San Francisco is widely known for its international foodie culture, and Thai food is no exception. The city is filled with hotspots to get your fix of incredible curry dishes and delectable pad thai. Check out our favorites.
Located in the Nob Hill neighborhood, Ben Thai Cafe has been serving up home-style Thai since 2015. The restaurant was opened by a brother and sister whose mother grew up in the Chinatown of Bangkok before opening up her first Thai restaurant in San Francisco, and now the two of them are following in her footsteps. The restaurant aims to embody the upbeat and fun atmosphere of San Francisco, mixing together Thai classics with Chinese and Indonesian influences. The café even offers a vegetarian menu.
Lers Ros is Sanskrit for ‘excellent taste in food’ – and the restaurant certainly delivers on that promise. This spot is more on the upscale side, serving up fresh food accompanied by premium wines. The food is healthier than most Thai options around the city, while maintaining complete authenticity. Lers Ros offers three locations in San Francisco – one in the Mission, one in the Tenderloin, and one in Hayes Valley – so you can be sure to find one near you. Lucky for all you late night diners, the restaurant stays open late.
Kin Khao is a restaurant located just off of Union Square owned by Pim Techamuanvivit, who grew up in Bangkok exploring a wide variety of food endeavors. After moving to the US, she decided to open up a restaurant that would provide Thai food of a richer quality than that commonly found here. Kin Khao makes use of seasonal produce and sustainably raised meats, as well as making all its curry pastes, sauces, and relishes in-house every day. The menu offers lunch, dinner, a prix fixe option, and vegan and gluten-free options.
Jitlada Thai Cuisine is stationed near the edge of Japantown and Lower Pac Heights. The restaurant is owned by Chef Pai, who started cooking in Thailand at the age of six. She opened Jitlada in 2001, making a point to locally source all of the restaurant’s produce, meats, and fish so that they are as fresh as possible. She also makes all of the restaurant’s sauces from scratch, so they are completely authentic. The menu offers up appetizers, salads, soups, noodles, entrees, curries, sides, and desserts.
Marnee Thai has been around in the Inner Sunset since 1986, when owner Chai Siriyarn established his mission to ‘give his patrons a taste of Thai cuisine and culture so transporting that they could enjoy the country’s wonders without ever having to leave the neighborhood.’ His dreams have come true, and Marnee Thai is serving up some of the most authentic, home-style Thai cooking around. The menu also features regional specialties like kao soi chicken from Northern Thailand and mussamun chicken curry from the South.
Located in the SoMa neighborhood, Basil Thai Restaurant & Bar has been thriving since its opening in 1995. The group of friends that opened Basil Thai wanted to create a Thai restaurant that went beyond the standards of the generation before, bringing more progressive thinking to the Thai food scene. They committed to bringing together superior local ingredients with authentic recipes and cooking in an environment that would transport you to a modern-day Thailand. The restaurant offers lunch and dinner, pickup and delivery. There is a selection of wines offered, and even a gluten free menu if you request it.
Farmhouse Kitchen Thai Cuisine is a trendy spot in the Mission district, offering diners a casual and welcoming atmosphere. The space is filled with authentic Thai music, elegantly adorned walls, and friendly faces. The cuisine is comprised of everything from Thai street food to fancy entrees, and owner Kasem ‘Pop’ Saengsawang puts a special emphasis on the spice. ‘My goal is to make sure people get enough spice,’ Saengsawang says. ‘We believe that Thai cuisine will never die. We believe the spiciness will last long, forever.’