About Malo

900 Mulberry St.
Des Moines, IA 50309
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MALO is Des Moines’ destination for Latin cuisine. From classic Havana cocktails to inventive Mexican dishes, MALO celebrates all the flavors of Latin America.

Dining Style:
Casual Dining

Cuisines:
Latin American, Mexican / Southwestern

Hours of Operation:
Sunday: 10am - 9pm
Monday - Thursday: 11am - 11pm
Friday & Saturday: 11am - Midnight

Cross Street:
9th St.

Dress Code:
Business Casual

Price Range:
$30 and under

Payment Options
AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa

Phone Number:
(515) 244-5000

Website:
http://www.malodesmoines.com/

Parking Details:
There is ample street parking near our restaurant.

Executive Chef:
Matt Howard

Additional:
Bar/Lounge, Beer, Counter Seating, Full Bar, Gluten-free Menu

Malo Ratings and Reviews

5
4
3
2
1

4.3

Overall Rating

based on recent ratings
food

4.4

service

4.1

ambience

4.2

value

4.0

noise

Moderate

94% would recommend it to a friend

Loved For

Most Booked
Iowa
Best Value
Des Moines
Fit for Foodies
Des Moines
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Most Booked
Des Moines
Best Restaurants in Downtown Des Moines ›

Good for Groups (79)
Fit for Foodies (74)
Great for Outdoor Dining (73)
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Hot Spot (69)
Special Occasion (58)
Great for Lunch (54)
Neighborhood Gem (36)
Vibrant Bar Scene (31)
Great for Brunch (24)
Kid-friendly (21)
Romantic (17)
Late-night Find (11)
Scenic View (4)
Notable Wine List (3)
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442 reviews
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I have to say my family and friends were ...

 
 (Phoenix)
·Dined 6 days ago

I have to say my family and friends were sorely disappointed when we went Sunday Aug -21. Our server she seemed interested in anything BUT serving us. The Tacos were not their standard quality. Finally when I made the reservation I put down it was for a birthday. Yet no acknowledgement. When you pay over 120.00 for a meal you expect more. Been there 3 times had two great meals this one might be the last.

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food3
ambience5
service2
value2

I am celiac and have trouble finding pla ...

 
 (Phoenix)
·Dined 6 days ago

I am celiac and have trouble finding places that truly understand GF needs. They were great about educating me on my options (tons, by the way) and were very "clean" in terms of griddle space and shared fryer info. As an Iowa native just back for a visit, I was so pleased to have found a new favorite!

Tags: Authentic, Molecular Gastronomy, Great Beer, Notable Wine List, Good for a Date, Historic, Neighborhood Gem, Gluten Free Options
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

This place has a very unique ambiance, g ...

 
 (Iowa)
·Dined on August 20, 2016

This place has a very unique ambiance, great food and generous portions for the prices. I went with a group of friends and it was a great time. The only bad part would be the music was too loud to talk to the people at our table and it was only 8pm. I could see if it was 10pm or later when it's more of a bar scene.

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food5
ambience4
service5

Malo my, and my husbands favorite restau ...

 
 (Iowa)
·Dined on August 19, 2016

Malo my, and my husbands favorite restaurant for date night. The food, service, atmosphere, and everything has been top notch every time. We also love that you can bring your own wine for not corking fee! We will always be back!!

Tags: Good for Groups, Great for Outdoor Dining, Hot Spot, Fit for Foodies, Neighborhood Gem
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

we ate outside, will never do that again ...

vip
 (Iowa)
·Dined on August 14, 2016

we ate outside, will never do that again ! cross traffic is very noisy . There $12 margaritas are only worth maybe 6 or at most $8 . could not taste any tequila , I told the manager they tasted like lime water. She was very nice about it ,and took off our bill. This is a very cool place. We want this place to live up to it potential . They have a great menu. It's a pretty hip place , and we will be back to see if maybe we just hit an off night.

