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Any good Vietnamese or Thai around Magnificent Mile?

I'm here for work for the week & looking for some really good & authentic Vietnamese or Thai w/in walking distance of the Rush/Chestnut area (I'm staying at the Tremont). I passed by Silver Spoon Thai on my way to work today...is it worth stopping in? Any place else I should consider? Thanks!

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  1. Vietnamese - Le Colonial - www.lecolonialchicago.com
    Thai - Vong's Thai Kitchen - www.vongsthaikitchen.com

    I know there are several other Thai places in that area, but I haven't been to them.

      1. Thanks for the recs, but i'm wondering...is there maybe any place a little less "fancy/fusion'? Sorry to be a pain!

        2 Replies
        1. re: sunnygordy

          Keep in mind that the neighborhood you ask about is the highest-priced real estate in the entire city, and is also the area most frequented by upscale tourists (since the highest-end luxury hotels are located there). As a result, there are a lot of mid-priced and high-end restaurants. Economics work against lower-priced restaurants unless they can do a high volume and/or work out of a very small footprint.

          Le Lan is a higher-end restaurant with one of the city's best-known chefs, and leans more towards "Asian fusion" than any specific ethnicity. Le Colonial is mid-priced - certainly more expensive than the storefronts you'll find on Argyle Street, but you'll trade off travel time (35-40 minutes by el) for the lower price. Vong's Thai Kitchen is a mid-priced Thai restaurant, and I like the food there; it is part of our local Lettuce Entertain You restaurant group. I could be wrong but I think it's probably the only Thai restaurant of its size (and certainly the only somewhat-upscale one) in the neighborhood. When it originally opened (as "Vong") it was considerably more expensive, but they revamped the menu and is now not all that out of line in price (obviously a matter of opinion).

          As you try these and other places, please let us know what YOU think of them!

          1. re: nsxtasy

            While I do enjoy VTK, if you want someplace less "fusion," and are still willing to come as south as VTK, I always have very decent thai at Star of Siam on E. Hubbard, off of State. It's nothing fancy, but a basic thai food restaurant.

        2. Silver Spoon Thai is not the most authentic, the best nor the fanciest Thai in the city, but it's really not bad. It's been a few years since I was there, but I recall being pleasantly surprised. The service was terrible, but the food was pretty good. I think I read that it's owned by the same family that owns Spoon, which is one of the most authentic Thai restaurants in the city.

          There's also Panang on Chicago and Dearborn(?), which is fast, but not notable for food.

          Give Silver Spoon a try and let us know what you think.

          3 Replies
          1. re: chicgail

            Silver Spoon is owned by the people who own Spoon Thai, arguably the best Thai restaurant in Chicago. But the food at Silver Spoon is not quite up to the same level as the food at Spoon. And whereas Spoon Thai is exclusively Thai, Silver Spoon offers sushi too. I've always thought Silver Spoon is good, but not great (Spoon Thai is great).

            Now I must say that when I have been to Silver Spoon, I have never tried ordering some of the Spoon Thai specialties (i.e., items from their Thai language menu). I might suggest trying to do this and see what they say. Here's a link to that menu. You might want to print out a copy and bring it with you. I'm also attaching another link with pictures of Spoon Thai's food to give you an idea. But don't expect the same quality from Silver Spoon. http://www.lthforum.com/bb/viewtopic.... and http://www.lthforum.com/bb/viewtopic.....

            Unfortunately, if you want really good and authentic Thai and/or Vietnamese food, you'll have to leave the downtown area and take the El about 25 minutes north to places like Spoon Thai, TAC Quick or Sticky Rice for Thai food, or Argyle (Tank Noodle for one) for Vietnamese food.

            I think Le Colonial is ok, not great, and pricey for what's offered. I would avoid Vong at all costs . . . I think it's just awful for Thai food.

            1. re: BRB

              I agree, the places up on Argyle are the best int he city, especially Tank Noodle(my favorite restaurant in the city right now). I would make the trip up there as well, but thats coming from someone who regularly makes the 90 mile drive each way down to Argyle street just to eat.

              Le Colonial is good, but totally different than Tank.

              1. re: BRB

                I realize that Silver Spoon is no Spoon; it's no TAC and it's no Sticky Rice, but the OP is "looking for some really good & authentic Vietnamese or Thai w/in walking distance of the Rush/Chestnut area".

                The other options (Panang, Thai Star or Star of Siam) may be accpetable run of the mill Thai restaurants, but Silver Spoon at least reaches a bit.

                I don't know of any Vietnamese that is in the same ballpark outside the Argyle area. Le Colonial is probably fancier than he/she is looking for.

                Avoid the sushi there and enjoy your meal.

            2. Le Colonial for Vietnamese - excellent food and atmosphere and service!

              1. I enjoy the Vietnamese dishes at Quang Noodle, on the corner of Chicago Ave. & State St. Very inexpensive and not at all fancy but tasty. It has the feel of a family run business and I always feel welcomed when I eat there. I haven't explored too much of the menu, though.

                1 Reply
                1. re: sydney33

                  I love Dao and it's not too far. And not too fancy. And not too expensive.

                  http://www.daothai.com/