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Feature Story

CITYVIEW’s Best of Des Moines

2/3/2021

You know the drill by now. For nearly three decades, CITYVIEW’s Best Of Des Moines Poll has informed central Iowa about its biggest, best, brightest, tastiest, most fabulous, most effective, most fun, most entertaining, most interesting, its fittest and… You get the idea.

Being the best at something doesn’t just happen. Rising to the top of the heap is hard work, but once it’s done, you might as well cash in. Being recognized as the Best Of Des Moines has changed many businesses and propelled them to places they previously wouldn’t have thought possible. CITYVIEW expects that trend to continue.

The Best Of Des Moines is all about the city’s best of the best. We annually ask for your input, and this year, just like every year, you responded in resounding fashion. After tallying about 14,000 votes, which set a new record, more than 800 winners were left standing, and a champion was crowned in each category.

Putting this issue together is no easy task, but we enjoy this great endeavor. It serves as a fun reminder of just how good things are getting in Des Moines.

Please remember, if and when you disagree with one champion or another, these pages are filled with the best of the best as determined by YOU — CITYVIEW’s readers and Best Of Des Moines Poll voters. So if you don’t like an outcome, don’t blame the messenger, just be sure to cast a ballot next year. Now, without further ado… The Best Of Des Moines by CITYVIEW.

Prep Iowa

Enjoy. Bon Appétit. Boom goes the dynamite. So good. Can’t wait. Giddy up. Dig in.

To move directly to a category click the following links:
EATS
SHOPPING
NIGHTLIFE
CULTURE&RECREATION
HEALTH&BEAUTY
BEST OF THE REST

EATS

Best New Local Restaurant

Fresko Natural Food is the Best New Local Restaurant in the area, according to CITYVIEW’s Best Of Des Moines
Poll. 909 Locust St., Suite 103, Des Moines.

Fresko Natural Food

Pan-seared sea scallops. Seafood stew. Lobster ravioli. Golden dragon street noodles… Fresko Natural Food is the Best New Local Restaurant in the area, according to CITYVIEW’s Best Of Des Moines Poll. 909 Locust St., Suite 103, Des Moines, 515-630-7009; www.freskodsm.com. *DID YOU KNOW? “Fresko” means “fresh,” and Fresko’s target is to create seasonal eats made from ingredients that are often locally sourced and culled from Iowa farms.
Runners-up: Lucky Lotus; Portofino’s Italian Restaurant & Pizza

Best Kept Secret On The Local Restaurant Scene

Simon’s

Judging from the lines that often form outside Simon’s prior to its 5 p.m. opening — something that is highly unusual in Des Moines — it appears the cat is out of the proverbial bag on Simon’s. But if you haven’t heard, Simon’s is the Best Kept Secret on the Local Restaurant Scene, according to Best Of Des Moines voters for 2021. 5800 Franklin Ave., Des Moines, 515-255-3725; www.simonsdsm.com.
Runners-up: Fresko Natural Food; Panka Peruvian Restaurant

Best Local Restaurant… Period

Simon’s

One bar, nine booths, a couple-three tables and a fish aquarium… Simon’s probably only seats 60 or so, but this cozy hotspot bangs out some of the biggest flavors in the metro. Central Iowa is loaded with topnotch eateries, so being voted as Best Local Restaurant… Period is a high honor, and since Simon’s has now doubled down and laid claim to this title for two straight years, we salute you, Simon’s. So good. *DID YOU KNOW: Simon’s frequently serves complimentary red velvet cake for customers. 5800 Franklin Ave., Des Moines, 515-255-3725; www.simonsdsm.com.
Runners-up: Shanghai Chinese Restaurant; Fresko Natural Food

Best Local Fine Dining

Gastro Grub & Pub

When life is good, it’s good to celebrate, and when merrymaking is on the docket, Gastro Grub & Pub serves the Best Local Fine Dining, according to CITYVIEW readers. Dig in. 1378 E. Hickman Road, Waukee; www.gastrogrubpub.com.
Runners-up: Centro; Simon’s

Best Valley Junction Restaurant

G. Mig’s 5th Street Pub

“Eat. Drink. Enjoy.” That’s the motto at G. Mig’s 5th Street Pub. Bar offerings include an assortment of tap beers, a variety of domestic bottles, select specialty beers and a balanced wine list. Stop in, say hi, and if you’re hungry, you need to eat the East Coast Pastrami. 128 Fifth St., West Des Moines, 515-255-4550; www.gmigs.com.
Runners-up: Cooper’s on 5th; Chuck Celsi’s Tavern Restaurant

Best West Glen Restaurant

Bonefish Grill

Lightly seasoned wood-grilled mahi-mahi and tender shrimp served with a signature sauce… Sugar sweet yet firm texture scallops from Georges Bank with jumbo shrimp… Bang Bang shrimp tacos… A restaurant like no other, Bonefish Grill focuses on every detail while anticipating the needs of its guests to provide personalized service and delicious meals served in a comfortable, vibrant atmosphere. And don’t forget the fresh and warm white chocolate cranberry cookies. Bon Appétit. 650 S. Prairie View Drive, Des Moines, 515-267-0064; www.bonefishgrill.com.
Runners-up: Banana Leaf; BeerStyles Taproom & Gastropub

Best East Village Restaurant

Lucca

Indulgence is expected at Lucca. The high-end East Village eatery offers an ever-changing Italian and Mediterranean-inspired prix fixe menu, and these mouthwatering entrees include made-from-scratch pasta. 420 E. Locust St., Des Moines, 515-243-1115; www.luccadsm.net.
Runners-up: Alba; Zombie Burger + Drink Lab

Best Prairie Trail Restaurant

District 36 Wine Bar & Grille

Devour the 12-ounce hand-cut District Ribeye — marinated in a blend of Hawaiian juices and spices… Inhale the Caribbean Jerk Chicken — roasted and spiced with Caribbean herbs… Annihilate the Italian Stuffed Tenderloin… Follow your stomach to District 36 Wine Bar & Grille, the Best Prairie Trail Restaurant, according to CITYVIEW’s Best Of Des Moines Readers Poll. 1375 S.W. Vintage Parkway, Ankeny, 515-261-2502; www.district36winebar.com.
Runners-up: Fong’s Pizza; Jethro’s

Best Ingersoll Area Restaurant

Eatery A

The exotic flavors of Eatery A have dazzled Des Moines’ food aficionados for years. The Mediterranean-inspired menu consists of simple dishes showcasing quality ingredients that are grown locally. This Ingersoll culinary hotspot regularly wins multiple awards in CITYVIEW’s
Best Of Des Moines Readers Poll, and this year is no exception. *TIP: Try the Spanish Octopus served with chorizo, fingerlings and arugula pesto. Yum. 2932 Ingersoll Ave., Des Moines, 515-282-8085; www.eateryadsm.com.
Runners-up: Sakari Sushi Lounge; Cheese Bar

Best Local American Food

Jethro’s

For mouth-watering American eats and old-school classic grub, Jethro’s brand of finger-licking flavors has central Iowa coming back again and again. So it should surprise no one that the people have spoken, and CITYVIEW readers say Jethro’s offers the Best Local American Food in town. Chow down. Multiple locations; jethrosdesmoines.com.
Runners-up: Americana; B-Bop’s

Best Local Vegetarian/Vegan Food

Dirt Burger

The “Lil Elvis” ice cream treat at Dirt Burger is an oat-milk-based soft-serve shake that wows with banana, peanut butter, jelly and vanilla ice cream. Believe it or not, this enticing treat, and the entire Dirt Burger menu, is made from 100 percent plant-based ingredients. “The
Dirt Burger Pattie” is made with gram beans, chickpeas, buckwheat, flax, spinach, carrots, broccoli, beets, garlic, parsley, sweet potato, dried mushrooms, spices, kosher salt and nutritional yeast. When you add it all up, this East Village eatery offers the Best Local Vegetarian/Vegan Food, according to CITYVIEW’s Best Of Des Moines Readers Poll voting for 2021. 407 E. Fifth St., Des Moines, 515-850-3890; www.dirtburger.us.
Runners-up: Veggie Thumper; Fresko Natural Food

Best Local Gluten-Free Food

Fresko Natural Food

What is gluten? Certain foods, especially wheat and cereal grains, contain gluten, a substance that sometimes causes or contributes to an array of illnesses. If you want to avoid this potentially harmful ingredient, the Best Local Gluten Free-Food is served at Fresko Natural Food, according to voters in CITYVIEW’s Best Of Des Moines Readers Poll. 909 Locust St., Suite 103, Des Moines, 515-630-7009; www.freskodsm.com.
Runners-up: Louie’s Wine Dive; Dirt Burger

Best Local Italian Food

Tursi’s Latin King Restaurant

The top-notch traditional Italian cuisine at Tursi’s Latin King Restaurant is second to none, according to CITYVIEW readers. But call ahead if you’re coming for dinner because this east-side mainstay, even after seven decades of feeding central Iowa, continues to lure droves of local foodies who can’t seem to get their fill. *TIP: The charbroiled chicken spiedini is a legendary house specialty featuring boneless chicken breasts that are skewered, marinated and rolled in Italian breadcrumbs. Served with a unique Amogio sauce, this dish has been a bestseller at the Latin King for nearly 30 years. 2200 Hubbell Ave., Des Moines, 515-266-4466; www.tursislatinking.com.
Runners-up: Tumea & Sons; Cosi Cucina

Best Local Mexican Food

Monterrey

¿Tienes hambre?… Burritos, tacos, enchiladas, quesadillas… For Mexican food at its finest, try Monterrey, the Best Local Mexican Food in the area, according to voters in CITYVIEW’s Best Of Des Moines Readers Poll. Bienvenidos, amigos! Multiple locations; www.monterrey123.com.
Runners-up: El Barco; El Fogon

Best Local Thai Food

Cool Basil

Good food, plus good service, combined with a thick menu that’s stuffed with sushi, stir-fried dishes, noodles, Thai and more… That’s Cool Basil’s recipe for success. *OVERHEARD IN THE LOBBY: “Unscientifically speaking and unofficially, the Panang Curry cooked with coconut milk might be the single best thing I’ve ever tasted,” said someone in Cool Basil’s waiting area. 1250 86th St., Clive, 515-225-8111; www.coolbasilcliveiowa.com.
Runners-up: Thai Flavors; Lucky Lotus

Best Local Chinese Food

Shanghai Chinese Restaurant

Chopsticks? Those are the two equal-length sticks that vaguely resemble drumsticks, and, if placed into competent hands, can allegedly function as eating utensils. This type of Asian eating apparatus has been in use for at least 3,000 years, but no matter how you deliver your meal from your plate to your mouth, the votes are tallied, and CITYVIEW readers say that Shanghai Chinese Restaurant has the Best Local Chinese Food. 33 N.E. Carefree Lane, Waukee, 515-987-3111; www.shanghaiwk.com.
Runners-up: Tsing Tsao; Lucky Bamboo

Best Local Japanese Food

Wasabi

Enjoy high-quality Japanese food selections that are served with flair at Wasabi, the Best Local Japanese Food in the area, according to CITYVIEW’s Best Of Des Moines Readers Poll. Multiple locations; www.wasabidsm.com.
Runners-up: Sakari Sushi Lounge; Ohana Steakhouse

Best Local Mediterranean Food

Fresh Mediterranean Express

Pita sandwiches, kabobs, falafel, hummus, baklava and other Mediterranean-inspired eats… Does Fresh Mediterranean Express have the best gyros in town? Its website says it does, and CITYVIEW’s Best Of Des Moines voters say it serves the Best Local Mediterranean Food. 15 N.E. Carefree Lane, Waukee, 515-987-6870; www.freshmediterraneanexpress.com.
Runners-up: Gazali’s Mediterranean Grill; Olympic Flame

Bonefish Grill’s Valentine’s Day offering for date night means one thing… love is in the air. Indulge with a Filet & Lobster Tail, featuring a 7-ounce filet alongside a seasoned and steamed cold-water lobster tail. Available Feb. 4 through Feb. 15 at Bonefish Grill. Photo submitted

Best Local Seafood

Waterfront Seafood Market

Salmon, swordfish, sushi, rainbow trout, shrimp, prawns, halibut… these saltwater savories are flown in fresh off fishing boats from around the globe to be served at Waterfront Seafood Market. The family-owned central Iowa mainstay has been a local favorite for three decades.
Waterfront Seafood Market has locations in Ankeny and West Des Moines; www.waterfrontseafoodmarket.com.
Runners-up: Splash Seafood Bar & Grill; The Seafood Trap

Best Local Sushi

Sakari Sushi Lounge

Modern-day sushi is said to have been invented in Japan, but the Best Local Sushi is served at Sakari Sushi Lounge on Ingersoll Avenue, according to CITYVIEW readers. Enjoy lunch, dinner, desserts or happy hour at Sakari, where the seafood yakisoba is in high demand. 2605
Ingersoll Ave., Des Moines, 515-288-3381; www.sakarisushilounge.com.
Runners-up: Wasabi; Akebono

Best Local Hibachi

Ohana Steakhouse

Have you ever witnessed eggs being cracked by a spatula? The chefs at Ohana Steakhouse are comedians, jugglers and magicians, and these amazing performers serve the finest steaks, chicken, seafood and spirits while utilizing non-traditional methods for cracking eggs, including a spatula. *DID YOU KNOW: Ohana means “family” in the Hawaiian language. 2900 University Ave., West Des Moines, 515-225-3325; www.ohanasteakhouse.com.
Runners-up: Taki Japanese Steakhouse; Samurai Sushi & Hibachi

Best Local Steakhouse

801 Chophouse

Modeled after the classic New York steakhouses of the 1920s, 801 Chophouse delights with a private dining atmosphere that can be romantic, polished or professional, depending on the occasion. *DID YOU KNOW? 801 Chophouse also offers jet-fresh fish and crustaceans, an award-winning wine list and an exclusive selection of small-batch bourbons and single-malt scotches. 801 Grand Ave., Suite 200, Des Moines, 515-288-6000; www.801chophouse.com.
Runners-up: Texas Roadhouse; Iowa Beef Steakhouse

Best Local Brunch/Breakfast

Waveland Cafe

Steak and eggs? The best hash browns in the galaxy? Biscuits and gravy? The eye-popping menu at Waveland Cafe — a small-town-style cafe with a stated goal of serving excellent food in a home-style setting while offering personal service, large portions and with consistent quality — has made it “Des Moines’ breakfast place” since 1984. Waveland Cafe is the Best Local Brunch/Breakfast around, according to CITYVIEW readers. Multiple locations; www.wavelandcafe.com.
Runners-up: Americana; Eggs & Jam

Smokey Row Coffee Co. offers caffeinated happiness in the Sherman Hill Neighborhood. The local treasure is one of the most well-liked destinations in the city
and brings 5,000 square feet of coffee drinking, study grouping, first-date having, snack eating, business conversating, live-music playing fun. Photo by Carol VanHook

Best Local Delicatessen

Palmer’s Deli & Market

Maybe you should get the chicken salad? Or is this a tuna salad-sort-of day? Wait, what’s that something called the “Cowboy”? Whoa, Nellie… pastrami, ham, bacon, Swiss, cheddar, honey mustard on pumpernickel kaiser. That’s the “JP’s Favorite.” Winner, winner, pastrami dinner. Palmer’s Deli & Market has a mind-boggling array of salads, soups, desserts and other alluring treats, and Palmer’s has once again been named the Best Local Delicatessen in the area, according to voters in this year’s Best Of Des Moines Poll conducted by CITYVIEW.
*TIP: Enjoy a snickerdoodle cookie. Multiple locations; www.palmersdeliandmarket.com.
Runners-up: Hansen’s Manhattan Deli; B&B Grocery, Meat & Deli

Best Local Burger

B-Bop’s

Cheeseburger aficionados and hamburger honchos agree, Des Moines can’t get enough B-Bop’s. The local chain serves a brand of hot-and-tasty chargrilled burgers that, when paired with lip-smacking french fries, has proven to be downright addictive. As such, it is no surprise that CITYVIEW readers say that B-Bop’s serves the Best Local Burger in the area. Multiple locations; www.b-bops.com.
Runners-up: Zombie Burger + Drink Lab; Dirt Burger

Best Local Pizza

Bordenaro’s Pizzeria

Des Moines brings the goods when it comes to pizza, boasting a bevy of top-notch options around the metro. So winning the Best Local Pizza category is a high honor, and Bordenaro’s Pizzeria is this year’s champ, according to CITYVIEW’s Best Of Des Moines voting for 2021. *TIP: Don’t forget the double-dipped onion rings at Bordenaro’s, because… yum. 6108 S.W. Ninth St., Des Moines, 515-287-1607; www.bordenarospizza.com.
Runners-up: Fong’s Pizza; Gusto Pizza Co.

