Waveland Cafe: best breakfast in the galaxy

Waveland Cafe: best breakfast in the galaxy

Waveland Cafe is an adorable and quaint breakfast and lunch restaurant located on University Ave. in Des Moines. It has such a down to earth and welcoming vibe that every little cafe strives for and can meet literally anyone’s need.

When you first set foot into the cafe, you immediately feel like you just walked into your grandparents’ house. The customers and staff were all laughing and chatting with each other and everyone was in such a good mood. A coat tree was placed right next to the front door, where many customers hung their jackets and hats. The restaurant walls are painted a light olive green and murals and picture collages of several different family members, friends and regular customers adorn the walls. My mom and I were greeted as soon as we walked in and told to sit wherever we wanted. We chose a booth next to the main front window, with a perfect view of the kitchen through the hot window. It truly did feel like we were sitting down to have a nice hot breakfast with family and friends.


On the tables, there was a little booklet with some history and background information on the cafe. Inside, it explained that the restaurant can only hold 46 people at the maximum, and at that point they would close out the place to try and keep up with customers. The Waveland Cafe has had a majority of their staff working there since 1992, and promise that they will treat you just like family. All the food is prepared from scratch, and they guarantee it will be “hot, consistent and excellent as always!”


After we sat down, we began looking through the breakfast menu. We ordered a cappuccino and a coffee to start. Even though they were from just a simple coffee machine, it was some of the best coffee we’ve ever had. The cappuccino was so thick and creamy. The next two things we ordered were the cinnamon french toast with scrambled eggs and bacon, and the everything hash browns. The cinnamon french toast was so fluffy, sweet and cinnamon-y on the inside, but still crispy and buttery on the outside. With the addition of the maple syrup, everything came together in a beautiful cinnamon harmony. The eggs were scrambled perfectly and the bacon was so smokey and crispy, we probably could have used five more pieces each. The sweet and savory flavors balanced out the whole dish perfectly.

On the cover of the Waveland Cafe menu, in the corner was the phrase “best hash browns in the galaxy.” So naturally, we had to go all out and order the everything hash browns. They consisted of a bottom layer of diced and sauteed onions, peppers and ham, and a middle layer of golden hash browns, topped with melted American cheese. They really were the best hash browns in the galaxy. The vegetables and ham were so tender and flavorful. The hash browns were fluffy on the inside and crispy and golden on the outside. The gooey melted cheese on top was the perfect finishing touch on some of the best hash browns out there.


The greatest part of the whole experience at Waveland was the kind and friendly atmosphere. The Waveland Cafe has been open for 32 years, and the staff will always treat you like an old friend, no matter if you’re a regular or a first timer. Our waitress was so kind to everyone — staff and customers. We had gotten a cinnamon roll to bring home and share, and as we were walking out the door, she told us to microwave and butter it to make it taste even fresher. Neither of us had ever had such a kind server who truly cared about how the customer felt about after their meal.

The Waveland Cafe went above and beyond and completely exceeded my expectations. The food was absolutely incredible and the service was equally amazing. If you’re ever on the hunt for a quality breakfast or lunch experience, the Waveland Cafe has something for everyone.

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