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A plate from Som Tum Thai Kitchen, also known as SomTum Thai Kitchen.
A platter of tum tod from Somtum Thai Kitchen.
Somtum Thai Kitchen

Where to Find Stunning Thai Food in Portland

Where to find the best khao soi, larb, pad kee mao, and more

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A platter of tum tod from Somtum Thai Kitchen.
| Somtum Thai Kitchen

Portland has one of the best Thai food scenes in the nation, and it’s no secret, with the New York Times singling out Portland and Los Angeles as the leaders of America’s Thai food renaissance — from chef Akkapong Earl Ninsom’s regional and, at times, historical takes on Thai cooking at Langbaan, to Nong Poonsukwattana’s simple and spectacular khao man gai, the Thai chefs in Portland have developed celebrity status, opening selling sauces in grocery stores and developing restaurant empires.

From the strip-mall spots churning out bright bowls of som tum, to the glitzy restaurants packaging up jaw-dropping family meals, these are the must-visit Thai restaurants to visit for in-person dining, takeout, and delivery.

Note: Health experts consider dining out to be a high-risk activity for the unvaccinated; it may pose a risk for the vaccinated, especially in areas with substantial COVID transmission. The latest CDC guidance is here; find a COVID-19 vaccination site here.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

Phuket Cafe

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Akkapong Earl Ninsom, arguably Portland’s most beloved Thai restaurateur, owns several of the restaurants on this map, and Phuket Cafe — his youngest — is yet another jewel in his crown. With his more recent restaurants, Ninsom has become more freewheeling in his approach to food, serving dishes like “Thai paella” with mussels and flavors reminiscent of tom yum. Thinly sliced striped bass, accompanied by peanut brittle crumble and mint, may be the breakout hit on the menu, but any meal at Phuket Cafe must end with the restaurant’s elaborate shaved ice desserts.

Langbaan

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Ninsom’s Phuket Cafe now houses the outstanding Thai supper club Langbaan, which previously hid in a back room behind a bookcase at his other restaurant, Paadee. Menus change frequently, pulling inspiration from historic menus and regions of Thailand. That being said, many of its greatest hits remain on the menu year-round, including the miang som, dots of cara cara jewels and shrimp sitting on a betel leaf with fish sauce caramel, or the kanom krok, Hokkaido scallop swimming in a coconut cream sauce within a crispy rice cup. The full tasting menu is $125 per person, with reservations available via Resy.

Somtum Thai Kitchen

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It’s not hard to find Isan staples like larb and papaya salad in the city, but Somtum Thai Kitchen, which opened on the Portland State University campus in 2021, showcases lesser seen Northeastern Thai dishes like tub waan, a salad of hot and sour pork livers tossed with herbs, and vegetable soups like gaeng om gai that incorporate pumpkin and roasted rice powder. Of course, chef Sirapob Chaiprathum also makes many versions of the namesake dish, some that pair shredded papaya with fermented fish sauce and field crabs and others that add salted duck egg and cherry tomatoes. The restaurant is open for dining in, takeout, and delivery.

Siam Umami

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This South Corbett Thai restaurant specializes in what’s known as “royal Thai cuisine,” including intricately folded dumplings and cracker cups filled with sauteed vegetables. That being said, many dishes at Siam Umami are ones distinct to the restaurant — corn salads wrapped in a ring of thinly sliced cucumber, or Anaheim chiles lounging in a pool of green curry. The highlights include violet-hued chor muang, dumplings stuffed with ground pork and peanuts, and the coconut-water-braised pork belly, paired with a swirl of coconut-whipped potatoes.

Mee Sen Thai Eatery

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A quick stroll down Mississippi will reveal Mee Sen, a casual restaurant with plenty of patio space out front and a cozy wood-paneled interior. Everything on the menu is a good value, fresh, and flavorful, with plenty of spicy noodle and curry options available. The best move is to get one of the restaurant’s customizable soup options, which come with a choice of noodle and deeply exuberant and acidic broths.