Best Local Bakery

La Mie Bakery

Eggs, omelettes, quiche, french toast, tartines, artisan pizza, sandwiches, soups and salads… La Mie Bakery. Get it while it’s hot. 841 42nd St., Des Moines, 515-255-1625; www.lamiebakery.com.
Runners-up: Hiland Bakery; Echo’s Cookies Shop

Best Local Cupcake Shop

Molly’s Cupcakes

Goals for 2021? Eat more cupcakes! If you are likewise looking to up your cupcake intake, then consider Molly’s Cupcakes. The East Village sweet spot and its made-from-scratch treats are again at the top of the list when it comes to the Best Local Cupcake Shop, according to readers of CITYVIEW. *TIP: The menu at Molly’s is stacked with goodies including: german chocolate, chocolate mousse, chocolate raspberry, cake batter, coconut dulce de leche and crème brülèe. 215 E. Third St., Des Moines, 515-244-0778; www.mollysdsm.com.
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, and now… Pile one more on the barbie, because Smokey D’s BBQ is the Best Local BBQ in the Des Moines area, according to CITYVIEW readers. Main
location: 5055 N.W. Second Ave., Des Moines, 515-243-2747; www.smokeydsbbq.com.
Runners-up: Jethro’s; Kue’d Smokehouse

Best Local French Fries

B-Bop’s

The french fries at B-Bop’s are the Best Local French Fries around, according to CITYVIEW’s Best Of Des Moines Readers Poll, and the local fast-food chain also won the title of having the Best Local Burger. As such, it might be fair to ask…. Is B-Bop’s the single best reason to love living in central Iowa? *TIP: The perfect meal, according to someone who should know, is taking down a No. 1 combo consisting of a quarter-pound cheeseburger and fries along with a large Diet Mountain Dew, and banking a chocolate shake for the road. Enjoy! Multiple locations; www.b-bops.com.
Runners-up: Django; Francie’s Bar & Grill

Best Local Chicken Wings

Jethro’s

Let the BBQ sauce dipping begin… at Jethro’s. Where the crispy chicken wings — bone-in and boneless — are served piping hot and ready to devour. The popular local chain has won this category — Best Local Chicken Wings — multiple times, and Jethro’s has done it again in 2021. Multiple locations; jethrosdesmoines.com.
Runners-up: The Chicken Coop Sports Bar & Grill; Gerri’s

Best Local Nachos

University Library Café

Dogtown’s hidden gem, the University Library Café, offers an eclectic mix of fun menu items, drinks and just the right amount of coziness. But the bar is best known for its magnificent nachos, and, once again, the Library is the champion in the category of Best Local Nachos in central Iowa, according to CITYVIEW’s Best Of Des Moines Readers Poll for 2021. 3506 University Ave., Des Moines, 515-255-0433; www.thelibrarydm.com.
Runners-up: Jethro’s; Smokey D’s BBQ

Best Local Tacos

Tasty Tacos

“Nada es impossible.” That’s the mantra at Tasty Tacos, a family-owned taco hotspot that regularly receives raves as one of Des Moines’ favorite eateries, so it is no surprise that Tasty Tacos once again takes the title as the Best Local Tacos in town, according to CITYVIEW readers. *DON’T FORGET: The fluffy and homemade flour-shell tacos loaded with seasoned beef and topped with lettuce, cheese and homemade salsa have made Tasty Tacos famous, but you’ll be doing yourself a favor if you also try the cream cheese jalapeño poppers. Multiple locations; www.tastytacos.com.
Runners-up: El Guapo’s Tequila + Tacos; MALO

Best Local Tenderloin

Smitty’s Tenderloin Shop

The legendary pork tenderloins at Smitty’s are breaded, handmade, and have satisfied appetites since 1952. Smitty’s Tenderloin Shop serves central Iowa’s Best Local Tenderloin, according to CITYVIEW readers. 1401 Army Post Road, Des Moines, 515-287-4742.
Runners-up: Goldie’s Ice Cream Shoppe; Jethro’s

Best Local Bar Food

Francie’s Bar & Grill

Italian pot roast, philly chicken sandwich, half-pound patty melt… The goodies at Francie’s also include soups, salads, sweets and beverages, and when you add it all together, Francie’s Bar & Grill offers the Best Local Bar Food in town, according to Best Of Des Moines voters. *TIP: The double-fudge brownies at Francie’s, topped with ice cream, should be on your bucket list. 2100 Wakonda View Drive, Des Moines, 515-285-5207; www.franciesbarandgrill.com.
Runners-up: El Bait Shop; Wellman’s

Best Local Coffee/Coffeehouse

Smokey Row Coffee Co.

This gargantuan coffeehouse with high ceilings is generally teeming with caffeinated happiness at all hours of operation — present global pandemic excepted. The Sherman Hill Neighborhood hotspot — just west of downtown — is truly a local treasure and one of the most well-liked destinations in the city. When central Iowa wants 5,000 square feet of coffee drinking, study grouping, first-date having, snack eating, business conversating, live-music playing fun… it’s Smokey Row Coffee Co. *TIP: If you’ve had a rough day, wash your troubles away with a Butterfinger latte that is loaded with espresso, butterscotch, chocolate and steamed milk, and then topped with whipped cream and a Butterfinger topping. 1910 Cottage Grove, Des Moines, 515-244-2611; www.smokeyrow.com.
Runners-up: Zanzibar’s Coffee Adventure; Horizon Line Coffee

Best Local Wine Selection at a Restaurant

Fresko Natural Food

Fresko Natural Food offers delicious eats crafted from locally-sourced ingredients that are harvested fresh from Iowa farms. The best part? You can wash it down with something from Fresko’s wine offerings, the Best Local Wine Selection at a Restaurant, according to CITYVIEW’s Best Of Des Moines Poll. *NEED TO KNOW INFO: Happy Hour starts at 4 p.m., Monday through Friday. 909 Locust St., Suite 103, Des Moines, 515-630-7009; www.freskodsm.com.
Runners-up: Louie’s Wine Dive; District 36 Wine Bar & Grille

Best Local Power Lunch

Each of the 70-plus donut flavors at Hurts Donut Company is a love letter to customers, and the donut specialty shop says it is “open 25 hours a day, 8 days a week!” Photo submitted

Centro

A power lunch, when done right, creates win/win deals where all stakeholders leave happy. Another win/win? Doing business while enjoying Centro’s high-end eats. When it’s time to get deals done… Centro is central Iowa’s best option for the Best Local Power Lunch, according to CITYVIEW’s Best Of Des Moines voting. 1003 Locust St., Des Moines, 515-248-1780; www.centrodesmoines.com.
Runners-up: Palmer’s Deli & Market; Bubba

Best Local Place to Chow After 2 a.m.

Fong’s Pizza

The crab rangoon pizza at Fong’s put the downtown eatery on the map, but the unique Asian-style pizzeria also earns rave reviews for its late-night offerings. For more than a decade, the local after-hours crowd has been lured to Fong’s to enjoy a late-night bite, and after tallying all the votes, Fong’s Pizza is the Best Local Place to Chow After 2 a.m., according to CITYVIEW readers. *TIP: Fong’s regular menu includes lightly fried raspberry cheesecake egg rolls drizzled with chocolate and sprinkled with powdered sugar. Delish. Multiple locations; www.fongspizza.com.
Runners-up: Big Tomato Pizza; Abelardo’s Mexican Restaurant

Best Local Hangover Food

Mullets

Where’s my?… Arg. What is?… Oh no. Did I really?… Pain. Hangovers hurt. But eating good grub can alleviate the discomfort, and it might enable you to hate life a little less. Mullets is a downtown bar and grill equipped with a two-level patio featuring prime views. It also offers a breakfast menu loaded with omelettes and other goodies that might not cure a hangover, but ingesting some quality eats couldn’t hurt. 1300 S.E. First St., Des Moines, 515-244-1443; www.mulletsdm.com.
Runners-up: Waveland Cafe; B-Bop’s

Best Local First Date Spot

Gastro Grub & Pub

Here comes the… Wait, not yet. First things first. Before that dressed-in-white bride walks anywhere, you need the perfect first date, and for that… you better get to Gastro Grub & Pub, according to CITYVIEW readers. 1378 E. Hickman Road, Waukee; www.gastrogrubpub.com.
Runners-up: Fresko Natural Food; Bubba

Best Local Restaurant Patio

Eatery A

Sublime food enjoyed with friends while engaging in fun conversation and basking under a warm and starry Iowa sky…. That’s the offer at Eatery A, the Ingersoll Avenue mainstay that puts this appealing option together with its Mediterranean-inspired eats. As such, Eatery A once again takes the title as champion in the category of Best Local Restaurant Patio, according to central Iowa voters. 2932 Ingersoll Ave., Des Moines, 515-282-8085; www.eateryadsm.com.
Runners-up: Wellman’s Pub and Rooftop; Gilroy’s

Best Local Place to Get a Donut

Hurts Donut Company

“The relentless pursuit of really, really, really, freaking good donuts.” Each of the 70-plus donut flavors at Hurts Donut Company is a love letter to customers, and these rebel donuts break all the old rules of culinary sweetness. Menu offerings include maple bacon donuts, cotton candy donuts and birthday cake donuts, just to name a few. *DID YOU KNOW? The donut specialty shop says it is “open 25 hours a day, 8 days a week!” 5513 Mills Civic Parkway, Suite 105, West Des Moines, 515-267-1671; www.wannahurts.com.
Runners-up: ChuChu Donuts; Donut Hut

Best Local Caterer

Cyd’s Catering

Spanish tapas? Hors d’oeuvres? Belgium waffles? Breakfast, brunch, lunch, dinner? Everything from Cyd’s Catering sounds good, and Cyd has the unique ability to integrate gourmet cuisine into an intimate and private gathering. Cyd’s Catering, established in 1994, is the Best Local Caterer in Des Moines, according to readers of CITYVIEW. *HINT: The Sopapilla Cheesecake Cups are melt-in-your mouth delicious. 515-208-2091; www.cateringbycyd.com.
Runners-up: Taste! To Go; Great Caterers of Iowa

Best Local Restaurant Supply Company

Bolton & Hay, Inc.

Established in 1920, Bolton & Hay has grown to be known for its food service equipment and supplies. The company is locally owned, family-operated and based in Des Moines. The mission at Bolton & Hay? To provide quality foodservice equipment and supply products at discounted prices to valued customers. Bolton & Hay is a leading source of commercial kitchen equipment and supplies for the foodservice industry thanks to its large inventory of new restaurant equipment, supplies and parts. Bolton & Hay is the Best Local Restaurant Supply Company in the area, according to CITYVIEW’s Best Of Des Moines Readers Poll. 4333 Park Ave., Des Moines, 800-362-1861; www.boltonhay.com.
Runners-up: Hockenbergs; Iowa-Des Moines Supply

Best Local Vietnamese Food

The crab rangoon pizza at Fong’s draws rave reviews, and the eatery is also famous for its other late-night offerings and after-hours menu. Photo submitted

Shanghai Chinese Restaurant

“Lunch, dinner, to-go.” The authentic Vietnamese menu offerings at Shanghai Chinese Restaurant in Waukee have the attention of local foodies, and these fine folks say Shanghai is the Best Local Vietnamese Food in central Iowa, according to CITYVIEW’s Best Of Des Moines Readers Poll for 2021. *NEED TO KNOW INFO: The Oyster Duck offers marinated slices of tender duck sautéed in an oyster sauce and then stir fried with snow pea pods, carrots, celery, mushrooms, onions, bamboo shoots and water chestnuts. 33 N.E. Carefree Lane, Waukee, 515-987-3111; www.shanghaiwk.com.
Runners-up: A Dong; Vietnam Cafe

Best Local Food Truck

El Coquí 515

Bringing tasty Puerto Rican cuisine to the heartland and central Iowa, El Coquí 515 offers island eats from a food truck. The attractive presentation adds to the quality service and freshly prepared food offerings. *HINT: “When I saw a piece of octopus in that seafood salad, I wanted to cry. I was super impressed,” raves one reviewer. 1306 University Ave., Des Moines, 515-771-4196.
Runners-up: Tex-Mex Kitchen; Veggie Thumper

Best Local Chocolate/Candy Store

Chocolaterie Stam

“A little bit of sweetness can drown out a whole lot of bitterness,” said some wise soul with a sweet tooth. As such, milk chocolate, white chocolate, mocha chocolate… if chocolate equals happiness, then Chocolaterie Stam is somewhere very near paradise. P.S.: Chocolate, chocolate, chocolate. Multiple locations; www.stamchocolate.com.
Runners-up: Chocolate Storybook; Beaverdale Confections

Best Local Korean Food

Sook’s Korean Kitchen

Authentic Korean food that will make you smile, Sook’s Korean Kitchen offers spicy pork, beef bolgogi and fried apple dumpling. These popular menu items and others have earned this Asian-style food truck the title as the Best Local Korean Food in the city, according to CITYVIEW readers. 515-577-4790; sookskoreankitchen.com.
Runners-up: Mandarin Kitchen; Basic Bird

Best Local Ice Cream or Gelato Shop

The Outside Scoop

To cone or not to cone? That’s the question at The Outside Scoop. Whichever way you answer, an abundance of ice cream awaits. The quality homemade eats at The Outside Scoop make it the Best Local Ice Cream Shop in the Des Moines metro area, according to CITYVIEW’s Best Of Des Moines voting for 2021. Located in Ankeny, Indianola and in its pink trucks throughout the Des Moines area, 515-444-8234; www.outside-scoop.com.
Runners-up: Snookies Malt Shop; Over the Top

 
SHOPPING

Back Country in Beaverdale offers the industry’s most innovative and reputable brands to equip campers and hikers. Photo submitted

Best Local Store (Overall)

The Funky Zebras

Stylish? Fashionable? Fabulous? The Funky Zebras is a unique boutique with a bevy of fun finds: cream animal print cross front tops, AP24 toothpaste, light-up scrunchies, camo lightweight sweatshirts and so much more. As such, this central Iowa hotspot is the Best Local Store (Overall) in the area, according to CITYVIEW readers. Multiple locations; www.thefunkyzebras.com.
Runners-up: Bing’s; Raygun

Best Local Men’s Clothing Store

Mr. B

With an exciting blend of first-rate fabrics, vibrant colors and tasteful styles, Mr. B has been central Iowa’s go-to destination for men’s dress clothing, suits and business casual apparel. Congratulations, Mr. B, on once again attaining the title as the Best Local Men’s Clothing Store in central Iowa, according to CITYVIEW’s Best Of Des Moines Readers Poll. 1995 N.W. 86th St. Clive, 515-276-8589; www.mrbclothing.com.
Runners-up: Badowers; Backroom Clothing

Best Local Women’s Clothing Store

The Funky Zebras

The Funky Zebras women’s clothing and accessory boutique is known for offering a “wow experience” along with reasonable prices, stylish fashion and helpful service. The Best Local Women’s Clothing Store in central Iowa, according to CITYVIEW’s Best Of Des Moines Readers Poll, is The Funky Zebras. Multiple locations; www.thefunkyzebras.com.
Runners-up: La Vida Foundry; Fusion Boutique

Best Local Thrift Shop

Many Hands Thrift Market

Wow!… How much?… Yes!… If the thrill of the kill is secondary to the challenge of the chase, then consider chasing stellar deals at Many Hands Thrift Market. Boasting aisles full of thrifting adventures, Many Hands Thrift Market should be on any thrifter’s agenda, according to our readers, who voted it the Best Local Thrift Shop in the area. *NEED TO KNOW INFO: As part of its nonprofit ministry — Many Hands for Haiti — proceeds from Many Hands Thrift Market go toward supporting local and global missions that help transform the path of poverty. Multiple locations; www.manyhandsthrift.com.
Runners-up: Goodwill; Animal Lifeline Thrift Shop

Best Local Resale/Consignment Boutique

Worn

Whether you are buying or selling designer labels, you can cash in at Worn. Maybe that’s why CITYVIEW readers named the store the Best Local Resale/Consignment Boutique in the area. *DID YOU KNOW: Up to 60 percent of the hangers in American closets hold clothes that are rarely if ever used? Multiple locations, 515-224-6880; www.thewornstore.com.
Runners-up: Stuff Etc; Plato’s Closet

Best Prairie Trail Store

Mainstream Boutique

Buttery soft fabrics that are comfortably stretchy and still beautiful… Mainstream Boutique wows with its designed-to-flatter inventory. Mainstream Boutique is the Best Prairie Trail Store, according to readers of CITYVIEW. Multiple locations; www.mainstreamboutique.com.
Runners-up: Tanique; Maria Vincent Boutique

Best Local Frame Shop

Tandem Brick Gallery

Frames function as the outlines and the borders of our lives’ most notable moments. Established in 1977, Tandem Brick Gallery offers unique gifts and quality framing in order to encapsulate and define your special memories in just the right manner. When you want to showcase a life highlight or a special image that you treasure, Tandem Brick Gallery is the Best Local Frame Shop in town, according to voters in CITYVIEW’s Best Of Des Moines Readers Poll. 2722 Ingersoll Ave., Des Moines, 515-282-1031; www.tandembrickgallery.com.
Runners-up: The Great Frame Up; Dot’s Gallery & Frame Shop

Best Local Bridal Shop

Schaffer’s

Here comes the bride…. All dressed in white…. The elegant offerings at Schaffer’s have made it the Best Local Bridal Shop in the area, according to voters in CITYVIEW’s Best Of Des Moines Poll. 5445 Mills Civic Parkway, West Des Moines, 515-288-0356; www.schaffers.com.
Runners-up: Weddings By Design; Something Blue

Best Local Tuxedo Shop

Skeffington’s Formal Wear

Black-tie events demand exquisite apparel, and exquisite apparel is on the rack at Skeffington’s Formal Wear. Skeffington’s is the leading tuxedo and suit provider in several Iowa cities, and CITYVIEW readers say it is the Best Local Tuxedo Shop in central Iowa. Multiple locations; www.skeffingtons.com.
Runners-up: Weddings By Design – The Tux Shop; Men’s Wearhouse

