Attention, New York foodies: a taste of traditional Thailand is closer than you may think. From upscale interpretations of Thai street food to (how shall we put it?) adventurous ethnic eating experiences, New York City’s own Manhattan boasts a delicious selection of Southeast Asian cuisine. Here are our favorite restaurants in Manhattan to dig into everything from pad Thai to pig’s ear.
Restaurant, Thai, $$$
Adventurous eaters struggle for a seat at Uncle Boons, a favorite amongst local food lovers and in-the-know outlets such as Gothamist, Grub Street, and now, Culture Trip. Daring diners are sure to savor Boons’ bold menu items, which include chili-whiskey-glazed pig’s ear, garlicky frog legs, and Thai-style blood sausages.
Straight from the streets of Bangkok, Somtum Der delivers authentic Northeastern Thai cuisine to New York City. Diners from all over the world choose Somtum Der for transporting plates of deep-fried sun-dried beef, meaty Isan sausages, spicy chicken wing soup, and much more.
Prepare your culinary passport: Pig and Khao promises patrons a transporting eating experience. Featuring flavors from Thailand, the Philippines, and beyond, this local hot spot has earned over 1,000 glowing Yelp reviews from the world’s pickiest eaters: New Yorkers. Offering dishes such as ramen noodles with ground pork, coconut chicharron, and charred chicken papaya salad, Pig and Khao speaks a language all enthusiastic eaters can understand.
Been searching the city for a taste of traditional Thailand? Enter Wondee Siam, the true star of Manhattan’s Theatre District. Here, mouthwatering menu items, such as country-style curries, fresh Thai basil rolls, and simply prepared plates of quality meats and fish, are sure to steal the show.
Like its predecessor Zabb Elee, East Village eatery ZaabVer interprets Isan Thai cuisine in its own way. Expect classic Thai fare with a New York flair here, where crunchy papaya salads may feature chicharron, East-meets-West dishes such as duck noodle soup are universally savored, and everything from familiar fried chicken to banana-stuffed rice rolls has a place on the menu.
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An uptown establishment with a downtown attitude, Up Thai manages to make Manhattan’s Upper East Side one of the city’s coolest spots (really). Specializing in “upscale Thai street food,” this destination dishes out Thai basil fried rice, chili-lime pork belly, Thai crepe dumplings, and more.
Pure Thai Cookhouse | Courtesy of Pure Thai Cookhouse
Nearly 2,000 Yelp reviews don’t lie: Pure Thai Cookhouse deserves face time with every New York City foodie. Discover this “genuine Thai shophouse-style restaurant” (and its signature homemade noodles) for yourself. Roasted pork and crab dry noodles, pad Thai with tamarind sauce, and fiery jungle curry fried rice are certain to satisfy.
While it may specialize in Southeast Asian classics, there’s nothing ordinary about Love Mamak. This local favorite, which turns tradition on its head, serves up fresh lime pad Thai, five-spice Thai calamari, mussels sautéed in hand-pounded curry, and much more.
Thai Villa knows that the first step to living like royalty is to eat like them. Settle into the Villa’s opulent “old world” environment to enjoy dishes which were hitherto only prepared for Thai royalty. Angel hair noodles in a coconut-tamarind sauce, fried marinated chicken wrapped in leaves, and minced pork with peanuts are just a sampling of the decadent dining experience awaiting you.