Disclosure: I attended the Iowa Tour Company‘s Ingersoll Food Tour free of charge as part of the company’s launch. However, all opinions are my own.
One of my favorite ways to experience a new community is through its food. And that’s just as true when I’m at home. We spend a fair amount of time trying new restaurants (and, let’s be honest, frequenting our favorites) around the Des Moines metro. But there are still places I’ve yet to visit.
Recently the Iowa Tour Company offered the perfect excuse to play tourist and I jumped at the chance to see my city in a new light.
Sampling Eats Along Ingersoll
As part of the Iowa Tour Company’s Des Moines launch, my friend Madison and I had the opportunity to attend their Ingersoll Food Tour. This walking tour highlights three of Ingersoll Avenue’s most delicious eateries and gives you the opportunity sample a bit of food and drink at each.
While we ate at the three restaurants included below, your tour could look different depending on your guide and group. We met our phenomenal tour guide Jennifer in front of Star Bar and learned a bit about the history of the Ingersoll area.
We started our evening across the street at Harbinger, a vegetable-focused small plates restaurant with an innovative twist. Before our tour I still hadn’t eaten at Harbinger. Afterward, I knew I would need to make plans to come back again soon.
First we enjoyed one of Harbinger’s creative cocktails, courtesy of the Iowa Tour Company. I opted for the Honey Bee, but the most interesting of the bunch was the Bourbon Acting Like Pho. While this cocktail has no bourbon in it, its peppery aroma gives the feel of a whiskey combined with the traditional Vietnamese dish pho. Jennifer ordered some appetizers for our table as well and we got to know each other while munching on the Tapioca and Pecorino Fritters, Picket Fence Cheese Curds, and Crispy Chicken Wings.
Next we headed west along Ingersoll to one of my Des Moines favorites, the Cheese Bar. This dairy-devoted eatery opened as an extension of the nearby Cheese Shop. The Cheese Bar serves incredible charcuterie boards, grilled cheeses and cast-iron mac and cheese. We stuck to the classics and enjoyed the classic mac and cheese alongside a Bacon and Blue grilled cheese.
Another thing I love about the Cheese Bar is their phenomenal selection of beer, wine and ciders. Lately, my go-to is the Zombie Killer, a cherry cider by B. Nektar.
We ended our time together across the street at Eatery A. Not only does Eatery A have a stellar patio. But it also has one of the best happy hours in town (1/2 off pizzas, beer, and wine every day of the week). Jennifer’s expert ordering skills steered us in the right direction yet again. We enjoyed a combo of two pizzas I hadn’t tried before. Now I’m in love with soft egg as a pizza topping.
While Chocolaterie Stam was closed by the time our Iowa Tour Company experience ended, Jennifer made sure that we had something sweet to take home with us. In perfect Iowa fashion, these corn-shaped chocolates with a creamy hazelnut filling helped end our tour on a sweet note.
Book Your Own Tour with Iowa Tour Company
Whether you’re visiting Des Moines for the day or just looking for a way to entertain friends and family, the Iowa Tour Company has a tour for you. The company offers a variety of walking and chauffeured tours around Des Moines. Sample some of the area’s culinary creations or learn about local history from the company’s knowledgeable tour guides.
Tours vary in price and can be booked for private groups as small as two people or as large as 20.
I can’t wait to get a group of friends together to try another tour with the Iowa Tour Company. Even though I’ve lived in Des Moines for years, there are still pieces of its history I’m curious to discover.
I would love to hear from you! Have you ever done a food tour? Which Iowa Tour Company experience sounds like the most fun to you?