Des Moines is home to quite a few good Thai restaurants. For those who have never tried Thai food, I would suggest that you venture out of your comfort zone and give it a try. If you do not like spicy food, the restaurant will almost always offer a star rating of one to five indicating how hot the dish will be and you can select a lower and milder version of the dish.
Cool Basil – Cool Basil churns out consist and excellent Thai food and beverages year after year. They have two locations, one in West Des Moines on 22nd street, and one in Altoona. The curries here are excellent and a nice way to warm up on a cold winter day. The sushi is also worth a try.
Zuzap – Zuzap is located just off of University in West Des Moines. This little hole in the wall is a hidden gem. The coconut soup is unique and delicious. They have a meal set that includes an appetizer, soup, and entree, and is one of the best inexpensive lunches in town.
A Dong – I think a lot of people in town would put A Dong at the top of this list, but I like a couple of other selections a little more. This would be a good place to start for your first foray into Thai food, as the dishes here are usually pretty mild. A Dong is just west of downtown by the Quiktrip on Ingersoll, and is probably the most popular Thai restaurant in Des Moines.
Pho 888 – If you have ever watched Ali Wong’s stand up special “Baby Cobra”(she is a writer from the Fresh off the boat sitcom), she describes a “true” Vietnamese or Thai restaurant as having cleaning supplies in the bathroom, and have a number in the name. This place fits the bill and is unknown to a lot of locals. I have been going here for years, I recommend the #27 meal. Pho 888 is located just north of downtown on 2nd Avenue.
Pho 85 – Ankeny – These guys have the best bubble tea in town, and are a great new addition to the Thai food scene. A bubble tea is a smoothie, that has tapioca balls at the bottom that are sucked up through the straw and eaten. If you have never had one do yourself a favor and try it out. Pho 85 is located in Ankeny in front of Best buy on Delaware.
Thai Flavors – Thai flavors has two locations one is Ankeny and one at the intersection of East 14th and University. They serve an excellent Thai Tea. Many Iowans might have never heard of such a thing as a Thai tea. A Thai Tea (pictured below) is a strongly brewed tea served over ice with condensed milk served over the top. This tea is delicious and well worth a try, but has quite a bit different taste than the tea you might be used to.
Nut Pob -Located at the intersection of Indianola Ave and SE 14th on the Southside of des Moines. Nut Pob has some excellent pho, which is a Thai soup with a complex broth, noodles, and vegetables in different combinations. Try some on a cold wet day and thank me later.
Cafe Fuzion – One of the things that I like best about Thai food is the freshness, and artistry of the vegetables. Fresh vegetables are featured in most dishes, and Cafe Fuzion is no exception to this rule. Vegetables are not just diced into bite sized portions , they are used as a visual compliment to the dish. Cafe Fusion does this as well as anyone.
Lemon Grass – Located on 8th street in West Des Moines across from Gilroys. Lemongrass has been around for many years and has developed a loyal following. The curries and pho are both excellent here.
A roy Dee – A roy dee is located on Indianola Avenue on the southside of the metro. They have a cordial family atmosphere, and deliver a consistent quality dining experience.