The Historic East Village Neighborhood is a unique neighborhood located in the heart of Des Moines. With its variety of one-of-a-kind shops, distinct restaurants, and convenient location, it’s one of the most exceptional neighborhoods in the Des Moines area. Welcome to the Historic East Village.
The beautiful, historic buildings and walkability of the neighborhood add to the trendy appeal of the East Village. Whether you’re just looking for an afternoon of window shopping, a unique dining experience in an award-winning restaurant, a museum tour, or an evening of live music, it’s all right here.
The East Village is home to many Des Moines area attractions, including the Iowa State Capitol, the State Historical Museum (free!), Simon Estes Amphitheater, and Brenton Skating Plaza to name a few.
Residents not only have easy access to everything the East Village has to offer but are just a couple of minutes from Downtown Des Moines. With its convenient location, within walking distance of almost everything, it’s an attractive place to live if you crave the charm and culture of a diverse city environment.
The East Village is centrally located, nestled between Downtown Des Moines and the Iowa State Capitol. It’s bordered to the north by Interstate 235, to the west and south by the Des Moines River and to the east by East 14th St. The neighborhood is easily accessible from anywhere in the Des Moines area.
The East Village has a plethora of historic buildings, most of them originally built in the 1870s and 80s. In 2000, many of the historic buildings in the neighborhood were run-down and headed for demolition. That’s when a committed group of locals got together to recommend and encourage preserving the historic buildings. Fast forward to today, and many of those buildings slated for demolition have been beautifully restored into quaint shops, delicious eateries, and trendy loft-style homes.
The Historic East Village continues to see renovations and improvements, which adhere to the principles set forth by the neighborhood’s Development and Design Committee. The focus of further development continues to encourage the balance of commercial and residential needs in this diverse neighborhood, with a focus on easy pedestrian access.
Des Moines population: 215,500 (and growing)
The Historic East Village neighborhood is home to the Iowa State Capitol
The neighborhood has a multitude of buildings listed on the National Register of Historic Places
The East Village district has over 90 shops, restaurants, and entertainment venues
The neighborhood is easily accessible, just south of Interstate 235
The East Village is home to Raygun, a highly successful local shop that sells quality, one-of-a-kind T-shirts with quirky slogans
One reason many people choose to live in (and visit) the East Village is its proximity to everything Des Moines has to offer. You can walk to restaurants, shop the unique local stores, or take in the sights just down the street in downtown Des Moines.
Whether you need a quick bite to eat or want to enjoy a unique dining experience with award-winning food, look no further than the East Village. Here are a few delicious options to get you started.
The Continental Lounge offers a variety of Tapas and small plates, along with your favorite sandwiches and happy hour Monday – Thursday.
Zombie Burger and Shake Lab is a Des Moines favorite. At Zombie, you’ll find the best burgers and topping combinations you never knew you loved. Be sure to save room for one of their amazing shakes!
Blu Thai & Sushi serves authentic Thai food and fresh sushi. You get to choose your spice level, and with their generous portions, you won’t leave hungry!
The Mad Meatball will satisfy your pizza craving. Or your noodle or sandwich craving too! Get everything from nachos to mac and cheese to excellent pizza. Gluten-free options are available.
Liberty’s – An Iowa Grill is located at the Embassy Suites hotel and offers traditional American food that reflects flavors and sustainability of food sources of the Midwest.
Check out Alba when you’re craving a sleek, modern dining experience with the freshest ingredients. Their menu changes often to reflect the flavors of the seasons.
Open Sesame offers a comfortable, pleasant atmosphere and serves highly rated Middle Eastern and vegetarian meals, along with a full bar.
Miyabi 9 is an East Village favorite. It offers authentic Japanese favorites, including delicious sushi rolls, all at a reasonable price.
Airports – The Des Moines International Airport is located at 5800 Fleur Dr., on the southwest side of Des Moines. It has connections to 21 major airline hubs so that you can get anywhere you need to go.
Public Transportation – Bus service is available via the Des Moines Area Regional Transit Authority (DART). DART operates 150 buses that travel about 15,000 miles each day throughout the Des Moines area, including downtown, shopping malls, schools, and residential areas.
Major Roads and Interstates – East Village is conveniently located less than 5 minutes south of Interstates 235, with easy access to Interstates 35 and 80.
East Village Shops. The East Village shops have unique, historic charm and offer a wide variety of unusual, local treasures.
Wells Fargo Arena – The arena has 16,980 seats and is part of the Iowa Events Center, an extensive community complex. The arena hosts large sporting events and concerts from well-known artists, like Taylor Swift, as well as family shows, such as Disney On Ice.