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.
Thanks to its consistency, expansive menu, and genuinely delicious food, since opening in 1990, SriPraPhai in Woodside is considered as one of the greatest OG Thai restaurants in NYC. Yes, favorites like Pad Thai, Drunken Noodles, and vivid Tom Yum Soup can be found here—but the popular spot carries some heavy hitters, too. Go for the Shrimp Paste Fried Rice for a unique and umami-forward dish; Tom Zap Soup for a more adventurous version of Tom Yum with liver and tripe; and Rad Na for the saucier version of Pad See Ew. Bonus points: SriPraPhai has amazing vegetarian options for all your plant-based friends and everything is cash only.