Best of Des Moines2/1/2023
You’ve seen those black-and-white certificates at businesses around town. They declare the best, the premier, the supreme — according to readers like you.
And now, it’s here: the moment you’ve been waiting for. After a record-setting 16,332 votes in 277 categories, the people have once more declared the best of local restaurants, retail, nightlife, culture, recreation, health, beauty, and everything else we couldn’t categorize.
Tradition continued in many categories, with repeat favorites like The Brass Armadillo Antique Mall as the Best Local Antique Store, Simon’s as the Best-Kept Secret On The Local Restaurant Scene and Jasper Winery as Best Local Winery.
The year 2023 also brought a few surprises. Lachele’s Fine Foods beat B-Bop’s for Best Local Burger. Fareway knocked Hy-Vee from its enduring reign as Best Local Grocery Store. And Mediacom lost its long-held spot to Metronet as Best Local Internet Provider.
No matter how the podium reads, to be recognized at all is a tremendous honor. Of the staggering number of votes this year (yes, we counted each and every one), voters chose the following businesses and people as the best of their kind. Congratulations!
Editor’s note: The nomination process and voting to choose next year’s Best Of Des Moines winners begins in October 2023. Whether you agree or disagree with this year’s selections, be sure to save the date and cast your votes.
Best New Local Restaurant
Upscale and contemporary yet comfortably casual, Destination Grille has been offering a rotating global menu since opening in the spring of 2022. Specials called “DG Features” spotlight cuisine from different regions of the world. Their impressive two-story building includes a fine dining restaurant and bar, upstairs bar, outside patio, garden-level patio, lunch takeout area and meeting and party rooms for rent. CITYVIEW’s Food Dude, Jim Duncan, deemed Destination Grille “a trailblazer, part sports bar, part steakhouse and part Vegas resort.” 2491 E. First St., Grimes, 515-355-1153; www.destinationgrille.com.
Runners-up: Chicken Heat; Big Grove Brewery & Taproom
Best-Kept Secret On The Local Restaurant Scene
Shhh…. The secret’s out. Owner Simon Goheen took over the eatery formerly known as J. Benjamin’s, which opened its doors nearly three decades ago. It’s a small space — one bar, nine booths, a couple three-top tables and a fish aquarium — but don’t write it off just yet. There’s a reason CITYVIEW readers have voted Simon’s the Best-Kept Secret On The Local Restaurant Scene for seven years running. 5800 Franklin Ave., Des Moines, 515-255-3725; www.simonsdsm.com.
Runners-up: Early Bird; Chicken Heat
Best Local Restaurant… Period
Iconic and cozy, with the best service around, Simon’s has once again been voted Des Moines’ Best Local Restaurant… Period. Come here to wind down after work or escape for a romantic date night. To cap off your meal, enjoy a complimentary slice of Simon’s red velvet cake. 5800 Franklin Ave., Des Moines, 515-255-3725; www.simonsdsm.com.
Runners-up: Early Bird; Chicken Heat
Best Local Fine Dining
After a brief hiatus, 801 Chophouse returns to its spot as the Best Local Fine Dining establishment. And if you’re craving a quality cut of meat, you’re in luck: CITYVIEW readers also voted 801 Chophouse for Best Local Steakhouse. 801 Grand Ave., Suite 200, Des Moines, 515-288-6000; www.801chophouse.com.
Runners-up: Gastro Grub & Pub; Simon’s
Best Valley Junction Restaurant
Cooper’s on 5th
Returning for year No. 2 of Best Of Des Moines acclaim, Cooper’s offers first-rate food in an old-school atmosphere. Chow down on a sandwich or burger and sip an award-winning cocktail after a long day of shopping in the Historic Valley Junction. Lunch or dinner, bar or patio, Cooper’s on 5th is the “talk of the town.” 227 Fifth St., West Des Moines, 515-255-9895; www.cooperson5th.com.
Runners-up: G. Mig’s 5th Street Pub; St. Kilda Collective
Best West Glen Restaurant
Anna Dolce Ristorante
It may be a relative newcomer to the West Glen area, but CITYVIEW readers already love the mouth-watering menu at Anna Dolce Ristorante. The upscale and modern Italian restaurant offers salads, pasta, pizza and classic Italian entrees that they say are “nothing short of deliziosa. We do the classics justice while offering unique menu items you will want to taste for yourself.” 5585 Mills Civic Parkway, Suite 110, West Des Moines, 515-223-2302; www.annadolceristorante.com.
Runners-up: The Breakfast Club; El Fogon
Best East Village Restaurant
Be prepared to indulge when you come to Lucca. The upscale East Village eatery serves a four-course prix fixe dinner that changes weekly. Or, arrive earlier for lunch and choose between their Italian and Mediterranean-inspired menu, including made-from-scratch pasta. 420 E. Locust St., Des Moines, 515-243-1115; www.luccadsm.com.
Runners-up: Zombie Burger + Drink Lab; Alba
Best Prairie Trail Restaurant
District 36 Wine Bar & Grille
CITYVIEW readers have voted this Ankeny favorite as Best Prairie Trail Restaurant for all four years the category has existed. Peppercorn Steak de Burgo, Almond-Crusted Mahi Mahi, Calamari Steak Etouffée, Pretzel Rarebit Burger, Grilled Pollo Farfalle Pasta — these menu items and more are what have patrons’ tastebuds dancing. 1375 S.W. Vintage Parkway, Ankeny, 515-261-2502; www.district36winebar.com.
Runners-up: Fong’s Pizza; Magee’s Irish Pub & Eatery
Best Ingersoll Area Restaurant
Sakari Sushi Lounge
Freshly rolled sushi, grilled Japanese cuisine and a full bar, including sake flights — what’s not to like? Among all the fine eateries along the Ingersoll corridor, CITYVIEW readers have decided that Sakari Sushi Lounge is the best place to frequent. 2605 Ingersoll Ave., Des Moines, 515-288-3381; www.sakarisushilounge.com.
Runners-up: Eatery A; Noah’s Ark Restaurant
Best Beaverdale Area Restaurant
A Des Moines tradition for more than 50 years, Christopher’s is renowned for its delicious Italian-American fare, excellent service and its Thanksgiving meals donated to the public each year. It was 1963 when Joe and Red Giudicessi became owners of the restaurant, now operated by their children, Rene and Ron. 2816 Beaver Ave., Des Moines, 515-274-3694; www.christophersdsm.com.
Runners-up: The Dam Pub; Motley School Tavern
Best Drake Area Restaurant
It’s a landmark in the Drake neighborhood and the best place to find homemade comfort food and all-day breakfast. Located just south of Drake University since 1987, the “upscale retro diner” is family owned and operated. Nursing an insatiable sweet tooth? Drake Dinner serves Pumpkin Pancakes, Cinnamon Swirl French Toast, Cap’n Crunch French Toast Sticks and homemade cinnamon rolls — just as a start. 1111 25th St., Des Moines, 515-277-1111; www.drakediner.com.
Runners-up: Lucky Horse Beer & Burgers; Dough Co. Pizza
Best Local American Food
Lachele’s Fine Foods
It may be just under a year old, but that didn’t stop Lachele’s Fine Foods from scoring Best Local American Food — plus Best Local Burger — in CITYVIEW’s Best Of Des Moines poll for 2023. Try their signature smash-burgers and other savory American offerings in their hip diner location along Ingersoll Avenue. 2716 Ingersoll Ave., Des Moines, 515-330-6876; www.lacheles.com.
Runners-up: Drake Diner; Americana
Best Local Vegetarian/Vegan Food
Few cuisines are more conducive to a vegetarian or vegan diet than Southeast Asian fare. Lucky Lotus offers delicious options with noodles, rice, soups, vegetables and tofu from Laos, Thailand, Indonesia and more. Whether or not you’re vegan/vegetarian by choice, rest easy in the fact that plant-based diets reduce the risk of heart disease by up to 40%, according to some estimates. And if you’re a meat-lover, worry not: Lucky Lotus offers options for all dietary preferences. 2721 Ingersoll Ave., Des Moines, 515-262-8488 www.luckylotusdsm.com.
Runners-up: Des.Fresh.Foods; Veggie Thumper
Best Local Gluten-Free Food
Louie’s Wine Dive
Ah, the premier gluten-free treat: wine. But in all seriousness, it’s true: CITYVIEW readers have decided that Louie’s Wine Dive serves the Best Local Gluten-Free Food. Gluten-free items are clearly indicated on the establishment’s menu, with offerings including Champagne Fish & Chips, Parmesan Risotto and Chicken Piccata. Several other menu items can also be modified to be gluten free. 4040 University Ave., Suite A, Des Moines, 515-777-3416; www.louieswinedive.com.
Runners-up: Thistle’s Summit; Fresko Natural Food
Best Local Italian Food
Tumea & Sons
For a family-friendly atmosphere and the best Italian food around, according to CITYVIEW readers, Tumea & Sons is your go-to-restaurant. Weekend specials change each week. Oh, and there’s a regulation outdoor bocce ball court right outside, just as every Italian restaurant should have. 1501 S.E. First St., Des Moines, 515-282-7976; www.tumeaandsons.net.
Runners-up: The Latin King; Cosi Cucina
Best Local Mexican Food
El Fogon invites patrons to “enjoy a spicy kick of south-of-the-border flavor” at either of its two West Des Moines locations. Authentic Mexican menu offerings included tacos, enchiladas and fajitas — all with fresh ingredients, including tortillas made in-house. ¡Vamos a comer! Multiple locations; www.elfogondmi.com.
Runners-up: Monterrey; Fiesta Mexican Restaurant
Best Local Thai Food
“Without a doubt, one of the sublime pleasures of Thailand is the food. The variety of ingredients and the different combinations of flavors make for an unforgettable national cuisine.” That’s what Thai Flavors claims, and CITYVIEW readers seem to agree, since they voted them Best Local Thai Food in the Des Moines metro. What exactly are those flavors, you might ask? There are four of them: hot and spicy (from peppers), sweet (from palm sugar), sour (from tamarind or fresh lime juice) and salty (from fish sauce, oyster sauce or oyster sauce — never salt). If hot just isn’t your thing, don’t be troubled: You can select among different spice levels, all the way down to “no spice,” upon ordering your meal. Multiple locations; www.thaiflavorsiowa.com.
Runners-up: Cool Basil; Eat Thai, Thai Eatery
Best Local Chinese Food
Shanghai Chinese Restaurant
For the fifth year in a row, CITYVIEW readers have voted Shanghai Chinese Restaurant as the Best Local Chinese Food. Family owned and in business since 2002, they claim to be Waukee’s oldest Chinese (and Vietnamese) restaurant. And yes, they deliver. 33 N.E. Carefree Lane, Waukee, 515-987-3111; www.shanghaiwk.com.
Runners-up: Tsing Tsao; Cool Basil
Best Local Japanese Food
Sakari Sushi Lounge
“Sakari” is defined as: (1) summit; (2) peak; (3) prime; (4) to be at one’s best. It’s a fitting name, as Sakari Sushi Lounge has been deemed the best place to find Japanese food in the greater Des Moines area. And that’s not all: CITYVIEW readers also voted Sakari as the Best Local Sushi, Best Ingersoll Area Restaurant and runner-up Best Local First Date Spot. 2605 Ingersoll Ave., Des Moines, 515-288-3381; www.sakarisushilounge.com.
Runners-up: Wasabi; Akebono 515
Best Local Mediterranean Food
Fresh Mediterranean Express
Simple. Fresh. Healthy. And don’t forget: delicious. That’s Mediterranean food in a nutshell, and for the best in the Des Metro, CITYVIEW readers have chosen Waukee’s Fresh Mediterranean Express. Explore salads, kabobs, pita sandwiches, platters, rice bowls and more. 15 N.E. Carefree Lane, Waukee, 515-987-6870; www.orderfreshmed.com.
Runners-up: Gazali’s Mediterranean Grill; Olympic Flame Restaurant
Best Local Seafood
Waterfront Seafood Market
Waterfront Seafood Market has been voted Best Local Seafood for as long as we can remember. The family-owned business has been around since 1984. Their dock-to-plate process means they frequently fly in fresh quality seafood purchased directly from fishermen and brokers — never processors or wholesalers. Locations in Ankeny and West Des Moines; www.waterfrontseafoodmarket.com.
Runners-up: Splash Seafood Bar & Grill; Laughing Crab
Best Local Sushi
Sakari Sushi Lounge
For the most scrumptious sushi in central Iowa, look no further than Ingersoll Avenue and Sakari Sushi Lounge — according to readers of CITYVIEW. Serving maki, nigiri, sashimi and all the specialty rolls your stomach could desire. 2605 Ingersoll Ave., Des Moines, 515-288-3381; www.sakarisushilounge.com.
Runners-up: Wasabi; Pho Wheels & Sushi
Best Local Steakhouse
There’s nothing quite like a Midwestern steak, and there’s no other establishment quite as excellent as 801 Chophouse, according to CITYVIEW readers who have voted it Best Local Steakhouse year after year (seven, to be exact). Enjoy an award-winning USDA steak while taking in gorgeous views of downtown Des Moines. 801 Grand Ave., Suite 200, Des Moines, 515-288-6000; www.801chophouse.com.
Runners-up: Johnny’s Italian Steakhouse; Texas Roadhouse
Best Local Brunch/Breakfast
“Not your everyday brunch” means that Early Bird offers creative twists on big breakfast classics, like Cinny-Bobs, Churro Waffles, Cereal Killer pancakes, an A.M. Pot Pie and a tempting list of brunch cocktails. On top of Best Local Brunch/Breakfast, CITYVIEW readers also decided Early Bird has the Best Local Hangover Food, Best Local Bloody Mary, is the runner up Best-Kept Secret On The Local Restaurant Scene, runner up Best Local Restaurant… Period, and employs the metro’s Best Local Bartender. Wowza! 9250 University Ave., Suite 107, West Des Moines, 515-528-2212; www.earlybirdbrunch.com.
Runners-up: The Breakfast Club; Waveland Cafe
Best Local Delicatessen
Hansen’s Manhattan Deli
The Hansen family has been serving Des Moines sandwich staples from the same Ingersoll Avenue location since 1982: four decades last year. At Manhattan Deli, you’ll find hoagies, warm Italian subs, vegetarian options, hot and cold sandwiches, delectable sides and salads, homemade soups and desserts — and an important piece of Iowa history. 3705 Ingersoll Ave., Des Moines, 515-274-1208; www.hansensmanhattandeli.com.
Runners-up: Palmer’s Deli & Market; B&B Grocery, Meat & Deli
Best Local Burger
Lachele’s Fine Foods
These smashburgers kick ass (their words, not ours!). Lachele’s Fine Foods specializes in mouth-watering monstrosities of meat, cheese, veggies, buns, and just about anything else you could think to put on a burger — and then some. 2716 Ingersoll Ave., Des Moines, 515-330-6876; www.lacheles.com.
Runners-up: B-Bop’s; Gastro Grub & Pub
Best Local Pizza
Taste of New York Pizza
“Ain’t no party like a pizza party,” and CITYVIEW readers have decided the best source of that pizza is Taste of New York Pizza. Purchase an entire pizza pie or pizza by the slice — or try their calzones, salads, hero sandwiches, pasta dishes and rice balls. Multiple locations; www.tasteofnewyorkpizza.com.
Runners-up: Fong’s Pizza; Gusto Pizza Co.
Best Local Bakery
La Mie Bakery
Fresh-baked breads, sweets and other French pastries are just a few of the reasons CITYVIEW readers have voted La Mie the Best Local Bakery in the Des Moines area time and time again. They also offer pizzas, sandwiches, salads, eggs, soups, quiche and tartines. Come for breakfast, brunch, lunch, a midday snack when you’re feeling peckish — or buy a bunch to save for later. You’ll want it. 841 42nd St., Des Moines, 515-255-1625; www.lamiebakery.com.
