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Nov 5, 2013 06:22 PM

Thai or Vietnamese recs

I will be in town for a conference next week - looking for recommendations in downtown area for Thai or Vietnamese. Thank you!

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  1. Star of Siam and Ruby of Siam are my favorites in downtown Chicago - -

    1. The best Thai and Vietnamese in the city are unfortunately not near downtown. The recommendations already made for that area are not bad, just not the best in town.

      Argyle St. (near the El stop) is home to LIttle VietNam in Chicago. There are a quite number of very good, authentic Vietnamese restaurants in that area.

      The best and most authentic Thai is also outside of the downtown area. If you have a way to get there, I would direct you to Spoon, Sticky Rice (northern Thai) and/or TAC Quick.

      They are all a cab-ride away or to find out how to get there using buses or commuter train you can go to

      7 Replies
      1. re: chicgail

        Although it's been a while since I've visited, Le Colonial is a good spot in the Gold Coast (just North of the Loop) for higher-end Vietnamese.

        1. re: ferret

          I completely forgot about Le Colonial. It's been quite a while since I've been there as well. By higher end, I think you mean less authentic; higher prices. But it's a great option if you're looking for a business dinner.

        2. re: chicgail

          You should also add Aroy, Rainbow and Andy's Thai Kitchen to the list of the best Thai restaurants in the city outside the downtown area. That being said, all three of these restaurants are very easy to get to off of the Brown line at the Damen, Western and Wellington stops, respectively.

          Let me know if I can provide any information about some of the better known menu items.

          1. re: deesher

            We ate at Aroy 19 years ago after we were first married. It was good, but pricey. I think at the time they had 4 stars. But I was not blown away and haven't gone back. There are so many good Thai restaurants I don't see the need.

            Haven't been to Rainbow or Andy's, we'll have to try them soon.

            In any case, I don't see the need to spend outrageous sums on dinner, especially for normal meals. Maybe an anniversary or something special.

            Our favorite of all was a local neighborhood place. Unfortunately, he closed and went into a different line of work. He said he was burned out. His place was too small to make a lot of money, so I totally got it.

            1. re: Bigjim847

              Was it Aroy or Arun's that you ate at 19 years ago? Arun's is pricey Thai in an upscale environment. I don't believe that Aroy has been around that long. Also, by 4 stars, I presume you are referring to the Chicago Magazine ratings; Arun's had 4 stars. I don't believe that Aroy has.

              1. re: masha

                Ah ha, That's it. You're right. Arun was the pricey one. Hasn't Aroy been several different restaurants over the last 20 years?

                1. re: masha

                  Arun has been there for years, is pricey and, IMO, no better than some of the less expensive places mentioned above.

          2. Star of Siam was always my favorite date restaurant. Good food, good atmosphere at a reasonable price. But it's really not downtown, it's in River North. I eat at My Thai downtown. We also love Thai Spoon up north on Western. PS Bangkok was my favorite near Lincoln Park.