift, the Historic Valley Junction Shopping District is a good place to look, and Bing’s is the Best Valley Junction Store, according to CITYVIEW readers. Offering one-of-a-kind gifts, art poles, cards, books, games, socks and fun things that
generally make people happy, Bing’s is a mother-and-daughter-run gift store that opened in 2017. 213 Fifth St., West Des Moines, 515-279-3141;
Runners-up: Hinge, MoMere

Best West Glen Store

Mint Piercing
Mint Piercing makes customer safety the No. 1 priority, and the shop also carries brand name jewelry options. According to CITYVIEW readers, Mint is the Best West Glen Store. Multiple locations;
Runners-up: WineStyles, Plato’s Closet

Best East Village Store

The Historic East Village’s most famous T-shirt shop, Raygun is also the Best East Village Store, according to CITYVIEW readers. 505 E. Grand Ave., Des Moines, 515-288-1323;
Runners-up: AllSpice Culinarium, KIN

Best Beaverdale Area Store

Back Country
This locally owned shop in northwest Des Moines offers a unique selection, a friendly staff and a fun atmosphere. The merchandise is geared to equip outdoor enthusiasts for every adventure. Back Country is once again the Best Beaverdale Area Store, according to our readers. 2702 Beaver Ave., Des Moines, 515-255-0031;
Runners-up: Beaverdale Books, Uptempo Music

Best Ingersoll Area Store

Tandem Brick Gallery
Ingersoll Avenue consists of many upscale stores, restaurants, bars and high-end shopping experiences, and, according to readers of CITYVIEW, Tandem Brick Gallery is the Best Ingersoll Area Store for the sixth straight year. 2722 Ingersoll Ave., Des Moines, 515-282-1031;
Runners-up: Badowers, Chocolaterie Stam

Best Local Furniture Store

Homemakers showroom offers more than 200,000 square feet of inventory. The store’s giant selection showcases the latest home trends, including sofas, sectionals, recliners, loveseats, futons, klik klaks, coffee tables, mattresses, bedroom sets, bunk beds, baby cribs, dining room tables, chairs, benches, office chairs, desks, home office furnishings, accent chairs, tables, ottomans, poufs, patio furniture, outdoor accessories, fire pits… Homemakers pretty much has it all, which might be why Des Moines says it is the Best Local Furniture Store in central Iowa, according to readers of CITYVIEW. 10215 Douglas Ave., Urbandale, 515-276-2772;
Runners-up: Slumberland Furniture, By Design

Best Local Home Decor Store

At Home
The home décor superstore, At Home, extracts unnecessary frills from home decorations and passes its significant savings onto its loyal customer base. At Home offers stylish comfort for every room and budget, and CITYVIEW readers say it is the Best Local Home Decor Store in the city. 10331 University Ave., Clive, 515-446-2920;
Runners-up: Accents + Interiors, MoMere


Best Whiskey

Prairie Fire – Iowa Distilling Company
“Forever committed to delivering a top-shelf spirit,” the Iowa Distilling Company’s Prairie Fire label serves as the Cumming-area distillery’s signature hot cinnamon-flavored whiskey. This intense concoction is said to bring hardcore heat, the good kind, and that is one reason why CITYVIEW readers say Prairie Fire is Des Moines’ Best Whiskey option. 4349 Cumming Ave., Cumming, 515-981-4216;
Runners-up: Obtainium, Templeton Rye

Best Vodka

Tito’s Handmade Vodka
By using old-fashioned pot stills and taste-testing each and every batch, Tito’s Handmade Vodka has become a central Iowa favorite. According to CITYVIEW readers, Tito’s is the Best Vodka option in the area.
Runners-up: Zone Vodka – Iowa Distilling Company, Swell Vodka – Iowa Distilling Company

Best Rum

Steel Drum Rum – Iowa Distilling Company
Iowans take pride in being 100 percent real, which is why Iowa Distilling Company goes “above and beyond” to import authentic — aka real — panela and pure molasses from the Caribbean. This extra effort helps to infuse Steel Drum Rum with a sweetness that accents its signature smoothness, which is brought about from being aged within American white oak barrels. So sit back, relax and say “Cheers!” Steel Drum Rum by Iowa Distilling Company is the best rum in the area, according to CITYVIEW readers.
Runners-up: Captain Morgan, Malibu Rum

Best Local Craft Beer

Channel your inner rockstar at AJ’s on East Court, The Best Local Place to Karaoke in the Des Moines metro area, according to Best Of Des Moines voters. Photo by Jeff Pitts

Exile Brewing Company
“Every drop of our beer is brewed, bottled, kegged, and canned at our downtown Des Moines location,” says Exile Brewing Company on its website. “Our team takes great pride in the brewery we’ve been building since 2012. Schedule a tour, we love showing it off!” In addition, Exile believes fresh beer is the best beer, thus filling a glass straight from the source is something beer aficionados ought to highly prioritize. Central Iowa voters agree, calling Exile the Best Local Craft Beer around. 1514 Walnut St., Des Moines 515-883-2337;
Runners-up: Confluence Brewing Company, Peace Tree Brewing Company

Best New Local Bar

The Winchester
Valley Junction’s neighborhood pub, The Winchester, is a cocktail and beer lounge boasting an impressive selection of spirits and craft cocktails. The cozy, prohibition-style bar offers its signature line of cocktails as well as a modern twist on the classics. 224 Fifth St., Suite 102, West Des Moines, 515-499-4002;
Runners-up: Bellhop, Ernie’s Boondock

Best Local Patio Bar

300 Craft & Rooftop
Sit back, relax and enjoy your time on top of 300 Craft & Rooftop’s 2,300-square-foot bar situated on the third floor and offering views of downtown Des Moines, including the baseball action at Principal Park, home of the Iowa Cubs. The Best Local Patio Bar in the area, according to CITYVIEW readers, is 300 Craft & Rooftop. 300 W. Martin Luther King Jr. Parkway, Des Moines, 515-288-3414;
Runners-up: Wellman’s Pub and Rooftop, Tipsy Crow Tavern

Best Local Irish Bar

Annie’s Irish Pub
Annie’s Irish Pub in downtown Des Moines takes pride in its patio and says it is perfect for Saturday morning bloody marys at the Downtown Farmers’ Market, or for happy hour after work with friends, or for late-night relaxation. CITYVIEW readers say it is the Best Local Irish Bar in the area. 206 Third St., Des Moines, 515-288-8323;
Runners-up: Sully’s Irish Pub, Mickey’s Irish Pub Waukee

Best Local Dive Bar

Carl’s Place
Congratulations to Carl’s Place. The longtime Sherman Hills establishment has firmly established itself as the preferred dive bar of CITYVIEW readers, winning that distinction for the third straight year. 1620 Woodland Ave., Des Moines, 515-243-9727.
Runners-up: Toad’s Tavern, High Life Lounge

Best Local Fancy-Pants Bar

Juniper Moon
“(Juniper Moon) is a place where deals are done… Where Fitzgerald toasts Gatsby over cocktails for the modern palate; where companions savor craft beers; where love is sparked over a boutique wine; where life is a celebration and everything is perfect…” says the Moon’s website. CITYVIEW readers seem to agree and have once again recognized the Ingersoll establishment as the Best Local Fancy-Pants Bar in Des Moines. 2005 Ingersoll Ave., Des Moines, 515-369-7786;
Runners-up: The Republic on Grand; Hello, Marjorie

Best Local Hipster Spot

Valley Junction’s neighborhood pub, The Winchester, boasts an impressive selection of spirits and craft cocktails. Photo by Jackie Wilson

The Lift
Local residents have once again voted The Lift as Des Moines’ Best Local Hipster Spot. The Court Avenue District bohemian bar boasts an award-winning martini menu, an extensive beer selection and top-notch cocktails. These offerings complement The Lift’s unique ambiance that is enhanced by local art and a one-of-a-kind atmosphere. 222 Fourth St., Des Moines, 515-288-3777;
Runners-up: Hello, Marjorie; Carl’s Place

Best Local Sports Bar

Cheap Seats
Watching the big game while out on the town and sipping on something cold… Cheap Seats wins the title this year as the area’s Best Local Sports Bar, according to voters in CITYVIEW’s Best Of Des Moines poll. Game day at Cheap Seats resembles a tailgate party, so plan accordingly. 2301 Hubbell Ave., Des Moines, 262-2833;
Runners-up: Spectators, Johnny’s Hall of Fame

Best Local Bar (Overall)

300 Craft & Rooftop
An estimated 600,000 people populate Greater Des Moines, according to data from the U.S. Census Bureau, and the metro boasts more than 300 drinking establishments. From this vast array of bar service options, the No. 1 Best Local Bar (Overall) is 300 Craft & Rooftop, according to our readers who voted in CITYVIEW’s Best Of Des Moines poll. Even more impressive, this is the second year in a row Des Moines’ premier rooftop bar has won the honor. Known for downtown views that are unmatched, the third-floor establishment also offers drinks, ambiance and is within easy walking distances to many of central Iowa’s other top attractions. 300 W. Martin Luther King Jr. Parkway, Des Moines, 515-288-3414,
Runners-up: Iowa Distilling Company, Garden Nightclub

Best Prairie Trail Bar

Whiskey River
“Life is a journey, and Whiskey River at The District is your rest stop along the way,” says the newly crowned champion in the category of Best Prairie Trail Bar, according to voters in CITYVIEW’s Best Of Des Moines poll. This Ankeny watering hole offers live sports action, patio seating, a menu of mules, and “enough spirits to lift yours.” 1350 S.W. Vintage Parkway, Ankeny, 515-264-5502;
Runners-up: Whiskey House, District 36 Wine Bar & Grille

Best Downtown Bar

300 Craft & Rooftop
The bright lights within downtown Des Moines illuminate the night, inject electricity into the city, and offer central Iowa citizens a whole lot of action. The No. 1 place to enjoy that opportunity is at 300 Craft & Rooftop, which has been voted the Best Downtown Bar by readers of CITYVIEW. 300 W. Martin Luther King Jr. Parkway, Des Moines, 515-288-3414;
Runners-up: Hello, Marjorie; Beer Can Alley

Best West Side Bar

Shotgun Betty’s
Shotgun Betty’s in West Des Moines’ West Glen Town Center is a foot-stomping country bar that likes its music loud, its beer cold, and customers who like the same. If your agenda includes kicking up your boots within a sea of flannel while two-stepping the night away, enjoy the wide selection of local beer options, good music and… “Yee-Haw!” It’s Shotgun Betty’s. 5535 Mills Civic Parkway, Suite 100, West Des Moines, 515-309-0744;
Runners-up: The Winchester, Wellman’s Pub and Rooftop

