The Pacific Northwest has one of the most diverse and delicious Thai food scenes in the country, and we’re here to help you track down all that Seattle and its neighbors have to offer. Get ready to order up your new favorite drunken noodles, outstanding panang curry, or a bowl of uplifting, golden khao soi.
Located in a retrofitted colonial revival house, Djan’s dishes have the comforting vibe of the best home cooking. The house specialty is noodle dishes, such as the kao soi — a soup composed of bouncy egg noodles in a thick, sunny curry broth — and Djan’s Fusion Noodles, a mashup of nutty pad thai and spicy pad kee mao (drunken noodles).
As a flight attendant for Thai Airways, Chanpen Lapangkura missed the dishes of her home country. Inspired by that hunger, she switched careers and opened Bai Tong to offer locals a taste of Thailand. Crispy garlic chicken is the house specialty. Deep-fried and coated in a glossy sauce, it pairs perfectly with an order of coconut-forward panang curry.
Fried wonton pouches filled with crab, saucy drunken noodles with a flower garnish, bright red lobster tails with stir-fried vegetables — these elegant, vibrant dishes keep Noi Thai Cuisine at the top of critics’ lists of Seattle's best Thai food. The Crying Tiger, a perfectly grilled steak served with roasted-rice-infused dipping sauce, is a local favorite.
Araya Nualkhair opened her namesake restaurant in 1987. As a practicing Buddhist, she didn’t eat meat or care to serve it. Decades later, Araya’s son now runs this pioneering Pacific Northwest vegetarian Thai spot, with three locations in the Seattle area, including University District, Madison, and Bellevue. Delicious noodles and curries abound, but the family’s favorite dish is the avocado curry with tofu, basil, and bell peppers.
Pop Pop’s owners are old friends that serve dishes adapted from their mothers’ recipes. The menu is full of traditional Thai gems, like a deceptively simple khao man gai — a dish of poached chicken served with rich chicken broth and a thick soybean sauce that begs to be sopped up by a side of garlicky, ginger-enriched rice.
One of Seattle’s oldest Thai restaurants, Bahn Thai first opened its doors in the 1980s out of a converted Queen Anne home. This curry outpost excels at Thai cuisine with Chinese and Indian influences, offering popular noodle dishes like see ew, made with wide, silky rice noodles in a sweet soybean sauce, and the house specialty, beef stew in panang curry.
A stone’s throw from the Seattle Center, Racha Thai is equipped to handle swarms of hungry theatergoers, sports fanatics, and Thai food seekers. Basil fried rice is finished with a squeeze of fresh lime, fried catfish comes enrobed in panang curry, and crackly spring rolls are served with sweet plum sauce.
Whether your diet is plant-based or carnivorous, you’ll be wowed by the offerings at Seattle’s best-known, most-loved vegan Thai restaurant. Try the craveable Devil Wings, fried oyster mushrooms coated in a spicy, red seasoning mix, and the earthy, coconutty pumpkin curry with a side of fragrant purple rice.
With a menu that reflects Thailand’s four distinct regions, this is the spot to visit to venture out of your Thai food comfort zone. Try the soft-shell crab tossed in a dried curry blend or the super-spicy Southern turmeric curry with your choice of protein. Make sure to add on an order of savory crispy chicken, battered and deep-fried chicken thighs tossed in a finger-licking chile-herb sauce.
After becoming a staple Thai spot on the Eastside, Isarn now has homes on both sides of the lake, in Ravenna and Kirkland, to fulfill the demand for elevated Thai dishes like sesame-crusted oyster mushroom fritters and Isarn’s signature dish, the Chu Chi Red Curry Dinner, topped with your choice of protein, such as scallops, cod, pork, or tofu.
Traditional Thai meets western classics at Sisi Kay. The tom yum pizza is a sensory surprise, a thin crust topped with Thai spices, prawns, and mushrooms. For a wholly unique pasta experience, try the linguine tossed in green curry sauce. If you’re looking to keep it more traditional, order the stellar pad thai, topped with banana blossoms.
Pad thai and pad see ew are always popular at this family-run North Seattle Thai jewel, but along with your preferred noodle dish, add on the garlicky chicken wings in a sweet and spicy chile sauce and the Angry Seafood, with its cornucopia of salmon, prawns, scallops, green mussels, and calamari stir-fried in a curry sauce.