Runners-up: Hiland Bakery; Iowa Cookie Co.
Best Local Cupcake Shop
You can have your cake and eat it, too, in Molly’s Cupcakes’ adorable East Village location, specializing in gourmet cupcakes and other sweet treats. They offer cake and cupcake decorating classes for those sweet-lovers who’d like to tap into their creative side. 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
Back for year No. 5 as Best Local BBQ is Smokey D’s BBQ: the winner of nearly 100 state BBQ championships and more than 1,000 local, regional and national awards, according to its website. They operate a downtown Des Moines skywalk location, but their main store is at 5055 N.W. Second Ave., Des Moines, 515-243-2747; www.smokeydsbbq.com.
Runners-up: Jethro’s; Kue’d Smokehouse
Best Local French Fries
Hot potato pieces in crinkle, waffle, steak, wedge or curly form — or in this case, the classic French fry shape done very, very well. Zero trans fat, zero cholesterol and zero shortening. For yet another year, CITYVIEW readers have declared the best fries found in Des Moines are at B-Bop’s. Multiple locations; www.b-bops.com.
Runners-up: What The Fries DSM; Chicken Heat
Best Local Chicken Wings
Bone-in or boneless? Buffalo or chipotle sauce? It’s your choice — and CITYVIEW readers’ choice for the Best Local Chicken Wings countless years running. Jethro’s bone-in wings are soaked in buttermilk, hardwood smoked and fried to a crispy, tender perfection. Multiple locations; jethrosdesmoines.com.
Runners-up: Gerri’s; Chicken Heat
Best Local Nachos
University Library Café
CITYVIEW readers and college students alike have ensured that University Library Café has been awarded Best Local Nachos once again. If you find yourself in the Dogtown area, jump on the chance to order those famed Library Nachos: fresh flour tortillas topped with pinto beans, shredded cheddar cheese, Monterey cheese sauce, salsa, mild banana pepper rings, pico de gallo, sour cream and your choice of cheeseburger, chicken, roast beef, bacon or corned beef. Drooling, yet? 3506 University Ave., Des Moines, 515-255-0433; thelibrarydm.com.
Runners-up: Skip’s; The Dam Pub
Best Local Tacos
We first introduced this category in 2015, and Tasty Tacos has won each year. There’s no way around it: The people can’t get enough of the local chain that has been family-owned and operated for half a century. Their flour tacos are a must-try: seasoned meat, lettuce and cheese stuffed into a homemade fluffy flour shell. Multiple locations; www.tastytacos.com.
Runners-up: Tacos La Familia; MALO
Best Local Tenderloin
Smitty’s Tenderloin Shop
Here’s another restaurant that has owned its category since its inception. CITYVIEW readers have decided the best tenderloins are found at Smitty’s since 2015, but the shop has been serving Des Moines customers since 1952. Tenderloins and onion rings are made fresh and from scratch each morning. 1401 Army Post Road, Des Moines, 515-287-4742.
Runners-up: Jethro’s; Goldie’s Ice Cream Shoppe
Best Local Bar Food
Francie’s Bar & Grill
A southside staple and a local favorite right next to the airport, Francie’s serves a classic bar food menu that patrons can enjoy on its popular covered patio. Try the New York Steak & Peppers sandwich: lean strips of NY Steak, sweet fried peppers and melted provolone on an Italian roll. 2100 Wakonda View Drive, Des Moines, 515-285-5207; www.franciesbarandgrill.com.
Runners-up: Wellman’s Pub & Rooftop; University Library Café
Best Local Coffee/Coffeehouse
Smokey Row Coffee Co.
This ubiquitous coffee shop doesn’t show any plans of slowing down soon. Its original Des Moines store is located in the Sherman Hill neighborhood, but it also has several newer stores — with the same cozy vibes — in Ankeny, Urbandale, Grimes, West Des Moines, Waukee and beyond. Whether you need a study spot, a first date location or a quick caffeine fix, there’s sure to be a Smokey Row nearby. Multiple locations; www.smokeyrow.com.
Runners-up: Coffalo Coffee; Zanzibar’s Coffee Adventure
Best Local Wine Selection at a Restaurant
Louie’s Wine Dive
It’s in the name. Louie’s Wine Dive offers the Best Local Wine Selection at a Restaurant, as per CITYVIEW’s Best Of Des Moines poll for 2023. Red, white, rosé or sparkling? Louie’s Wine Dive has an extensive wine list of all types and price points. Plus, you can enjoy your meal and drinks while hearing live music from local musicians. 4040 University Ave., Suite A, Des Moines, 515-777-3416; www.louieswinedive.com.
Runners-up: Mulberry Street Tavern; Urban Cellar
Best Local Place to Chow After 2 a.m.
Fong’s is known for its pizza, of course, but also for its creative handmade appetizers, sandwiches, salads and gluten-friendly, vegetarian and vegan selections. They’re open until 3 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays, and until 2 a.m. on Thursdays, just late enough for you to order their famous Crab Rangoon Pizza to satisfy that middle-of-the-night hankering. Locations in Des Moines and Ankeny; www.fongspizza.com.
Runners-up: Big Tomato Pizza; Abelardo’s Mexican Restaurant
Best Local Hangover Food
Carbs, eggs and coffee are purportedly some of the best hangover remedies, so it’s a good thing they’re in no short supply at Early Bird. The majority of CITYVIEW readers would assure you: heading to Early Bird is one booze-fueled decision you won’t regret. 9250 University Ave., Suite 107, West Des Moines, 515-528-2212; www.earlybirdbrunch.com.
Runners-up: Mullets; B-Bop’s
Best Local First Date Spot
Black Cat Ice Cream
It’s awkward, it’s stressful, it’s nerve-wracking — but, if you go to Black Cat Ice Cream, at least it’ll be sweet. First dates are best when they’re at Black Cat, according to our loyal readers. 2511 Cottage Grove Ave., Des Moines, 515-689-7466; www.blackcaticecream.com.
Runners-up: Sakari Sushi Lounge; Louie’s Wine Dive
Best Local Restaurant Patio
Is it the building’s history as a Blockbuster video store, as Barack Obama’s caucus headquarters in 2008, or simply the charming outdoor atmosphere? Whichever the reason, Eatery A is making its seventh CITYVIEW appearance as Best Local Restaurant Patio. Offering Mediterranean-inspired cuisine, Eatery A was also voted to have the Best Local Happy Hour — which makes the perfect combination, if you ask us. 2932 Ingersoll Ave., Des Moines, 515-282-8085; www.eateryadsm.com.
Runners-up: Big Grove Brewery & Taproom; Destination Grille
Best Local Place to Get a Doughnut
Hurts Donut Company
CITYVIEW readers have favored Hurts Donut Company in this category since they opened in December 2016, and since they’re open “25 hours a day, 8 days a week,” there’s really no reason for you to skip out on Hurts. Ring donuts, long Johns, donut holes, cake donuts, Bismarks — they’re all available, and they all come in delightfully preposterous flavors. 5513 Mills Civic Parkway, Suite 105, West Des Moines, 515-267-1671; www.wannahurts.com.
Runners-up: Donut Hut; ChuChu Donuts
Best Local Caterer
“Whenever people gather around the table, the food should be joyful, nourishing, and eventful,” says Chef Cyd Koehn. Fresh and locally sourced high-end food has wowed Cyd’s customers since she established her business in 1994 and has earned her title of Best Local Caterer by CITYVIEW readers for three years in a row. 515-208-2091; www.cateringbycyd.com.
Runners-up: Taste! To Go; Great Caterers of Iowa
Best Local Restaurant Supply Company
Bolton & Hay, Inc.
Bolton & Hay, Inc. is the Best Local Restaurant Supply Company, according to voters in CITYVIEW’s Best Of Des Moines poll for 2023. Established in 1920, the family-operated business provides quality equipment and products at discounted prices for many of your favorite local restaurants. 4333 Park Ave., Des Moines, 515-265-2554; www.boltonhay.com.
Runners-up: Hockenbergs; Iowa-Des Moines Supply
Best Local Vietnamese Food
A Dong returns to its spot as the top Vietnamese food in the Des Moines metro. Located a stone’s throw away from Pappajohn Sculpture Park, A Dong has been serving fresh Vietnamese and other Asian cuisine since 1989. Our favorite dish? Pho: a traditional rice noodle soup with beef or chicken, fresh basil, cilantro, bean sprouts, jalapenos and a lime wedge. 1511 High St., Des Moines, 515-284-5632; www.adongrestaurant.com.
Runners-up: Vietnam Cafe; Shanghai Chinese Restaurant
Best Local Food Truck
Pho Wheels & Sushi
One of the newer food trucks in the metro offers pho, sushi and apps on wheels. They’ll be set up and back to serving the public once the weather is warmer (around April, according to their Facebook page), but they’re still open for in-season event bookings. 515-208-7310; Facebook @ Pho Wheels & Sushi.
Runners-up: Charlotte’s Kitchen; Waffles and Whip
Best Local Chocolate/Candy Store
Willy Wonka and his Chocolate Factory have nothing on Chocolaterie Stam. Stroopwafels, chocolate towers, boxed chocolate, Ruby chocolate, and the list goes on… Fine European chocolates and treats abound at this local chain with more than 200 years of sweet, sweet history. Multiple locations; www.stamchocolate.com.
Runners-up: Chocolate Storybook; Beaverdale Confections
Best Local Korean Food
Jenny Lee’s Korean + American Kitchen
Korean classics and street food with an American twist. Try the Bibimbap Bowl, Korean Fried Chicken or Tteokbokki Rice Cakes. When the weather’s pleasant (sounds impossible, we know), customers can reserve a Korean BBQ experience on the patio, plus enjoy wine slushies and soju cocktails. 3701 EP True Parkway, West Des Moines, 515-223-6770; jennyleeskitchen.com.
Runners-up: Sook’s Korean Kitchen; Mandarin Grill & Sushi Bar
Best Local Ice Cream or Gelato Shop
Black Cat Ice Cream
After three years of this category’s existence, Black Cat Ice Cream has ousted The Outside Scoop from its reign as Best Local Ice Cream or Gelato Shop. Congratulations to owners Alex and Angela Carter for winning the hearts and stomachs of CITYVIEW voters. Fun fact: Two years ago, Alex made an appearance on the popular Food Network reality show, “Chopped Sweets” (season 3, episode 2). 2511 Cottage Grove Ave., Des Moines, 515-689-7466; www.blackcaticecream.com.
Runners-up: Home Sweet Cone Ice Cream; The Outside Scoop
Best Local Store (Overall)
“It was 1979 when a 21-year-old Forrest Ridgway started Bike World in the basement of Doug’s Toy World in Des Moines. Since then, cycling in Iowa has definitely grown and evolved — and Bike World, still owned by Forrest, has grown and evolved along with it.” Its four stores total nearly 50,000 square feet of bicycle products and services. Locations in West Des Moines, Urbandale, Clive and Ames; www.bikeworldiowa.com.
Runners-up: Suzy’s Kitchen and Gifts; Many Hands Thrift Market
Best Local Men’s Clothing Store
Voted Best Local Men’s Clothing Store consecutively since 2016, Mr. B offers exceptional service and designer clothing including suiting, business casual, shoes and denim. However you’d describe your lifestyle, Mr. B offers a unique and elevated shopping experience. 1995 N.W. 86th St. Clive, 515-276-8589; www.mrbclothing.com.
Runners-up: Backroom Clothing; Hensley’s Big and Tall Outfitters
Best Local Women’s Clothing Store
For its sustainable, ethical and vegan boutique offerings, CITYVIEW voters have elected MARNē as the best of its kind. “MARNe is a place that supports brands that give a damn,” writes owner Angela Poldberg. “We choose wisely so you have a space to shop and connect without worrying about where your goods came from.” 350 E. Locust St., Suite 101, Des Moines; www.shopmarne.com.
Runners-up: Empress Threads; Hinge
Best Local Thrift Shop
Many Hands Thrift Market
It’s like recycling, but even better! Whether you are hunting for a steal of a deal or donating your belongings to a greater cause, CITYVIEW readers agree: Many Hands Thrift Market is the Best Local Thrift Shop in the Des Moines area. Proceeds from the store support its nonprofit ministry, Many Hands for Haiti. Metro locations in Grimes, Clive and Des Moines; www.manyhandsthrift.com.
Runners-up: DAV Thrift Store; St. Vincent de Paul Thrift Store
Best Ankeny Store
Real Deals Ankeny
Head north of the metro for “trendy home decor and boutique pieces at irresistible prices” at Real Deals. The Foss family opened the shop in 2018 with the goal of bringing quality items to homes and closets — without breaking the bank. 315 S.W. Maple St., Ankeny, 515-410-2106; ankenyrealdeals.com.
Runners-up: Coachlight Clinic & Spa; Wrapped
Best Local Frame Shop
Tandem Brick Gallery
Tandem Brick Gallery has consistently been CITYVIEW voters’ favorite frame shop, and they’ve been doing what they do since 1977. This year, they were also voted Best Ingersoll Area Store and runner-up Best Local Gift Shop. 2722 Ingersoll Ave., Des Moines, 515-282-1031; www.tandembrickgallery.com.
Runners-up: The Great Frame Up; Terri’s Frame Shop & Art
Best Local Bridal Shop
Here comes the bride… to Schaffer’s, the favorite local bridal shop for central Iowa voters. Countless customers have found their “Say Yes to the Dress” moment after trying top styles designed by Allure Bridals, Blue by Enzoani, Blush by Hayley Paige, Calla Blanche, Eddy K, Enzoani, Maggie Sottero, Rebecca Ingram, Sottero & Midgley, Theia, W Too, Watters, Willowby by Watters and others. 5445 Mills Civic Parkway, West Des Moines, 515-288-0356; www.schaffers.com.
Runners-up: Something Blue; Bridal Boutique
Best Local Tuxedo Shop
Skeffington’s Formal Wear
For weddings, prom and other special occasions, Skeffington is the one-stop shop for formalwear rental needs. That’s just one of the reasons CITYVIEW readers voted Skeffington’s as the city’s Best Local Tuxedo Shop — for the sixth straight year. Metro locations in Des Moines, West Des Moines, Ankeny; www.skeffingtons.com.
Runners-up: Backroom Clothing; Weddings By Design – The Tux Shop
Best Local Children’s Store
Janes – Family Shop
Mother-daughter duo Sarah and Jennifer (both their middle names are Jane) operate Des Moines’ favorite local children’s store in the East Village of Des Moines. Their curated collection of goods and goodies will delight both you and your little ones. 350 E. Locust St., Suite 102, Des Moines; www.janesdsm.com.
Runners-up: Once Upon a Child; The Learning Post
Best New Local Store
Revamp your wardrobe with unique vintage finds while supporting a new, Filipina-owned business. Vanezza went full-time with VZZ in 2021 (formerly Midwest Thrifter since 2013), opening her storefront in 2022. If you’re lucky, you’ll get to pet VZZ’s shop dog, Baby J, a 12-year-old Jack Russell terrier. 340 S.W. Fifth St., Suite 123, Des Moines, 641-373-1729; www.vzzvintage.com.
Runners-up: Copy + Paste DSM; Wrapped
Best Local Music Store
Five years as the Best Local Music Store and still going strong, Rieman Music is owned by musicians, for musicians. Aside from selling musical instruments, they offer lessons, a student band instrument rent-to-own program, repairs and in-house service. This year, they celebrate 70 years in business. Congratulations! Metro locations in Des Moines, Urbandale and Ames; www.riemanmusic.com.