Best East Village Bar

Blazing Saddle
Blazing Saddle takes the title as the Best East Village Bar for 2020, according to CITYVIEW readers. “The Saddle” — as it is commonly called — is open 365 days a year, and its motto is “Never a Cover and Always a Double.” 416 E. Fifth St., Des Moines, 515-246-1299;
Runners-up: Up-Down, Garden Nightclub

Best East Bar

Toad’s Tavern
Toad’s Tavern once again takes the title of Best East Bar, according to Best Of Des Moines Voters. Located just north of University near the Fairgrounds, the local favorite offers sports, board games, a variety of leisure options, friendly service and good times. 3002 State Ave., Des Moines, 515-264-8623;
Runners-up: Cheap Seats, Kelly’s Little Nipper

Best South Bar

For more than three decades, the folks at Francie’s have invited customers to “Relax. Eat. Enjoy.” The locally owned-and-operated sports bar and south-side mainstay offer legendary bar food and a menu loaded with wings, nachos, burgers, sandwiches, soups, salads and American-style food. Customers often wash all this down with Francie’s assortment of domestic and specialty beers. 2100 Wakonda View Drive, Des Moines, 515-285-5207;
Runners-up: The Angry Goldfish Pub & Eatery, Thirsty Sportsman

Best Local Winery

Jasper Winery
The rural ambiance at Jasper Winery is just a few minutes from the hustle and bustle of downtown Des Moines. The estate-style facility exists within the metro’s heart and specializes in premium quality wines made from grapes sourced from vineyards throughout central Iowa. The winery also regularly offers live music and events. 2400 George Flagg Parkway, Des Moines, 515-282-9463;
Runners-up: Summerset Winery, Covered Bridges Winery

Best Local Brewery

Confluence Brewing Company offers live music, special tappings, events and bold-tasting brews. Photo submitted

Confluence Brewing Company
With taproom offerings that include live music, special tappings and events, something is almost always on the agenda in the Confluence taproom. The brewery says its “…beers are honest, hard-working, friendly and unpretentious. … Confluence brews the hand-crafted beer that Des Moines can call its own. If you savor beer as both a bold taste adventure in the present and a connection with generations past, Confluence Brewery was founded for you. They are devoted to creating a confluence of great beer, good friends and wonderful times — and look forward to bringing you together with a pint very soon.” Located just South of Gray’s Lake on Des Moines’ south side. 1235 Thomas Beck Road Des Moines, 515-285-9005;
Runners-up: Exile Brewing Company, Peace Tree Brewing Company

Best Local Moscow Mule

The Copper Cup
Offering an extensive menu of copper cup recipes and concoctions, including its Irish Mule, Sexy Mule, and its Tea Time Mule, The Copper Cup is the champion again in the category of the Best Local Moscow Mule, according to CITYVIEW readers. 207 Fourth St., 515-554-2606;
Runners-up: Van Gogh’s Mule – Iowa Distilling Company, 300 Craft & Rooftop

Best Local Bloody Mary

No matter what hairstyle you sport, and whether you like it long in back or prefer to showcase some partying up front, or both, CITYVIEW’s Best Of Des Moines voters say Mullets serves the Best Local Bloody Mary around. 1300 S.E. First St., Des Moines, 515-244-1443;
Runners-up: Iowa Distilling Company, Jethro’s

Best Local Bar to Play Games

Pinball machines. Skee-ball alleys. Nintendo and Sega console gaming. Old-school arcade options. Life-sized Jenga and Connect Four look-alikes. All these games plus a drink menu offering plenty of craft beer and cocktails make the East Village’s Up-Down the Best Local Bar to Play Games, according to Best Of Des Moines voters. P.S. All games cost a quarter. 500 E. Locust St., Des Moines, 515-243-4322;
Runners-up: Smash Park, Operating Room

Best Local Place to See Beautiful People

Jasper Winery is just a few minutes from the hustle and bustle of downtown Des Moines, but it is known for its rural ambiance and premium quality wines made from grapes sourced from vineyards throughout central Iowa. Photo submitted

Garden Nightclub
Bright smiles. Six-pack abs. Long toned and well-tanned legs. Behemoth biceps. High cheekbones. When you want to ogle long lines of aesthetically pleasing people, a plethora of well-proportioned symmetry is easy to spot at the Garden Nightclub, according to CITYVIEW’s Best Of Des Moines voters. 112 S.E. Fourth St., Des Moines, 515-515-243-3965;
Runners-up: Coachlight Clinic & Spa; Hello, Marjorie

Best Local Happy Hour

Eatery A
If you are happy and you know it, or soon will be, then Eatery A’s assorted happy hour offerings might be on your agenda. The Best Local Happy Hour in town belongs to Eatery A, according to central Iowa voters in CITYVIEW’s Best Of Des Moines poll. 2932 Ingersoll Ave., Des Moines, 515-282-8085;
Runners-up: Toad’s Tavern, Bar Louie

Best Local Bartender

Bruce Huckfeldt – Shotgun Betty’s
A good bartender provides top-notch service while using his or her knowledge and skill to pour cocktails with precision and lend a sympathetic ear and easy conversation. Readers of CITYVIEW say Bruce Huckfeldt of Shotgun Betty’s is the Best Local Bartender in town. 5535 Mills Civic Parkway, Suite 100, West Des Moines, 515-309-0744;
Runners-up: Austin Ratcliff – Garden Nightclub, Shanna Vaughn – Iowa Distilling Company

Best Local Martini Menu

The Stuffed Olive
The Garlic Mashed Potato martini is made with Chopin Vodka (made from potatoes) and olive brine. The Almond Joy Martini offers White Godiva, Malibu Rum, Frangelico, cream and chocolate swirls. The Almost Better Than Sex Martini contains Irish cream, Kahlua, Amaretto, cream and chocolate swirls. Whether you choose one of these or one of the dozens of other options on the extensive martini menu — including a Banana Cream Pie Martini, a Birthday Cake Martini, Bloody Mary Martini — The Stuffed Olive has the Best Local Martini Menu in the city, according CITYVIEW readers. 208 Third St., Des Moines, 515-243-4456;
Runners-up: The Lift, Irina’s

Best Local Margarita

Salted rims, iced tequila and a little lime is served to widespread acclaim at MALO in downtown Des Moines. MALO says it is “Des Moines’ destination for classic Mexican cuisine.” From tacos, fajitas, enchiladas, burgers, salads and more… “Soy MALO, estoy por todo el país,” says the eatery’s website. 900 Mulberry St., Des Moines, 515-244-5000;
Runners-up: Iowa Distilling Company – SHINE-A-RITA, Mi Mexico

Best Local Dance Club

Garden Nightclub
If dance is the hidden language of the soul, as it is famously said to be, and if East Village’s Garden Nightclub is central Iowa’s Best Local Dance Club, does that mean mystical revelation is going on in downtown Des Moines? Our readers have spoken. 112 S.E. Fourth St., Des Moines, 515-515-243-3965;
Runners-up: Blazing Saddle, Denny Arthur’s

Best Local Drag Queen

Mae Banks
The Best Local Drag Queen in the city is Mae Banks, according to our readers. Congratulations. 112 S.E. Fourth St., Des Moines, 515-515-243-3965;
Runners-up: Vana B. Rosenberg, Karyn Wood Micheals

Best Local Place to Karaoke

AJ’s on East Court
The lights flash on. The stage heats up. The crowd comes alive. The night may be young, but the music is booming, and it’s time to belt out that tune that makes you glad you are you. Channel your inner rockstar at AJ’s on East Court, the Best Local Place to Karaoke in Des Moines, according to Best Of Des Moines voters. 419 E. Court Ave., Des Moines, 515-282-1888;
Runners-up: Cheap Seats, Jeannie’s Bottle

Best Local Place for a Bachelor/Bachelorette Party

Garden Nightclub
White dress, black tie… You know the drill. But before you’re going to the chapel or wherever you plan on tying that everlasting knot, Des Moines residents say Garden Nightclub offers a fun place for you to celebrate. 112 S.E. Fourth St., Des Moines, 515-515-243-3965;
Runners-up: AJ’s on East Court, Blue Moon Dueling Piano Bar

Best Local Trivia Night

Iowa Distilling Company
Answer quickly…
…Who was the first vice president of the United States?
…Who invented the printing press?
…Who wrote “War and Peace”?
The Best Local Trivia Night, according to our readers, occurs in Cumming at Iowa Distilling Company. 4349 Cumming Ave., Cumming, 515-981-4216;
Runners-up: The Hall, Wellman’s Pub Ingersoll

Best Local Distillery

Iowa Distilling Company
Country Gal Moonshine, Iowa Shine, Prairie Fire Cinnamon Whiskey, Steel Drum Rum, Straight Bourbon, Zone Vodka, Saints ‘n Sinners… These hand-crafted creations at Iowa Distilling Company are the main reasons the upstart is taking the title as this year’s Best Local Distillery, according to our readers. 4349 Cumming Ave., Cumming, 515-981-4216;
Runners-up: The Foundry, Cedar Ridge

Best Local LGBTQ Hangout

Garden Nightclub
The one-and-only Garden Nightclub annually wins multiple championships in CITYVIEW’s Best Of Des Moines polling, and 2020 is no exception. A congratulations is on the agenda for the Garden Nightclub, the winner in the category of the Best Local LGBTQ Hangout. 112 S.E. Fourth St., Des Moines, 515-243-3965;
Runners-up: Blazing Saddle, Mint Piercing


Best Local Place to Play Golf

Waveland Golf Course
Locals annually duff more than 40,000 rounds of golf at the Waveland. The 18-hole course was built in 1901 and is said to offer an incredible amount of slope, mature trees and well-wooded hillsides. Waveland Golf Course is the oldest municipal golf course west of the Mississippi, and central Iowa says it is the Best Local Place to Play Golf. 4908 University Ave., Des Moines, 515-248-6302;
Runners-up: Jester Park, Copper Creek

Best Local Community to Live in

Prairie Meadows is the Best Local Place to Gamble, according to voters in CITYVIEW’s Best Of Des Moines poll. Photo submitted

Ankeny offers the best of just about everything. Top-notch schools, neat neighborhoods, easy access to amenities, a low crime rate… These are just a few of the reasons that CITYVIEW readers say Ankeny is the Best Local Community to Live In.
Runners-up: Urbandale, Beaverdale

Best Local Place to Worship

Lutheran Church of HOPE
The biblical Greek word for “hope” means something slightly different than its modern English counterpart. “Elpis,” which is Greek for hope, according to Thayer’s Greek Lexicon, is defined as the “expectation of good,” or something that is sure to happen, or the “joyful and confident expectation of eternal salvation.” Readers of CITYVIEW say the best place to find it is at Lutheran Church of HOPE. 925 Jordan Creek Parkway, West Des Moines, 515-222-1520,
Runners-up: Downtown Disciples, Westminster Presbyterian Church