The airy and colorful Thai barbecue and cocktail brainchild of Akkapong Earl Ninsom, Eric Nelson, and Matt Vicedomini has been a popular dining destination from the moment it opened. Locals and tourists flock to the restaurant’s outdoor cabanas and buzzing dining room, sipping boozy slushies and shoyu-“spiked” cola while they wait for smoked pork krapao and brisket fried rice. The savory and smoky white curry, with islands of brisket burnt ends, is now a Portland classic, as is the earthy massaman with fall-apart tender smoked lamb shoulder. The restaurant also offers takeout.

A picture of a red bowl of coconut-milk-free curry with a single chunk of halibut, pieces of cabbage, and snap peas. The curry is served in an ornate bowl with a side of rice.
A tamarind curry with snap peas and halibut at Eem.
Dina Avila/Eater Portland

Zaap Thai

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Zaap Thai’s cozy MLK storefront was already becoming a takeout stalwart when it opened in 2019. The menu covers an array of Thai dishes from throughout the country, but the restaurant’s khao soi, a Northern Thai noodle soup in a curry broth with pickled mustard greens, is the absolute standout, deeply layered with spice and the gentle funk of the pickled greens. Zaap is open for takeout, dine-in, and delivery in-house and through third-parties.

View this post on Instagram

Khao Soi ❤️

A post shared by PRAEW SIRINAPA (แพรวพราว) (@psirinapaaa) on

Nong's Khao Man Gai

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One of Portland’s iconic chefs, owner Nong Poonsukwattana is a Bangkok native who arrived in America with $70 in her pocket and somehow still managed to open a food cart in 2009. The khao man gai is the thing to order, a deceptively simple dish of poached free-range Mary’s chicken, flavorful broth, aromatic jasmine rice, and its ginger-y sauce. Pros know to order the larger size with livers and crispy-fried skins, but going classic certainly doesn’t hurt. While the food cart has closed, there are now restaurant locations in downtown and inner Southeast, both with onsite seating, takeout, and delivery.

Hat Yai

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Inspired by traditional fried chicken from Southern Thailand, Ninsom’s truly unforgettable shallot-fried thighs and drumsticks are the things of local legend, thanks to a coating of rice flour, peppercorns, and fried shallots. Locals know to get the combo with the dippable curry and roti, though sleeper hits like the restaurant’s wicked-spicy Southern Thai ground pork are worthy add-ons. Both the Belmont and Killingsworth locations are open for onsite dining, delivery, and takeout.

Pictures of several trays of chicken, curry, and roti at Hat Yai, with a pair of hands holding ripped pieces of roti.
Fried chicken and roti at Hat Yai.
Christine Dong

Rukdiew Cafe

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This millennial pink Thai restaurant, serving blackberry margaritas and lychee martinis alongside bowls of pineapple fried rice and boat noodles, is far more than its aesthetics: The dishes here are dialed-in interpretations of Thai standards like saucy kana moo grob with hunks of pork belly, or guay tiew tom yum, a sour-savory noodle soup piled high with springy fish meatballs and ground pork. The restaurant’s khao soi may be one of the best in town, bolstered with chiles and aromatics.

Ninsom’s Paadee puts the spotlight on regional Thai comfort food and Isan food, including its Northeastern Thai plates and fleet of larbs. During the pandemic, Paadee’s takeout has been some of the city’s best, from the restaurant’s exceptional som tum dotted with dried shrimp, to the must-order at the restaurant at any given time, its tangy, porky noodle soup, ba mhee pitsanulok. It’d be criminal to skip the restaurant’s mango sticky rice, when it’s in season.

