Sunday, May 7, 2017

“Best” Asian Restaurants

Phyllis Louise Harris
May 2017

Yet another best restaurant list has arrived. This time from City Pages with a list including Asian restaurants they consider “best.” Of the more than 9000 restaurants in Minnesota about 1100 feature Asian food so this list represents just a few selections. While one person’s best may be another person’s worst here are a few the tasters at the paper recommend. I am also including a few of my own favorites.

Best New Restaurant
Young Joni in Northeast Minneapolis. We wrote about this one in February and its exceptional food offered by a Korean chef and certified pizzalola Ann Kim who adds her family’s home cooking to some unusual dishes.

Best Egg Rolls
Pho Tau Bay on East Street in Minneapolis at 28th and Nicollet Avenue. One of my favorites would be Mai Village on University Avenue in St. Paul especially when served on their noodle salad.

Best Chinese
Dumpling at 40th and Minnehaha Avenue in Minneapolis. I would add Shuang Cheng in Dinkytown where my favorite dish is Chicken in Black Bean Sauce on Pan Fried Noodles. And if you are a seafood lover, this is a must try restaurant.

Best Vietnamese
MT Noodles at 84th and Broadway in Brooklyn Park. There are a number of really good choices in this category including Mai Village in St. Paul and Quang Restaurant on Eat Street in Minneapolis.

Best Ramen
Tori Ramen on Victoria in St. Paul.

Best Korean
Sole Cafe on Snelling Avenue in St. Paul. A good choice for a variety of dishes. My favorite is their Bibimbap served in a scorching hot pot creating a crisp, crunchy rice shell holding a variety of bubbling ingredients. Top it with a lightly fried egg and the flavors are more than satisfying.

Best Thai
Thai CafĂ© on University Avenue in St. Paul. Supenn Harrison is still a leader in offering Thai cooking to Minnesotans. Her original egg roll booth at the Minnesota State Fair in 1976 offered the state’s first taste of this wonderful cuisine and continues today in her Sawatdee restaurants.

Best Indian
Gorkha Palace on Fourth Street in Northeast Minneapolis.

If I want a taste of my childhood memories of Chinese food I go to David Fong’s in Bloomington for chow mein and egg foo young. For some of the best fusion food I go to Thom Pham’s ThanhDo and enjoy some of the best chicken broth in town surrounding fresh vegetables and tasty dumplings…a meal in a soup bowl. Tanpopo in St. Paul is still one of my favorites for Japanese cooking and Harry Singh’s Original Caribbean Restaurant offers the unusual blend of Indian, Chinese and the island cooking of Trinidad and Tobago on East Street. From hot sauce to jerk chicken to roti to chow mein it is truly a world of fusion food. And we have yet to mention the food of Sri Lanka, Himalayas, Malaysia, Philippine Islands, Hmong, Tibet, and Cambodia all here to enjoy.

What was once the home of Middle American, bland food, Minnesota has become a place that welcomes and supports the tastes of the world. What a nice change!


Read more about Asian food in Minnesota and try more than 160 recipes in Asian Flavors: Changing the Tastes of Minnesota since 1875, in bookstores and on

Buy online: Asian Flavors: Changing the Tastes of Minnesota since 1875

Watch the EMMY® award winning “Asian Flavors” television show based on the book on tpt MN. Check local TV listings for broadcast times or view the show streaming online at: