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A spread of Thai food on a wooden table.
Corthaiyou
Gary He/Eater

28 Thrilling Thai Restaurants in NYC

Everything from classic curries and stir fries to regional specialties such as sour sausage and spicy larb

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Corthaiyou
| Gary He/Eater

Over the last two decades, Thai restaurants have been one of the fastest growing dining segments in New York City. Ever since the advent of places specializing in regional cuisines, the Thai scene has been more exciting than ever before. Today, there’s the fiery food of Isan in the northeast, the mellower food of Chiang Mai near the Burmese border, oodles of noodles from Sukhothai, the curries of central and southern Thailand, the urban cuisine of Bangkok (including the unique food of its Chinatown), and the Malaysian-leaning gastronomy of the peninsula.

But the pandemic has been tough on Thai restaurants, too, and many closed as a result. Those we’ve lost include Bennie’s in downtown near City Hall, Pam Real Thai in Hell’s Kitchen, Kiin Thai in the Village, and Pye Boat Cafe on the East Side, though the Astoria location remains open for a great bowl of noodles and a drink. The good news is that many new places have arisen to replace them — along with highly recommended old favorites in this map.

Note: This is an updated version of a map originally published in 2017.

The latest CDC guidance for vaccinated diners during the COVID-19 outbreak is here; dining out still carries risks for unvaccinated diners and workers. Please be aware of changing local rules, and check individual restaurant websites for any additional restrictions such as mask requirements. Find a local vaccination site here.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Thai Market

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960 Amsterdam Ave
New York, NY 10025
(212) 280-4575
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Dressed up like a street market, this Manhattan Valley Thai spot specializes in a menu with Bangkok flair and is a great place for those who crave Thai curries. Green is the spiciest, closely followed by Panang. Filled with minced shrimp, the Thai market crepe is another high point. A lunch special packs the place in the early afternoon hours.

A bowl of chicken curry with a pale green broth.
Green chicken curry
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

2. Malii Thai Kitchen

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2028 2nd Ave
New York, NY 10029
(212) 289-2729
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Flavored with lime and fish sauce, and on the sweet side as a result of its pineapple component, the duck salad distinguishes itself with twice-fried morsels of duck, which are crunchy and a bit smoky, too. The menu covers an amazing amount of territory given the small size of the kitchen, but everything I’ve tried has been good, especially a shredded-beef Massamun curry served with a flaky roti rather than with rice.

A bronze and shiny salad of twice fried duck morsels rests upon a lettuce leaf.
Duck salad
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

3. Maison Bangkok

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355 E 78th St
New York, NY 10075
(212) 628-4442
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This neighborhood Thai restaurant concentrates on the food of Bangkok, including all the crowd pleasers we’re accustomed to. There are soups in small and large sizes, with coconut milk and without; salads of green papaya, ground meat, and steak strips can be ordered at your desired level of hotness; basil stir fries and curries in a variety of shades; and a host of small savory dishes that include curry puffs, Malaysian-style roti canai, edamame, and the pastry wrapped “shrimp blanket.”

The dishes laid out in the sunshine on wooden planks, a soup, a ground chicken salad, and shrimp wrapped in filo pastry.
Tom ka gai, chicken larb, and shrimp blankets
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

4. Pure Thai Cookhouse

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766 9th Ave #2
New York, NY 10019
(212) 581-0999
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The dozens of Thai restaurants along Ninth Avenue in Hell’s Kitchen engender a dilemma: Which one to choose? Pure Thai is a part of a mini chain that also includes Land and Taladwat, helmed by David and Vanida Bank (the latter has closed permanently). Each has a different emphasis, and Pure Thai offers noodles from several parts of the country, such as the crab and pork noodles of Ratchaburi, or Nakhon-Pathom duck noodle soup. Curry puffs are the best in town, and the raw crab green papaya salad is not for the timid.

