clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile
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

View as Map
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, selling sauces in grocery stores and developing restaurant empires. Portland’s Thai scene is more than its big names, however; the city and its surrounding suburbs are home to plenty of spectacular strip-mall spots churning out bright piles of som tum and comforting bowls of boat noodles, as well as glitzy restaurants offering inventive takes on Thai standards. 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.

Read More
Eater maps are curated by editors and aim to reflect a diversity of neighborhoods, cuisines, and prices. Learn more about our editorial process. If you buy something or book a reservation from an Eater link, Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics policy.

Thai Noodle Etc.

Copy Link

Thai Noodle Etc. is a stalwart of the Beaverton restaurant row at Cedar Hills, a homey space with a stacked menu offering every Thai dish imaginable. It’ll be easy to please a large group of diners thanks to the massive array of recognizable stir-fried noodles and curries, most of which are available with cheaper lunchtime pricing. However, those hunting for something special should opt for various boat noodles and ba mhees, hot-and-sour soups that come with thinly sliced meats, noodles, and colorful fresh garnishes that offer a contrasting crunch. The pumpkin curry is also a neighborhood staple.

Phuket Cafe

Copy Link

Akkapong Earl Ninsom, arguably Portland’s most beloved Thai restaurateur, owns several of the restaurants on this map, and Phuket Cafe 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 manila clams and flavors reminiscent of tom yum. Thinly sliced albacore, accompanied by peanut brittle crumble and mint, is the breakout hit on the menu, but any meal at Phuket Cafe must end with the restaurant’s elaborate shaved ice desserts.

Langbaan

Copy Link

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, a few 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

Copy Link

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, as well as others that add salted duck egg and cherry tomatoes.

Siam Umami

Copy Link

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. Many dishes at Siam Umami are ones distinct to the restaurant — corn salads wrapped in a ring of thinly sliced cucumber, for instance. 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

Copy Link

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. Here, meals start with char-grilled meats on skewers alongside tamarind-laced cocktails, followed by Thai salads like the glass noodle yum woon sen. 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. Eem has also added some of its original hits to the menu, including the dish that started it all: brisket and jungle curry.

Nong's Khao Man Gai

Copy Link

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 their KMG 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

Copy Link

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

Copy Link

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. The dining room here is stylish and warm and great for a date; still, when it comes to Thai takeout, Paadee offers 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 phitsanulok. 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

Khao Moo Dang

Copy Link

As a kid growing up in Bangkok, Thai Peacock owner Chookiat “Ham” Saenguraiporn had nostalgic memories of the namesake dish at Khao Moo Dang. 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

Khun Pic's Bahn Thai

Copy Link

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 battered, deep fried catfish, delicate in a chile garlic sauce, is a lovely companion to a lively som tum.

Nakhon Sawan Thai Restaurant

Copy Link

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.

Chick & Pig Thai Street Food

Copy Link

Like many Thai food carts in Portland, the chefs working out of this unassuming spot in a Woodstock gas station parking lot prepare some of the most flavorful food in town. Chef Mana Duangphumma, along with co-owners Sureerat and Jaturong Piraban, serve street food-style barbecued pork and chicken on skewers alongside bubble teas, as well as fried chicken smothered in well-known curries, complexly flavored papaya or mushroom salads, and other inventive dishes. Take your food to the nearby Woodstock Park on a nice day for a picnic.

Yaowarat

Copy Link

Yet another Thai restaurant within Akkapong Earl Ninsom’s larger Thai culinary canon, Yaowarat celebrates the neighborhood for which it’s named — Bangkok’s Chinatown. Here, Thai and Chinese flavors overlap: A single table may support bowls of gently spiced mapo tofu and beef shank yellow curry; salted fish fried rice gets its dose of heat from a chile-laden prik nam pla. For dessert, the toasted buns, served with cups of pandan and Thai tea custards, are a must.

Lily Market

Copy Link

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.

