It’s the most wonderful time of the year. You guessed it—Commencement! The campus is bustling with visitors from near and far, and we’re all excited to celebrate our graduates at Drake University’s 146th commencement. Our neighborhood has a variety of old favorites and new culinary destinations that are sure to please even the pickiest of eaters.
8 Degrees Ice Cream & Boba
A great place to stop in for a delicious treat, 8 Degrees Ice Cream & Boba serves boba tea and rolled ice cream right underneath Drake West Village. You can request all sorts of flavors and extras to fine tune your order to just how you like it or to try something daring and new. This shop is especially worth a visit if you’ve been looking for bubble tea options in Des Moines.
Hours: Monday: closed; Tuesday – Sunday: 12-9PM
Campus dining options
You don’t need to be a student to enjoy campus eats! Hubbell Dining Hall, Quad Creek Café, Cowles Coffee Shop, Spike’s Convenience Store, and the Olmsted Coffee Shop all accept cards and cash. Eating in at Hubbell includes a full salad bar, deli bar, vegan bar, grill items, pizza, pasta, soups, international foods, home style meals, and allergen free food.
Hours: View Drake Dining Hours
Looking for a taste of Chicago in Des Moines? Chicago Dog offers well known Chicago delicacies such as original and jumbo Chicago style hotdogs, Italian beef, and polish sausages. It’s located in Dogtown on University Avenue, just a short walk from campus. It has earned 4.5 stars on Yelp, with customers praising the quick-serve restaurant for its fresh ingredients and friendly staff.
Hours: Monday: closed; Tuesday – Sunday: 11AM-8PM
If you can’t tell by the name, China Place offers Chinese cuisine at inexpensive prices. China Place offers dine in, carry out, and delivery. Every meal comes with soup and a side. Some commonly recommended items include hot and sour soup, egg rolls, and crab Rangoon.
Hours: Monday – Saturday: 10:30AM-10:30PM; Saturday: 3-10PM
Classic Des Moines eatery Drake Diner is sure to have something to offer for everybody. They are open for every meal of the day, and offer a variety of sandwiches, specialty salads, pastas and more. Your trip to Des Moines isn’t complete without a visit to Drake Diner!
Hours: Monday – Sunday: 7AM-11PM
Fernando’s is a fast-casual Mexican restaurant located right in Dogtown on University Avenue. They offer fresh, pressed in front of you tortillas, delicious tacos, burritos, and all of the classic Mexican restaurant favorites. They offer vegan and gluten free options as well. Rated 4.5 stars by Yelp, Fernando’s is sure to be a hit.
Hours: Monday – Sunday: 11AM-9PM
Just in time for Relays, Fong’s Pizza is now in the Drake neighborhood right next to Peggy’s on Forest Ave. The popular Chinese-pizza fusion restaurant offers a wide range of pizzas including their popular crab Rangoon pizza and also a kung pao chicken pizza. They offer pizza whole or by the slice. Check out Fong’s this Relays for a spin on everyone’s old favorite.
Hours: Sunday – Thursday: 11AM-11PM; Friday – Saturday: 11AM-2AM
Gazali’s is a recently expanded staple in the Drake neighborhood, serving delicious gyros and other Mediterranean favorites. Bulldogs especially prefer their spicy falafel, shawarma, and pita. On beautiful spring days, many people opt for its outdoor seating areas. This restaurant is a neighborhood favorite with almost 200 people recommending it on Facebook.
Hours: Monday – Saturday: 11AM-3PM, 5-8PM; Sunday: 12-3PM
Haiku is known for its wide variety of sushi. The Asian fusion restaurant is within walking distance of campus, located right underneath Drake West Village. Dine in and enjoy the modern, sleek ambience or call in your order and take it home with you. Their menu features specialty drinks, Japanese, Chinese and Thai cuisine.
Hours: Monday – Friday: 11AM-2:30PM, 4:30-10PM; Saturday: 11AM-10PM; Sunday: 12-9PM
Jethro’s BBQ is another hometown favorite here in Des Moines. Conveniently located on Forest Ave and 31st St., Jethro’s is a popular spot for students and alumni alike. They offer daily specials such as half price wings on Thursdays and free kids meals on Mondays. Their world-famous BBQ is sure to be a crowd pleaser!
Hours: Monday – Friday: 11AM-10PM; Saturday: 9:30AM-11PM; Sunday: 9:30AM-9PM
Known for its “freaky fast” delivery and “freaky fresh” subs, Jimmy John’s is a great stop for a bite to eat and a guaranteed place to order fast delivery. With sliced meat and veggies served on fresh baked bread, this fast food joint serves tasty and healthy sandwiches to dozens of hungry Bulldogs a day.
Hours: Monday – Sunday: 11AM-10PM
Lzaza Indo-Pak Cuisine
Lzaza’s Indo-Pak Cuisine offers traditional Indian and Pakistani dishes such as chicken tikka masala, vegetable pakora, and goat haleem. Lzaza also offers some foods including gyros and Italian beef. The restaurant is situated just a couple minutes from campus on 23rd St. and Forest Ave and is perfect for those looking for an inexpensive, filling, and flavorful meal.
Hours: Monday: closed; Tuesday – Sunday: 11AM-9PM
This University Ave. third wave coffee spot also serves a full breakfast and lunch small-plates menu as well as pastry offerings. No matter what you order, it’ll be out of this world. If you pop in, make sure to check out the rotating artist gallery that the shop has on its walls.
Hours: Monday – Sunday: 6:30AM-7PM
Head to this popular burger franchise for cheap breakfast, coffee, cheeseburgers, fries, and more. It offers convenient dining options such as delivery, mobile ordering, and a drive-thru. Open 24 hours, stop by any time no matter what time you’re enjoying your Relays.
Hours: Open 24 hours
Papa Keno’s Pizzeria is conveniently located near campus on University Avenue. They offer whole pizzas and pizzas by the slice—which are basically whole pizzas by themselves! Papa Keno’s also offers gluten free options and has a friendly personable staff that are sure to make your visit comfortable. Be sure to check out the bar, made from the old Knapp Center floor, and a not-so-hidden artistic representation of Griff on the wall.
Hours: Monday – Sunday: 11AM-10PM
Stew’s Smoke Shack BBQ
Formerly known as Woody’s Smoke Shack, this BBQ joint offers delicious barbeque with special seasonings and sauces. Make sure to try out its signature baked beans and Grandma’s Potato Salad. Its food is reminiscent of homecooked meals and is packed with flavor. Enjoy their cooking for lunch and dinner from Monday through Saturday.
Hours: Monday – Saturday: 11AM-8PM; Sunday: closed
Conveniently located underneath Drake West Village, this sandwich shop lets you customize your order with the ingredients you’re craving. This restaurant puts healthy eating first and offers many delicious subs with low calorie counts and a variety of veggies to add to your order.
Hours: Monday – Sunday: 9AM-9PM
University Library Café
The University Library Café is a Des Moines gem located in the Drake neighborhood on 35th and University. The Library offers craft beer, creative homemade bar foods using local ingredients, and breakfast on the weekends. The Library is the perfect place to catch up with old friends and enjoy a wide range of foods while in a hometown bar setting.
Hours: Monday – Friday: 11AM-2AM; Saturday: 8AM-2AM; Sunday: 8AM-12AM