Best Local Children’s Store

Once Upon a Child

Once Upon a Child is a one-of-a-kind place. Raising kids isn’t easy, but this Urbandale shop — the Best Local Children’s Store, according to CITYVIEW readers — eases a little of the financial burden. Once Upon a Child buys and sells gently used clothes, shoes and toys, so you can cash in, or you can find something to purchase from its inventory of child-raising necessities at deep discounts off of retail prices. 10465 Hickman Road, Urbandale, 515-222-0774; www.onceuponachilddesmoines.com.
Runners-up: The Learning Post; Janes – Family Shop

Best Local New Store

MARNē

Need a great place to find something you need or hadn’t seen before? Or a fun place to sip coffee and surf around? Friendly, welcoming, knowledgeable, the staff at MARNē helps to make MARNē the Best Local New Store in central Iowa, according to our readers. MARNē is named after an Australian Shepherd and a town in Iowa, and it strives to support “brands that give a damn.” This East Village shop makes careful selections when it comes to which goods to stock, so you have a space to shop and connect without worrying about where your goods came from. *CHECK THIS ITEM OUT! Bewitch your mind as you piece together a designer jigsaw puzzle that is chic enough to frame. “Making Magic” is a neat gift idea that was designed by a New Zealand artist. The puzzle is printed with vegan ink and made from handcrafted cutting dies and premium quality materials for 1,000 equally thick yet expertly shaped pieces. 350 E. Locust St., Unit 101, Des Moines; www.shopmarne.com.
Runners-up: give.; Des Moines Mercantile

Best Local Music Store

Rieman Music

Fiddles. Tubas. Bongos. Drums. Ukes. When it comes to playing tunes, strumming strings, sounding horns and all that jazz, Rieman Music makes the world sound better. You might even find a harp. *DID YOU KNOW? Established in 1953 — during the Eisenhower administration — Rieman Music is a full-service music retailer owned and operated by musicians for musicians. Multiple locations; www.riemanmusic.com.
Runners-up: Vinyl Cup Records; Zzz Records

Best Local New or Used Book Store

Half Price Books

Books. Pages. Words. Biographies. How-to-do everything. Fiction. Nonfiction. Whatever keeps you turning the pages and ingesting words, Half Price Books allows you to do it at a fraction of the cost. 10201 University Ave., Clive, 515-224-4429; www.hpb.com. *DID YOU KNOW: Half Price Books is America’s largest family-owned bookstore with more than 120 stores across the country.
Runners-up: Beaverdale Books; Wall of Books

Best Local Car Dealership (Domestic)

Stivers Ford Lincoln

Find the right automobile from among the offerings at Stivers Ford Lincoln. The longtime local dealer with top-of-the-line domestic offerings is once again the area’s Best Local Car Dealership (Domestic), according to our readers. The family-operated Ford Lincoln dealership has served the Des Moines Area since 1980. 1450 E. Hickman Road, Waukee, 1-800-747-2744; www.stiversfordia.com.
Runners-up: Karl Chevrolet; Willis Automotive

Best Local Car Dealership (Foreign)

Willis Automotive

Cadillac, Jaguar, Volvo, Lexus, Chevrolet…. These are just a few of the name brands brought to you by Willis Automotive, which is once again the Best Local Car Dealership (Foreign), according to readers of CITYVIEW. 2121 100th St., Clive, 855-638-1176; www.willisautocampus.com.
Runners-up: Toyota of Des Moines; Ramsey Subaru of Des Moines

Bing’s gift shop is located in the Historic Valley Junction shopping district. Photo submitted

Best Local Motorcycle Shop

Big Barn Harley-Davidson

Some people see therapists and talk out their problems. Other people ride Harley-Davidsons. If you fall into the latter portion of the population and are looking for a bike, clothing, merchandise, collectibles, parts or service, the Best Local Motorcycle Shop in the area is Big Barn Harley-Davidson, according to CITYVIEW’s Best Of Des Moines voters. 81 N.W. 49th Place, Des Moines, 515-265-4444; www.bigbarnhd.net.
Runners-up: Baumer’s Cycle; Struthers Brothers

Best Local Bicycle Shop

Bike World

Maybe you thrive on the action behind handlebars… Maybe you refer to yourself as a cyco-path? Or maybe you are hooking up training wheels for the first time? Whatever the skill level is, Bike World has once again been named the Best Local Bicycle Shop in the area, according to readers of CITYVIEW. “On your left!” Multiple locations;
www.bikeworldiowa.com.
Runners-up: Kyle’s Bikes; Ichi Bike

Best Local Liquor Store

Ingersoll Wine & Spirits

When the occasion calls for a bottle of spirits, Ingersoll Wine & Spirits is the area’s Best Local Liquor Store, according to CITYVIEW’s Best Of Des Moines Readers Poll in 2021. Multiple locations; www.ingersollwine.com.
Runners-up: Hy-Vee Wine & Spirits; Central City Liquors

Best Local Wine Store

Half Price Books in Clive allows you to stay well-read at a fraction of what paying retail value
would cost. Photo submitted

Ingersoll Wine & Spirits

“Your neighborhood wine store,” Ingersoll Wine & Spirits is the Best Local Wine Store according to voters in CITYVIEW’s Best Of Des Moines Readers Poll. Multiple locations; www.ingersollwine.com.
Runners-up: WineStyles; Hy-Vee Wine & Spirits

Best Local Grocery Store

Hy-Vee

What is the best part about living in the 21st century? The Internet is nice. Ditto that for heated car seats and steering wheels. But the modern, megasized grocery store experience is also tough to beat, and it beats the heck out of yoking an ox and tilling a field. When it comes to being the Best Local Grocery Store, our readers can be heard humming…. “Hy-Vee… Shop Hy-Vee…” Multiple locations; www.hy-vee.com.
Runners-up: Fareway; Gateway Market

Best Local Jewelry Store

Josephs Jewelers

Engagement rings. Rolex watches. Artisan handcrafted jewelry. The lifechanging treasures contained in the tiny boxes at Josephs Jewelers make it the Best Local Jewelry Store in the metro, according to our readers. *BELIEVE IT OR NOT: Providing moments of clarity since 1871, Josephs’ establishment pre-dates Thomas Edison’s new-fangled invention called the lightbulb. How’s that for longevity? Multiple locations; www.josephsjewelers.com.
Runners-up: Prysm Body Piercing & Jewelry Gallery; Christopher’s Fine Jewelry

Best Local Antique Store

The Brass Armadillo Antique Mall

The more-than-450 antique and collectible dealers at the Brass Armadillo Antique Mall fill the building’s 36,000 square feet with fun finds, fine antique furniture, collectibles and a seemingly unending sea of ancient, retro and vintage treasures. 701 N.E. 50th Ave., Des Moines, 515-282-0082; www.brassarmadillo.com/desmoines.
Runners-up: The Picker Knows Antiques & Collectibles; 35th Street Antiques

Best Local Art Gallery

Kunzler Studios

Artwork, ceramic and pottery classes, artwork, gifts, artwork, events and… artwork. Valley Junction’s Kunzler Studios is the Best Local Art Gallery for the second straight year, according to voters in CITYVIEW’s Best Of Des Moines Poll. 324 Fifth St., West Des Moines, 515-279-0322; www.kunzlerstudios.com.
Runners-up: Artisan Gallery 218; Liz Lidgett Gallery + Design

Best Local Hardware Store

Waukee Hardware & Rent-it Center

Get your hardware essentials at Waukee Hardware & Rent-it Center, central Iowa’s local source for odd and ends for more than 140 years. The Waukee hardware store provides needed products to homeowners along with top-notch service and at a fair price. Waukee Hardware is the Best Local Hardware Store around, according to CITYVIEW readers. 380 Sixth St., Waukee, 515-987-4574; waukee.doitbest.com.
Runners-up: Miller’s Hardware; Porter Do it Best Hardware & Rental

Best Shopping District

The Historic East Village

Once known as Iowa’s peep-show capital, The Historic East Village has transformed into a hotbed for trendy boutiques, luxurious salons, high-end hotels and rave-worthy retail opportunities. East of downtown Des Moines’ core and across the river; www.eastvillagedesmoines.com.
Runners-up: Valley Junction; Jordan Creek

Best Local Flower Shop

Boesen the Florist

Flowers say, “Thank you.” Flowers say, “I’m sorry.” Flowers say, “Well done!” Flowers say, “I love you.” Some people say things best when they say nothing at all, and when words can’t express what you need someone to hear, let the flowers at Boesen the Florist speak what your heart needs to say. Multiple locations; www.boesen.com.
Runners-up: Wildflower; Plaza Florist & Gifts

Best Local Gift Shop

Bing’s

Giving is better than receiving, so be sure to give the gift that makes your special someone smile. Bing’s is located in the Historic Valley Junction shopping district, and the gift shop is the Best Local Gift Shop in the area, according to voters in CITYVIEW’s Best Of Des Moines Readers Poll. 213 Fifth St., West Des Moines, 515-279-3141; bingsdsm.com.
Runners-up: Tandem Brick Gallery; give.

Best Local Place to Buy Makeup

Ulta Beauty

You only get one chance to make a first impression, so stand up and stand out by putting your best face forward…. Ulta can help you with that — the Best Local Place to Buy Makeup, according to CITYVIEW readers. Multiple locations; www.ulta.com.
Runners-up: Sephora; Vanity & Glamour Cosmetics

Best Local Camera Store

Christian Photo

Smiling and saying, “CHEESE!” is one way to improve photos, but finding the right equipment at Christian Photo is another. Christian Photo is the Best Local Camera Store in central Iowa, according to CITYVIEW’s Best Of Des Moines voting. 6721 Douglas Ave., Urbandale. 515-270-8030; www.christianphoto.biz.
Runners-up: Alexander’s Photo

Best Local Place to Purchase a Musical Instrument

Rieman Music

Rieman Music offers the instruments that’ll make people dance. This local music shop also specializes in repairs and in-house service, along with music lessons and its rent-to-own program for beginning band students. Multiple locations; www.riemanmusic.com.
Runners-up: Uptempo Music; Professional Music Center

Best Local Computer Repair Shop

Little Dog Tech

Technology. It’s the best thing since sliced bread. It’s like a hot knife through butter. But when technology won’t go… HELP!?!? Little Dog Tech can get you through a pinch. 5946 Ashworth Road, West Des Moines, 515-422-1995; www.littledogtech.com.
Runners-up: Dymin Systems; 600 Monkeys

Best Local Phone Repair Shop

Mobile Spot

The screen is cracked. The battery won’t charge. The touchpad won’t push. Mobile Spot fixes all makes and models of cell phones and tablets, and many repairs are done the same day. Mobile Spot: Cell Phone Repair in Des Moines and Clive is the Best Local Phone Repair Shop in the area, according to CITYVIEW readers. 8421 University Blvd., Clive, 515-223-7719; www.mymobilespot.com.
Runners-up: CPR – Cell Phone Repair; uBreakiFix

Best Local Place to Get a Costume

Theatrical Shop

When you want to hide in plain sight… The selection of masks, wigs, theatrical makeup, novelties, costumes and other dress-up accessories are unparalleled at the Theatrical Shop in Valley Junction, “Your department fun store.” 145 Fifth St., West Des Moines, 515-274-3661; www.theatricalshop.com.
Runners-up: Party City; Goodwill

Best Local Pawn Shop

The Pawn Store

Antiques, guitars, diamonds, electronics, watches, musical instruments… The Pawn Store is the place for “cool used stuff….We Buy, Sell & Trade.” 3005 Douglas Ave., Des Moines, 515-277-4878; www.pawnstoredm.com.
Runners-up: Solar Loan & Sales; EZPAWN

Best Local Convenience Store

Casey’s General Stores

The pizza at Casey’s is prime, of course, but it takes more than just super nice slices to win the title of Best Local Convenience Store, and Casey’s General Stores is now the repeat champion in this category. Snacks, deals and sweet treats, readers love Casey’s. Multiple locations; www.caseys.com.
Runners-up: Kum & Go; Kwik Star

Best Local Place to Buy Cigars/Tobacco

Iowa Cigar Company

When it’s time to blow off some smoke, CITYVIEW readers say the expansive selection of premium cigars at Iowa Cigar Company makes it the Best Local Place to Buy Cigars/Tobacco. 1401 22nd St., West Des Moines, 515-327-1255; www.iowacigar.com.
Runners-up: David’s Fine Tobaccos; Leaf Brothers Cigar

Best Local E-Cigarette Shop

Central Iowa Vapors

Offering top-quality brands of vaping products along with a wide selection of electronic cigarettes, e-liquid and other related accessories, Central Iowa Vapors is the Best Local E-Cigarette Shop in the Des Moines metro, according to CITYVIEW’s Best Of Des Moines Readers Poll.
Multiple locations; www.iowaecigs.com.
Runners-up: Route 69 Vapor; Unkl Ruckus’s

Best Local Mall

Jordan Creek Town Center

Jam packed with more than 1.3 million square feet of shopping and entertainment space, Jordan Creek Town Center is the state’s largest shopping complex. Events, eats, live music and popular establishments like Barnes & Noble, Banana Republic, American Eagle, Apple, Best Buy, Buckle and a 20-screen movie theater, when you add it all up, Jordan Creek is the Best Local Mall, according to CITYVIEW readers. 101 Jordan Creek Parkway, West Des Moines, 515-440-6255; www.jordancreektowncenter.com.
Runners-up: Valley West Mall; Merle Hay Mall

Best Valley Junction Store

Bing’s

Selling things that make people happy, that’s the thing at Bing’s, the repeat winner as the Best Valley Junction Store, according to readers of CITYVIEW. Games, socks, art poles, books… the inventory at Bing’s makes for a pleasant surprise — and the shop is locally owned. 213 Fifth St., West Des Moines, 515-279-3141; www.bingsdsm.com.
Runners-up: Hinge; MoMere

Best West Glen Store

Worn

Refreshing your wardrobe with deals from Worn, after finishing a steaming cup of coffee, can and often will change the trajectory of your mood for the better. CITYVIEW readers salute you, Worn, as the Best West Glen Store for 2021. 5515 Mills Civic Parkway, Suite 160,
West Des Moines, 515-224-6880; www.thewornstore.com.
Runners-up: Target; Josephs Jewelers

Best East Village Store

Raygun

The Historic East Village is host to many unique and original specialty shops and boutiques. CITYVIEW readers say Raygun and its quippy variety of T-shirts is the Best East Village Store once again in 2021. 505 E. Grand Ave., Des Moines, 515-288-1323; www.raygunsite.com.
Runners-up: AllSpice Culinarium; KIN

Best Beaverdale Area Store

Back Country

Back Country began as an outdoor store, and it continues to carry apparel for just about any outdoor occasion. Stocked with the industry’s most innovative and reputable brands to equip campers and hikers, Back Country also offers travel products, contemporary women’s and men’s fashions and more. 2702 Beaver Ave., Des Moines, 515-255-0031; www.theoriginalbackcountry.com.
Runners-up: Beaverdale Books; Beaverdale Confections

Best Ingersoll Area Store

Tandem Brick Gallery

Des Moines’ west side is loaded with first-rate eateries, nightlife and shopping delights, so winning this category is a high honor. Tandem Brick Gallery has now laid claim to this distinction for seven straight years. Wow. 2722 Ingersoll Ave., Des Moines, 515-282-1031;
www.tandembrickgallery.com.
Runners-up: Wildflower; Zzz Records

Best Local Furniture Store

Homemakers

Sofas, sectionals, recliners, loveseats, futons, klik klaks, mattresses, bunkbeds, baby cribs, tables, chairs, benches, desks, patio furniture, fire pits… You get the idea. This behemoth furniture store offers an overwhelming array of home furnishings. Homemakers is the Best Local Furniture Store, according to readers of CITYVIEW. 10215 Douglas Ave., Urbandale, 515-276-2772; www.homemakers.com.
Runners-up: Amish Haus Furniture; Redekers Furniture

Best Local Home Decor Store

Homemakers

Homemakers might be the largest furniture store in the Des Moines area, and, according to CITYVIEW’s Best Of Des Moines Poll, it is also the Best Local Home Decor Store. The Urbandale showroom boasts 215,000 square feet of shopping and offers a huge selection for all design styles. 10215 Douglas Ave., Urbandale, 515-276-2772; www.homemakers.com.
Runners-up: Real Deals; Hinge

Best Jordan Creek Area Store

Coachlight Clinic & Spa

Deep-tissue massages unwind the body, reboot the mind and relieve stress, and Coachlight Clinic & Spa offers these services plus many more. “A Destination of Beauty and Wellness,” Coachlight Clinic & Spa is the Best Jordan Creek Area Store, according to CITYVIEW’s Best Of Des Moines voters. 6420 Coachlight Drive, Suite 200, West Des Moines, 515-221-9999; www.dsmcoachlight.com.
Runners-up: Scheels; HomeGoods

Best Local Appliance Store

Nebraska Furniture Mart

Furniture, flooring, appliances, home décor… Improving people’s lifestyles — that’s the aim at Nebraska Furniture Mart. NFM’s large selection offers big savings served alongside big ideas that inspire and enable customers to create their dream home without breaking the bank. Nebraska Furniture Mart’s spacious Des Moines showroom offers an outstanding selection of quality, top-name brands, stellar deals and excellent customer service. 15500 Hickman Road, Clive, 515-727-6500; www.nfm.com.
Runners-up: Metro Appliance; Warners’ Stellian

Best Local Shoe Store

Brown’s Shoe Fit Co.

