Big Tomato Pizza Co.
2613 Ingersoll Ave.; 515-505-1333
When it’s past 2 a.m. and you’re desperately hungry, it’s good to know you don’t have to settle for inferior food. Thanks to its freshly homemade dough and sauces and an abundance of topping choices, Big Tomato reigns as a longtime favorite of Des Moines’ pizza cognoscenti, whether ordering in for a buttoned-down office lunch or slaking hunger after a night on the town. Big Tomato is especially famous for specialty pizzas, such as chili dog, lemon pepper chicken, Cajun shrimp, and potato and onion ring. Slices also are available. Note that with only a bench to sit on, it’s a takeout/delivery option. Open until 3 a.m. every night.
Fong’s Pizza and Tiki Bar
223 Fourth St.; 515-323-3333
This lively Fourth Street downtown spot specializes in questionable-sounding (but thoroughly tasty) China-meets-Italy takes on pizza, such as “Fongolian” beef, Hunan pork and crab Rangoon. If that sounds too kooky for words, you can also order more traditional toppings—mushrooms, pepperoni, green onions and the like. To drink, you can play it safe with domestic and import beer; however, just try to resist the Tiki bar, with its potent cocktails, such as the Funky Monkey, Skull Splitter or Fong’s Fizz, served in goofy ceramic vessels. Full menu available every night until midnight; slices available until 2 a.m. Sunday through Thursday and until 3 a.m. Friday and Saturday.
Noah’s Ark Ristorante and Lounge
2400 Ingersoll Ave.; 515-288-2246
If you’re not up for a late-night party scene, head to one of the oldest restaurants in Des Moines. Noah’s is an old-school Italian-American eatery that exudes midcentury warmth and well-being. On Fridays and Saturdays, it’s one of the few places you can go after a show (until midnight) to enjoy a full-scale menu, with options from steaks and fried chicken to red-sauced pasta classics, pizza, sandwiches and more.
Zombie Burger + Drink Lab
300 E. Grand Ave.; 515-244-9292
Open until the dead of the night (that is, until midnight Sunday through Thursday and until 2 a.m. on Friday and Saturday), this Zombie-themed restaurant serves around two dozen specialty burgers, such as the Juan of the Dead (with a green chile and cheese croquette, Monterrey Jack cheese, onion rings and chipotle mayo) or Planet Terror (barbecue sauce, bacon, cheddar cheese, caramelized onion, ranch dressing). If all that sounds a bit scary, calm your nerves with something from the full bar; or, try one of the crazy shakes (spiked or unspiked), with names like Cinnamon Toast Crunch, Rice Crispy Treat and Zombie Bride Wedding Cake. +