People of Des Moines, I have a bone to pick with you.

(This is Grace, by the way; I’ve gone rogue, sorry Josh!)

People of Des Moines, you recently voted for The Best of Des Moines. Among other disappointments (Beer Can Alley is not even CLOSE to being one of the best bars in Des Moines, you animals), you ranked HY-VEE CHINESE as the second- and third-best Asian restaurants in the metro. This is, to quote our dear, departing VP Joe Biden, a bunch of MALARKEY.

Hy-Vee is a wonderful place. I shop for groceries there on a weekly basis, I love their fuel-saver program and the fact that they carry vegan Ben & Jerry’s at a decent price. I love HyChi. I had HyChi at a wedding once and I thought it was the best catering idea ever. HyChi is great. I mean no disrespect. But let’s be reasonable. We have a ton of Asian restaurants in the metro that blow HyChi out of the water.

I’m going to assume that the reason this travesty occurred is because people simply don’t know about the great Asian restaurants that exist in the area. That’s why I’ve taken it upon myself to create a list for you, so that you may broaden your horizons. Ignorance is not bliss. Do not live in a bubble. You can do better, Iowa.

Without further ado, a comprehensive list of my favorite Asian restaurants in Des Moines:

Sakari Sushi & Lounge

Sakari Sushi
Sakari Sushi – IDK what this even is but I do remember it was delicious

AKA the best damn sushi in Des Moines. With a range of rolls, including a ton of specialty rolls, there are options for everyone. I’ve never had a bad roll there, and believe me, I have had PLENTY of sushi at Sakari. The owner is also known to walk around with free sake shots; tell me, can you get free sake shots at Hy-Vee? You can’t? Hmm =/

Wasabi Chi

God I’m so glad I got a better camera

While my review for Wasabi Chi was admittedly less-than-stellar, I’ve been back since and have gotten other things that were far better. Just get something other than hand rolls, you won’t be disappointed (or hungry). Their pork dumplings are delicious!

Miyabi 9

Captain Crunch Roll, miyabi 9, des moines, restaurants, sushi
Captain Crunch Roll, Miyabi 9

An authentic sushi restaurant in the heart of the East Village, Miyabi 9 is cozy and delicious. It’s been voted Best Sushi in Des Moines (rightfully so) by ~*other*~ polls. Pictured is the Captain Crunch roll. It’s better than Hy-Vee’s Captain Crunch roll. I promise.

Miyabi 9 has a number of specialty rolls and are a perfect spot for date night (especially now that the East Village is all lit up for the holidays, just saying) 😉


Krunkwich Ramen Bowl, Des Moines, Restaurants, Ramen, Krunkwich, East Village
Chicken Ramen

KRUNKWICH IS BACK, PEOPLE! After a location change and extensive remodeling, they are FINALLY open in their new location on Ingersoll. Krunkwich has the best ramen I’ve ever had the joy of eating, and with their move they’ve expanded their menu as well. I can’t wait to go back.


Pork Dumplings, Fried
Pork Dumplings, Fried

Delicious sushi, artful plating, a sexy lounge atmosphere…doesn’t that sound better than the bright fluorescents of a grocery store? Bonus: you can have cocktails, and your meal comes with soup & salad.

Fong’s Pizza

Fong's Pizza
Crab Rangoon Pizza

I LOVE YOU, FONG’S. Mozzarella sticks wrapped in wontons? Crab Rangoon Pizza? Late night slices of pizza when you’re drunk downtown? You get me.

Is it weird to combine pizza and Asian flavors? Get over yourself, it’s delicious. So are their tiki drinks.

RIP: Thai Flavors

Pad Thai

It doesn’t exist under the same name anymore, so I’m not sure if the quality is still there, but Thai Flavors had some of the best damn Pad Thai. RIP.

**Editor’s note: Thai Flavors is still open in the SE 14th Street location. Siam Table has taken over the Ankeny location. Both are delicious and better than Hy-Vee.


**Honorable Mention: A Dong

Admittedly, I’ve never been there (and I am ASHAMED, believe me), but anything with a cult following as strong as theirs deserves a try (I’m going, I’m going…). I’ve never heard a bad thing about the place. And I love the name.

**Editor’s note: we went!


PLEASE PROMISE ME, DES MOINES, that you will go forth and eat some truly delicious Asian cuisine. You owe it to yourself.


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