If it’s a perfect fit, you might be Cinderella. On the other hand, you might have been served by the Best Local Shoe Store, Brown’s Shoe Fit Co., according to voters in CITYVIEW’s Best Of Des Moines Poll. Brown’s has been fitting feet for more than a hundred years. Multiple locations; www.brownsshoefitcompany.com.
Runners-up: Fit To Be Tied; Fleet Feet

Best Local Pool and Spa Store

Central Iowa Pool & Spa

Splish!… Splash!… Marco?… Polo!… Fun under the central Iowa sun is on the agenda at Central Iowa Pool & Spa, the Best Local Pool and Spa Store, according to CITYVIEW’s Best Of Des Moines Readers Poll in 2021. Pools, spas and billiard experts, Central Iowa Pool & Spa offers more than two decades of experience, including new pool and spa construction and installation, pool service and maintenance, and outfitting outdoor living spaces or game rooms with furniture, grills, billiard tables and more. 5360 N.E. 14th St., Des Moines, 515-263-6900; www.soakandswim.com.
Runners-up: Valley Pool & Hot Tubs; WCI Pools & Spas

 
NIGHTLIFE

Best Whiskey

The beer at Exile Brewing Company is brewed, bottled, kegged and canned at its downtown Des Moines location. Photo submitted

Prairie Fire – Iowa Distilling Company

Hardcore heat. That’s Prairie Fire’s signature calling card. Cinnamon plus fire equals… down the hatch. 4349 Cumming Ave., Cumming, 515-981-4216; www.iowadistilling.com.
Runners-up: Foundry Distilling Company; Templeton Rye

Best Vodka

Swell Zone Vodka – Iowa Distilling Company

When swigging something stiff, central Iowa prefers Swell Zone Vodka ahead of all the others. And while no one can say for certain, the fact that it is a corn-based concoction might have something to do with it. Whatever the reason, Swell Zone Vodka is the Best Vodka, according to CITYVIEW readers. 4349 Cumming Ave., Cumming, 515-981-4216; www.iowadistilling.com.
Runners-up: Tito’s Handmade Vodka; Foundry Distilling Company

Best Rum

Rumcoqui

A pure and luxurious coconut cream liqueur, Rumcoqui is a smooth delicacy made with 100 percent natural coconut flavor infused with dairy cream. Awaken your palate. Drink responsibly. www.rumcoquirumcoqui.com.
Runners-up: Steel Drum Rum – Iowa Distilling Company; Captain Morgan

Best Local Craft Beer

Exile Brewing Company

“BLOWING MINDS!” That’s the call to action at Exile Brewing Company, where every drop of beer is brewed, bottled, kegged and canned at its downtown Des Moines location. The local brewpub must be doing something right, because CITYVIEW readers say it is the Best Local Craft Beer for the second straight year. 1514 Walnut St., Des Moines 515-883-2337; www.exilebrewing.com.
Runners-up: Confluence Brewing Company; Barn Town Brewing

Best New Local Bar

The Bartender’s Handshake

A man walked into a bar…. OUCH! All kidding aside, The Bartender’s Handshake is the Best New Local Bar in central Iowa, according to CITYVIEW voters. 3615 Ingersoll Ave., Des Moines, 515-630-3008; www.thebartendershandshake.com.
Runners-up: Fresko Natural Food; Chummy

Best Local Patio Bar

300 Craft & Rooftop

Bigger doesn’t always mean better, but when it comes to bar rooftops, being bigger certainly doesn’t hurt, and the rooftop at 300 Craft & Rooftop is part of a 2,300-squarefoot bar on the third floor overlooking downtown Des Moines. 300 W. Martin Luther King Jr. Parkway,
Des Moines, 515-288-3414; www.facebook.com.
Runners-up: Captain Roy’s; Wellman’s Pub and Rooftop

Best Local Irish Bar

Sully’s Irish Pub

I…rish you a merry St. Patrick’s Day and a happy green year. Sully’s is the oldest Irish bar in the metro, according to its website, and it is the Best Local Irish Bar, according to CITYVIEW’s Best Of Des Moines Poll. *TIP: Sully’s has a dog-friendly patio. 860 First St., West Des Moines, 515-255-9970; www.sullysdesmoines.com.
Runners-up: Magee’s Irish Pub & Eatery; Cooney’s Tavern

Best Local Dive Bar

Carl’s Place

When you need friends in low places… Carl’s Place. This Sherman Hill favorite once again gets the nod as the preferred dive bar of CITYVIEW readers, winning that distinction for the fourth straight year. 1620 Woodland Ave., Des Moines, 515-243-9727.
Runners-up: Greenwood Lounge; Locust Tap

Best Local Fancy-Pants Bar

Hello, Marjorie

What is an experience-focused bar? Whatever the formal definition, Hello, Marjorie and its combination of cocktails, beers and “damn fine times” in the heart of downtown Des Moines, has to qualify. 717 Locust St., Des Moines, 515-369-2296; www.hellomarjorie.com.
Runners-up: The Republic on Grand; The Winchester

Best Local Hipster Spot

The Bartender’s Handshake

A small, neighborhood cocktail bar, The Bartender’s Handshake serves craft cocktails, unique wines and many flavors of beer along with house-made snacks. *DID YOU KNOW: Marshmallow plus graham crackers plus chocolate… That’s right, roasting your own s’mores is an option — depending on fire pit availability — at The Bartender’s Handshake. 3615 Ingersoll Ave., Des Moines, 515-630-3008; www.thebartendershandshake.com.
Runners-up: Up-Down; Bellhop

Best Local Sports Bar

Jethro’s

Homeruns… Touchdowns… Clutch threes… When it’s time to watch big games, central Iowa prefers the big screens at Jethro’s while taking down boneless wings and sipping on something cold. Jethro’s is the area’s Best Local Sports Bar, according to CITYVIEW’s Best Of Des Moines Poll. Multiple locations; jethrosdesmoines.com.
Runners-up: The Station on Ingersoll; Cheap Seats

Best Local Bar (Overall)

300 Craft & Rooftop

Relaxing while sipping something cold and enjoying a breathtaking view of downtown Des Moines, that’s the offering on the immense patio at 300 Craft & Rooftop, recognized by CITYVIEW readers as the Best Local Bar (Overall) in the greater Des Moines metro area for the third straight year. 300 W. Martin Luther King Jr. Parkway, Des Moines, 515-288-3414; www.300-craft-rooftop.business.site.
Runners-up: The Bartender’s Handshake; Iowa Distilling Company

Best Prairie Trail Bar

Whiskey River

A sports bar and grill known for its happy hour, rooftop patio, full daily menu, and, of course, “Whiskey Wednesday.” Hump Day offerings at Whiskey River consist of more than 200 whiskeys to choose from. *HINT: A late-night menu is also available daily from 9 p.m. to 2 a.m., so drink up and dig in. 1350 S.W. Vintage Parkway, Ankeny, 515-802-7250; www.whiskeyriverankeny.com.
Runners-up: Magee’s Irish Pub & Eatery; District 36 Wine Bar & Grille

Best Downtown Bar

300 Craft & Rooftop

The nightlife in Des Moines’ downtown offers the brightest lights and the biggest array of thrills compared to any other area in Iowa, and the best bar within this area is 300 Craft & Rooftop, according to CITYVIEW readers. 300 W. Martin Luther King Jr. Parkway, Des Moines, 515-288-3414; www.300-craft-rooftop.business.site.
Runners-up: Hello, Marjorie; El Bait Shop

Best West Side Bar

Shotgun Betty’s

Is it time to crack a cold one? Are you itchin’ to sip on a whiskey? Wanna get comfy or kick up your heels at a country bar? Shotgun Betty’s cranks up the country music, and the only thing on tap is ice cold Crown Royal Regal Apple. YEE-YEE! 5535 Mills Civic Parkway, Suite 100, West Des Moines, 515-309-0744; www.facebook.com/shotgunbettys.
Runners-up: Tonic; Wellman’s Pub and Rooftop

Best East Village Bar

Bellhop

Painkillers, Zombies, Mai Tais… As the only neighborhood tropical tiki bar and lounge in downtown Des Moines’ East Village, Bellhop is also the Best East Village Bar, according to readers of CITYVIEW. 440 E. Grand Ave., Des Moines; www.bellhoptiki.com.
Runners-up: Blazing Saddle; Up-Down

Best East Bar

Cheap Seats

When it is time to watch the big game, Cheap Seats resembles a tailgate party. The popular east-side sports bar offers NFL, NBA and MLB Sports Packages so customers can enjoy the action. That’s just one reason locals love Cheap Seats, which is the Best East Bar, according to CITYVIEW readers. Go, Cubs, go!!! 2301 Hubbell Ave., Des Moines, 262-2833; facebook.com/cheapseats.sportsbar/
Runners-up: Toad’s Tavern; Kelly’s Little Nipper

Best South Bar

Francie’s Bar & Grill

This locally owned-and-operated neighborhood bar and grill has regularly been packing people in to enjoy an American-style meal. Relax, sit, eat, drink and watch the game. Francie’s Bar & Grill is the Best South Bar in Des Moines, yet again, according to voters in CITYVIEW’s Best Of Des Moines Poll. 2100 Wakonda View Drive, Des Moines, 515-285-5207; www.franciesbarandgrill.com.
Runners-up: The Angry Goldfish Pub & Eatery; Thirsty Sportsman

Best Local Winery

Jasper Winery

This urban winery near downtown Des Moines is equipped with a modern tasting room and offers samples and by-the-glass flights. Jasper Winery’s unique venue is known for its locally grown grapes and innovative wine styles. 2400 George Flagg Parkway, Des Moines, 515-282-9463; www.jasperwinery.com.
Runners-up: Covered Bridges Winery; Summerset Winery

Best Local Brewery

Confluence Brewing Company

Beer that’s hand-crafted right here in Des Moines. If you savor bold tastes and an atmosphere conducive for conversation, Confluence is devoted to creating a confluence of great beer, good friends and wonderful times, and it looks forward to bringing people together with a
pint very soon. Here, here. 1235 Thomas Beck Road, Des Moines, 515-285-9005; www.confluencebrewing.com.
Runners-up: Exile Brewing Company; Barn Town Brewing

Best Local Moscow Mule

The Copper Cup

A Cucumber Mule?… A Grapefruit Mule?… A Sexy Mule?.. Yep… Yep… Yep… The Copper Cup’s Sexy Mules are made with Ciroc Coconut Vodka, melon liqueur, fresh lime juice, orange garnish and, as with each of the Copper Cup’s signature slate of Moscow Mules — more than 15 in all — includes a local house-made Ginger Beer crafted by Court Avenue Brewing Company. Enjoy responsibly. 207 Fourth St., 515-554-2606.
Runners-up: Van Gogh’s Mule – Iowa Distilling Company; 300 Craft & Rooftop

Best Local Bloody Mary

Mullets

Flavorful and powerful, the bloody mary’s popularity is easy to explain: (1.) the drink is hearty, (2.) it has a great name, and (3.) creative minds can tweak, adjust and improve the simple recipe to match an array of discerning tastebuds. Mullets’ popularity is also easy to explain: (1.) it boasts a great name, (2.) it has a hearty spirit, and (3.) it fills the fun needs of a mishmash of adventure seekers. But the breakfast offerings at Mullets are top-notch, too, and CITYVIEW readers have spoken loud and clear: the Best Local Bloody Mary in the metro belongs to Mullets. P.S. Ask for extra olives. 1300 S.E. First St., Des Moines, 515-244-1443; www.mulletsdm.com.
Runners-up: Zone Bloody Mary – Iowa Distilling Company; Jethro’s

Best Local Bar to Play Games

Up-Down

This downtown East Village arcade/bar combo features more than 40 arcade games from the 1980s and 1990s. Offerings include pinball, skee-ball, Nintendo and Sega console gaming, along with life-size Jenga and Connect Four. Games only cost a quarter and Up-Down has an extensive craft beer selection. *SAY WHAT? Weekly specials at Up-Down include a Friday offer of 20 free tokens for the first 100 customers, according to Up-Down’s website. 500 E. Locust St., Des Moines, 515-243-4322; www.updowndsm.com.
Runners-up: Smash Park; Operating Room

Best Local Place To See Beautiful People

Coachlight Clinic & Spa

Happy souls who are beautiful, cute, dashing, wholesome, ravishing, pretty, Midwestern, exquisite, inviting, intriguing, gorgeous, engaging, elegant, bewitching, sexy, handsome, charming, lovely, pleasing, fine, simply divine, striking, classic, winning, mind-boggling, magnificent, grand… An array of alluring people shaped and packaged in an assortment of sizes, age ranges and exteriors are at Coachlight Clinic & Spa, the Best Local Place To See Beautiful People, according to CITYVIEW’s Best Of Des Moines voting. 6420 Coachlight Drive, Suite 200, West Des Moines, 515-221-9999; www.dsmcoachlight.com.
Runners-up: Iowa Distilling Company; Fresko Natural Food

Best Local Happy Hour

Confluence Brewing Company creates a confluence of great beer, good friends and wonderful times. Photo
submitted

Eatery A

“Happy Hour.” The term originated as a WWI remedy for the boredom felt by sailors in the U.S. Navy while at sea. These weekly “happy hours” are thought to have consisted of live music, dancing, movie showings or boxing and wrestling matches. Happy hours have come a long way since then, especially the happy hours at Eatery A — every day from 3-6 p.m. with deals on drinks and food. 2932 Ingersoll Ave., Des Moines, 515-282-8085; www.eateryadsm.com.
Runners-up: Fresko Natural Food; Toad’s Tavern

Best Local Bartender

Bruce Huckfeldt

“Whatcha havin’?” Bruce Huckfeldt is once again the top vote-getter in the category of Best Local Bartender, according to CITYVIEW’s Best Of Des Moines Readers Poll voting.
Runners-up: Christopher Argo Washington; JD Stehwien

Best Local Martini Menu

The Stuffed Olive

What do you get when you mix a well-rounded tapas menu with maybe the largest selection of martinis around? Meet The Stuffed Olive, an upscale brand of downtown fun that is both classy and sophisticated, but the only thing stuffy is the olives. *NEED TO KNOW INFO: The Banana Cream Pie martini is made with Cake Vodka, Crème de Banana, Baileys Irish Cream and garnished with a caramel and graham cracker rim. Be tempted! 208 Third St., Des Moines, 515-243-4456; www.thestuffedolive.com/dsm.
Runners-up: The Lift; Irina’s

Best Local Margarita

MALO

Splashes of tangy lime juice. Splishes of sweet-tasting orange liqueur. And then the hammer that is tequila… When a classic margarita hits all these high notes, the mouth-watering output can make one’s soul sing… at least for a while. So it’s no wonder the margarita is one of North America’s most popular adult beverages, and MALO serves the Best Local Margarita in the area, according to CITYVIEW’s Best Of Des Moines Poll. *CHECK IT OUT: The word “margarita” translates into “daisy flower” in Spanish, but in New Testament Greek, the word means “pearl.” 900 Mulberry St., Des Moines, 515-244-5000; www.malodesmoines.com.
Runners-up: Mi Mexico; El Guapo’s Tequila + Tacos

Best Local Dance Club

Garden Nightclub

There is a whole lotta shakin’ goin’ on at Garden Nightclub, voted Best Local Dance Club in Des Moines by CITYVIEW readers. The Garden annually wins multiple titles in CITYVIEW’s Best Of Des Moines polling, and this year is no exception. *NEED TO KNOW INFO: After three decades at its previous East Village address, the Garden is moving. As of CITYVIEW’s press deadline, the nightclub is temporarily closed due to relocation, but it will reopen soon, if it hasn’t already, at 525 E. Grand Ave., Des Moines. www.grdn.com.
Runners-up: Miss Kitty’s; Shotgun Betty’s

Best Local Drag Queen

Robin Graves

She slays! Congratulations to Robin Graves, the city’s Best Local Drag Queen, according to CITYVIEW’s Best Of Des Moines Readers Poll.
Runners-up: Mae Banks; Vana B. Rosenberg

Best Local Place to Karaoke

AJ’s on East Court
People who sing, according to some studies, are happier and healthier than non-singers, and they also live longer. Maybe you need more karaoke? If so, the Best Local Place to Karaoke is AJ’s on East Court, according to CITYVIEW readers. AJ’s offers this heart-healthy activity every night starting at 7 p.m. Sing like a rock star. 419 E. Court Ave., Des Moines, 515-282-1888; www.ajsbar.com.
Runners-up: Cheap Seats; Jeannie’s Bottle

Best Local Place for a Bachelor/Bachelorette Party

CITYVIEW readers say you will find a combination of cocktails, beers and good times in the heart of downtown Des Moines, at Hello, Marjorie. Photo by Michael Englund

Garden Nightclub

Last call. This is it. The hurrah to end all hurrahs. When you have an upcoming bachelorette/bachelor party or some other special day coming up, get to the Garden Nightclub. And don’t forget that your party isn’t over, it’s just getting started. *NEED TO KNOW INFO: As of CITYVIEW’s press deadline, Garden Nightclub is temporarily closed due to relocation, but it will reopen soon, if it hasn’t already, at 525 E. Grand Ave., Des Moines — opening date TBA. www.grdn.com.
Runners-up: AJ’s on East Court; Smash Park

Best Local Trivia Night

Smash Park

Quick!… Who was the second president of the U.S.? … Who invented the telephone? … Who wrote “1984”? … For anyone blurting out the correct answers to the aforementioned without consulting Google…. The Best Local Trivia Night, according to our readers, is Wednesday night at Smash Park, in case you didn’t know. 6625 Coachlight Drive, West Des Moines, 515-313-0700; www.smashpark.com.
Runners-up: The Hall; Sully’s Irish Pub