A white bowl of Ba Mhee “Pitsanulok,” a noodle soup with meatballs, pork, and chunks of chicken. The bowl is served on a wooden table with a black spoon, with dots of crushed peanuts in the broth.
Ba Mhee “Pitsanulok” at Paadee.
Nick Woo/Eater Portland

Chalunthorn “Yui” Schaeffer opened this tiny Thai restaurant off Killingsworth, where she makes pad kee mao with squid ink noodles and a version of krapao made with wagyu beef. The must-order item at Yui, when available, is most certainly its sakoo, a plump tapioca dumpling filled with a crumble of peanuts, radish, and crispy garlic.

Kati Portland

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Located on Southeast Division, Kati is a leader in vegetarian and vegan Thai in Portland. Ketsuda “Nan” Chaison’s restaurant creates flavorful, fish-sauce free dishes, thanks to the clever use of soy sauce and other salts to create new umami flavors. Though pad thai is a staple around these parts, it’s worth it to check out the nam kao tod, a crispy rice appetizer with herbs and glass noodles.

A picture of KaTi’s pad see ew noodles, which include yu-choy, carrots, and hunks of tofu. The plate comes with a bright purple flower as a garnish.
Pad See Ew at Kati.
Waz Wu/Eater Portland

Khao Moo Dang

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As a kid growing up in Bangkok, Thai Peacock owner Chookiat “Ham” Saenguraiporn had nostalgic memories of the namesake dish at Khao Moo Dang. Taking over the old Chiang Mai location, this simply adorned counter service spot combines thinly sliced five spice pork, crispy belly, boiled egg, rice, and Chinese sausage, topping them with a fragrant sauce. The result is savory and sweet, tender and crunchy, all while being satisfyingly comforting. The menu has since expanded to include a wide variety of stellar soups, from wonton tom yum to tom kha loaded with pork loin and belly.

An overhead picture of Khao Moo Dang, a dish of pork belly, five-spice pork, boiled egg, rice, and Chinese sausage with pickles on the side. The dish comes smothered in a sweet red sauce.
Khao Moo Dang.
Nick Woo/Eater Portland

Farmhouse Kitchen Thai Cuisine

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This Thai and Lao restaurant with Hawthorne and Pearl locations generated buzz during the pandemic with its takeout smorgasbord, the Little Lao Table. That family-sized feast has been retired, but Farmhouse Kitchen still fills Instagram feeds with the fiery volcano Cup Noodles, garnished with fried basil and a monstrous short rib bone atop the overflowing styrofoam container. Skip the noodles in favor of short ribs doused in Panang curry, or a crispy roasted duck served with a dome of sky blue rice.

Khun Pic's Bahn Thai

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Khun Pic’s is a silly, magical place, an ornate and faded converted house-turned-Thai restaurant with colorful characters and celebratory flavors. No, the restaurant doesn’t take cards, and it’s only open for about three hours for half the week; still, the restaurant’s lightly fried catfish, delicate in a chili garlic sauce, is a lovely companion to a lively som tum.

Nakhon Sawan Thai Restaurant

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This Richmond Thai restaurant has all of the classics covered, but it also features little twists like the photo-worthy tom yum made with blue butterfly pea flower noodles and salads featuring fried chicken chunks and sliced pork, as well as the pad kee mao, which can be made with yakisoba in lieu of the traditional wide rice noodles. The tender roasted duck over rice or egg noodles is a standout that nods to the Chinese culinary influence in Thai cooking.

Lily Market

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For anyone who loves the ability to get Thai and Lao takeout while also stocking their pantry with Asian goods, Gateway’s Lily Market is a must-try hybrid operation. Visit the deli counter near the Halsey Street entrance for a rotating selection of steam tray curries, stir-fries, and grilled Thai sausages. The deli’s funky Lao papaya salad, fresh salad rolls, or rice-based sweets are all must-orders.

Sa Bai Thai Cuisine

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This strip mall Thai restaurant is a neighborhood favorite for the classics: takeout dinners of saucy pad kee mao, extra-large salad rolls, bright papaya salad, and a handful of curries. For those seeking something a little different from the standards, the restaurant’s red duck curry, pairing smoked duck with pineapple, is a worthy diversion.