Best Local Nonprofit

Animal Rescue League of Iowa
When animals need a friend, they can find one at The Animal Rescue League of Iowa (ARL). Iowa’s largest nonprofit animal shelter annually helps care for thousands of in-need animals throughout the state. ARL programs include pet adoption, education, behavior training and spaying and neutering. Multiple locations, 515-262-9503;
Runners-up: Downtown Disciples, AHeinz57

Best Local School District

Waukee Community School District
Helen Keller had the following to say about the value of education: “Have you ever been at sea in a dense fog, when it seemed as if a tangible white darkness shut you in and the great ship, tense and anxious, groped her way toward the shore with plummet and sounding-line, and you waited with beating heart for something to happen? I was like that ship before my education began, only I was without compass or sounding line, and no way of knowing how near the harbor was. ‘Light! Give me light!’ was the wordless cry of my soul, and the light of love shone on me in that very hour.” The Waukee Community School District is the light for its youth, according to our readers. 560 S.E. University Ave., Waukee, 515-987-5161;
Runners-up: Des Moines Public Schools, Ankeny

Best Local Event Decor Company

Bella Flora
When it is your big day, your momentous moment might shine a little brighter with some help from your friends. Bella Flora Event Design uses its experience, creativity and precise execution to make your event as unique and distinctive as you dream it will be. Focused on custom designs, fresh floral, luxury linens, lighting, drapery, furniture and distinctive decor, Bella Flora is the Best Local Event Decor Company around, according to CITYVIEW’s Best Of Des Moines poll. 3100 Justin Drive, Urbandale, 515-554-6964;
Runners-up: White Willow Events, Wildflower

Best Local Party/Event Transportation

Majestic Limo & Coach
High-end, upscale and first rate, Majestic Limo & Coach escorts its clients in comfort, style and with elite customer service. Majestic Limo & Coach provides limousine service in the Des Moines metro area and 150 cities throughout the U.S. 515-650-5555;
Runners-up: Chauffeurs of Distinction, Absolute Transportation

Best Local Paint & Sip Art Studio

Pinot’s Palette
Claude Monet. Rembrandt. Vincent Van Gogh. Pablo Picasso…. [insert reader’s name here]? While you may not be as talented as the aforementioned historic masters, you might be surprised at what you are capable of at Pinot’s Palette. 900 42nd St., Des Moines, 515-277-7651;
Runners-up: The Knotty Nail, Painting with a Twist

Best Local Place to Hold a Corporate Event/Party

Corn dogs, Ferris wheels, carnival rides and funnel cakes make the Iowa State Fair a world-class attraction. Mark your calendars. This year’s fair is scheduled for Aug. 13-23. Photo courtesy of the Iowa State Fair

Smash Park
All work and no play is just plain dull. When quitting time arrives, it is time to loosen that tie, roll up those sleeves, let your hair down, and, according to CITYVIEW readers, hit the pickle ball courts at Smash Park, the Best Local Place to Hold a Corporate Event/Party. Billed as the ultimate year-round backyard party with no cover, no membership, and no entry fee, go find your happy place… Smash Park. 6625 Coachlight Drive, West Des Moines, 515-313-0700;
Runners-up: Holiday Inn Downtown, Science Center of Iowa & Blank IMAX Dome Theater

Best Local Place for a Wedding Reception

Holiday Inn Downtown
When two people say “I do,” two lives meld into one, two families are joined, two hearts collide, and immediately after “here comes the bride,” it is time to celebrate. The Holiday Inn Downtown is the Best Local Place for a Wedding Reception celebration, according to CITYVIEW’s Best Of Des Moines poll. 1050 Sixth Ave., Des Moines, 515-283-0151;
Runners-up: Glen Oaks Country Club, Decades Event Center

Best Local Place to Gamble

Prairie Meadows
A wise man once said: “You gotta know when to hold ’em, and know when to fold ’em, and know when to walk away, and know when to (watch the ponies) run….” Prairie Meadows offers nonstop casino action, live and simulcast horse racing, sports wagering, big-name entertainment options, local and regional musical acts and full-service dining amenities. As such, our readers have once again gone all in on Prairie Meadows, voting it the Best Local Place to Gamble in central Iowa. 1 Prairie Meadows Drive, Altoona, 515-967-1000;
Runners-up: Lakeside Hotel & Casino, Meskwaki Bingo Casino Hotel

Best Local Musician

Damon Dotson
Des Moines singer/songwriter Damon Dotson has opened for legendary performers such as BB King, Willie Nelson and The Beach Boys. Dotson’s decades-long music career also includes the release of four original albums and countless shows played throughout the Midwest. Dotson continues to perform both solo and with a band, dazzling audiences with his trademark charm and unique sound.
Runners-up: CeCe Stewart, James Biehn

Best Local Band

The Nadas have kept central Iowa dancing for more than a quarter of a century. Photo submitted

The Nadas
The Nadas have kept central Iowa dancing for more than a quarter of a century. The band’s music is liable to make you feel happy, sad, nostalgic, optimistic, energized, inspired or maybe… confused. However you feel… Bravo! Encore! “Gypsies from the start.”
Runners-up: Dick Danger Band, Nola Jazz Band

Best Local Place to go for a Comedy Show

Funny Bone Comedy Club
Funny Bone Comedy Club is the Best Local Place to go for a Comedy Show, according to readers of CITYVIEW. The local Funny Bone is part of a national comedy club chain that often serves as a launching pad for Hollywood’s future superstars. Comedic talents such as Drew Carey, Jerry Seinfeld, Jeff Foxworthy, David Alan Grier, Ellen DeGeneres, Chris Rock, Bobcat Goldthwaite, Brett Butler, Billy Gardell, D.L. Hughley and Dane Cook have each dazzled Funny Bone crowds at some point along their journey. Advance ticketing and reservations are always recommended. Shows often sell out fast. 560 S. Prairie View Drive, #100, West Des Moines, 515-270-2100;
Runners-up: Lefty’s Live Music, Hoyt Sherman Place

Best Local Artist

Tyler Carroll
If it is true that “creativity takes courage,” as Henri Matisse once famously said, then local artist Tyler Carroll must be one brave soul. Carroll is the area’s Best Local Artist, according to voters in CITYVIEW’s Best Of Des Moines poll.
Runners-up: Jimmy Navarro, Kelly Kunzler

Best Local Live Music Venue

“Music has always been a matter of Energy to me, a question of Fuel. Sentimental people call it Inspiration, but what they really mean is Fuel. I have always needed Fuel. I am a serious consumer. On some nights I still believe that a car with the gas needle on empty can run about fifty more miles if you have the right music very loud on the radio.” This quote by Hunter S. Thompson captures the gist of what powers the music at Wooly’s when the venue welcomes top regional, national and local shows. 504 E. Locust St., Des Moines, 515-244-0550;
Runners-up: Noce, Lefty’s Live Music

Best Local Theatrical Value

Best Local Place to Have a Birthday Party in central Iowa, according to readers of CITYVIEW, is the Science Center of
Iowa & Blank IMAX Dome Theater. Photo submitted

Des Moines Community Playhouse
With more than 100 years of uninterrupted service on its resume, the Des Moines Community Playhouse is a mainstay on the local theater scene. The local treasure is one of the oldest and longest-running stages of its kind in the nation. Offering award-winning performances
for all ages, the Playhouse’s mission is to change lives by entertaining, enriching and engaging the people of the community and by producing high-quality theatrical presentations, avocational experiences and lifelong educational opportunities. 831 42nd St., Des Moines, 515-277-6261;
Runners-up: Des Moines Civic Center, Hoyt Sherman Place

Best Local Place to Catch a Flick

Flix Brewhouse
Lights. Camera… Flix Brewhouse offers Hollywood’s bigscreen cinematic magic enjoyed within the comfy seats at Merle Hay Mall. The best part? Enjoying the food that is focused on providing big-time flavors with top-notch tastes, textures and aromas. Flix Brewhouse can rock your world in all kinds of ways. 3800 Merle Hay Road, Suite 1300, Des Moines, 515-612-9200;
Runners-up: Fleur Cinema & Café, The Palms Theatres & IMAX

Best Local Museum

Des Moines Art Center
Pablo Picasso once said: “Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.” If your soul needs to shine, the Des Moines Art Center is both a museum and a school that offers easy access to a world-class art collection. The Art Center believes in the power of artwork to inspire personal, political and social transformation, exhibiting thought-provoking modern and contemporary works. Admission is free. 4700 Grand Ave., Des Moines, 515-277-4405;
Runners-up: State Historical Museum of Iowa, Science Center of Iowa & Blank IMAX Dome Theater

Best Local Place to Have a Birthday Party

Science Center of Iowa & Blank IMAX Dome Theater
The Science Center of Iowa & Blank IMAX Dome Theater is central Iowa’s Best Local Place to Have a Birthday Party, according to voters in CITYVIEW’s Best Of Des Moines poll. 401 W. Martin Luther King Jr. Parkway, Des Moines, 515-274-6868;
Runners-up: Adventureland Inn, Warrior Lanes

Best Local Place to Take Your Kids

Science Center of Iowa & Blank IMAX Dome Theater
The Best Local Place to Take Your Kids for fun family interactions is the Science Center of Iowa & Blank IMAX Dome Theater. 401 W. Martin Luther King Jr. Parkway, Des Moines, 515-274-6868;
Runners-up: Blank Park Zoo, Adventureland

Best Local Place to Take Visitors

John and Mary Pappajohn Sculpture Park
Summer strolls within the downtown part of the city usually involve a walk through the Western Gateway’s John and Mary Pappajohn Sculpture Park. The 4.4-acre local treasure offers more than two dozen mind-bending pieces of oversized artwork formed by big-time creators. In short, the park offers visitors a chance to see something special. Admission to the park is free. Dial 515-657-8264 for free audio tours. The sculpture park is located at 15th and Locust streets in downtown Des Moines,
Runners-up: Downtown Farmers’ Market, Des Moines Art Center

Best Local Annual Event

Iowa State Fair
Corn dogs. Ferris wheels. Carnival rides. Funnel cakes. World-class concert action. Blue ribbons. Why can’t every month be August in Iowa? Nothing compares to the Iowa State Fair. Mark your calendars. This year’s fair is scheduled for Aug.13-23. The Fair takes place near East 30th and East University Avenue in Des Moines. 515-262-3111;
Runners-up: Des Moines Arts Festival, World Food & Music Festival

Best Local Sports Team

Iowa Cubs
Back… Back… Back… The Iowa Cubs have once again earned the designation as the Best Local Sports Team in central Iowa, according to CITYVIEW’s Best Of Des Moines voters. The I-Cubs serve as the Triple-A Affiliate to the big league Chicago Cubs. It is a HOMERUN!!! One Line Drive, Des Moines, 515-243-6111;
Runners-up: Iowa Wild, Des Moines Buccaneers