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food3
ambience4
service4
value3

Malo has always been aloof in their serv ...

 
 (Iowa)
·Dined on August 14, 2016

Malo has always been aloof in their service, but this time it was even more so. It took maybe 15 minutes for our waitress to come over to get our drink orders. Maybe another 20 minutes to get the drinks. We placed our dinner order at the same time our drinks came out. Our dinner was ready in a timely manner though we were just a few bites into our food when the check was brought out. I understand it's a busy Saturday night, but common the check coming out early tells me as a customer that we need to hurry and it's not okay to order another drink or even dessert. Both of which I know are big money makers in the restaurant industry. I have no complaints about the quality or taste of food. It's excellent! However something needs to be done about the serving staff's time management.

Tags: Neighborhood Gem, Fit for Foodies, Great for Lunch
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food4
ambience4
service2
value3

Chicken enchiladas melt in your mouth

 
 (Iowa)
·Dined on August 13, 2016

Chicken enchiladas melt in your mouth

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food5
ambience5
service5

Malo is a fabulous Place to go if you lo ...

 
 (Iowa)
·Dined on August 13, 2016

Malo is a fabulous Place to go if you looking to hang out with friends, go on a date, or even family dinner night with your kids. The food and service were excellent and have been excellent every time I've been there!

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Good for Groups, Great for Outdoor Dining, Special Occasion, Vibrant Bar Scene, Great for Lunch, Romantic, Kid-friendly, Hot Spot
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food5
ambience5
service3
value4

Incomparably good cooking for a U.S. Mex ...

vip
 (New York Area)
·Dined on August 12, 2016

Incomparably good cooking for a U.S. Mexican. Huge space yet always deservedly crowded. Having the best table helps. We always sample a broad selection and all exceed expectations, even exceed wildest hopes.

Tags: Hot Spot, Great for Lunch, Great for Outdoor Dining, Fit for Foodies
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Always love going here. The service was ...

 
 (Iowa)
·Dined on August 7, 2016

Always love going here. The service was really slow but the server had a large section. Food was just ok. I tied something new so I put that on myself. I will stick to what I like next time.

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food3
ambience4
service3

I like this restaurant, it's always been ...

 
 (Iowa)
·Dined on August 6, 2016

I like this restaurant, it's always been good. Tonight was a little sub-par, our food took a long time for no busier thsn it was and our service was very slow. All other times that I've dined have been more enjoyable. I'd still recommend.

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food3
ambience3
service2

We had a great meal. Food was tasty and ...

 
 (Iowa)
·Dined on August 5, 2016

We had a great meal. Food was tasty and unique, service prompt and friendly. Cool vibe to the place, great color and artwork. Excellent beer list and coctails. Will go again.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Great for Outdoor Dining, Neighborhood Gem, Hot Spot
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food5
ambience4
service4
value3

We had dinner with our family of six bef ...

 
 (Iowa)
·Dined on July 31, 2016

We had dinner with our family of six before a show on Sunday evening. It was very crowed at the bar to get a drink at first. Dinner was excellent and our waitress was very accommodating. I would definitely return to Malo and recommend it to a friend.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Good for Groups, Great for Outdoor Dining, Romantic, Late-night Find, Scenic View, Neighborhood Gem, Hot Spot, Vibrant Bar Scene
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

We'll continue to come back. This time w ...

 
 (Iowa)
·Dined on July 31, 2016

We'll continue to come back. This time we were surprised at how good the salads were. One taco and a salad were plenty to fill us up.

Tags: Great for Brunch, Fit for Foodies, Good for Groups, Great for Outdoor Dining, Romantic, Special Occasion, Great for Lunch, Neighborhood Gem, Hot Spot
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

First time trying Malo - found our new S ...