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Phuket Cafe

Akkapong Earl Ninsom, arguably Portland’s most beloved Thai restaurateur, owns several of the restaurants on this map, and Phuket Cafe — his youngest — is yet another jewel in his crown. With his more recent restaurants, Ninsom has become more freewheeling in his approach to food, serving dishes like “Thai paella” with mussels and flavors reminiscent of tom yum. Thinly sliced striped bass, accompanied by peanut brittle crumble and mint, may be the breakout hit on the menu, but any meal at Phuket Cafe must end with the restaurant’s elaborate shaved ice desserts.

Langbaan

Ninsom’s Phuket Cafe now houses the outstanding Thai supper club Langbaan, which previously hid in a back room behind a bookcase at his other restaurant, Paadee. Menus change frequently, pulling inspiration from historic menus and regions of Thailand. That being said, many of its greatest hits remain on the menu year-round, including the miang som, dots of cara cara jewels and shrimp sitting on a betel leaf with fish sauce caramel, or the kanom krok, Hokkaido scallop swimming in a coconut cream sauce within a crispy rice cup. The full tasting menu is $125 per person, with reservations available via Resy.

Somtum Thai Kitchen

It’s not hard to find Isan staples like larb and papaya salad in the city, but Somtum Thai Kitchen, which opened on the Portland State University campus in 2021, showcases lesser seen Northeastern Thai dishes like tub waan, a salad of hot and sour pork livers tossed with herbs, and vegetable soups like gaeng om gai that incorporate pumpkin and roasted rice powder. Of course, chef Sirapob Chaiprathum also makes many versions of the namesake dish, some that pair shredded papaya with fermented fish sauce and field crabs and others that add salted duck egg and cherry tomatoes. The restaurant is open for dining in, takeout, and delivery.

Siam Umami

This South Corbett Thai restaurant specializes in what’s known as “royal Thai cuisine,” including intricately folded dumplings and cracker cups filled with sauteed vegetables. That being said, many dishes at Siam Umami are ones distinct to the restaurant — corn salads wrapped in a ring of thinly sliced cucumber, or Anaheim chiles lounging in a pool of green curry. The highlights include violet-hued chor muang, dumplings stuffed with ground pork and peanuts, and the coconut-water-braised pork belly, paired with a swirl of coconut-whipped potatoes.

Mee Sen Thai Eatery

A quick stroll down Mississippi will reveal Mee Sen, a casual restaurant with plenty of patio space out front and a cozy wood-paneled interior. Everything on the menu is a good value, fresh, and flavorful, with plenty of spicy noodle and curry options available. The best move is to get one of the restaurant’s customizable soup options, which come with a choice of noodle and deeply exuberant and acidic broths.

Eem

A picture of a red bowl of coconut-milk-free curry with a single chunk of halibut, pieces of cabbage, and snap peas. The curry is served in an ornate bowl with a side of rice.
A tamarind curry with snap peas and halibut at Eem.
Dina Avila/Eater Portland

The airy and colorful Thai barbecue and cocktail brainchild of Akkapong Earl Ninsom, Eric Nelson, and Matt Vicedomini has been a popular dining destination from the moment it opened. Locals and tourists flock to the restaurant’s outdoor cabanas and buzzing dining room, sipping boozy slushies and shoyu-“spiked” cola while they wait for smoked pork krapao and brisket fried rice. The savory and smoky white curry, with islands of brisket burnt ends, is now a Portland classic, as is the earthy massaman with fall-apart tender smoked lamb shoulder. The restaurant also offers takeout.

A picture of a red bowl of coconut-milk-free curry with a single chunk of halibut, pieces of cabbage, and snap peas. The curry is served in an ornate bowl with a side of rice.
A tamarind curry with snap peas and halibut at Eem.
Dina Avila/Eater Portland

Zaap Thai

Zaap Thai’s cozy MLK storefront was already becoming a takeout stalwart when it opened in 2019. The menu covers an array of Thai dishes from throughout the country, but the restaurant’s khao soi, a Northern Thai noodle soup in a curry broth with pickled mustard greens, is the absolute standout, deeply layered with spice and the gentle funk of the pickled greens. Zaap is open for takeout, dine-in, and delivery in-house and through third-parties.

