Thai food suffers the same fate as many other cuisines when it comes to a city the size of Boston: Most restaurants try to squeeze an overview of the entire country into one menu, resulting in the ubiquitous jumble of pad thai, build-your-own curries, and other noodle and rice dishes quite familiar to American diners but barely scratching the surface of any one specific part of Thailand.
The cuisine of Thailand’s Isan region in the northeast, for example, is significantly different than the street food of Bangkok, and ideally, there’d be plenty of separate restaurants focusing on each instead of just serving a couple highlights from each area.
Fortunately there are a growing number of Boston-area Thai restaurants that do specialize a bit more, regionally speaking. And even at restaurants that offer plenty of those aforementioned familiar dishes and less specialization, there’s often a lot more to explore if you just dig into parts of the menu you haven’t tried yet. (Still, there’s no shame in ordering what you like — if pad thai or panang curry floats your boat, go for it.)
Here are some of the best Thai restaurants in the Boston area right now, with some pointers on what to order at each. (Heading farther north? Check out Saap in Randolph, Vermont. The Thai restaurant, which focuses on Isan dishes, got recognition from the James Beard Foundation in 2022 with an award for its chef and co-owner Nisachon (Rung) Morgan.)
This map was originally published in June 2019; it is updated periodically. The date of the most recent update appears above.Read More