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Monday, May 16

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Andrew / August 16, 2004 12:29 AM

Besides Arun's, that is.

Erik / August 16, 2004 8:30 AM

Opart Thai, in Lincoln Square on Western. Their peanut sauce is the best.

Ann / August 16, 2004 8:43 AM

Spoon Thai on Western near Wilson.

Because I ate Thai food every day for a year when I worked for a Thai company, I eat it very rarely now. But when I do, nothing comes closer to what the Thai ladies brought from home (lunch every day was a feast of homemade dishes) than Spoon.

heather / August 16, 2004 9:01 AM

Thai Linda on Roscoe.

Jonathan / August 16, 2004 9:02 AM

Thai Village on Division.

sandor / August 16, 2004 9:02 AM

With only 3 responses so far, I was expecting to be able to be the first to mention my neighborhood favorite, Spoon. But apparently it's got a rep that goes far beyond Lincoln Square. It really is terrific -- try the pork neck larb (from the special menu) and #111, the Thai omelette.

robin.. / August 16, 2004 9:21 AM

opart, opart, rah rah rah!

j3s / August 16, 2004 9:31 AM

It kind of depends. For a long time, Thai Eatery on Western won out for proximity and niceness of the owner, but sometimes I like to make the trek to Thai Spice on Devon, the already-mentioned Spoon, or Luc Thang on Ashland. And yes, I'm dying to try Arun's.

pat / August 16, 2004 9:41 AM

Maybe not the best, but Thai Grill has the Bubble drinks that I crave!

PS Bangkok is probably the best for my money. Panang Curry of the Gods!

pat / August 16, 2004 9:42 AM

Maybe not the best, but Thai Grill on Granville has the Bubble drinks that I crave!

PS Bangkok on Clark near Roscoe is probably the best for my money. Panang Curry of the Gods!

bean / August 16, 2004 9:44 AM

Of course, though I have never had the financial means nor opportunity to visit,Arun's will be considered the best.
Opart on Western is very impressive, as is Once Upon A Thai @ Irving Park. I'm eager to try Spoon.
On the other hand, while Thai Linda was once a servicable option in a rather barren neighborhood, it is now an attrocious attempt at pedestrian chow.
I know I can't spell, but it still sux.

anne / August 16, 2004 9:51 AM

The very first place I ate at upon arriving in Chicago became my favorite thai restaurant: Bangkok Inn at Wrightwood and Lincoln, just under the EL tracks. Good food, easy to get a seat, and great takeout as well. They aren't usually busy, which is good for getting a seats for a large group, but bad if you're in a rush to get somewhere since they usually only have 1 waiter on staff (though he's great). Recently, I was recommended to a thai restaurant in my new neighborhood, near Argyle, but have yet to check it out. It's somewhat misleadingly named Thai Pastry (since it's not really a bakery, nor is it known for it's baked goods). Anyone champion it?

Anthony Ina / August 16, 2004 9:52 AM

Absolutely my favorite: My Thai. I usually go to the one in the DePaul Center, but there is one close to the Art Institute, too. I have never had a bad meal in there, which is impressive considering I've eaten there at least once a week for the last year.

Jake / August 16, 2004 10:06 AM

When I lived up there, I used to love Siam Country under the Daman brown line stop. Great, not greasy pad thai.

Now I'm all about Jitlada.

Mike / August 16, 2004 10:09 AM

Sawatde...oh wait, wrong city

Carly / August 16, 2004 10:17 AM

I'm not a Thai food expert by any means, but Always Thai on Irving Park isn't bad. They have a really awesome fried banana appetizer. And I suppose it's pretty hard to pass up my favorite meal, pad siew.

Michael / August 16, 2004 10:18 AM

I can't say it's the best, because I don't eat Thai all that often...but I really like the Chicken Mu Sa Mon from Wild Ginger on Clybourn.

Maaureen / August 16, 2004 10:40 AM

Anthony, I've never had a good meal at My Thai! Too salty, too much MSG, ick.

But I'm spoiled living in my neighborhood where I'm a stone's throw away from Jitlada, and my new favorite, TAC Quick which is just under the Sheridan red line stop. Their entrees are only 6 dollars and the food is *so* good.

mar / August 16, 2004 10:40 AM

Roong Petch on Montrose near Ravenswood. Great food and even better prices.

mar / August 16, 2004 10:41 AM

Rhoong Petch on Montrose near Ravenswood. Great food and even better prices.

suz / August 16, 2004 10:43 AM

Thai Pastry actually does make and sell pastries. And they have really good Thai food as well, it's worth a visit or two.

Steve / August 16, 2004 10:44 AM

Arun is kind of on another planet, from what I've been told. I'm neither rich enough nor diverse enough in my tastes to actually go there, though.

My alltime fave is Roong Petch (the original on Montrose), though I'm definitely warming to Once Upon a Thai now that I pass by there daily.

Spoon is pretty good as well; Opart Thai House never grew on me despite four or five dinners there.

