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Best Thai In Minneapolis

November 9, 2010 11:00 AM

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There are some types of cuisine that can evoke immense drooling at a mere mention. For me, that’s Thai food. Simply talk about curry dishes, Pad Thai and sticky rice and you’ve got my attention. 

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

1346 LaSalle Ave.
Minneapolis, MN 55403
(612) 332-6928
Directory | Website

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.

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Sen Yai Sen Lek

2422 Central Avenue NE
Minneapolis, MN 55418
(612) 781-3046
Directory | Website

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

1221 W. Lake St.
Minneapolis, MN 55408
(612) 824-1378
Directory | Website

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.

True Thai

2627 East Franklin Ave.
Minneapolis, MN 55406
(612) 375-9942
Directory | Website

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.

tasteofthailandmn com Best Thai In Minneapolis


Taste of Thailand

11 S. 7th St.
Minneapolis, MN 55402
(612) 333-0082
Directory | Website

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.

lemongrassthaicuisine net Best Thai In Minneapolis


Lemon Grass Thai Cuisine

8600 Edinburgh Ctr. Dr.
Minneapolis, MN 55443
(763) 494-8809
Directory | Website

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

3024 Hennepin Ave. S.
Minneapolis, MN 55408
(612) 822-5588
Directory | Website

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.

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credit: Athit Perawongmetha/Getty Images

Royal Orchid

625 Marquette Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55403
(612) 436-9099

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
(952) 935-5005

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

View Comments
  • Alison

    The Royal Orchid is no longer at the fairview address.

  • slboyd

    Thanks for the update, Alison! What a bummer!

  • Jack

    Sorry to see you left out Ban Thai! I’ve eaten at all the ones you mentioned and prefer Ban Thai to my old favorite — True Thai. It’s a friendly neighborhood eating establishment where the locals hang out eating very good traditional Thai dishes..

    Ban Thai is at 2186 3rd St in White Bear Lake

  • Brad

    I heard the Royal Orchid has a temporary spot downtown during their transition to a new location on Central Ave. I sure hope they open soon… they had the best red curry in town! Of course all of their other dishes rocked as well, especially once they knew who you were and weren’t afraid to authentically flavor the food!

    Another restaurant that missed the list was 1st of Thai on Hwy 55 and 169 in Golden Valley. In the 6 years or so since they opened the food quality continued to improve. They may have the best egg rolls in the cities if you like yours nice and meaty (a lot like Que Viet (sp?) if you’ve been there)! The old owners just sold it and the name has changed to Thai Table… I’m keeping my fingers crossed in hopes any changes made are good ones!

    Finally, as long as we’re on Thai restaurants, I would highly suggest avoiding Bahn Thai in Plymouth (169 and Rockford Rd) not to be confused with Ban Thai mentioned above. The service has been unpredictable, the food very hot/cold to extremes. For example, one night we got the best Pad Thai we had eaten in a long time, a dish with undercooked (raw) chicken and burned rice. The burned rice was available each of the three times we went. Each trip was a variation on this theme and management did not seem to care…

    • Kim

      I just ate at Thai Table last night and have to say, it was wonderful! The food was fresh and flavorful. My husband loves red curry and he was ready to go back for more today.

  • Lauren

    Haven’t been there in years (not in the area often), but there is a little gem of a Thai restaurant in, believe it or not, Savage. Spice Thai is located in a tiny strip mall on County Rd. 42. If you blink, you will miss it. The food was very fresh, the small dining area was bright and, more important, spotlessly clean, and the staff was amazingly helpful and friendly. If you were in the market to wash things down with a beer or glass of wine, the options (although somewhat limited) were also there. I may have to make a point to revisit the area soon!

    • ephenderson

      I’d heard Spice closed as well, and am hoping it’s not true. It really did have some of the best Thai I’ve ever had south of the river.

      • Lauren

        Just called last night to check their hours for Sunday. They are still open! *drooling*

      • We

        Rumor not true

    • Stacy

      Spice in Burnsville is simply amazing. The best curry in the Twin Cities. Worth the drive.

    • We


  • Nancy Claussen

    What about Sawatdee? One of my favorites for Thai food along with True Thai.

    • Rey

      Yes I am shocked they excluded Sawatdee!!! It is only one of the original Thai restaurants in the Twin Cities!!!

  • Brad

    My personal opinion regarding the Sawatdee chain is it tends to be very cookie-cutter and nondescript. The food is mediocre and I find the flavors to have little to no depth, almost as if they tried to cook Thai food with american ingredients. It’s not bad, it’s just not full-blown Thai.

