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Thai curry at Arun’s Thai Restaurant
Facebook/Arun’s Thai Restaurant

10 Fantastic Thai Restaurants in Chicago

From spicy northern Thai to sweeter southern Thai, these restaurants go beyond pad Thai

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Thai curry at Arun’s Thai Restaurant
| Photo by Facebook/Arun’s Thai Restaurant

Chicago’s Thai scene ranges from the favorite local takeout spot to fancy gourmet versions of traditional Thai dishes. Thankfully, plenty of Chicago’s Thai restaurants put their best foot forward when it comes to all different renditions on Thai, highlighting street food and area-specific dishes. So whether spicy northern Thai hits the spot or interesting new takes on classics are appealing, there’s a Thai spot in Chicago for everyone.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Rainbow Cuisine

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4825-B N Western Ave
Chicago, IL 60625
(312) 925-5316
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A Ravenswood favorite for BYOB and takeout, Rainbow Cuisine is a hotspot for traditional Thai dishes. Catering a tad to Western taste, the menu is speckled with dishes like crab rangoon, which seem almost like a right of passage for many Asian restaurants in America. But dig deeper on the menu — ask for the Thai menu for even more finds — to find dishes like a traditional spicy papaya salad and a funky nam kao tod.

Facebook/Rainbow Cuisine

2. Aroy Thai

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4654 N Damen Ave
Chicago, IL 60625
(773) 275-8360
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With a few funkier dishes, the seasoned Thai eater should enjoy finding something new at Aroy. Beef offal soup and pickled green bamboo are just a few of the different dishes found here. While it’s possible to order like one would at any other Thai restaurant, venturing outside the comfort zone is well-rewarded at this restaurant.

Facebook/Aroy Thai

3. Spoon Thai

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4608 N Western Ave
Chicago, IL 60625
(773) 769-1173
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A Chicago mainstay, Spoon is responsible for opening many a Chicagoan’s eye to Thai food. A long list of salads includes papaya salad topped with preserved crab and pickled fish, and yum talay covered in a spicy lime dressing and chicken larb. The Thai boat noodle soup isn’t to be skipped, but the secret menu should be asked for and perused as well for some special northern Thai dishes.

Facebook/Spoon Thai

4. Arun's Thai Restaurant

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4156 N Kedzie Ave
Chicago, IL 60618
(773) 539-1909
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While most Thai spots in Chicago will lean toward the casual side, Arun’s serves a pre-fixe menu with 6- and 8- course options on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays and longer menus Friday through Sunday. Each is elegantly presented, decorated with carved vegetables served in an equally adorned restaurant, filled with chef Arun Sampanthavitat’s Thai baubles. A dungeness crab cake and green papaya salad are just a few menu highlights that exemplify this ornate take on Thai. Plus, interestingly crafted cocktails that include intriguing ingredients like bubblegum syrup make for a fascinating meal.

Facebook/Arun’s

5. Sticky Rice

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4018 N Western Ave
Chicago, IL 60618
(773) 588-0133
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Spice lovers enjoy Sticky Rice, which specializes in northern Thai cuisine along with house creations. Find a spicy sai-ua, or northern Thai pork sausage served simply with a smattering of veggies on the side and larb, made here with ground pork and intestine with spicy Thai herbs. The restaurant’s own dishes provide a gateway for seafood lovers with an array of sole fish and snapper.

Facebook/Sticky Rice

6. Tac Quick

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1011 W Irving Park Rd
Chicago, IL 60613
(773) 327-5253
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TAC Quick serves a large menu of Thai food, offering a “secret menu” with outstanding dishes like spicy duck curry in red curry, bell peppers, pineapple and grapes. Excellent examples of traditional Thai dishes can be found here, like a prik king with crispy pork, string beans and jalapeño. A newer location includes a full bar.

Facebook/Tac Quick

7. Andy's Thai Kitchen

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946 W Wellington Ave
Chicago, IL 60657
(773) 549-7821
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Andy Aroonrasameruang’s spots in both Lakeview and Edgewater bring the tastes of central Thailand, just outside of Bangkok, to Chicago. The menus are extensive, including dishes that can be found all over Thailand, like spicy tom yum and pad khe mao. It’s hard to go wrong on this menu, as chef Andy learned his craft from his mom, be ready to leave with a full belly.

Facebook/Andy’s Thai Kitchen

8. JJ Thai Street Food

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1715 W Chicago Ave
Chicago, IL 60622
(312) 929-4435
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Perhaps one of the best examples of Thai street food in Chicago is J.J. Thai. Sticky rice comes wrapped in banana leaves, gyo tod comes crispy and unctuous, bamee haeng moo dang comes with a side of soup. With a shorter menu, anyone who’s ventured through street vendors in Thailand will harken back to those experiences at J.J. Thai.

Facebook/JJ Thai Street Food

9. Silver Spoon Thai Restaurant

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710 N Rush St
Chicago, IL 60611
(312) 944-7100
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Silver Spoon resides in an unassuming basement in River North, but serves delicious Thai dishes like its big sister Spoon Thai. This is the perfect spot for new Thai lovers to spread their wings and try classics like pad see eiw and warming curries. Other dishes like larb and tom kha soup shouldn’t be looked over either.

Facebook/Silver Spoon Thai Restaurant

10. Star of Siam

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5655, 11 E Illinois St #1
Chicago, IL 60611
(312) 670-0100
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For the group looking to satisfy everyone, checking out stalwart Star of Siam is in order. The menu is long and nearly everyone will find something to love, along with a funky atmosphere. Dishes on the “Star Recommendations” menu are a sure bet, but interesting dishes like a sesame oil-topped chicken rice soup make for a hearty comfort dish as does the lard nar.

