Whether reliable neighborhood places like Thai Square or destination tasting menus like Little Serow — currently in carryout, a la carte mode — the D.C. area boasts a diverse selection of Thai restaurants the show off the variety of dishes and traditions the Southeast Asian nation has to offer. While suburban neighborhoods like Falls Church and Wheaton have a particularly strong selection of top-tier Thai restaurants, D.C. proper has its own strong scene with exciting recent additions like Baan Siam, in Mt. Vernon Triangle, and the Som Tam stall in Union Market. Here is a local selection of standout Thai restaurants, whether you’re looking for delivery, takeout, patio service, or a dine-in meal.
D.C. allows indoor dining at 25 percent capacity, and alcohol consumption is allowed until midnight. Many restaurants offer outdoor seating, but this should not be taken as endorsement for dining out, as there are still safety concerns. The Washington Post is tracking coronavirus cases and deaths in D.C., Maryland, and Virginia. More information can be found at coronavirus.dc.gov. Studies indicate that there is a lower exposure risk when outdoors, but the level of risk involved with patio dining is contingent on restaurants following strict social distancing and other safety guidelines.
Kiin Imm Thai Restaurant (Multiple Locations)
This Thai restaurant, with locations in Rockville and Vienna, keeps things interesting with options like a fried tofu larb, street food dishes like boat noodle soup, and specialities like an umami-packed pork belly and Chinese broccoli stir fry. Get takeout or delivery through each location’s own website.
Ruan Thai Restaurant
Wheaton is one of the best neighborhoods around D.C. for Thai food, and Ruan Thai is one of the reasons. Here, fried watercress salad appears alongside crispy deep fried tofu skin and spicy fermented pork. The restaurant has limited dine-in service (no reservations); takeout is available here.
Thai Taste by Kob
One of many examples of Wheaton’s impressive Thai selection (it opened in 2014), Pak Duangchandre and Max Prasertmate’s restaurant marries Thai classics like pad see ew with menu items like Bangkok noodles and nong gai mara, a mixture of chicken drumstick, bitter melon, bean sprouts, Chinese broccoli, herbs, and preserved cabbage in a dark chicken broth. Delivery through GrubHub available here.
This new addition from the team behind Sense of Thai has a particular emphasis on festive tiki drinks, including cocktails that are available for carryout and delivery (think standards like Three Dots and a Dash and riffs on zombies and mai thais). The food menu keeps the party going with a Thai-influenced pu-pu platter among a slate of appetizers, traditional dishes like yellow curry and drunken noodles, and even some Thai ramen soups. It’s open for indoor dining, and a patio is expected to start accepting customers when warmer weather arrives. Order online through the website.
This hidden gem in McLean specializes in Northeastern Thai fare. Chef Polasate Rodanant has a flair for presentation, serving regional specialties like spicy rice noodles with mackerel and street-style grilled cornish game hen. The whimsical menu includes an appetizers section nicknamed “Antithaipasto,” and a “Somtom bar” section full of papaya salads and other smashed vegetable dishes. It’s open for indoor dining. Takeout and delivery are available through the website.
A family-style dinner at Thai X-ing is a special experience in D.C. Customers who make reservations can expect a prix-fixe menu of homestyle Thai dishes prepared by chef Taw Vigsittaboot. A la carte orders can be placed for by phone for pickup or for delivery through DoorDash, GrubHub, Postmates, and Uber Eats. Along with its best-selling pumpkin curry, the menu includes a multitude of pad see ew options.
Thai Chef Street Food
Inspired by bustling night markets in Bangkok, this modern Dupont Circle restaurant comes from Bangkok native Pornnapa Pongpornprot and her oldest daughter, Chalisa Fitts. The splashy aquamarine-soaked restaurant is covered with ornate metal sculptures and neon-lit catch phrases. Best sellers include its Crying Tiger steak entree and beef and noodle soup. Lots of dumplings are now in the mix, too. Food truck-turned-Thai supper club Fat Nomads pops up here every Tuesday. Order takeout through the website; delivery through Uber Eats.
