Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Manhattan >
Mar 6, 2008 06:05 AM

Best thai (lunch)

Looking for a place anywhere in Manhattan for authentic Thai. Doesn't have to have lunch specials or be too cheap, just proper Thai food.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. The Thai place in Chelsea market is really great! (16th and 9th)

    1. I love Wondee Siam. It's cheap and very authentic and good.

      Pam Real is also a good choice.

      Pongsri is also excellent.

      1. Pam Real Thai on 9th Ave is great, cheap and large portions.

        4 Replies
        1. re: ginsbera

          this may get me struck down, but i prefer chanpen thai OR pongsri to pam real, both in the same area of west midtown/hell's kitchen

          (pongsri = several locations).

          1. re: bob gaj

            chanpen isn't bad, a little more ambiance. Not a fan of pongsri. Seeda Thai is also pretty good, better pad thai than pam real thai.

            1. re: bob gaj

              I'm actually gonna agree with you about pongsri, but the chinatown location. i think it's better than the rest. the only thing i've ever gotten ther and been disappointed with was the spicey thai beef salad, which is supposed to be thinly sliced and rather delicate. itw as just a grilled steak on a salad (which wasn't all that bad), not what i was expecting. i think their curries, esp whole fish curry is really good (not really a lunch item though). i find much of the curries in NY to be too watery. Pongsri curries have some substance to them.

              I work in midtown west, for my thai lunch needs i often hit up Q2 on 9th which as a decent lunch special and Topaz. although topaz can be too crowded and the service is really slow.

              1. re: bob gaj

                I just tried Chanpen for lunch and almost lost the will to live. Godawful food, just the worst. Definitely not authentic, but I wouldn't have even cared much, if anything had any flavor. If you ask for it Thai spicy, they tell you that you put it on afterward yourself, meaning everything is prepared ahead of time.
                The pad see eaw looked more like a pork dish than a noodle dish, with chewy, overcooked chunks of low-quality meat, canned baby corn, canned mushrooms, red & green bell peppers, and a small amount of gluey noodles.
                The thai iced coffee was decent.
                I've tried pretty much all of the Thai restaurants in the neighborhood by now and can't recommend a single one, although Wondee's OK in a pinch.

            2. Thai Market on 107th and Amsterdam is currently my favorite Thai restaurant in Manhattan. Both Wondee Siam and Pam Real are good, but not quite as good.

              5 Replies
              1. re: fgf

                I second Thai Market as the best Thai restaurant I've tried in Manhattan, though I've never had lunch there. Generally, though, I've noticed that TM uses higher quality ingredients than Wondee and Pam.

                1. re: cimui

                  imo, jaiya on 3rd and 28th is better than the places mentioned above. we need one on the UWS.

                  1. re: nativeNYer

                    nativenyer, just want to let you know this is our backup plan for tonight in case we don't make it in time for our reservation at tailor. i have been wanting to try jaiya ever since you mentioned it, here!

                    1. re: cimui

                      well, i hope you don't make it to tailor (oops! did i really let that slip out?!?!). sorry but i would love to hear your feedback on jaiya, good or bad! if not tonight, maybe another time but just keep me posted. have a great dinner wherever you wind up. we are headed to charm tonight out of sheer laziness.

                      1. re: nativeNYer

                        @cimui & nativeNYer:
                        >feedback on jaiya, good or bad!

                        I hosted a group of six pepperheads in a field-test of this restaurant close to a year ago. We thought that our dishes lacked subtlety and that the chef simply piled on the hot peppers.

              2. Zabb City makes very fine salads. Curries are boring & typical though.

                2 Replies
                1. re: zbs

                  I am going to make it to THAI MARKET one of these days. Do guys know if the chef used to work at SIAM INN II (8th between 50/51st?) It's closed now but they made the BEST Panang Curry in NYC.

                  Do you guys know what happens to the people behind RED GARLIC (8th and 54th). Have they opened a new place? Those 2 are the best, most authentic Thai places in NYC that I knew. Too bad both have closed.

                  1. re: theskyflyer

                    You mean Manhattan, right? Not New York City. There are quite a few authentic Thai restaurants in Queens that make the Manhattan ones look like a sad bunch indeed.