Best Local Place to Go Swimming

Backstroke. Breaststroke. Crawl stroke. While traditional swimming maneuvers might not be the primary catalyst for Adventureland’s win in this category, Altoona’s entertainment bonanza now includes the Adventure Bay Waterpark, and together this dream duo includes more than 100 rides, shows and attractions. Exit 142A off Interstate 80, 3200 Adventureland Drive, Altoona,
Runners-up: Cascade Falls Aquatic Center (Ankeny), Clive Aquatic Center

Best Local Place To Bowl

Warrior Lanes
Ten pins. Five fingers. Two feet. One ball. Let ’er rip at Warrior Lanes — a great place to have fun and make memories with family and friends. 190 S.E. Laurel St., Waukee, 515-987-4840;
Runners-up: B&B Ankeny, Air Lanes

Best Local Indoor Sporting Event

Iowa Wild
Professional hockey’s fast-paced action is unmatched, especially while watching in person at the event. The Iowa Wild ice hockey team features world-class athletes one step away from skating at the sport’s highest level, the NHL. You can watch the team attack the guts of the ice at Wells Fargo Arena in downtown Des Moines. 730 Third St., Des Moines, 515-564-8700;
Runners-up: Des Moines Buccaneers, Iowa Barnstormers

Best Local Outdoor Sporting Event

Iowa Cubs
“Love is the most important thing in the world,” Yogi Berra once famously said, “but baseball is pretty good, too.” If you love peanuts, Cracker Jack and hearing the crack of the bat, then summer nights at the ballyard will be your perfect attraction. CITYVIEW readers say the I-Cubs minor league baseball action is the Best Local Outdoor Sporting Event around. Play ball! One Line Drive, Des Moines, 515-243-6111;
Runners-up: Drake Relays, Knoxville Raceway

Best Local Farmers Market

Downtown Farmers’ Market
The great state of Iowa is a great place to grow, and that includes farm-fresh vegetables, assorted fruits and organic produce. One of the best and biggest farmers markets in the country occurs weekly within the heart of downtown Des Moines during the summer months. When it comes to picking produce, voters in CITYVIEW’s Best Of Des Moines poll say the Downtown Farmers’ Market is the cream of the crop. Historic Court District in downtown, Des Moines;
Runners-up: Historic Valley Junction (West Des Moines), Ankeny

Best Local Camping Spot

Jester Park
Telling scary ghost stories while melting s’mores and eating charred hotdogs. Sleeping underneath a great big starry sky while inhaling fresh country air and roughing it. Jester Park is the Best Local Camping Spot, according to voters in CITYVIEW’s Best Of Des Moines poll. Camping means many things to many different people, but whatever your idea of camping is, Jester Park is waiting. Park amenities include campsites, access to lakeshore, access to wooded hills and a view of Saylorville Lake. Not to mention peace, quiet and the necessary solitude to help restore your sanity. 11407 N.W. Jester Park Drive, Granger, 515-323-5300;
Runners-up: Cherry Glen Campground, Prairie Flower


Best Local Pharmacy

When you are enduring a runny nose, earache, or something more serious, whatever ills ail you, Hy-Vee’s pharmacy, voted the Best Local Pharmacy, is there to support your health needs. Multiple locations;
Runners-up: Medicap, NuCara

Best Local Place to Kickbox

Farrell’s eXtreme Bodyshaping
Wham. Bam. Boom. When it is time to get in shape, hit the bag and be held accountable, Farrell’s eXtreme Bodyshaping is the Best Local Place to Kickbox, according to readers of CITYVIEW. Farrell’s is the home of the 10-week fitness challenge. Multiple locations;
Runners-up: Elite Edge, Next Level Extreme Fitness

Best Local Group Fitness

Burn Boot Camp
You are busy and life is hectic. The Burn Boot Camp workout is designed to maximize results. In just 45 minutes, the average burn is 700 calories per camp. Whether you need advice about nutrition, performance, lifestyle or weight loss, readers say that Burn Boot Camp offers the Best Local Group Fitness. Don’t be intimidated. Change how you look. Change how you feel. Change your life. Multiple locations;
Runners-up: Elite Edge, Farrell’s eXtreme Bodyshaping

Best Local Running Event

IMT Des Moines Marathon
Get moving Iowa! The IMT Des Moines Marathon offers a race distance for almost anyone and is among the Top 20 rated marathons in the country. Since its inception in 2002, the event has offered race distances for athletes of all abilities, including the IMT Des Moines Monument Mile in September, the IMT Des Moines Marathon & Half Marathon, Bankers Trust Marathon Relay, Principal 5K Road Race, MercyOne 5-Mile Run, Mercy One 1-Mile Walk and MercyOne Children’s Hospital Kids Run in October. Celebrating 19 years of running in Des Moines on the weekend of Oct. 16-18, The IMT Des Moines Marathon starts at 8 a.m. in the Court Avenue District at 300 Court Ave., Des Moines, Sunday, Oct. 18. The IMT Des Moines Marathon, voted Best Local Running Event by CITYVIEW readers, benefits Special Olympics Iowa. The finish line is “Just the Beginning.”
Runners-up: Dam to DSM, Grand Blue Mile

Best Local Personal Trainer

CryoSpa, along with its state-of-the-art thermography equipment, is the Best Local Place for Cryotherapy, according to central Iowa voters. Photo submitted

Roy Lee Lowery – Burn Boot Camp
Burn Boot Camp provides those who are willing repeated 45-minute exercise challenges aimed at bringing about radical body transformation with new and different workouts every single day. Tackle each obstacle, take on new challenges, overcome lethargy and become the best version of you at Burn. Personal trainer Roy Lee Lowery of Burn Boot Camp can help you with that, according to CITYVIEW readers. 8801 University Ave., Suite C36, Clive, 515-205-9038;
Runners-up: Andrew Seymour – Seymour Health & Fitness, Nikcole Manriquez – Anytime Fitness Downtown

Best Local Orthodontist

Stork Orthodontics
Sensational smiles. Dr. Jim Stork uses braces and other orthodontic treatment to give his patients world-class care while transforming how they look, boosting their confidence and giving them a smile to be proud of. Dr. Stork is dedicated to becoming the best in his field, and CITYVIEW readers say he has achieved that by voting him Best Local Orthodontist. Besides his extensive experience and training to obtain expert certification, he continually exceeds the minimum requirements to maintain his license. 4090 Westown Parkway, West Des Moines, 515-225-4310;
Runners-up: Central Iowa Orthodontics, Mann Orthodontics

Best Local Place to Work Out

Burn Boot Camp
Unquestionable commitment. Total transformation. Burn Boot Camp strives to transform communities by changing the way people think about fitness. Complimentary 14-Day Test Drives are available, but be careful because people across the country are getting addicted to the Burn, which readers say is the Best Local Place to Work Out. Multiple locations;
Runners-up: Elite Edge, YMCA

Best Local Yoga Studio/Instructor

Yoga + Co.
Let’s do some yoga! Located in the heart of “Dogtown,” Yoga + Co. works to provide a safe space for people to come as they are, take what they need and “spread the amazingly good energy this world needs.” Yoga + Co. programs focus on mind, body and soul, with no competition, zero judgment and plenty of peace, tranquility and intense muscle utilization. The Best Local Yoga Studio/Instructor in the central Iowa area is Yoga + Co., according to Best Of Des Moines voters. 2326 University Ave., Des Moines, 515-835-9895;
Runners-up: Power Life Yoga, Good Vibes Yoga – Ben Spellman

Best Local Maternity Care or Birthing Center

It’s a boy! It’s a girl! Twins! Triplets! Whatever you are expecting, or for whatever surprise you get, when you give birth at MercyOne, CITYVIEW readers’ Best Local Maternity Care or Birthing Center, you can expect a state-of-the-art facility that offers luxurious birthing suites staffed by skilled delivery teams providing a safe and comfortable environment. Families delivering at MercyOne will move from the birthing unit to a recovery suite just steps away after they deliver and have bonded with their lovable little one. Once the labor has ended… Congratulations. This is just the beginning. 1111 Sixth Ave., Des Moines, 515-247-3121;
Runners-up: Iowa Methodist Medical Center, Broadlawns

Best Local Place To Get Your Eyelashes Done

Nikcole Manriquez – Dolce Vita
Local beauty guru, cosmetician, hairstylist and eyelash aficionado, Nikcole Manriquez knows a thing or two about eyelashes. The 25-year-old rising star cosmetologist operates within Dolce Vita Salon Suites in Ankeny, and CITYVIEW readers say it is the Best Local Place to Get Your Eyelashes Done. The luxury salon and spa environment caters to professionals who want to make clients feel at home and well cared for. Dolce Vita provides a full-service experience so that high-end beauty professionals, stylists, aestheticians and massage therapists can focus on what they do best: Making people look and feel great. It is commonly said that “the eyes are the window to your soul,” why not frame that window the best way possible? Nikcole Manriquez wants to help. 1510 S.W. Oralabor Road, Ankeny, 515-777-8748;
Runners-up: Lash Love Beauty Bar, Salon Lew

Best Local Place to get a Massage

Pure Salon & Spa
Technical ability. Reliability. Honesty. Outstanding customer service. Those are the things Pure Salon & Spa wants to be known for. The salon’s staff boasts experienced professionals working to unlock your muscles’ knots and kinks so that customers leave with a refreshed body that feels as good on the inside as they appear on the outside. The staff’s unique commitment to each guest, and to one another, fosters an environment filled with passion which enables fantastic results. Rest. Relax. Be rejuvenated. Your massage needs are in good hands at Pure, according to readers of CITYVIEW. Multiple locations;
Runners-up: East Village Spa, Coachlight Clinic & Spa

Best Local Place to Get Your Nails Done

Pure Salon & Spa
Customers at Pure Salon & Spa relax with Aveda aromatherapy while being spoiled with an anti-aging hand masque and paraffin dip that comes complimentary with all of Pure’s manicures. For customers who love their pedicure with a massage, Pure combines exfoliation, hot towels, a hydration masque and extended foot massage into one service. No wonder Pure is the Best Local Place to Get Your Nails Done according to CITYVIEW readers. Multiple locations;
Runners-up: East Village Spa, Andy’s Nails

Best Local Herbal/Nutritional Supplement Store

Campbell’s Nutrition
When you want the freshest food and the highest-grade nutritional products supplementing your daily nourishment, Campbell’s Nutrition stocks its shelves with goods from 40 Iowa-based suppliers. With everything from organic produce, to fresh vegetables, to flavorful fruits, dairy products and meat, Campbell’s Nutrition is our readers’ choice as the Best Local Herbal/Nutritional Supplement Store. Multiple locations;
Runners-up: Groovy Goods, Thrive Nutrition