Elizabeth Atkinson

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1. Rainbow Cuisine

4825-B N Western Ave, Chicago, IL 60625
Facebook/Rainbow Cuisine

A Ravenswood favorite for BYOB and takeout, Rainbow Cuisine is a hotspot for traditional Thai dishes. Catering a tad to Western taste, the menu is speckled with dishes like crab rangoon, which seem almost like a right of passage for many Asian restaurants in America. But dig deeper on the menu — ask for the Thai menu for even more finds — to find dishes like a traditional spicy papaya salad and a funky nam kao tod.

4825-B N Western Ave
Chicago, IL 60625

2. Aroy Thai

4654 N Damen Ave, Chicago, IL 60625
Facebook/Aroy Thai

With a few funkier dishes, the seasoned Thai eater should enjoy finding something new at Aroy. Beef offal soup and pickled green bamboo are just a few of the different dishes found here. While it’s possible to order like one would at any other Thai restaurant, venturing outside the comfort zone is well-rewarded at this restaurant.

4654 N Damen Ave
Chicago, IL 60625

3. Spoon Thai

4608 N Western Ave, Chicago, IL 60625
Facebook/Spoon Thai

A Chicago mainstay, Spoon is responsible for opening many a Chicagoan’s eye to Thai food. A long list of salads includes papaya salad topped with preserved crab and pickled fish, and yum talay covered in a spicy lime dressing and chicken larb. The Thai boat noodle soup isn’t to be skipped, but the secret menu should be asked for and perused as well for some special northern Thai dishes.

4608 N Western Ave
Chicago, IL 60625

4. Arun's Thai Restaurant

4156 N Kedzie Ave, Chicago, IL 60618
Facebook/Arun’s

While most Thai spots in Chicago will lean toward the casual side, Arun’s serves a pre-fixe menu with 6- and 8- course options on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays and longer menus Friday through Sunday. Each is elegantly presented, decorated with carved vegetables served in an equally adorned restaurant, filled with chef Arun Sampanthavitat’s Thai baubles. A dungeness crab cake and green papaya salad are just a few menu highlights that exemplify this ornate take on Thai. Plus, interestingly crafted cocktails that include intriguing ingredients like bubblegum syrup make for a fascinating meal.

4156 N Kedzie Ave
Chicago, IL 60618

5. Sticky Rice

4018 N Western Ave, Chicago, IL 60618
Facebook/Sticky Rice

Spice lovers enjoy Sticky Rice, which specializes in northern Thai cuisine along with house creations. Find a spicy sai-ua, or northern Thai pork sausage served simply with a smattering of veggies on the side and larb, made here with ground pork and intestine with spicy Thai herbs. The restaurant’s own dishes provide a gateway for seafood lovers with an array of sole fish and snapper.

4018 N Western Ave
Chicago, IL 60618

6. Tac Quick

1011 W Irving Park Rd, Chicago, IL 60613
Facebook/Tac Quick

TAC Quick serves a large menu of Thai food, offering a “secret menu” with outstanding dishes like spicy duck curry in red curry, bell peppers, pineapple and grapes. Excellent examples of traditional Thai dishes can be found here, like a prik king with crispy pork, string beans and jalapeño. A newer location includes a full bar.

1011 W Irving Park Rd
Chicago, IL 60613

7. Andy's Thai Kitchen

946 W Wellington Ave, Chicago, IL 60657
Facebook/Andy’s Thai Kitchen

Andy Aroonrasameruang’s spots in both Lakeview and Edgewater bring the tastes of central Thailand, just outside of Bangkok, to Chicago. The menus are extensive, including dishes that can be found all over Thailand, like spicy tom yum and pad khe mao. It’s hard to go wrong on this menu, as chef Andy learned his craft from his mom, be ready to leave with a full belly.

946 W Wellington Ave
Chicago, IL 60657

8. JJ Thai Street Food

1715 W Chicago Ave, Chicago, IL 60622
Facebook/JJ Thai Street Food

Perhaps one of the best examples of Thai street food in Chicago is J.J. Thai. Sticky rice comes wrapped in banana leaves, gyo tod comes crispy and unctuous, bamee haeng moo dang comes with a side of soup. With a shorter menu, anyone who’s ventured through street vendors in Thailand will harken back to those experiences at J.J. Thai.

1715 W Chicago Ave
Chicago, IL 60622

9. Silver Spoon Thai Restaurant

710 N Rush St, Chicago, IL 60611
Facebook/Silver Spoon Thai Restaurant

Silver Spoon resides in an unassuming basement in River North, but serves delicious Thai dishes like its big sister Spoon Thai. This is the perfect spot for new Thai lovers to spread their wings and try classics like pad see eiw and warming curries. Other dishes like larb and tom kha soup shouldn’t be looked over either.

710 N Rush St
Chicago, IL 60611

10. Star of Siam

5655, 11 E Illinois St #1, Chicago, IL 60611
Elizabeth Atkinson

For the group looking to satisfy everyone, checking out stalwart Star of Siam is in order. The menu is long and nearly everyone will find something to love, along with a funky atmosphere. Dishes on the “Star Recommendations” menu are a sure bet, but interesting dishes like a sesame oil-topped chicken rice soup make for a hearty comfort dish as does the lard nar.

5655, 11 E Illinois St #1
Chicago, IL 60611

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