Thai

Do you love Thai food? We do too, and that's why we dedicate ourselves to finding the best places to enjoy Thai cuisine in New York. We've diligently scouted out the top eateries, and we've listened to our readers and their reviews of New York restaurants. We share the places that get great buzz, like Kittichai, and we showcase the ones that have proven themselves over time, like Jaiya. We also point out good neighborhoods for Thai restaurants in New York - Brooklyn, for instance. When the craving hits, we'll make sure you get your fix!

8 Jaiya
This Murray Hill institution has always enjoyed a fairly consistent group of customers who appreciate the good food and inexpensive prices. Although the dining room won't knock your socks off, you'll forget the diner look as soon as your food comes to the table. Their most popular dish, nam sad, is a heaping mass of spiced pork and lettuce. Be warned, when they say that the food is hot, they aren't kidding. TRAIN: 6 to 28th St (212-889-1330)

7 Spice Market
Located in the far west corner of the Village, an area known as the Meatpacking District, this key player in Chef Jean-George Vongerichten's restaurant empire takes the hawker (street) fare of Southeast Asia and gives it a contemporary, some say sexy, interpretation. Indeed, dishes like Vongerichten's pork vindaloo, mussels steamed in lemongrass, and curried duck are nothing short of unforgettable. With its antique art imported from Burma, India and Malaysia, embroidered curtains, and exotic furniture, the restaurant itself is a cool product of conceptual design. TRAIN: A, C, E, L to 14th St (212-675-2322)

6 Sripraphai
Authentic Thai reigns supreme at this casual Queens kitchen, where walk-ins are welcomed with a friendly smile and the fare runs from Panang beef to catfish fried to a golden crisp. The interior is understated and lacks the flash and flair of the high-profile chains, but if you're looking for something a little different to spice up your trip to the Mets game, this is the place (Shea is less than 10 stops away, after all). And if this is your first time enjoying Thai cuisine, do so with this word of advice: At Sripraphai, "hot" means HOT! TRAIN: 7 to 61st-Woodside (718-899-9599)

5 Sea
Williamsburg is all abuzz about this seductive Thai restaurant, where ultra-sleek design juxtaposes a Buddha, a reflection pool and live plants with sultry lighting, retro white bubble chairs, and cool bar area that attracts a veritable who's who of the neighborhood's best and brightest. In fact, DJs and dance music tend to reign the late night hours, cementing Sea's rep as a place to be seen. Even so, the food isn't to be missed, and a fairly-priced pre-set option includes an appetizer, main course and dessert for under $30. TRAIN: L to Bedford (718-384-8850)

4 Joya
An urban vibe pervades this Cobble Hill address, where the neighborhood's hip singles gather at night for the trendy scene, the terrific cocktails, the cool music, and the outstanding Thai fare. Indeed, the open kitchen keeps crowds satiated with offerings of pad Thai (one of the place's signatures), nightly fish specials and evocative dessert dishes. If it's nice out, seating is available on the patio to the rear of the restaurant. TRAIN: F, G to Bergen St (718-222-3484)

3 Kittichai
Located on the street level of SoHo's fashionable 60 Thompson Hotel, Kittichai specializes in modern Thai cuisine, as interpreted by chef and namesake Ian Chalermkittichai. Among his creations are baked Chilean sea bass marinated in yellow salted beans, braised short ribs in green curry, and spicy duck breast with Hawaiian relish. This smart, sexy space, designed by the innovative Rockwell group, is also noteworthy for its open spaces, Buddha statues, bottled orchids, sleek geometry and atmospheric lighting. Lunch prix fixe $20; pre-theater prix fixe $30. TRAIN: C, E at Spring St (212-219-2000)

2 Pukk
Green is the dominant color at this funky, East Village Thai, and for good reason. The menu is all-vegetarian. That in no way limits the kitchen's capacity for creativity, as evidenced by appetizers like spinach toast or Thai pancake with curry dip. Main courses take things to a whole other level, and it doesn't matter if you go for the gravy noodles, the pineapple red curry with tofu, or the spicy watercress duck (made with soy) — chances are good your palate will feel roundly rewarded. Best of all, the great prices let you pull off the trifecta: Trendy, healthy and thrifty. TRAIN: F, V to Lower East Side-2nd Ave (212-253-2742)

1 Q2 Thai
Dashing streaks of pink that run across the ceiling make sure that diners won't mistake this Hell's Kitchen Thai for any other. Q2 - the clever name refers to quantity and quality - specializes in serving up generous portions of dishes like Pad Ped (grilled and marinated meat sautéed in red chili paste, kaffir lime leaves and basil). The heavily aromatic and spicy entrées serve as nice counterpoints to lighter appetizers, such as the fresh summer roll served with a peanut tamarind dipping sauce. (212-262-2236, 212-262-2239)


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Maps and Directions

1
Jaiya 10Best List Arrow
Cuisine: Asian, Thai
Dining Options: Disabled Accessible
Neighborhood: Gramercy
COST: $
2
Spice Market 10Best List Arrow
Cuisine: Asian, Malaysian, Seafood, Thai
Dining Options: Bar / Lounge, Bar Dining, Disabled Accessible, Non-Smoking, Parties / Private Rooms
Neighborhood: Meatpacking District
COST: $$
3
Sripraphai 10Best List Arrow
Cuisine: Asian, Thai
Dining Options: Disabled Accessible, Family Friendly, Non-Smoking
Neighborhood: Queens
COST: $
4
Sea 10Best List Arrow
Cuisine: Asian, Thai
Dining Options: Bar / Lounge, Bar Dining, Delivery, Disabled Accessible, Non-Smoking, Parties / Private Rooms
Neighborhood: Brooklyn
COST: $$
5
Joya 10Best List Arrow
Cuisine: Asian, Thai
Dining Options: Bar / Lounge, Delivery, Disabled Accessible, Group Friendly, Non-Smoking, Take Out
Neighborhood: Brooklyn
COST: $
6
Kittichai 10Best List Arrow
Cuisine: Asian, Thai
Dining Options: Bar / Lounge, Bar Dining, Disabled Accessible, Group Friendly, Non-Smoking, Parties / Private Rooms
Neighborhood: SOHO
COST: $$
7
Pukk 10Best List Arrow
Cuisine: Asian, Thai, Vegetarian
Dining Options: Bar / Lounge, Counter Seating, Delivery, Family Friendly, Group Friendly, Non-Smoking, Take Out
Neighborhood: EAST VILLAGE
COST: $
8
Q2 Thai 10Best List Arrow
Cuisine: Asian, Thai
Neighborhood: Hell's Kitchen
COST: $