Best Local Distillery

Iowa Distilling Company

Here’s to mud in your eye. Bottoms up. Cheers. Salud. May we be who our dogs think we are. Live long and prosper…. Iowa Distilling
Company handcrafts its creations using only the finest natural ingredients, and the outcomes have given local residents a growing number of reasons to raise their glasses…. and a glass in the hand is worth two on the shelf. Down the hatch. 4349 Cumming Ave., Cumming, 515-981-4216; www.iowadistilling.com.
Runners-up: Foundry Distilling Company; Lonely Oak Distillery

Best Local LGBTQ Hangout

Blazing Saddle

“Where it’s ALWAYS a double and NEVER a cover…” the Blazing Saddle is the Best Local LGBTQ Hangout, according to CITYVIEW readers, and the city’s oldest gay bar, according to the bar’s website. 416 E. Fifth St., Des Moines, 515-246-1299; www.theblazingsaddle.com.
Runners-up: Garden Nightclub; Buddy’s Corral

Best Whiskey Menu

Fresko Natural Food

With its World Whiskey menu, Fresko Natural Food has the Best Whiskey Menu in central Iowa, according to CITYVIEW’s Best Of Des Moines Readers Poll. Take a trip of flavor. 909 Locust St., Suite 103, Des Moines, 515-630-7009; www.freskodsm.com.
Runners-up: Bubba; Iowa Distilling Company

Best Local Drag King

Jack Frost

Congratulations to Jack Frost, the Best Local Drag King of the area, according to CITYVIEW’s Best Of Des Moines Poll.
Runners-up: Jen Carruthers; Trigga Sanchez

Best Local DJ

Des Moines Wedding DJ

Music makes your big day more memorable, so turn up the romance with a top-notch DJ.
Runners-up: Brett Burns; Ben Murphy

Best Local Rooftop Bar

Wellman’s Pub and Rooftop

Weekend brunches, Wednesday wing nights, birthday bash Thursdays… Wellman’s Pub and Rooftop in West Des Moines is the Best Local Rooftop Bar in the city, according to readers of CITYVIEW. 597 Market St., West Des Moines, 515-222-1100; www.wellmanspub.com.
Runners-up: 300 Craft & Rooftop; The Republic on Grand

Best Local Dog-Friendly Bar

Captain Roy’s

“Bow wow. Woof-woof. Bark. Tongues out? Tails wagging?… Yes sir! Captain Roy’s is the Best Dog-Friendly Bar in central Iowa, according to our readers. *DID YOU KNOW? Dogs don’t say “woof-woof” in Spanish, they say “guau-guau,” according to eighth-grade Spanish textbooks across the land. 1900 Saylor Road, Des Moines, 515-631-2223; www.captainroys.com.
Runners-up: Sully’s Irish Pub; Smash Park

CULTURE&RECREATION

Best Local Place to Play Golf

Enjoy Valentine’s Day with your pet on Saturday, Feb. 14 from noon – 4 p.m. at Animal Rescue League, 5452 N.E. 22nd St., Des Moines. Photo packages will be on sale that include a high-resolution photo of you and your pet and the option of adding a Gourmet Apple. All proceeds benefit the animals at the Animal Rescue League of Iowa. Photo submitted

Waveland Golf Course

Whispers: “Cinderella story. Outta nowhere. A former greenskeeper, now, about to become the Masters champion. It looks like a mirac… It’s in the hole! It’s in the hole! It’s in the hole!” So said Carl Spackler, the famous character played by Bill Murray in the movie “Caddyshack,” and so says nearly every golfer who has ever played. Golfers love that classic comedy, and they also love playing Waveland Golf Course, which ranks as the oldest municipal golf course west of the Mississippi River. Built in 1901, the 18-hole course offers nice slope and mature trees lining the well-wooded hillsides. Fore! 4908 University Ave., Des Moines, 515-248-6302; www.golfwaveland.com.
Runners-up: Jester Park; The Legacy Golf Club

Best Local Community to Live In

Ankeny

Just north of Des Moines, slightly south of Ames and smack dab in the middle of middle America…. Welcome to Ankeny. Ankeny has seen continued strong investment in commercial and residential development. The city set new records last year and permitted new investment valued at more than $400 million. During the past seven years, the City of Ankeny has permitted more than $2.5 billion worth of projects, an average of nearly $360 million annually. www.ankenyiowa.gov.
Runners-up: Waukee; Beaverdale

Best Local Place to Worship

Lutheran Church of HOPE

If infinite and eternal joy is something you’re interested in… Jesus Christ is on the agenda at Lutheran Church of HOPE, voted the Best Local Place to Worship by CITYVIEW readers. Can I get an amen? 925 Jordan Creek Parkway, West Des Moines, 515-222-1520; www.hopewdm.org.
Runners-up: Downtown Disciples; Westminster Presbyterian Church

Best Local Nonprofit

Animal Rescue League of Iowa

Right is right, and wrong is… animal cruelty. Rescued pups, kittens and other future best friends in need are on the agenda at Animal Rescue League of Iowa. If you feel like helping, you should. Multiple locations, 515-262-9503; www.arl-iowa.org.
Runners-up: ChildServe; Downtown Disciples

Best Local School District

Waukee Community School District

“Don’t know much about history…. Don’t know much biology… Don’t know much about a science book… Don’t know much about the French I took…” These lyrics by Sam Cooke are apparently NOT sung by students at the Waukee Community School District, the Best Local School District in the area, according to voters in CITYVIEW’s Best Of Des Moines Poll. 560 S.E. University Ave., Waukee, 515-987-5161; www.waukeeschools.org.
Runners-up: Des Moines Public Schools; West Des Moines Community Schools

Best Local Event Decor Company

Bella Flora

Experience and creativity is Bella Flora’s advantage, as well as precise execution and excellence while engineering events that are as unique and distinctive as dreamers can dream. 3100 Justin Drive, Urbandale, 515-554-6964; www.bellafloraeventdesign.com.
Runners-up: White Willow Events; Wildflower

Best Local Party/Event Transportation

Majestic Limo & Coach

Luxury sedans, SUVs, Sprinter shuttle vans, charter and coach buses, party buses and limousine buses… Continually striving to provide the best limousine service in Des Moines, Majestic Limo & Coach’s main focus is providing clients with the highest level of service. Majestic is now the largest limousine service in Des Moines, and wherever your travels may take you, Majestic Limo is the Best Local Party/Event Transportation in the metro, according to CITYVIEW readers. 515-650-5555; www.majesticlimo.com.
Runners-up: Luxxor Limousines; Front Row Transportation

Best Local Painting And Sip Art Studio

AR Workshop Ankeny

Girls night out?… Birthday parties?… Date night?… Bachelorette parties?… Team-building events?… Sports team outings?… Fundraisers?… AR Workshop Ankeny is a boutique do-it-yourself studio with hands-on classes conducive to creating charming home decor from raw materials. Join an instructor-led workshop and make custom wood-plank signs, framed signs, canvas pillows, round signs, lazy susans, centerpiece boxes, canvas tote bags and other fun projects. 1631 S.W. Main St., Suite 104, Ankeny, 515-207-3772; www.arworkshop.com/ankeny.
Runners-up: Painting With a Twist; The Knotty Nail

The Iowa Cubs play minor league baseball at Principal Park. Photo submitted

Best Local Place to Hold a Corporate Event/Party

Fresko Natural Food

Treating your staff to something fun is a wise investment, and when it’s time to take care of the people who take care of you… Fresko Natural Food is the Best Local Place to Hold a Corporate Event/Party, according to CITYVIEW’s Best Of Des Moines Poll. 909 Locust St., Suite 103, Des Moines, 515-630-7009; www.freskodsm.com.
Runners-up: Smash Park; Curate

Best Local Wedding Venue

Curate

Curate boasts more than 6,000 square feet of event space in downtown Des Moines’ Historic East Village. Known for its clean “art gallery” look that allows for ultimate flexibility with decorating options and a private 500-square-foot mezzanine overlooking the event floor, a patio for conversation and cocktails, catering, bar service and event planning provided by Taste! To Go Catering and Events. 322 E. Court Ave., Des Moines, 515-523-0147; www.curatedsm.com.
Runners-up: Glen Oaks Country Club; Country Lane Lodge – Adel

Best Local Event Rental Services

Des Moines Wedding DJ

The right song, at the right moment, heard by the right ears can produce the perfect emotion. The Best Local Event Rental Services in the area, according to CITYVIEW’s Best Of Des Moines Poll, is Des Moines Wedding DJ.
Runners-up: Bella Flora; Classic Event & Parties

Best Local Place for a Wedding Reception

Curate

One knee went down. Two eyes looked up. A token of affection was offered, and forever was promised. What came next is anyone’s guess. The exact course of events might be hazy, but someone said, “Yes,” and now the place to begin happily ever after is Curate, the Best Local Place For A Wedding Reception, according to readers of CITYVIEW. Here comes the bride. 322 E. Court Ave., Des Moines, 515-523-0147; www.curatedsm.com.
Runners-up: Holiday Inn Downtown; Glen Oaks Country Club

Best Local Place to Gamble

Prairie Meadows

Lights. Jackpot. Cha-ching! With more than 1,400 slot machines, dozens of tables for gaming, sports wagering, horse racing and nearly 80,000 square feet of opportunity for action, Prairie Meadows is the Best Local Place to Gamble, according to CITYVIEW’s Best Of Des Moines Poll. 1 Prairie Meadows Drive, Altoona, 515-967-1000; www.prairiemeadows.com.
Runners-up: Lakeside Hotel Casino; Meskwaki Bingo Casino Hotel

Best Local Musician

CeCe Stewart

Local musician CeCe Stewart has been singing and playing piano, guitar and drums for more than 30 years. This triple threat has opened for 50-plus national recording artists. www.facebook.com/cecestewartband.
Runners-up: Damon Dotson; Max Wellman

Best Local Band

The Nadas

Flashback to Ames circa 1993: Two young ISU students are learning to play songs off a mixed tape in a frat house’s stairwell. The Nadas have come a long way since then. The band has played with The Beach Boys, America, Bon Jovi and Huey Lewis, and the group’s resume is impressive — Playboy magazine once listed it as “The Best College Band You’ve Never Heard Of.” The band has made changes through the decades — these days The Nadas consists of Mike Butterworth, Jason Walsmith, Brian Duffey, Brandon Stone and Jonanne Tucker — but the band continues to produce a potent mix of music that is beloved in central Iowa. www.thenadas.com.
Runners-up: Dick Danger Band; Whiskey Bizkit

Best Local Place to go for a Comedy Show

Teehee’s Comedy Club

Knee-slappers, gut-busters, fall-out-of-your-seat, riproaring, side-splitting laughter… Stellar stand-up, improv, magic and more is on display at Teehee’s Comedy Club, a 100-person venue located in the heart of downtown Des Moines. Teehee’s offers a full bar, superior audio visual capabilities, plus character and style. On stage, Teehee’s independent comedy club brings comedic genius. *TIP: Teehee’s Comedy Club offers classes for beginning comedians and laugh-out-loud pros. Learn, collaborate and enjoy. 1433 Walnut St., Des Moines, 515-414-1251; www.teeheescomedy.com.
Runners-up: Funny Bone Comedy Club; Lefty’s Live Music

Best Local Artist

Kelly Kunzler

Kelly Kunzler graduated as a painting and sculpture major from Graceland University. The artist’s work is mostly focused on the figure and explores subjects of power and abuse, conflicting identities and more lighthearted portraits. Kelly is a member of the family-owned Kunzler Studios and serves as artist in residence for The Least of These Foundation. Kunzler Studios is located at 324 Fifth St., West Des Moines, 515-279-0322; www.kunzlerstudios.com/kelly-kunzler.
Runners-up: Pat Millin; Ben Schuh

Best Local Live Music Venue

Wooly’s

For multiple nights each week, big-time musical talent from around the nation takes the stage at Wooly’s. The club welcomes incoming shows and provides the city with a first-class music venue in the Historic East Village. 504 E. Locust St., Des Moines, 515-244-0550; www.woolysdm.com.
Runners-up: Noce; Captain Roy’s

Best Local Theatrical Venue

Des Moines Community Playhouse

The on-stage theater action has wowed local audiences for more than a century at the Des Moines Community Playhouse, and 100 years without an intermission means at least one thing…. The Playhouse is the Best Local Theatrical Venue in the area, according to CITYVIEW’s Best Of Des Moines Poll. *NEED TO KNOW INFO: Founded in 1919, The Playhouse is among the six oldest continuously operating community theaters in the country. 831 42nd St., Des Moines, 515-277-6261; www.dmplayhouse.com.
Runners-up: Hoyt Sherman; Des Moines Civic Center

Best Local Place to Catch a Flick

“LOVE” is on display, along with a couple dozen other intriguing pieces of giant art, at John and Mary Pappajohn Sculpture Park, downtown. Photo by Jeff Pitts

The Palms Theatres & IMAX – Waukee

Soda pop, popcorn, plus tickets to a first-rate blockbuster…. When you add it all together, life doesn’t get much better than that. Down in front! Shush! Lights. Camera… The Palms Theatres & IMAX – Waukee… Can’t wait. *NEED TO KNOW INFO: The Palms offers a Bargain Day every Tuesday. Buy any beverage and get a free 46-ounce bag of popcorn. 200 N.E. Westgate Drive, Waukee, 515-444-5006; www.fridleytheatres.com.
Runners-up: Fleur Cinema & Café; B&B Theatres – Ankeny

Best Local Museum

Des Moines Art Center

The artwork on display at the Des Moines Art Center is worth millions or more — it’s priceless, really — but admission to the art center is free. If “art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life,” as Pablo Picasso once said, then the Art Center is the best cleaning service in the area, according to CITYVIEW readers. 4700 Grand Ave., Des Moines, 515-277-4405; www.desmoinesartcenter.org.
Runners-up: Science Center of Iowa; State Historical Museum of Iowa

Best Local Place to Have a Kid’s Birthday Party

Sky Zone Trampoline Park

Foam Zone, SkySlam, Ultimate Dodgeball… Sky Zone is a factory for fun and offers the kind of aerial freedom and action that will win a kid’s biggest smile. 1300 S.E. Gateway Drive, Suite 103, Grimes, 515-986-2524; www.skyzone.com.
Runners-up: Blank Park Zoo; Great Escape – Pleasant Hill

Best Local Place to Take Your Kids

Blank Park Zoo

A typical male African lion weighs 450 pounds at maturity, stands 4 feet high at the shoulder and measures 8-and-a-half feet long, plus the length of his tail. The lion’s mane protects its neck and makes it look larger and more intimidating. It hunts and eats a diet consisting of buffalo, zebra, antelope, giraffe, warthogs, gnu and wildebeest. Learn a lot more about animals at the Blank Park Zoo, voted the Best Local Place to Take Your Kids. *DID YOU KNOW? The Blank Park Zoo is the only accredited zoo in the state of Iowa. 7401 S.W. Ninth St., Des Moines, 515-285-4722; www.blankparkzoo.com.
Runners-up: Science Center of Iowa; GAMEDAY

Best Local Place to Take Visitors

John and Mary Pappajohn Sculpture Park

A pondering rabbit, a giant garden trowel, an alphabet head. Downtown’s Pappajohn Sculpture Park has unofficially received more “oohs” and “aahs” than any other local park attraction, but CITYVIEW voters have now made it official by naming it the Best Local Place to Take Visitors. When you want to wow out-of-towners, show them this gem — nestled in the Western Gateway District — that has more than two dozen masterpieces sprawling across 4.4 acres. The sculpture park is located at 15th and Locust in downtown Des Moines; www.desmoinesartcenter.org/visit/pappajohn-sculpture-park.
Runners-up: Des Moines Downtown Farmers’ Market; Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden

Best Local Annual Event

Iowa State Fair

More than 1-million people annually attend the Iowa State Fair, and for good reason. Where else can you see a 1,200 pound boar while eating fried butter and having your age and weight guessed? August’s cultured mayhem at the Fair, voted the Best Local Annual Event by CITYVIEW readers, was sorely missed by many last year, but it is scheduled to return Aug. 12-22, 2021. *DID YOU KNOW? A pig named “Captain” claimed the Big Boar title at the 2019 Iowa State Fair, tipping the scales at 1,254 pounds. The Fair takes place near East 30th and East University Avenue in Des Moines. 515-262-3111; www.iowastatefair.org.
Runners-up: Des Moines Arts Festival; 80/35 Music Festival

Best Local Sports Team

Iowa Cubs

Root, root, root for the hometown Iowa Cubs while enjoying peanuts, Cracker Jack and Triple-A baseball at Principal Park. The I-Cubs are once again CITYVIEW readers’ choice for Best Local Sports Team. One Line Drive, Des Moines, 515-243-6111; www.iowacubs.com.
Runners-up: Iowa Wild; Des Moines Buccaneers

Best Local Place to Go Swimming

Adventureland is central Iowa’s Best Local Place to Go Swimming, according to CITYVIEW readers, but did you know the fun park will offer a new rollercoaster called “Dragon Slayer” in 2021? You’ve been warned.

