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Great, inexpensive Thai in Manhattan?

What are your favorite Thai restaurants in Manhattan--not too trendy or expensive, just great food? They can be anywhere in the city, though I'd prefer places on the west side or below (e.g. Soho, West Village). Thanks!

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    1. re: KTinNYC

      Zabb City is my probably my favorite (love the jungle curry), and last time I was there it was BYO which helps reduce cost... I also would recommend Jeeb - had a cheap and very yummy meal there and in warmer weather there is a little deck/patio in the back

    2. Klong on St. Mark's Place is on the inexpensive side.

      3 Replies
      1. re: ArtemisNYC

        Yeah, but is it "great"? I don't think so.

        1. re: Pan

          I'll disagree with you on this. I've had some "great" meals over there, too. To each her own...

          1. re: ArtemisNYC

            that's a pretty shocking statement...imho Klong serves some of the worst, overly sweet faux-Thai food in the city...but as ya said, to each her own...

      2. Pongsri, Spice, Lemongrass, Wondee Siam I, Wondee Siam II, Pam Real

        1. land thai kitchen is great, 81st and amsterdam.

          1. thailand restaurant in chinatown (baxter and bayard) or wondee

            1 Reply
            1. Jaiya (3rd ave & 28th street) - insanely, addictively spicy. get the beef w/chili peppers & prepare for HOT!

              Thai Angel (Grand between Crosby & Lafayette) - generally and reliably delicious. the red curry duck is super tasty and the portions are good.

              1. Second Jaiya. I've only had takeout, but I love their pad thai and lab nur. dhchait is right - it can get really spicy, so beware when asking for spicy or even medium spicy!

                I also enjoy Pongsri, although it's not as "authentic"-tasting as Jaiya.

                1 Reply
                1. re: jesuki1

                  Pongrsi is good, a bit Westernized. Around long beforeThai became trendy. Good value. The Chinatown location is my favorite but short on ambience when compared to the Theater District location.

                2. Definetly Pam Real, which is on 49th I think betw. 10th and 11th? It is not only cheap but close to authentic Thai too. It's not Americanized Thai.

                  1. i like land on amsertadam avenue and the 80's on the uws. small space, high flavor.

                    1. If you like Thai food you MUST make a trip out to Woodside in Queens at least once. There's a small Thai community that has spawned the excellent Khao Homm Thai, and the even better Sripraphai. Also, down the road in Jackson Heights is Rice Avenue, which is also very yum. Sure, they're all the way in Queens, but they're a whole lot better than anything I've ever had in Manhattan (although I have yet to try Pam Real.)

                      5 Replies
                      1. re: pagal

                        Nothing beats Sripraphai but OP wants to stay in Manhattan.

                        1. re: guttergourmet

                          I saw the "anywhere in the city" bit, and in my mind NYC is much, much more that Manhattan. That being said, how does Pam Real stack up to Sri? I've eaten at Wondee and thought the food was decent, but I wasn't blown away.

                          1. re: pagal

                            Pam is hit and miss -- more on the level of Wondee than Sripraphai.

                        2. re: pagal

                          khao homm is closed, i believe. but i agree with your general sentiment. sripraphai in woodside or chao thai in elmhurst are my favorite thai spots.

                          in manhattan, pam real thai food on w. 49th just west of 9th ave, or either of the wondee siam branches are your only decent options. pam real thai food used to be good but i feel it's been in decline for some time now. as for wondee, i kind of soured on it for several years - basically, during the time that pam real thai was in its prime - but because i'd been disappointed with pam of late, i decided to check out wondee again and, surprisingly, it was pretty good. since that visit, i've been back two more times: one mediocre and one good. i think it's safe to say that the place is inconsistent, but when it's on, it can be pretty good.

                          1. re: surly

                            We recently went to Pam Real Encore (47th & 9th) for a birthday party. It was reserved for the party on a Monday night, normally closed, so we had Pam coming over to cook just for us. The decor is unexpected (sort of a cuter, more typical Hell's Kitchen type place with bar) but the food was quite good. I had the curry puffs and jungle curry. Jungle curry was not nearly as hot as Sri's but good, curry puffs tasted pretty similar to Sri's. I would definitely go again, although we may have had an especially good night since the place was open just for us.

                          1. re: ckonyc

                            The "country curry" rocks, but tell them medium, (which was nice and tongue burnishing). Also the steamed dumplings were really good.

                          2. 2nd Ave is the place to go in Manhattan

                            Land just opened on the East Side in the old Baluchi's space on 2nd avenue and 81st is unbeatable for the price.

                            Despite the poor spelling, Pooket on 2nd and 50th is one of the most authientic Thai restaurants in manhattan, along with Viang Ping on 2nd and 72nd.

                            3 Replies
                            1. re: gargas

                              What makes you say that Pooket and Viang Ping are among the most authentic Thai restaurants in Manhattan? I'm not challenging that statement, I haven't been to either one, nor have I been to very many Manhattan Thai restaurants. If you can qualify it, that would be very good news for me!

