Contrary to popular belief, Iowa actually has a pretty buzzy bar scene. With local eateries, hole-in-the-wall taverns and modern restaurants galore, there’s certainly no shortage of cocktails and light bite specials to enjoy all across the state. Here’s where to go to enjoy some of the best happy hours in Des Moines.
Django is a local, brasserie-style restaurant that specializes in serving up French cuisine in a remarkably casual atmosphere. The Des Moines hotspot hosts a daily happy hour from 4 to 6 p.m.—plus an all-night happy hour every Tuesday from 4 p.m. to close—which features $5 draft beers, cocktails, and select appetizers including duck frites and onion rings. For more information, visit www.djangodesmoines.com.
Motley School Tavern
Motley School Tavern is arguably one of the most effortlessly cool places in all of Iowa. The sleek, dark-hued ambience of the space is elevated by decadent food offerings. And visitors to Motley School Tavern can indulge in half off draft beer and wine, plus BOGO appetizers, everyday from 2 to 5 p.m. For more information, visit www.mstdsm.com.
The Republic on Grand
The Republic on Grand, which is located on the sixth floor of the AC Hotel in Downtown Des Moines, has a reputation for world-class handcrafted cocktails and addictive bar bites that are paired with unmissable city views. The Republic hosts a happy hour Sunday through Thursday from 3 to 6 p.m., which boasts an $8 featured craft cocktail, $6 house wine, and deals on delicious light bites. For more information, visit www.therepublicongrand.com.
Gilroy’s Kitchen + Pub + Patio
The highlight of a visit to Gilroy’s is definitely the opportunity to sit outside in the restaurant’s expansive patio space. Pair that with their colorful happy hour selections—including $7 appetizers, $3 mules, and discounted sangria which is offered Monday through Friday from 4 to 5 p.m.—and you’re sure to enjoy an unforgettable evening. For more information, visit www.gilroyskitchen.com.
The Stuffed Olive
The Stuffed Olive is a quintessential martini bar that boasts chef-driven small plates and over 100 different martinis for visitors to choose from. Each day, the Des Moines bar offers one-of-a-kind happy hour specials that are arguably some of the best in the city. On Mondays, visitors can indulge in a buy one martini and get one free deal from 4 p.m. to close. Tuesdays feature a buy one and get one free deal on beers from 4 p.m. to close. And on Wednesdays, guests can treat themselves to a buy one and get one free wine special from 4 p.m. to close. For more information, visit www.paramountbarco.com.