Adventureland – Adventure Bay

Swimming at Adventureland may not be a day at the beach, but according to CITYVIEW readers, it’s even better. Adventure Bay offers Iowa’s largest wavepool, the state’s longest lazy river, a splash pad and too many other fun-in-the-sun options to mention. *WAIT THERE’S MORE: A new rollercoaster named “Dragon Slayer” is slated to arrive at Adventureland this summer… Consider yourself double-dog dared. 3200 Adventureland Drive, Altoona; www.adventurelandresort.com.
Runners-up: Clive Aquatic Center; Wellmark YMCA – Downtown

Best Local Place To Bowl

Great Escape

Whether you’re looking to bowl alone, in a league or with friends and family, CITYVIEW readers voted Great Escape as the Best Local Place to Bowl. It is central Iowa’s premier entertainment center offering bowling, laser tag and an arcade. *DID YOU KNOW? More than 70 million people bowl each year, making it America’s No. 1 participation activity? 655 N.E. 56th St., Des Moines, 515-263-1700; www.greatescapeiowa.com.
Runners-up: Warrior Lanes; Air Lanes

Best Local Indoor Sporting Event

Iowa Wild

Blades of steel carve up fresh ice at Wells Fargo Arena while pucks whip through the air, sticks slap and steaming nachos go down the hatch. Watching Iowa Wild ice hockey is about as good as it gets, say CITYVIEW readers, who voted it the Best Local Indoor Sporting Event. Home games are played in downtown Des Moines at Wells Fargo Arena. 730 Third St., Des Moines, 515-564-8700; www.iowawild.com.
Runners-up: Iowa Barnstormers; Des Moines Buccaneers

Best Local Outdoor Sporting Event

Iowa Cubs

“Going back, at the track, at the wall…SEE YA!” Saying goodbye to homeruns is well and good, but central Iowa yearns to once again say “Hello” to Iowa Cubs baseball action at Principal Park in downtown Des Moines. You can’t beat it as Best Local Outdoor Sporting Event, according to CITYVIEW readers. Can’t wait. One Line Drive, Des Moines, 515-243-6111; www.iowacubs.com.
Runners-up: Drake Relays; Iowa State Football

Best Local Farmers Market

Nothing compares to the Iowa State Fair, and 1 million-plus people are looking forward to its return, Aug. 12-22. Photo courtesy of the Iowa State Fair

Downtown Farmers’ Market

One of the best farmers markets that you will find anywhere in the world, the Downtown Farmers’ Market, delights visitors with fresh food and other offerings on a weekly basis during the summer months. Farm-fresh vegetables, assorted fruits, organic produce… yum. Voters say it is the Best Local Farmers Market. Historic Court District in downtown Des Moines; www.desmoinesfarmersmarket.com.
Runners-up: Historic Valley Junction – West Des Moines; Beaverdale Farmers Market

Best Local Camping Spot

Jester Park

Tents. Sleeping bags. Binoculars. Bug spray. Boots. Bring the outdoor gear to go along with your favorite campfire goodies and enjoy roughing it at Jester Park. With 1,661 acres along the west shore of Saylorville Lake, the park also provides boat ramps, a natural playscape, fishing ponds, golf, horseback riding, snowmobile and hiking trails. No wonder readers chose it as the Best Local Camping Spot. *DON’T FORGET: Birding is especially popular at Jester Park during the warmer weather months. 12130 N.W. 128th St., Granger, 515-323-5338; www.polkcountyiowa.gov/conservation/parks-trails/jesterpark.
Runners-up: Saylorville Lake; Cutty’s Camping Resort

Best Local Place To Have An Adult Birthday Party

Smash Park

Pickleball is a 2-4 player game that combines tennis and ping pong. Smash Park offers pickleball courts and other fun games, including: cornhole, shuffleboard, bocce ball, ping pong, foosball, arcade games, board games and more. No wonder CITYVIEW readers say it is the Best Local Place To Have An Adult Birthday Party. Smash Park: Find Your Happy Place. *NOTE: Smash Park is the official home of the world’s largest pickleball paddle, according to Guinness World Records. The paddle measures 13 feet 6 inches tall, 6 feet 9 inches wide and it weighs about 150 pounds. 6625 Coachlight Drive, West Des Moines, 515-313-0700; www.smashpark.com.
Runners-up: TGR Fitness; AJ’s on East Court

Best Local Travel Agency

Allied Travel

Honeymoon? Senior trip? Cruise? Pack your bags. Allied Travel’s experienced agents will handle your vacation-booking hassles. Allied Travel is the Best Local Travel Agency in the area, according to CITYVIEW’s Best Of Des Moines Poll. 5460 Merle Hay Road, Des Moines, 515-270-7070; www.alliedtravel.com.
Runners-up: Creative Vacations; The Travel Center

Best Local Escape Rooms

Escape Chambers

Choose your adventure and then escape from it at the Best Local Escape Room, according to CITYVIEW readers. Perfect for date nights, team building, birthday parties, bachelor and bachelorette parties and corporate outings, Escape Chambers is recommended for anyone thirsting for a challenge. Think you can escape? Prove it. 338 S.W. Sixth St., Des Moines, 515-528-8414; www.escapechambers.com. Runners-up: Breakout Games; The Escape Rooms – West Des Moines

HEALTH&BEAUTY

Best Local Pharmacy

Rest, relax and reenergize at Bronze515, voted the Best Local Tanning Salon in central Iowa. Photo by Pete Photography and courtesy of Bronze515.

Hy-Vee

For headaches, allergy attacks, runny noses, earaches or more serious ailments, Hy-Vee’s pharmacy has earned central Iowa’s trust, and, according to CITYVIEW’s Best Of Des Moines Poll, it is the Best Local Pharmacy in the area. “Gesundheit!” Multiple locations; www.hy-vee.com.
Runners-up: Medicap; NuCara

Best Local Place to Kickbox

Farrell’s eXtreme Bodyshaping – Jordan Creek

Extreme results. That’s the dare at Farrell’s eXtreme Bodyshaping. Live your life at level 10. Farrell’s proven strength training and nutrition programs make it the Best Local Place to Kickbox in central Iowa, according to CITYVIEW readers. 7450 Bridgewood Blvd., Suite 225 and 230, West Des Moines, 515-207-5311; www.extremebodyshaping.com.
Runners-up: Anytime Fitness – Downtown; TITLE Boxing Club

Best Local Group Fitness

Pure Barre – West Des Moines

Precise. Proud. Balanced. Passionate. Getting fit is fun when you work with a team, and the choice for Best Local Group Fitness gets it done at Pure Barre – West Des Moines, according to readers of CITYVIEW. The small group barre class setting helps build confidence and get results with low-impact, high-intensity movements. 12655 University Ave., Suite 140, Clive, 515- 350-3813; www.purebarre.com.
Runners-up: Burn Boot Camp – Clive; Orangetheory Fitness – Clive

Best Local Running Event

IMT Des Moines Marathon

“Get moving, Iowa!” The IMT Des Moines Marathon offers a variety of race distances, and it is listed as one of the Top 20 Marathons of the decade in the U.S., according to The BibRave 100, not to mention being CITYVIEW readers’ Best Local Running Event. This popular local fitness event celebrates 20 years of running in 2021. Registration is now open. Race proceeds benefit Children’s Cancer Connection. Fresh start? Classic finish. Can’t wait! www.desmoinesmarathon.com.
Runners-up: DAM to DSM; Drake Relays

Best Local Personal Trainer

Neil Patel

Fit. Taut. Vibrant. Healthy. Full of energy. You can get there with the help of central Iowa’s favorite personal trainer, Neil Patel of Anytime Fitness, the Best Local Personal Trainer, according to CITYVIEW readers. Plan your work and work your plan. 300 W. Martin Luther King Jr. Parkway, Des Moines, 515-288-0151; www.anytimefitness.com/gyms/2911/des-moines-ia-50309.
Runners-up: Andrew Seymour; Nikki Jones

Best Local Orthodontist

Stork Orthodontics

Stork Orthodontics offers world-class dental care and transformative measures that allow patients to love their smile. Dr. Stork and his team of professionals are dedicated to providing a fun, friendly and welcoming atmosphere. Perhaps that is why they were voted the Best Local Orthodontist by CITYVIEW readers. 4090 Westown Parkway, Suite 101, West Des Moines, 515-608-8830; www.storkorthodontics.com.
Runners-up: Dr. Melissa Bernhardt; Johnson Orthodontics

Best Local Place to Workout

The Sandlot

Dig deeper at The Sandlot with its emphasis on functional training that produces improved performance. The Sandlot is the Best Local Place to Workout, according to CITYVIEW’s Best Of Des Moines Poll. 4825 EP True Parkway, West Des Moines, 719-352-1086; www.sandlotdsm.com.
Runners-up: SISU Strength Academy; Burn Boot Camp – Clive

Best Local Yoga Studio/Instructor

Massage, facials, waxing and nails are offered at East Village Spa. Photo submitted

Yoga + Co. – Lindsay Duvick

“No ego, no memberships, no BS.” That’s the stated message at Yoga + Co. The Dogtown fitness hotspot, voted by CITYVIEW readers as Best Local Yoga Studio/Instructor, offers classes such as Journaling & Yoga; Yoga Under the Stars; Anchor Yourself Meditation; Mother-Me: Yoga & Massage Workshop; Wine, Yoga & Self-Love and others. 2326 University Ave., Des Moines, 515-835-9895; www.yogaandcodsm.com.
Runners-up: Power Life Yoga – multiple instructors; Good Vibes Yoga – Ben Spellman

Best Local Maternity Care or Birthing Center

Iowa Methodist Medical Center

Iowa Methodist is an important regional medical center and teaching hospital. The hospital is located downtown on a 42-acre campus, and it is well known throughout the Midwest for cancer care. It is also known as Best Local Maternity Care or Birthing Center by CITYVIEW readers. *DID YOU KNOW? Iowa Methodist employs nearly 4,000 people and has 370 staffed beds. 1200 Pleasant St., Des Moines, 515-241-6212; www.unitypoint.org/desmoines/iowa-methodist-medicalcenter.aspx.
Runners-up: MercyOne; Broadlawns

Best Local Place To Get Your Eyelashes Done

Simple Beauty with Laura

If and when you are ready to simplify your beauty routine, the votes are tallied and CITYVIEW readers say that Simple Beauty with Laura is the Best Local Place To Get Your Eyelashes Done. Transform your day by simplifying your morning. 6630 Mills Civic Parkway, Suite 3106, West Des Moines — inside Salon Lew — 515-491-0878; www.simplebeautywithlaura.com.
Runners-up: At Lash Artistry; TranZitions Salon & Beauty Bar

Best Local Place To Get A Massage

East Village Spa

The massage menu at East Village Spa includes, among others, a Heavenly Hot Stone Massage with heated Himalayan salt stones, a Foot Massage to rejuvenate your feet, and the Pampering Pregnancy Massage, performed by trained therapists who target pregnancy-specific aches and pains and pamper moms-to-be. Impressed? East Village Spa is the Best Local Place To Get A Massage, according to CITYVIEW’s Best Of Des Moines Poll. 601 E. Locust St., Suite 202, Des Moines, 515-309-2904; www.evdayspa.com.
Runners-up: Ocean Breeze Massage; Coachlight Clinic & Spa

Best Local Place to Get Your Nails Done

Get moving, Iowa. Registration is now open for the IMT Des Moines Marathon & Half Marathon.
Photo submitted

East Village Spa

Performing manicures and pedicures, along with hydrating honey masks, is just one reason East Village Spa is the Best Local Place to Get Your Nails Done, according to voters in CITYVIEW’s Best Of Des Moines voting. 601 E. Locust St., Suite 202, Des Moines, 515-309-2904; www.evdayspa.com.
Runners-up: Thia’s Nails; Purelux

Best Local Herbal/Nutritional ‘Supplement Store

Campbell’s Nutrition

If you are what you eat, then you ought to eat the best food possible. When it’s time to be the best and eat the best, Campbell’s Nutrition is the Best Local Herbal/Nutritional Supplement Store, according to CITYVIEW’s Best of Des Moines Readers Poll. Multiple locations;
www.campbellsnutrition.com.
Runners-up: Groovy Goods; Natural Grocers

Best Local Tattoo Shop

Lucky Gal Tattoo and Piercing

In need of ink? Lucky Gal Tattoo and Piercing is once again the Best Local Tattoo Shop in central Iowa, according to CITYVIEW readers. Multiple locations; www.luckygaltattoo.com.
Runners-up: Iron Heart Tattoo & Body Piercing; Warrior Tattoo Studio

Best Local Body Piercing Shop

Mint Piercing

A modern piercing studio where the top priority is safety, Mint Piercing is the Best Local Body Piercing Shop in the metro, according to CITYVIEW’s Best Of Des Moines Poll. Multiple locations; www.mintpiercing.com.
Runners-up: Prysm Body Piercing & Jewelry Gallery; Lucky Gal Tattoo and Piercing

Best Local Place for Cosmetic Surgery

Des Moines Plastic Surgery

Nose, chin, ear, brow, face, hair, bottom, bosom…. the human body contains nearly 100 trillion cells, and sometimes some of these need a lift, a tuck or some sort of help. The decision to have cosmetic surgery is a personal one, so Des Moines Plastic Surgery, voted the Best Local Place for Cosmetic Surgery by CITYVIEW readers, offers complimentary consultations to discuss potential procedures and to answer questions. 6420 Coachlight Drive, Suite 100, West Des Moines, 515-221-9999; www.dsmplasticsurgery.com.
Runners-up: Coachlight Clinic & Spa; Koch Facial Plastic Surgery & Spa

Best Local Tanning Salon

Bronze515

Your skin is your largest organ, and you need to protect it. Bronze515 offers UV-free tanning and gluten-free, vegan, paraben and cruelty-free products that are made in the USA, and it has been voted the Best Local Tanning Salon in the area by CITYVIEW’s Best Of Des Moines voters. *NEED TO KNOW INFO: Airbrush tanning consists of a technician using a spray gun to apply a tanning solution (DHA) to the client’s body. The spray gun is used to ensure consistent, accurate solution application. 3981 100th St., Urbandale, 515-218-5443; www.bronze515.com.
Runners-up: Sun Tan City; Tanique

Best Local Waxing Salon

Mint Piercing is the Best Local Body Piercing Shop in the metro, according to CITYVIEW readers. Photo submitted

MetroWaxx

Waxing removes unwanted hair and dead skin cells and results in skin that feels smooth and even. For face waxing, brow waxing, brazilians, bikini waxing, leg waxing, back and chest waxing and even brow tinting, whether preparing for a beach day or a sexy surprise, MetroWaxx
is the Best Local Waxing Salon in the area, according to CITYVIEW’s Best Of Des Moines Poll. Multiple locations; www.metrowaxx.com.
Runners-up: Waxing the City; East Village Spa

Best Local Place for Non-Surgical Cosmetic Treatment

Coachlight Clinic & Spa

A healthy and glowing visage helps you face the world with confidence, and Coachlight Clinic & Spa offers expert skincare consultations that incorporate VISIA Skin Analysis — the most comprehensive and precise skin complexion analysis available. Give yourself a boost at the Best Local Place for Non-Surgical Cosmetic Treatment, according to CITYVIEW readers. *CAN’T WAIT: The facials at Coachlight last 60 minutes and include luxurious and soothing arm, hand and foot massages to relax and revitalize you from head to toe. 6420 Coachlight Drive, Suite 200, West Des Moines, 515-221-9999; www.dsmcoachlight.com.
Runners-up: Koch Facial Plastic Surgery & Spa; Skin Iowa

Best Local Spa

East Village Spa

“Every. Body. Welcome.” That’s the motto at East Village Spa, voted the Best Local Spa, according to CITYVIEW readers. 601 E. Locust St., Suite 202, Des Moines, 515-309-2904; www.evdayspa.com.
Runners-up: Coachlight Clinic & Spa; The Spa at West Glen

Best Local Hair Salon

Talking Heads Salon

The talented and passionate professionals at Talking Heads Salon are committed to achieving your preferred hair and beauty outcomes. Talking Heads is the Best Local Hair Salon in the city, according to CITYVIEW’s Best Of Des Moines Poll. 3000 S.E. Grimes Blvd., Suite 400, Grimes, 515-986-2929.
Runners-up: Pure Salon and Spa; Salon Spa W

Best Local Health Food Store

Lindsay Duvick’s mission at Yoga + Co. is to provide a safe space for people to do yoga and spread the amazingly good energy this world needs. Photo submitted

Campbell’s Nutrition

Stocking fresh organic groceries and quality nutritional products from more than 40 Iowa-based suppliers, Campbell’s Nutrition stands alone as the metro’s Best Local Health Food Store, according to CITYVIEW readers. *NOTE: Campbell’s Nutrition is Iowa’s oldest health food store and the third oldest of its kind in the nation. Multiple locations; www.campbellsnutrition.com.
Runners-up: Fresh Thyme Market; Natural Grocers

Best Local Family Planning Services

Planned Parenthood

Planned Parenthood provides answers regarding pregnancy, birth control, contraception, STDs and abortion. What is the area’s Best Local Family Planning Services? CITYVIEW readers say it is Planned Parenthood. Multiple locations; www.plannedparenthood.org.
Runners-up: Agape Pregnancy Center; InnerVisions HealthCare

Best Local Chiropractor

Vero Chiropractic

If you are ready to naturally revitalize your health and improve your life, Vero Chiropractic, voted the Best Local Chiropractor by CITYVIEW readers, wants to help. 5525 Mills Civic Parkway, Suite 120, West Des Moines, 515-422-9552; www.verochiropractic.com.
Runners-up: Iowa Family Chiropractic; True Roots Chiropractic