Green papaya salad with raw crab
Blue crab green papaya salad
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

5. Pye Boat Noodle

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35-13 Broadway
Queens, NY 11106
(718) 685-2329
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“Pye” refers to the oars used to propel boats along the canals of the Thai capital. Pye Boat Noodle, tricked out like a Quonset hut to make you feel like you are on the edge of a canal in Bangkok, serves noodles akin to those served by boat vendors. “Boat noodles with pork” are authentically thickened with pig blood, but for the squeamish, there are a dozen other choices, including yen ta fo, featuring an assortment of seafood, the broth rendered pink with fermented bean paste; and bamee phoo moo dang hang — dry egg noodles with pork belly, a very rich dish.

A bowl of noodles with chopsticks laid across the top on a stool.
Boat noodles with pork
Tanya Maithai/Eater

6. Thai Nara Halal

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64-02 35th Ave
Woodside, NY 11377
(718) 606-8842
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The food at this Woodside gem hails from the southernmost part of Thailand, adjacent to Malaysia. That means creamy coconut milk curries presented as soups that feature egg noodles instead of rice, and Thai-leaning versions of things like roti canai, possessing a chunkier, more vegetable-filled dipping sauce, with a rare beef version available. Lots of seafood on the menu, and all meat is halal at this institution representing the cuisine of the region’s Muslim minority.

Beef roti
Beef roti
Robert Sietsema

7. Sripraphai

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64-13 39th Ave
Woodside, NY 11377
(718) 899-9599
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It has been more than 30 years since a modest Thai bakery in Woodside started by Sripraphai Tipmanee morphed into a full-blown restaurant. Sit in the glorious rear garden, and admire the cascades of flowers. The lengthy menu is all over the place, nearly all of it good. From Isan sour sausage to mango sticky rice to umpteen curry and noodle choices, you can’t go wrong here.

Sripraphai’s flower bedecked garden
In summer months, the backyard garden is the place to sit.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

8. Hug Esan

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77-16 Woodside Ave
Queens, NY 11373
(929) 328-0392
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There’s no stinting on the fish sauce and other sharp flavors at the affectionately named Hug Esan, via owners (and sisters) Chiraporn Sornphoom and Jariya Charoenwong, and chef Jintana Khamphaiboon. The fascinating, delicious, and frequently fiery Isan menu runs to chicken with jeaw sauce, toasted rice salad dotted with sour sausage, crab omelet served over rice, whole fish, and the expected larbs and papaya salads.

At peak times, tiny Hug Esan is often filled up. Robert Sietsema/Eater

9. Ayada Thai

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7708 Woodside Ave
Flushing, NY 11373
(718) 424-0844
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This Elmhurst restaurant founded by Duangja (Kitty) Thammasat is often cited as a favorite Thai restaurant in town. The menu has lots of dishes you’d find in Bangkok, some of it introduced to New York City for the first time. One such dish is a raw shrimp salad with a marinade of fish sauce, garlic, and chiles, said to be inspired by Japanese cuisine, while curries and whole-fish preparations are additional strong points. There’s an additional (and very good) branch in Chelsea Market.

Pork leg
Pork leg
Robert Sietsema

10. Eim Khao Mun Kai

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81-32 Broadway
Elmhurst, NY 11373
(718) 424-7156

It’s a tribute to Elmhurst as a Thai neighborhood that the large population of restaurants includes a couple that specialize in only one dish. In this case, it’s Hainanese-style chicken from China’s southernmost region, offered from a Thai perspective. The bargain set meal includes a quarter chicken poached in an aromatic broth, rice cooked in the same broth, a dark consomme, and a few slices of cucumber.

Eim Khao Mun Kai
Hainanese chicken
Robert Sietsema

11. Lamoon

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8140 Broadway
Elmhurst, NY 11373
(917) 745-1168
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Owned and operated by Arada Moonroj, Lamoon specializes in the food of northern Thailand, and you can bet there’s a great version of the chicken soup khao soi, which is one of the milder choices on the menu. Other dishes are righteously spicy, giving Ugly Baby a run for its money. There’s nam giaw, a stout soup with a chile-laced broth featuring pork ribs, ground pork, and patties of noodles you’ll need to cut with your spoon. For a lighter lunch, pick the crisp rice salad dotted with a sweet Chinese-style sausage.