                              1. re: panoz

                                I've spent a decent amount of time in Thailand for work. Even there - especially in Bangkok - many restaurants dumb down the flavor for western tastes, but I've gone out of my way to have my local friends an colleagues show me the real deal. The problem with most Thai food in New York is that it's very greasy and oily like chinese food and much more bland - over there the good stuff is done much drier and, most importantly, the spices absolutely kill. That's not to say the less authentic places cant be good, but it's like the difference between Pizza Hut and Grimaldi's.

                                The most important thing to do when you order is to ask them to make it like they'd make it for a Thai. Usually a big difference and well worth it.

                                1. re: gargas

                                  great reply, gargas. i appreciate your input.

                            2. Bennie's on Fulton St (Downtown) serves decent Thai food and is quite cheap.

                              4 Replies
                              1. re: kobetobiko

                                Pongrsi Thai is better and also a good value. When you are so close to Chinatown, why eat Thai on ugly Fulton Street in a basement restaurant?

                                1. re: financialdistrictresident

                                  "Why eat Thai on Bennies?" For the Spicy Duck! I think it's pretty good and have it once a month. Even Lemongrass, which is just ehh for most dishes, has a hidden gem: their Beef Satay is great! Better than my Chinatown favorites-- Skyway and New Indonesian. Plus, both Bennies and Lemongrass are seamlesswebbed, for those times when we're too lazy to walk the 10 minutes to Ch-town. (Disclaimer: aside from the Beef Satay at Lemongrass and Spicy Duck at Bennies we're talking average Manhattan Thai here.)

                                  1. re: bokkyo

                                    Thanks for your thoughts. May have to try a delivery from Bennies for the dish you mention. Have been to Lemongrass, a bit overpriced. Sad to say, I have also been too lazy to walk to Chinatown! I like the Thai food in Thailand the best. . .

                                    1. re: financialdistrictresident

                                      Re: Spicy Duck delivery from Bennies, imho, it'll ruin the dish. The couple times I did that the duck came in warm and soggy (and I live a 5 min walk away). I prefer eating there so the duck's still crispy.

                                      As for Lemongrass, there hasn't been a memorable dish for me aside from the Beef Satay (I usually have this delivered). The duck with tropical fruit comes close but not particularly outstanding. But then for really good Thai there's Sripraphai in Woodside.

                                1. Royal Siam in Chelsea- 8th avenue at 22nd street. It is an unassuming place but I love their dishes and the fried calamari rings (seriously) are amazingly light and airy.

                                  1. Is Holy Basil on the second floor on 2nd Ave and 9th Street still open? That was an excellent restaurant. A bit fancier than most places that focus on takeout and delivery, but still not outrageously expensive. When I was in college and on a tight tight budget and wanted to take my mother out to dinner downtown for something unusual (in the early to mid-90s Thai was relatively exotic), we'd always go here.

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: ballulah

                                      Holy Basil is still there but Zaab City is better and just up the street.

                                    2. Wondee Siam in Hell's Kitchen is fantastic...BYOB as well

                                      1. Spice is an abomination. Trendy Chelsea boys and greasy, bland fare. When in Chelsea, better to go to the Thai restaurant in the Chelsea Market. Flavorings are intricate and well-proportioned. It was like a revelation trying their food in comparison to what I "thought" was Thai. Also enjoy Chanpen in Hell's Kitchen.

                                        1. I went to Fake Orchid the other night and it was awesome. Past the kitschy decor, those mamas sure know how to make great pad thai and tom kha soup! 440 E 9th st. btwn 1st and A.

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: okiam527

                                            i have to say, fake orchid is definitely my favorite thai in manhattan. i haven't been to the thai restaurants in queens - but from the restaurants in manhattan, Fake orchid is by far the best. The food is authentic and truly delicious, and the service is amazing.
                                            highly recommend!!!

                                          2. I like Galanga on west 4th at Washington Sq. Good, fresh, cheep, yum.

                                            1 Reply
                                            1. Yum on 44th between 6th & 7th has the best krapao gai (chicken with basil) in Manhattan, especially if you go when they're not busy and ask them to make it like in Thailand--spicy, and with minced chicken. No ambience, basically take-out with a few tables.

                                              If you want a real sit-down meal, I like the branch of Pongsri on 23rd.

                                              Outside Manhattan, Arharn Thai in Astoria is more reliable than Sriphaphai, in my opinion.

                                              1 Reply
                                              1. re: RCinNYC

                                                i just went to tigerland (thai/vietnamese/a little chinese) please try this wonderful place. a review to follow . i was very very impressed with the food... avenue a/ 5th street

                                              2. Second Wondee Siam (#1). BYO, zero decor.

                                                1. Spice's lunch special rules- and you all know it. Outside of lunch, make sure to order the drunk man noodles- an explosion of basil/seafood flavors with delicate, delicious noodles. The fried calamari is a steal at 5 bucks too.