Runners-up: Marv’s Record Shop; Vinyl Cup Records
Best Local New or Used Book Store
All genres for all readers can be found at Beaverdale Books. They support and represent more than 500 local authors in a special section dedicated to Iowans, host author events, book clubs and writers groups, and partner with schools and other local businesses. 2629 Beaver Ave., Des Moines, 515-279-5400; www.beaverdalebooks.com.
Runners-up: Half Price Books; Storyhouse Bookpub
Best Local Car Dealership (Domestic)
Stivers Ford Lincoln
Looking for that perfect vehicle developed right here in the United States? Then CITYVIEW’s Best Of Des Moines voters would recommend you head to Stivers Ford Lincoln. In their words, their inventory contains “some of the sweetest rides you’ve ever seen.” 1450 E. Highway 6, Waukee, 1-800-747-2744; www.stivers-waukee-ford.com.
Runners-up: Willis Automotive; Karl Chevrolet
Best Local Car Dealership (Foreign)
As it has every year, Willis Automotive has once again dominated the leaderboard for the best dealership for foreign auto imports. Infiniti, Jaguar, Lexus, Land Rover, Nissan, Volvo — these are just a few of the makes found within their extensive inventory. They have domestic cars, too. 2121 100th St., Clive, 855-638-1176; www.willisautocampus.com.
Runners-up: Toyota of Des Moines; Ramsey Subaru of Des Moines
Best Local Motorcycle Shop
Mean Machine Cycle Parts
Whether you’re looking for a full custom build or want a large selection of high-end custom accessories, CITYVIEW voters have agreed you should try Mean Machine Cycle Parts in Elkhart. Owner Robb Boggs has more than 20 years of professional experience in the design engineering industry and more than 10 years in the custom motorcycle industry. 267 N.W. Main St., Elkhart, 515-367-7336; www.meanmachinecycleparts.com.
Runners-up: Big Barn Harley-Davidson; Struthers Brothers
Best Local Bicycle Shop
For the best place to purchase bikes, bike accessories and bike services, cycling fanatics have elected Bike World yet again. They also have one of the Best Local Bathroom Facilities in the metro, which is always a plus. Multiple locations; www.bikeworldiowa.com.
Runners-up: Kyle’s Bikes; Ichi Bike
Best Local Liquor Store
Ingersoll Wine & Spirits
For its winning selection of wine, champagne and a variety of spirits, Ingersoll Wine & Spirits takes home another “W” for the Best Local Liquor Store in central Iowa. 3500 Ingersoll Ave., Des Moines, 515-255-3191; www.ingersollwine.com.
Runners-up: Central City Liquors; Hy-Vee Wine & Spirits
Best Local Wine Store
WineStyles Tasting Station empowers customers to choose wines based on taste, instead of varietal or region. Enjoy a unique retail experience through weekly tastings and special events and browse dozens of craft beers, wines, gifts, fine chocolates, artisanal cheese and other gourmet items. Locations in West Des Moines, Johnston and Ankeny; www.winestyles.com.
Runners-up: Wall to Wall Wine and Spirits; Ingersoll Wine & Spirits
Best Local Grocery Store
After many years as runner-up, Fareway has knocked Hy-Vee off its pedestal as Iowa’s Best Local Grocery Store, according to Best Of poll voters. Family owned and especially known for its excellent meat market, Fareway now operates more than 130 locations in Iowa, Illinois, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska and South Dakota. Multiple locations; www.fareway.com.
Runners-up: Hy-Vee; Aldi
Best Local Jewelry Store
Family owned since 1871 when Solomon Joseph opened his first store in downtown Des Moines, there’s a reason CITYVIEW readers have voted Josephs Jewelers as the Best Local Jewelry Store time and again. Their staff of certified gemologists, horologists and trained jewelry designers will guide you through the process of finding the perfect ring, necklace, watch or gift. 5425 Mills Civic Parkway, West Des Moines, 515-440-2991; www.josephsjewelers.com.
Runners-up: Prysm Body Piercing & Jewelry Gallery; Christopher’s Fine Jewelry
Best Local Antique Store
The Brass Armadillo Antique Mall
If you’re looking for the ultimate antique shopping experience, CITYVIEW voters suggest the Brass Armadillo each year. More than 450 dealers under one roof means incredible finds for customers looking for furniture, quilts, art, china, clothing, toys and more. Although the antique store first started in Iowa, they’ve grown to operate five additional locations across the United States. 701 N.E. 50th Ave., Des Moines, 515-282-0082; www.brassarmadillo.com/desmoines.
Runners-up: Memory Lane Antiques; The Picker Knows Antiques & Collectibles
Best Local Art Gallery
Kunzler Studios is a family effort that is more than a studio, gallery, retail store or education center. They call themselves a “lifestyle location” built after the motto: “Create, Innovate, Educate, Celebrate!” Congratulations to Diane, Kelly, Kendall and Mike for winning the votes of CITYVIEW readers for the fourth consecutive year. 324 Fifth St., West Des Moines, 515-279-0322; www.kunzlerstudios.com.
Runners-up: Liz Lidgett Gallery + Design; Moberg Gallery
Best Local Hardware Store
O’Donnell Ace Hardware
“Ace is the place with the helpful hardware folks.” (Did you sing along?) In Des Moines, Ace is also the best place to frequent for any and all hardware needs. While there are more than a dozen Ace Hardware locations in central Iowa, CITYVIEW voters have decided that Gary and Sheila O’Donnell’s operations are their favorite. Locations in Des Moines on Hickman Road, University Avenue and Beaver Avenue; www.odonnellhardware.com.
Runners-up: True Value – West Des Moines; Waukee Hardware & Rent-it Center
Best Shopping District
Historic Valley Junction
The Best Shopping District in central Iowa is “the heart and soul of West Des Moines — a delightful mix of old and new, bridging generations with unique shops, vibrant events and a walkable hometown feel.” Get lost in an adorable boutique, stock up for your next costume party, enjoy a tasty meal, take in a local theater performance, and embark on other unique adventures within Valley Junction. Along and around Fifth Street in West Des Moines, 515-222-3642; www.valleyjunction.com.
Runners-up: Historic East Village; Jordan Creek
Best Local Flower Shop
Boesen the Florist
Bouquets, wedding florals, wreaths, “just because” flowers, table settings and other floral arrangements are the name of the game here. Des Moines’ favorite florist opened in 1923 and is currently operated by the third generation of the family, Tom Boesen. Congratulations to Tom on securing CITYVIEW readers’ votes once again — and for celebrating 100 years in business this year. Multiple locations; www.boesen.com.
Runners-up: Wildflower; Carmen’s Flowers Uptown
Best Local Gift Shop
“I love pushing the envelope by selling sassy and snarky merchandise that you can’t find anywhere else. Instead of being afraid of what people might think or how they will react, I always go for it. The store is a genuine representation of me.” That’s what owner Val Veiock told us when she was recognized as one of our Business People Who Have Made A Difference in 2022. Central Iowa readers must be fans of sassy and snarky, since they’ve voted Bing’s as the Best Local Gift Shop for five years running. 213 Fifth St., West Des Moines, 515-279-3141; bingsdsm.com.
Runners-up: Tandem Brick Gallery; Suzy’s Kitchen & Gifts
Best Local Place to Purchase a Musical Instrument
Whether you need an instrument with frets, keys, strings, sticks, mallets — or any of the accessories that go along with them — Rieman Music is once again the clear readers’ choice for Best Local Place to Purchase a Musical Instrument. Metro locations in Des Moines, Urbandale and Ames; www.riemanmusic.com.
Runners-up: Uptempo Music; Professional Music Center
Best Local Computer Repair Shop
Little Dog Tech
Little Dog Tech provides IT services for both businesses and the average consumer, including virus removal, network management and security, cloud backup and disaster recovery, and so much more. Founder Paul Schwegler has spent the last 15 years making IT easy for Des Moines residents and companies. 5946 Ashworth Road, West Des Moines, 515-422-1995; www.littledogtech.com.
Runners-up: Dymin Systems; Mobile Spot
Best Local Phone Repair Shop
The Mobile Spot has been repairing and selling devices since the original iPhone was released. They’re CITYVIEW readers’ top choice when it comes to replacing a phone screen or battery, resolving software issues or digging into the motherboard through in-house microsoldering. With more than 1,000 parts stocked, many repairs can be completed in the same day. 8421 University Blvd., Clive, 515-223-7719; www.mymobilespot.com.
Runners-up: CPR – Cell Phone Repair; iTech Gurus
Best Local Place to Get a Costume
It might just be one of the most colorful stores you walk into this year. One of the largest year-round costume shops in the Midwest, the Theatrical Shop in West Des Moines’ Historic Valley Junction is once again the Best Local Place to Get a Costume, according to readers like you. On top of costumes, they sell accessories, dancewear, makeup, rhinestones, fabrics and novelties. 145 Fifth St., West Des Moines, 515-274-3661; www.theatricalshop.com.
Runners-up: Spirit Halloween; Atomic Garage
Best Local Pawn Shop
Solar Loan & Sales
Need some quick extra cash? Solar Loan & Sales will purchase your gold, jewelry, electronics and other valuables — or use them as collateral in a loan. CITYVIEW readers’ choice for Best Local Pawn Shop is the oldest of its kind in Des Moines, first opening its doors in 1962. 3311 Ingersoll Ave., Des Moines, 888-244-7084; www.solarpawn.com.
Runners-up: The Pawn Store; A Quality Pawn And Jewelry
Best Local Convenience Store
Is it a gas station or a grocery store? At Kwik Star, customers don’t have to choose. They have fried chicken, bananas, steak, bagged milk — even shopping carts. How convenient is that? Fun fact: Kwik Star is the same as Kwik Trip, which is not the same as QuikTrip. Multiple locations; www.kwiktrip.com.
Runners-up: Casey’s General Stores; Kum & Go
Best Local Place to Buy Cigars/Tobacco
David’s Fine Tobaccos
Purchase cigars, pipes, hookahs, specialty cigarettes and more at David’s Fine Tobaccos (operating since 1956), then enjoy a smoke in their cigar lounge featuring state-of-the-art ventilation, lockers for rent in their walk-in cigar humidor, HDTV and free Wi-Fi. 9759 University Ave., Clive, 515-278-8701; www.davidsfinetobaccos.com.
Runners-up: Iowa Cigar Company; Leaf Brothers Cigars
Best Local E-Cigarette Shop
Central Iowa Vapors
It’s more than just a vape shop. Central Iowa Vapors offers a tested and curated collection of high-quality brands, with a “family-like” atmosphere in their stores where all are welcome — those 21 and older, that is. Smoke responsibly. Multiple locations; www.iowaecigs.com.
Runners-up: Almost Paradise Tobacco & Vapor; Route 69 Vapor
Best Local Mall
Jordan Creek Town Center
The state’s largest shopping complex boasts more than 1.3 million square feet, a 20-screen movie theatre, a lakefront boardwalk and dozens of restaurants and retailers including American Eagle, Express, Apple, J. Crew, Banana Republic, Sephora, Scheels, Barnes & Noble, Williams-Sonoma and a brand-new Von Maur. 101 Jordan Creek Parkway, West Des Moines, 515-440-6255; www.jordancreektowncenter.com.
Runners-up: Merle Hay Mall; Outlets of Des Moines
Best Valley Junction Store
Central Iowa’s Best Local Gift Shop is also the best store in Valley Junction, which CITYVIEW readers voted as the Best Shopping District. It’s undeniably, unequivocally, undoubtedly… the best. 213 Fifth St., West Des Moines, 515-279-3141; www.bingsdsm.com.
Runners-up: Hinge; MoMere
Best West Glen Store
When it comes to both everyday jewelry and pieces for the most special of occasions, Josephs Jewelers provides the best products and services, according to voters in CITYVIEW’s 2023 Best Of Des Moines poll. 5425 Mills Civic Parkway, West Des Moines, 515-440-2991; www.josephsjewelers.com.
Runners-up: WineStyles; Worn
Best East Village Store
Raygun is a downtown Des Moines favorite that offers clothing, art, office supplies, and home and kitchen items — plastered with all the off-kilter quips and inside jokes a Midwesterner could dream of. 505 E. Grand Ave., Des Moines, 515-288-1323; www.raygunsite.com.
Runners-up: AllSpice Culinarium; Porch Light
Best Beaverdale Area Store
Also voted by our readers as Best Local New or Used Book Store, the Beaverdale Books staff’s deep love for literature will have you scrambling for those shelves. 2629 Beaver Ave., Des Moines, 515-279-5400; www.beaverdalebooks.com.
Runners-up: Back Country; Beaverdale Confections
Best Drake Area Store
Groovy Goods Daydreams
Des Moines’ one-stop shop for hippie and metaphysical merchandise, offering hippie and bohemian clothing, tapestries, jewelry and art, a large incense selection, aura photos, tarot readings and all things tobacco. 2300 University Ave., Des Moines, 515-274-2799; www.groovy-goods.com.
Runners-up: Ancient Ways; Zumi
Best Ingersoll Area Store
Tandem Brick Gallery
Lo, and behold! Aside from offering premier custom framing, Tandem Brick Gallery sells candles, cards, pillows, games, jewelry, toys, children’s clothing and gifts for all personalities. They’ve won the votes of CITYVIEW readers in this category since 2015. 2722 Ingersoll Ave., Des Moines, 515-282-1031; www.tandembrickgallery.com.
Runners-up: Renovation Jungle; Enchanted Mystical Boutique
Best Local Furniture Store
Homemakers has been helping central Iowans outfit their living rooms, bedrooms, kitchens, dining rooms, home offices and outdoor living spaces since the 1970s. And, their customer-favorite treat shop now serves in-store alcohol, so you can sip while you shop. 10215 Douglas Ave., Urbandale, 515-276-2772; www.homemakers.com.
Runners-up: Amish Haus Furniture; Redekers Furniture
Best Local Home Decor Store
accents + interiors
Beautiful living starts at accents + interiors, where you can find objects for the home — and fashion and gifts for the people in them. The store’s owner, Shelley Pigneri, says she “believes living a beautiful life begins with living with what you love… that your home should be a reflection of who you are and a collection of what makes you happy… that what you wear should make you feel great… that giving the perfect gift should make you feel as good as the person you give it to.” 2701 86th St., 515-276-7201; accentsdm.com
Runners-up: Homemakers; Real Deals
Best Jordan Creek Area Store
Coachlight Clinic & Spa
Find both clinical treatments and spa treatments at Coachlight Spa, CITYVIEW readers’ choice for Best Jordan Creek Area Store — also voted Best Local Place To See Beautiful People and runner-up Best Place for Laser Hair Removal. 6420 Coachlight Drive, Suite 200, West Des Moines, 515-221-9999; www.dsmcoachlight.com.
Runners-up: Scheels; Costco
Best Local Appliance Store
Clients can choose from top-rated refrigerators, dishwashers, washers and dryers, kitchen packages and other appliances from more than 60 major brands at Warners’ Stellian, a family-owned business since 1954. They offer the largest selection of Energy Star-rated appliances in the Midwest. Locations in West Des Moines and Ankeny; www.warnersstellian.com.
Runners-up: Metro Appliance; Royal Flooring
Best Local Shoe Store
Brown’s Shoe Fit Co.
Brown’s has been fitting feet for more than a century, with locally owned stores offering footwear styles tailored to its community. Customers can make an in-store visit or online purchase, with free shipping and hassle-free returns. Locations in Ankeny and West Des Moines. www.brownsshoefitcompany.com.
Runners-up: Fit To Be Tied; Fleet Feet
Best Local Pool and Spa Store
Central Iowa Pool & Spa
If you find yourself wanting a new pool or hot tub, Central Iowa Pool & Spa will help you with the purchase, construction, installation and regular service and maintenance. They’ll also outfit your outdoor living space or game room 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; Hot Springs Spas
Best Local Greenhouse
Nursing a black thumb? Goode Greenhouses is here to help. The Goode family has been growing their business together — at the same location — since 1905, cultivating their own poinsettias, Easter lilies, bedding plants and fall mums, while also shipping in Florida-grown foliage plants. They pride themselves on providing the best-quality plants, products and personal service. 1050 N.E. 50th Ave., Des Moines, 515-262-6504; www.goodegreenhouses.com.
