The Oldest Restaurant In Iowa's Little Italy Is A Culinary Masterpiece
By Raymond Goldfield|Published July 20, 2022
Raymond Goldfield is a life-long New Jersey resident and an avid traveler and foodie who can be usually found on the Jersey Shore during the offseason or checking out the latest seasonal flavors at The Bent Spoon in Princeton. He has been working for Only In Your State for since early 2022, where he writes for New Jersey and Iowa and edits the Mid-Atlantic region. He can also be found writing about pop culture for GeekDad. When at home, he enjoys reading comic books and is part of The Rabbitt Stew podcast team. While New Jersey is his home base, he travels regularly and has visited Virginia, Florida, Maine, Minnesota, and Canada as well as all of NJ's border states. Ultimate travel goal? Visit all the best buffets in the United States.
Des Moines, Iowa has a lot of great Italian restaurants – so many that people often call the area where they’re most commonly found the Hawkeye State’s Little Italy. You can find all the classics – chicken parmesan, lasagna, and of course pizza. But to find the best pizza in Iowa, you’ll want to go to a place that’s been dishing them out since 1945. Chuck Celsi’s Tavern Restaurant, often just called The Tavern, is the oldest still-operating Italian restaurant in Des Moines, beating out Noah’s Ark by only a year. It’s undergone a lot of changes in those almost eighty years, but what hasn’t changed is that the food is still the best around.
Have you dined at Chuck Celsi’s Tavern Restaurant? What’s your pick for the best pizza in Iowa? Let us know in the comments section. If you’re planning a visit, make sure to check out the restaurant’s website and Facebook page so you know all about their latest menu additions!
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