View this post on Instagram

Khao Soi ❤️

A post shared by PRAEW SIRINAPA (แพรวพราว) (@psirinapaaa) on

Nong's Khao Man Gai

One of Portland’s iconic chefs, owner Nong Poonsukwattana is a Bangkok native who arrived in America with $70 in her pocket and somehow still managed to open a food cart in 2009. The khao man gai is the thing to order, a deceptively simple dish of poached free-range Mary’s chicken, flavorful broth, aromatic jasmine rice, and its ginger-y sauce. Pros know to order the larger size with livers and crispy-fried skins, but going classic certainly doesn’t hurt. While the food cart has closed, there are now restaurant locations in downtown and inner Southeast, both with onsite seating, takeout, and delivery.

Hat Yai

Pictures of several trays of chicken, curry, and roti at Hat Yai, with a pair of hands holding ripped pieces of roti.
Fried chicken and roti at Hat Yai.
Christine Dong

Inspired by traditional fried chicken from Southern Thailand, Ninsom’s truly unforgettable shallot-fried thighs and drumsticks are the things of local legend, thanks to a coating of rice flour, peppercorns, and fried shallots. Locals know to get the combo with the dippable curry and roti, though sleeper hits like the restaurant’s wicked-spicy Southern Thai ground pork are worthy add-ons. Both the Belmont and Killingsworth locations are open for onsite dining, delivery, and takeout.

Pictures of several trays of chicken, curry, and roti at Hat Yai, with a pair of hands holding ripped pieces of roti.
Fried chicken and roti at Hat Yai.
Christine Dong

Rukdiew Cafe

This millennial pink Thai restaurant, serving blackberry margaritas and lychee martinis alongside bowls of pineapple fried rice and boat noodles, is far more than its aesthetics: The dishes here are dialed-in interpretations of Thai standards like saucy kana moo grob with hunks of pork belly, or guay tiew tom yum, a sour-savory noodle soup piled high with springy fish meatballs and ground pork. The restaurant’s khao soi may be one of the best in town, bolstered with chiles and aromatics.

Paadee

A white bowl of Ba Mhee “Pitsanulok,” a noodle soup with meatballs, pork, and chunks of chicken. The bowl is served on a wooden table with a black spoon, with dots of crushed peanuts in the broth.
Ba Mhee “Pitsanulok” at Paadee.
Nick Woo/Eater Portland

Ninsom’s Paadee puts the spotlight on regional Thai comfort food and Isan food, including its Northeastern Thai plates and fleet of larbs. During the pandemic, Paadee’s takeout has been some of the city’s best, from the restaurant’s exceptional som tum dotted with dried shrimp, to the must-order at the restaurant at any given time, its tangy, porky noodle soup, ba mhee pitsanulok. It’d be criminal to skip the restaurant’s mango sticky rice, when it’s in season.

A white bowl of Ba Mhee “Pitsanulok,” a noodle soup with meatballs, pork, and chunks of chicken. The bowl is served on a wooden table with a black spoon, with dots of crushed peanuts in the broth.
Ba Mhee “Pitsanulok” at Paadee.
Nick Woo/Eater Portland

Yui

Chalunthorn “Yui” Schaeffer opened this tiny Thai restaurant off Killingsworth, where she makes pad kee mao with squid ink noodles and a version of krapao made with wagyu beef. The must-order item at Yui, when available, is most certainly its sakoo, a plump tapioca dumpling filled with a crumble of peanuts, radish, and crispy garlic.