The Chef Thai Cuisine

Copy Link

Tucked into a suburban plaza, the Chef Thai Cuisine adds to the diversity of dining options within the stretch of Vancouver’s Mill Plain Boulevard — pho, Sichuan, and sushi businesses are neighbors. In this modern-yet-approachable restaurant, expect to find familiar fried rice variations, stir fries, and curries, but be on the lookout for other dishes that would be difficult to find stateside. The Hoi Tod is a crispy egg-seafood pancake served with a sweet chili sauce. The Tom Leng is an Isan-style braised pork spare rib soup — hot and sour, and brightly colored green thanks to a heaping amount of cilantro, makrut lime leaves, and lemongrass.

Sa Bai Thai Cuisine

Copy Link

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.

Thai Noodle Etc.

Thai Noodle Etc. is a stalwart of the Beaverton restaurant row at Cedar Hills, a homey space with a stacked menu offering every Thai dish imaginable. It’ll be easy to please a large group of diners thanks to the massive array of recognizable stir-fried noodles and curries, most of which are available with cheaper lunchtime pricing. However, those hunting for something special should opt for various boat noodles and ba mhees, hot-and-sour soups that come with thinly sliced meats, noodles, and colorful fresh garnishes that offer a contrasting crunch. The pumpkin curry is also a neighborhood staple.

Phuket Cafe

Akkapong Earl Ninsom, arguably Portland’s most beloved Thai restaurateur, owns several of the restaurants on this map, and Phuket Cafe 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 manila clams and flavors reminiscent of tom yum. Thinly sliced albacore, accompanied by peanut brittle crumble and mint, is 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, a few 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, as well as others that add salted duck egg and cherry tomatoes.

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. Many dishes at Siam Umami are ones distinct to the restaurant — corn salads wrapped in a ring of thinly sliced cucumber, for instance. 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. Here, meals start with char-grilled meats on skewers alongside tamarind-laced cocktails, followed by Thai salads like the glass noodle yum woon sen. 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

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. Eem has also added some of its original hits to the menu, including the dish that started it all: brisket and jungle curry.

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 their KMG 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

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

Ninsom’s Paadee puts the spotlight on regional Thai comfort food and Isan food, including its Northeastern Thai plates and fleet of larbs. The dining room here is stylish and warm and great for a date; still, when it comes to Thai takeout, Paadee offers 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 phitsanulok. 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

Khao Moo Dang

As a kid growing up in Bangkok, Thai Peacock owner Chookiat “Ham” Saenguraiporn had nostalgic memories of the namesake dish at Khao Moo Dang. 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

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 battered, deep fried catfish, delicate in a chile 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.

Chick & Pig Thai Street Food

Like many Thai food carts in Portland, the chefs working out of this unassuming spot in a Woodstock gas station parking lot prepare some of the most flavorful food in town. Chef Mana Duangphumma, along with co-owners Sureerat and Jaturong Piraban, serve street food-style barbecued pork and chicken on skewers alongside bubble teas, as well as fried chicken smothered in well-known curries, complexly flavored papaya or mushroom salads, and other inventive dishes. Take your food to the nearby Woodstock Park on a nice day for a picnic.

Related Maps

Yaowarat

Yet another Thai restaurant within Akkapong Earl Ninsom’s larger Thai culinary canon, Yaowarat celebrates the neighborhood for which it’s named — Bangkok’s Chinatown. Here, Thai and Chinese flavors overlap: A single table may support bowls of gently spiced mapo tofu and beef shank yellow curry; salted fish fried rice gets its dose of heat from a chile-laden prik nam pla. For dessert, the toasted buns, served with cups of pandan and Thai tea custards, are a must.

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.

The Chef Thai Cuisine

Tucked into a suburban plaza, the Chef Thai Cuisine adds to the diversity of dining options within the stretch of Vancouver’s Mill Plain Boulevard — pho, Sichuan, and sushi businesses are neighbors. In this modern-yet-approachable restaurant, expect to find familiar fried rice variations, stir fries, and curries, but be on the lookout for other dishes that would be difficult to find stateside. The Hoi Tod is a crispy egg-seafood pancake served with a sweet chili sauce. The Tom Leng is an Isan-style braised pork spare rib soup — hot and sour, and brightly colored green thanks to a heaping amount of cilantro, makrut lime leaves, and lemongrass.

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