A place of rice salad and bowl of red soup, with garnishes that include sprouts and pickled mustard greens served separately.
Rice salad and nam giaw soup
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

12. Chao Thai

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85-03 Whitney Ave
Queens, NY 11373
(718) 424-4999

This old-timer and tiny pink palace of Thai food was once a twosome, but the more ambitious branch south of the LIRR overpass is now history. The neighborhood is left with an Elmhurst original that was one of the first to excite us with Isan regional fare. It’s impossible to forget one’s first taste of pig leg with special sauce, squid salad, chicken larb, or the unforgettable bar snack moo yang — grilled strips of pork with a sweet glaze, served with fresh herbs.

An orange awning with green lettering over a tiny storefront.
Chao Thai has a famously pink interior
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

13. Soothr

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204 E 13th St
New York, NY 10003
(212) 844-9789
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This East Village newcomer boasts a pair of specialties, including multiple noodle varieties from Sukhothai in Central Thailand, and soups and other culinary highlights of Udon Thani in northern Thailand, via owners Chidensee Watthanawongwat, Kittiya Mokkarat, and Supatta Banklouy. The menu also has some Thai Chinese dishes from Bangkok (see Noods N’ Chill for more), including koong karee — shrimp in egg sauce.

Shrimp in a thick yellow sauce.
Koong karee
Robert Sietsema/Eater

14. Top Thai Vintage

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55 Carmine St
New York, NY 10014
(646) 609-2272
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This sibling of an older restaurant on Sullivan Street is one of a growing number of halal Thai restaurants in the city, which means among other things, no pork. And this proves to be not the slightest impediment to a distinguished Thai menu, under chef Supachai Voradirek. The northern Thai khao soi chicken soup, with two kinds of noodles, is star of the show, and there’s also a fine spicy duck salad and whole red snapper with a variety of sauces (try sour curry sauce).

A ring of braided spine hand pies around a dipping solution with cubed cucumbers in it.
Chicken curry puffs
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

15. Somtum Der

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85 Avenue A
New York, NY 10009
(212) 260-8570
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While its sister restaurant Kiin Thai disappeared during the pandemic, Somtum Der forges ahead making several versions of its eponymous green papaya salad, plus a more general menu that focuses on the food of Isan, the region along the Mekong River that bulges in Thailand’s northeast. Don’t miss the larbs, either. Yes, some very fiery food is available, but you must request the heat.

A heap of shredded green papaya with a haystack of dried fish shavings on top.
One of eight green-papaya salads
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

16. Terra Thai

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518 E 6th St
New York, NY 10009
(646) 478-7415
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Opened in May by Karuna Wiwattanakantang and Norawat Margsiri, who previously ran a Thai restaurant of the same name in Boulder, Colorado, Terra Thai specializes in complete Thai meals for around $10. Their focus is the street food of Bangkok, and one wonderful meal includes basil chicken, chewy and pungent, served with rice, pumpkin, and a poached egg. A vegetarian version of pad Thai is another good choice.

A mince of chicken in a black pastic tray with rice, poached egg, and pumpkin.
Bangkok basil chicken
Robert Sietsema/Eater

17. Amarin Cafe

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617 Manhattan Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11222
(718) 349-2788

Thai Café was the first restaurant of its type to open on Brooklyn’s North Side, and now there are at least 20, of which Amarin is the best. Don’t expect a wide range of regional dishes, but a solid list of old favorites that includes a full roster of curries and stir-fries, plus a pleasingly diverse appetizers list. Among them is an quartet of fish cakes red with chili paste.

Amarin Cafe
Red curry fish cakes
Robert Sietsema

18. Thai Diner

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186 Mott St
New York, NY 10012
(646) 559-4140
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Located on the busy corner of Mott and Kenmare, right on the way to the Williamsburg Bridge, this restaurant is now the defacto flagship of the once-mighty Uncle Boons empire. The lively outdoor cafe — serve yourself from a window — has been built out on both streets, and the menu now encompasses a host of lovable and sometimes quirky dishes. The eggy breakfasts fulfill the “diner” designation, and chicken laab redefines the dish in fried chicken terms. Finally, beef massaman curry delights with its peanut sauce and tiny potatoes.