Runners-up: Canoyer Garden Center; Piney Ridge Greenhouse
Best Local Skate Shop
Skater-owned and skater-run, Subsect Skateshop claims to be Des Moines’ only all-skateboard shop. It’s also the best of its kind in central Iowa, according to readers of CITYVIEW in 2023’s Best Of Des Moines poll. 309 E. Walnut St., Des Moines, 515-276-4365; subsect-skateshop.myshopify.com.
Runners-up: Slap Shot Hockey Shop; Unkl Ruckus’s Smoking Emporium & Skate Shop
Prairie Fire – Iowa Distilling Company
For the fifth year in a row, CITYVIEW readers voted this hot cinnamon-flavored whiskey by Iowa Distilling Company as the best in central Iowa. You’ll get a taste of Iowa heritage in each of the local distillery’s hand-crafted spirits made from the finest natural ingredients. 4349 Cumming Ave., Cumming, 515-981-4216; www.iowadistilling.com.
Runners-up: Foundry Distilling Company; Cedar Ridge Winery & Distillery
Tito’s Handmade Vodka
“Vodka” may originate from the Russian word for “water,” but that doesn’t mean you should drink eight 8-ounce glasses per day. Please drink vodka responsibly — but when you do, CITYVIEW readers recommend Tito’s Handmade Vodka. www.titosvodka.com.
Runners-up: Swell Zone Vodka – Iowa Distilling Company; IngeniOZ Vodka – Dehner Distillery
Steel Drum Rum – Iowa Distilling Company
Made from pure Caribbean molasses sourced from the best Caribbean sugar cane, distilled at Iowa Distilling Company and aged in unused American white oak barrels for one year. Cheers! 4349 Cumming Ave., Cumming, 515-981-4216; www.iowadistilling.com.
Runners-up: Rumcoqui; Captain Morgan
Best Local Craft Beer
Exile Brewing Company
“Beer fulfills our purpose,” says Exile Brewing’s website. “It cultivates our community of free-spirits, oddballs and outsiders. It ties us together and builds our festivities.” For local brews that make Des Moines residents proud, CITYVIEW readers have decided Exile Brewing Company has the Best Local Craft Beer. 1514 Walnut St., Des Moines, 515-883-2337; www.exilebrewing.com.
Runners-up: Confluence Brewing Company; Lua Brewing
Best New Local Bar
Big Grove Brewery & Taproom
Open since last July, Big Grove Brewery has made quite an impression on Des Moines. They serve a “true taste of Iowa Nice and some of the best craft beer in the Midwest,” plus a full food menu. Spend some time inside or on the expansive patio, open year-round. 555 17th St., Des Moines, 515-777-2337; www.biggrove.com.
Runners-up: Alleged Lee’s; Paws & Pints
Best Local Patio Bar
300 Craft & Rooftop
Spectacular skyline views. One-of-a-kind cocktails and craft beer. Dancing. Custom art. For six years (and counting), 300 Craft & Rooftop has been voted the Best Local Patio Bar in Des Moines by CITYVIEW readers. It’s easy to see why. Congratulations! 300 W. Martin Luther King Jr. Parkway, Des Moines, 515-288-3414; www.300craftandrooftop.com.
Runners-up: Big Grove Brewery & Taproom; Mannings
Best Local Irish Pub
Sully’s Irish Pub
The oldest Irish bar in the metro is also the best, according to those who voted in CITYVIEW’s Best Of Des Moines poll for 2023. With a bike- and dog-friendly patio, $3 Fireballs and $3 Guinness pints all day every day, you’ll be feeling the luck of the Irish in no time. 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
Nestled in the Sherman Hill neighborhood is the Best Local Dive Bar in Des Moines: Carl’s Place. Don’t let its unmarked and unassuming exterior fool you — Carl’s is a staple for downtown nightlife, regular customers and Hoyt Sherman Place concertgoers. 1620 Woodland Ave., Des Moines, 515-243-9727; www.carlsplacedsm.com.
Runners-up: Toads Tavern; Mannings
Best Local Fancy-Pants Bar
For a full-on fancy experience and some “damn fine times,” head to Hello, Marjorie, CITYVIEW readers’ choice for Best Local Fancy-Pants Bar once more. Serving elevated cocktails like Weekend Layover, Apples to Oranges and Praline on a Dream… Yes, please! 717 Locust St., Des Moines, 515-369-2296; www.hellomarjorie.com.
Runners-up: The Winchester Public House; Good News, Darling
Best Local Hipster Spot
The Bartender’s Handshake
House cocktails, classics, wine, beer and spirit-free drink options are all reasons The Bartender’s Handshake is once again the Best Local Hipster Spot in Des Moines. Did we mention they’ve got some downright delicious snacks to munch on? 3615 Ingersoll Ave., Des Moines, 515-630-3008; www.thebartendershandshake.com.
Runners-up: The Winchester Public House; Up-Down Des Moines
Best Local Sports Bar
The Station on Ingersoll
The Station’s front bar is “chock-full of TVs,” where you can find all the DirecTV sports packages your heart desires: NFL Sunday Ticket, MLB Extra Innings, NBA League Pass, NHL Center Ice, MLS Direct Kick and Fox Sports Soccer Plus. The back bar, Dugan’s Hideaway, offers high-quality pub fare and a more chill area to relax. Gooooo, sports! 3124 Ingersoll Ave., Des Moines, 515-381-0052; www.thestationdsm.com.
Runners-up: Cheap Seats Sports Bar; Johnny’s Hall of Fame
Best Local Bar (Overall)
The winner for this category has remained relatively consistent — until now, with Mannings deemed Best Local Bar (Overall) in the city by CITYVIEW readers. Mannings is also runner-up for Best Local Patio Bar, Best Local Dive Bar, Best Local Dog-Friendly Bar, Best South Bar and Best Local Bartender. 2102 Indianola Ave., Des Moines, 515-259-9883
Runners-up: Iowa Distilling Company; The Winchester Public House
Best Ankeny Bar
Whether you’re searching for an after-work libation (happy hour is 3-6 p.m. on weekdays), a late-night good time on the rooftop patio, or a hearty meal from a full menu of good food — Whiskey River is the best place in Ankeny, according to Best Of Des Moines voters for 2023. 1350 S.W. Vintage Parkway, Ankeny, 515-802-7250; www.whiskeyriverankeny.com.
Runners-up: The Yankee Clipper; Good Times
Best Drake Area Bar
University Library Café
This not-so-hidden gem in the Drake neighborhood serves craft beer and creative takes on traditional bar fare — including some pretty legendary nachos that CITYVIEW readers have appointed the Best Local Nachos in the city. 3506 University Ave., Des Moines, 515-255-0433; thelibrarydm.com.
Runners-up: Lucky Horse Beer & Burgers; Peggy’s Tavern
Best Beaverdale Area Bar
The Dam Pub
Enjoy great food and cocktails in an eclectic 80s- and 90s-themed pub with a fabulous rooftop patio. The Dam Pub is Beaverdale’s top place to eat, drink and play — “but not necessarily in that order.” 2710 Beaver Ave., Des Moines, 515-279-4449; www.dampubdsm.com.
Runners-up: Beaver Tap; Cooney’s Tavern
Best Downtown Bar
300 Craft & Rooftop
300 Craft & Rooftop is once more the Best Downtown Bar in Des Moines, according to voters in CITYVIEW’s Best Of Des Moines poll for 2023. They also won Best Local Patio Bar, Best Local Rooftop Bar and runner-up Best Local Moscow Mule. 300 W. Martin Luther King Jr. Parkway, Des Moines, 515-288-3414; www.300craftandrooftop.com.
Runners-up: Hello, Marjorie; Tonic
Best West Side Bar
A “kickass country bar” that CITYVIEW readers once again voted the Best West Side Bar. Their Facebook page says it best: “We crack cold ones and shoot whiskey… We turn the country up loud… and the ONLY thing we have 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: The Winchester Public House; The Front Row
Best East Village Bar
“Des Moines’ Finest Tequila Bar” is also Des Moines’ Best East Village Bar, according to CITYVIEW’s Best Of Des Moines voting. 425 E. Grand Ave., Des Moines, 515-280-3097; www.coacantinadsm.com.
Runners-up: The Garden Restaurant and Show Lounge; Bellhop
Best East Bar
For the coolest bar on the east side of Des Moines, CITYVIEW readers have once again elected Toads Tavern. Their generous happy hour runs 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. weekdays and all day Sunday. Cheers! 3002 State Ave., Des Moines, 515-264-8623; www.facebook.com/toadstavern.
Runners-up: Cheap Seats Sports Bar; Gerri’s
Best South Bar
Francie’s Bar & Grill
The south side’s favorite bar has been around since 1987, serving up American-style lunch and dinner offerings, plus domestic and specialty beers in a casual and welcoming environment. 2100 Wakonda View Drive, Des Moines, 515-285-5207; www.franciesbarandgrill.com.
Runners-up: Mannings; The Angry Goldfish Pub & Eatery
Best Local Winery
CITYVIEW readers’ favorite local winery since this category began in 2015, Jasper Winery is located just south of downtown Des Moines. They specialize in locally grown grapes and innovative wine styles and boast a modern tasting room offering samples, flights and wine by the glass. 2400 George Flagg Parkway, Des Moines, 515-282-9463; www.jasperwinery.com.
Runners-up: Summerset Winery; Madison County Winery
Best Local Brewery
Confluence Brewing Company
“If you savor beer as both a bold taste adventure in the present and a connection with generations past, Confluence Brewery was founded for you.” For its innovative hand-crafted beer, dog-friendly deck, beer garden and overall good times — CITYVIEW readers have once more voted Confluence Brewing Company as the Best Local Brewery in the city. 1235 Thomas Beck Road, Des Moines, 515-285-9005; www.confluencebrewing.com.
Runners-up: Lua Brewing; Exile Brewing Company
Best Local Moscow Mule
The Copper Cup
It’s in the name: The Copper Cup offers the best Moscow mule in the metro, served in an iconic copper cup. If you just can’t get enough, they also host the Copper Cup Club, where you can buy a personalized copper cup and enjoy a discount on all specialty cocktails that include mules — and more. Drink responsibly. 207 Fourth St., Des Moines, 515-554-2606; www.thecoppercupdm.com.
Runners-up: 300 Craft & Rooftop; BeerStyles Taproom & Gastropub
Best Local Bloody Mary
“Mary Me,” says Early Bird’s menu that offers four different variations on the bloody mary, plus one served alongside a BLT sandwich. Try the Verde Maria with green onion, jalapeño and cilantro infused vodka with house Mexican-inspired green tomatillo mix, or try Chili Chili Mary house chili-infused vodka, horseradish, house bloody mary mix and spicy chili rim. 9250 University Ave., Suite 107, West Des Moines, 515-528-2212; www.earlybirdbrunch.com.
Runners-up: Mullets; Americana
Best Local Bar to Play Games
Up-Down Des Moines
Visitors to Des Moines’ favorite arcade bar can choose from more than 60 arcade games from the 1980s and 1990s, pinball machines, three classic Skee-Ball alleys, Nintendo and Sega console gaming, and giant Jenga and Connect Four. All games cost 25 cents, so bring your quarters. Drinks include 20 beers on tap, more bottles and cans, and retro-inspired cocktails. 500 E. Locust St., Des Moines, 515-243-4322; www.updownarcadebar.com/des-moines.
Runners-up: Ricochet; Smash Park
Best Local Place To See Beautiful People
Coachlight Clinic & Spa
The winner of this category has bounced around each year, but in 2023, CITYVIEW readers suggest heading to Coachlight Clinic & Spa as the Best Local Place To See Beautiful People. 6420 Coachlight Drive, Suite 200, West Des Moines, 515-221-9999; www.dsmcoachlight.com.
Runners-up: Neon Heart Salon; Surety Hotel
Best Local Happy Hour
Happy hour takes place every day at Eatery A (from 2-6 p.m., according to their website). With Mediterranean-inspired delicacies and a winning patio on Ingersoll Ave., Eatery A has the Best Local Happy Hour, according to CITYVIEW voters. 2932 Ingersoll Ave., Des Moines, 515-282-8085; www.eateryadsm.com.
Runners-up: Toads Tavern; Coa Cantina
Best Local Bartender
Kevin Caughron at Early Bird
Bartending isn’t an easy job, but Kevin Caughron at Early Bird does it best, say CITYVIEW readers. Whether you’re looking for a mimosa, an award-winning bloody mary or another creative brunch cocktail, you can rest easy in the hands of Best Local Bartender in central Iowa. 9250 University Ave., Suite 107, West Des Moines, 515-528-2212; www.earlybirdbrunch.com.
Runners-up: Bruce Huckfeldt at Shotgun Betty’s; April Melroy at Mannings
Best Local Martini Menu
The Stuffed Olive
Shaken or stirred? Either way, CITYVIEW voters head to The Stuffed Olive for its extensive menu of martinis and other drinks. If James Bond lived in Des Moines, you’d probably find him at The Stuffed Olive. 208 Third St., Des Moines, 515-243-4456; www.thestuffedolive.com/dsm.
Runners-up: The Lift; The Winchester Public House
Best Local Margarita
Sweet, salty and, of course, boozy — you can find the best margaritas in town in the heart of the East Village. CITYVIEW voters also chose Coa Cantina as Best East Village Bar, runner-up Best Local Happy Hour and runner-up Best Local Trivia Night. 425 E. Grand Ave., Des Moines, 515-280-3097; www.coacantinadsm.com.
Runners-up: El Guapo’s Tequila + Tacos; Mi Mexico
Best Local Dance Club
PLATFORM is “a fusion of music, art, and tech… a creation of soul, substance, and connection.” The first of its kind in the city, the nightclub is the place to hit the dance floor to house music, hear world-class musicians and experience cutting-edge technology — and a world of magic. 400 Walnut St., Des Moines, 515-822-2899; www.platformdsm.com.
Runners-up: The Garden Restaurant and Show Lounge; Denny Arthur’s
Best Local Drag Queen
Congratulations once more to Robin Graves — see her at the Blazing Saddle — the city’s Best Local Drag Queen, according to CITYVIEW’s Best Of Des Moines poll voters for 2023. Instagram @therobingraves.
Runners-up: Sharaya Diamond; Krystal Frost Cavalier
Best Local Place to Karaoke
AJ’s on East Court
Grab your glass of liquid courage, step into that spotlight and unleash your inner rockstar. Every night is karaoke night at AJ’s on East Court, our readers’ choice for the Best Local Place to Karaoke. Concert Karaoke runs 7 p.m. to 1 a.m. every evening. Their music catalog is updated monthly with the top Billboard hits riding the airwaves. 419 E. Court Ave., Des Moines, 515-282-1888; www.ajsbar.com.
Runners-up: Cheap Seats Sports Bar; Jeannie’s Bottle
Best Local Place for a Bachelor/Bachelorette Party
Your Private Bar
One last night of freedom before the (blissful) binds of marriage — and you get to choose how and where. Your Private Bar lets you customize service and offerings to match you and your event, from cocktails, mocktails, coffee, booze-infused desserts, charcuterie and more. 1701 25th St., West Des Moines, 515-599-1205; yourprivatebar.com.
Runners-up: AJ’s on East Court; The Garden Restaurant and Show Lounge
Best Local Trivia Night
Iowa Distilling Company
Do your friends call you a know-it-all? Then tell us… Which animal has the longest lifespan? What is the hardest rock on earth? What is the most uncommon blood type? And where is the best Local Trivia Night in the area? Answer: Iowa Distilling Company. 4349 Cumming Ave., Cumming, 515-981-4216; www.iowadistilling.com.
