The culinary traditions of Thailand are known for their intricate and balanced flavor profiles. The mixing of textures and spices builds dishes that rely on rice, sauces, and condiments to create distinct and savory tasting experiences. When you’re craving those noodles or curry, check out some of these acclaimed Thai restaurants in Philadelphia.
You won’t leave this BYO spot hungry—while the offerings are pretty typical, the portions are generous. Eight distinctly themed menus sort options by size, ingredients, and spiciness. A strong list of vegetarians options and all the typical richness and complexity expected of Thai cuisine make Tamarind a Philly favorite.
THE DIGS: Cozy and unpretentious with simple decor and triangular, colorful plates.
MUST TRY: Salmon Chu Chee, prepared traditionally with a coconut milk, kaffer leaf, and shallots.
117 South Street
Stir fries, curries, and specialities compose a changing menu that’s always bursting with flavor and heat. Almost everything on the impressively extensive menu can be prepared with tofu or seitan, giving vegetarians a variety of options. chef Alex Boonphaya has locations in Northern Liberties, South Philadelphia, and New Jersey.
THE DIGS: Warm and subtle, with floral accents and patterned triangle Thai cushions on the booth seats.
MUST TRY: If you can handle it, the “try only if you dare” Southern Kua Kling Curry (served with stir-fried beef and steamed vegetables) matches the intense spiciness of dishes served in Asia.
812 N. 2nd Street
Traditional and experimental come together at Pattaya, where understated French influences compliment authentic Thai cuisine. Curry dishes, pad Thai, and soups are formidable options, while more creative choices like spicy basil or raspberry duck round out the large menu.
THE DIGS: An airy room with a casual and mellow ambiance.
MUST TRY: For something different from noodle dishes, the Thai BBQ chicken is served with a memorably tangy sweet and sour sauce.
4006 Chestnut Street
Thai and French intertwine at this upscale, BYO fusion bistro in Rittenhouse. Every dish is fresh, balanced, and rich with complex flavors. Traditional Thai dishes like drunken noodles and Pad see ew are presented right next to French favorites like steak au poivre and duck ravioli. Don’t forget to try the Thai iced tea.
THE DIGS: Modern and welcoming, and sleek decor with dim lighting makes this a perfect date night option. MUST TRY: It’s difficult to pick just one, but the Australian rack of lamb is the specialty. Perfectly roasted lamb with purple potato, carrots, brussel sprouts, and a basil demi-glace.
2028 Chestnut Street
This mom-and-pop spot is cheaper than many other Thai restaurants in the city, especially when you get there for lunch specials. Authenticity is the most important ingredient in every dish, with classic menu items always prepared consistently well. Whether it’s for take-out or dining in, Baan Thai puts flavor at the forefront of every generously-portioned meal.
THE DIGS: Minimal decorations and low lighting create a casual but refined space. Outdoor seating is also available.
MUST TRY: The Drunken Noodles (or Pad kee mao) are the perfect level of spiciness with a hint of sweet. Onions, bell peppers, and other veggies are stir-fried with flat rice noodles, sweet basil, and a garlic chili sauce.
1030 N. American St.