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Thai in Center City?

I have not discovered a good Thai restaurants in Center City. I've found the Thai place in Conshocken to be great and the Thai place in Marlton, NJ to also be good but I have yet to find any place in Center City. Can you recommend?

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  1. Trio in the art museum area is very good. The chef comes from Siris in Cherry Hill.

    2 Replies
    1. re: joluvscards

      yeah, i haven't been to trio in a while, but they're definitely one of the best. i'm also a big fan of erawan at 23rd and sansom and aqua at 7th and chestnut. out of the way, but i liked the place in manayunk - can't recall its name (the BYO, not the street food place with the same owners - haven't tried that one yet). the rest - meh.

      1. re: rabidog

        Chabba Thai is the thai restaurant in Manayunk, and Mango Mooon is the street food/small plates place in manayunk owned by the same folks.

        Personally I work close to Conshohocken, and am underwhelmed with the food at Chiangmai. I find it underspiced, and very ordinary. In the suburbs, Thai L'Elephant, while french thai fusion, is not bad.

        I would say that great Thai food is something the Philadelphia area is lacking, compared to say Washington DC or New York City.

    2. The place in the reading terminal always has a line - what do hounds think of it?

      3 Replies
      1. re: Bigley9

        I think it's cheap and it satisfies my pad thai craving when I have one.

        1. re: Bigley9

          last time i checked it was owned by the same people that own erawan. i eat there now and then, i can chow down on the red curry.

          1. re: rabidog

            Not anymore. I don't know when it happened, but the ownership changed a while back. Unless the flip-flop happened again, the original Erawan owner is no longer with Erawan. Food [at Erawan] is still decent but not great, though I feel like that's always been true.

            Really, Thai in Center City is some sort of crazy trade-off between cheap and good. While I like the prices at Thai Singha house for lunch and enjoy the food, I'd probably not enjoy it nearly as much paying double or triple the price. (Actually, this is true. While living near the bigger restaurant, not the take-out spot in Rittenhouse, I'd only go under duress, but I've been to the take-out place innumerable times.) Same goes for Erawan, Thai Chef & Noodle Fusion, and even the RTM spot.

        2. Not quite Center City, but Lemon Grass in the 3600 block of Lancaster Ave (Powelton Village near Drexel) has good Thai food.

          Reasonably priced. Regular and complete vegetarian menu. Parking nearby. Have a liquor license. Downside: Service is a bit reminiscent of some Chinatown places.

          1. I've been to Tamarind on 2nd and South several times and always enjoyed. Never been to Trio, even though I used to live across the street, but I've always heard good things.

            1 Reply
            1. re: fbtweety

              Seconding Tamarind. Especially like their mock duck dishes. And it's BYOB.

            2. The Thai Noodle House on Chestnut b/t 21st and 22nd is very good.

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              Noodle House
              2313 US Highway 1 Ste 4, North Brunswick, NJ 08902

              2 Replies
              1. re: lawgirl3278

                Do you mean Thai Chef & Noodle Fusion between 20th & 21st? That place is solid. They do a 3 course lunch meal (soup, app, main) for like $10. Nice place to have a satisfying sit-down lunch on the cheap.

                1. re: barryg

                  agree, barryg. for take-out, Thai SIngha House to Go on 20th, just past Chestnut, is not bad. Very inexpensive & very satisfying. If you make friends with the chef, he will sometimes make special things for you. My Thai palate is probably not as refined as it should be, but both of those places satisfy my Thai craving when it hits.

              2. I'm not sure I know what really good thai food tastes like, and I've always perceived Philly as not being a great town for thai food. That said, I had a delicious meal recently at Pattaya in West Philly on Chestnut street. I think it was after school let out so it was not mobbed with students... I have been dreaming about their papaya salad, especially in this heat!

                6 Replies
                1. re: LPhila

                  yeah, i forgot about them, i like pattaya too. just went there about two weeks ago. veggie tom kha gai was delicious and my drunken noodles with seafood were decent. they let me sample a laotian beer not on the menu. super friendly staff and a cute dining room.

                  philly's definitely lacking compared to NYC and DC, but we get by. i've only tried tamarind and that thai noodle chef place once, wasn't a fan of either. really not a big fan of smile cafe or the place in chinatown. and though i think it may have since closed, siam lotus was never anything special either.

                  there's a takeout joint with like three counter seats somewhere in rittenhouse which i just remembered i really did enjoy. huge portions, super cheap, and DELICIOUS drunken noodles with seafood. name that place!!! :)

                  1. re: rabidog

                    I would say Pad Thai Shack, but in my experience it is pretty terrible and overpriced. I didn't try the drunken noodles, though.

                    1. re: barryg

                      nooooo it's not the pad thai shack! i know the place you're referring to, with college kids behind the counter and a giant cartoon logo - that place is the pits. no, it's a nondescript joint maybe around... 19th st?

                      1. re: rabidog

                        I know now: Thai Singha House. It's on 20th just south of Chestnut. It is cheap and good, you're right. IIRC it's a takeout branch of a sit down place of the same name in UC.

                        The flavor is good and an excellent value to be sure, but I avoid it because the dishes are really heavy on the meats/noodles/rice and light on the veggies, which is the opposite of how I usually like to eat lunch.

                      2. re: barryg

                        found it!!!

                        Thai Singha House
                        106 South 20th Street
                        Philadelphia, PA 19103-2503
                        (215) 568-2390

                        1. re: rabidog

                          thanks everyone. erawan at 23rd and sansom - found to have too much msg in their food and the one at reading terminal found only to be mediocre. I'll try out the other suggestions. thanks!

                  2. It's been many years, but I used to enjoy Siam Cuisine at 9th and Arch. Granted, I always had the Tom Ka Gai (chix and coconut soup) and the Gae Ku Fire (Game hen in chili-brnady sauce flamed at the table) but never was dissapointed with those..... Food was always spicy, and when it sometinh is ingnited at your table, it is de facto HOT. Service was hit or miss, sometimes hilarious waiters, sometimes surly English-challenged ones, but I owe them a trip back. When I get that far, I usually end up at Rangoon.

                    1. Chabaa Thai Bistro is hands down the best Thai restaurant in Philadelphia.
                      Located on Main Street Manayunk- a few miles up Kelly Drive. - ten minute ride on R6 train from Market East or Suburban station and two blocks from the Manayunk station.

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                      Main Street Cafe
                      126 E Main St, Elkton, MD 21921