Best Local Tattoo Shop

Lucky Gal Tattoo and Piercing
“Our people are our family,” says Chris Pruisner, the owner of Lucky Gal Tattoo and Piercing, on the company website. “We truly believe that people do business with people, and we only look to hire the best people we can.” Pruisner must be doing something right. The Lucky Gal brand now extends throughout the metro area with locations on Des Moines’ south side, Ankeny and east Des Moines. Lucky Gal is also the winner of CITYVIEW’s Best Of Des Moines in the category of Best Local Tattoo Shop. Multiple locations;
Runners-up: Color Works Tattoo and Body Piercing, Iron Heart Tattoo and Body Piercing

Best Local Body Piercing Shop

Bronze515 is again the Best Local Tanning Salon in town in 2020, according to central Iowa voters. Rest, relax and reenergize. Photo submitted

Mint Piercing
A quality-focused, modern piercing studio, Mint Piercing’s top priority is safety. Mint aims to take every possible precaution to ensure that all piercings done on-site are performed in a healthy manner with medical sterilization and professional aftercare products playing a role. The best place to be professionally body pierced, according to CITYVIEW readers, is Mint Piercing. Multiple locations;
Runners-up: Lucky Gal Tattoo and Piercing, Prysm Body Piercing & Jewelry Gallery

Best Local Place for Cosmetic Surgery

Des Moines Plastic Surgery
Liposuction, tummy tuck, arm lift, breast augmentation. For the fifth straight year, Des Moines Plastic Surgery has been voted No. 1 as the Best Local Place for Cosmetic Surgery. Des Moines Plastic Surgery is a member of the elite Allergan Black Diamond Partnership Program whose members are among the top 1 percent of plastic surgeons in the United States. 6420 Coachlight Drive, Suite 100, West Des Moines, 515-221-9999;
Runners-up: The Iowa Clinic, Koch Facial Plastic Surgery & Spa

Best Local Tanning Salon

Perfecting a deep and attractive suntan can help your skin appear nearly flawless while elevating your look to its highest and best state. Are you feeling February gloom and winter doom? Do 5 o’clock sunsets have you fighting to keep your head out of the blah? Not at Bronze515, where customers go to get a deep-toned tan that feels like perfection and makes you look like you just stepped off the beaches of Waikiki. Voted Des Moines’ Best Tanning Salon in 2017, 2018 and 2019, Bronze515 is again the Best Local Tanning Salon in town in 2020, according to central Iowa voters. Bronze515 offers gluten free, vegan, paraben and cruelty-free products made in the USA. 3981 100th St., Urbandale, 515-218-5443;
FUN FACT: Airbrush tanning is done by a “tan technician” using a spray gun to apply a tanning solution (DHA) to the client’s body. The spray gun is attached to an air compressor and helps ensure consistent and accurate application, even on one’s ankles and wrists.
Runners-up: Sun Tan City, Tanique

Best Local Waxing Salon

Persistent lip hair? It can be a distant memory. Unwanted unibrow? It is time to say, “See you later.” Teenwolf ears? Tell them to, “Go fly a kite!” All of these pesky problems, and others, are no match for MetroWaxx, the Best Local Waxing Salon in the city, according to CITYVIEW readers. Whether you need eyebrow shaping, back-hair removal or a Brazilian bikini wax for an upcoming big beach day, the waxers at MetroWaxx can get the job done. Multiple locations;
FUN FACT: MetroWaxx performs more than 4,000 Brazilian/Bikini waxes a year.
Runners-up: Waxing the City, East Village Spa

Best Local Place for Non-Surgical Cosmetic Treatment

Coachlight Clinic & Spa
Coachlight Clinic & Spa’s most popular laser treatment for anti-aging is called Forever Young BBL. Having three to five of these treatments per year is said to be clinically proven to reverse the appearance of aging. CITYVIEW readers have taken notice and voted Coachlight Clinic & Spa the Best Local Place for Non-Surgical Cosmetic Treatment. Forever Young BBL is available at Des Moines Plastic Surgery and Coachlight Clinic & Spa to correct and possibly reverse signs of aging, sun spots, freckles, vascular lesions, small blood vessels on the face including spider veins and rosacea due to sun damage. 6420 Coachlight Drive, Suite 200, West Des Moines, 515-221-9999;
Runners-up: Ashley Juhl Skin Care, Koch Facial Plastic Surgery & Spa

Best Local Spa

Coachlight Clinic & Spa
Wrinkle repair, instant eye enhancement, permanent makeup, enzyme power exfoliation… Slip into a plush robe at Coachlight Clinic & Spa and take your time enjoying the eucalyptus aromatherapy steam room or the Himalayan salt-infused sauna. Afterwards, curl up with a cup of herbal tea while decompressing in the calming relaxation lounge under a warm throw. The well-trained and caring staff at Coachlight, our readers’ choice for Best Local Spa, strives to offer the finest quality products and the most effective and advanced treatments. Be your best… and feel even better. 6420 Coachlight Drive, Suite 200, West Des Moines, 515-221-9999;
Runners-up: East Village Spa, Pure Salon & Spa

Best Local Hair Salon

Pure Salon & Spa
Don’t mess around with your hair. Mediocre isn’t good enough, and you don’t have time for bad dye jobs to fade. As such, our readers recommend the tried-and-true professionals at Pure Salon & Spa, and they have recognized the organization as the Best Local Hair Salon in the city, according to CITYVIEW’s Best Of Des Moines voters. Pure looks after the specific needs of each client as its stylists use their talents and skills to create an environment where everyone is at their best. Multiple locations;
Runners-up: Dolce Vita – Nikcole Manriquez, Refinery Hair

Best Local Health Food Store

Campbell’s Nutrition
If you are what you eat, then our readers say you should consider eating more food from Campbell’s Nutrition, voting it the Best Local Health Food Store in the area. Campbell’s offers health food, vitamins, supplements and expert nutritional advice to local customers.
NOTE: Campbell’s states that its store has a high standard for suppliers and that it chooses to be choosy about who it partners with while striving to do business with people who share Campbell’s enthusiasm and passion for natural and organic produce. Multiple locations;
Runners-up: Natural Grocers, Fresh Thyme

Best Local Family Planning Services

Planned Parenthood
Planned Parenthood centers provide abortion care and education pertaining to options regarding sexually transmitted infections, birth control and other family planning services. If in need, you can get the facts about the abortion pill and in-clinic abortions as well as emergency contraception — the morning-after pill — at Planned Parenthood, readers’ choice for Best Local Family Planning Services. Multiple locations;
Runners-up: Agape Pregnancy Center, InnerVisions

Best Local Chiropractor

Keystone Chiropractic
Three out of four patients treated by a chiropractor described chiropractic care as “very effective,” according to a study by Gallup in 2016. Further, chiropractic care outperformed all other back pain treatments in a 2011 consumer survey conducted by, and that includes prescription medication, deep-tissue massage, yoga, Pilates and over-the-counter medication therapies. The Best Local Chiropractor in town is Keystone Chiropractic, according to our readers. Keystone Chiropractic focuses on neurostructural correction. The clinic provides a comprehensive solution to problems related to structural shifts of the spine. Experience life at your highest potential. 2900 University Ave., Suite 330, West Des Moines, 515-428-1545;
Runners-up: Vero Chiropractic, E.P. True Chiropractic

Best Local Doctor

Central Iowa’s Best Local Body Piercing Shop, according to CITYVIEW’s Best Of Des Moines voting, is Mint Piercing. Photo submitted

Dr. David Robbins – Des Moines Plastic Surgery
Cosmetic surgery can improve a person’s appearance which is often tied to one’s self-esteem and self-confidence. Dr. Robbins of Des Moines Plastic Surgery is Iowa’s only quadruple board certified plastic surgeon, and he is also the Best Local Doctor around, according to CITYVIEW’s Best Of Des Moines voting. 6420 Coachlight Drive, Suite 100, West Des Moines, 515-221-9999;
Runners-up: Dr. Robert Fornoff – DSM Pediatrics, Dr. Kayleen B. Hornbrook – UnityPoint

Best Local Eye Clinic

Wolfe Eye Clinic
Your eyes are about 1 inch across, they weigh roughly a quarter of an ounce, and they are capable of differentiating between 10 million different colors. Eyes are amazing, and taking care of them is important. When CITYVIEW readers want the Best Local Eye Clinic, they say Wolfe Eye Clinic is the choice for its comprehensive medical and surgical services. Multiple locations;
Runners-up: Des Moines Eye Surgeons, Vision Park

Best Local Place to get LASIK Eye Surgery

Wolfe Eye Clinic
Wolfe Eye Clinic performed Iowa’s first refractive eye surgery, and its accomplished staff has more LASIK experience than any other provider in the state. The Best Local Place to get LASIK Eye Surgery is Wolfe Eye Clinic, according to CITYVIEW’s Best Of Des Moines voters. Multiple locations;
FUN FACT: Human eyes stay the same size throughout one’s life, but noses and ears never stop growing.
Runners-up: Des Moines Eye Surgeons, Associated Ophthalmologists

Best Local Hospital

Nikcole Manriquez is a local beauty guru who operates within
the suites at Dolce Vita, a luxury salon in Ankeny. They say the
eyes are the window to your soul. When you want to frame those windows in the best way possible, Nikcole Manriquez wants to help. Photo submitted

Iowa Methodist Medical Center
All hospitals are good hospitals, especially when an injury requires urgent care — CITYVIEW salutes all health care providers — but the Best Local Hospital around is Iowa Methodist Medical Center, according to voters in CITYVIEW’S Best Of Des Moines poll. 1200 Pleasant St., Des Moines; 515-241-6212;
Runners-up: MercyOne, Iowa Lutheran Hospital

Best Local Physical Therapist

Breathe. Physical Therapy & Wellness
Play, run, work, stand, sit, sleep, exercise, walk, enjoy intimacy, deliver babies… To Kegel or not to Kegel? That is the question facing many new mothers in the modern age. Breathe. Physical Therapy & Wellness, readers’ choice for Best Local Physical Therapist, works to bring peace of mind to people wanting to get stronger and avoid surgery. Breathe provides hope and inspiration so women can live the energetic, vibrant and active life they deserve and recover from pregnancy with less pain, possess better posture, feel stronger, have fewer bladder problems and sustain more confidence. In short, take a deep breath and live the second half of life with more energy and intention than you did during the first. Multiple locations, 515-255-3932;
Runners-up: Core Physical Therapy, Johnston Physical Therapy

Best Local Dentist Office

Fleur Dentistry
A smile is the universal sign for happiness and is said to be more contagious than the flu. In fact, smiling is a human’s first facial expression, and even babies are born with the ability. Yet people who don’t like the look of their teeth often curtail this basic human emotional output. The staff at Fleur Dentistry, readers’ choice for Best Local Dentist Office, utilizes state-of-the-art procedures for restoring and enhancing the natural beauty of each patient’s smile. It’s easier to smile than it is to frown, and Fleur Dentistry works hard to be sure you can be proud of your teeth and your smile. Say, “Cheese!” 4551 Fleur Drive, Des Moines, 515-287-2493;
Runners-up: Waukee Dental, Davidson Family Dentistry