Runners-up: Coa Cantina; The Hall
Best Local Distillery
Iowa Distilling Company
Best Whiskey, Best Rum, Best Local Trivia Night, runner-up Best Vodka, runner-up Best Local Bar (Overall), and now… Best Local Distillery. Congratulations! 4349 Cumming Ave., Cumming, 515-981-4216; www.iowadistilling.com.
Runners-up: Foundry Distilling Company; Revelton Distilling Company
Best Local LGBTQ Hangout
The Garden Restaurant and Show Lounge
The Garden has made frequent appearances in this category, and for another year, CITYVIEW readers have voted it the Best Local LGBTQ Hangout in central Iowa. They’ve been serving the community for more than 35 years. 525 E. Grand Ave., Des Moines; www.grdn.com.
Runners-up: Blazing Saddle; AJ’s on East Court
Best Whiskey Menu
Des Moines’ newest speakeasy not only has a winning punny name — they’ve also got the best whiskey in the metro, according to CITYVIEW voters. Alleged Lee’s opened in the eastern half of Quinton’s Bar and Deli in the East Village in late 2021. 510 E. Grand Ave., Des Moines, 515-244-6624; www.facebook.com/allegedleesdsm.
Runners-up: Bubba; The Whiskey House
Best Local Drag King
Congratulations to Jack Frost, who has been voted the Best Local Drag King in Des Moines for the third year in a row! Find Jack Frost at the Garden Restaurant and Show Lounge, 525 E. Grand Ave., Des Moines; www.grdn.com.
Runners-up: Grimm Fox; Romeo Sanchez
Best Local DJ
It just isn’t a party without a good DJ. Deemed by CITYVIEW readers as the Best Local DJ, Richie Daggers brings the energy, the tunes and the fun. Located in Des Moines; Instagram @iloverichiedaggers.
Runners-up: DJ Hollywood; DJ Air
Best Local Rooftop Bar
300 Craft & Rooftop
There’s nothing like sipping (or chugging — we don’t judge) your favorite beverage while taking in panoramic views of downtown Des Moines. The expansive patio at 300 Craft & Rooftop is the best place to do that, according to this year’s Best Of Des Moines poll. 300 W. Martin Luther King Jr. Parkway, Des Moines, 515-288-3414; www.300craftandrooftop.com.
Runners-up: The Garden Restaurant and Show Lounge; Wellman’s Pub & Rooftop
Best Local Dog-Friendly Bar
Paws & Pints
Not only is Paws & Pints dog-friendly, it’s an outright canine retreat designed just for dogs, dog-owners and dog-lovers. Enjoy a snack, cocktail, beer or cup of coffee and socialize with fellow dog people while your four-legged friends run free in more than 20,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor dog park space with synthetic grass, a doggy jungle gym, yard games, walking trails and more. 6218 Willowmere Drive, Des Moines, 515-969-2275; www.pawsandpintsdsm.com.
Runners-up: Kinship Brewing Company; Mannings
Best Local Mobile Bar Service
Your Private Bar
For weddings, birthday parties, corporate events and more, Your Private Bar is again the Best Local Mobile Bar Service in Des Moines. Host your event at their event bar location, or they can Bring the Bar to You through a virtual happy hour, drink delivery service or custom gift package. 1701 25th St., West Des Moines, 515-599-1205; yourprivatebar.com.
Runners-up: The Sippin’ Six; Apres Bar Co.
Culture & Recreation
Best Local Place to Play Golf
Waveland Golf Course
The oldest municipal golf course west of the Mississippi River is also the Best Place to Play Golf in central Iowa as voted by CITYVIEW readers. Challenge yourself through 18 holes among wooded hillsides. More than 40,000 rounds of golf are played at Waveland each year. Fore! 4908 University Ave., Des Moines, 515-248-6302; www.golfwaveland.com.
Runners-up: Jester Park Golf Course; Willow Creek Golf Course
Best Local Community to Live In
With its iconic brick houses, tree-lined streets, and an overall park-like and close-knit atmosphere, Beaverdale is the largest of the 51 recognized neighborhoods within Des Moines — and voted the Best Local Community to Live In for 2023. www.beaverdale.org.
Runners-up: Waukee; Ankeny
Best Local Place to Worship
Lutheran Church of HOPE
Faith is better in community. And HOPE’s community is everywhere, with branches in West Des Moines, Ankeny, Des Moines, Grimes, Waukee, Ames and other suburbs across the state and beyond. As the largest church in Iowa, it’s no wonder that our readers consistently choose Lutheran Church of HOPE as the Best Local Place to Worship. Main location at 925 Jordan Creek Parkway, West Des Moines, 515-222-1520; www.hopewdm.org.
Runners-up: New Hope Assembly of God; Holy Trinity Catholic Church
Best Local Nonprofit
Animal Rescue League of Iowa
Thousands of pets and potential pets receive care from the ARL each year. Programs include adoption, humane education, behavior training, spay/neutering, animal cruelty intervention and more. Make a difference by getting involved through volunteer opportunities, fostering or a simple donation. 5452 N.E. 22nd St., Des Moines, 515-262-9503; www.arl-iowa.org.
Runners-up: Hard to Love; LifeServe Blood Center
Best Local School District
Waukee Community School District
Ten elementary schools, two grades 6-7 schools, two grades 8-9 schools, two grade 10-12 high schools, two learning centers… and still counting. Waukee’s ever-growing school district has been voted best in the metro seven times since we created this category in 2015. 560 S.E. University Ave., Waukee, 515-987-5161; www.waukeeschools.org.
Runners-up: Des Moines Public Schools; Johnston Community School District
Best Local Party/Event Transportation
515 Party Bus
Celebrating a wild bachelorette party or needing classy transportation to your wedding venue? 515 Party Bus handles both — and every special occasion in between. They offer an advanced sound system, safe and experienced drivers, and the best in “cover-free” partying (on wheels, no less). 515-650-7463; www.515partybus.com.
Runners-up: Royal Rides; Majestic Limo & Coach
Best Local Place to Hold a Corporate Event/Party
Your Private Bar
Whatever vibe you’re aiming for with your event, Your Private Bar will create the perfect blend of customized services to execute your vision. As such, they are the Best Local Place to Hold a Corporate Event/Party, according to CITYVIEW’s Best Of Des Moines poll for 2023. 1701 25th St., West Des Moines, 515-599-1205; yourprivatebar.com.
Runners-up: Holiday Inn Downtown; Surety Hotel
Best Local Place for a Wedding Reception
Holiday Inn Downtown
The aisle has been marched, the vows have been recited, the bride has been kissed — and now, it’s time to celebrate. The Best Local Place for a Wedding Reception, in the opinion of CITYVIEW voters, is the Holiday Inn Downtown. 1050 Sixth Ave., Des Moines, 515-283-0151; www.ihg.com/holidayinn/hotels/us/en/desmoines/dsmdw/hoteldetail.
Runners-up: Surety Hotel; Curate
Best Local Place to Gamble
One of the only two nonprofit casinos in the United States is located right here in Iowa. See if the odds are in your favor at Prairie Meadows with live and simulcast horse-racing, sports wagering and nonstop casino action. 1 Prairie Meadows Drive, Altoona, 515-967-1000; www.prairiemeadows.com.
Runners-up: Meskwaki Bingo Casino Hotel; Lakeside Hotel & Casino
Best Local Musician
Why travel to Nashville or Hollywood when you’ve got world-class music right here in Des Moines? CITYVIEW readers’ favorite local musician for this year (and many past years) is Damon Dotson. He’s opened for legends like BB King, Willie Nelson and The Beach Boys, and you’ll find him singing his original tunes at venues across the city. Damon also performs with a band, which coincidentally, was voted runner-up Best Local Band. www.facebook.com/damondotsonmusicpage.
Runners-up: CeCe Stewart; James Biehn
Best Local Band
With tunes they describe as “a potent mix of Stones-era ‘Country Honk,’ with a healthy dose of 90s alternative rock” and “lyrics evocative of its home state: level-headed and grounded, ambitious and soaring,” The Nadas have been doing their thing for nearly 30 years. They’ve played with Bon Jovi, America and Huey Lewis. And their 14th studio album is coming out this year — keep your ears open! www.thenadas.com
Runners-up: CeCe Stewart & The Radio Train; Damon Dotson Band
Best Local Place to Go for a Comedy Show
Funny Bone Comedy Club
Hilarity abounds at Funny Bone Comedy Club, Des Moines’ Best Local Place to Go for a Comedy Show. Comedic superstars like Jerry Seinfeld, Ellen DeGeneres and Drew Carey launched their careers by performing to Funny Bone crowds. 560 S. Prairie View Drive, Suite 100, West Des Moines, 515-270-2100; www.desmoines.funnybone.com.
Runners-up: Teehee’s Comedy Club; Hoyt Sherman Place
Best Local Artist
Navarro is best known for his “modern impressionistic approach of the Midwestern landscape and his contemporary still-life compositions… He is inspired not only by the beauty of the natural outdoors but also finds creativity in everyday objects.” Located in Des Moines; www.navarrofineart.com.
Runners-up: Kelly Kunzler; Rick Gray
Best Local Live Music Venue
Operating since 2012 and winning CITYVIEW’s Best Local Live Music Venue category ever since then, Wooly’s has hosted an impressive repertoire of artists. Its stage has been graced by the likes of Ice Nine Kills, Andrew McMahon, Jade Bird, The HU, Grouplove, The Struts and countless other genre-diverse acts. 504 E. Locust St., Des Moines, 515-244-0550; www.woolysdm.com.
Runners-up: Noce; Hoyt Sherman Place
Best Local Theatrical Venue
Des Moines Community Playhouse
Directed, cast and produced largely by volunteers, the Playhouse is truly a community effort and rightly deserves its win as the Best Local Theatrical Venue in Des Moines. Catch the Playhouse’s latest show, “The Piano Lesson,” a co-production with the Pyramid Theatre Company, now through Feb. 19. 831 42nd St., Des Moines, 515-277-6261; www.dmplayhouse.com.
Runners-up: Des Moines Civic Center; Hoyt Sherman Place
Best Local Place to Catch a Flick
The Palms Theatres & IMAX – Waukee
Action, horror, rom-com… Whichever flick you choose to see, The Palms offers up one of the largest IMAX screens in the Midwest — and the only one in the Des Moines metro. Each theatre is outfitted with heated UltraLux Loungers, and eight Dine & Recline auditoriums allow moviegoers to enjoy a full meal from Rick’s Café Americain alongside their movie. 200 N.E. Westgate Drive, Waukee, 515-444-5006; www.fridleytheatres.com.
Runners-up: Flix Brewhouse; B&B Theatres Ankeny 12 & B-Roll Bowling
Best Local Museum
Des Moines Art Center
View an impressive collection of art from the 19th century to the present in both permanent and rotating exhibitions. And the best part: Admission is free. 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
Let’s Slumber It
The Best Local Place to Have a Kid’s Birthday Party in 2023 is family owned, delivering “magical and unforgettable tent sleepover parties styled in a variety of themes.” Let’s Slumber It takes care of everything: delivery, set-up, styling, tear down and pick-up. They also do luxury picnics! Ankeny; www.letsslumberit.com.
Runners-up: Spare Time Entertainment; Pump It Up
Best Local Place to Take Your Kids
Blank Park Zoo
“Iowa’s Wildest Adventure” has been woven into Des Moines history since 1963, when Mr. A.H. Blank donated $150,000 to the City of Des Moines to build a children’s zoo on a site near old Fort Des Moines. Find penguins, tigers, giraffes, sea lions and more at the Best Local Place to Take Your Kids, according to CITYVIEW’s Best Of Des Moines voting for 2023. 7401 S.W. Ninth St., Des Moines, 515-285-4722; www.blankparkzoo.com.
Runners-up: Science Center of Iowa; Des Moines Children’s Museum
Best Local Place to Take Visitors
John and Mary Pappajohn Sculpture Park
As usual, CITYVIEW readers have elected the John and Mary Pappajohn Sculpture Park as the Best Local Place to Take Visitors, with its more than two-dozen works of art spread across 4.4 acres in Des Moines’ Western Gateway District. Find the park at 15th and Locust in downtown Des Moines; www.desmoinesartcenter.org/visit/pappajohn-sculpture-park.
Runners-up: Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden; Surety Hotel
Best Local Annual Event
Iowa State Fair
There’s no doubt about it. The Iowa State Fair is the biggest — and best — event of the year, with agricultural wonders, top-notch people-watching, death-defying rides, music at every corner and virtually every type of deep-fried food on a stick in existence. You’ll be one of the million visitors who flock to the fair each year. We’ll be at the Giant Slide. Iowa State Fairgrounds, near East 30th and East University Avenue in Des Moines. 515-262-3111; www.iowastatefair.org.
Runners-up: Des Moines Arts Festival; World Food & Music Festival
Best Local Sports Team
Our own Minor League iteration of the Chicago Cubs is the Best Local Sports Team in Des Moines — as they are each year, according to CITYVIEW readers. Play ball! 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 – Adventure Bay
Make a big splash at Adventure Bay, where you’ll find the state’s largest wave pool and longest lazy river, plus 20 slides, a swim-up bar, 6,000-square-foot swimming pool and cabana rentals. And admission to Adventureland’s amusement park? Included! 3200 Adventureland Drive, Altoona; www.adventurelandresort.com.
Runners-up: Cascade Falls Aquatic Center; Valley View Aquatic Center
Best Local Place To Bowl
Val Lanes Recreation Center
With 36 lanes, Val Lanes says it is the largest bowling center in the Des Moines area. Operating since 1957, this old-school spot has earned its designation as the Best Local Place To Bowl in central Iowa. 100 Ashworth Road, West Des Moines, 515-274-0493; www.vallanes.com.
Runners-up: Spare Time Entertainment; Warrior Lanes
Best Local Indoor Sporting Event
When winter has shrouded the Great Outdoors with snow and ice, central Iowans’ favorite place for sports entertainment is an arena filled with… more ice. It’s true: There’s nothing quite like rooting for the Iowa Wild, AHL affiliate of the NHL’s Minnesota Wild. 515-564-8700; www.iowawild.com.
Runners-up: Des Moines Buccaneers; Sub Spectrum BJJ Tournament
Best Local Outdoor Sporting Event
Let’s go out to the ballgame — at Des Moines’ own Principal Park, home to the Best Local Outdoor Sporting Event around. Cheer on the Cubs under the backdrop of the downtown skyline and fireworks during Friday games. 1 Line Drive, Des Moines, 515-243-6111; www.iowacubs.com.
Runners-up: Drake Relays; Iowa State Football
Best Local Farmers Market
Downtown Farmers’ Market
Find farm-fresh produce. Delight in home-cooked treats and first-rate street food. Meet with family and friends. Enjoy live entertainment. The 2023 market returns to the Historic Court District in downtown Des Moines on Saturday, May 6. www.desmoinesfarmersmarket.com.
Runners-up: Historic Valley Junction Farmers Market/Music in the Junction; Beaverdale Farmers Market
Best Local Camping Spot
Campers at Jester Park can explore 1,661 acres of land along the west shore of Saylorville Lake, featuring boat ramps, a natural playscape, fishing ponds, golf, horseback riding, hiking trails, bison and elk herds, and the Jester Park Nature Center. Pitch your own tent, park your camper or rent one of the four modern cabins on the campgrounds. 12130 N.W. 128th St., Granger, 515-323-5338; www.polkcountyiowa.gov/conservation/parks-trails/jester-park.
