People come to New York for the cocktail bars, the Halal Guys, the Pastrami and the hot dogs…but they should come for the Thai food. It’s delicious, it’s hard to make in your own kitchen, and it’s affordable. I am super duper serious when I say these are the top five Thai restaurants in New York City, and you’d be smart to put at least one of them on your list when you visit.
Uncle Boons has frog legs, bone marrow, betel leaves, pig ears, snails and sweetbreads. Some of you may say “LET’S TRY IT ALL,” which is what I did. Highly suggest the bone marrow satay with peanut sauce and the betel leaf wrap. To drink? Obviously you need to try a Traditional Thai Street Side Tonic like the “Water Buffalo Spirit” shot for virility. Yep, this place is weird. In a good way. So good it has one Michelin star.
Pure Thai Cookhouse in Hell’s Kitchen is the perfect place to take visiting friends if you live in the city, and a great stop to grab a bite before a broadway show. Beware, it is very spicy. We ordered the highest number on the scale of spiciness, and disregarded all warnings from the waitstaff, only to have our lips burn off our faces. I guess just listen to the experts and you’ll be ok.
The one with the best happy hour
Tum & Yum has two for one cocktails every night for happy hour! Yes, it’s a dream come true – everything from Manhattans to passionfruit Mojitos. I suggest the Gai Yang Som Tum, a grilled chicken with papaya salad and sticky rice. Tum & Yum is also one of my favorite places in Manhattan for group dining.
Thai with a twist
Senn Thai Comfort Food is more unctuous and hearty than the usual Thai food restaurant. Deeply comforting egg noodles and fried fish with garlicky sauces are the best. It warms the belly on a cold night. Get the Southern Thai Fried Chicken Wings to share and a big mug of Thai Iced Tea or Coffee to start.
Fish Cheeks just gets me. I’m a seafood girl at heart, and Fish Cheeks highlights my favorite food with some of my favorite Thai flavors. For instance, the Coconut Crab Curry with its meaty crab chunks and the Tom Yum Goong with its herbaceous hints of kaffir lime leaf and lemongrass. *full disclosure – I went to a blogger event here, so all food was complimentary.
Let me know if you try any of these hotspots – you won’t be disappointed!