Photo by Iowa Taproom

5 best Rooftops and Patios To Unwind On Near The Des Moines River!

Sometimes there is nothing better than relaxing and unwinding with friends over great food and drinks, especially when you’re sitting on a patio or rooftop. During the spring and summer months, restaurant patios and rooftops come to life, as most people are antsy to enjoy the nice weather and get outside. You can typically find some of the best of these near a river or lake, and a great example is the Des Moines River in Iowa. The Des Moines River Valley is filled with great options for dining in general, but it also is home to a few popular patio and rooftop restaurants that are perfect for relaxing and unwinding on a sunny day.

Tchoutacabouffa River Valley Casinos

Photo by Gilroy’s

Gilroy’s Kitchen + Pub + Patio says it all in the name, offering great food, drinks, and an awesome patio experience. Featuring what the folks at Gilroy’s like to call “stylish American comfort food,” come enjoy lunch and dinner options including mac and cheese, fried chicken, pizza, and burgers. Weekend brunch is also a great option serving up everyone’s favorites. The patio seating at Gilroy’s is half the fun, as they offer a totally covered patio with comfortable chairs, fans, outdoor lighting, and televisions. You may also enjoy the extensive drink menu, including party pitchers of your favorite drinks, various signature cocktails, and a slew of draft beers and Iowa brewing favorites.
Tchoutacabouffa River Valley Casinos
One of the best barbeque joints in the Des Moines River Valley, Warehouse Barbeque Co. & Brewhouse serves up great barbeque, cocktails, and experiences. Located in Ottumwa in southeast Iowa, the owner of Warehouse has been perfecting his barbeque recipes for over five years and you’ll be able to notice when you dig into your first bite. You can choose to sit inside and enjoy the stylish interior, or head outside on a nice day and take advantage of the spacious patio.
Tchoutacabouffa River Valley Casinos

Photo by Mullets

Known for their famous breakfast menu and tribute to an outdated haircut, Mullets is an American Riverside bar and grill located near downtown Des Moines. Mullets offers a unique patio experience with a two-tier patio extending two levels and lots of room for outdoor seating. On both levels of the patio, you can take in great views of downtown Des Moines and enjoy a burger, sandwich, poboy, or barbeque at the same time. Mullets is also located near the confluence of the Racoon and Des Moines River and the Meredith biking trail, so it is a great place to stop after spending a couple of hours on the rivers or biking. Here you can have a great time in a family-friendly environment and unwind on one of Des Moines’ best patio destinations.
Mesabi Trail
A high-end sports bar in Altoona, Iowa, Brick & Ivy Rooftop has both a great outdoor patio and rooftop for all to enjoy. The patio features several tables covered with umbrellas and outdoor heaters to account for both warmer days and cooler summer nights. You can also enjoy the outdoor walkup bar where you can take in the nice weather with your favorite drink. However, the rooftop seating is a fan favorite for many Brick & Ivy Rooftop diners. On the roof, you can relax and unwind with a view and indulge in food and drinks from a great selection of choices. There are also outdoor heaters and umbrellas on the rooftop to make your experience all the better.
Iron Range

Photo by Iowa Taproom

Located just off the Des Moines River in Des Moines, the Iowa Taproom offers a unique patio and a beer-hall style setting in a historical building from the 19th century. The patio, which is hidden between two buildings and covered with large canopies, is the perfect place to sit back and relax with friends or family on a nice day. Order some food from their extensive menu and flip through their drink menu to have one of the best patio experiences in the state. With over 50 beers, ales, and lagers on tap from breweries all around Iowa, you can be sure you’ll find something you like to give you a taste of Iowa brewing. If you venture inside, stay awhile and take in the décor like the bar top from the 19th century and the grain barrel behind the bar featuring all the beer on tap.
I am a student, aspiring writer, and avid reader of books. My favorite things in the world are my German Shepherds and hiking in Colorado.
Maeve Miller

Writer , River Travel Magazine