Nestled in the bustling atmosphere of New York’s East Village, Somtum Der serves as your portal to the rich culinary tradition of Isan, a region in northeastern Thailand.
The space is vibrant, yet relaxed, with eclectic decor that immediately transports you to the heart of Thailand. The restaurant proudly specializes in Isan cuisine, offering bold and exhilarating flavors that are spicy, tangy, and downright delicious.
The Pad Thai here is more than just a noodle dish—it’s a feast for the senses that blends sweet, sour, and spicy elements in a harmonious mix that’s both comforting and exciting.
The Pad See Eiw is another must-try dish featuring a generous portion of noodles, bursting with robust flavors and adorned with crunchy Chinese broccoli.
Personalize your meal with proteins like pork, beef, or shrimp, or opt for a vegetable variant.
Step into Thai Villa, and you’re instantly transported to a different world. Located in the heart of New York’s Flatiron District, this establishment raises the bar for authentic Thai dining experiences.
As you walk in, the immediate impression is one of grandeur and old-world elegance. Intricate woodwork, golden hues, and Thai art pieces adorn the walls, conjuring the atmosphere of a traditional Thai palace.
The staff here are not just servers; they’re ambassadors of Thai hospitality. Polite and attentive, they bring a level of service that complements the exquisite surroundings.
The menu is a culinary journey through Thailand’s rich history. Starting off with the Spicy Chicken Wings is a must. They’re not just ordinary wings; these are infused with Tom Yum flavors that create a perfect blend of spicy, sour, and umami tastes.
The Red and Green Curries are both masterpieces in their own right. Each curry offers a complex layering of flavors—whether it’s the warming spices in the red or the zesty kick in the green.
Accompanying these main dishes is dense, aromatic jasmine rice that perfectly absorbs the curry sauces.
What to order: Spicy Chicken Wings, Red Curry, Green Curry, Pad Thai
Zabb PuTawn isn’t just a restaurant; it’s a Michelin-starred dining. The setting is small but manages to pack in an atmosphere of intimacy and warmth, perfect for anything from a casual dinner with friends to a romantic night out.
The Kow Soi Gai is an embodiment of Northern Thai cooking—chicken so tender it falls off the bone, swimming in a curry so deep in flavor it feels like a journey through Thailand in each bite.
The Pad See Ew offers a different but equally tantalizing experience, striking the perfect balance between sweetness and the chewy texture of the noodles.
To wrap up your meal, the Mango Sticky Rice is a must-try, balancing the sweetness of ripe mango with the dense, sticky rice, all accented by a sprinkling of crunchy mung beans.
What to order: Kow Soi Gai, Pad See Ew, Mango Sticky Rice
Up Thai is where modernity meets tradition. The restaurant itself is a sight to behold, boasting a warm wooden interior adorned with beautiful lanterns.
This inviting and intimate setting is perfect for date nights, complete with a bar area where you can sip handcrafted cocktails as you wait for your meal.
What sets Up Thai apart is its commitment to sourcing fresh and high-quality ingredients. The daily-changing menu is a showcase of Thai street food with an upscale twist.
The Massaman Curry is a creamy delight that converts even the most curry-averse into lifelong fans.
The blend of spices in the curry is subtle yet profound, offering a rich yet smooth flavor profile.
If you’re looking for something with a kick, the Kea Mao, commonly known as drunken noodles, is your go-to. These noodles are a perfect blend of spicy and savory, tickling your taste buds with each bite.
Ugly Baby offers a walk-in-only dining experience, infusing the space with a sense of excitement and spontaneity. Open only from Thursday to Sunday, the restaurant starts welcoming diners at 5 p.m., but get there early—the seats fill up fast!
Inside, you’re greeted by a lively atmosphere, decked out with elements that make you feel like you’re in the heart of a Thai street market.
When it comes to the heat, Ugly Baby doesn’t hold back.
Their Tue Ka Ko, bite-sized coconut milk cakes, offer a sweet start to your meal before you delve into their spicier offerings. The Khao Soi Nuer noodles will ignite your taste buds with its rich and creamy texture paired with intense spiciness.
And don’t miss the Kao Tod Nam Klook, a hearty dish packed with flavor and freshness.
What to order: Tue Ka Ko, Khao Soi Nuer, Kao Tod Nam Klook
Wondee Siam may be small but it’s a powerhouse when it comes to delivering authentic Thai flavors. The restaurant sports a modern, brightly lit interior that creates a cozy atmosphere, making it a perfect spot to unwind.
Even better, there’s no corking fee, so you’re welcome to bring your favorite bottle to pair with your meal. Don’t miss out on their Yum Catfish Salad—crispy catfish complemented by fresh mango and aromatic herbs.
The Key Mao Noodle brings a blend of vegetables and noodles into a harmonious, flavorful dish.
And if you’re craving something with a bit of spice, the Crispy Pork Basil hits all the right notes with its succulent pork belly pieces and a savory, sweet, and spicy sauce.
What to order: 792 92th Ave, New York, NY 10019
Address: Yum Catfish Salad, Key Mao Noodle, Crispy Pork Basil
All Noms Magazine’s “best” lists are created using multiple factors and signals to help readers find the best restaurants, things to do, and places to stay at. Some of these factors and signs include personal experiences, correspondence with locals, and compiling experiences from review sites.
Each list is also created to be balanced (in terms of price, cuisine type, ambiance, and more) as possible. This means that the lists are not specifically created in ranking order. You should be comfortable picking from any of the spots on the list and generally have a good time. But of course, YMMV (your mileage may vary) and everyone may have different experiences/palates.