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

4.4

Overall Rating

based on recent ratings
food

4.6

service

4.3

ambience

4.2

value

4.2

noise

Moderate

96% would recommend it to a friend

Loved For

Best Value
Iowa
Most Booked
Iowa
Best Value
Des Moines
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Fit for Foodies
Des Moines
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good for groups (88)
fit for foodies (81)
hot spot (68)
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great for outdoor dining (63)
special occasion (57)
great for lunch (47)
neighborhood gem (38)
great for brunch (27)
vibrant bar scene (27)
kid-friendly (23)
romantic (13)
late-night find (13)
scenic view (5)
notable wine list (2)
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took our California foodie son there bef ...

 
 (Des Moines)
·Dined 6 days ago

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
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value3

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

vip
 (Des Moines)
·Dined 7 days ago

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 ...

 
 (Des Moines)
·Dined on July 16, 2016

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

Tags: fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch, late-night find, hot spot
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food5
ambience4
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value3

Great environment, fantastic food and se ...

 
 (Des Moines)
·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 outdoor dining, great for lunch
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food5
ambience4
service5
value4

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 ...

 
 (Des Moines)
·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 outdoor dining, special occasion, great for lunch, scenic view, vibrant bar scene
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food5
ambience5
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value5

My tacos were fantastic but the service ...

 
 (Des Moines)
·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 outdoor dining, great for lunch
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food5
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service2
value4

The menu has a great variety and anyone ...

 
 (Des Moines)
·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, special occasion, late-night find, hot spot
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food5
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Great place, excellent management! The ...

 
 (Des Moines)
·Dined on June 25, 2016

Great place, excellent management! The food was terrific!

Tags: hot spot
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food5
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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 outdoor dining, great for lunch, vibrant bar scene
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food3
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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 outdoor dining, great for lunch, hot spot
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food5
ambience3
service5
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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. ...

 
 (Des Moines)
·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
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service4

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

 
 (Des Moines)
·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
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Frequent customer, but I must say that t ...

 
 (Des Moines)
·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: kid-friendly, fit for foodies, good for groups, special occasion, great for lunch
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food4
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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
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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
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Wonderful

 
 (Des Moines)
·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: great for brunch, fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch, neighborhood gem, hot spot, vibrant bar scene
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food5
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service5
value5

Fun downtown place to gather with friends

 
 (Des Moines)
·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 outdoor dining, special occasion, great for lunch, late-night find, neighborhood gem, hot spot
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food4
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Fun Downtown Spot

 
 (Des Moines)
·Dined on June 3, 2016

Great Food, wild and delicious menu, There is something for all tastes!!

Guacamole was fresh and wonderful, the Carne Asada was fantastic

Tags: fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining
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food5
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Very good. Guac was unbelievable

 
 (Des Moines)
·Dined on May 26, 2016

Very good. Guac was unbelievable

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food5
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Fantastic restaurant for those intereste ...

 
 (Des Moines)
·Dined on May 21, 2016

Fantastic restaurant for those interested in Latin cuisine with a twist. Phenomenal margaritas, guacamole, warm chips and outstanding carnitas. Ambiance is great though it can get loud at times. Highly recommended for groups or anyone who is interested in high quality Latin cuisine.

Tags: fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, special occasion, great for lunch, neighborhood gem, hot spot, vibrant bar scene
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food5
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service5
value4

Great salads and drinks!

 
 (Des Moines)
·Dined on May 14, 2016

Great salads and drinks!

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food5
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service5

Just no wow factor and the quac was cold ...

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

Just no wow factor and the quac was cold like it had been sitting in the fridge. It wasn't fresh. The tacos were just ok. The margarita came in a champagne glass and wasn't special in presentation. Disappointed!

Tags: kid-friendly
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food2
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value2

Everything I have ordered here has been ...

 
 (Des Moines)
·Dined on May 12, 2016

Everything I have ordered here has been addictive!

Tags: great for brunch, good for groups, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch, neighborhood gem, hot spot
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food5
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service5
value5

Good good just too much to eat!

 
 (Des Moines)
·Dined on May 8, 2016

Good good just too much to eat!

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food3
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service5

Tasty Latin-Mex food, Great Non-Standard Brunch

 
 (Des Moines)
·Dined on May 8, 2016

Food is tasty and makes this worth a visit. In each entree I have had nothing which has seemed out of place (taste or ingredient-wise) in any item I have ordered. While I have my favorites, I have not been sorry with anything I have ordered. They also have items that work for specialized diets (nods to low carb, also gluten and veg)

Good place to relax with friends. Tacos Ala-cart, many varieties (with option of flour, masa, or lettuce leaf based) Al-pastor was enjoyable. At time of writing orders of ala-cart tacos included with brunch at no extra cost. At time of writing kids brunch free with adult.

