Des Moines world food festival: The history and 5 yummy dishes you should try

Des moines world food festival

The Des Moines world food festival is one of our all-time favorite festivals in the city of Iowa, which is home to many fantastic events. The festival, now in its 18th year, will be held September 16–18, 2022, with hours on Friday and Saturday of 11 am–10 pm and Sunday of 11 am–5 pm. Western Gateway Park in the lovely downtown will be the scene of celebrations. The festival is free to attend.


The History of The Festival

In the Historic East Village in Downtown DSM, the Des Moines world food festival debuted in October 2005. It attracted thousands of visitors eager to sample the varied food and featured about two dozen merchants. The Community Foundation of Greater Des Moines has supported The Festival since its inception, giving it a strong foundation on which to expand.

The Festival’s vendors, programs, and entertainment have grown throughout the years, and each year, more visitors have joined in on the fun. The Festival relocated to the Downtown DSM bridges for a while to accommodate the increase until expanding into its current location in Western Gateway Park in 2017. The Des Moines world food festival now attracts more than 90,000 visitors annually who come to taste, see, hear, and experience its many wonders.

World Food & Music Festival in Des Moines, Iowa

Love BLOOMS Mural

The Community Foundation of Greater Des Moines helped fund the creation of the mural Love BLOOMS in Downtown Des Moines (DSM). A group of people that have participated in the Des Moines world food festival chose the artwork. These people included:

  • Kristi Idio, Festival Vendor, Lumpia & Co.
  • Vicente Rico, Nationwide
  • Yoko Tanaka, CultureAll Ambassador
  • Joe D’Souza, Festival Event Team Volunteer
  • Sanjita Pradhan, Greater Des Moines Partnership
  • Bridgett Robinson, The Community Foundation of Greater Des Moines

Jenna Brownlee, a DSM artist, painted the mural with the title Love Blooms. It has a vivid floral pattern on top of the word “love” written in contemporary calligraphy. The letter “O” in the symbolic typography represents the world, while the letter “V” is both the sign for peace and the letter “v” in spoken language. Additionally, each flower in the state of Iowa symbolizes diversity from all over the world.

  • Bunchberry – Canada
  • Lotus – India
  • Prairie Rose – State of Iowa
  • Rose – United States of America
  • Bosnia Lily – Bosnia
  • Dahlia – Mexico
  • Plum Blossom – China
  • Protea – South Africa

5 delicious dishes in Des moines world food festival

Green Chile & Bacon Burgur

Green Chile & Bacon Burgur-Des moines world food festival

You can’t talk about the delectable treats of Des Moines cuisine without mentioning the incredibly tasty and appealing Green Chile & Bacon Burger. This cake was originally from Mexico, but when it was brought to Des Moines, it was changed to fit the locals’ tastes and over time, it gained popularity favored foreign visitors.

The famous Green Chile & Bacon Burger from Des Moines is made with a variety of ingredients, including beef, chicken, and bacon, and typically has a fairly varied filling. Additionally, additional components like cheese, red cabbage, ground green pepper, and fresh pepper have been added. In addition, people frequently serve this dish with crisps to make it look more appetizing. This dish is popular both among residents and visitors because it has a unique flavor, is inexpensive, and is above all else, highly convenient.

Mac and Cheese (baked cheese noodles)

Mac and Cheese (baked cheese noodles)

When interesting Des Moines world food festival, many diners fall in love with the city’s mac & cheese. The components in this dish are incredibly varied and plentiful. In particular, the starch used in these dishes will be substituted by a variety of noodles or noodles of varied shapes depending on the recipe of each restaurant. The best-looking Mac & Cheese plate will then be created for guests using a combination of special sauces and customary decorating.

Bacon Cheddar Tots

Bacon Cheddar Tots

According to the Des Moines travel experience of many tourists, when discovering the delicious dishes of the festival, you also do not miss the opportunity to enjoy Bacon Cheddar Tots. This is a dish made from the main ingredients such as: potatoes, cheese and bacon. In particular, these ingredients will first be ground together, then fried on a hot pan. To make the dish more attractive and richer, local chefs in Des Moines world food festival also serve Bacon Cheddar Tots with delicious and attractive tomato sauce.

Black and white cookies

Black and white cookies

Dating back to the early years of the 20th century, black and white cookies are one of the popular desserts and snacks in the city of Des Moines. To make black and white cookies, people will add half vanilla, half chocolate on top of the cake.

Black and white cookies are usually small in shape, crunchy and fragrant with chocolate and vanilla. In Des Moines, you can find this special cake in many bakeries. In particular, according to the Des Moines travel experience of many tourists, you can also choose black and white cookies as gifts for your loved ones.


Knish- 5 delicious dishes in Des moines world food festival

Among the top 10 delicious dishes to try when experiencing Des Moines world food festival , it is Knish cake. This type of cake is often used for light meals. In fact, Knish is an Eastern European dish that was introduced into Des Moines in the 1990s and is widely used in the Jewish community.

The main ingredients for making cakes are mashed potatoes, ground meat, sauerkraut, onions, buckwheat and cheese. In addition, people can also add some other ingredients such as sweet potatoes, black beans, fruits, tofu, or spinach to make the dish more attractive.


Let’s explore the delicacies in the city of Iowa, for the opportunity to enjoy the taste of Des Moines world food festival right away!

Please read: