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Best Thai in Manhattan?


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  1. Jeeb on Orchard Street. They have a lot of selections that I was surprised to see when I was in Chiang Mai in November.

    Also try Pukk in the East Village. It's vegan but it very, very good. I am not vegan but I love it.

    Of course, the best NYC Thai places are in Queens: Sripraphai in Woodside and Zabb (Northern Thai food) on Roosevelt Avenue. I haven't tried Khao Homm on 61st Street (a few blocks away from both Sripraphai and Zabb) but some people say that Thai people also eat there and that it can be more authentic.

    1. i agree re: Jeeb, but you really need to tell them that you want it spicy and authentic: unlike most places, Jeeb *will* comply with your wishes (but without stressing this, the food can be just so-so)...

      And, i heartily agree that the only real option is to head to Woodside...(there are many vitriolic threads on this subject which you'll find if you do a search)...

      1. Perhaps a bit out of your way, but Jasmine on the Upper East Side (84th/2nd) is reasonably priced and I've never had a bad meal there. Plus, if conversation is slow, their music (Elvis one night, Lionel Richie another) is seemingly unplanned and undeniably noteworthy.

        For reference: http://www.newyorkmetro.com/listings/...

        2 Replies
        1. re: peggyshortsleeve

          I have been to Jasmine once and found the food to be rather unauthentic and mediocre. I have never given it another shot, so it may have been an off night.

          1. re: johns72604

            Jasmine is indeed unauthentic and mediocre. It's ok for delivery or takeout but as a destination restaurant, no way. Even the similarly mediocre Sala Thai is slightly better IMO.

        2. I think the best Thai in Manhattan is Pam's Real Thai or Pongsri.

          3 Replies
          1. re: devil

            I really like Pongsri as well - the branch on West 48th. I've had many every good meals there and had no problem geting things spiced properly. Not every dish is blazing hot - that isn't the only measure of a good Thai restaurant.

            I also thought Klong was pretty good but the crowd is definitely skewed to the young side (i.e. if you're 25 you'll fit right in) and the menu is overly cutesy. Still, good food is good food. Just be aware that the place looks like the inside of a concrete submarine and in the summer the a/c is dodgy.


            1. re: Bob Martinez

              ...in my opinion, and the opinion of a couple of my Thai friends, the food at Klong is terrible...the people who work there are very nice, the people-watching can be fun, and the location is convenient...so i really wanted to like it...but three visits yielded three absurdly sweet, Americanized meals, despite specific requests otherwise...i'd go back for a drink at the bar, but i wouldn't touch the food...

            2. re: devil

              Pongsri on 23rd is not bad, but not Queens. It is rarely spicy enough, but they are glad to bring the hot sauce trio.

              Pam I ate at once and didn't like

            3. I like Wondee of Siam, I think Pam is the best in Manhattan.. Nice people, good food, close to the theater.. Couple of really good dishes.. For my neighborhood, Lan is the best on the UWS. Its surprisingly very spicey.. I have been to Klong, recently on St. Marks.. Really good fried fish, the meal was solid. I liked the unpretentious hipness of the place.. Since this is Manhattan, I wont discuss Queens..

              Havent been to Jeeb, but will have to try it.

              1. pongsri used to be my fave, until PAM REAL THAI opened up. the most authentic in manhattan by far.

                6 Replies
                1. re: jungirl

                  I keep hearing great things about Pam Real but the one time I went it was way oversalty and just not that great. Maybe I just got the wrong dishes.

                  Wondee is OK but again, sort of forgettable.

                  Actually my favorite Thai in some ways is the casual Chelsea Thai in the Chelsea Market. I love their kra prao (basil) dishes.

                  But overall I just think there is no really good Thai in Manhattan.

                  1. re: jeanki

                    i want to like chelsea thai, b/c i love chelsea market, and i would think it would be super authentic, etc. but everything i've ever had from there has been overly sweet. americanized.

                    1. re: jungirl

                      Hmm I don't find the basil dishes sweet at all (more salty spicy) and I hate sweet Americanized Asian food, but maybe the other dishes do taste that way. That's disappointing.

                      1. re: jeanki

                        i like chelsea thai - and i agree, their basil dishes are very good. it used to be much better. i first tried it 7 years ago and it was amazing, not sweet at all. because of distance from chelsea market i hadn't been there in a couple years until last month. the pad key mao was a bit sweet for my liking and not as good as i remembered. it was disappointing, but i hope it was a blip.

                    2. re: jeanki

                      Just had lunch at Chelsea Thai, this week they had the Chu Chee Pla special, the tilapia was quite fresh and very good. I asked the guy in the counter but, unfortunately, he said, it won't be available next week.

                      I took a couple pictures (but forgot to bring my digicam cable, will post later). Chelsea Thai uses fried tilapia fillets and is quite different from the Sripraphai version--


                  2. pam real used to be really great, and it is still good, but i think the quality has gone down since it opened. also, the past couple time i went i always got a stomach ache directly afterwards - i think this is because the food is greasier than it used to be. of course that won't stop me from going again. : )

                    1. I've gone down this road recently, including a conversation with a former colleague of mine, a doctor who treats the royal family and has been to Thailand many times. He won't eat Thai anywhere in Manhattan anymore. I'm going to NYC in a few weeks and plan on making the trek to Queens.

                      1. Pam Real Thai all the way... by far the best I've had in Manhattan.

                        1. Holy Basil, Kittichai, and Prem-on-Thai (small but good). I haven't yet tried Pam Real Thai but I've heard good things..

                          1. I like Pam a lot.. I also am looking forward to trying Zab Thai on 13th. Lan is a good neighborhood spot on the UWS

                            1. I'd have to go with pam real or yum thai on 44th. Large portions of inexpensive tasty food. I just don't like pam's real curries since they keep over cooking the meat. Then again most thai places in the city do that, is there a thai place that doesn't over cook their meat slices :( ? As a commenter has stated above, pam can get salty. The staff there are very accomadating though, you can tell them not too much salt.

                              Love eating that gloppy lard na dish.

                              1. Sripraphai is the best.
                                Chelasea Thai has good noodles and Tom Yum.
                                Pam's real thai has seriously gone down hill.
                                Pongsri is totally decent old school thai.
                                I had a decent meal at Holy Basil after a 7 year hiatus.
                                Other good meals of late: Wondee, Prem-on, Kittichai, Pukk.
                                I usually gauge my thai restaurants based on their Tom Yum, Som Tum, Lard Nah and a curry (Panang or Massaman). And sometimes their Yum Woon Sen. In the case of Sripraphai, order everything.

                                1. Kittichai is not authentic. The food is bland, especially the curries. Even when you indicate that you want authentic, it is bland. It is also expensive. Two apps, two entrees, two drinks, one beer ,3 "sides" and one dessert- $175. The entrees come with nothing, so you have to order rice and veggies. Does not meet the hype at all. Skip it.

                                  1. Pam Real Thai was good...her way of using different herbs and spices was very different and unique. I thought all thai food tasted the same until I went to her restaurant.

                                    1. I also really like RICE on Mott, even though it is not conpletely authentic. But it's a tiny, charming place with good food.

                                      1. I too love Pukk on 1st Ave in the East Village. All vegatarian. Dirt cheap. Soup is like $3, entrees between $5-9 maybe? Always delish, and presentation beautiful. I've never had to wait for a table.

                                        1. Ponsri in lower Manhattan, across the street from The Tombs (is that Baxter or Bayard, I get them confused) is exceptionally good, notably the curries and the Tom Yon Goong (sp.). I can second Yum in the theatre district (esp. for take-out; eating in, esp. during lunchtimes hours, is crowded and the decor is pretty much just a steam kitchen). Sripraphai remains (in my book) horribly overrated despite the reviews here which consistently place it as "best in the five boroughs." Not even close, IMHO.

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: wiessner1

                                            Chinatown Pongsri is on Bayard between Mulberry and Baxter.