 
 (Iowa)
·Dined on July 31, 2016

First time trying Malo - found our new Sunday Brunch fav! Dined with my husband & two kids (6 yr old & 15 mo old). Our waiter was attentive to our needs, cleared plates quickly & we especially appreciated that he pointed out that all the taco's on the menu were included in the buffet. Couldn't pass that deal by. We tried 4 & loved the Cod taco & Chipotle shrimp taco! Buffet was $16.99 per adult (kids under 12 eat free), we also had a mimosa & a peach sangaria. Final amount spent was around $57 but felt we received a great value, good food & service. Great dining experience. We will be back.

Tags: Great for Brunch, Kid-friendly, Fit for Foodies, Good for Groups, Great for Outdoor Dining, Special Occasion, Neighborhood Gem
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food4
ambience4
service5
value5

Great as always. There are tons of Mexi ...

 
 (Iowa)
·Dined on July 30, 2016

Great as always. There are tons of Mexican restaurants in Des Moines. This is truly upscale and authentic. Great drinks, paella, tacos. Really, you will like everything. Just one thing, when asked what beer they had on tap, our waitress said "I don't know, I could go look" but of course she made no move to, because someone that would say something like that never does. But really I love the place, so worth a minor irritation.

Tags: Great for Brunch, Fit for Foodies, Good for Groups, Great for Outdoor Dining, Special Occasion, Hot Spot, Vibrant Bar Scene
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food5
ambience5
service4
value4

This was our second time at Malo and we ...

 
 (Philadelphia)
·Dined on July 30, 2016

This was our second time at Malo and we were a bit disappointed. I am vegan and when I ordered the two tacos that can be prepared vegan (avocado and crispy onion as well as the portobello) my portobello taco had cheese on it. Our server had acknowledged that I was vegan and to leave the cheese off when I placed the order, but it still came out wrong. Our order of vegan black beans also had cheese all over them. After she brought us the corrected order, it seemed like she could not get us out of their fast enough. She started clearing our table and quickly brought us the check. Unfortunately we probably won't be returning to Malo. Never fun to dine somewhere that you feel like you can't sit and take your time.

Tags: Hot Spot
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food3
ambience4
service2
value4

I was with a group of friends for a semi ...

 
 (South Dakota)
·Dined on July 26, 2016

I was with a group of friends for a semi-nice night out for dinner. The food was awesome. We sat outside, which allowed the 2-year old in our group a little more space. I enjoyed the outside seating area, though it is right on the street so you can't really expect a garden view or anything. I've already recommended them to other friends. Pleasantly surprised when you want to pay a little more than Taco Johns and not quite as much as some other downtown locations.

Tags: Kid-friendly, Good for Groups, Great for Outdoor Dining, Romantic, Special Occasion, Great for Lunch, Neighborhood Gem
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food5
ambience4
service3
value3

Great seafood nachos! Our waiter was ver ...

 
 (Iowa)
·Dined on July 23, 2016

Great seafood nachos! Our waiter was very attentive and friendly. Will definitely be back!

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food5
ambience5
service5

took our California foodie son there bef ...

vip
 (Iowa)
·Dined on July 17, 2016

took our California foodie son there before heading back to cal. He loves this place. We all did taco's , and they were all very good. Great job Malo

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Hot Spot
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food4
ambience5
service4
value3

I've heard nothing but good things about ...

vip
 (Iowa)
·Dined on July 17, 2016

I've heard nothing but good things about the Malo brunch, but by noon (it runs 10 - 2), everything on the tables was quite stale. They clearly mass-produced the food (just way too much out there for the number of people there) when smaller batches and restocks would make far more sense. The waffles were hard and crunchy, the corned beef hash was a lukewarm mess, the bacon and sausage similarly lukewarm, and even the made to order tacos came out on stale corn shells with dried cheese and dried/overcooked meat. After being seated it took about 7 - 10 minutes for us to get water and then a vist from our server. For a place that has been consistently good at lunch, it was altogether miserable at brunch. Perhaps it wasn't their kitchen's or staff's best day, but I could never recommend brunch here after that experience.