A heap of breaded chicken nuggets with brownish red dipping sauce and raw vegetables on the side.
Chicken larb
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

19. Lan Larb

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227 Centre St
New York, NY 10013
(646) 895-9264

Legendary Thai chef Ratchanee Sumpatboon (Chao Thai, Poodam, Zabb Elee, and Larb Ubol) was the founding chef at Lan Larb, and much of her menu remains though she has left the restaurant. Watch the soups, in particular: Lao chicken soup is a revelation, an interplay of Laotian and Thai culinary ideals, while kui teiw ped will likely be the best duck soup you’ve ever tasted, but also consider seafood soup, tart with tamarind.

Thai seafood soup with shrimp and squid
Seafood soup with glass noodles
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

20. Wayla

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100 Forsyth St
New York, NY 10002
(212) 206-2500
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Wayla is a stylish, semi-subterranean, labyrinthine Thai restaurant on the Lower East Side, helmed by chef Tom Naumsuwan. Among the novel dishes, and tweaked takes on more familiar ones, moo sarong is a favorite: savory pork meatballs carefully wrapped like tiny baseballs with noodles, and furnished with a sweet dipping sauce, making one of the best apps, especially if you intend to go in a curry direction, rather than noodles, for your main course.

A ring of noodle globes in a basket with a dipping sauce.
Moo sarong
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

21. Noree Thai Bazaar

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274 Grand St
New York, NY 10002
(646) 864-0338
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Who would’ve thought a Korean fried chicken chain would spawn such a good Thai restaurant? But Bonchon Chicken has done just that at Noree Thai Bazaar, which seeks to resemble a Thai night market. There’s an enhanced emphasis on satays, exploiting their compatibility with mixed drinks and other alcohol. Each brochette is perfectly grilled, and choices run to shrimp, chicken, pork, and a host of vegetables, whether marinated in lemongrass, dunked in peanut sauce, or rubbed with cumin, Xinjiang style. Lots of good curries, salads, and noodles, too.

Pork and chicken satays at Noree Thai Bazaar NoLita
Pork and chicken satays
Robert Sietsema

22. Eat Gai

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88 Essex St Booth 46
New York, NY 10002
(917) 265-8631
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One of a small crop of restaurants in the city specializing in khao man gai, the Thai spin on Hainanese chicken rice, Eat Gai was originally founded in the East Village in 2018. Still under chef Mukda Sakulclanuwat, it moved to a new space in Essex Market right before the pandemic, and added Thai fried chicken to its menu, along with other dishes on a daily basis — consult the overhead chalkboard before you order.

A black plastic tray with poached chicken and cucumbers on a very dark background, a plastic container of soup on the side.
Khai man gai
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

23. Noods N’ Chill

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170 S 3rd St
Brooklyn, NY 11211
(718) 388-7695
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Like the name says, this Williamsburg Thai restaurant specializes in noodles, but also offers a subspecialty in the Chinese immigrant cooking of Bangkok, as conceived by Benjaporn Chua, Preawpun Sutipayakul, and Jirawat Sutipayakul. That means a weekend brunch centered on congee with a number of add ins, and everyday dishes that run to duck, blood boat noodles, and spicy chicken wings with a sweet dipping sauce. Truly, there’s something for everyone, from adventuresome souls to the timid of tongue.

In the foreground a bowl of white rice soup flanked by two bigger and more colorful side dishes.
Congee with side dishes
Robert Sietsema

24. Tong

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321 Starr St
Brooklyn, NY 11237
(718) 366-0586
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Under owner Prasneeya Praditpoj and chefs Chetkangwan Thipruetree and Sunisa Nitmai, Tong (“gold”) was one of those brave pandemic debuts when it opened late last August in what looks like an ex-garage near the border of Bushwick and Ridgewood. It specializes in kub klaem — small plates, at least partly intended as drinking snacks, including grilled pork jowl with a tamarind-chile glaze, green papaya salad heaped with a lattice of dried catfish, and smoked eggplant with a boiled egg and coconut jam on top.

A blue bowl beneath out of focus, eggplant and sliced boiled egg inside.
Smoked eggplant with boiled egg and coconut jam
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

25. Krok

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117 Columbia St
Brooklyn, NY 11231
(718) 858-8898
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Krok represents a formidable addition to Brooklyn’s Thai scene. A project of married couple Jeerathinan Ranthom and Krit Ploysomboon, formerly of Upper West Side Thai hotspot Land Thai, the restaurant occupies Pok Pok’s old space, and has retained some of its predecessor’s best dishes on a menu that emphasizes Isan. Go for any of the multiple permutations of green papaya salad, including a party size version; whole fish pla raad prik, smothered in aromatic herbs; or the fish sauce chicken wings.

