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Ritual Café, Des Moines' vegetarian restaurant and coffeehouse

Grilled Tempeh Sandwich at Ritual Cafe
Grilled Tempeh Sandwich at Ritual Cafe
Jessica Osterberg

Do you ever just want to go to a restaurant where they truly understand what vegan means without having to ask about every ingredient? Do you get tired of spending time researching a restaurant online before planning a visit? In a perfect world, every restaurant would be vegan, delicious, affordable, and provide great ambiance.

Vegetarian restaurants are few and far between in Iowa. The Ritual Café is Des Moines’ vegetarian restaurant—the only vegetarian-only restaurant in Des Moines. Although the Ritual Café is not vegan, the majority of the items on the menu can easily be made vegan. The Ritual Café is, however, delicious, affordable, and provides great ambiance.

When you walk in you are immediately relaxed by the coffeehouse feel and open setting. The employees are welcoming and helpful with selecting vegan fare. The prices are very agreeable and the quality ingredients are worth every penny. Don’t be afraid to bring your kids either. They even have a high chair.

Their menu is simple, which is how good food should be, and customizable. The Grilled Tempeh Sandwich is vegan on marbled rye bread and is extremely tasty. They also offer a hummus sandwich and other sandwiches that can be made without cheese. On the lighter side try the hummus plate or Mixed Greens Salad.

The Ritual Café of course offers quality coffee and espresso drinks. Their coffee is locally roasted Java Joe’s coffee. And you can order their drinks with soy or rice milk to make them vegan. Grab a vegan peanut butter cookie or a vegan oat and fruit bar to make it a real treat.

In the mood for a smoothie? You’ve come to the right place. Their OMega Smoothies are non-dairy and  made with hemp nut and fruit juice. Add a nutritional boost to your smoothie for extra energy, immunity, protein, and more.

The Ritual Café also has live music on occasion. Just check out their online calendar in advance and you can enjoy a beer while taking in some local performers.

Stop by and support your local vegetarian restaurant as often as you can—the food is worth it, too. They are located on 13th between Grand and Locust in a great, convenient downtown setting.