Best Midwest Food Towns
#5 Des Moines: culinary ambition
Des Moines has undergone a dining transformation, the kind that happens one kitchen at a time, until residents look up and say, "Wow! Things have changed." We knew our list would include one rising star. Turns out, it's our hometown.
The biggest name: George Formaro. His best-known restaurant, Centro (centrodesmoines.com), packs crowds for contemporary Italian, and his newest, Django (djangodesmoines.com), has Des Moines' third oyster bar. Their classy interiors and seamless service signal a swell of culinary ambition in Iowa's unassuming capital (population: 547,000).
But Formaro's genius really lies in Gateway Market (gatewaymarket.com), the city's first successful gourmet grocery, whose cheese counter and stylish cafe finally give foodies a place to call their own. Elsewhere, Bistro Montage (bistromontage.com) delivers classic French cuisine. In downtown's ever-hipper East Village, Miyabi Yamamoto rolls the city's best sushi at Miyabi 9 (miyabi9.com). And, as befits a Midwest food town, he's not too cool to wave as you leave.
Pictured: Rainbow rolls at Miyabi 9