Linh's favorite nice-weather Midwest activity: Chilling on patios.
Below are some places I enjoy and why.
- Note: I am very partial to bikable locations and good food.
This Ingersoll bar became one of my favorites during the pandemic. The food and drinks are fun + creative. There's heaters and you can roast s'mores over a fire.
- Plus: It's a very COVID-conscious space that takes RSVPs.
What I'm eating: Mint-pesto cold noodles (so good.)
Open: 2pm-12am Mon-Fri; 11am-12am Sat-Sun; 3615 Ingersoll Ave.
This is as close as you're going to get to a beachside bar in Des Moines. Captain Roy's is a lively stop if you want a beer, some food and a nearby bike trail.
- Plus: Birdland Marina is overhauling into a "resort-like" location, including a new look for Captain Roy's.
What I'm eating: Bacon-wrapped jalapeno poppers
Open: 11am to 9pm Tues-Thurs; 11am to 10pm Fri-Sat; 10am to 5pm Sun; 1900 Saylor Rd.
If you like bikes + beers — this is a must stop. Confluence is a classic Des Moines brewery that most beer fiends have visited, but the patio is also a convenient stop right off Gray's Lake.
What I'm drinking: The Wizard on draft
Open: 4-9pm Mon-Thurs; noon to 9pm Fri-Sat; noon to 6pm Sun; 1235 Thomas Beck Road.
El Guapo's Tequila + Tacos
If you're looking for a fun outdoor hangout and tacos — this is your place.
- There are almost 100 tequila choices to warm you up, but if you're cold, there's also a heated patio.
What I'm drinking: A house margarita
Open: 3-9pm Tues-Thurs; 1-10pm Fri; 11am-10pm Sat; 8950 University Ave. # 105, West Des Moines
Not only does Exile serve great beer, but the food is bomb as well. I also appreciate its close proximity to downtown.
- Plus, I am obsessed with the truffle fries.
What I'm drinking: A classic Ruthie
Open: 11am-9pm Tues-Thurs; 11am-10pm Fri-Sat; 11am-9pm Sun; 1514 Walnut St.
This new-ish brewery opened near the beginning of the pandemic, but it acclimated quickly by installing heat lamps and converting its parking lot into a patio.
- It has good beer + food and it's in walking distance to my favorite last-stop bar — Carl's.
What I'm eating: The fries are a perfect bar snack, especially with Lua sauce
Open: 3-10pm Tues-Thurs; 11am-11pm Fri-Sat; 11am-8pm Sun; 1525 High St.
This biker-centric patio is where you'll find me on Wednesdays — aka porkchop night. (It's so much food.)
- Located just off Euclid Avenue and the inter-urban trail — this stop is always a fun time.
What I'm drinking: PBR and jello shots
Open: 9am-2am Mon-Sat; 10am-2am Sun; 2506 Post St.
Uptown Garage has a nice selection of Iowa beers from breweries like SingleSpeed, Big Grove and West O Beer. It's also next to other great local businesses in Uptown Ankeny.
- I brought over food from Leaning Tower of Pizza and it was the perfect combo.
What I'm drinking: Pseudo Sue from Toppling Goliath
Open: 4-9pm Mon-Wed; 3-9pm Thurs; noon to 11pm Fri; 10am-11pm Sat; 10am-8pm Sun; 305 SW Walnut St, Ankeny
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