Sure, tom yum and chicken satay are great, but there’s more to Thai food than just the classics alone. And from khao soi to larb and back again, the city’s roster of Thai spots is pretty much stacked with new dishes for you to explore.
These are the 8 best Thai restaurants in Chicago.
4608 North Western Ave
In the mood for totally craveable – and mindblowing-ly fast – Thai delivery? Then Lincoln Square’s Spoon is your best bet. With unbeatable pad see ew and garlic noodles, this BYOB neighborhood joint won’t disappoint.
From Yelp: “I love this place. Every dishes here is awesome. I order it online and got the order in 30 mins or so. Extremely Fast!!!!
I love Spoon Thai and I’ll continue order it. Highly Recommend!!!” – Paul S.
1011 West Irving Park Road
Though I’m pretty sure the above picture speaks for itself, Tac Quick’s food is ridiculously tasty. Offering Thai lovers from across the city absolutely MASSIVE portions of delicious meals for a relatively low price tag (seriously, we’re talking under ten bucks here), you’ve definitely gotta give Tac a try.
From Yelp: “Best Thai that we have has so far in Chicago. Cute semi-modern space with exposed brick, so not necessarily Thai feeling, but the food is top notch. We had the Pad Thai, Khao Soi, and Thai iced tea. Some of the best pad Thai I’ve had even considering Thailand. Just moved to this space and they have a full bar now which is a plus too. Reasonably priced for the most part.” – Jordan E.
When Chef Andy moved to the United States from Thailand 21 years ago, he brought his mother’s recipes with him – and we, really, truly, could not be more thankful. Serving up authentic Thai food with all the trimmings, the curries, noodles and fried rice are some of the best in the city. Be warned before you go, though – AtK is cash only!
From Yelp: “Having visited Thailand recently, I’ve grown fond of their food. Is it possible to find authentic Thai cuisine in Chicago? I decided to embark on that quest to taste those flavors found abroad. Andy’s Thai Kitchen certainly is a great choice! Their Pad Ped Catfish was very delicious, including all the authentic ingredients I tried of the same dish in Thailand. I especially was impressed they used the finger roots and baby round Thai eggplants. These two ingredients aren’t the easiest to find in Chicago Asian markets, so I’m glad to have found a restaurant that can cook up delicious, affordable and authentic Thai food.” – Eda X.
4654 North Damen Avenue
Alright, I’m gonna be straight with y’all – Aroy Thai in Ravenswood has the best pork boat noodle soup I’ve ever had (and probably ever will have) in my life. And if that’s not a glowing endorsement then I don’t know what is. The best part? There’s parking close by at all times.
From Yelp: “Simple authentic FLAVORFUL Thai cuisine. Small, family run, and friendly BYOB located in the Ravenswood neighborhood. Was directed to this place by someone who is of Thai decent calling it one of the few truly authentic places in the city. Some of the dishes we love are the spicy sausage, pork neck salad, and Crying Tiger appetizers. The portions are filling, and depending on the variety of dishes you order, you will have some leftovers. I only wished they were closer so I could frequent more often.” – Anthony T.
605 West Lake St
This fast casual spot in the West Loop is bound to give even the most traditional of Thai restaurants a run for their money. Founded by city-wide food celebrities, the Saigon Sisters, Bang Chop features classic dishes with a modern flair that’ll keep you coming back for years. Stop by for wok fried noodle dishes and giant mugs of Thai iced tea any day of the week.
From Yelp: “Bang chop makes relatively few dishes, but it does them well. I’ve had more pad see ew than I want to admit over the past several weeks because it’s just that good. The smokiness really adds something special. I also had the tom kha yesterday and it was very tasty.” – Linda B.
3456 North Sheffield Avenue
A Wrigleyville/DePaul mainstay, Cozy Noodles is just that – cozy. With a whimsy-filled interior and a strong community focus, head to this tiny shop during brunch or lunch for yummy food, great friends and bubble teas that just won’t quit.
From Yelp: “My absolute favorite place to get food in Wrigleyville. While the restaurant itself is cash only (which is a tad annoying), I usually get delivery and the food is always perfect and quick. Highly, highly recommend the Crispy Pad Thai Special. Incredible!” – Eric P.
4018 North Western Avenue
With a menu focused specifically on Northern Thai cuisine, Horner Park’s Sticky Rice makes some of the most creative Asian dishes in the city. When (read: not if) you stop by, be sure to order a healthy portion of the salapao (aka steamed buns) – I can pretty much promise you’re gonna love ’em.
From Yelp: “How did I not come here before?? So far it’s the best Thai I’ve had in Chicago. Just order a bunch of stuff you haven’t had in other Thai places, you’ll see what I mean. For whoever likes Kow Soi: get it here. With beef. Awesome.” – Dimitris K.
4156 North Kedzie Avenue
When most Americans think “Thai food”, they imagine that late-night pad Thai order, good both for curing an insatiable peanut sauce craving AND for eating as leftovers the next morning, but not necessarily for a high-end night out. Chicago-favorite Arun’s flies in the face of that stereotype. Serving up modern Thai dishes that are just as beautiful as they are delectable, Arun’s upscale tasting menu is a must for any Thai lover in the city. Seriously, just check out their Instagram and prepare to be blown away.
From Yelp: “We chose the 10 course pre-fixed menu and it was delicious. One of the people in our party did not eat seafood, so they substituted anything from the sea with meat and they were very accommodating. It ended up being around $200 per person after drinks and a tip, and it was completely worth it!” – Rohan V.
Featured Image Credit: Bang Chop Thai Kitchen