Must-Try Thai Dishes in Charlotte
Thai food has become a popular cuisine in the Charlotte area, with establishments opening to serve customers the bold flavors of this Asian cuisine.
by Jamie Killian
There are four distinct styles of Thai food– North, North-eastern, Central, and Southern. Most people think of pad thai, but Thai food is also known for its curries and soups. Deeply rooted in family and tradition, expect to find a community vibe at these restaurants where the owners get to know you, dishes very slightly based on regional heritage and food is made with a lot of love.
Since opening in 2009, this Asian bistro has gained a following through word-of-mouth in the Plaza area. Akahana serves a variety of Thai dishes, including pho and curry and flat noodles. In addition, they do offer a full sushi menu making this a great location for a variety of diners.
Try: Bahn Thai Fried Rice
Traditional thai food alongside sushi make this a great lunch or dinner spot. Their dishes are artfully plated and portions are big enough to share which makes it perfect for groups who want to try a variety of dishes, from in-house catering.
Try: Prink King Curry
Brothers Henry and Chai Eang have built a successful dining experience around their traditional Thai food and dynamic kitchen experience. A fan favorite is the basic duck which features a half duck deep-fried, topped with vegetables.
Neighborhood: Montford Park
Try: Beef Pho
Chef Masanori Shiraishi brings his flair to Thai food served in a modern space alongside modern cocktails. This modern take on Thai food features Banh Mi sandwiches, a variety of pho and wok noodle dishes as well as fusion sake.
This noodle and sushi bar features traditional Thai street food like spicy basil fried rice. Enjoy a casual night out on their patio or they also offer free delivery to Divine Barrel Brewing and Crown Station Coffee House at the NoDa location.
Neighborhood: South End
Try: Green Papaya & Shrimp Salad
Set in the heart of South End Hawkers is a trendy eatery serving modern Thai food and fun, innovative cocktails. Hawkers features a variety of Asian street food but is most popular for its pad thai which features shrimp, chicken and peanuts.
Featuring Thai street food, like basil chicken and pad thai, Rai Lay has been so popular in South Endthat they recently opened a second location in the Riverbend Village shopping center in Mountain Island. In addition to Thai fare, they offer other traditional Asian dishes, all crafted from fresh ingredients.
Neighborhood: South Charlotte
Try: Poh Taek
Chef Peter Sripan calls on his childhood memories to develop a menu that reflects classic Thai street food. Their signature dish is Khai Soi, a curry noodle dish. Their Poh Taek is a family sized seafood hot pot that features shrimp, snapper, scallops, calamari and mussels.
Neighborhood: South Charlotte
Try: Siam Bird Nest
Don’t let the unassuming location fool you–Siam Garden has an extensive menu filled with traditional Thai dishes, including noodles and curry. Try their Siam Bird Nest, which features shrimp and chicken with black soy sauce.
Try: Crispy Snapper
Named one of Charlotte Magazine’s “Best of the Best”, Thai 1st has an extensive menu of traditional Thai dishes, including Tom Yum Kung, a sweet and sour soup with shrimp and duck with plum sauce.
At Thai House, you can expect a friendly and authentic atmosphere with Thai music and art. For over 30 years, Thai House has been making their food with the freshest ingredients and creating bright, unique flavors you won't want to miss. Order delivery, pick-up or dine-in.
With a rotating lunch menu, this Dilworth staple is a popular midday spot but they also feature chef specials for dinner. You can also choose your level of spice for each dish, making this a great place for a variety of palates.
Try: Pho Bo Vien
The Specialty at Viet-Thai is pho, with seven varieties to choose from. Enjoy traditional thai tea and coffee, completing the traditional Thai dining experience.
Neighborhood: Optimist Park
Try: Som Tum Chicken
Located inside Optimist Hall, Xiao Bao touts itself as “Asian comfort food." They feature Thai dishes like Pad Kra Prow, Som Tom Papaya salad and Khai Sol chicken noodles. Can’t make it in person? Order frozen okonomiyaki (Japanese pancakes) shipped straight to your door.