Creamy coconut milk, zippy chiles, tart lemon grass and tamarind paste, tangy basil and cilantro. The Thai table has all this and so much more, an umami of flavor that is downright swoon-worthy. For travelers who have experienced the real deal in Thailand, finding a proximity on this side of the world isn’t always easy. Good news for New Orleanians — there are Thai chefs channeling honest-to-goodness Thai flavors in newly opened restaurants, and a stalwart krewe of Thai-food lovers creating comforting versions of all the greatest hits.Read More
13 Fantastic Thai Restaurants in and Around New Orleans
New Orleans has recently had an influx of outstanding new Thai restaurants — Pomelo, Thai’d Up, and Thaihey, to name a few
Thai Zaap Cafe
Beyond the usual crowd-pleasers, this Metairie Thai spot offers a slew of tasty chef specials. Try Thai Zaap’s crispy whole fish with chile sauce, or order it steamed with fragrant herbs. Duck lovers can get a crispy roasted duck stir-fried with basil and vegetables. Love that there’s a kid’s menu, from mac and cheese to nuggets and smile fries and kid’s fried rice. Super lunch specials are offered Monday through Friday, and it’s open seven days a week for takeout, dine-in, and delivery.
Café Equator Thai Cuisine
Cafe Equator has been a busy Severn Avenue staple for decades, an unfussy but charming wood-paneled space that’s a favorite for weekday post-work dining. It started in Mandeville as a place called Typhoon, before opening across the street from Lakeside Shopping Center in 2002. The blanket shrimp, lemongrass calamari salad, po tak soup, and a specialty called Something in The Jungle are favorites. Now offering delivery.
Thai'd Up NOLA
The neighborhood by the Fair Grounds rejoiced with the opening of Thai’d Up, with its all-day menu from Thai-born chef Saowanit “Kate” Welch. Try her homemade roti with a curry dipping sauce, fresh spring rolls brimming with herbs and vegetables to a shredded green papaya salad oozing fish sauce and lime. Order extra Nam Jim Jaew dipping sauce, a transformative bath for grilled meats made with shallots, fish sauce, lime juice, chiles, and herbs.
Budsi’s Authentic Thai
After nearly four years operating one of New Orleans’s best pop-ups, the husband and wife team behind Budsi’s Authentic Thai opened their restaurant in 2021, bringing specialties from the Isan region of Thailand to the Marigny. Try chef specialties like waterfall pork, mushroom and tofu larb, and mango sticky rice. A bustling and lively atmosphere makes it an excellent spot to dine-in, at tables, the large bar, or a sidewalk table.
This Marigny fave does a nonstop business, and no wonder. Sukho Thai, which also has a location Uptown, dishes great lunch specials and gluten-free and vegan dishes. Spring for the fried fish-of-the-day — it feeds two — crispy and smothered in ginger, lime, lemongrass, mint, onion, chiles, shallots, and garlic.
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Royal Thai Bistreaux
This sweet spot in Harahan offers a range of traditional and fusion Thai dishes. Royal Thai Bistreaux, situated in modest digs on Hickory Avenue, delivers plenty of flavor punch with popular menu items like fresh spring rolls, curried Chiang Mai noodles, and spicy tom yum goong soup. For dessert try the sweet rice with Thai custard. Lunch specials are a steal.
Thaihey at the edge of the Quarter is yet another star turn from a female Thai-born chef. Orawin “Nim” Yimchalam Greene offers riffs on traditional Thai dishes, like an outstanding green curry swimming with grilled eggplant rounds, Louisiana crawfish, and tri-color cheese tortellini. Pla hang tang mo is a not to be missed salad, squares of watermelon with a crumble of dried local catfish, sugar, salt, and fried shallots.
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Diners sup under the gaze of a benevolent Buddha at Thai Mint, the centerpiece of a colorful mural adorning the restaurant’s dining room. Beyond pad Thai, try a lighter prep with clear glass noodles including pad woon sen, a saute of fresh vegetables with either chicken or shrimp. Plenty of vegan and vegetarian options.
Secret Thai Restaurant
Do not, under any circumstance, order a five for heat. The kitchen is no joke when it comes to turning up the BTUs, even for chile fiends. Secret Thai is a funky spot in Chalmette — how about that daycare decor? But the fiery stir fries and curries have a loyal following. They close for dinner at 8:30 p.m. — as in, don’t walk in at 8:15 and expect to be served. And leave plenty of time for takeout orders to be ready.
Named for the grapefruit-like citrus native to Southeast Asia, Pomelo is a welcoming cafe serving chef Aom Srisuk’s traditional Thai cuisine based on family recipes she learned at her parent’s restaurant in Bangkok. Her Massaman curry chicken is studded with potatoes, onion, and peanuts, fragrant with cinnamon, cardamom, and a hint of star anise. Som yam soup delivers the sour and sweet flavor punch that distinguishes so many Thai dishes. Specials bring Thai street food to the table.
Thai DJing in Gretna is the real deal, thanks to chef Suda Ounin’s classically trained attention to detail and gorgeous presentation. Everything she prepares is pristine, from traditional pad Thai bright with the tang of tamarind and fish sauce, to tender ginger salmon, to her award-winning potato curry soup. Curries and stir fries are served with a choice of tofu, chicken, beef, shrimp, and salmon. Worth the trip, no matter what side of the river you’re on.
Banana Blossom Thai Restaurant
Banana Blossom, Benny Cho’s place in Gretna, is a fun and funky fusion of flavor, a globetrotting treatment of Thai that will win over even purists. Try crab claws in Thai BBQ sauce, fried ribs with chile sauce, kao pao rib eye ramen, and BBQ shrimp pasta for something just a little different. Yes there’s pad Thai, but why when voodoo noodles is an option?
A Taste of Thailand Restaurant
This Terrytown Thai stays busy thanks to tasty options like pork satay with peanut sauce, panko-crusted coconut shrimp, and a minty larb salad with chicken and shredded cabbage. A Taste of Thailand offers a fine array of curries, soups, and noodle dishes, along with a welcome kid’s menu with fried rice, noodles, and chicken fingers.