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food2
ambience3
service2
value1

Was a little bit loud, but otherwise a g ...

 
 (Iowa)
·Dined on July 16, 2016

Was a little bit loud, but otherwise a great meal.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Good for Groups, Great for Lunch, Hot Spot, Late-night Find, Romantic, Special Occasion
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food5
ambience4
service4
value3

Great environment, fantastic food and se ...

 
 (Iowa)
·Dined on July 15, 2016

Great environment, fantastic food and service was unbeatable. Our waitress was fun and let us have time to catch-up with friends without rushing us.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Good for Groups, Great for Lunch, Great for Outdoor Dining
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food5
ambience4
service5
value4

Always happy with the food at Malo. Try ...

 
 (Iowa)
·Dined on July 10, 2016

Always happy with the food at Malo. Try their brunch! Servers are very friendly, but the restaurant feels short staffed at times; there have been a couple visits where our server hasn't seen us and we have to flag someone down. Overall, we love coming here!

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food5
ambience5
service3

Went to Malo 7/9/16 with 6:15 reservatio ...

 
 (Chicago)
·Dined on July 9, 2016

Went to Malo 7/9/16 with 6:15 reservation. Food was ok- looked dry and limp- like it had been under heat lamp. We were 4 adults- each had different mixed drinks that we thought were weak in both flavor and alcohol. When we told our server the Peron margaritas were weak- her reply was "you must of got a bad one." No offer to fix or replace with a different drink. Food quality is definitely not up to prove level. Our tab was roughly $150 with appetizers, drinks and entrees.

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food2
ambience4
service2
value1

This Gem was found when looking for a ne ...

 
 (Iowa)
·Dined on July 9, 2016

This Gem was found when looking for a new place to dine with friends coming to town. Downtown Des Moines has so much to offer and this enhances the experience. The food is excellant, the wait staff is attentive. This is on the list for a return visit and explore the menu even more.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Great for Lunch, Great for Outdoor Dining, Scenic View, Special Occasion, Vibrant Bar Scene
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

My tacos were fantastic but the service ...

 
 (Iowa)
·Dined on July 7, 2016

My tacos were fantastic but the service was not great. We had to flag our waitress down to order our food after sitting for 15 minutes (the restaurant was not busy) and find her again for our check. Our lunch took an hour and 15 minutes. Not acceptable.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Good for Groups, Great for Lunch, Great for Outdoor Dining
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food5
ambience4
service2
value4

The menu has a great variety and anyone ...

 
 (Iowa)
·Dined on June 30, 2016

The menu has a great variety and anyone I have ever shared a meal with at Malo has been very happy with what they chose. I always get the chicken and waffles, or the Malo burger. :)

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Good for Groups, Hot Spot, Late-night Find, Special Occasion
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food5
ambience4
service4
value4

Great place, excellent management! The ...

 
 (Iowa)
·Dined on June 25, 2016

Great place, excellent management! The food was terrific!

Tags: Hot Spot
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Malo has always provided good great loca ...

 
 (Chicago)
·Dined on June 24, 2016

Malo has always provided good great location for lunch. Our server was great. The food was good, or what I've come to expect from dining here.

Tags: Great for Lunch, Great for Outdoor Dining, Vibrant Bar Scene
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food3
ambience4
service5
value3

Eating alone on business trip. When I a ...

 
 (Dallas)
·Dined on June 23, 2016

Eating alone on business trip. When I arrived restaurant was swamped by groups going to a concert so getting table was a little slow but hostess handled it perfectly. When I got a table (nice table on the patio) long wait for service. Waiter was fine when he showed up but that seldom happened. Ordered a local beer and a couple of tacos (choriso and carnitas) and both were great. Review would be glowing were it not for the largely absent waiter.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Good for Groups, Great for Outdoor Dining
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food5
ambience5
service2
value4

Well worth putting up with the high n ...

vip
 (Oklahoma City)
·Dined on June 22, 2016

Well worth putting up with the high noise level

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Great for Lunch, Great for Outdoor Dining, Hot Spot
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food5
ambience3
service5
value5

Business lunch at Malo. Ample parking on ...