Pla raad prik whole fish Krok Red Hook Thai
Pla raad prik
Robert Sietsema

26. Nuaa Table

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638 Bergen St
Brooklyn, NY 11238
(718) 623-6395
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Located right on hopping Vanderbilt, where dining areas right on the street have banished cars, newcomer Nuaa Table offers the familiar cuisine with lots of colorful bistro flourishes and creative plating, along with inventive dishes and a section of street food, including lots of noodles. A street-style Bangkok stir fry of pork chunklets and basil comes topped with a runny deep-fried egg, while a banana blossom salad packs a good deal of heat and tartness, served with greens and herbs for rapping bitefuls.

A dark oblong bowl with a jumble of julienne ingredients sided with boiled quail eggs and greens.
Banana blossom salad
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

27. Ugly Baby

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407 Smith St
Brooklyn, NY 11231
(347) 689-3075
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There’s nothing ugly about this baby, via chef Sirichai Sreparplarn, who has raised the bar further where Brooklyn’s Thai food is concerned. The menu is totally revamped since the restaurant’s pandemic pause, and now reservations must be made via Instagram, and orders for one menu placed 24 hours in advance, though another menu allows spontaneous dish selection. Still, it’s one of the best Thai restaurants in town, with epic heat available in some dishes.

A hand holds a small cup of red fluid, as if to dump it in a colorful bowl with sliced brisket in it.
Beef soup
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

28. Mondayoff

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752 Coney Island Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11218
(718) 941-2022
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Mondayoff is the whimsically named Kensington offshoot of the Plant Love House empire, and while I don’t usually list more than one branch of a restaurant chain, this one is so different from Noods N’ Chill — and so good on its own — I feel compelled to include it. Recommended dishes run to sour Isan sausage served bar-snack style, simmered pork knuckle with greens, crab meat fried rice, and boat noodles thickened with pork blood. FYI: the restaurant is closed on Tuesdays.

Sliced sausage served with onions and peanuts.
Sour Isan sausage
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

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1. Thai Market

960 Amsterdam Ave, New York, NY 10025
A bowl of chicken curry with a pale green broth.
Green chicken curry
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Dressed up like a street market, this Manhattan Valley Thai spot specializes in a menu with Bangkok flair and is a great place for those who crave Thai curries. Green is the spiciest, closely followed by Panang. Filled with minced shrimp, the Thai market crepe is another high point. A lunch special packs the place in the early afternoon hours.

960 Amsterdam Ave
New York, NY 10025

2. Malii Thai Kitchen

2028 2nd Ave, New York, NY 10029
A bronze and shiny salad of twice fried duck morsels rests upon a lettuce leaf.
Duck salad
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Flavored with lime and fish sauce, and on the sweet side as a result of its pineapple component, the duck salad distinguishes itself with twice-fried morsels of duck, which are crunchy and a bit smoky, too. The menu covers an amazing amount of territory given the small size of the kitchen, but everything I’ve tried has been good, especially a shredded-beef Massamun curry served with a flaky roti rather than with rice.

2028 2nd Ave
New York, NY 10029

3. Maison Bangkok

355 E 78th St, New York, NY 10075
The dishes laid out in the sunshine on wooden planks, a soup, a ground chicken salad, and shrimp wrapped in filo pastry.
Tom ka gai, chicken larb, and shrimp blankets
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

This neighborhood Thai restaurant concentrates on the food of Bangkok, including all the crowd pleasers we’re accustomed to. There are soups in small and large sizes, with coconut milk and without; salads of green papaya, ground meat, and steak strips can be ordered at your desired level of hotness; basil stir fries and curries in a variety of shades; and a host of small savory dishes that include curry puffs, Malaysian-style roti canai, edamame, and the pastry wrapped “shrimp blanket.”

