Food & Drink

The 13 Best Spots for Thai Food in NYC

Published On 02/12/2015 Published On 02/12/2015
Best thai nyc
Courtesy of Evan Sung/Uncle Boons
Courtesy of Evan Sung/Uncle Boons
Courtesy of Somtum Der
Flickr/Lulun & Kame
Harold Dieterle/Kin Shop
Flickr/Jarret M
Flickr/Lulun & Kame
Patty Lee
Flickr/Lulun & Kame
Flickr/Krista
Flickr/Edsel Little
Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
1. Uncle Boons 7 Spring St, New York, NY 10012 (Soho)

Unlike the countless generic pad Thai and pineapple fried rice spots around town, this Michelin-starred basement bungalow serves authentic Thai cuisine broken up into drinking snacks, small plates, large plates, and dishes off the charcoal grill. The Khao Soi Kaa Kai is an absolute must -- a steaming bowlful of yellow curry-soaked noodles and an almost impossibly tender chicken drumstick. Frozen beer slushies pair well with spicier dishes, and the small, always-packed space lends itself to trading a caramelized riblet for a bite of garlic-coated pea shoots with a nearby neighbor.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
2. Pure Thai Cookhouse 766 9th Ave, New York, NY 10019 (Hells Kitchen)

Chefs David and Vanida Bank modeled this always-packed location after the street stands of their homeland. The namesake “Pure Thai” noodles (featuring house-made egg strands) are exceptional and so are snacks like bean paste-marinated pork ribs and vegetable (trust us) spring rolls.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
3. Somtum Der NYC 85 Avenue A, New York, NY 10009 (Alphabet City)

Originating from Bangkok, this beloved restaurant serves the same authentic Northeastern Thai cuisine (also known as Isan) right in Alphabet City. Complete with an assortment of dishes and flavors (including chilis, lime juice, palm sugar and fermented fish sauce), Somtum Der is warm and welcoming. The casual atmosphere has many modern fixtures, but is boldly reflective of traditional Isan in its use of utilitarian clothing and patterns representative of the region as decor.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
4. Pok Pok Phat Thai 127 Columbia St, Brooklyn, NY 11231 (Lower East Side)

Pok Pok Phat Thai isn't only incredibly fun to say out loud, but it's also Andy Ricker's phat joint that serves up noodles cooked in pork fat with select ingredients like fish sauce, palm sugar, chili powder, and egg, and topping it off with your choice of ground pork or fresh prawns (among other authentic dishes).

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
5. Kao Soy 283 Van Brunt St, Brooklyn, NY 11231 (Red Hook)

Red Hook's Kao Soy is known for its boldly flavored eponymous dish, which features egg noodles and chicken in a spicy soup of yellow coconut milk curry, mixed with scallion, pickles, chili paste, red shallots, and mustard greens, and topped with green papaya fritters and lime wedges. While you could, in theory, leave the restaurant plenty happy post-kao soy, don’t miss out on the rest of the Northern Thai dishes on the menu, like the fried banana blossom sai oua and green shrimp curry.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
6. Kin Shop 469 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10011 (Greenwich Village)

For this family style eatery, "modern Thai" means American style food with Thai flavors. Lamb comes rendered in a curry sauce while a cup of fermented plum-shrimp sauce rides a long with a plate of tea-smoked ribs. Even fried chicken flies into the menu, marinated in ginger, garlic, lemongrass, oyster sauce and Thai shrimp paste before being fried in rice flour and served with fish-chili sauce on the side.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
7. Ngam 99 3rd Ave, New York, NY 10003 (East Village)

Ngam isn't traditional Thai, it's farm fresh Thai. The East Village spot takes a modern, Alice Waters-like approach to Thai cooking by partnering with local farms to serve a seasonal menu of curries, noodles, and grilled meats. It might be the only spot in the city where you'll find kale fried rice, lobster dumplings, and red curry pumpkin fries. As for drinks, the Tom Yum shot is a must: it's similar in taste to spicy hot-and-sour soup, but it's got tequila and a salt-and-chile rim.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
8. Larb Ubol 480 9th Ave, New York, NY 10018 (Hells Kitchen)

This Hell's Kitchen Thai joint is a reliable takeout option, and offers delicious Isaan specialties like som tum (available in eight different forms).

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
9. SriPraPhrai Thai Restaurant 6413 39th Ave, Woodside, NY 11377 (Queens)

Not too many Manhattanites would trek to Woodside on the 7 train for a burn-your-face-off, please-extinguish-the-flames-in-my-esophagus spicy culinary experience, but that’s just the type of “Thai hot” you’re going to get at SriPraPhai. This cash-only joint is decorated sparingly but tastefully; the lime green walls are reminiscent of the curry you’ll order, and are a welcome addition to an otherwise ascetic dining room. The 130-plus item menu is dizzying, but the good news is you can’t go wrong with any of SriPraPhai’s traditional hot and spicy dishes. Follow your papaya salad appetizer with drunken noodles and Massaman curry, and when you can’t handle the heat anymore, give in and cool your insides with green tea ice cream, you masochist.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
10. SkyIce Sweet & Savory 63 5th Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11217 (Park Slope)

The Asian-inspired ice cream here -- done in creative flavors ranging from Thai tea to black sesame seaweed -- is one of the many draws of SkyIce in Brooklyn. Do get a ton of it, but don’t overlook the savory things, including a standout kao soy, baked chicken curry puffs, and a “no-carb” pad Thai featuring papaya noodles.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
11. Ayada Thai 7708 Woodside Ave, Elmhurst, NY 11373 (Queens)

Small storefront, big taste when you ask for the "crispy pork upgrade" that you can request on any dish. Yes, crispy pieces of pork on any dish that just add on to the already sensory punching plates. N worries if it's too hot - which it will likely be; - there's coconut water to go around.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
12. Zabb Elee 71-28 Roosevelt Ave, Jackson Heights, NY 11372 (East Village)

Great for hardcore heat-seekers, this no-frills favorite isn’t afraid of anything, be it spiciness or ingredients... iness. Skip the usual carb-loaded fare, and opt for Northern Thai classics such as crispy marinated catfish and grilled chicken livers, gizzards, and kidneys, accompanied by a tamarind sauce.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
13. Pok Pok Ny 117 Columbia St, New York, NY 11231

Andy Ricker's Michelin-starred restaurant on Brooklyn's Columbia Street Waterfront specializes in Northern Thai food, a regional cuisine that favors pork and deep-frying over spiciness and coconut milk. Pok Pok's menu is filled with family-style plates like deep-fried pork riblets, minced pork salad with crispy fried garlic, and insanely good chicken wings, deep-fried and coated in fish sauce. There's usually a wait at peak dinner times, especially for a table on the back patio in the summer.

Clickbait

close

Learn More