Best Local Pediatrician

Dr. Robert Fornoff – DSM Pediatrics
Families from all around central Iowa visit Dr. Rob Fornoff for his knowledge, wisdom and talent for treating children while exhibiting kindness and patience. Fornoff is the Best Local Pediatrician in the area, according to CITYVIEW readers. The primary care pediatrician cares for children of all ages, from birth to young adulthood. Multiple locations;
Runners-up: Dr. Brian Waggoner – Waggoner Pediatrics of Central Iowa, Dr. Adam Secory – The Iowa Clinic

Best Local Dermatologist

Dr. Timothy Abrahamson – Greater Des Moines Dermatology, P.C.
Warts. Boils. Rashes. When your epidermis needs gels, balms, oils and antibacterials, the Best Local Dermatologist around is Dr. Tim Abrahamson of Greater Des Moines Dermatology, according to our readers. Whether you have psoriasis, moles, herpes or would like to keep your skin looking great with hair removal or chemical peels, Greater Des Moines  Dermatology can assist you. Patient consultations are confidential. 2424 N.W. 128th St., Urbandale, 515-243-8676;
Runners-up: Dr. Erin Ducharme – Ducharme Dermatology, Dr. Ava Feldman – Heartland Dermatology

Best Place for Laser Hair Removal

The Best Local Chiropractor in central Iowa, according to CITYVIEW’s Best Of Des Moines voting, is Keystone Chiropractic. Photo submitted

Coachlight Clinic & Spa
No more fuss. No more muss. Lasers have improved the clinic’s ability to treat skin conditions and improve the skin’s appearance. Dr. Robbins is the only quadruple board certified plastic surgeon in Iowa and is the medical director of Coachlight Clinic & Spa, which CITYVIEW readers say is the Best Place for Laser Hair Removal. Coachlight offers the latest technology in laser treatments while also valuing your comfort and safety. With a spa experience unlike any other in Iowa — Coachlight boasts more than 10,000 square feet of pure relaxation — Dr. Robbins has been rated among the top 1 percent of plastic surgeons in the U.S. 6420 Coachlight Drive, Suite 200, West Des Moines, 515-221-9999;
Runners-up: Milan Laser Hair Removal, Skin Body Soul

Best Local Orthopedic Clinic

DMOS Orthopaedic Centers
If it is bent, broken, sprained or if something attached to you is out of its socket, CITYVIEW readers say DMOS Orthopaedic Centers is the Best Local Orthopedic Clinic around. Multiple locations;
Runners-up: Iowa Ortho, Capital Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine

Best Local Place for Cryotherapy

Of course you want to lose those pesky extra inches of fat, reduce cellulite, and tone excess flab while tightening your skin. But how? CryoSpa offers state-of-the-art thermography and other techniques to help you reshape your body. Our readers say it is the Best Local Place for Cryotherapy. 11895 Hickman Road, Suite 600, Urbandale, 515-270-7009;
Runners-up: KryoVitality, Cryo Life Iowa


Best Elected Official

Kim Reynolds
Iowa born. Iowa raised. Iowa values. Governor Kim Reynolds ascended from a humble upbringing in rural Iowa to serve as the first elected female to hold our state’s highest position. Iowa’s 43rd Governor, Reynolds is the Best Elected Official in CITYVIEW Best Of Des Moines reader voting. “Her vision keeps Iowans at the center of all decisions, especially in the area of fiscal responsibility,” says the Governor’s website. “Kim knows that, when Iowa taxpayers are able to keep more of their money, great things happen.”
Runners-up: Frank Cownie, Matt McCoy

Best State University in Iowa

Iowa State University
The Campanile. Morrill Hall. Lake LaVerne. Stephens Auditorium. Reiman Gardens. The Memorial Union. These are just a few of ISU’s campus treasures in Ames. Nestled on more than 1,900 acres, the school prides itself on having one of the most beautiful college campuses in the country. But don’t take their word for it, ISU’s central campus was one of only three colleges to receive the American Society of Landscape Architects medallion, given to outstanding landscape sites. It also accepted “The Campus As a Work of Art” designation when the university was recognized for having one of the top 25 most beautiful campuses in the nation. Perhaps these are reasons ISU was our readers’ pick for Best State University in Iowa. GO CYCLONES! Ames, 515-294-4111;
Runners-up: University of Iowa, University of Northern Iowa

Best Private College or Private University in Iowa

Drake University
As a midsized, private university in Des Moines, Drake University is recognized as one of the finest institutions of higher learning in the Midwest, and our readers’ choice for Best Private College or Private University in Iowa. The school’s leadership team works to provide an exceptional environment while preparing students for meaningful personal lives, professional accomplishments and responsible global citizenship. Drake boasts more than 3,000 undergraduate students to go with another 1,900 who attend its graduate programs. These students choose from more than 70 majors, minors, concentrations and degrees. The school also offers a range of continuing education programs. 2507 University Ave., Des Moines, 1-800-44-DRAKE;
Runners-up: Grand View University, Simpson College

Best Community College in Iowa

Life’s calling. That is the essence of what Des Moines Area Community College, the Best Community College in Iowa according to CITYVIEW readers, has to offer as it inspires, energizes and encourages students to achieve career dreams and life aspirations. Half of all U.S. undergraduates are from community colleges, and central Iowa offers citizens the opportunity to attend one of the best. The school provides quality, affordable, student-centered education and training designed to empower students in their pursuit of life’s opportunities and career goals.
Runners-up: Kirkwood Community College, Iowa Central Community College

Best Local Doggy Daycare/Boarding

Fear not, central Iowa, The Queen of Clean and her gallant team of cold-blooded germ killers are equipped to take care of your cleaning needs. The crew is shown here cleaning City Hall during its remodel. Photo submitted

Stylin’ Paws
No one loves your Fido more than you, but Stylin’ Paws strives to take second place. When it is time for your canine to get a grooming and daycare experience that’s stress-free, reliable, fun, and safe, our readers say Stylin’ Paws promises to treat you and your pup like family as the Best Local Doggy Daycare/Boarding. Multiple locations;
Runners-up: Bark Avenue, Downtown Doggy Daycare

Best Local Employer

Collins Community Credit Union
Collins Community Credit Union was started in 1940 by 10 Collins Radio employees. The institution is now one of the largest of its kind in Iowa, boasting more than $1 billion in assets while employing nearly 300 people to operate its branches throughout the state. “Collins has a great culture and work atmosphere,” said one employee during an employee engagement survey, adding that Collins offered a “good work life balance if you have a family. It’s an exciting time to work for the company…” With feedback like that, it is no wonder Collins Community Credit Union was voted the Best Local Employer by CITYVIEW readers. Multiple locations;
Runners-up: Wells Fargo, Principal Financial

Best Local Home Improvement Company

Home Solutions of Iowa
Home is where the heart is, or so they say. But home is also where the gutters sometimes fill up with unwanted leaves and overflow, or where the shingles wear out and allow leaks, or where unexpected spikes in utility bills can eradicate your savings account. Home Solutions of Iowa offers local residents LeafGuard Gutters, roofing services and insulation updates, among other services, to help with the trials of homeownership. Home Solutions of Iowa is now the one that central Iowa says is the Best Local Home Improvement Company in town. 16180 S.E. Laurel St., Waukee, 515-999-2896;
Runners-up: Lotus Homes, Renewal by Andersen

Best Local Dog Groomer

Dogs, cats, birds, small animals, equine, goats, chickens… PetSakes works with and for animals of just about every conceivable variety. PetSakes stores offer a selection of pet supplies that include pest control supplements, training tools, books, DVDs, beds, mats, clocks and too many things to list. PetSakes is the Best Local Dog Groomer in the area, according to our readers. Multiple locations, 1-800-419-9748;
Runners-up: Stylin’ Paws Salon, Bark Avenue

Best Local Moving Company

Two Men & A Truck
Exceeding customer expectations is the aim at Two Men & A Truck. The well-equipped staff is professionally trained and makes short work of heavy lifting on your hectic moving day. In return for providing central Iowa with stress-free moves, our readers have once again named Two Men & A Truck as the Best Local Moving Company in the area. 2601 104th St., Suite 400, Urbandale, 515-216-3654;
Runners-up: All Mighty Movers, Black Belt Movers

Best Local Credit Union

Veridian Credit Union
As a not-for-profit financial cooperative owned by its members, Veridian Credit Union returns its net earnings to the institution’s members in the form of lower loan rates, higher savings and lower fees. Veridian is the Best Local Credit Union in the Des Moines area, according to our readers. Multiple locations;
Runners-up: Community Choice Credit Union, GreenState Credit Union

Best Local Bank

Bankers Trust
Bankers Trust, our readers’ choice for Best Local Bank, works to bring its customers all the benefits of a national bank while maintaining the convenience, speed and common sense of local decision making. You have financial needs. Bankers Trust offers products, services and tools to meet them, including solutions for businesses and individuals to grow, manage and preserve wealth. Multiple locations;
Runners-up: West Bank, US Bank

Best Local Internet Provider

Binging uninterrupted on hours of Netflix’s streaming goodness without fear of technical difficulty. This is 21-century bliss. Thank you, Mediacom, for making this happen. As such, Mediacom is the Best Local Internet Provider in central Iowa, according to readers of CITYVIEW. 1-800-479-2082;
Runners-up: CenturyLink, Mi-Fiber

Best Local Auto Shop

Westside Auto Pros
From oil changes to transmission repair to anything in between, Westside Auto Pros is a one-stop shop for the automotive needs of Des Moines residents. Westside specializes in fixing all makes and models, and operates with the support of a team of ASE-Certified technicians who receive ongoing training in automotive technology and auto repair services. The full-service auto repair shop equips its waiting area with coffee, soda, water, Wi-Fi, a charging station and other niceties to enhance its customer experience. Since 1997 central Iowa has enjoyed the services of Westside Auto Pros, the Best Local Auto Shop in town for the 13th year in a row, according to CITYVIEW readers. 1901 N.W. 92nd Court, Clive, 515-225-9090;
Runners-up: Shade Tree Auto, Finish Line Auto

Best TV Station for News

KCCI Channel 8
Information is the currency of our crazy modern age. When central Iowa is in need of important updates, breaking news or investigative offerings, KCCI Channel 8 has earned a reputation for being the Best TV Station for News, according to CITYVIEW’s Best Of Des Moines voters. Be informed and stay up-to-date. The news team at KCCI has you covered.
Runners-up: WHO Channel 13, WOI Channel 5

Best TV Station for Sports

WHO Channel 13
Who nailed that clutch three-pointer at the buzzer? How did that bum manage to kick that ball so far wide right? Who won the nail-biter at Principal Park? What was the game’s outcome at Wells Fargo Arena? For answers to these questions and up-to-the-minute sports coverage of the local teams and sports action you care about, CITYVIEW readers tune into WHO TV Channel 13, naming it the Best TV Station for Sports in the area.
Runners-up: KCCI Channel 8, WOI Channel 5

