Here are 5 restaurants to try near Wells Fargo Arena in downtown Des Moines

When the big concerts come to Des Moines, fans head to their shows at Wells Fargo Arena — the largest concert venue in Iowa with 16,000-plus seats.

Justin Bieber, Elton John and New Kids on the Block are just some of the top-tier acts on tour in spring 2022.

Hometown sports teams the Iowa Wild, the Iowa Wolves and the Iowa Barnstormers also call the arena home. So do Iowa high school state tournaments for basketball and wrestling.

When out-of-town folks get tired of the nachos, hot dogs and sodas at the arena, they can explore restaurants nearby for a quick bite to eat, a casual meal, a relaxing dinner and more.

More: Sports bar or date night? Here’s where to eat in downtown Des Moines

Here’s a look at where to eat near Wells Fargo Arena.

Armadillo balls at Buzzard Billy’s

Armadillo balls at Buzzard Billy’s

Buzzard Billy’s

Buzzard Billy’s is a spot close to Wells Fargo Arena that serves any meal from breakfast through late night.

The mix of American and Creole fare includes fried gator fingers, poutine, pretzel fries and armadillo eggs — a south Texas specialty that includes bacon-wrapped chicken fingers stuffed with jalapenos. Red beans and rice, chicken Creole, jambalaya and a crawfish platter make up the New Orleans-forward dishes.

Try a po’boy, burger or wings, or head here for breakfast to order fried chicken and waffles, country-fried steak and eggs, or eggs Benedict. Do request the kids’ menu for the little ones who want buttered noodles, popcorn shrimp or a grilled cheese.

Buzzard Billy’s features a laid-back setting with plenty of TVs and a deck for the warmer weather.

Buzzard Billy’s, 615 Third St., 515-244-2899. It’s open for dine-in from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday; and 11 a.m. to midnight on Fridays and Saturdays. Breakfast is available from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. Monday through Friday; 8 a.m. to noon on Saturdays and 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Sundays.

More: Want in on secret spots to have fun in Des Moines? We’ve got a newsletter for that.

W-Tao Sushi offers sushi and sashimi options.

W-Tao Sushi offers sushi and sashimi options.

W-Tao Sushi

A quick walk through the skywalk south of Wells Fargo Arena brings you to W-Tao Sushi, an upscale enclave filled with Japanese dishes.

For lunch, grab a bento box with options such as shrimp tempura, katsu chicken, teriyaki salmon or New York strip. The dinner menu spans sushi, sashimi and hand rolls, coconut curry hot pot, yaki udon, yaki soba and soups with ramen, soba or udon.

Sit at the sushi bar for an up-close experience with the chefs and look for the buddha overlooking the restaurant.

W-Tao Sushi, 400 Walnut St., 515-777-3636. Open from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and 4 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday; 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Fridays; and noon to 10 p.m. on Saturdays.

More: Wasabi Tao in downtown Des Moines leaves the Wasabi group, changes its name to W-Tao Sushi

Classic chicken wing in the bar at Court Avenue Brewing Company in Des Moines.

Classic chicken wing in the bar at Court Avenue Brewing Company in Des Moines.

Court Avenue Restaurant & Brewing Co.

No trip to downtown Des Moines is complete without a brewpub, and Court Avenue Brewing Co. delivers that combination of specialty beers with food the kids (and adults) will love.

Try brewpub favorites such as fish and chips, meatloaf or maple bourbon pork chops. Kids can order off their own menu for a cheeseburger, pizza or mac and cheese.

CabCo offers 11 of its own beers on tap, including Honest Lawyer IPA, Pointer Brown Ale and The Long Secret (Crème Brûlée Coffee) Scottish ale.

Court Avenue Brewing, 309 Court Ave., 515-282-2739. Open 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday; 11:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. Fridays; 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Saturdays; and 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sundays.

CabCo serves brunch on Saturdays and Sundays until 3 p.m.

More: Happy 20th! Court Avenue Brewing Co. led district revival

RōCA

RōCA, short for Restaurant on Court Avenue, specializes in small plates and craft cocktails.

For the kids, try chicken Parmesan sliders, mac and cheese or a flatbread with smoked chicken. Adults can order root beer glazed pork sliders, a charcuterie board or chicken and frites — all are meant to share.

RōCA, 208 Court Ave., 515-282-3663. Open 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday; and 4 p.m. to 11 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays.

More: How to spend a perfect day in downtown Des Moines with food, drinks and more

Brunch at Park Street Kitchen and Bar at the Hilton Des Moines Downtown at 435 Park Street in Des Moines.

Brunch at Park Street Kitchen and Bar at the Hilton Des Moines Downtown at 435 Park Street in Des Moines.

Hilton Des Moines Downtown

Slip away from the arena for a quick bite at Park Street Kitchen & Bar, one of the closest restaurants to Wells Fargo Arena.

It’s inside the Hilton Des Moines Downtown, which also offers a full-service restaurant and a coffee bar, serving Starbucks from 6 to 11 a.m. daily. Head to Park Street Kitchen & Bar for craft beer from Exile Brewing Co. and Peace Tree Brewing Co., cocktails and shareable items from breakfast through dinner.

A fireplace on the patio keeps diners toasty if they choose to head outdoors.

Hilton Des Moines Downtown, 435 Park St., 515-645-4065. The bar opens at 11 a.m. On the restaurant side, breakfast is available from 6 a.m. to 11 a.m.; lunch is available from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.; and dinner starting at 4:30 p.m. seven days a week.

More: Get the first look inside Hilton’s convention hotel in downtown Des Moines

Susan Stapleton is the entertainment editor at The Des Moines Register. Follow her on Facebook, Twitter or drop her a line at [email protected]

This article originally appeared on Des Moines Register: Best restaurants near Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines

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