When it comes to the flavors of Thailand, you might be surprised to find out that there are a number of places that hit the mark right here in the Twin Cities.
Sure, some of our Midwest joints may be a little lighter on the spice but with most serving up those exotic spice blends at the table, you can be sure to get your Thai food just the way you like it. (And I’ll be honest, sometimes the less-than-authentic cuisines are still just as tasty.)
Check out a few of my personal favorites since exploring the art of Thai in the Twin Cities — and don’t forget to add to the list if you’ve got a favorite that I just haven’t been to yet.
King and I Thai
King and I Thai serves up some great authentic Thai food right in the heart of downtown Minneapolis. Tucked away beneath a bit of a concrete maze, King and I blends tasty savory dishes with hot, sizzling spices that create a perfect presence to every meal. Rich curries, flavorful rice dishes and abundant use of basil, lime and mint make just about every item on this menu a must.
Sen Yai Sen Lek
At Sen Yai Sen Lek, also known as big noodle, little noodle, customers are treated as an extension to the local family that’s been cooking up authentic dishes for years. The menu is simple but don’t let that fool you. They do less because they do them well — really well. Try the Thai basil dish and don’t forget to save room for sticky rice and mangos.
Tum Rup Thai
Tum Rup Thai is a bit more of a modern take on Thai. Located in a trendy Lake Street building, overlooking other Uptown establishments, Tum Rup combines the classy attitude of Lake Street with the delicious blends of spices and sauces known in Thai cooking. The noodle dishes are generously proportioned and perfect for sharing.
Known as a bit of an institution when it comes to authentic Thai cuisine, the folks at True Thai take great pride in their food and it shows through their many awards. From delicious wontons to savory yellow curry, True Thai cooks from its roots — or the roots of owner Anna Prasomphol Fieser, who’s become something of her own institution. The pad Thai here is one of my all-time favorites.
Taste of Thailand
If you judge a book by its cover, you may miss out on a great Thai restaurant right downtown. I’ll admit, on first glance, the Taste of Thailand isn’t much to look at but the sophistication definitely lies in its deep, rich flavors. The curry here is delightful and perfect for a filling dinner before a show. The prices are pretty standard and dining experience is relaxed and casual.
Lemon Grass Thai Cuisine
After writing about a search for delicious Thai food, I was eager to try this place out, thanks to a reader suggestion. I must say, what a great little surprise in Brooklyn Park. The aroma upon entering this establishment puts you right in the mood for the feast that’s approaching. The house-made lemongrass sausages were surprisingly flavorful with an extra little kick. Stop by for lunch for a great deal — and a cheap meal.
Amazing Thailand is a hip, funky Thai restaurant that fits it perfectly with its Uptown neighborhood. The atmosphere is fitting for a great escape to the magical land of Thailand, where the chicken satay is always juicy and the stir fry dishes are spicy sweet.
625 Marquette Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55403
For a seriously good deal on great, authentic Thai, head to the little strip mall restaurant in Roseville known as Royal Orchid. The family owned and operated spot takes heart to the phrase, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. The Pad Thai is seriously good and the green curry has just the right amount of kick. Don’t be fooled by the modest décor, the flavors coming out of the kitchen is enough to keep you coming back for more.
Thanh Do Restaurant
8028 Minnetonka Boulevard
St. Louis Park, MN 55426
Thanh Do goes beyond Thai, infusing the flavors from China, Vietnam and other Asian countries to create a pan-Asian cuisine unlike any other. The curries are classic with a twist and the Singapore Noodles are out of this world. Try a bowl of Chicken Tom Yum (Thai coconut soup) to get your palate off to a great start — and don’t forget the cranberry puffs.
-Sara Boyd is a Web Producer for WCCO.com.