Best TV Station for Weather

KCCI Channel 8
KCCI Channel 8 and its hourly forecasts, extended outlooks and predictions regarding precipitation, heat, sleet, blizzards and anything else brought to you out of the sometimes clear blue Iowa sky, is once again regarded as the Best TV Station for Weather, according to Best Of Des Moines voters.
Runners-up: WHO Channel 13, WOI Channel 5

Best Local TV Anchor


When “Life’s Calling,” DMACC is the area’s Best Community College, according to CITYVIEW readers. Pictured here is a group of 20 French chefs from Les Cuisiniers de la Loire, along with their spouses and an interpreter, as they
celebrate their Jan. 20 arrival at the Des Moines International Airport. They are pictured with (kneeling, left to right) Jim Stick, DMACC Academic Dean, Liberal Arts; Maura Nelson, DMACC French Professor and Coordinator of the
French Chef Exchange; and Chef John Andres, Director of the Iowa Culinary Institute at DMACC. This year marks the 35th Anniversary of DMACC’s annual exchange program with chefs from the region of Des Moines’ French sister city, Saint-Étienne. The chefs will spend the next two weeks as guest presenters working with students and faculty at the Iowa Culinary Institute at DMACC. Photo submitted

Dan Winters – WHO TV Channel 13
Dan Winters co-anchors WHO TV Channel 13’s evening newscasts. The award-winning investigative reporter works to inform Des Moines area residents about the need-to-know happenings in the metro. CITYVIEW readers say Winters is the Best Local TV Anchor in the area.
Runners-up: Erin Kiernan – WHO TV Channel 13, Steve Karlin – KCCI Channel 8

Best-Looking Male Media Personality

Dan Winters – WHO TV Channel 13
Three-peat! Dapper Dan Winters does it again. The popular TV Channel 13 anchorman has dominated the competition in this category in recent years and deservedly so. Congratulations Dan Winters. You are the Best-Looking Male Media Personality again this year,
according to readers of CITYVIEW. Yowsers! Flaunt it if you got it. Yes, sir… You go Dan!
Runners-up: Steve Karlin – KCCI Channel 8, Ed Wilson – WHO TV Channel 13

Best-Looking Female Media Personality

Erin Kiernan – WHO TV Channel 13
Erin Kiernan powers the Channel 13 News Team to big stories while playing a major role in the station’s popularity. Kiernan anchors the 5, 6, and 10 o’clock newscasts, and central Iowa likes what it sees, recognizing the reporter as central Iowa’s Best-Looking Female Media
Personality in CITYVIEW’s Best Of Des Moines poll. FUN FACT: Erin Kiernan has never had a cavity.
Runners-up: Rheya Spigner – KCCI Channel 8, Stacey Horst – KCCI Channel 8

Best Local Sports Commentator or Columnist

Keith Murphy – WHO TV Channel 13
The Murph has been a decades-long mainstay in central Iowa — mostly at WHO TV Channel 13 and KXNO sports radio. The popular face of central Iowa sports brings level-headed common sense and down-to-earth, intelligent, real-world analysis to the airwaves, and for that… Central Iowa voters say Keith Murphy is the Best Local Sports Commentator or Columnist in our market.
Runners-up: Scott Reister – KCCI Channel 8, Elgin Rucker – KCCI Channel 8

Best Meteorologist

Ed Wilson – WHO TV Channel 13
Snow? Rain? Sleet? When you need to know what is going to hit and when, central Iowa residents suggest tuning in to WHO TV’s meteorologist Ed Wilson.
Runners-up: Kurtis Gertz – KCCI Channel 8, Jeriann Ritter – WHO TV Channel 13

Best Radio Voice that Turns You On

Scott Davis – KFMG 98.9 FM
Congratulations to Scott Davis. The local on-air voice at KFMG has won the title of Des Moines’ Best Radio Voice that Turns You On. Central Iowa has spoken, and Scott “The Hat” gets the engines running as the host of Sunday Morning Jazz each week from 6-10 a.m.
Runners-up: Heather Burnside, Moose in the Morning – LAZER 103.3

Best Radio Station

KFMG 98.9 FM
Casey Kasem, the iconic FM DJ and wise sage, once said: “Basically, radio hasn’t changed over the years. Despite all the technical improvements, it still boils down to a man or a woman and a microphone, playing music, sharing stories, talking about issues — communicating with an audience.” The audience of central Iowa likes what it hears at KFMG 98.9 FM. The listener-supported station has repeatedly been labeled as the best in the area by CITYVIEW readers, and this year is no different. KFMG 98.9 FM is the Best Radio Station around, according to Best Of Des Moines voters.
Runners-up: KXNO 1460, STAR 102.5

Best Radio Personality

Ken, Colleen & Kurt in the Morning – STAR 102.5
What’s it like to be sprayed by a skunk?… Ranch flavored soda actually exists? … How would you rank Taylor Swift’s Top-10 songs of all-time?… Laughing about topics such as these are one reason Ken, Colleen & Kurt in the Morning on STAR 102.5, as a unit, is the repeat favorite of central Iowa voters in the category of Best Radio Personality. The trio entertains the airwaves on weekday mornings from 5-10 a.m.
Runners-up: Brian Joens – KFMG 98.9 FM, Eddie Hatfield – KJJY 92.5

Best Local Realtor

Tim Scheib – Scheib Real Estate Team
“Make yourself at home here,” says the Scheib Real Estate Team on its website. Described as down-to-earth, honest and fun, Tim Scheib is yet again the Best Local Realtor in central Iowa, according to CITYVIEW’s Best Of Des Moines voters. All Scheib Team Realtors are licensed to sell real estate in the state of Iowa. 107 E. First, Ankeny, 515-313-7103;
Runners-up: Bob Eisenlauer – RE/MAX, Jeff Kinion – Iowa Realty

Best Local Automotive Salesperson

Peter Wall – Willis Automotive
When you want four wheels of fun, or something fast or maybe you need a ride that is useful for work, Willis Automotive is stocked with offerings, and Peter Wall of Willis Auto is the Best Local Automotive Salesperson in the city, according to Best Of Des Moines voters. 9800 Hickman Road, Des Moines, 515-253-9600;
Runners-up: Jim Glenn – Hummel’s Nissan, Todd Lee – Willis Cadillac

Best Local Photographer

Akaye Photography
Photography has always been a love for lifelong central Iowa resident Alexis Akaye. Capturing the beauty of Midwestern seasons is a labor of love for the talented photographer, as is capturing candid emotion while chasing after brides, tiny tots, graduating seniors and others during their big days and momentous occasions. Akaye Photography is the Best Local Photographer in the area, according to CITYVIEW readers. Congratulations.
Runners-up: Jamie Lynn Photography, Maharry Photography

Best Local Financial Planner

Aaron Plaskas – Financial Architects
Aaron Plaskas of Financial Architects boasts more than two decades of experience navigating the ups and downs of the various markets that make up the financial services industry. Plaskas brings a family-first approach. Plaskas is willing to help anyone achieve optimal financial wellness by growing and protecting their wealth with long-term plans uniquely tailored to each person’s ever-changing needs. As a result, CITYVIEW readers have voted him the Best Local Financial Planner. 12345 University Ave., Suite 200, Clive, 515-457-1276;
Runners-up: Jacob Repp – New York Life, Mike Moller – DSM Financial

Best Local Insurance Agent

Rendall Insurance – Karla Rendall
“I help customers like you identify the insurance coverage that best fits your needs,” says Karla Rendall of Rendall Insurance in an online post. The veteran insurance agent has now been recognized as the city’s Best Local Insurance Agent by CITYVIEW’s Best Of Des Moines poll. Before you buy insurance based on the lowest premium, Rendall recommends sitting down with an experienced professional to thoroughly understand all the options, benefits and repercussions. 2175 N.W. 86th St., Suite 6, Clive, 515-253-0207;
Runners-up: Mark Courter – State Farm, Adam Hocking Insurance Agency

Best Local Mortgage Company

Fidelity Bank
Local ownership. Local decision-making. Local common sense. Fidelity Bank is a community-based institution working to make a difference. Get the answers you need for your home, your business or your personal banking without the bureaucracy. For decades Fidelity Bank has been “Growing Strong. Growing Relationships.” Now, Fidelity Bank is the Best Local Mortgage Company in the city, according to CITYVIEW readers. Multiple locations;
Runners-up: Midwest Family Lending, Key Mortgage Group

Best Local Vet Clinic

Oaks Veterinary Clinic
When Buttercup, Fido, Snuggles, Spot, Buttons, Prince, Blondie, Brownie, Loki or your loved animal is feeling ill and needs some TLC, CITYVIEW readers say Oaks Veterinary Clinic is the Best Local Vet Clinic in town. They even help heal rabbits. 2030 27th St., Des Moines, 515-279-3654;
Runners-up: Starch Pet Hospital, Value Vet

Best Local Home Builder

Jerry’s Homes
More Iowa families will come home tonight to a home built by Jerry’s Homes than any other builder, according to the company’s website. The premier custom home builder has been constructing residences since 1957. Offering everything from vacant buildable lots to newly completed homes, to custom home design services, new home building is old hat at Jerry’s, voted the Best Local Home Builder by CITYVIEW readers. Jerry’s Homes’ seasoned professionals stand by your side during every step of the construction process. Multiple locations;
Runners-up: Lotus Homes, Orton Homes

Best Local Landscaper

Plant Life Designs
Your yard is an extension of your home. Utilizing landscape design to fulfill your living space’s full potential. This is why Plant Life Designs was created. Since 2006, its staff has been helping central Iowa residents discover and maximize outdoor space. Breathe deep. Enjoy the
sunshine and fresh air. Plant Life Designs is at the ready and it is the Best Local Landscaper in the city, according to CITYVIEW readers.
Save the date: Plant Life Designs’ annual spring plant sale is scheduled for Saturday, May 2. 29154 360th St., Van Meter, 515-996-8888;
Runners-up: Ted Lare Design & Build, Solid Rock Landscaping

Best Local Chamber of Commerce

Urbandale Chamber of Commerce
A catalyst working to serve, protect, promote and provide opportunities to the businesses of central Iowa, the Urbandale Chamber of Commerce is the only five-star accredited chamber in the area. It’s also the Best Local Chamber of Commerce according to the Best Of Des
Moines poll. Striving to promote excellence, service, family connectedness and character, the Urbandale Chamber is uniquely Urbandale. 2830 100th St., Suite 110, Urbandale, 515-331-6855;
Runners-up: Grimes Chamber of Commerce, Ankeny Area Chamber of Commerce

Best Local Customer Service (overall)

Mint Piercing
The employees at Mint provide piercing services and help customers to answer tough questions regarding how to make the best decisions. As a result, Mint Piercing has once again been named as central Iowa’s Best Local Customer Service (overall) provider. Multiple locations;
Runners-up: Shade Tree Auto, Home Solutions of Iowa

Best Local Law Firm

Baer Law Office
Injured in an accident? Baer Law is dedicated to protecting its clients’ rights while pursuing claims for those who have been wrongly injured. Congratulations Baer Law, you are the Best Local Law Firm in the city for the fifth straight year, according to CITYVIEW readers. Legal services at Baer include personal injury, business law, family law and medical malpractice, and the firm serves clients throughout the state. The Baer Law Office is recognized within the legal community for handling complex cases that other lawyers have passed on or otherwise referred. 838 Fifth Ave., Des Moines, 515-279-2000;
Runners-up: Shindler, Anderson, Goplerud & Weese; Rieper Law, P.C.