    That being said, I know many people who are big fans of Sawatdee.

  • Robyn

    Chiang Mai Thai in uptown is the most authentic Thai place I’ve found as far as flavors truly matching what food actually tastes like in Thailand. I’ve lived in Thailand for 4 years and am disappointed by most Thai restaurants in the Twin Cities because they are actually Laotian versions of Thai food and do not taste the same as Thailand. Sawatdee is the worst as far as not tasting anything like actual Thai food.

  • Joe

    On’s Thai Kitchen, hands down. On University near Snelling where cafe BonXai used to be. Great atmosphere, prices, and 100% authentic Thai food. Delicious.

  • Greg Laden

    I am very glad to see that the Royal Orchid still exists! Their dinner menu (not the luncheon menu) is arguably among the best in the Twin Cities, and the most “authentic” so when I was over at the Roseville strip mall and saw am empty storefront I was not happy.

  • rita

    taste of thai is on SE 7th not S 7th, and king and i is NOT in the heart of downtown…it’s in loring park

  • Cindy

    Best Thai in the Twin Cities is my mom’s house, since we’re Thai, yeah!
    But I’ll admit some of these places are pretty good too.

  • Pony

    I wish the east end of town wasn’t always forgotten. There has to be something on that side of two yes?

  • Trudy

    I was disappointed to see that Thai Curry House in Burnsville was not on the list. Located in a small strip mall on Hwy 13/Cliff Road, it is the best pad thai I have ever had…and I have tried it all over the Twin Cities. Check it out.

    • LH

      Trudy, I AGREE. Thai Curry House is amazing. I try other places but they never compare to this place. Unfortunately, these lists rarely include restaurants in the suburbs.

  • Craig M

    Wha’t wrong with St Paul? It seems you forgot to cross the river, check out Sapatra on west 7th.

    • J Siwel

      The list is titled ‘Best Thai In Minneapolis.’ : \

  • Montana

    Chiang Mai Thai!!
    Also Pad Thai, is wonderful.

  • BH

    Those places are overpriced. I go to Bangkok Thai Deli for my Thai food.

  • JKDM

    In the west metro, check out Ketsana’s Thai in Plymouth off Hwy 55 and County Rd 6. Ketsana started Ruam Mit in St.Paul. I’m thrilled to have that same level of excellence on this side of the world.

  • Kevin

    After spending at least 4 months in Thailand I can honestly say there are no good Thai resturants anywhere in the states.

    • Mike

      Your comment makes no sense. The owner of True Thai is from Thailand and her chef cooked for the royal couple. Until you have tried all Thai restaurants in the Twin Cities area, I don’t think your qualified to negate every local restaurant. Talk with Anna the owner at True Thai and she will make sure your dinner is made to your satisfaction, guaranteed! Tell her Win sent you…………..

  • John

    Chai’s right by the Wienery on Cedar is amazing. The place is small but has the best Thai food in Minneapolis

  • Nancy

    Taste of Thailand has a second location:

    7890 University Ave NE
    Fridley, MN

  • Angela

    Hong Thai in Rogers and Albertville is also amazing!!! Best Pad Thai I’ve ever tried. And I like it spicy….20 stars!! YUM!!

  • Leslie

    I met up with a friend at the newish Nha Sang restaurant in Burnsville recently, both of us for the first time. We were positively blown away! Is there a word for something that is beyond perfect? If there is, it would apply here. We both ordered the Cranberry Curry–she with chicken, while I opted for the scallops. SPECTACULAR! As was our wonderful waiter. Seek out this little gem, folks!

  • Chris

    When it comes to fantastic Thai, one of the absolute best places is Ruan Thai in downtown Osseo. Sure, it’s a mom-and-pop hole in the wall, but the prices are reasonable and the food can go toe-to-toe with any of the heavyweights. You won’t pay extra for presentation (because it’s rather un-fancy) so the value cannot be topped.

    • Kim

      I agree, Chris. Ruan Thai has been a favorite for years. Yes, the decor leaves something to be desired, but the food is really good.

  • becky

    Wow – I was really liking the list.. until I got to Thanh Do. It used to be really Great…. but in the last couple of years and especially since they moved to the new location, not so great. In fact, we go to Wok in the Park if we want easy, quick Thai-esque cuisine. Tom Pham seems to have gone American mainstream.. just my 2 cents.
    With that said, I’ll try some of the other places to see how they fare.

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