355 E 78th St
New York, NY 10075

4. Pure Thai Cookhouse

766 9th Ave #2, New York, NY 10019
Green papaya salad with raw crab
Blue crab green papaya salad
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

The dozens of Thai restaurants along Ninth Avenue in Hell’s Kitchen engender a dilemma: Which one to choose? Pure Thai is a part of a mini chain that also includes Land and Taladwat, helmed by David and Vanida Bank (the latter has closed permanently). Each has a different emphasis, and Pure Thai offers noodles from several parts of the country, such as the crab and pork noodles of Ratchaburi, or Nakhon-Pathom duck noodle soup. Curry puffs are the best in town, and the raw crab green papaya salad is not for the timid.

766 9th Ave #2
New York, NY 10019

5. Pye Boat Noodle

35-13 Broadway, Queens, NY 11106
Read Review |
A bowl of noodles with chopsticks laid across the top on a stool.
Boat noodles with pork
Tanya Maithai/Eater

“Pye” refers to the oars used to propel boats along the canals of the Thai capital. Pye Boat Noodle, tricked out like a Quonset hut to make you feel like you are on the edge of a canal in Bangkok, serves noodles akin to those served by boat vendors. “Boat noodles with pork” are authentically thickened with pig blood, but for the squeamish, there are a dozen other choices, including yen ta fo, featuring an assortment of seafood, the broth rendered pink with fermented bean paste; and bamee phoo moo dang hang — dry egg noodles with pork belly, a very rich dish.

35-13 Broadway
Queens, NY 11106

6. Thai Nara Halal

64-02 35th Ave, Woodside, NY 11377
Beef roti
Beef roti
Robert Sietsema

The food at this Woodside gem hails from the southernmost part of Thailand, adjacent to Malaysia. That means creamy coconut milk curries presented as soups that feature egg noodles instead of rice, and Thai-leaning versions of things like roti canai, possessing a chunkier, more vegetable-filled dipping sauce, with a rare beef version available. Lots of seafood on the menu, and all meat is halal at this institution representing the cuisine of the region’s Muslim minority.

64-02 35th Ave
Woodside, NY 11377

7. Sripraphai

64-13 39th Ave, Woodside, NY 11377
Sripraphai’s flower bedecked garden
In summer months, the backyard garden is the place to sit.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

It has been more than 30 years since a modest Thai bakery in Woodside started by Sripraphai Tipmanee morphed into a full-blown restaurant. Sit in the glorious rear garden, and admire the cascades of flowers. The lengthy menu is all over the place, nearly all of it good. From Isan sour sausage to mango sticky rice to umpteen curry and noodle choices, you can’t go wrong here.

64-13 39th Ave
Woodside, NY 11377

8. Hug Esan

77-16 Woodside Ave, Queens, NY 11373
At peak times, tiny Hug Esan is often filled up. Robert Sietsema/Eater

There’s no stinting on the fish sauce and other sharp flavors at the affectionately named Hug Esan, via owners (and sisters) Chiraporn Sornphoom and Jariya Charoenwong, and chef Jintana Khamphaiboon. The fascinating, delicious, and frequently fiery Isan menu runs to chicken with jeaw sauce, toasted rice salad dotted with sour sausage, crab omelet served over rice, whole fish, and the expected larbs and papaya salads.

77-16 Woodside Ave
Queens, NY 11373

9. Ayada Thai

7708 Woodside Ave, Flushing, NY 11373
Pork leg
Pork leg
Robert Sietsema

This Elmhurst restaurant founded by Duangja (Kitty) Thammasat is often cited as a favorite Thai restaurant in town. The menu has lots of dishes you’d find in Bangkok, some of it introduced to New York City for the first time. One such dish is a raw shrimp salad with a marinade of fish sauce, garlic, and chiles, said to be inspired by Japanese cuisine, while curries and whole-fish preparations are additional strong points. There’s an additional (and very good) branch in Chelsea Market.

7708 Woodside Ave
Flushing, NY 11373

10. Eim Khao Mun Kai

81-32 Broadway, Elmhurst, NY 11373
Eim Khao Mun Kai
Hainanese chicken
Robert Sietsema

It’s a tribute to Elmhurst as a Thai neighborhood that the large population of restaurants includes a couple that specialize in only one dish. In this case, it’s Hainanese-style chicken from China’s southernmost region, offered from a Thai perspective. The bargain set meal includes a quarter chicken poached in an aromatic broth, rice cooked in the same broth, a dark consomme, and a few slices of cucumber.

