Food & Drink

The 11 Best Thai Spots in Chicago

Published On 01/16/2015 Published On 01/16/2015
thai food
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Flickr/Ron Dollete
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Opart Thai House
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1. Jin Thai Cuisine 5458 N Broadway, Chicago, IL 60640 (Edgewater)

Jin Thai rivals the best the city has to offer. You’ll find the usual array of salads, soups, and noodles (Kao Soy is a standout), but first head straight to the specialties section of the menu and ask for the hot curry catfish, which serves crispy fillets of catfish over a bed of eggplants in a heat-cranking spicy curry.

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2. Andy's Thai Kitchen 946 W Wellington Ave, Chicago, IL 60657 (Lakeview)

It’s possible that Andy’s Thai Kitchen of Lakeview is BYOB because Chef Andy would rather you choose what potion you use to douse the Thai hot spice in your throat. Powerful flavors bathe Andy’s dishes, from the appetizers, salads, soups, entrees, curries, to, most of all, the slurp-worthy noodles. Speaking of noodles, hop the pad Thai fence and explore new noodle terrain, with the boat noodle, a dish complete with beef brisket, thin rice vermicellis, Chinese broccoli, bean sprouts, garlic, onions, pork skin, and cilantro.

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3. TAC Quick 3930 N Sheridan Rd, Chicago, IL 60613 (Wrigleyville)

Thai food should always be delicious, and Tac Quick is surpassing that standard. There's outdoor seating, good vibes, and even better eats. Oh, and there's a secret menu... hayyy.

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4. Arun's 4156 N Kedzie Ave, Chicago, IL 60618 (Irving Park)

Fine dining destination Arun’s has long set the standard for Thai in Chicago, picking up countless accolades and awards over the last 30 and counting years. If you’re willing to splurge a little more than usual on Thai, the tasting menu is the move. It's always changing, but you're likely to find creative takes on Southwest Asian fare as well as traditional courses like spring rolls and panang beef curry among its 10 or 12 courses.

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5. Spoon Thai Restaurant 4608 N Western Ave, Chicago, IL 60625 (Lincoln Square)

Spoon was one of the first Chicago Thai restaurants to start the “secret” menu trend that would make its way around the city. Nowadays, all diners have access to Spoon’s full array of dishes. The must-try? Somtum Pu. This traditional spicy green papaya salad lights the mouth on fire with a mixture of string beans, tomato, carrot, peanuts, and crab in a lime dressing.

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6. Amarind's 6822 W North Ave, Chicago, IL 60707

Rangsan Sutcharit, a nine-year Arun’s vet, takes his fine-dining expertise and pairs it with delectable dishes at an affordable price point at Amarind's. The carefully presented plates are as tasty as they look, including the eponymous Amarind’s Noodles, featuring spinach noodles with a plethora of shrimp, crab, bean sprouts, garlic chive, and scrambled egg in a chili sauce.

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7. Aroy Thai 4656 N Damen Ave, Chicago, IL 60625 (Logan Square)

Lincoln Square is Thai food central and this veteran restaurant remains one of the best examples. The best cold remedy in town is a bowl of their pungently hot and sour beef ball (no, not that kind) and tendon (yes, that kind) soup.

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8. Sticky Rice 4018 N Western Ave, Chicago, IL 60618

This Northern Thai resto serves authentic cuisine at terrific prices, whether you hit up their resto in person or order their quick and easy delivery.

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9. Opart Thai House 4658 N Western Ave, Chicago, IL 60625 (Lincoln Square)

Come to Opart for the most authentic Thai cuisine in Chicago -- they have tons of appetizers, soups, and salads, but make sure you leave room for any one of the curries here and you will leave happy. We recommend ordering the signature curry fried rice, which is spicy without being too over the top. Oh, and it's BYOB too, so stop by the liquor store (it's right next door!) on your way in.

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10. Thai Pastry Restaurant 4925 N Broadway, Chicago, IL 60640 (Uptown)

As the name implies, this Argyle spot has a full complementary bakery in front offering cookies, cakes, ice cream, and other pastries. The regular menu is what you're here for, though, with a quality selection of noodles, curries, and lunch specials. You’ll definitely immediately get the fried stuffed chicken wings with panang curry -- a unique take on wings you definitely won’t find at BW3.

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11. Me dee Café 4805 N Damen Ave, Chicago, IL 60625 (Lincoln Square)

This under-the-radar Ravenswood spot counts all of the standard American-Thai dishes you’d expect along with some fusion items like shumai and calamari. The best time to drop in? After 8pm, when the "secret" congee menu is available; you’ll get a bowl of rice porridge to go with a few sides of your choosing, ranging from pork belly and Chinese sausage to ong choy (water spinach). Bonus: the restaurant stays open 'til 1:30am.

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