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Moving to Chicago, no Thai?

  • b

I'm going to be moving to Chicago from New York in the near future (two months), but have several questions I was hoping you could all answer:

A friend of mine who is currently living there says that there is no good Thai food, when compared to NYC. Is it true? Please debunk this!


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  1. Nonsense! The best Thai places in Chicago are at least as good as (and many people claim better than) the best Thai places in New York, and the same is true for the typical/average Thai places in each city. Whether it's the ultra-authentic Thai places with exotic dishes on their daily specials and Thai-language menus (e.g. TAC Quick, Sticky Rice, Spoon Thai) or the city and suburban restaurants that do a great job with the more common Thai dishes (e.g. Thai Sookdee, altThai), you can find great Thai food throughout Chicagoland, in city neighborhoods and suburban towns.

    For a few recommendations to start with, see the discussion at http://www.chowhound.com/topics/491970

    There are some types of food which New York "does better" (in prevalence and/or quality) than Chicago, and there are other types which Chicago does better than New York. It's debatable whether Thai food is one of the latter types, but it's definitely NOT one of the former.

    1. Absolutely nsxtasy! Where is the poster's friend eating?

      1. Wow, your friend could not be more misinformed. If they start boasting about the superiority of NYC Mexican food also, it might be time to re-evaluate your friendship ;)

        1. Not that you need more people to tell you that your friend is insane, but... well... your friend is insane.

          (Horribly misinformed, anyway)

          1. more Thai food in this city then in San Francisco

            1. I hope your friend has other qualities worthy of friendship because (s)he would appear to have no knowledge of food, at least Thai food. No good NY-style pizza? A good argument to be made there. No good Thai? Please share with us where your friend has been eating (or what they've been smoking).

              1. Where is your friend been eating at? Chicago is known for its Thai restaurants.

                1. I have had two Thai Au Pairs over the last three years. Both think the Thai food in Chicago is great. In addition, they have Thai Au Pair friends in NY that have reported the lack of good Thai food. I think your friend is mistaken.

                  1. Here is a very useful overview by Erik M., who knows the Thai food scene in Chicago better than anyone, I believe:


                    1. Agreed with nxstasy! I'm sad Chicago was ever called out for having a lack of good Thai...

                      1. I really like Cozy Chicago for their Thai food,BYOB and laidback atmosphere and great decorations! Check it out here: http://www.cozychicago.com

                        1. bocce; You certainly came to the right place for dining advice!! Your friend is decidedly misinformed...and maybe not the best person to consult on Chicago's best "foodie finds".

                          Erik M knows his Thai food...see below. He will not steer you wrong...oh, and he provides great visuals/photos too.

                          1. I agree with all the replies so far—Chicago has excellent Thai food. My personal fave is Siam Noodle and Rice ( http://siamnoodleandrice.com/ ). Fabulous home-style Thai cooking.

                            1. I second the Thai Pastry recommendation. Great restaurant, nothing fancy, but good fresh Thai food. It's BYOB.

                              Up the road, in Edgewater, there is another great Thai restaurant:

                              Indie Cafe
                              5951 N. Broadway
                              Chicago, IL 60660

                              Also great Thai food along with a Sushi bar. I know, sometimes when I see that a restaurant does Thai + Sushi I think they might not have focus on one or the other. In the case of Indie Cafe, they are able to provide great Thai food with great presentation. I have never had their Sushi, but other diners love it.

                              Try both of these for lunch if you are in the neighborhood. Thai Pastry especially has great lunch specials.

                              1. Dinein - I saw nothing in the OP's post that would allow one to draw the conclusion that his/her friend is a jerk. One can be misinformed and still be quite pleasant. I'd prefer to start out assuming that in this case the friend simply hasn't been exposed to the many fine Thai options Chicago has to offer and that perhaps the info shared with the OP may ultimately rectify that - perhaps even leading him/her here to CH - where it would be regrettable that they then find that they are the object of name calling.

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: Original Kman

                                  I'm sure that bocce is intelligent enough to know what sarcasm is.

                                2. Wow, if there is one thing NOT to complain about here, it's Thai and Viet food. I lived in NY for many years, and both are better here (since Pho Bang burned down, NYC hardly has ANY Viet food, and it's fairly good, if Saigon is still open, but there's way more selection here. As for Thai, I never saw anything in NY anything like Spoon or TAC Quick. Even the standard places are pretty good here.