81-32 Broadway
Elmhurst, NY 11373

11. Lamoon

8140 Broadway, Elmhurst, NY 11373
A place of rice salad and bowl of red soup, with garnishes that include sprouts and pickled mustard greens served separately.
Rice salad and nam giaw soup
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Owned and operated by Arada Moonroj, Lamoon specializes in the food of northern Thailand, and you can bet there’s a great version of the chicken soup khao soi, which is one of the milder choices on the menu. Other dishes are righteously spicy, giving Ugly Baby a run for its money. There’s nam giaw, a stout soup with a chile-laced broth featuring pork ribs, ground pork, and patties of noodles you’ll need to cut with your spoon. For a lighter lunch, pick the crisp rice salad dotted with a sweet Chinese-style sausage.

8140 Broadway
Elmhurst, NY 11373

12. Chao Thai

85-03 Whitney Ave, Queens, NY 11373
An orange awning with green lettering over a tiny storefront.
Chao Thai has a famously pink interior
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

This old-timer and tiny pink palace of Thai food was once a twosome, but the more ambitious branch south of the LIRR overpass is now history. The neighborhood is left with an Elmhurst original that was one of the first to excite us with Isan regional fare. It’s impossible to forget one’s first taste of pig leg with special sauce, squid salad, chicken larb, or the unforgettable bar snack moo yang — grilled strips of pork with a sweet glaze, served with fresh herbs.

85-03 Whitney Ave
Queens, NY 11373

13. Soothr

204 E 13th St, New York, NY 10003
Shrimp in a thick yellow sauce.
Koong karee
Robert Sietsema/Eater

This East Village newcomer boasts a pair of specialties, including multiple noodle varieties from Sukhothai in Central Thailand, and soups and other culinary highlights of Udon Thani in northern Thailand, via owners Chidensee Watthanawongwat, Kittiya Mokkarat, and Supatta Banklouy. The menu also has some Thai Chinese dishes from Bangkok (see Noods N’ Chill for more), including koong karee — shrimp in egg sauce.

204 E 13th St
New York, NY 10003

14. Top Thai Vintage

55 Carmine St, New York, NY 10014
A ring of braided spine hand pies around a dipping solution with cubed cucumbers in it.
Chicken curry puffs
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

This sibling of an older restaurant on Sullivan Street is one of a growing number of halal Thai restaurants in the city, which means among other things, no pork. And this proves to be not the slightest impediment to a distinguished Thai menu, under chef Supachai Voradirek. The northern Thai khao soi chicken soup, with two kinds of noodles, is star of the show, and there’s also a fine spicy duck salad and whole red snapper with a variety of sauces (try sour curry sauce).

55 Carmine St
New York, NY 10014

15. Somtum Der

85 Avenue A, New York, NY 10009
A heap of shredded green papaya with a haystack of dried fish shavings on top.
One of eight green-papaya salads
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

While its sister restaurant Kiin Thai disappeared during the pandemic, Somtum Der forges ahead making several versions of its eponymous green papaya salad, plus a more general menu that focuses on the food of Isan, the region along the Mekong River that bulges in Thailand’s northeast. Don’t miss the larbs, either. Yes, some very fiery food is available, but you must request the heat.

85 Avenue A
New York, NY 10009

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16. Terra Thai

518 E 6th St, New York, NY 10009
A mince of chicken in a black pastic tray with rice, poached egg, and pumpkin.
Bangkok basil chicken
Robert Sietsema/Eater

Opened in May by Karuna Wiwattanakantang and Norawat Margsiri, who previously ran a Thai restaurant of the same name in Boulder, Colorado, Terra Thai specializes in complete Thai meals for around $10. Their focus is the street food of Bangkok, and one wonderful meal includes basil chicken, chewy and pungent, served with rice, pumpkin, and a poached egg. A vegetarian version of pad Thai is another good choice.

518 E 6th St
New York, NY 10009

17. Amarin Cafe

617 Manhattan Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11222