Looking for the best Thai food Chicago has to offer? You’ve come to the right place!
Thai cuisine in Chicago has been embracing regionality since the turn of the century, breaking away from the homestyle formula so many Americans previously embraced.
As a result, Chicago can offer a more eclectic array of dining options that include items from Northern and Central Thailand.
The menus at Thai restaurants in Chicago include a variety of meat-focused and vegetarian items; the latter does not make up the majority at most establishments, so there’s a variety of choices.
Many restaurants offer beef, duck, and pork (including the top picks here), but chicken is a much more common ingredient for dishes than you might think.
You will find online ordering where possible, but most restaurants also accept phone orders, so you won’t have to worry about missing out on your favorite Thai food!
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Best Thai Food Chicago
11 E. Illinois S.t #1, Chicago // +13126700100
Star of Siam is a trendy Thai/Asian fusion restaurant with plenty of delicious dishes on the menu. The atmosphere is lively, with wooden tables and an open kitchen that adds to the sense of excitement.
It’s small and cozy with a warm atmosphere, and depending on the time of day, you might even be lucky enough to snag a seat by the large bay windows that overlook Devon Avenue.
The menu offers everything from Pad Thai to curries, from spring rolls to satays. There’s even a section of “Star recommendations” that include popular standards and more obscure dishes.
I recommend trying the hearty and comforting sesame-oil-topped chicken rice soup and the lard nar. It’s very delicious!
6822 W. North Ave., Chicago // +17738899999
In 2009, Rangsan Sutcharit opened Amarind Thai, a fusion of Thai food and fine dining. The former Arun’s vet used his fine-dining experience to create affordable dishes that are elegant and exciting.
Amarind’s Restaurant offers the best Thai dining experience in Chicago. Order takeout or eat outside on the enclosed patio with wood paneling and traditional furnishings.
Embraced by a modern approach to Thai cuisine, you’ll find dishes like crab rolls and house spinach noodles tossed with shrimp, crab, scrambled eggs, bean sprouts, and garlic chive. There’s also the beef Panang curry, which features a spicy and tangy sauce.
This is the kind of Thai food you’ll want to return to over and over again!
5424 N. Broadway, Chicago // +17739449050
Step into a different realm and explore the exciting tastes of Thailand at Herb Thai Bistro & Wine Bar. I love exploring different cultures through food, and at Herb, they encourage sharing family-style while sampling a variety of flavors.
You’ll learn to love and appreciate the tastes of Thai food much more after visiting and experiencing the elegant dishes Chef Patty Neumson puts on your table.
The restaurant offers a three- or five-course prix fixe meal instead of a long menu. Seared scallops are served with spicy chili lime sauce, fried prawns with sweet and sour mango sauce, and beef or tofu with green curry.
The menu changes seasonally so that customers can enjoy the freshest ingredients.
4949 N. Broadway, Chicago // +17732937378
At Immm Rice and Beyond, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by the sights and smells, but don’t be afraid to dive straight in.
The menu is dominated by Thai street food, and if nothing looks familiar, the staff will offer samples from the hot bar.
The menu behind the counter features daily specials, and for lunch, visitors can select a traditional Thai lunch plate from Khao rad gang. The meal includes rice or noodles along with up to three curries, stews, or stir-fried proteins.
Some of my other favorites are khao soi, crispy pork belly rice, and several types of green papaya salad.
4641 N. Broadway, Chicago // +17739440114
Originally a Lakeview favorite for many years, this Thai restaurant is a long-time favorite. It’s a comfortable space with dark wood tables and green walls that showcase the food.
Menu items include a selection of appetizers and salads, starting with fresh summer rolls and soups, then moving on to beef, pork, and chicken dishes.
The crunchy fried chicken (Larb moo tod) will surely attract you. The salad section is eye-catching and stars the green bean salad that sits in a spicy and sour sauce flanked by hardboiled eggs, ground pork, and a few tender pieces of shrimp.
It is also worth mentioning the grilled pork with eggplant salads. It’s cold and refreshing but doesn’t compromise on the heat level. A must-try restaurant in Chicago.
4608 N. Western Ave, Chicago // +17737691173
Spoon is one of the most influential restaurants in Chicago, introducing many Chicagoans to Thai cuisine. Among the many salads to choose from are papaya salad topped with preserved crab and pickled fish, yum talay covered in a spicy lime dressing, as well as chicken larb.
A dish like the Thai boat noodle soup should not be missed, but the secret menu for some northern Thai specialties should be perused while there.
Aside from serving hearty, comforting dishes, Spoon offers a few specialties to spice things up.
Many people think of this restaurant as a mainstay. The place has been frequented over the years, and people have fond memories of eating there.
4156 N. Kedzie Ave, Chicago // +17735391909
While most Thai restaurants are casual, Arun’s offers a pre-fixe menu with eight and twelve courses to choose from.
Arun Sampanthavitat decorated the space with Thai baubles to complement the elegant offerings of an equally beautiful restaurant.
His ornate take on Southeast Asian flavors is best exemplified by Dungeness crab cake and poached lobster tail.
In addition, you can enjoy interestingly crafted cocktails while enjoying intriguing condiments, such as pineapple barbecue sauce purée and peach barbecue sauce purée.
4018 N. Western Ave. Ste. 3727, Chicago // +17735880133
Sticky Rice Bangkok Cuisine is a must-visit if you enjoy the spicy fare. There’s something for everyone at this Thai restaurant, including house creations that are spiced to perfection.
As you walk through the threshold, the first thing you will taste is the heat from the chili sauce in the curry shrimp and from the fire-roasted chili paste in the veggie spring rolls.
Some of the other popular dishes are shrimp cakes called puk king, which are mildly sweet and sauteed with onions and scallions, pan-fried soft shell crab with black pepper sauce, which has the same flavor as lobster but is cheaper.
You can also get a fresh flounder filet sauteed with ginger and garlic, which features three distinct flavors that go well together.
2022 W. Roscoe St., Chicago // +17736978688
Same Same specializes in street food from Bangkok, which means that if you’re looking for pad Thai or fried rice, you should go elsewhere.
However, if you want to drink exotic cocktails while snacking on Bangkok-style eats, which you can get as takeout or delivered — then Same Same is the place for you.
You can find fried chicken with a spicy honey sauce, which is delightfully fragrant thanks to the coriander root. You should try the duck fried chicken and pork razor roll.
The menu also includes curries and noodles. The drinks are served on a sidewalk patio, where you can enjoy food. In addition, there’s a fusion brunch on weekends, including tiger cry and eggs.
1546 W. Chicago Ave., Chicago // +13129880986
Beloved Opart Thai House has served for several decades and continues to operate consistently.
The Thai stalwart has locations in the South Loop and West Town. Both are adorned with bright colors, large Buddhas, and breathtaking murals.
You’ll find some of your favorite classic Thai dishes like green curry, pad kra praow (stir-fried eggplant,) and pad prik king (stir-fried basil leaves). But I always make sure to order something unique – the “tiger cry,” or grilled beef marinated in tamarind sauce.
Final Thoughts On The 10 Must-Try Thai Restaurants In Chicago
Thai cuisine is becoming more and more popular, mainly because of how tasty it is. Thai food is one of the most recognized Asian cuisines in Chicago.
Is there anything as delicious as a plate of spicy Thai food? And, while Chicago has thousands of restaurants to choose from, not all of them will serve you the best Thai food. So, I’ve created this article for all Thai food lovers searching for their next favorite place to eat.