Restaurant: The High Life Lounge200 Southwest 2nd Street, Des Moines, Iowa 50309 | Twitter: @highlifelounge | 10/8/2015



Grace: 3 Stars

Josh: 3.4/5 Stars

Why High Life Lounge?

Josh: To be honest, this was not our first choice. We wanted to go to Court Avenue Brewing Company but forgot the tiny detail of making a reservation. It was the night of the Taylor Swift concert (to which we were going  EEEEEEK) and we were sad to find out the were full for a couple hours and we were like NOPE. We had a couple options: a) go to Legends, b) El Bait Shop/High Life, or c) get stadium food at Wells Fargo arena. I’m not sure which is worse, option a) or option c)…So High Life Lounge it was!

Grace: Josh pretty much covered it! We were so overwhelmed by the nearness of Taylor that we forgot to make reservations. Oooooooops 😦

The Meal

Grace: First, we ordered a beer. We ordered draws, but then the waitress informed us that cans were 2-for-1, and they had cans of what we’d both ordered (YEAH I ordered PBR. I stand by that.).  The 2 cans were the same as 1 draw, and we know how to do math, so we said sure!

We started with the As-Seen-On-TV Bacon Wrapped Tator Tots. AKA Heart Attack in a lil paper boat. They are: tater tots + jalapenos wrapped in bacon and smothered in cheese. Mmmmmmm… they were delicious.


I got a Patty Melt. It was ok. Nothing special… really greasy and kind of bland. Sad panda 😦

Josh’s meal is where it’s that so you should just go ahead and scroll down there!


Josh: We started off with their famous Bacon Wrapped Tater Tots. These babies have been on the Travel Channel and I can see why. They were cheesy. They were hot. They were great. I was surprised that the jalapenos didn’t have a kick to them. They were cooked down so much that it lost its spice. No matter…it was still very tasty.


The beer! How could I forget about the beer?? They had a special going on where you get two cans for $3. Grace and I decided hell yes and were both double-fisting like we were back in college. Right before a Taylor Swift concert. Because that’s what two 24-year-old adults do.

I got their novelty meal because that’s what you gotta do.  I got the half pineapple at Wasabi Chi so I had to get this bad boy. It’s “The High Life Man”. It’s “a 1/4 lb. burger, an Italian sausage patty, three strips of bacon, swiss and American cheese, grilled onions and jalapeños, mayonnaise and BBQ sauce. Topped with a mini powdered donut.” I copy and pasted that from their website because I didn’t want to type it. Too lazy.


Was it good? Yeah it was pretty good. The burger and the toppings were good and I was able to eat it all. I wasn’t a fan of the sausage patty and the bacon was chewy, not crispy. Besides those personal objections, it was pretty good. I got crinkle cut fries as my side and they were fries. They didn’t look homemade but they did the job of being fries.

Not the best quality picture, but the quality of taste is all that matters
Not the best quality picture, but the quality of taste is all that matters

Atmosphere, Service, Price

Grace: I will forever love High Life Lounge because it’s such a divey spot and it’s so proud of itself. It’s great. Wood paneling on the walls, random pictures everywhere, random beers. I love it so much ❤

Our waitress was really nice and I appreciate the fact that she clued us in on the beer specials! She was very friendly, which is par for the course at this place.

Also…High Life Lounge is dirt. cheap. And, for the most part, really good! I’ll go back! I just won’t get a patty melt.


Josh: The atmosphere was incredible. It has a 60’s and 70’s vibe and the beer they serve is from that era. I recommend going to their website (listed above) and clicking on the “Picture” tab. They are a true dive bar and it is amazing. The prices are cheap and it’s a chill atmosphere that makes me want to come back. This place is connected to El Bait Shop and actually shares the same kitchen and menu. With everything in mind, I personally think High Life Lounge > El Bait Shop. Though both are great places to go.



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