Aschara Vigsittaboot and Ralph Brabham transformed the original location for their neighborhood restaurant Beau Thai into BKK back in 2015. Noodle bowls dominate the menu, but the restaurant also has generously portioned appetizers, whether it be Thai sausage or fried tofu, and larger format noodle dishes like the interesting suki noodle stir fry with sukiyaki sauce and glass noodles. Spicy basil rice lives up to its menu description. Offering both outdoor/indoor seating, with takeout and delivery through Caviar.
Washington, DC 20036
Little Serow is one of D.C.’s best restaurants, period (the Mekhong whiskey-marinated pork ribs are among the city’s iconic dishes). Typically available only as a prix fixe tasting menu, chef Johnny Monis’s chile-packed Northern and Northeastern Thai restaurant is now operating exclusively as a carry-out restaurant, offering both set menus and a la carte options. A seven-course takeout tasting menu runs $110 for two; meanwhile, stellar items including catfish laap, crispy rice saiad, and Thai-style fried chicken are available a la cart. Order online.
Well-traveled chef Alex McCoy’s tiny Thai stall in Union Market that’s jam-packed with spicy dishes returned in March after a months-long break. Northern Thai street foods include a spicy cucumber salad and hearty curry noodle bowls (khao soi). Diners can enjoy dishes at picnic tables outside the food hall. Takeout is available through the restaurant.
Soi 38 came on the D.C. scene in 2014, with the goal of bringing Thai street food dishes to Foggy Bottom. Owners Nat Ongsangkoon and Dia Khanthongthip are natives of Bangkok, and part of the downtown restaurant’s charm is its vibrant design. Creative cocktails get matched with dishes like fried sun-dried beef, honey roasted duck, goong kratiem (crispy shrimp), and slow-roasted pork belly, a chef’s special. Open for takeout, delivery through GrubHub and limited indoor/outdoor seating.
Chef Jeeraporn Poksupthong relocated bustling Logan Circle standout Baan Thai to a much bigger new home in Mount Vernon Triangle. Now called Baan Siam, diners can expect the same unapologetically spicy Northern Thai dishes from Baan Thai. Khao soi, a yellow curry with crunchy egg noodles and chicken thighs, has enjoyed its own following since 2015. Other comeback hits include spicy green mango salad; tapioca skin dumplings with ground chicken, peanuts, and sweet fermented radish; and rice vermicelli in chile peanut sauce. plus an expanded lineup that represents specialties from Northeast, Central, and Southern Thailand. Pickup and in-house delivery are through the website; reservations for dine-in are here.
This restaurant from chef Seng Luangrath used to be known as Bangkok Golden — its name change to Padaek signaled an increased emphasis on Lao cuisine. But there’s still an entire Thai menu available at the Falls Church restaurant near Seven Corners, featuring noodle dishes, curries, and rice dishes like the spicy khao paad ka pao. Right now it’s open for contactless pick-up and delivery only (both available through the website). On weekends, Padaek heads to D.C. sister spot Thip Khao for a lunchtime takeover.
This Merrifield favorite keeps spice levels high if a customer desires. Standout dishes include most soups, a Thai play on spaghetti, crab curry, and the sen yai ladd na moo mug, which marries marinated pork, rice noodles, pickled pepper, and Chinese broccoli. Limited dine-in service is available; takeout and delivery through the website.
Consistency is one of the hallmarks of this Arlington Thai mainstay. Curries and chicken satay are popular orders, but the kitchen shakes things up with dishes like sweetened shredded fish and pig knuckle stew. Online ordering available here.
Duangrat's Thai Restaurant
This decades-old fixture, located off bustling Route 7 between Baileys Crossroads and Seven Corners, specializes in Thai street food and is one of the oldest in the area. There’s an extensive collection of appetizers and salads, and seafood aplenty, whether it be cod spiked with mango or an entire fried rockfish. Open for dine-in; call the restaurant for takeout or curbside pickup. Delivery available through GrubHub.