Craig / August 16, 2004 10:53 AM

Thai Village is how I'm repping it. Curries to kill for, outdoor seating, and BYOB... what more could you ask for? Well, maybe a better Pad Thai...

robin.. / August 16, 2004 11:00 AM

OMG, i can't believe i forgot my favourite apres late-night-party-with-friends-in-town saturday "brunch" at 1:00 pm: THAI CLASSIC and their BUFFET OF WONDERS.

Andrew / August 16, 2004 11:08 AM

Gotta give it up for Thai Spice, at Devon and Wayne. Down in Wrigleyville, my vote goes to Once Upon a Thai, which has some great green/red curry duck.

I tried Spoon a couple weeks ago, and I wasn't all that impressed. I'll have to try it again.

shechemist / August 16, 2004 12:08 PM

Thai Linda on Roscoe has great Tom Kha Kai and spicy mint noodles. I have never had a bad meal (dining in or take-out) from there.

Krissy / August 16, 2004 12:11 PM

Though I live right next to Thai Village on Division, I'm more often at Royal Thai on Montrose and Western. Really great $5.50 lunch special, reliably good food, and it's extremely clean. Great Tom Kha Kai soup, too.

+mojan. / August 16, 2004 12:35 PM

Sweet Tamarind. Their food is so fresh and S P I C Y ! -- yum.

Benjy / August 16, 2004 12:49 PM

Sweet Tamarind! That's the name I couldn't remember. I also like Joy's. I think Jitlada is overrated -- the food was nothing special and I had alergic reactions to something in it. Never had that happen at any other Thai places...

Katie / August 16, 2004 1:48 PM

Roong Petch all the way! I had a dream about the Roong Petch salad one time! When you dream about a restaurant's food, they have to be doing something right!

bill / August 16, 2004 2:00 PM

Hi Ricky. until they closed!!!

anyone know why??

Ron / August 16, 2004 2:44 PM

Reasons for Bill

Lacey / August 16, 2004 3:32 PM

Cozy in Evanston. The food it great, the staff is super, and the wall-o-lunchboxes is not to be missed (or the wall-o-action figures in the bathroom). Oh, and the statue of Elvis!

paul / August 16, 2004 3:46 PM

I have had the pleasure of eating at Arun's, and there is no comparision. I would have recommended the slightly cheaper Erawan for 'royal' Thai food, but it has closed temporarily to relocate, coincidentally right after Arun opened his new place two doors north.

As for the dozens of Thai places in Evanston, I haven't had a bad meal in any of the 7 or 8 I've eaten in. Unfortunately, they're all pretty much interchangeable, with the possible exceptions of Cozy's, Thai Skodee, and Siam Pasta, the last one just for their cool roof balcony.

consigliere / August 16, 2004 3:48 PM

I havenít found a Thai restaurant in town that reproduces the ineffable subtlety of eating in Thailand; however, Thai Pastry best evokes memories of Northern Thailand, and Always Thai the warmth of the people. Nhu Hoa on Argyle sometimes helps recall a hint of Vientiane....

Mike / August 16, 2004 4:12 PM

I'm going for Charley Thai Place, mostly because they deliver and their food always tastes like they just went out and picked everything while the waitress is refilling your drinks.

jennifer / August 16, 2004 5:06 PM

i have no new recommendations, other than to recommend that you stay far away from Thai Castle on Chicago and Ashland. Heed my warning.

Cinnamon / August 16, 2004 5:09 PM

Lotsa loves goes out to the owner of Thai Spice. Those people can cook! and tell you about their most recent trip to Thailand where they get new recipe ideas. Beautiful food, great owners and affordable.

I used to love Banana Leaf which is closed (used to be at Southport and Grace) and will move a few blocks away very soon. They also own Tac Kwik (Quick?) so if you like their food, give Banana Leaf a try.

Naz / August 16, 2004 5:24 PM

I haven't been to Arun's or any of the more expensive Thai places (but want to) - my vote goes to Joy's Noodles and its sister outpost Noodles in the Pot for being consistently good across the menu and having had real authentic Thai for 9 years, it comes pretty close. Cheap too.

Ruthie / August 16, 2004 6:57 PM

Best: Opart. "I'll have a Thai Peanut Lover to go, please!"

Worst: Anything on the so-called "Thai Row" in Hyde Park. Barf.

al / August 16, 2004 7:00 PM

In Hyde Park my favorite is Snail Thai

Lisa / August 16, 2004 8:06 PM

Opart Thai has a lovely tofu satay, but Spoon is nearest and dearest to my heart. It's not nearly as spicy as the food IN Thailand, but it's my favorite on this continent.

paul / August 16, 2004 8:43 PM

I really like Mama Thai in Oak Park.

Luke / August 16, 2004 11:03 PM

Thai Aree is great and grows its own herbs and peppers in the back.

Steve / August 17, 2004 9:56 AM

Spoon also gets props for being the Tick's battlecry, of course.

btw, Always Thai is the place I like closest to me, not Once Upon a Thai. I'm such the fool for not being able to tell my puns apart....

amyc / August 17, 2004 10:30 AM

I remember when Thai Linda used to serve traditional Irish breakfasts in the morning -- grilled tomatoes, beans, black-and-white pudding. They had dense, heavy, oatmeal-blueberry scones that looked like they had been dug out of the backyard but were completely delicious. And then pad siew for lunch! Weird.

d4ve / August 17, 2004 10:43 AM

thai thai is no frills homestyle thai proper.

