HOME > Chowhound > Manhattan >


Thai in NYC??

Coming to NYC for a visit and want to know where to go for GREAT Thai food? Unfortunately in the city I live in we only have two Thai restaurants and neiter of them are very good. Not looking for anything fancy just authentic.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Sripraphai is easily the single best Thai restaurant in NYC. Well worth traveling out to Queens if you're looking for great Thai food; just make sure to stay away from the pad thai and other popular Americanized choices. I'd check the Outer Boroughs board for recommendations on specific dishes.

    Rhong-Tiam in Manhattan was pretty good, but it closed fairly recently and merged with/took over its sister restaurant, Kurve. I've heard the food is still good, but the restaurant is a hilarious eyesore now, which is a shame.

    1. Srirpraphai is always my first choice, but you'll need to go to the Outer Boroughs board to learn more. In Midtown, you have a couple good options in Wondee Siam and Pam Real Thai.

      If you're not familiar with authentic Thai, you might note it is much more strong tasting than the sweet sauces that characterize the cuisine for mass consumption. It is spicier, more sour, with a funky kick from fish sauce, anise flavors and plenty of fresh herbs.

      2 Replies
      1. re: JungMann

        Definitely Sripraphai. We recently ate at Pam Real Thai, understanding that it was about the next best thing available in Manhattan and were sorely disappointed. None of the dishes was special at all, and mine was downright bad, with rubbery calamari and some truly wooden/fibrous veggies (blanking on the details as I was tired at the time). We were emphatically disappointed as all three dishes were subpar.

        1. re: JungMann

          We particularly like Pam Real Thai Encore on 47th St. Haven't been to the original in quite a while.

        2. I liked Rhong-Tiam when it was on La Guardia. I've heard that it has since closed and is now on 2nd and 5th. Assuming it is just as tasty, I recommend it.

          Btw, if the one on La Guardia is still open, pls. let me know. Thanks.

          1 Reply
          1. re: gloriousfood

            Rhong-Tiam on La Guardia is definitely closed, and Kurve has been renamed Rhong-Tiam. The food is the same, excellent.

          2. If it must be in Manhattan, Kurve and Kittichai are the best options. As a previous poster mentioned, the decor at Kurve can be migraine inducing. Kittichai is very elegant and the food is high quality but "safe" with the herbs and seasoning. For the best authentic Thai, you need to venture to Sripraphai in Queens. You will get fresh herbs, heat, sour, sweet and all intense.

            I really do not like Pam Real Thai. I have only been once but am leery of giving it a second try.

            2 Replies
            1. re: Pookipichu

              Kittichai is lovely but I don't think their food is anything special. It's also overpriced for what it is.

              Wondee is good if you order right.

              1. re: uwsister

                Ditto this on Kittichai. Beautiful setting and so serene though (if you are into paying extra for the setting.)

            2. My favorite Thai in Manhattan is the original Wondee Siam on 9th Avenue. Be sure to order from their authentic Thai menu (or whatever they call it) which is on a special card on the tables. I actually prefer their crispy pork and chinese broccoli over Sripraphai's version. Make sure you get that.

              This Wondee is really a hole in the wall, but it is cheap and BYOB.

              1. Maybe it's the prices or the Thai staff (seemingly) but I really like Joia in Cobble Hill. The food always comes out steaming hot and it's really really good. I like the whole fish. The wait can be a bit ridiculous but well worth it.


                1. As others have said above, hop on the 7 train to Queens...it's a short and even scenic trip (subway goes above ground and you get some nice views)...

                  but i'll add that i had a surprisingly decent meal at Pam Real Thai the other day...but i can't vouch for the whole menu as it was a quick solo meal...and i ordered in Thai, so it's possible i might have gotten some preferencial preparation in terms of authentic fishy and spicy notes...

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: Simon

                    You don't have to order in Thai to get the good stuff, but for farang it helps to be regular customers so they know they aren't going to get the "I want Thai spicy...ph my God I can't eat this" reaction.

                    1. re: buttertart

                      what dishes do you especially like there?...i'm planning on going back and exploring the menu a bit...

                  2. Preface: I know I always read about Sripraphai (never been) and Wondee Siam and Pam Real in the city, but I have to say I've always been disappointed with the latter two, both locations of each. (I know we all acknowledge Thai food in the city isn't the best. I'm from LA and I think Thai food is better there. but I still search here because I still crave it like crazy.)
                    I'm going to go out on a limb and recommend one that I've never seen anyone write about but that I just happened to try: Heng2 on 10th ave and 51st. I love it because the food is tasty (i'm a sucker for pad see ew, curry puffs, beef (and their pork) salad,) the decor is contemporary and stylish but not pretentious, the prices are GREAT for the city (eg $7.95 for pad see ew with chicken or beef), and the portions are large.
                    i bring all my friends and they all really like it. so it's not written about much but it's one of my favorites. give it a try! i'd love to see them stay in business!

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: paddlestick101

                      If Heng 2 is a better option in the neighborhood, I have to try it. Anything you would recommend besides the above? I'm a fan of complex flavors like the basil, lime and rice interplay in beef salad or a fragrant red curry.

                      1. re: JungMann

                        i went to some other nondescript one in the HK area but it was just average. i havent tried the yum yum or thai thai (sp?) ones, so i can only speak on pam real and heng2 around there. of course it's personal taste, so try it and let me know what you think. cheers!

                        1. re: paddlestick101

                          I went to Wondee today on the east side of the Avenue, and it was extremely salty. The rolls were very good, crispy and not oily at all. I used to love Land on 2nd ave but lately the curry has been watery. I am wondering if anyone has any suggestions for Thai on the UES?

                    2. Gotta add my vote for Sripraphai-get the softshell crabs.