Runners-up: Cherry Glen Campground – Saylorville Lake; Cutty’s Camping Resort
Best Local Place to Have an Adult Birthday Party
Your Private Bar
Just because you’re grown up doesn’t mean you can’t have a birthday party. And according to voters in CITYVIEW’s Best Of Des Moines poll for 2023, Your Private Bar is the best place to do it. 1701 25th St., West Des Moines, 515-599-1205; yourprivatebar.com.
Runners-up: AJ’s on East Court; Smash Park
Best Local Travel Agency
All you have to do is pack your bags. The agents at Allied Travel will do the rest, taking the stress out of planning your honeymoon, cruise, trip to Europe — you name it. 5460 Merle Hay Road, Suite H, Des Moines, 515-270-7070; www.alliedtravel.com.
Runners-up: Creative Vacations; AAA
Best Local Wedding Venue
Location, location, location… It’s probably the biggest factor that will affect your big day (second to who’s standing next to you at the altar, of course). Look no further: Des Moines’ Best Local Wedding Venue is the Surety Hotel, with its stunning event venue options including a courtyard, ballroom and solarium. 206 Sixth Ave., Des Moines, 515-985-2066; www.suretyhotel.com.
Runners-up: Curate; Toast
Best Local Event Decor/Rental Company
Galas. Holiday parties. Opening nights. And of course, weddings. For all manner of events and special occasions, CITYVIEW voters look to Bella Flora to meet their floral and decor rental needs. “Whether you are a bride or business, the journey with our clients is special, custom, collaborative, and we ensure it’s as stress-free as possible.” 3100 Justin Drive, Urbandale, 515-554-6964; www.bellafloraeventdesign.com.
Runners-up: Squeak Balloon & Décor; White Willow Events
Best Local Special Events Venue (Non-Wedding)
Your Private Bar
Congratulations to Your Private Bar, making its fifth overall appearance in CITYVIEW’s 2023 Best Of Des Moines poll results and its second in the Best Local Special Events Venue (Non-Wedding) category. 1701 25th St., West Des Moines, 515-599-1205; yourprivatebar.com.
Runners-up: The Cozy Haven; Curate
Best Local Spot to Pop the Question
AJ’s on East Court
It may not be the most picturesque backdrop, but when the time is right and the alcohol is speaking to you, location just doesn’t matter. This popular East Village karaoke bar is the Best Local Spot to Pop the Question for 2023, according to CITYVIEW voters. 419 E. Court Ave., Des Moines, 515-282-1888; www.ajsbar.com.
Runners-up: John and Mary Pappajohn Sculpture Park; Iowa State Capitol
Health & Beauty
Best Local Pharmacy
Those helpful smiles extend beyond the aisles at Hy-Vee, voted once again to be the Best Local Pharmacy in central Iowa by voters in CITYVIEW’s Best Of Des Moines poll. Multiple locations; www.hy-vee.com.
Runners-up: Medicap; Walgreens
Best Local Place to get LASIK Eye Surgery
Wolfe Eye Clinic
Tired of misplacing your glasses and messing with your contacts? LASIK surgery is a popular option for many of our near- and far-sighted friends. To find out if it’s for you, CITYVIEW voters think you should head to Wolfe Eye Clinic. Multiple locations; www.wolfeeyeclinic.com.
Runners-up: Des Moines Eye Surgeons; LasikPlus
Best Local Place to Kickbox
Farrell’s eXtreme Bodyshaping
In the 22 years since Lance Farrell first offered his signature 10-week fitness session in Des Moines, more than 200,000 members have been empowered and lost a combined 4.75 million pounds of body fat (the equivalent of 386 elephants). For its extreme support, accountability, encouragement and results, CITYVIEW readers have again voted Farrell’s as the area’s Best Local Place to Kickbox. Metro locations in West Des Moines, Waukee, Urbandale, Grimes, Des Moines, Ankeny, Ames and Altoona; www.extremebodyshaping.com.
Runners-up: Aptitude Fitness; Absolute Martial Arts & Fitness
Best Local Martial Arts Studio
No Coast Brazilian Jiu Jitsu
“Do you want to learn bodyguard-grade self-defense skills and get into the best shape of your entire life?” That’s what No Coast BJJ offers with its popular classes, welcoming both beginners and those with previous martial arts experience. 2627 N.W. 86th St., Urbandale, 515-207-0318; www.waukeemartialarts.com.
Runners-up: Triumph Martial Arts; Farrell’s Martial Arts
Best Local Group Fitness
“Grind. Conquer. Compete.” Find a fitness program unlike any other at The Sandlot, offering a challenging workout through its unique three-tiered approach. For those who are on the fence, they offer a free “No Sweat Intro” that includes one free week of unlimited classes. 4825 EP True Parkway, West Des Moines, 719-352-1086; www.sandlotdsm.com.
Runners-up: Rooted Yoga + Fitness; Burn Boot Camp
Best Local Running Event
IMT Des Moines Marathon
Participate in a 26.2-mile race and taste a slice of history — the marathon was one of the original events at the first modern Olympic Games in Athens in 1896. There are hundreds of marathons and thousands of running events to choose from globally, but the IMT Des Moines Marathon is the best one around, according to readers like you. www.desmoinesmarathon.com.
Runners-up: DAM to DSM; Des Moines Turkey Trot
Best Local Personal Trainer
Trenton Thielfoldt – The Sandlot
Self-motivation can be difficult. Creating a fitness plan is often confusing. That’s why personal trainers exist. And according to our 2023 Best Of Des Moines poll, Trenton Thielfoldt is the one you should go to. Aside from being the owner at The Sandlot, his qualifications include a B.A. in Corrective Exercise & Performance, specializations in performance enhancement and corrective exercise from the National Academy of Sports Medicine, and Level 1 certifications with CrossFit and USA Weightlifting. 4825 EP True Parkway, West Des Moines, 719-352-1086; www.sandlotdsm.com.
Runners-up: Roy Lowery – Ruff Iron Performance; Justin Shepherd – Elite Edge Transformation Center
Best Local Orthodontist
Dr. James Stork – Stork Orthodontics
Love your smile at Stork Orthodontics. Dr. Stork and his “Dream Team” serve patients of all ages, offering metal braces, clear braces, clear aligners and other services to promote optimal oral health and confident smiles. 4090 Westown Parkway, Suite 101, West Des Moines, 515-608-8722; www.storkorthodontics.com.
Runners-up: Dr. Oliver Willham – Willham & Foster Orthodontics; Dr. Melissa Bernhardt – Bernhardt and Smith Orthodontics
Best Local Place to Work Out
It’s the Best Local Place to Work Out, offers the Best Local Group Fitness and is home to the Best Local Personal Trainer in Des Moines. What are you waiting for? 4825 EP True Parkway, West Des Moines, 719-352-1086; www.sandlotdsm.com.
Runners-up: Rooted Yoga + Fitness; SISU Strength Academy
Best Local Yoga Studio/Instructor
Power Life Yoga Barre Fitness
“Find your fire,” Power Life’s website encourages. “The majority of our classes are taught in a heated or semi-heated environment. But we challenge our students to dive a little deeper than that. We hope the time spent in our studios helps students ignite a spark within that inspires them to reach for their very best lives.” Locations in Johnston, West Des Moines, Waukee, the East Village and downtown Des Moines; www.powerlife.com.
Runners-up: Rooted Yoga + Fitness; Yoga + Co.
Best Local Maternity Care or Birthing Center
UnityPoint Iowa Methodist Maternity Center
Whatever your birth plan may look like, the best place to bring your baby into the world is at UnityPoint Iowa Methodist Maternity Center, according to voters in CITYVIEW’s 2023 Best Of Des Moines poll. Now… PUSH! Multiple locations; www.unitypoint.org/desmoines/maternity.aspx
Runners-up: MercyOne Des Moines Maternity and Infants’ Care; Broadlawns Medical Center Pregnancy Care
Best Local Place to Get Your Eyelashes Done
Star’s Beauty Bar
When you want your lashes to be practically perfect in every way, CITYVIEW voters recommend you seek services at Star’s Beauty Bar in the East Village, the Best Local Place to Get Your Eyelashes Done in 2023. 315 E. Fifth St., Suite 121, Des Moines, 515-419-8690; www.facebook.com/MakeupbyEstrella.
Runners-up: La Vida Foundry; 515 Lash + Brow Lounge
Best Local Place to Get a Massage
East Village Spa
Everybody and every body is welcome at East Village Spa. Their massage menu includes Heavenly Hot Stone Massage with warm salt stones, a Targeted Therapy Massage incorporating sports and orthopedic massage techniques and Tension Headache Relief Massage focusing on the neck, shoulders and scalp. For a unique experience, try their Two Feet Deep Barefoot Massage, which is just what it sounds like: “Using overhead bars for balance, your therapist will massage with their feet for firm, evenly dispersed pressure.” Wow! 601 E. Locust St., Suite 202, Des Moines, 515-309-2904; www.evdayspa.com.
Runners-up: Ocean Breeze Massage; Ravensong Massage & Wellness Center
Best Local Massage Therapist
Jenny Wailes – Ocean Breeze Massage
Jenny Wailes utilizes therapeutic essential oils, a different style of bodywork and holistic approach to address tension, stress and discomfort. You’ll sit up from the massage table feeling rejuvenated with restored function, movement and wellness. Ahhh…. 2612 Beaver Ave., Des Moines, 515-999-5606; www.oceanbreezemassage.com.
Runners-up: Natalie Ramirez – Serenity Couture Salon Spa; Whitney Carlson – WellHaus
Best Local Place to Get Your Nails Done
Oscar Nail Bar
For those days when your hands and feet need a little extra pampering, the Best Local Place to Get Your Nails Done is Oscar Nail Bar in the Jordan Creek area. Services include acrylic and dip powder nails and spa treatments ranging from a “milk and honey” pedicure to a black charcoal-infused detox treatment. 160 Jordan Creek Parkway, Suite 140, West Des Moines, 515-225-6226; www.oscarnailbariowa.com.
Runners-up: Serenity Couture Salon & Spa; Stiletto Nails & Lashes
Best Local Herbal/Nutritional Supplement Store
Campbell’s helps you find natural solutions to your ailments and preventative healthcare via herbs and supplements. Their knowledgeable, friendly experts and extensive inventory have earned them their repeat spot as the Best Local Herbal/Nutritional Supplement Store in the area. Locations in Des Moines and Urbandale; www.campbellsnutrition.com.
Runners-up: Your CBD Store; Ekin Nutrition
Best Local Tattoo Studio
Lucky Gal Tattoo and Piercing
When it comes to permanently inscribing ink onto your person, you don’t want to take any chances. Thankfully, the voters of CITYVIEW have spoken, and they say the best place to get inked is Lucky Gal Tattoo and Piercing. Locations in Ankeny, Clive and Des Moines southside; www.luckygaltattoo.com.
Runners-up: Warrior Tattoo Studio; Iron Heart Tattoo & Body Piercing
Best Local Body Piercing Shop
Quality, safety and cleanliness are the top priorities at Mint Piercing, followed by creativity and aesthetics. For bold piercings that make a statement or more delicate and simple pieces, the Best Local Body Piercing Shop in the metro is Mint Piercing. Locations in Ankeny and West Des Moines; 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
At Des Moines Plastic Surgery, you’ll find the first fully accredited surgical center in Des Moines dedicated exclusively to cosmetic surgery, as well as the only quadruple board-certified plastic surgeon in the state in Dr. David Robbins. The center specializes exclusively in cosmetic surgery of the face, breast and body. 6420 Coachlight Drive, Suite 100, West Des Moines, 515-221-9999; www.dsmplasticsurgery.com.
Runners-up: Koch & Carlisle Plastic Surgery & Spa; Heartland Plastic Surgery
Best Local Permanent Makeup Salon
When you’re tired of breaking out the same set of makeup brushes every morning, a cosmetic tattoo might be the solution. Specializing in permanent makeup, lash lifts and tints and brow lamination, Layoché Beauty is the metro’s Best Local Permanent Makeup Salon, according to CITYVIEW’s 2023 Best Of Des Moines readers’ poll. 328 E. Sixth St., Des Moines, 515-822-6200; www.facebook.com/layochebeauty.
Runners-up: Luczycki INK.; Pinpoint Permanent Cosmetics
Best Local Tanning Salon
Bronze515 Custom Airbrush Tanning
We live in Iowa, so yes, the sun isn’t always shining at its brightest and warmest. Luckily, tanning salons help you achieve that sun-kissed look even in the depths of winter. Bronze515 uses gluten-, paraben- and cruelty-free vegan products for a UV-free glow. For its sunless and tanning-bed alternatives, Bronze515 Custom Airbrush Tanning has been voted central Iowa’s Best Local Tanning Salon for seven years running. Located in Ames and at 3981 100th St., Urbandale, 515-218-5443; www.bronze515.com.
Runners-up: Tanique Sunless Tanning & Boutique; Sun Tan City
Best Local Waxing Salon
“From backs to butts and legs to brows — there’s no part of the body we haven’t waxed!” MetroWaxx has been doing their hair-pulling thing since first opening in 2005, and according to their clients and readers of CITYVIEW, they’re the best in the business. Locations in Des Moines, Ankeny and Johnston; www.metrowaxx.com.
Runners-up: Serenity Couture Salon Spa; PURE Salon
Best Local Place for Non-Surgical Cosmetic Treatment
Liposuction, fat tucks and injections are invasive. Instead, Sculpted 515 offers non-invasive body contouring services like ultrasonic cavitation, radio-frequency, vacuum therapy and low-level laser therapy (LLLT). Risk is minimal and recovery time unnecessary. The medical spa also does hydrafacials, mesotherapy, vitamin therapy and whole body waxing. For these reasons and more, Sculpted 515 has been named the Best Local Place for Non-Surgical Cosmetic Treatment. 2925 Ingersoll Ave., Des Moines, 515-654-5585; www.sculpted515.com.
Runners-up: Coachlight Clinic & Spa; Lotus Skincare Studio
Best Local Spa
Oh, hello again. Sculpted 515 is the only wellness spa in Des Moines specializing in slimming, tightening and toning. They recently marked one year in business and now have two new awards to add to their celebration. Congratulations! 2925 Ingersoll Ave., Des Moines, 515-654-5585; www.sculpted515.com.
Runners-up: Coachlight Clinic & Spa; East Village Spa
Best Local Holistic Health Center
Ocean Breeze Wellness and Massage
“You won’t find a cookie cutter massage here. Every BODY is different. EVERY time.” Through massage and essential oil therapy, clients find relief from both physical discomfort and emotional stress at Ocean Breeze. Owner Jenny Wailes was also voted Best Local Massage Therapist this year. 2612 Beaver Ave., Des Moines, 515-999-5606; www.oceanbreezemassage.com.
Runners-up: Yost Wellness Center; Thrive Family Chiropractic
Best Local Hair Salon
Experience the difference at PURE Salon, starting with a surprisingly detailed survey to ensure a perfect stylist/guest match. For those who want to look their best, CITYVIEW readers’ choice for the Best Local Hair Salon is PURE Salon. Locations in Ankeny, Indianola and Johnston; www.mypuresalon.com.
Runners-up: La Vida Foundry; Neon Heart Salon
Best Local Health Food Store
Central Iowa’s beloved health food store started in 1937 when the Campbell family opened a local juicery and lunch counter in the midst of the Great Depression. Since then, the store has been building a healthier community through its healthy grocery options, natural body care products and herbs and supplements. Locations in Des Moines and Urbandale; www.campbellsnutrition.com.
Runners-up: Natural Grocers; Gateway Market
Best Local Family Planning Services
After too many years to count, Planned Parenthood is again the winner in the category of Best Local Family Planning Services, according to voters in CITYVIEW’s Best Of Des Moines poll. Locations in Des Moines, Urbandale and Ames; www.plannedparenthood.org.