Kati Portland

A picture of KaTi’s pad see ew noodles, which include yu-choy, carrots, and hunks of tofu. The plate comes with a bright purple flower as a garnish.
Pad See Ew at Kati.
Waz Wu/Eater Portland

Located on Southeast Division, Kati is a leader in vegetarian and vegan Thai in Portland. Ketsuda “Nan” Chaison’s restaurant creates flavorful, fish-sauce free dishes, thanks to the clever use of soy sauce and other salts to create new umami flavors. Though pad thai is a staple around these parts, it’s worth it to check out the nam kao tod, a crispy rice appetizer with herbs and glass noodles.

A picture of KaTi’s pad see ew noodles, which include yu-choy, carrots, and hunks of tofu. The plate comes with a bright purple flower as a garnish.
Pad See Ew at Kati.
Waz Wu/Eater Portland

Khao Moo Dang

An overhead picture of Khao Moo Dang, a dish of pork belly, five-spice pork, boiled egg, rice, and Chinese sausage with pickles on the side. The dish comes smothered in a sweet red sauce.
Khao Moo Dang.
Nick Woo/Eater Portland

As a kid growing up in Bangkok, Thai Peacock owner Chookiat “Ham” Saenguraiporn had nostalgic memories of the namesake dish at Khao Moo Dang. Taking over the old Chiang Mai location, this simply adorned counter service spot combines thinly sliced five spice pork, crispy belly, boiled egg, rice, and Chinese sausage, topping them with a fragrant sauce. The result is savory and sweet, tender and crunchy, all while being satisfyingly comforting. The menu has since expanded to include a wide variety of stellar soups, from wonton tom yum to tom kha loaded with pork loin and belly.

An overhead picture of Khao Moo Dang, a dish of pork belly, five-spice pork, boiled egg, rice, and Chinese sausage with pickles on the side. The dish comes smothered in a sweet red sauce.
Khao Moo Dang.
Nick Woo/Eater Portland

Farmhouse Kitchen Thai Cuisine

This Thai and Lao restaurant with Hawthorne and Pearl locations generated buzz during the pandemic with its takeout smorgasbord, the Little Lao Table. That family-sized feast has been retired, but Farmhouse Kitchen still fills Instagram feeds with the fiery volcano Cup Noodles, garnished with fried basil and a monstrous short rib bone atop the overflowing styrofoam container. Skip the noodles in favor of short ribs doused in Panang curry, or a crispy roasted duck served with a dome of sky blue rice.

Related Maps

Khun Pic's Bahn Thai

Khun Pic’s is a silly, magical place, an ornate and faded converted house-turned-Thai restaurant with colorful characters and celebratory flavors. No, the restaurant doesn’t take cards, and it’s only open for about three hours for half the week; still, the restaurant’s lightly fried catfish, delicate in a chili garlic sauce, is a lovely companion to a lively som tum.

Nakhon Sawan Thai Restaurant

This Richmond Thai restaurant has all of the classics covered, but it also features little twists like the photo-worthy tom yum made with blue butterfly pea flower noodles and salads featuring fried chicken chunks and sliced pork, as well as the pad kee mao, which can be made with yakisoba in lieu of the traditional wide rice noodles. The tender roasted duck over rice or egg noodles is a standout that nods to the Chinese culinary influence in Thai cooking.

Lily Market

For anyone who loves the ability to get Thai and Lao takeout while also stocking their pantry with Asian goods, Gateway’s Lily Market is a must-try hybrid operation. Visit the deli counter near the Halsey Street entrance for a rotating selection of steam tray curries, stir-fries, and grilled Thai sausages. The deli’s funky Lao papaya salad, fresh salad rolls, or rice-based sweets are all must-orders.

Sa Bai Thai Cuisine

This strip mall Thai restaurant is a neighborhood favorite for the classics: takeout dinners of saucy pad kee mao, extra-large salad rolls, bright papaya salad, and a handful of curries. For those seeking something a little different from the standards, the restaurant’s red duck curry, pairing smoked duck with pineapple, is a worthy diversion.

Related Maps