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best Thai places?

lindsay_r Feb 25, 2008 08:56 AM

I just moved to Northern VA and keep hearing the Thai food is really good around here. Any thoughts, THANKS!!!!

  1. y
    yumyum01 Feb 25, 2008 10:30 AM

    A very popular Thai restaurant is Duangrat near seven corners, it's good but can get expensive. There is a place next door to it that is owned by the same people, I think called rabieng??? I thought it was actually better.

    1 Reply
    1. re: yumyum01
      sweth Feb 25, 2008 10:45 AM

      Many people like Duangrat and Rabieng (both owned by Pookie Duangrat) on Rte 7, but that is because they were once very good, and their reputation has outlived the original chefs--these days, they turn out bland, Americanized Thai.

    2. s
      sweth Feb 25, 2008 10:44 AM

      Welcome to the area! In addition to good Thai food, you may also want to check out the Ethiopian and Korean in the area, as those are other cuisines that metro DC seems to do better than many other places.

      To answer you actual question: Thai Square is generally considered the best authentic Thai in NoVA. Bangkok 54 has its proponents as well.

      You can't throw a stick in Northern VA without hitting a Thai restaurant, so there are probably some other good places relatively close to wherever you are, if you can be more specific about that.

      1 Reply
      1. re: sweth
        Dennis S Feb 25, 2008 11:04 AM

        General regards on this board are that the best three in the whole area are Thai Square and Bangkok 54 in Arlington, and Ruan Thai in Wheaton.

        But yeah, there are tons, with highlights in each "micro-region". Paya Thai in Tyson's, Thai Luang in Herndon, etc.

      2. j
        jaydreb Feb 25, 2008 11:35 AM

        As others have said, there are a ton of Thai restaurants in NoVA. The ones that garner the most acclaim are Thai Square, Bangkok 54 and Duangrats.

        1. Steph80 Feb 25, 2008 07:06 PM

          I havent been to many but Busara is pretty good. it's right next to Tysons Corner.
          anyone else have more input on this place?

          3 Replies
          1. re: Steph80
            aromanel Feb 26, 2008 05:31 AM

            I think Busara is OK. If it is near you, it is a quick, satisfying lunch. If you want something a bit more authentic but just as inexpensive Cee and Crystal Thai (both owned by the same owners) are another excellent choice. Just as everyone has mentioned Thai places are abundent and are literally on every street corner... try and few mentioned here and then make up your own mind! I find that people like "authentic" Thai or they like "americanized (read sweet)" Thai. Welcome to the area!

            1. re: aromanel
              sweth Feb 26, 2008 09:54 AM

              I second the "it's OK if you're right there" vote on Busara; moreover, unless you're very short on time, Paya Thai on Old Courthouse Rd is very close to it, and is in my experience better.

              1. re: aromanel
                bacchante Feb 26, 2008 02:17 PM

                Crystal Thai and Cee are no longer the same owner. Kate (Cee) and Boon (Paya Thai) aren't involved with Crystal Thai any more.

            2. d
              Dakota Guy Feb 26, 2008 06:38 AM

              I suggest doing a search on Chowhound as this has been discussed endlessly. But to cut to the chase, go to Thai Square.

              4 Replies
              1. re: Dakota Guy
                sweth Feb 26, 2008 09:59 AM

                I was originally going to suggest searching, too, but then I tried the search, and found that I couldn't find any threads that actually answered the OP's question. I know there have been some, but they weren't in the first few pages of results for searches like "Virginia Thai" or "Northern Virginia Thai". That's the problem w/ search engines that just do basic keyword matches and sort results chronologically, unfortunately.

                Hmm... even though the site search doesn't do a good job of finding the threads, Google w/ a site:chowhound.com criterion does: http://www.google.com/search?q=site:c...

                1. re: sweth
                  PollyG Feb 26, 2008 11:23 AM

                  The search engine here has a 1 year window, so our Thai Smackdown of 2005 is lost. But here's a thread which reprises it pretty well.


                  1. re: PollyG
                    The Chowhound Team Feb 26, 2008 11:32 AM

                    You can adjust the parameters of the search to include longer periods of time - the default is one year, as you wrote.

                    1. re: The Chowhound Team
                      sweth Feb 26, 2008 03:54 PM

                      The problem isn't the window for the search; it's that however long the window is, older-but-more-relevant posts will get pushed further back every time the relevant keywords are used in other less-relevant posts. So every time "Thai" and "Virginia" are used in passing in a discussion of, say, Vietnamese restaurants in DC, the relevant posts get bumped down the list further, and become harder for people to find.

                      I've added a suggestion for including tips on finding "best Thai" threads in the archives to the DC-Sticky thread, on the off chance that that sticky ever does appear: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/45860...

              2. c
                chew Feb 26, 2008 11:00 AM

                The important question - rather than which Thai is the "best" Thai restaurant - is what Thai dishes / food do you like?

                Some restaurants are good at certain dishes while crappy at others. This is true for 99.9% of all the Thai restaurants I've been to and I've been to PLENTY!

                It's more important to focus on what you are actually going to eat versus what other people may have liked at certain restaurants :-D

                1 Reply
                1. re: chew
                  hill food Feb 26, 2008 12:03 PM

                  I agree with chew, for some Pad Thai is the litmus test, for me it's Gai Gra Pao (spelling varies) but two very different dishes.

                2. n
                  nvagirl Feb 26, 2008 05:18 PM

                  I like Bangkok 54 in Arlington and in Alexandria I like Mai Thai (at end of King St by water)

                  1. h
                    humblegourmand Feb 27, 2008 09:12 AM

                    In DC proper, you may want to try Simply Home (sort of fusion-y, at 14th and U Sts. NW), Regent Thai (18th and T Sts.), and Thai Xing (carryout, on Florida Ave. NW).

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: humblegourmand
                      hill food Feb 27, 2008 09:36 PM

                      Regent is good, they don't underestimate my tolerance for heat and will even bring out the box of 4 dry spice condiments if asked.

                    2. Aphioni Mar 3, 2008 09:25 AM

                      if you ever get as far west as Ashburn, try Anothai- they have been favorably reviewed by the Washington Pst, and yours truly! :) excellent thai here, and i;m not a fan of Asian food so i am hard to please in this category. their fresh ingredients and tender meats make all the difference...

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