 
 (San Francisco)
·Dined on June 21, 2016

Business lunch at Malo. Ample parking on-street and in nearby garage. Outdoor seating is available. We ate inside. Had to track-down wait staff to place order. Had the blackened salmon salad. Flavors should have worked better than they did so not sure what was off. Not bad, just not as good as I've had elsewhere with similar ingredients. Wouldn't be my first choice to return but I would go back.

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food3
ambience3
service2
value3

Good seemed overpriced for what we got. ...

 
 (Iowa)
·Dined on June 17, 2016

Good seemed overpriced for what we got. $21 for enchiladas should mean excellent enchiladas...but they were average. Can get just as good or better at a lot of places for a fraction of the price.

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food3
ambience3
service4

The service was slow. The service was ru ...

 
 (Iowa)
·Dined on June 16, 2016

The service was slow. The service was rude. The food was drenched in too much aioli and you're only provided the fabric napkin the silverware was initially wrapped in. When we asked to have a stack of napkins brought over because the food was so messy--the waitress brought over literally 4 small napkins for my guest and I to split. it took the hostess ten minutrs to find the reservation even though I provided her a printed copy of the Open Table confirmation screen.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Hot Spot
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food3
ambience2
service2
value3

Frequent customer, but I must say that t ...

 
 (Iowa)
·Dined on June 15, 2016

Frequent customer, but I must say that the service was really slow on this particular Wednesday night (from the kitchen and bar - not our waiter - he was hustling). There's no reason it should have taken two hours from sitting down to paying the bill for the light meals and drinks we ordered. Still like this place, though.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Good for Groups, Great for Lunch, Kid-friendly, Special Occasion
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food4
ambience4
service2
value4

Good, drinks, and service were excellent ...

 
 (New York Area)
·Dined on June 12, 2016

Good, drinks, and service were excellent. I suggest the shrimp tacos and the El Rey Margarita (well worth the $12).

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food5
ambience5
service5

Good food. Service was very helpful. Ins ...

 
 (Denver)
·Dined on June 9, 2016

Good food. Service was very helpful. Inside appeared to be a little loud for normal conversation, but we sat out and had a pleasant experience. Would definitely return

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food5
ambience5
service5

Wonderful

 
 (Iowa)
·Dined on June 5, 2016

It fantastic as usual. We love going but was first time our son was able to go. Our entire group had a great time. Food was fantastic, can't wait to again !

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Great for Brunch, Great for Lunch, Great for Outdoor Dining, Hot Spot, Neighborhood Gem, Romantic, Special Occasion, Vibrant Bar Scene
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Fun downtown place to gather with friends

 
 (Iowa)
·Dined on June 4, 2016

My third time here in the last 6 months while visiting DSM. I recommend the tacos HIGHLY. That is what I ordered last time, along with the cinnamon gelato, and the food was amazing! This time I had the garden burger & it was pretty good but it fell apart so I ate it w/a fork. I did love the Caesar salad & my hubby thought the Cuban sandwich was delicious! We ate on the patio & it was busy but not overly noisy which is a big positive to me. The waiter was very nice but rather slow and we thought he had to be new b/c he was not totally familiar with the menu. Visiting from San Diego, we were thrilled to see Ballast Point beer on the menu! Would greatly appreciate more vegetarian options that include a protein source, for example, add a vegetarian protein to the meatless tacos. Overall a great place to get together w/friends & enjoy a fabulous meal!

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Good for Groups, Great for Lunch, Great for Outdoor Dining, Hot Spot, Late-night Find, Neighborhood Gem, Special Occasion
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food4
ambience4
service3
value5

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