Best Local Doctor

Dr. David Robbins – Des Moines Plastic Surgery

With more than 15 years of cosmetic surgery experience, Dr. David Robbins is a “Quadruple Board Certified Plastic Surgeon” who is ranked in the top 1 percent of plastic surgery providers in the U.S. He is also the tops when it comes to Best Local Doctor, say CITYVIEW readers. 6420 Coachlight Drive, Suite 100, West Des Moines, 515-221-9999; www.dsmplasticsurgery.com.
Runners-up: Dr. Mohamed Hassan, Physicians Eye Clinic; Dr. Wes Nyberg, Waukee Wellness & Chiropractic

Best Local Eye Clinic

Wolfe Eye Clinic

The ancients believed eagles were the only creature on Earth that could, and regularly would, look directly into the sun. While that isn’t exactly true, this magnificent bird does have incredible eyesight. Enabling incredible eyesight in humans is the goal at Wolfe Eye Clinic, voted Best Local Eye Clinic by CITYVIEW readers. Its eye specialists annually help thousands of patients improve their vision. Multiple locations; www.wolfeeyeclinic.com.
Runners-up: Des Moines Eye Surgeons; Physicians Eye Clinic

Best Local Place to get LASIK Eye Surgery

Wolfe Eye Clinic

Animals first developed eyes 550 million years ago, according to experts, and the ability to see has come a long way since then. One of the biggest breakthroughs in the last half billion years is the development of LASIK eye surgery. Wolfe Eye Clinic boasts more than 100 years of experience in the eye-care industry, and it is once again the area’s Best Local Place to get LASIK Eye Surgery, according to CITYVIEW’s Best Of Des Moines Poll. Multiple locations; www.wolfeeyeclinic.com.
Runners-up: Physicians Eye Clinic; Des Moines Eye Surgeons

Best Local Hospital

Iowa Methodist Medical Center – UnityPoint Health

At Iowa Methodist Medical Center, “You are not a diagnosis, our ten o’clock appointment, or a label on a bill. Just a wonderfully important person with a name, with a need and with feelings.” What more needs to be said? Iowa Methodist Medical Center is the Best Local Hospital in the area, according to CITYVIEW readers. 1200 Pleasant St., Des Moines, 515-241-6212; www.unitypoint.org.
Runners-up: MercyOne Des Moines Medical Center; Methodist West Hospital – UnityPoint Health

Best Local Physical Therapist

Core Physical Therapy

Treating more than your pain, Core Physical Therapy works to get to the core of your problem. Since 1999, Core Physical Therapy has been on a mission to provide patients the best physical therapy services available, and it must be doing something right, because it is the Best Local Physical Therapist in the area, according to CITYVIEW’s Best Of Des Moines Poll. Multiple locations; www.coreptiowa.com.
Runners-up: Breathe. Physical Therapy & Wellness; Johnston Physical Therapy

Best Local Dentist Office

Fleur Dentistry

Smiling makes us feel good, reduces stress and is contagious. Take care of the smile that takes care of you by keeping those teeth and gums healthy. Fleur Dentistry is the Best Local Dentist Office in Des Moines, according to CITYVIEW readers. 4551 Fleur Drive, Des Moines, 515-287-2493; www.fleurdentistry.com.
Runners-up: The Dental Loft; Weston Dental

Best Local Pediatrician

Iowa Methodist Medical Center is well known throughout the Midwest for cancer care. Photo submitted

Dr. Brian Waggoner – Waggoner Pediatrics of Central Iowa

Putting families first for more than 25 years, Dr. Brian Waggoner and his crew at Waggoner Pediatrics of Central Iowa is the area’s Best Local Pediatrician, according to voters in CITYVIEW’s Best Of Des Moines polling. 2555 Berkshire Parkway, Suite A, Clive, 515-987-0051; www.waggonerpediatrics.org.
Runners-up: Dr. Daniel Pelzer – The Iowa Clinic; Dr. Robert Fornhoff – DSM Pediatrics

Best Local Dermatologist

Dr. Timothy Abrahamson – Greater Des Moines Dermatology, P.C.

Whether your issue is with dry skin, warts, hives, rashes, acne, shingles, hair and nails or something more serious like skin cancer, psoriasis or mole changes, Greater Des Moines Dermatology, PC, and board-certified dermatologist Dr. Timothy Abrahamson and his medical team will work with you to find the best treatment. Transform the health and appearance of your skin with the help of the Best Local Dermatologist, according to CITYVIEW’s Best Of Des Moines Poll. 2424 N.W. 128th St., Urbandale, 515-243-8676; www.greaterdesmoinesdermatology.com.
Runners-up: Dr. Roger Ceilley; Dr. Andrew Bean

Best Place for Laser Hair Removal

Coachlight Clinic & Spa

Simplify your life with long-term hair removal at the Best Place for Laser Hair Removal, according to CITYVIEW readers. The reduction of unwanted hair is one of the most popular nonsurgical procedures performed at Coachlight Clinic & Spa, and it offers the latest technology. The most common areas treated include the upper lip, cheeks, chin, neck, chest, legs, back and bikini area. 6420 Coachlight Drive, Suite 200, West Des Moines, 515-221-9999; www.dsmcoachlight.com.
Runners-up: Milan Laser Hair Removal; Heartland Dermatology

Best Local Orthopedic Clinic

DMOS Orthopaedic Centers

Bum knees, aching shoulders, busted feet, hips out of joint, or hands, wrists or ankles gone askew…? If you are sidelined by any of the aforementioned, DMOS Orthopaedic Centers is the Best Local Orthopaedic Clinic in the area, according to CITYVIEW’s Best Of Des Moines Poll. Multiple locations; www.dmos.com.
Runners-up: Iowa Ortho; Capital Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine

Best Local Place for Cryotherapy

CryoSpa Mind & Body Wellness

Pain? Inflammation? Insomnia? Improve athletic performance while neutralizing stress and anxiety, increasing collagen production and reducing chronic fatigue. If reinvigorating your energy level is something you are interested in… The journey to wellness starts at CryoSpa, the Best Local Place for Cryotherapy, according to CITYVIEW’s Best Of Des Moines Poll. 11895 Hickman Road, Suite 600, Urbandale, 515-270-7009; www.cryospaiowa.com.
Runners-up: KryoVitality; Hassel Family Chiropractic

BEST OF THE REST

Best Elected Official

Kim Reynolds – Governor State of Iowa

Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds is the first female to win Iowa’s highest elected office. She has also won the honor of Best Elected Official, according to CITYVIEW’s Best Of Des Moines Poll. Iowa State Capitol, 1007 E. Grand Ave., Des Moines, 515-281-5211; www.governor.iowa.gov.
Runners-up: Frank Cownie – Mayor of Des Moines; Rob Sand – Auditor State of Iowa

Best State University in Iowa

Iowa State University

Feeling the Hilton Magic… Singing “Sweet Caroline…” ringing the Victory Bell… Founded in 1858, Iowa State is Iowa’s largest university and the third largest university in the Big 12 athletic conference. It is also the Best State University in Iowa, according to CITYVIEW’s Best Of Des Moines Poll. The school’s academic offerings include dozens of bachelor’s degree programs, master’s degree programs and doctoral degree programs. *DID YOU KNOW? The Cyclones compete in the NCAA’s Division I, and ISU is the only school in the nation to average at least 50,000 fans at home football games, 14,000 fans at home men’s basketball games and 9,000 fans at home women’s basketball games in the last nine years consecutively, according to its website. GO CYCLONES! Ames, 515-294-4111; www.iastate.edu.
Runners-up: University of Iowa; University of Northern Iowa

Best Private College or Private University in Iowa

Drake University is the Best Private College or Private University in Iowa according to CITYVIEW’s Best Of Des Moines voting for 2021. Photo by Matthew Putney

Drake University

As a mid-sized private school, Drake University is able to offer big school benefits while still keeping class sizes intimate. Drake enrolls more than 3,000 undergraduate students and 1,900 graduate students. Its diverse student body comes from 45 states and from more than 40 different countries. Students choose from 70-plus majors, minors or concentrations and 20 graduate degrees. Nestled within the heart of Des Moines, Drake offers a great place to learn, according to CITYVIEW’s Best Of Des Moines voters, who chose it as the Best Private College or University. 2507 University Ave., Des Moines, 1-800-44-DRAKE; www.drake.edu.
Runners-up: Simpson College; Grand View University

Best Community College in Iowa

Des Moines Area Community College (DMACC)

(1.) After finishing DMACC, 98 percent of graduates are either employed or continuing their education. (2.) DMACC offers 200 degrees, diplomas or certificates. (3.) The average class size at DMACC is 18. These aren’t the only reasons DMACC was voted as the Best Community College in Iowa, but they are three good ones. *NOTE: ciLive! at DMACC is celebrating its 12th anniversary in 2021. This year’s theme is “Amplified.” The event is scheduled to feature nine inspiring speakers from a variety of fields. Speaker presentations will be live streamed and are free to view via YouTube, Facebook Live and through the free e360TV app available for Apple TV, Amazon Fire, Roku, Android and more. DMACC has multiple campuses; www.dmacc.edu.
Runners-up: Kirkwood Community College; Indian Hills Community College

Best Local Doggy Daycare/Boarding

Dogwoods Lodge

Dogwoods Lodge pet-care facility is designed just for dogs, which means dog owners get to have peace of mind knowing their pup is well cared for. Dogs love it at Dogwoods and its luxurious overnight accommodations, day camp and especially the pampering at the grooming salon. Their owners voted Dogwoods Lodge the Best Local Doggy Daycare/Boarding in the Best Of Des Moines Poll. No matter how long you need to be away… Bow-wow. 2960 S.E. Grimes Blvd., Grimes, 515-349-5787; www.dogwoodslodge.com.
Runners-up: Downtown Doggy Daycare; Ankeny Bark Avenue

Best Local Employer

Home Solutions of Iowa

Working at a bad job under a good boss beats a good job that puts you with a bad boss, according to general wisdom. But if you combine a good boss with worthwhile work, then maybe you’re employed at Home Solutions of Iowa, the Best Local Employer, according to CITYVIEW’s Best Of Des Moines Poll. 16180 S.E. Laurel St., Waukee, 515-999-2896; www.homesolutionsiowa.com.
Runners-up: Generation Next; Principal Financial

Best Local Home Improvement Company

Gov. Kim Reynolds is Iowa’s first elected female governor and the state’s highest-ranking official. Photo courtesy of the State of Iowa

Home Solutions of Iowa

Home is your happy place. At least it is supposed to be. But when the roof leaks, or the gutter backs up, or some other calamity occurs, then your home might not feel so sweet anymore. When issues occur, and they eventually will, Home Solutions of Iowa is the area’s Best Local Home Improvement Company, according to CITYVIEW readers. 16180 S.E. Laurel St., Waukee, 515-999-2896; www.homesolutionsiowa.com.
Runners-up: Lowe’s; Lotus Homes

Best Local Dog Groomer

Doggies By Dannie – Dannie Ritter

Pampering your pup with individual attention and service, Doggies By Dannie is a mobile pet grooming service with more than a decade of experience. For individualized pet care that travels to you, Doggies By Dannie is at your pup’s service and the Best Local Dog Groomer, according to CITYVIEW’s Best Of Des Moines Poll. 515-577-4339; www.doggiesbydannie.com.
Runners-up: Dogwoods Lodge; Stylin’ Paws Salon

Best Local Moving Company

Two Men and a Truck

Sweating so you don’t have to and moving people forward, Two Men and a Truck is the fastest-growing franchised moving company in the U.S. The company offers comprehensive home and business relocation and packing services, and its goal is to exceed customer expectations. Perhaps that’s why CITYVIEW readers voted it to be the Best Local Moving Company. Whether you are moving down the street or relocating out-of-state, Two Men and a Truck can help. 2601 104th St., Suite 400, Urbandale, 515-216-3654; www.twomenandatruckdesmoines.com.
Runners-up: The Approved Movers; The Affordable Movers

Best Local Credit Union

Veridian Credit Union

Credit unions are organized differently than other financial institutions. Veridian is a not-for-profit financial cooperative that is member owned, and that means its earnings are returned to its members in the form of better rates and lower fees. Veridian is the Best Local Credit Union in the metro, according to CITYVIEW’s Best of Des Moines Poll. Multiple locations; www.veridiancu.org.
Runners-up: Community Choice Credit Union; GreenState Credit Union

Best Local Bank

Bankers Trust

Money in the bank. Bankers Trust is Iowa’s largest privately owned bank, and it keeps its clients’ cash safe while delivering value to customers and giving back to the community, Bankers Trust is the Best Local Bank in the area, according to CITYVIEW readers. Multiple
locations; www.bankerstrust.com.
Runners-up: West Bank; Wells Fargo

Best Local Internet Provider

Mediacom

Gorge yourself uninterrupted on the best that streaming has to offer while treating yourself to a smorgasbord of online entertainment… Thank you, Mediacom, the Best Local Internet Provider in the area, according to CITYVIEW readers. 1-800-479-2082; www.mediacomcable.com.
Runners-up: CenturyLink; Mi-Fiber

Best Local Auto Shop

Ace Body & Motor

Fixed right and done fast… that’s the mission at Ace Body & Motor in Des Moines, the Best Local Auto Shop, according to CITYVIEW’s Best Of Des Moines Poll. The shop’s team of technicians has served central Iowa for more than 35 years, and the family-owned-and-operated business features another perk… great coffee to help patrons relax while they wait. 625 N.E. 45th Place, Des Moines, 515-243-7133; www.acebodyandmotor.com.
Runners-up: Beckley’s Automotive Services; Westside Auto Pros

Best TV Station for News

KCCI Channel 8

When central Iowa needs the inside scoop on the local news, KCCI Channel 8 is the Best TV Station for News in the area, according to CITYVIEW’s Best Of Des Moines polling. www.kcci.com.
Runners-up: WHO TV Channel 13; WOI Channel 5

Best TV Station for Sports

WHO TV Channel 13

Contract extension? Overtime drama? Cinderella advances at the big dance? For the need-to-know info regarding the local sports scene, WHO TV Channel 13 is the Best TV Station for Sports in the area, according to CITYVIEW’s Best Of Des Moines Readers Poll. www.whotv.com.
Runners-up: KCCI Channel 8; WOI Channel 5

Best TV Station for Weather

KCCI Channel 8

Snow? Sleet? Rain? Sunshine? When local residents need to know, the Best TV Station for Weather in the area is KCCI Channel 8, according to CITYVIEW readers. www.kcci.com.
Runners-up: WHO TV Channel 13; WOI Channel 5

Best Local TV Anchor

Erin Kiernan – WHO TV Channel 13

Knowledge is power, and when you need to power up with accurate information… Erin Kiernan of WHO TV Channel 13 offers the scoop as Best Local TV Anchor, say CITYVIEW readers. www.whotv.com.
Runners-up: Steve Karlin – KCCI Channel 8; Rheya Spigner – KCCI Channel 8

Best-Looking Male Media Personality

Dan Winters – WHO TV Channel 13

Four-peat?!?!? You betcha. Winning this category for the fourth straight year and rendering his dreamboat status undeniable… Congratulations once again to dapper Dan Winters of WHO TV Channel 13 News, the area’s Best-Looking Male Media Personality, according to CITYVIEW readers. Hubba, hubba! www.whotv.com.
Runners-up: Andy Fales – WHO TV Channel 13; Keith Murphy – WHO TV Channel 13

Best-Looking Female Media Personality

Erin Kiernan – WHO TV Channel 13

Erin Kiernan has no cavities, she knows CPR, and she is an only child. In other news, the award-winning anchor at WHO TV Channel 13 is the Best-Looking Female Media Personality in the area, according to CITYVIEW’s Best Of Des Moines voting. www.whotv.com.
Runners-up: Stacey Horst – KCCI Channel 8; Sonya Heitshusen

Best Local Sports Commentator or Columnist

Keith Murphy – WHO TV Channel 13

Offering level-headed commentary — at least when the times call for it — laced with common sense and delivered in measured tones, Keith Murphy has become a sports news icon in central Iowa, and is the Best Local Sports Commentator of Columnist, according to CITYVIEW’s Best Of Des Moines Poll. www.whotv.com.
Runners-up: Elgin Rucker – KCCI Channel 8; Scott Reister – KCCI Channel 8

Best Meteorologist

Ed Wilson – WHO TV Channel 13

Is thundersnow on the way? Will icy roads be an issue? Are we in store for a polar vortex? Ed Wilson of WHO TV Channel 13 will set you straight regarding central Iowa weather conditions. He is, after all, the area’s Best Meteorologist, say CITYVIEW readers. www.whotv.com.
Runners-up: Jeriann Ritter – WHO TV Channel 13; Kurtis Gertz – KCCI Channel 8

Best Radio Voice That Turns You On

Ray Knight – KFMG 98.9 FM

What does sexy sound like? Ray Knight hosts a Wednesday evening show called “Ray’s Record Roundup” from 6-7 p.m. If you want to hear central Iowa’s Best Radio Voice That Turns You On, you can listen on KFMG 98.9 FM. www.kfmg.org.
Runners-up: Simon Conway – WHO 1040 AM; Clay Masters – Iowa Public Radio

Best Radio Station

KFMG 98.9 FM

The listener-supported KFMG offers a unique format that broadcasts from Mainframe Studios at 900 Keo Way in downtown Des Moines. The on-air offerings include The Preston Daniels Show, Kristian Day’s Iowa Basement Tapes and Ron Sorenson’s Sunday Acoustic Brunch, which help make the station the area’s Best Radio Station, according to CITYVIEW’s Best Of Des Moines Poll. *DID YOU KNOW: What “listener supported” means? A significant portion of KFMG’s revenues come from people as opposed to advertising. www.kfmg.org.
Runners-up: WHO 1040 AM; STAR 102.5 FM

Best Radio Personality

Abe Goldstien – KFMG 98.9 FM

As a student at Drake University during the early 1970s, Abe Goldstien owned a local record store selling jazz records. Five decades later, Goldstien — the Best Radio Personality in the area, according to CITYVIEW’s Best Of Des Moines Poll — still enjoys sharing his passion for jazz with central Iowa, but now he does so as the host of Straight No Chaser, Sundays, 5-8 p.m., on KFMG 98.9 FM. www.kfmg.org.
Runners-up: Van Harden – WHO 1040 AM; Simon Conway – WHO 1040 AM

Best Local Realtor

Bob Eisenlauer – RE/MAX

Searching for “home sweet home”? Need to see a “SOLD!” sign in your yard? Fear not, CITYVIEW’s Best Of Des Moines voters say Bob Eisenlauer of Re/MAX Real Estate Group is the Best Local Realtor around. Multiple locations, 515-979-2883; www.eisenlauerteam.com.
Runners-up: Taylor Voitel – EXIT Realty North Star; Tim Scheib – Scheib Real Estate Team

Best Local Automotive Salesperson

Todd Lee – Willis Cadillac

When someone says, “It drives like a Cadillac,” the person isn’t usually talking about a Cadillac. But whatever they are referring to, it’s a compliment to the Cadillac brand, which has become synonymous with excellence. The Cadillac of cars is indeed a Cadillac, and Central Iowa says Todd Lee of Willis Cadillac is the Best Local Automotive Salesperson — the Cadillac of automotive sales people. That’s high praise. 2121 N.W. 100th St. Des Moines, 515-253-9600; www.williscadillac.com.
Runners-up: Dallas Schurman – Karl Chevrolet; PJ Caffrey – Karl Chevrolet

Best Local Photographer

Tracy Marie Photography

Tracy Marie loves sweet tea and a good York peppermint patty, but photography is her true passion. “My passion for life inspires my photography. Let me share my enthusiasm as you embark on this exciting time of your life,” she says on her website. Tracy Marie Photography is the Best Local Photographer in central Iowa, according to CITYVIEW’s Best Of Des Moines voting. 515-240-3648; www.tracymariephotography.org.
Runners-up: Rush Street Photography; Maharry Photography

Best Local Financial Planner

Aaron Plaskas – Financial Architects, Inc.

