ISD Road Trip: Visit East Village for unique food, shopping

Raygun, a clothing store located in Des Moines’ East Village, is popular for making satirical shirts related to Iowa cities.

Frances Myers

Quick! Think of a place off the top of your head where you can visit a capitol, get some culture, check out a vibrant nightlife scene and grab a juicy, “goremet” meal all in the same block. Still thinking? Here’s a hint: It’s in Des Moines. Still stumped? Two key words: East Village.

For this week’s road trip, the Daily traveled to the historic East Village, right next to the state Capitol in Iowa. This place has so much to offer. Even if you don’t have cash to spend, the window shopping itself is something else entirely. If you haven’t checked out East Village, you need to. And soon.

East Village is a great place for people of all interests. Are you into politics? There’s the Capitol with its golden dome visible for miles. If you want to take a look around the place, tours are available between 8 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. Monday to Friday and on Saturdays, they are available every half hour from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. If you’re going with a group, make sure to schedule in advance.

Maybe you’re more of an artist. Whether you’re looking for pieces of art to decorate your living space with or even just classy dishes for your kitchen or dining room, there’s something for you. Try the store Sticks for art pieces. This place has received national recognition for their line of furniture, accessories and object art. Or if you have more interest in your kitchen, try Kitchen Collage. This place has tons of culinary tools and tableware.

For people more interested in the nightlife, there’s plenty offered in East Village. Wooly’s, a live concert venue, was just established at the beginning of this year. Already, it has hosted concerts from artists such as Lisa Marie Presley, Mickey Avalon, Reel Big Fish, Forever the Sickest Kids and even Maximum Ames Records as well as many others. There’s plenty of bars and other live music venues as well.

For food, you can check out many of the bars. If you are not 21, you have other options, many of which are just as appetizing. People of all ages can check out the latest craze, Zombie Burger + Drink Lab. This place goes all out. The menu is full of unique choices ranging from “The Walking Ched,” “Undead Elvis,” “Zombie Salad” and even “Zombie Bride Wedding Cake Shake.” You’re guaranteed an experience here that is unique from many other eating experiences.

With both an exciting nightlife as well as plenty of shopping areas and dining centers, East Village offers options that are ideal for anytime a person decides to visit.