Best Local Daycare

Generation Next
Generation Next Child Development Center and Preschool excels at developing young minds. Focused on each child’s individual growth, the goal at Generation Next is for children to become confident with their ability to function in a group setting and to become productive group members. Congratulations Generation Next, for the sixth year in a row, you have been voted the Best Local Daycare in the area by central Iowa’s Best Of Des Moines voters. Multiple locations;
Runners-up: 2 for U Childcare, Grace Preschool

Best Local Marketing Agency

Nexus 6
“Nexus 6 doesn’t suck,” assures the marketing agency’s website, and central Iowa seems to agree, voting it the Best Local Marketing Agency in the city. If you are looking for traditional, then Nexus 6 is probably not your place. The downtown marketing agency doesn’t fit the corporate mold, choosing to instead focus on helping clients stand out and avoid blending in with the competition. As a bonus, Nexus 6 and its team of non-sucking and disruptive storytellers pledges to not overprice services and to not stick it to people with hidden ugly contract conditions. 22 S.W. Ninth St., Des Moines, 515-850-0890;
Runners-up: Two Rivers Marketing, Spinutech

Best Local Apartment Complex

Ingersoll Square
“Fantastic spaces” that feature “unparalleled quality” at an “unbeatable location.” These are some of the key selling points for Ingersoll Square’s apartments, voted the Best Local Apartment Complex by CITYVIEW readers. Other highlights include industrial touches like barn doors and polished concrete floors to give these lofts an urban feel and complement their large windows and high ceilings. The spacious and bright units also offer access to a pool and fitness center, so your “home sweet home” can double as an entertainment venue. 1900 High St., Des Moines, 1-855-422-9191;
Runners-up: Broadmoor at Jordan Creek, Redwood Apartments

Best Local HVAC Company

Modern Heating and Air Conditioning
Daikin is the world’s largest manufacturer of heating and cooling products and has more equipment in circulation than any other company. In 2015, Daikin partnered with Modern Heating and Air Conditioning to bring Daikin products to central Iowa. Coupling those products with
first-rate service and some of the best warranties available, Modern Heating and Air Conditioning has captured the attention of CITYVIEW readers who have voted it Best Local HVAC Company. 675 N.E. 45th Place. Des Moines, 515-635-5525;
Runners-up: Wyckoff Heating & Cooling, Heartland Heating & Cooling

Best Local Senior Living Community

The senior living communities at Edencrest offer housing for seniors along with the support services needed to continue enjoying life even after living alone no longer makes sense. With residences equipped with trained professionals offering personal assistance and health care,
readers of CITYVIEW have spoken… Edencrest is the Best Local Senior Living Community in the area. Multiple locations;
Runners-up: Kennybrook Village, The Bridges at Ankeny

Best Local Place for Tax Preparation

The Vroman Group, LLP
The Federal Tax Code measures 3.8 million words long. That is 3 million words longer than the Bible. If you need help navigating that gargantuan ocean of seemingly unintelligible and rigid regulations, CITYVIEW readers say The Vroman Group, LLP is the Best Local Place for
Tax Preparation help. The Vroman Group, LLP prides itself on taking care of clients and helping them achieve their goals. 6601 Westown Parkway, Suite 250, West Des Moines, 515-278-4531;
Runners-up: McGowen Hurst Clark & Smith; Accounting Associates

Best Local Recruiter Or Search Firm

Palmer Group
Job hunting isn’t easy. The same goes for changing careers while working full time. Palmer Group exists to provide solutions for modern employment problems. The firm has helped more than 18,000 people find “the perfect job,” and Palmer is just getting started. Palmer Group serves as your treasure map and secret weapon leading the way to a lifetime of success. According to CITYVIEW readers, Palmer Group is the Best Local Recruiter or Search Firm in the area. 3737 Woodland Ave., Suite 200, West Des Moines, 515-225-7000;
Runners-up: Midwest Professional Staffing, Robert Half

Best Local Bathroom Facility

Von Maur
The Best Local Bathroom Facility in the Des Moines metropolitan area, according to our readers, is at Valley West Mall’s high-end department store, Von Maur. 1551 Valley West Drive, West Des Moines, 515-223-1311;
Runners-up: Shade Tree Auto, Bike World

Best Local Hotel

Holiday Inn Downtown
Quiet nights filled with rest, relaxation and rejuvenation might be the best offering at Holiday Inn Downtown, but it isn’t the only one. Conveniently located in the heart of the city — just two blocks from Wells Fargo Arena and the Iowa Event Center on I-235 — travelers benefit from being close to many of the city’s key hotspots. Featuring free on-site covered parking and a free hotel guest shuttle within 2 miles of the hotel, the Holiday Inn Downtown and its comfortable rooms, premium amenities and affordable room rates have the residents of central Iowa saying it is the Best Local Hotel in Des Moines. 1050 Sixth Ave., Des Moines, 515-283-0151;
Runners-up: AC Hotel by Marriott, Des Lux

Best Local Plumber

Guardian Plumbing
Drip. Drip. Drip… GUSHSHSH!!! When even an ark built by Noah wouldn’t solve your water issue… It is Guardian Plumbing to the rescue. Voters in CITYVIEW’s Best Of Des Moines poll say it is the Best Local Plumber in town. 515-229-7057;
Runners-up: H & H Plumbing, Herr Plumbing

Best Local Electrician

Empire Power & Controls
Empire Power & Controls strives to be the best source for all of your home’s power and entertainment needs while providing an unrivaled selection of the best quality gadgets and a unique and enjoyable customer experience. If you have a question pertaining to electrical problems or your home’s audio/video or network concerns, CITYVIEW readers say call Empire, the Best Local Electrician in the Best Of Des Moines polling. 515-979-7774;
Runners-up: Baker Electric, Kline Electric

Best Local Flooring Company

Royal Flooring
Succeeding in the home transformation business is about helping customers love where they live — hopefully for less money than if they shopped elsewhere. Royal Flooring is the Best Local Flooring Company, according to CITYVIEW readers, which means the business must be helping homeowners make home where their happy is. Multiple locations;
Runners-up: Louie’s Floor Covering, Barnum Floors

Best Local Roofing Company

Home Solutions of Iowa
Exterior remodeling services offered by Home Solutions of Iowa include gutter systems, roofing, insulation, rain barrels, windows, doors and siding. Iowa homeowners choose Home Solutions of Iowa because of its products and educated, professional technicians. Getting the job done is Home Solutions’ secret weapon. This full-service exterior remodeling company is the Best Local Roofing Company, according to CITYVIEW readers. 16180 S.E. Laurel St., Waukee, 515-999-2896;
Runners-up: Affordable Exteriors, Bakeris Roofing

Best Local Contractor

Home Solutions of Iowa
The aim at Home Solutions of Iowa is providing customers with excellent service while providing quality workmanship with products capable of lasting a lifetime. The central Iowa business must be doing something right, because CITYVIEW readers say it is the Best Local Contractor in town. 16180 S.E. Laurel St., Waukee, 515-999-2896;
Runners-up: Lotus Homes, Ultimate Exteriors

Best Local Interior Designer

Joelle Elaine Home Design
New construction, interior design and remodeling consultation services are Joelle Elaine Home Design’s specialty. The designer works to ensure that her projects come together in a cohesive manner that appeals to the eye. To follow Joelle Elaine Home Design’s in-progress
projects through various stages to their stunning conclusions, you can find the updates on Instagram: @Joelleelainedesign. CITYVIEW readers have been impressed enough to name Joelle Elaine Home Design the Best Local Interior Designer. 712-789-1687;
Runners-up: Meghan Blum Interiors, Cathie Thune

Best Local Pest Control Company

Pro-Staff Termite & Pest Control of Iowa
Get ‘em one at a time with a flyswatter, or you can call a professional. If those are your only choices, our readers say Pro-Staff Termite & Pest Control of Iowa is the Best Local Pest Control Company in the area. Pro-Staff Termite & Pest Control of Iowa guarantees its 8-step pest control program. 3605 Douglas Ave., Des Moines, 515-279-7378;
Runners-up: Preferred Pest Control, Springer Professional Home Services

Best Local Cleaning Company

The Queen of Clean
Your office’s bacteria count multiplies daily if and when its surfaces go uncleaned, and absent regular sanitation, office water coolers and restroom water taps could carry pathogens that spread contagious diseases. But fear not, central Iowa! Our readers say the Best Local Cleaning Company, The Queen of Clean, and her gallant team of cold-blooded germ killers can take care of those unwanted microorganisms. 4949 Pleasant St., Suite 101, West Des Moines, 515-528-8723;
Runners-up: Pristine Clean DSM, Top Job Service

Best Local Co-Working Space

Freelancers. Entrepreneurs. Remote workers. Startup team members who work independently. When your occupation necessitates that you labor on your own, but you don’t wish to be by yourself, Gravitate’s community brings together others like you and provides a happy place and an efficient space for getting work done. CITYVIEW readers say it is the Best Local Co-Working Space in central Iowa. Work Better. Work Together. Multiple locations; 515-207-8105;
Runners-up: The Depot, Collaborate DSM

Best Local Preschool

Generation Next
Generation Next Child Development Center and Preschool focuses on each child’s development while striving to help each improve. As such, Generation Next, for the sixth year in a row, has won the title of being the Best Local Preschool in the Des Moines area, according to CITYVIEW readers. Multiple locations;
Runners-up: Grace Preschool, Science Center of Iowa Preschool ♦


  1. Mark Tufts says:

    it seems that people seem to forget animal lifeline of iowa which is a true special needs no-kill animal shelter on des moines southeast side

  2. Mario Ghazali says:

    Hi Jeff,

    With all due respect, how could you overlook a very established and popular restaurant that have been in the food and eatery business for the past 14 years, and was indeed selected (on several occasions and by different food critique sources) in the very top food establishments in the Des Moines Metro area,

    Sincere Regards,
    Mario Ghazali / Owner-Manager
    Open Sesame Mediterranean Foods – East Village
    313 E Locust Street
    Des Moines Iowa 50309

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Summer Stir - June 2024