Several visits - all without complaint, enjoyable, and relaxing.

Wait staff - pleasant, friendly, helpful. They show up when needed and don't linger or hover. They also have been knowledgeable about the items on the menu and don't seem lost when asked questions.

Beer list unique with great options - many brews from Spain and Latin countries - items not readily available in the area.

Bar makes great cocktails if ordered from the menu (well crafted), or commonly known - they do get a little lost if it is not on their menu. So well known cocktails - great, lesser known ones...may not occur. I know someone really happy with the Mojitos they make. Did a really good job on a side-car.

The location is a former central fire station and is shared with Des Moines Social Club, Kapes Cafe and an art gallery - so there is something to do before and after meals.

The space itself is large and open with giant windows / former overhead doors allowing in plenty of light. Though the space is large and open with plenty of hard surfaces the crowd noise is tamed by the sheer amount of overhead space in the dine in area. They also have a well-laid out patio.

Have not been late night...only lunch and brunch.

Like the Luchador artwork.

Would recommend and have recommended it to others.

Tags: great for brunch, kid-friendly, fit for foodies, good for groups, special occasion, great for lunch
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food5
ambience4
service5
value4

Great time!

 
 (Des Moines)
·Dined on May 7, 2016

The place was busy when we went there on the Saturday night before Mother's Day. It was a little noisy, but I thought that just added to the fun, vibrant atmosphere. Our waitress friendly and knew her stuff when we asked a few questions about menu items. The food was delicious and HOT, something that often isn't the case at a couple of the priciest places in Des Moines. I had tacos. They were seasoned so well I didn't ask for taco sauce.

Tags: great for outdoor dining, special occasion, neighborhood gem, hot spot
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food5
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Cinco de Mayo. Waited over 15 minutes fo ...

 
 (Des Moines)
·Dined on May 6, 2016

Cinco de Mayo. Waited over 15 minutes for cocktails & another half hour for appetizers. We had a birthday celebration in our group, and they did provide a dessert gratis.

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food4
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Great Happy Hour

 
 (Des Moines)
·Dined on May 5, 2016

Stopped on Cinco de Mayo for Happy Hour - busy but the food was still excellent. Can't beat the variety of single tacos and margaritas at this spot. We've tried appetizers and entrees too on prior visits and have always been impressed. I would recommend reservations - there is always a wait.

Tags: great for brunch, good for groups, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
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food5
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Great breakfast brunch..

 
 (Des Moines)
·Dined on May 1, 2016

We went to Sunday brunch here for the 2nd time. So good, I'd recommend it again. Kids 12 and under eat the buffet free which makes it really affordable for parents. Food was great, tacos are always good and you'll leave happy.

Tags: great for brunch, kid-friendly, good for groups
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food4
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Fun and creative food!

 
 (Des Moines)
·Dined on May 1, 2016

My fist time at brunch and plenty of choices at the buffet. Loved the chocolate fountain and the specialty cake.

Tags: great for brunch, fit for foodies, special occasion, great for lunch, neighborhood gem, hot spot
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food5
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Excellent food, fun atmosphere

 
 (Des Moines)
·Dined on April 30, 2016

Our food was excellent. This is the second visit we have made and I tried something different each time. Have never been disappointed. We were seated before our reservation time and our server was excellent.

Tags: kid-friendly, fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, special occasion, great for lunch
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food5
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Excellent!

vip
 (Des Moines)
·Dined on April 30, 2016

The food was great, service was good, prices are reasonable. I would definitely recommend this restaurant.

Tags: fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem, hot spot, vibrant bar scene
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food5
ambience5
service4
value5

First time visit, won't be the last

 
 (Des Moines)
·Dined on April 30, 2016

Was very surprised at the dining area - very sleek and modern. Service was prompt and efficient. Separate checks handled accurately. Food was generously portioned. Salsa was tasty with a little heat. Would definitely go back and bring more friends.

Tags: great for brunch, good for groups, great for lunch
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food5
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service4
value4

Food was fresh tasting and delicious. Ou ...

 
 (Des Moines)
·Dined on April 29, 2016

Food was fresh tasting and delicious. Our server was friendly and helpful in helping us decide what to order.

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food5
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Very noisy

 
 (Tampa)
·Dined on April 29, 2016

It was very noisy - really difficult to hear the person across the table from you. It was our first visit and since the food was good, we would go back again.

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food3
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Delicious

 
 (Des Moines)
·Dined on April 27, 2016

The tacos and appetizers are absolutely delicious every time we stop in.

Tags: fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining
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food5
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Sitting on the patio was excellent! The ...

 
 (Chicago)
·Dined on April 16, 2016

Sitting on the patio was excellent! The meat in the tacos was not hot but tasted delicious. The sampler plate was great and gave a taste of different food items. Great margarita!

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food4
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