Runners-up: Agape Pregnancy Center; Lutheran Family Service
Best Local Chiropractor
True Roots Chiropractic
Specializing in pregnancy, pediatric and family chiropractic care, True Roots Chiropractic uses state-of-the-art technology to assess their patients’ bodies and target the source of the problem — not just the symptoms. Locations in Norwalk and Des Moines; www.truerootschiro.com.
Runners-up: Vero Health Center; Metro Movement Chiropractic and Rehabilitation
Best Local Doctor
Dr. David Robbins – Des Moines Plastic Surgery
Dr. Robbins says he was drawn to Des Moines by its core values that mirrored his: honesty, integrity, respect, loyalty, friendship and being down to earth. “These characteristics are very important when choosing a plastic surgeon,” says Dr. Robbins, “and they are the foundation of my practice that the people of Des Moines deserve and have come to expect.” 6420 Coachlight Drive, Suite 100, West Des Moines, 515-221-9999; www.dsmplasticsurgery.com.
Runners-up: Dr. Michael Nicholson – The Iowa Clinic; Dr. Jay Johnson – UnityPoint Family Medicine – Ingersoll
Best Local Eye Clinic
Wolfe Eye Clinic
See your best at Wolfe Eye Clinic, specializing in cataracts, cornea disease, glaucoma, LASIK eye surgery, oculofacial plastics, pediatric eye care and retina disease. The clinic has been in medical practice since 1919, performing more LASIK surgeries in Iowa than any other provider. The answer is crystal-clear: Wolfe Eye Clinic is the best of its kind in Des Moines and Iowa. Multiple locations; www.wolfeeyeclinic.com.
Runners-up: Des Moines Eye Surgeons; Elite Eye Care
Best Local Audiologist
Diana Hanson – Iowa Ear Center
Serving as the Iowa Ear Center’s director of audiology, Diana Hanson has worked as an audiologist since 1990, specializing in working with pediatric patients for hearing aids and cochlear implants. 12499 University Ave., Suite 200, Clive, 515-418-9960; www.iowaearcenter.com.
Runners-up: Dr. Andrew Keiner – Merit Hearing; Jennifer Brown – The Iowa Clinic
Best Local Hospital
UnityPoint Iowa Methodist Medical Center
Congratulations to UnityPoint Iowa Methodist Medical Center on making its fifth winning appearance in the Best Local Hospital Category. Among other superlatives, the hospital opened the city’s first radiation therapy department in 1956, and in 1993, became the first central Iowa facility to house all radiation, oncology and ancillary services in one location. Also in 1956, they performed the first open-heart procedure outside of the Mayo Clinic. And this year, CITYVIEW readers also voted Methodist as the Best Local Maternity Care or Birthing Center. 1200 Pleasant St., Des Moines, 515-241-6212; www.unitypoint.org/desmoines/iowa-methodist-medical-center.aspx.
Runners-up: MercyOne Des Moines Medical Center; Broadlawns Medical Center
Best Local Physical Therapist
Core Physical Therapy
The experts at Core Physical Therapy treat more than your discomfort — they get to the core issue of the pain. Their team has expertise in craniosacral therapy and myofascial release therapy to treat both chronic and acute pain. Through hands-on assessments and personalized treatment plans, you’ll start moving and get your life back in no time. Locations in West Des Moines and Adel; www.coreptiowa.com.
Runners-up: Elevate Physical Therapy; Integrated Physical Therapy and Sports Medicine
Best Local Dentist Office
Your smile is the top priority at Fleur Dentistry, voted Best Local Dentist Office by CITYVIEW readers every year since 2017. Congratulations! 4551 Fleur Drive, Des Moines, 515-287-2493; www.fleurdentistry.com.
Runners-up: Dental Associates; The Dental Loft
Best Local Pediatrician
Dr. Brian Waggoner – Waggoner Pediatrics of Central Iowa
Back for year No. 3 as the metro’s Best Local Pediatrician, Dr. Brian Waggoner and his office are committed to providing the best care for their patients. “We believe in providing state-of-the-art care in a tried-and-true manner where you can contact Dr. Waggoner at any time, day or night.” 2555 Berkshire Parkway, Suite A, Clive, 515-987-0051; www.waggonerpediatrics.org.
Runners-up: Dr. Daniel Pelzer – The Iowa Clinic; Dr. Amy Petersen – Cornerstone Pediatrics and Family Allergy
Best Local Dermatologist
Dr. Erin Ducharme – Ducharme Dermatology, P.C.
Serving patients in Iowa since 2013, Dr. Ducharme aids with a variety of ailments. Services at Ducharme Dermatology include on-site Mohs surgery for skin cancers, light therapy for rashes and other skin conditions, allergy patch testing, and PRP injections for hair loss and more. 16349 Sheridan Ave., Suite 101, Clive, 515-987-0333; www.ducharmedermatology.com.
Runners-up: Dr. Andrew Bean – Dermatology P.C.; Dr. Timothy Abrahamson – Greater Des Moines Dermatology, P.C.
Best Place for Laser Hair Removal
Milan Laser Hair Removal
Some people prefer to toss that pesky razor and opt for laser hair removal instead. And for those who live in Central Iowa, Milan Laser Hair Removal is the best option for the procedure, according to voters in CITYVIEW’s Best Of Des Moines poll for 2023. Locations in Ankeny and Des Moines; www.milanlaserdesmoines.com.
Runners-up: Coachlight Clinic & Spa; Skin Body Soul Spa
Best Local Orthopedic Clinic
DMOS Orthopaedic Centers
If you’re trying to get back on track after an injury, DMOS Orthopaedic Centers has your back. They’re committed to helping their patients “get back to living” and, as such, have again been designated as the Best Local Orthopedic Clinic by our loyal Best Of Des Moines voters. Locations in Des Moines, West Des Moines and Ankeny; www.dmos.com.
Runners-up: Iowa Ortho; Capital Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine
Best Local Place for Cryotherapy
CryoSpa Mind & Body Wellness
Like an ice bath, but elevated. Freeze away the pain, stress and inflammation with cryotherapy, and better yet, do it with CryoSpa Mind & Body Wellness, this year’s Best Local Place for Cryotherapy. 11895 Hickman Road, Suite 600, Urbandale, 515-270-7009; www.cryospaiowa.com.
Runners-up: Hassel Family Chiropractic; KryoVitality
Best Local Mental Health Therapist
Deb Gipple – Family Legacy Counseling
The faith-based services at Family Legacy Counseling provide compassionate professional counseling from a Christian perspective. Deb Gipple has been practicing in the areas of child/adolescent therapy for more than 25 years, with experience in public and Christian school settings, including a missionary school in Taiwan. 5415 N.W. 88th St., Suite 100, Johnston, 515-727-1338; www.familylegacycounseling.com.
Runners-up: Bryan Hall – EMDR & Beyond; Amanda Hardy – The Meadowlark Clinic
Best Local CBD Store
Your CBD Store
The votes are in, and Your CBD Store returns as the Best Local CBD Store in the Des Moines area, marketing CBD in tinctures, creams, edibles and every form imaginable. Locations in Ankeny, Valley Junction, Des Moines, Waukee and Ames; www.getsunmed.com.
Runners-up: HW CBD; DESPENSARY
Best Local Allergist or Immunologist
Dr. Jennifer Petts – The Iowa Clinic
Allergies can be mildly inconvenient or severely debilitating. Dr. Petts helps with the whole gamut. She says she chose to the enter field as it is close to heart because of her sons’ asthma and peanut allergy. 5950 University Ave., West Des Moines, 515-875-9450; www.iowaclinic.com.
Runners-up: Dr. Tara Federly – Cornerstone Pediatrics and Family Allergy; Dr. Vuong Nayima – Iowa Allergy, Asthma and Immunology
Best Spiritual and Alternative Healing Center
Find holistic healing at Des Moines’ Best Spiritual and Alternative Healing Center. Services and classes include meditation, yoga and a popular Himalayan salt lounge designed for respiratory and inflammatory relief. 1251 Keo Way, Des Moines, 515-630-0210; www.innerspacedsm.com.
Runners-up: Yost Wellness Center; Des Moines Acupuncture Clinic
Best of the Rest
Best Elected Official
Governor Kim Reynolds
Gov. Reynolds is an Iowan through and through. She grew up in Madison County and graduated from Interstate 35 Community Schools, then completed her bachelor’s degree from Iowa State University while serving as Lieutenant Governor in 2016. Now, she is embarking on her second full term as the state’s first female governor — and her fifth year as the Best Elected Official in 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: State Auditor Rob Sand, U.S. Rep. Cindy Axne
Best Local Home Painter
Quantity does not trump quality for Chris Signs, owner of GLS painting. “We will not stay complacent in an industry that is constantly changing. We promise our clients the highest quality refinishing. To do this we, promise to constantly adapt to new products and new processes to stay at the cutting edge of our industry.” 515-441-1048; www.glspainting.com.
Runners-up: Peterson Painting; Allure Painting
Best State University in Iowa
Iowa State University
You can root for whatever camp you want, but CITYVIEW readers have decided that Iowa State University is the best among our three state schools. Nearly 30,000 students enrolled at ISU last fall. Of those, 25,000 were undergraduate students, with the first-year class being the most culturally diverse in the school’s history. Ames, 515-294-4111; www.iastate.edu.
Runners-up: University of Iowa; University of Northern Iowa
Best Private College or Private University in Iowa
Transform student lives and strengthen communities — that’s the mission at Drake University, and one they’re doing well, as they’ve once again been voted the Best Private College or Private University in Iowa. The mid-sized school of nearly 5,000 students is recognized as one of the finest in the Midwest. 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)
Offering the lowest college tuition in Iowa has nothing to do with the quality of education at DMACC: 98% of graduates find employment or choose to continue their education after their time at central Iowa’s community college of choice. Campuses in Ankeny, Boone, Carroll, Newton, Des Moines and West Des Moines with additional learning centers around the metro; www.dmacc.edu.
Runners-up: Kirkwood Community College; Indian Hills Community College
Best Local Doggy Daycare/Boarding
Designed just for dogs, Dogwoods Lodge offers luxury overnight boarding, day camp, training programs and a grooming salon. Appearing in CITYVIEW’s Best Of Des Moines poll since 2015. Congratulations! 2960 S.E. Grimes Blvd., Grimes, 515-986-7387; www.dogwoodslodge.com.
Runners-up: South Des Moines Veterinary Center; Paws & Pints
Best Local Employer
ARTISAN Management Group
“We are fueled by good coffee and inspired to be authentic; to be genuine. Where it’s OK to embrace change and be better than you were yesterday. To feel welcome and appreciated. We venture to create space that is unique — to offer something better, be a part of something bigger. We love our community and value our neighbors. Our destiny is of our own choosing. We do not shy away from the difficult but strive to achieve what is great.” Those are the values outlined on ARTISAN’s website, and employees at this property management company seem to agree and love where they work. 1719 Grand Ave., Suite 100, Des Moines, 515-809-5400; www.artisanmanagementgroup.com.
Runners-up: The Approved Movers; Generation Next
Best Local Home Improvement Company
Renewal By Andersen
When your home needs a facelift, Renewal By Andersen is the way to go. Specializing in window and door replacements, their experts will hold your hand from the initial design consultation through the final installation and beyond. 517 Railroad Ave., West Des Moines, 515-274-9700; www.renewalbyandersen.com.
Runners-up: Amazed Construction Services; Home Solutions of Iowa
Best Local Dog Groomer
Doggies By Dannie – Dannie Ritter
Gone are the days of wrestling your canine into the back of your car. Dannie brings her 16 years of grooming expertise straight to your driveway — plus, she’s the best in the biz, as CITYVIEW voters have declared. 515-577-4339; www.doggiesbydannie.com.
Runners-up: Ankeny PetSmart – Casey Pribyl; Stylin’ Paws Salon
Best Local Moving Company
The Approved Movers
It’s nerve-wracking to trust the entirety of your worldly goods to a complete stranger. Luckily, our readers have a suggestion: The Approved Movers. They guarantee the best moving experience you’ve ever had and ensure they garner 100% approval from their clients before concluding a move. 515-339-0139; theapprovedmovers.com.
Runners-up: Adamantine Spine Moving; Two Men and a Truck
Best Local Credit Union
Veridian Credit Union
Voted the best of its kind each year in our annual readers’ poll, it’s no surprise: Veridian is the Best Local Credit Union in Des Moines for 2023. The not-for-profit financial cooperative has held a philosophy of “people helping people” since its founding as John Deere Employees Credit Union in Waterloo in 1934. Multiple locations; www.veridiancu.org.
Runners-up: GreenState Credit Union; Community Choice Credit Union
Best Local Bank
They’ve been voted Best Local Bank each year since 2017 — Bankers Trust is the Best Local Bank in central Iowa once again. Multiple branches, with corporate headquarters in Des Moines; www.bankerstrust.com.
Runners-up: Fidelity Bank; Iowa State Bank
Best Local Internet Provider
Knocking Mediacom off its long-held seat, Metronet is the Best Local Internet Provider, say CITYVIEW readers. Fun fact: Metronet connected its first Des Moines customers to 100% fiber optic internet last fall. For those who favor face-to-face interactions over a phone call, Metronet has a storefront location at 1311 Buckeye Ave., Suite A, Ames. 855-595-1006; www.metronet.com.
Runners-up: Mi-Fiber; Mediacom
Best Local Auto Shop
Honest Wrenches Automotive Repair
Premium air for your tires? A refill of blinker fluid? As absurd as some may sound, car repair scams to overcharge customers are out there. In an effort to shatter that stereotype, owners Travis Troy and Josh Mullins founded Honest Wrenches on trust and putting the customer first, every time. Locations in Des Moines and West Des Moines; honestwrenches.com.
Runners-up: Shade Tree Auto; FinishLine Auto Works
Best TV Station for News
KCCI Channel 8
For news good or bad, KCCI Channel 8 is the best way to hear about it in real time, according to CITYVIEW voters who have voted it Best TV Station for News for as long as we can remember. www.kcci.com.
Runners-up: WHO TV Channel 13; WOI Channel 5
Best TV Station for Sports
WHO TV Channel 13
It doesn’t matter what team you root for. When you need your sports fix, Keith Murphy and the sports team at WHO TV Channel 13 have you covered. www.who13.com.
Runners-up: KCCI Channel 8; WOI Channel 5
Best TV Station for Weather
KCCI Channel 8
When the weather is wreaking havoc outside, rest assured you can get the latest updates on your TV screen via KCCI Channel 8. They’ll tell you about the nice days, too. www.kcci.com.
Runners-up: WHO TV Channel 13; WOI Channel 5
Best Local TV Anchor
Erin Kiernan – WHO TV Channel 13
She’s done it all. After studying broadcast journalism at Drake University and working part-time at Channel 13, Erin Kiernan worked as a reporter and photographer for WOI-TV. In 1998, she started at KCCI, where she anchored the weekend news before returning to Channel 13 in 2005. Congratulations! www.who13.com.
Runners-up: Stacey Horst – KCCI-TV Channel 8; Eric Hanson – KCCI-TV Channel 8
Best Local Sports Commentator or Columnist
Keith Murphy – WHO TV Channel 13
You can find central Iowa’s favorite sports commentator anchoring the Channel 13 News at 6 and 10 p.m., writing on his blog, Murphy’s Law (who13.com/sports/soundoff/murphys-law), or alongside Andy Fales in their popular sports-based show, SoundOFF, live on Sundays at 10:35 p.m. who13.com/sports.
Runners-up: Scott Reister – KCCI-TV Channel 8; John Sears – WHO TV Channel 13
Ed Wilson – WHO TV Channel 13
It’s no secret: Ed Wilson is the Best Meteorologist in Des Moines, and he has been for many years during his 35-year tenure with WHO-TV. Whether there’s a tornado, snowstorm or derecho — you know where to go. www.who13.com.