Aaron Plaskas of Financial Architects helps his clients achieve optimal financial wellness while growing and protecting wealth. CITYVIEW readers have voted him Best Local Financial Planner. 12345 University Ave., Suite 200, Clive, 515-457-1276; www.financialarchitectsiowa.com/team/aaron-plaskas.
Runners-up: Loren Merkle – Merkle Retirement Planning; Jacob Repp – Principal Financial Group

Best Local Insurance Agent

Cam Naylor – Farm Bureau

Plan for the unexpected and protect your future. That’s why insurance exists, and it is why Cam Naylor goes to work each day. He is the metro’s Best Local Insurance Agent, according to CITYVIEW polling. 515-381-7220, cameronnaylor.fbfsagents.com/MeetMe.
Runners-up: Cody Crumes, American Republic; Mark Courter – State Farm

Best Local Mortgage Company

Midwest Family Lending

Say yes to dreams. Say yes to goals. Say yes to possibilities… Midwest Family Lending wants to help you say yes to all of these, and it is the Best Local Mortgage Company in the area according to CITYVIEW’s Best Of Des Moines voting. 2753 99th St., Urbandale, 515-252-7107; www.midwestfamilylending.com.
Runners-up: Fidelity Bank; Fortress Bank

Best Local Vet Clinic

Oaks Veterinary Clinic

Grateful. The pet owners who visit Oaks Veterinary Clinic have spoken, and these proud pet lovers of well-taken-care-of pups, kittens, gerbils, bunnies and other members of the animal kingdom say Oaks is the Best Local Vet Clinic in central Iowa. 2030 27th St., Des Moines, 515-279-3654.
Runners-up: University West Vet Clinic; Starch Pet Hospital

Best Local Home Builder

Jerry’s Homes

There are houses you live in, and then there are homes you love living in… Since 1957, Jerry’s Homes has been serving the Hawkeye State with everything from buildable lots to new homes and customized home designs and, of course, dream homes. The company’s work has CITYVIEW readers naming it Best Local Home Builder. www.jerryshomes.com.
Runners-up: Happe Homes; KRM Custom Homes

Best Local Landscaper

Ted Lare Creative Landscape Design + Build

What is the Ted Lare promise? Whatever your project, you can be confident that Ted Lare Creative Landscape Design + Build has the help and advice you need to create the outdoor living space of your dreams. When the time comes to freshen up your front yard or take your backyard to the next level, Ted Lare Design + Build is the Best Local Landscaper in the area, according to CITYVIEW’s Best Of Des Moines Poll. 2701 Cumming Ave., Cumming, 515-981-1073; www.tedsgardens.com.
Runners-up: A+ Lawn & Landscape; Solid Rock Landscaping

Best Local Chamber of Commerce

Urbandale Chamber

The Urbandale Chamber of Commerce is the only five-star accredited Chamber in central Iowa, according to its website, and the organization values excellence, service, family connectedness and character while serving the community and its members. For these reasons and many more, the Urbandale Chamber of Commerce is the Best Local Chamber of Commerce, according to CITYVIEW’s Best Of Des Moines voting. 2830 100th St., Suite 110, Urbandale, 515-331-6855; www.uniquelyurbandale.com.
Runners-up: Grimes Chamber & Economic Development; West Des Moines Chamber

Best Local Customer Service (Overall)

Coachlight Clinic & Spa

The wow factor at Coachlight Clinic & Spa is off the charts thanks to its spa treatments and a staff that provides the Best Local Customer Service (Overall), according to CITYVIEW’s Best Of Des Moines Poll. Bravo. 6420 Coachlight Drive, Suite 200, West Des Moines, 515-221-9999; www.dsmcoachlight.com.
Runners-up: Finish Line Auto Works; Home Solutions of Iowa

Best Local Law Firm

Baer Law Office

Protecting your rights while pursuing claims for people who have been wronged, that’s the mission at Baer Law Office, and, for the sixth straight year, Baer is the Best Local Law Firm in the city, according to CITYVIEW’s Best Of Des Moines voters. 838 Fifth Ave., Des Moines, 515-279-2000; www.baerlawoffice.com.
Runners-up: VanDerGinst Law; Hupy and Abraham, S.C.

Best Local Daycare

Generation Next

Nurturing young minds and developing learners. That’s the mission at Generation Next, and CITYVIEW readers have applauded those efforts by voting this child development center and preschool as the Best Local Daycare for the seventh straight year. Congratulations, Generation Next, and keep up your important work. Multiple locations; www.generationnextia.com.
Runners-up: Lil Scholars Too; Grace Preschool

Best Local Marketing Agency

Nexus 6

There is “zero percent suckage” at Nexus 6, according to the marketing agency’s homepage. “We are storytellers. If you’re looking for traditional, you are in the wrong place. We don’t fit the corporate mold, or most pairs of dress pants for that matter, but we like it that way. Our focus is to help you stand out, not blend in with everyone else.” The Nexus 6 creative team is the Best Local Marketing Agency around, according to readers of CITYVIEW. 1603 22nd St., Suite 204, West Des Moines, 515-850-0890; www.nexus6.io.
Runners-up: Hatch; Blue Fin Sales & Marketing

Best Local Apartment Complex

The Village @ Gray’s Lake

Location. Location. Location. The Village @ Gray’s Lake is an apartment community situated just south of downtown near Gray’s Lake, one of the city’s most popular destinations. The reconstructed units were previously used as dorm-room housing for students but have been reconstructed into one- and two-bedroom apartments that are part of the Best Local Apartment Complex, say CITYVIEW readers. *DON’T FORGET: Furry friends are welcome at The Village @ Gray’s Lake. 2270 Bell Ave., Des Moines, 515-452-7484; www.thevillagedm.com.
Runners-up: Broadmoor at Jordan Creek; Ingersoll Square

Best Local HVAC Company

Modern Heating and Air Conditioning

Conditioned air is quite possibly the most underrated perk of 21st-century living. Heating and cooling is easy to take for granted, but when problems arise, central Iowa says the Best Local HVAC Company is Modern Heating and Air Conditioning. 675 N.E. 45th Place, Des Moines, 515-635-5525; www.modernhvacservices.com.
Runners-up: Bell Brothers Heating and Air Conditioning; Schaal Plumbing, Heating and Cooling

Best Local Senior Living Community

Dogwoods Lodge pet-care facility in Grimes is designed just for dogs and offers luxurious overnight accommodations, day camp and pampering at the grooming salon. Bow-wow. Photo by Jackie Wilson

Edencrest

You’ve made it. Welcome home to Edencrest. Senior living with independent living options, assisted living, memory care and respite care with a level of hospitality that makes it the Best Local Senior Living Community, according to CITYVIEW’s Best Of Des Moines Poll. Join a community that feels like family…. Edencrest. Multiple locations; www.edencrestliving.com.
Runners-up: Scottish Rite Park; Wesley Acres

Best Local Place for Tax Preparation

Insight CPA

Ben Franklin once said, “Nothing is certain except for death and taxes.” Be that as it may, pretty much no one enjoys the April 15 check-writing routine, so reducing your tax burden with expert tax strategies, write offs and all the legal deductions available is key. With that in mind, the Best Local Place for Tax Preparation is Insight CPA, according to CITYVIEW’s Best of Des Moines Readers Poll. Multiple locations; www.insightwealthgroup.com
Runners-up: Midwest Financial; McGowen Hurst Clark & Smith

Best Local Recruiter Or Search Firm

Palmer Group

Placing the perfect person into the perfect job, that’s the call at Palmer Group, the Best Local Recruiter Or Search Firm in central Iowa, according to CITYVIEW readers. 3737 Woodland Ave., Suite 200, West Des Moines, 515-225-7000; www.thepalmergroup.com.
Runners-up: Midwest Professional Staffing; Robert Half

Best Local Bathroom Facility

Von Maur

Clean, well kept and ready to roar, Von Maur rules the roost, once again sitting upon the throne as the Best Local Bathroom Facility in the area, according to readers of CITYVIEW. 1551 Valley West Drive, West Des Moines, 515-223-1311; www.vonmaur.com.
Runners-up: Shade Tree Auto; Lua Brewing

Best Local Hotel

Holiday Inn Downtown

Des Moines’ recent boom in hotel construction makes being voted the area’s Best Local Hotel quite an honor. Congratulations, Holiday Inn Downtown, CITYVIEW readers appreciate the relaxation and rejuvenation provided under your roof. 1050 Sixth Ave., Des Moines, 1-888-465-4329; www.ihg.com/holidayinn/hotels/us/en/desmoines/dsmdw/hoteldetail.
Runners-up: Renaissance Des Moines Savery Hotel; Hotel Renovo

Best Local Plumber

H & H Plumbing

Leaky pipes? Dysfunctional toilet? Lukewarm water from the water heater? When you need quality plumbing repairs, H & H Plumbing provides a range of residential and commercial services and is the Best Local Plumber, say CITYVIEW readers. 32411 170th St., Granger, 515-277-5755; www.handhplumbing.net.
Runners-up: Leaky Pipes Plumbing; Mr. Rooter Plumbing

Best Local Electrician

Baker Electric

Not a shock! Baker Electric is the Best Local Electrician in central Iowa, according to CITYVIEW’s Best of Des Moines Readers Poll voting for 2021. 111 Jackson Ave., Des Moines, 515-288-6774; www.bakerelectric.com.
Runners-up: H & G Electric; Kline Electric

Best Local Flooring Company

Royal Flooring

Transforming your house into your dream home is a doable endeavor at your one-stop-shop for all things home finishing. From floors and cabinets, to appliances and decor, Royal Flooring — the Best Local Flooring Company, according to CITYVIEW’s poll — offers what you need to love where you live. 11801 Hickman Road, Urbandale, 515-957-9738; www.shoproyalflooring.com.
Runners-up: Louie’s Floor Covering; Flooring America

Best Local Roofing Company

Home Solutions of Iowa

Drip. Drip. Drip. Don’t let rainy days get you down. Home Solutions of Iowa offers many types of home exterior upgrades, and once again the local company has earned the title of being the Best Local Roofing Company in the metro, according to CITYVIEW’s Best Of Des Moines Readers Poll. 6180 S.E. Laurel St., Waukee, 515-999-2896; www.homesolutionsiowa.com.
Runners-up: Affordable Exteriors; Bakeris Roofing

Best Local Contractor

Home Solutions of Iowa

For roofing, gutters, insulation, decking or other exterior remodeling or home improvements, Home Solutions of Iowa is the Best Local Contractor around, according to CITYVIEW readers. 16180 S.E. Laurel St., Waukee, 515-999-2896; www.homesolutionsiowa.com.
Runners-up: Amazed Construction Services; Lotus Homes

Best Local Interior Designer

Meghan Blum Interiors

Sophisticated design for everyday living… that’s Meghan Blum Interiors, Best Local Interior Designer, according to CITYVIEW’s Best Of Des Moines Poll. This premier design firm is known for its polished, livable interiors that offer classic style with clean lines and striking details to bridge the gap between high-end design and practical living. 9351 Swanson Blvd., Suite B, Clive, 515-277-6144; www.meghanbluminteriors.com.
Runners-up: Mrs. Jack Interiors; The Redefined Home – Nita Upchurch

Best Local Pest Control Company

The Bug Man

Option A: Use a flyswatter to smack ‘em dead one at a time. Option B: Call the Best Local Pest Control Company in the area. The Bug Man is dedicated to providing the best pest control possible at the best price. 515-285-6900; www.thebugmaniowa.com.
Runners-up: Springer Professional Home Services; Diam Pest Control

Best Local Cleaning Company

The Queen of Clean

Home, office or anything in between, if you need it spic-and-span and spotless… Meet The Queen of Clean. This is her majesty’s third straight year winning the category of Best Local Cleaning Company, according to voters in CITYVIEW’s Best Of Des Moines Poll. The Queen’s promise? “Our work is good. We promise. And behind that promise, we want you to know that we back our work with a 24-hour satisfaction guarantee. If our work is not up to your standards, we will come out and fix it for free.” 4949 Pleasant St., Suite 101, West Des Moines, 515-528-8723; www.thequeenofcleania.com.
Runners-up: Pristine Clean DSM – Angela Sorenson; Enforce Cleaning

Best Local Co-Working Space

Gravitate

Fast Wi-Fi, free coffee, access to conference rooms and available space for hosting special events. Freelancers, entrepreneurs and remote workers looking to opt out of expensive office space are finding their productive happy place at Gravitate, the Best Local Co-Working Space in the metro, according to CITYVIEW readers. It offers a warm, welcoming environment to support and propel you personally and professionally. Multiple locations; 515-207-8105; www.gravitatecoworking.com.
Runners-up: Blue Bean; Regus

Best Local Preschool

Generation Next

Developing kids. Feeding hungry minds. Nurturing new learners. Generation Next Child Development Center and Preschool works to guide children into being more confident while encouraging them to excel in a group setting. The efforts have been recognized by CITYVIEW readers, who voted it Best Local Preschool. Multiple locations; www.generationnextia.com.
Runners-up: Grace Preschool; Lil Scholars Too

Best Local Swim School

Natavi

“VENI NATAVI VICI.” That’s Latin for “I came, I swam, I conquered.” Natavi — Best Local Swim School, according to CITYVIEW polling — provides swim lessons, while prioritizing water safety and comfort. The swim school’s pools range in temperature from 88-90 degrees F, and the air temp ranges between 90-96 degrees inside the natatorium. 275 S.W. Brookside Drive, Grimes, 515-300-3282; www.nataviswim.com.
Runners-up: Goldfish Swim School; Aqua-Tots Swim School

Best Local Home Inspection Company

High Caliber Home Inspections

Eagle eyes. That’s the need when it’s time to make the biggest investment most people ever make — buying a home. Before signing the dotted line, have an expert inform you about the home’s condition. Not all home inspectors are created equal. High Caliber Home Inspections is the Best Local Home Inspection Company in the area, according to CITYVIEW’s Best Of Des Moines voting. 8324 N.E. 46th Ave., Altoona, 515-783-6566; www.hchinspections.com.
Runners-up: Wiemann Home Inspection; Done Right Home Inspection

Best Local Foundation Repair Company

Midwest Foundation Repair

A wise man built his house upon a rock, meanwhile, a foolish man built his house upon the sand… Guess which one lived happily ever after? Make sure your foundation is solid. Midwest Foundation Repair is the Best Local Foundation Repair Company around, according to readers of CITYVIEW. 9850 Douglas Ave., Suite 100, Urbandale, 515-497-7535; www.midwestfr.com.
Runners-up: B.A.M.! Basements & Masons; Anchored Walls ♦

3 Comments

  1. Elaine Hargrove says:

    Please consider the following changes to the Cityview “Best of 2022” awards:
    Reinstate the Best of the Drake Neighborhood award
    Add an award for Best Smoke Shop
    Add an award for Best Spiritual & Alternative Healing
    Thank you for your consideration.

  2. Toni Poblano says:

    I feel like “best place to worship” is a bit inappropriate, as if suggesting what religion people should have. This whole review, while nice, you can tell is written by someone older. It should be written in a much cleaner way.

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