It’s not often you find Thai and Vietnamese comfort food under one roof, but at Huong Dong, you can get your pad thai fix alongside a steaming bowl of pho. Start with the crispy spring rolls, add on a refreshing mango salad with basil, peanuts, and fried onions, and sweeten the meal with a milky Thai iced tea.
Named after the ancient Lanna Kingdom, otherwise known as the kingdom of a million rice fields, Everett’s best Thai restaurant offers Northern Thai cuisine with bowls of fragrant tom yum, plates of saucy pad see ew, and a warming massaman curry with potato, carrot, pineapple, and peanuts.
Thai Thani makes its mark on the local Thai food scene with its seafood-centric offerings, such as a panang curry with salmon, prawns karee swimming in yellow curry sauce, and a hot pot of green mussels flavored with lemongrass, basil, sweet onion, and cabbage. If you’re seeking land rather than sea, the deep-fried triangles of golden tofu served with peanut sauce are perfectly plant-based.
Locals know to order up one of Pinkaew’s star dishes, the krapow kai dow, a stir-fry of basil, diced green beans and peppers, and minced chicken served over rice and topped with a fried egg. The enticing menu also offers a notable pra ram noodle dish, with its pool of caramel-colored peanut sauce, and the pla sam rod, pan-fried trout in tamarind sauce.
With offerings spanning multiple Thai regions, Jai Thai serves up a broad range of dishes that are big in flavor. Start with an order of pan-fried pot stickers, then make sure to add on the pad kee mao, wide noodles coated in aromatic chile paste. A veggie-centric pad prik khing delivers with its stir-fried green beans and other veggies in a basil-forward sauce.
Specializing in Isaan-style northeastern Thai cuisine, ZapVerr appropriately translates to “overly delicious.” You might want to call a few friends over to try as many dishes as possible, such as the sweet Dungeness crab rangoons, an unctuous roast duck curry, and the nam kow tod, an umami-laden crispy rice salad made with minced pork.
Located in Kirkland, Soi is run by a husband-and-wife team that cooks up Isaan-style cuisine that’s an ode to flavorful northeastern Thai food. Order up a few plates of small bites — street food — or signature dishes such as the chu chi salmon, wild-caught Alaskan salmon in panang curry, and the nau ka ta, Thai-style sizzling steak fajitas.
Heat seekers, meet your match. The bird’s eye chile is one of Thailand’s spiciest peppers, and it’s a key ingredient in this Thai spot’s best dishes, like the fried Bangkok chicken in its fiery garlic and coriander sauce. Owner Cindy Gayte comes from a lineage of Thai restaurateurs, and, along with her chile-kissed specialties, you’ll find many mild Thai classics that will please anyone’s palate.
Co-owner Kay Fuengarom emigrated to Seattle as a kid and has been working in restaurants since she was 15. At her West Seattle Thai outpost, her expertise pays off, as evident in curries made from scratch-made pastes and remarkable Thai dishes like neau yang esan, Thai-style New York strip steak served in a roasted rice–lime sauce.
Wild Ginger Kitchen is one of Seattle’s oldest, most famous Thai institutions. Garnering both local and national accolades, including a memorable New York Times shout-out, Wild Ginger continues to serve up high-end Thai dishes such as fragrant, star anise–spiced duck served with puffy bao buns — the house specialty — as well as delicate sea bass piled high with fresh herbs and irresistible sides like Szechuan green beans.
Prioritizing local ingredients, Sweet Rice is owned and run by two Laotian childhood friends. The menu boasts both Thai and Lao food, like pad thai and green curry, as well as Lao-style papaya salad and glossy, marinated Mekong beef over vegetables. End your meal with the sole dessert offering: mango on top of sweet, pandan-flavored coconut sticky rice.
North Seattle’s favorite neighborhood Thai spot keeps locals coming back for coconut milk–marinated and grilled chicken satay, batter-fried crispy garlic chicken served with a tangy sauce, and basil krapow chicken stir-fried with fresh chiles and garlic and topped with a fried egg.
As a longtime family-owned and -operated Northgate Thai destination, Chaiyo offers familiar Thai fare as well as a treasure trove of house specialties, such as pineapple prawn curry, coriander-crusted beef, spicy seafood fried rice full of calamari and scallops, and mee krob, crispy noodles with shrimp and tofu in plum sauce.
Courtesy of Wild Ginger