Take a top-to-bottom tour of Thai food with 4 New York City newcomers

Photo: SalaThai Restaurant/Yelp

Looking for your next great Thai meal in New York City? These new spots in Manhattan and Brooklyn will satisfy all your cravings. Here are the newest places to check out the next time you're in the mood for Thai food.


307 Amsterdam Ave., Upper West Side
Photo: SalaThai Restaurant/Yelp

SalaThai, located at 307 Amsterdam Ave. on the Upper West Side, is an extension of popular Upper East Side joint Up Thai. Its space features intricate wood carvings and painted murals.

Classic Thai appetizers like chicken and shrimp steamed dumplings have the crunch in their fillings provided by jicama (instead of water chestnuts) and richness by shiitake mushrooms. Entrees can be customized with chicken, beef, pork, veggies or tofu; but also with duck, mock duck, or fried fillet of branzino.

You can check out the full menu here. The restaurant takes reservations over the phone.

With a five-star Yelp rating out of 15 reviews, SalaThai Restaurant has been getting consistently glowing reviews from customers.

"The decor is warm, intricate, authentic and thoughtful -- someone took a lot of care in designing the restaurant," wrote Yelper Roni J., who was the first to review the new eatery on August 22. "The dishes that were supposed to be spicy, hit the mark and the rice and noodle dishes were flavorful and fresh."

And Yelper M. S. agreed about the decor, praised the service and called the menu, "More unique than your average Thai restaurant. ... The Thai iced tea was incredible and not overly sweet!"

SalaThai Restaurant is open from 11:30 a.m.-3:45 p.m. and 5 p.m.-10:15 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 11:30 a.m.-3:45 p.m. and 5 p.m.-11:15 p.m. on Friday, noon-3:45 p.m. and 5 p.m.-11:15 p.m. on Saturday, and noon-3:45 p.m. and 5 p.m.-10:15 p.m. on Sunday.

Kati Shop

162 E. 55th St., Midtown
Photo: Claire T./Yelp

Kati Shop is a fast-casual Thai joint specializing in grab-and-go curry bowls over rice plus a choice of sides. Located at 162 E. 55th St., Midtown, the all peanut-free and gluten-free restaurant offers dine-in as well as takeout and delivery options.

Diners can choose either jasmine or purple "berry" rice, then proteins like lemongrass chicken, cilantro steak, or sesame tofu. Curry choices include the massaman (cumin, cardamom, cinnamon, tamarind) and the Kati Signature (lemongrass, galangal, turmeric, chiles).

A meal also comes with a choice of two sides from six options, like cucumber salad, Sriracha cauliflower or larb mushroom. (You can check out the full menu here.)

With a five-star rating out of four reviews on Yelp, Kati Shop has been warmly received in its early days.

Yelper Claire T., who was the first to review Kati Shop on August 22, wrote, "I highly recommend their "signature curry" if you're a big fan of authentic Thai curry and you can handle intense spiciness. For me it was one of the best curries I ever had in town!"

"It's southern style curry and goes really well with cucumber salad," Yelper Sean K. wrote of the same signature curry. "One of the sides that I love is the larb mushroom. Amazing balance of all four flavors in Thai cuisine."

Kati Shop is open from 11 a.m.-9 p.m. on weekdays and noon-9 p.m. on weekends.

Chelsea Thai

192 First Ave., East Village
Photo: Chelsea Thai/Yelp

Chelsea Thai is a food-counter standby that recently moved from its longtime digs in Chelsea Market to 192 First Ave. in the East Village. It retains its menu and the ability to order online for takeout or delivery.

House specialties include the chicken and shrimp dumplings with water chestnut and carrot; the Pad Thai, with plenty of chicken and tofu; and the Kaw Pad Pu, a fried rice dish with blue crab meat, egg, and onion, garnished with cilantro and fish sauce with Thai chiles. (You can check out the full menu here.)

Chelsea Thai currently holds five stars out of four reviews on Yelp, indicating a strong start for the fledgling business.

"It took less than 30 minutes to be made and make it to my door, so that was a nice surprise. Both the chicken and shrimp dumplings, and the green curry with chicken were fantastic," said Yelper Brosia R., who was the first to review Chelsea Thai on August 3.

Steven S. added, "Highly recommend the minced pork over rice with fried egg. Simple but flavorful! A solid spot."

Chelsea Thai is open from 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday and 11 a.m.-8 p.m. on Sunday. (It's closed on Monday.)

Thai Festival

193 Smith St., Carroll Gardens
Photo: Chatchawan S./Yelp

Thai Festival is a Thai spot with a full bar, now open at 193 Smith St. in the former space of Spice, as we recently reported. In addition to dine-in options, it provides delivery, take-out and catering.

Diners should expect to find Thai classics like basil fried rice, pad see ew and massaman curry, along with fusion dishes like Sriracha fried rice. Vegan customers have plenty of plant-based options, like there's mock duck with basil, and tofu with rice noodles, radish, scallions and bean sprouts.

Signature cocktails include the Songkran (tequila, elderflower liqueur, pineapple, Sprite) and the Lychee Mardi Gras, with vodka, triple sec and lychee juice; the bar also stocks Lao beer. (You can check out the full menu and order online here.)

Yelp users are generally positive about Thai Festival, which currently holds four stars out of 30 reviews on the site.

Yelper Connie H., who reviewed Thai Festival on August 6, called the lunch special a good deal and said that the service was, "Incredibly nice and attentive. The server wore white gloves, which caught me off guard."

"The staff was friendly and took time to explain the menu," Yelper Jacob U. agreed. "The food has complex flavors with sauces that really pair well. ... The drinks are good, but hardly the bargain the food is. I'd place drink prices at about average."

Thai Festival is open from 11:30 a.m.-4:15 p.m. and 5:30 p.m.-10:30 p.m. on weekdays, 12:30 p.m.-11:30 p.m. on Saturday, and 12:30 p.m.-9:30 p.m. on Sunday.
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