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Hungerlust: Where to Find Authentic Thai Food in NYC

Picture of Nikki Vargas
Travel Editor
Updated: 23 July 2017
On the first episode of Hungerlust, we ventured to Astoria to explore Vietnamese culture and one family’s story behind their delectable pho. On this next episode of Hungerlust, it was only fitting to head back to the multicultural heart of NYC, Queens.

New York’s eclectic borough of Queens can often fall in the shadow of its glitzy neighbor, Manhattan, and effortlessly cool Brooklyn. Yet, travelers would be remiss to overlook this part of New York City, which was crowned the top destination to visit in 2015 by Lonely Planet.

Lek & New Tangchitsumra, Owners of Pochana in Astoria, NY
Lek & New Tangchitsumra, Owners of Pochana in Astoria, NY | Culture Trip © 2017

What sets Queens apart is its diversity and the fact that you can tap into Chinese culture in Flushing, Colombian cuisine in Jackson Heights or Greek specialities in Astoria (to name a few).

“The whole world is in Queens,” said Anthony Bourdain in a recent episode of CNN’s Parts Unknown. “And like the world as a whole, it is constantly changing.”

Thai food has always been an omnipresent favorite in New York, but authentic Thai food—which is to say a menu that goes beyond the traditional pad thai—can be tricky to find.

Bang Saen Pad Cha
Bang Saen Pad Cha | Culture Trip © 2017

Following the announcement of a street food ban earlier this year, finding authentic Thai food in Bangkok may also soon prove difficult. Preserving traditional family recipes, like those whipped up by the husband and wife duo behind Astoria restaurant, Pochana, is perhaps never more paramount.

Catch up and watch Hungerlust episode 1 and episode 3!