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Datebook Diner: PerKup serves best biscuits and gravy in town     June 13, 2012

Fresh biscuits and gravy can make me smile like nothing else, so it came as no surprise when I started grinning like a Wonderland cat during a recent rendezvous at the PerKup Café. The charming Urbandale nook just happens to have the best biscuits and gravy in town.

Nestled in a bland shopping plaza, the café is bright inside with a 40-seat dining room full of warm colors and casual country décor.

The PerKup serves breakfast and lunch. Morning bites include a variety of smoothies, omelets, breakfast sandwiches and hearty breakfast platters. Noticeably absent are pancakes, although the kitchen compensates with cornflake-crusted French toast that’s crafted with apple-cinnamon bread from Big Sky Bread Company, a local bakery situated around the corner.

The star of the menu is a hefty biscuits-and-gravy platter for $5.75, available Friday through Sunday. If you’re interested, get there early. It often sells out by 10 a.m., which I learned the hard way when, on my first visit, an apologetic waitress broke the news that they were sold out.

I returned the next day earlier, hungrier and ready to riot if they were out again. Fortunately, there was plenty and soon my breakfast appeared: a pair of flaky, split biscuits drowned in generous ladles of peppery sausage gravy. For an extra $2, mine came topped with two eggs sunny side up. Paula Deen would have been so jealous.

My companion ordered a hefty wheat tortilla breakfast wrap. The filling had obviously been cooked to order as the scrambled eggs were light and fluffy and the bacon crispy. A piquant “revenge” sauce, served on the side, added extra zing to the tasty wrap.

Another pleasant discovery was the fine-tasting homemade jam: peach, plum, strawberry and raspberry were on hand during my visits. The café also serves a decent brew, thanks their custom of using freshly ground coffee. I appreciated being able to order a cup while waiting for a table to open and that I could get my refill to go when it was time to leave.


Google Reviews:
  • Love this place, best strawberry jelly ever! Great people...great coffee!
  • Highly recommend the Chicken Bacon Chipotle sandwich and the Biscuits and Gravy. Can't wait to stop again next time I'm in Des Moines to try another menu item.
  • Cool little place. Great food, great drinks. : )
  • Excellent coffee, delicious breakfast, and great sandwiches... Free wifi is handy. 
  • Great, fast service. Breakfast croissant sandwich was delicious. Highly recommend! 
  • Friendly service and clean. Child friendly.
    Liked: Great breakfast wrap and iced coffee! I will go back often
Urban Spoon Reviews:    93% LIKE IT
  • This place was great! The food tasted great and the prices are even better! The coffee was delicious as well as the HOMEMADE mango jam. My 3 yr old even cleaned her plate and she's a tough one to impress. 
  • If you are looking for a breakfast sandwich with a kick, order the breakfast revenge sandwich. Scrambled eggs with grilled onions and peppers, topped with melted chesse, yum! The chipolte sauce if fabulous. 
  • We were pleasantly surprised to discover PerKup Cafe the other weekend. We've had breakfast there twice and it has been fantastic each time. I love the breakfast wrap (healthy way of saying burrito) and the french toast is amazing! It's so great to have a cute and quality little breakfast/lunch spot in the downtown Urbandale neighborhood. Thank you PerKup Cafe!


Groupon Coupon Reviews:  93% Referral Rate


  • It was delicious and everyone was very friendly.
  • I enjoyed my first experience at Perkup Cafe and have already recommended it to a co-worker. The food was delicious, the homemade jam was yummy, and the staff was very friendly and pleasant. I will return soon.
  • Just a fantastic place for a great cup of coffee, full breakfast or lunch!! LOVE PerKup!!!!
  • Great small restaurant - friendly staff - good service. Busy on Sunday so get there early.
  • Very glad I bought the Groupon. Will definitely be back to try something else. Nice ambience. Didn't feel like I was in a strip mall. 

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Contact Us

PerKup Cafe

2700 University Ave

West Des Moines, Iowa 50266





Business Hours

Tues - Sat: 7:00 am - 2:00 pm 

Sun 8:00 am - 2:00 pm

Monday - Closed