Thursday, May 23, 2019

10 Great Family Friendly Brunch Spots in Des Moines, Iowa

Our family takes brunching very seriously. We will specifically not make plans with people so we can make it to brunch (these would be our non-brunching friends). We also love local eats and make a point to avoid chains as much as possible. Don't get me wrong, I still make it to Perkins once a year to indulge in their eggs benedict and peaches n' cream muffins, but Perkins is definitely not my favorite brunch in Des Moines. 

We've had our fair share of brunch places we didn't care for, usually because they weren't kid friendly. We're pretty easy going when it comes to eating out at restaurants, but there are a few things that take a restaurant to the top of the list. Having wait staff that are awesome with kids, a loud environment, and fun (and healthy) food choices are three of our musts when brunching with our three children. 

So, where should you brunch on the weekends (or even during the weekday at some places!) with your kids in tow? Here's a list of ten of our faves in the Metro area:

1.) Americana  Everything about this is why it’s #1 in our book. It’s loud, the waiters and waitresses have always been great with our kids, and there’s something for everyone. It’s on the pricier side when it comes to brunches for a family of five (our recent visit was $110 with tip), but well worth the money. Expect to be here a minimum of an hour, longer if you go with family friends. Our kids bring coloring books and small toys to keep them occupied while Mom and Dad finish (or take their time).

2.) Perk Up Cafe  If you’re looking for great diner food and a calming environment this place is for you. Go early to get your pick of tables. On a recent visit, we noticed it began filling up around 9 a.m. on a Saturday. We arrived an hour beforehand and there were plenty of tables available. Service has always been wonderful and friendly.

The delicious toast appetizer at Perk Up Cafe. Someone's three kids might have licked every last bit of powdered sugar off of the plate!

3.) Waveland Cafe  Our favorite diner food ever. I’m a vegetarian but I make an exception for their biscuits and gravy over hashbrowns (called The Lumberman. Try it and thank me later). Service is quick, so even if there’s a wait for tables, there’s a quick turnover. Unless you happen to visit on a weekday where I’ve seen plenty of business meetings and shop talk taking place.

4.) Eggs and Jam  If you’re looking for unique food and 90's songs played loudly while you eat (thus drowning out any tantrums or fit throwing that may occur) this is your place. Service has always been so so for us, but our kids have enjoyed trying new foods each time we go (and that’s always a plus).

5.) Railroad Bill’s  Not only is the food good, but there’s plenty to look at while you wait for your food. Located inside of an old American Railway Express Company building, half of the building is a restaurant and the other is an antique store. Browse the store while waiting for your food and it comes out twice as fast (or so it seems). Also, the restaurant features a few vegan offerings. What other diner serves vegan comfort food??

6.) Malo  Loud, fun music, great patio, and even better food makes this a must. The patio is one of our favorites in Des Moines.

7.) Star Bar  Yes, it’s a bar. But it’s also a really good restaurant! We’ve taken our kids many times for meals and brunch is by far the most family friendly with a great menu to boot. My kid's favorites are their fluffy, huge pancakes or the waffle with berries. "You're welcome," says my oldest.

My favorite spinach and red pepper with goat cheese omelette (above) and the kid's favorite waffles with berries (below).

8.) Felix andOscar’s  You’re not going to find their Chicago style pizza at brunch, but you will find a great variety of foods. The wait staff is so amazing and attentive when we’ve visited. This is a must when you have a child who sucks down their lemonade with a side of wings at 10 a.m.

9.) Gilroy’s  In all honesty, their brunch food isn’t my favorite, but their patio is! It’s large, breezy, comfortable with plenty of seating options. We’ve met friends for brunch and the kids have brought board games to play on the patio while the adults converse and enjoy a mule or two.

10.) Drake Diner  This is a Des Moines classic. It’s always busy, so go early or be prepared to wait. There's a large menu with plenty of options for all. My kids love their coloring mats because, according to my middle child, they have excellent games to play on them. So, go for the food and coloring place mats.