Best Thai food in Chicago needs no introduction. From city to other parts of the world, its abundance of exotic flavors makes it among the most desired international cuisines.
The best Thai Chicago scene ranges from the elaborate gourmet versions of Thai dishes to popular local takeout spot. Luckily, a lot of Chicago’s Thai restaurants make a favorable impression when it comes to many renditions on Thai.
As a walk through Thai Chicago restaurants reminds, these savors and aroma are seemingly endless.
Yes, chicken satay, grilled pork, and of course tom yum, are superb. But there’s more to Thai cuisines than the classics alone.
With so many delicious meals just waiting to be eaten in Chicago, Travel Hound has narrowed the list down to the best Thai food Chicago ever.
Are you ready? Let the countdown begin!
- Pad Thai Kung sod haw Khai
Pad Thai Kung sod haw Khai is a great combination of shrimp pad Thai and glass noodles wrapped in an omelet. What this means is you can take breakfast for lunch or supper. But the classic Sai Krog Isaan is sautéed to perfection, and it’s different from any sausage you’ve tasted.
- Som Tum (Spicy Green Papaya Salad)
This outlandish cuisine is both greatly distinctive. No wonder some can’t get enough of it! Shredded raw papaya, green beans, chilies, garlic, and cherry tomatoes get crushed in a mortar and pestle. This release a rounded spicy and a sweet-sour flavor that you will remember for a long time!
- Noodle Soup
Noodle soup needs no introduction. The name says it all! There are several varieties of noodle soup. Often, the main choices can be made between pork, chicken, veggie, or seafood. I prefer the veggie noodle soup, especially the one with extra mushrooms!
- Tom Kha Kai (Chicken in Coconut Soup)
Tom Kha Kai is a mild, gentle twist on Tom. The delicious soup infuses thinly sliced galangal, fiery chilies, stalks of lemongrass crushed shallots, and soft strips of chicken. But compared to its more watery cousin, coconut milk splashes tones down its spicy blow. Sprinkles of fresh lime leaves give the mixture a sweet smell – both compelling and creamy.
- Pad Thai (Thai style Fried Noodles)
This is no doubt that Pad Thai one of the best Thai food in Chicago. Want to know how it’s made? A fistful of thin or wide noodles is dropped in a searing hot wok. After a minute-long dance with crunchy onion, beansprouts, and egg, it’s emptied into a plate.
Thai style Fried Noodles flavor lies in using four condiments – sugar, fish sauce, finely ground peanuts and chili powder. Indeed, a plate of Pad Thai wakes your taste buds from its slumbers.
- Gai Med Ma Muang (Chicken Cashew Nuts)
This is another spicy meal. So remember to ask for a less spicy version if you want the best Best Thai Chicago fry chicken with cashew nuts. With some vegetables, the Chicken Cashew Nuts is the perfect dish.
You can add some steamed white rice on the side if you’re starving!
- Kao Pad (Fried Rice)
The popular Thai Chicago fried rice is a favorite for among tourists and locals. Usually, the dish includes meat – shrimp, chicken, beef, or crab – and garlic, onions, and shrimps. This is a simple meal, and you can find it on the streets of Chicago.
- Banana Pancakes
No jokes, you can’t go without Banana Pancakes! They are one of the best Thai food in Chicago. In actuality, they are the best meals to come out of Thailand, and I’m not kidding! Sometimes I yearn for them – those tasty banana pancakes with vanilla sauce…. Mmmm, so good and tasty!
Also, they have a lot of variations (you can order yours without banana if you want that). However, you can have them with vanilla, chocolate, strawberry, orange, hazelnut, and anything you can imagine.
All you need to do is ask, and they’ll put it on! So if you happen to see those little carts offering banana cakes while walking around the streets of Chicago…. BUY ONE!!! Trust me, you’ll enjoy it, and I’ll be happy knowing that someone is relishing them.
- Shrimp Vegetable Tempura
Forgive the pun, but tourists go crazy for this dish.
Perhaps it’s lightly buttered jumbo shrimps, green beans, sweet potatoes, and broccoli.
But who cares? The vital thing is that this cuisine works: it’s easy, yet delicious. Also, it’s a bit mild but still totally Thai. What’s more, it’s served with sweet and sour sauce.
- Yam Nua (Spicy Beef Salad)
If a ‘Salad walk of Fame’ exists, Yam Nua, would surely have its name engraved. Still not convinced? Enjoy the fiery, fresh thrill of Spicy Beef Salad – with its light mix of coriander, onion, spearmint, and lime, tender strips of beef dried chili – and it will convince you.
It perfectly represents the refreshing in-the-mouth-thrill of all Thai Chicago salads, the tasty-ness of yam.
- Kai Tod
This is another best Thai food, Chicago! The Thai Chicago -style chicken wing is seasoned in fish sauce and deep-fried. It is then served with a special tamarind sauce. You can also try the Somtum pu. It’s a tasty spicy green papaya salad, which sets your mouth on fire.
- Northern Thai larb
The Northern Thai larb is one of the best Thai Chicago cuisines and for a great reason. Indeed, the dish is an intensely savory mix of intestines and ground pork. Also, it’s stir-fried with a variety of spices. The meal packs the perfect amount of heat to keep it interesting. And even the most offal-adverse customers will find the Northern Thai larb pretty damn tasty.
There you have it! You can’t go wrong with the listed best Thai food, Chicago. Whether you’re a tourist or living in Chicago, these cuisines will open your taste buds to another range of genuine flavor profiles and dishes you’ve been missing out on. Also, you can stick with the Northern and southern Thai specialties – or whichever tickles your fancy.