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Mars Cafe

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2318 University Ave, Des Moines, IA 50311-4316
+1 515-369-6277
07:30 - 22:00
Open now
All hours
Mon - Fri 06:30 - 22:00
Sat - Sun 07:30 - 22:00
More Info
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11 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

Traveller rating
Traveller type
Time of year
Showing 11: English reviews
Level Contributor
37 reviews
24 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 18 September 2016

Made my fourth visit in about 2 years here last Friday early morning. Great coffee, and the owner obviously takes pride in the quality of the place - very engaging. Convenience found me at a "trendier" place downtown the morning before (Java Joe's - blaring music at 6:30 a.m. and don't ask for pour over!), but since I was heading... More 

Thank hawkeyes4
Level Contributor
11 reviews
7 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 May 2016 via mobile

Was in Des Moines recently with friends and heard about this cafe and decided to check it out. I tried the honey almond cinnamon latte it was delicious! My boyfriend had a Mocha latte which was also great. Our friends each tried a different smoothie and liked both the peach mango and the berry smoothies. We also tried the bacon... More 

Thank thebrat_2005
Des Moines, Iowa
Level Contributor
50 reviews
40 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 19 December 2015

Set in the Drake University neighborhood - DogTown - on University Avenue, Mars Cafe is either a very nice coffee shop with an extended cafe menu, or a very nice cafe with an extended coffee menu; or it may be both. The food was very good, as was the coffee. You can order one of the coffee blends they've made,... More 

Thank eddetlie
Des Moines, Iowa
Level Contributor
6 reviews
5 restaurant reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 15 December 2015

I visit Mars often because of my proximity to the cafe and I enjoy every visit there. The coffee is socially responsible, which is very important to me, and also delicious. There are a lot of options of drinks and snacks. The atmosphere is very laid back and comfortable, but sometimes too noisy for me to study. I will continue... More 

Thank elena_megan
O'Fallon MO
Level Contributor
10 reviews
5 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 15 October 2014

Was tired of hotel coffee and asked the front desk person if there was a coffee place around, and she said mars just around the block. Walked in expecting a uptight coffee place, totally not Mars! Was so laid back and the staff is awesome! Had a red eye that was the bomb and a cappacunio that was out of... More 

1 Thank Blake S
Des Moines, Iowa
Level Contributor
63 reviews
55 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 29 September 2014

Always wanted to try this place and was driving by at 2 p.m. having had no eats that day and thought I'd get a quick bite. Ordered the grilled cheese, or moon cheese sandwich I think they call it. Has 3 cheeses including blue cheese. Found an upholstered bench along the wall with a table and sat down. Have you... More 

Thank Food4thought2014
Level Contributor
64 reviews
58 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 9 May 2014 via mobile

I love going to Mars for a nice latte or pour over. Atmosphere is laid back. Good place to study or chat with friends. I was a bit disappointed with the Cobb salad because it was room temperature and a little heavy on the dressing. It also took 15 min to get the salad. The coffee and lattes are always... More 

Thank Travelforcoffee
San Francisco, California
Level Contributor
17 reviews
8 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 31 May 2013

The first day I ordered it was a beautifully made coffee. The next day it tasted really off--we couldn't drink them when we got them back to the hotel.

Thank Deirdre H
Sioux City, Iowa
Level Contributor
318 reviews
178 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 50 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 13 May 2013

Nice place to get coffee and close to Drake. Service is good, plenty of seating-usually. I've not tried the food, but I go for the coffee, which is consistently good. The staff is friendly and helpful.

Thank jnobz
Des Moines, Iowa
Level Contributor
145 reviews
78 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 117 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 13 April 2012

For some time after my move from Ames to Des Moines, I lamented the lack of a local, independent coffee shop with character. There seemed to be a Starbucks on every corner, but nothing like what I'd frequented while in college. Little did I know the problem was me, in that I wasn't getting out and exploring enough. After a... More 

Thank Cyclone05

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Restaurant Details

Rating summary
  • Food
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Cafe, American
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Restaurant features
Open Hours
07:30 - 22:00
06:30 - 22:00
06:30 - 22:00
06:30 - 22:00
06:30 - 22:00
06:30 - 22:00
07:30 - 22:00
Location and Contact Information
  • Address: 2318 University Ave, Des Moines, IA 50311-4316
  • Location: United States  >  Iowa (IA)  >  Des Moines
  • Phone Number: +1 515-369-6277

Questions & Answers

Questions? Get answers from Mars Cafe staff and past visitors.
Posting guidelines
Typical questions asked:
  • Do you have gluten-free options?
  • Is there a dress code?
  • Do you allow dogs on the outdoor patio?