Lyle from Lisle / August 17, 2004 11:15 AM

Thai Classic on Clark, just south of Sheffield.

MattyP / August 17, 2004 11:29 AM

Yes! Yes! Yes! Thai Classic on Clark -> Orchid Chicken - mmmm.

David / August 17, 2004 3:12 PM

Has anyone eaten at Dharma Garden Thai at 3109 W. Irving Park? There's other good places, but for vegetarians, this is the goods.

mark / August 17, 2004 3:59 PM

I've eaten at Arun's and it ROCKS! I also enjoy the snails at Bankok on Halsted/Addison

Brian from the Burbs / August 17, 2004 4:07 PM

Tasty Thai in Vernon Hills is just that

jacky / August 17, 2004 4:10 PM

Thai Avenue on Argyle and Broadway. Thai Grill on Granville is pretty good too.

Malial / August 17, 2004 4:15 PM

Roong Petch on Montrose....

I lived right by there for a couple years and must have eaten there 100 times...

Veronica / August 17, 2004 6:42 PM

Representing the south side to say Noodles Etc. in Hyde Park. I miss that place. (But Penny's is damned good, too.)

Brady / August 17, 2004 7:24 PM

I vote for Thai Pastry. I've been to bangkok a couple times and Thai Pastry is decent enough. Nothing can beat some of the street food in bkk. Took a five day cooking class at the Blue Elephant so have become more discriminating. I brought back some curry and there is the thai market and other places near Thai Pastry that have critical ingredients so I make my own killer dishes at home now.

Carol / August 17, 2004 8:19 PM

Thai Spice - 1320 W. Devon Ave. The chef and her husband visit Thailand regularly for new and wondeful recipes.

Great food, big servings, and friendly laid-back service - be prepared for a long wonderful meal.

Jason Hoekstra / August 17, 2004 8:57 PM

Thai Spice on Devon. Nothing beats their Pud Thai or Kang Green Chicken Curry.

stfu / August 18, 2004 12:31 AM

this site, Chicago, and blogging, all SUCK.

Mike / August 18, 2004 8:52 AM

Jeez STFU, I didn't know anyone hated Thai food that much.

Louis / August 18, 2004 10:31 AM

Besides Arun's, which everyone should go to at some point in their life, the best Thai food in the city below Belmont is Erawan, which was started by a former chef at Arun's. About half as expensive and fancy, but still damn expensive. However, the food is excellent. As for cheap Thai food (oh just the mention of the Snail in HP makes my stomach churn as much due to my memories of lawschool as due to the severley mediocre food from the Snail), the place on LaSalle Just north of Burton is good. Also Panang is OK.

paul / August 18, 2004 10:38 AM

As I mentioned, Erawan is closed for relocation, coincedentally after Arun his new place opened a few doors north.

kaide / August 18, 2004 11:02 AM

I recommend Tiparos on Clark, south of North Ave. It has a nice atmosphere, is relatively inexpensive and has many dishes not found at a lot of other Thai restaurants in the city.

bill / August 18, 2004 11:08 AM

Snail Thai in Hyde Park.

*ncw / August 18, 2004 12:04 PM

Hell yes to Thai Aree, in the summer, when herbs are growing.

Thai Pastry, in fall, when the wonderful mother of the owner makes pumpkin custards.

The name escapes me here, but the Thai place on Sheridan south of Argyle is awesome in winter, when its cozy and dingy. It's dingy most of the year, but easier to appreciate when it's cold.

I don't have any spring-specific recommendations, but the steam tables in the back of Thai Grocery at Broadway/Argyle are pretty amazing anytime.

kirby / August 18, 2004 1:23 PM

Another vote for Spoon... the decor (70s chinese restaurant) is superb as well.

d4ve / August 18, 2004 11:22 PM

sheesh. what thai restaurant WASN'T started by a former Arun's chef. :P

akw / August 19, 2004 8:06 PM

Bill, Hi Ricky closed because it was nearly inedible. Good riddance! Aroma on Randolph (where Hi Ricky used to be) is MUCH better!

zaphod / September 2, 2004 1:26 PM

Alas, Erawan has closed.

Cass / September 9, 2004 6:02 PM

I have been to so many Thai restaurants in the City but I don't have a favorite-
I think Always Thai on Irving went downhill. I didn't enjoy my visit the last time I went. Thai Pastry was not all that-I was only there once though. AVOID The Noodle Zone on Clark St. It is absolutely disgusting, and so is Tiparo's on Well's, Garlic and Chili on Lasalle, Star of Siam, and Ben's Noodles and Rice. Avoid all of those places.
TAC under the Irving El is ok, but not a place I would go out of my way for. Thai Avenue is good, and so is Yes Thai. Thai Grill is alright, but they need to cut down on the oil. I haven't been to Thai Spice but heard it was good, but very expensive.
Opart is totally overrated and they charge you extra for rice with curry dishes, so I think that is really lame.

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