Runners-up: Jason Sydejko – KCCI Channel 8; Jeriann Ritter – WHO TV Channel 13
Best Radio Voice That Turns You On
Heather Lee – Lazer 103.3
CITYVIEW voters have spoken, and the Best Radio Voice That Turns You On comes from the lips of Lazer 103.3’s Heather Lee. Heather & Wickett join listeners during their morning commute on weekdays from 6-10 a.m. lazer1033.com.
Runners-up: Preston Daniels – KFMG; Chad Taylor – KJJY
Best Radio Station
Playing “Everything That Rocks,” Lazer 103.3 has ousted KFMG 98.9 FM from its long-standing status as the Best Radio Station in Des Moines, as decided by voters in CITYVIEW’s Best Of Des Moines poll for 2023. lazer1033.com.
Runners-up: KFMG 98.9 FM; Iowa Public Radio
Best Radio Personality
Jeff Angelo – WHO Radio
The results of this category have jumped around in recent years, but for 2023, former State Senator Jeff Angelo is the Best Radio Personality in Des Moines. You can catch up on Iowa news during “Need To Know with Jeff Angelo,” live from 9-11 a.m. on Newsradio 1040 or any time at whoradio.iheart.com.
Runners-up: Mike Wickett – Lazer 103.3; Gary Monte – KFMG 98.9 FM
Best Local Real Estate Agent
Bob Eisenlauer – Eisenlauer Team
Hunting for your forever home? Looking to sell your starter home? Whatever your end goal, the Best Local Real Estate Agent to get you there is Bob Eisenlauer and the Eisenlauer Team. Locations in Windsor Heights and Pleasant Hill, 515-979-2883; www.eisenlauerteam.com.
Runners-up: Tim Scheib – Scheib Real Estate; Greg Steward – Steward Real Estate
Best Local Automotive Salesperson
John Smith Jr. – Bob Brown Chevrolet
John Smith Jr. at Bob Brown Chevrolet is the Best Local Automotive Salesperson in central Iowa, according to CITYVIEW’s Best Of Des Moines poll for 2023. 3600 111th St., Urbandale, 515-257-7296; www.bobbrownchevy.com.
Runners-up: Ron Floyd – Bob Brown GMC Buick; Dan Carpenter – DeYarman Ford Indianola
Best Local Photographer
Tracy Marie Photography
“At the end of the day, all that’s left is the photos.” Congratulations to Tracy Marie Photography on her third year as CITYVIEW’s Best Local Photographer, specializing in couples, family and senior sessions. 515-240-3648; www.tracymariephotography.org.
Runners-up: Kara Hoegh – Inspirations by Kara; Ryan Whitten – Reel Vision Media
Best Local Financial Planner
Loren Merkle – Merkle Retirement Planning
Most people shy away from talking about money, but not Loren Merkle. His team of financial planning professionals help prepare their clients for retirement, whatever they may want it to look like. 1860 S.E. Princeton Drive, Grimes, 515-278-1006; www.merkleretirementplanning.com.
Runners-up: Jeff Baker – Expedition Wealth Management; Justin Bjerke – Edward Jones
Best Local Insurance Agent
Aaron Peterson – AKP Health Insurance
A good insurance agent will help you make as informed of a decision as possible about a topic that confuses many people. Aaron Peterson does that best, according to voters in CITYVIEW’s annual Best Of Des Moines poll. 974 73rd St., West Des Moines, 515-490-4286; www.akphealthinsurance.com.
Runners-up: Ryan McCready – Expedition Insurance Services; Matt Reed – Country Financial
Best Local Mortgage Company
Midwest Family Lending
Dedicated to making the Midwest a great place to call “home” for more than 25 years. Voted Best Local Mortgage Company from 2017-2019, 2021 and now 2023, we extend a warm congratulations once again to Midwest Family Lending. 2753 99th St., Urbandale, 515-252-7107; www.midwestfamilylending.com.
Runners-up: Key Mortgage Group; Fidelity Bank
Best Local Vet Clinic
South Des Moines Veterinary Center
The extensive list of services provided at South Des Moines Veterinary Center include pet wellness exams, sick pet visits, canine and feline dental care, internal medicine consults, soft tissue surgery, pet nutrition consultation, doggy day care, pet boarding, pet grooming and end-of-life care. If your furry friend is in the market for any of the above, look no further than the Best Local Vet Clinic in Des Moines. 6301 S.W. Ninth St., Des Moines, 515-285-5523; www.welovethemtoo.com.
Runners-up: Oaks Veterinary Clinic; University West Pet Clinic
Best Local Home Builder
Black Birch Homes
Home is where the heart is — but you need to build it first. CITYVIEW voters have chosen Black Birch Homes as the Best Local Home Builder in the area. They’ll design it, too! Polk City, 515-418-1332; www.blackbirchhomes.com.
Runners-up: Dynasty Homes; Destiny Homes
Best Local Landscaper
Freedom Outdoor Services
Who wants to haul rocks and pull up sod while exposed to the elements? Not us! To achieve the landscaping of your dreams without any of the work, our readers suggest you employ Tyler’s outdoor expertise at Freedom Outdoor Services, the Best Local Landscaper in the metro. Ankeny, 515-782-3969; Facebook @ Freedom Outdoor Services.
Runners-up: Ted Lare Creative Landscape Design + Build; Plant Life Designs
Best Local Chamber of Commerce
Urbandale Chamber of Commerce
The local chamber of commerce is the heartbeat of its business community. And of all the cities in the metro, Urbandale has the best chamber of them all, as decided by voters in CITYVIEW’s Best Of Des Moines poll. 2830 100th St., Suite 110, Urbandale, 515-331-6855; www.uniquelyurbandale.com.
Runners-up: Grimes Chamber & Economic Development; West Des Moines Chamber of Commerce
Best Local Customer Service (Overall)
Modern Heating and Air
With thousands upon thousands of entities doing business in the Des Moines metro, winning Best Local Customer Service (Overall) is no small feat. Congratulations to Modern Heating and Air, “where care meets air.” 675 N.E. 45th Place, Des Moines, 515-635-5525; www.modernhvacservices.com.
Runners-up: Merkle Retirement Planning; Prysm Body Piercing and Jewelry Gallery
Best Local Law Firm
Baer Law Office
When a law office is voted Best Local Law Firm for eight years in a row, you probably want to start paying attention. Baer Law Office practices in the areas of personal injury, motor vehicle accidents, wrongful death claims, divorce and family law, business law and nursing home claims. 838 Fifth Ave., Des Moines, 515-279-2000; www.baerlawoffice.com.
Runners-up: Wasker, Dorr, Wimmer & Marcouiller, P.C.; Henrichsen Law Office
Best Local Daycare
Voted Best Local Daycare since we opened the category in 2015, Generation Next focuses on the development of each individual child. CITYVIEW readers also voted Generation Next as Best Local Preschool in 2020, 2021 and 2023. Locations in Johnston, Urbandale, Ankeny, West Des Moines and Bondurant; www.generationnextia.com.
Runners-up: Cadence Academy; Step Ahead Childcare & Preschool
Best Local Marketing Agency
Dave Makin founded Nexus 6 “to make marketing a little more human again.” Their quirkily creative services will be adjusted to your comfort level and span branding, graphic design, websites, video and social media. 1603 22nd St., West Des Moines, 515-303-0103; www.nexus6.io.
Runners-up: Hatch; TwoTone Creative
Best Local Apartment Complex
The Village @ Gray’s Lake
The residents of The Village @ Gray’s Lake love where they live. This marks their third year as Best Local Apartment Complex in our Best Of Des Moines poll. 2270 Bell Ave., Des Moines, 515-452-7484; www.thevillagedm.com.
Runners-up: The Vibe @ 8035; The Parker @ Seventh
Best Local HVAC Company
Modern Heating and Air
The HVAC experts at Modern Heating and Air are “savvy about comfy,” according to their website. They also work at the business offering the best customer service in the area, according to our readers. 675 N.E. 45th Place, Des Moines, 515-635-5525; www.modernhvacservices.com.
Runners-up: Best Heating, Cooling & Electric, Inc.; Schaal Plumbing, Heating and Cooling
Best Local Senior Living Community
Scottish Rite Park
Live your twilight years to the utmost in the historical Woodland Heights area. Panoramic views of Des Moines, activities and amenities galore, skilled caretakers and much more make Scottish Rite Park the Best Local Senior Living Community in the area. 2909 Woodland Ave., Des Moines, 515-274-4614; www.scottishritepark.com.
Runners-up: Edencrest of Green Meadows; Edgewater
Best Local Place for Tax Preparation
The Vroman Group
“We prefer to take a proactive vs. reactive approach to tax services. By keeping current on new tax laws and legislation, we are in a position to identify key tax planning opportunities that minimize both your current and future tax liabilities. We provide our individual and business clients with the taxation expertise and knowledge that they deserve throughout the year.” All that to say, when you need your taxes done, The Vroman Group is the best place to do it. 6601 Westown Parkway, Suite 250, West Des Moines, 515-278-4531; www.vromancpa.com.
Runners-up: Gray Financial Solutions, Inc.; Ann M. Hartz CPA and Associates
Best Local Bathroom Facility
Shade Tree Auto
When you gotta go, you gotta go. But if you happen to be at Shade Tree Auto when you gotta go, you’ll get the best go of your life at the Best Local Bathroom Facility around, according to CITYVIEW readers. Multiple locations; www.shadetreeauto.biz.
Runners-up: Bike World; Prysm Body Piercing and Jewelry Gallery
Best Local Hotel
A stunning Beaux-Arts gem from 1913, Surety Hotel is CITYVIEW’s Best Local Hotel for 2023. Readers also voted it as the area’s Best Local Wedding Venue, runner-up Best Local Place to Hold a Corporate Event/Party, runner-up Best Local Place for a Wedding Reception and runner-up Best Local Place to Take Visitors. 206 Sixth Ave., Des Moines, 515-985-2066; www.suretyhotel.com.
Runners-up: Holiday Inn Downtown; Des Lux Hotel
Best Local Plumber
H & H Plumbing
Drip… Drip… When you’re drowning in your sorrows and that leak from your pipes, H & H Plumbing will come to your rescue. They service toilets, dishwashers, tubs and showers, bathroom and kitchen remodels, sewer lines, gas lines, sump pumps, pipes, water heaters — and they’re the Best Local Plumber in the city. 32411 170th St., Granger, 515-277-5755; www.handhplumbing.net.
Runners-up: Golden Rule Plumbing, Heating, Cooling & Electrical; Herr Plumbing
Best Local Electrician
They’ve got the power… to fix your power. And they’re the Best Local Electrician in the Des Moines area, say CITYVIEW readers. Ladies and gents: Arc Electric! 3430 S.E. Destination Drive, Suite 300, Grimes, 515-721-6258; www.arcelectric.co.
Runners-up: Custom Electrical Services; Baker Electric
Best Local Flooring Company
Royal Flooring does cabinets, countertops, appliances and window treatments, but they do flooring better then anyone else, according to CITYVIEW voters. You’ll be floored by their work! 11801 Hickman Ave., Urbandale, 515-957-9738; www.shoproyalflooring.com.
Runners-up: The Floor Doctors; Louie’s Floor Covering
Best Local Roofing Company
Right Roofing, Siding and Windows
Things are looking up. Right Roofing, Siding and Windows has been serving central Iowa for more than 25 years, and they’re the Best Local Roofing Company you’ll find, say our readers. 3250 99th St., Urbandale, 515-305-3113; www.rightroofing.com.
Runners-up: Walter Roofing + Solar; Guardian Roofing
Best Local Contractor
Home Solutions of Iowa
DIY home projects are all the rage these days, but sometimes, it’s nice to sit back, relax and let someone else do the work. And the best someone for the job, according to our poll results for the last four years, is Home Solutions of Iowa. 16180 S.E. Laurel St., Waukee, 515-999-2896; www.homesolutionsiowa.com.
Runners-up: HomeWorx Remodeling; ServiceMaster by Rice
Best Local Interior Designer
Nita Upchurch – The Redefined Home
“Nita blends her extensive art and design background with quantum Feng Shui to redefine the possibilities for your living spaces.” Redefine your home or office with the metro’s Best Local Interior Designer, according to CITYVIEW’s Best Of poll. West Des Moines, 515-292-8154; www.redefinedhome.com.
Runners-up: Lynsy Anderson – Royal Flooring, Jessica Rae – Alt Design Studio
Best Local Pest Control Company
Pro-Staff Termite & Pest Control of Iowa
Bedbugs and termites and bats — oh my! When your space is infested with creepy crawly creatures, Pro-Staff Termite & Pest Control of Iowa is here to save the day. They can also pest-proof your house before anything happens to prevent disaster from striking. 3601 Douglas Ave., Des Moines, 515-279-7378; www.desmoinespestservice.com.
Runners-up: The Bug Man; Preferred Pest Control
Best Local Cleaning Company
The Queen of Clean
Returning for its fifth consecutive year as CITYVIEW poll’s Best Local Cleaning Company, The Queen of Clean will leave your home and office sparkling — whether you’re moving in or out, picking up the post-construction pieces, or just need a reset. 4949 Pleasant St., Suite 101, West Des Moines, 515-528-8723; www.thequeenofcleania.com.
Runners-up: The Approved Cleaners; Krystal Clean Services
Best Local Co-Working Space
“Find your productive happy place” at Gravitate, CITYVIEW voters’ choice for Best Local Co-Working Space since 2019. Find speedy Wi-Fi, free coffee, meeting rooms and an inspiring atmosphere at Gravitate locations in downtown Des Moines, the East Village, Windsor Heights and across Iowa. 515-207-8105; www.gravitatecoworking.com.
Runners-up: Blue Bean; Collaborate DSM
Best Local Preschool
The early years are crucial in the development of your little ones, but they’ll be in good hands at Generation Next, voted by CITYVIEW readers as Best Local Preschool. Multiple locations; www.generationnextia.com.
Runners-up: Holy Trinity Catholic Church and School; Science Center of Iowa Preschool
Best Local Swim School
“Veni natavi vici.” Latin for: “I came, I swam, I conquered.” Natavi’s 10,000-square-foot state-of-the-art facility is the perfect place to get comfortable in the water. The school prioritizes safety and comfort so its students can just keep swimming… just keep swimming… 275 S.W. Brookside Drive, Grimes, 515-300-3282; www.nataviswim.com.
Runners-up: Goldfish Swim School; Foss Swim School
Best Local Home Inspection Company
Imperial Home Inspection Services
When you’re making what is probably the largest purchase of your life, you need a home inspection company that won’t miss a thing. For the Best Local Home Inspection Company in central Iowa, CITYVIEW readers say, look to Imperial Home Inspection Services. 515-218-5674; www.imperialia.com.
Runners-up: Spotlight Home Inspection Services; Keystone Home Inspections
Best Local Foundation Repair Company
B.A.M.! Basements & Masons
Attention to detail. Keen project management. No hidden costs. These traits and more are what set B.A.M.! Basements & Masons apart from the crowd. They’re once again the Best Local Foundation Repair Company in the city, as decided by Best Of Des Moines voters. 5327 N.W. Second St., Des Moines, 515-400-4141; www.bambasements.com.
Runners-up: Midwest Foundation Repair; American Perfection Basement Waterproofing
Best Local Auto Glass Repair
Another pesky pebble collides with your windshield. You find yourself — and your vehicle — in the midst of a once-in-a-lifetime hailstorm. A tree branch falls at an inopportune time and place. Whatever the circumstances that lead you to Safelite AutoGlass, you can take comfort in knowing they’re the Best Local Auto Glass Repair around, according to CITYVIEW’s Best Of Des Moines poll for 2023. Multiple locations; www.safelite.com.
Runners-up: Glass Doctor of Des Moines; Scott’s Auto Glass ♦