10 Can’t Miss Cozy Thai Dishes in Portland

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While Thai food is a Portland essential all year long, it is especially comforting during the colder months when the skies turn gray and the air is crisp. But in a city with so many options to choose from, it can be hard to make a decision on where to eat. Fear not! We have crafted the ultimate list of oh-so-comforting dishes from your favorite local Thai eateries across town just in time for Fall. So, get excited and get hungry! We dare you to try them all this season. 🍂

1. Crab Rangoon at Rukdiew Cafe

This is hands down one of our favorite appetizers in Portland! These are not your typical crab rangoons. Crispy golden wontons bursting with cream cheese, imitation crab, onion, and an extra special added flavor - curry. Yup, that’s right! That’s what makes these little heavenly crab puffs stand out amongst the rest. Don’t forget to dunk each morsel in the sweet and fruity pineapple dipping sauce. Each dish comes with four large rangoons making it a perfect dish for sharing with a friend… or maybe just for yourself.

Crab Rangoons from Rukdiew Cafe via IG (Photo by @FlavorMoth)

Crab Rangoons from Rukdiew Cafe (Photo by @FlavorMoth)

Tempura Asparagus Salad from PaaDee via IG (@paadeepdx)

Tempura Asparagus Salad from PaaDee via IG (@paadeepdx)

2. Tempura Asparagus Salad at PaaDee

Crunchy, savory, refreshingly tangy, and oh-so-satisfying, PaaDee’s Tempura Asparagus Salad never ceases to impress. PaaDee, a lively eatery located on SE 28th Avenue known as ‘Restaurant Row,’ has a long-standing reputation for its amazing Thai cuisine. With a name that literally means ‘to bring good things,’ PaaDee spreads happiness by filling locals’ bellies with modern Thai comfort food. This dish is one of our favorites on the menu. Combining perfectly fried crispy tempura asparagus, large grilled prawns, and salty, savory ground pork, topped with crushed peanuts, fried shallot, cilantro, and finished with a coconut-lime-chili dressing; who wouldn’t fall in love at first bite?

3. Hat Yai Fried Chicken from Farmhouse Thai

A massive meal made for two (or a very hungry one), this meal is the epitome of comfort. A Southern style dish featuring an impressive portion of fried chicken, topped with turmeric, herbs and crispy fried shallots, with sides of vibrant blue pea-flower rice, flaky roti, and a hefty helping of warm yellow curry. With so many sides and textures, you can really get creative crafting the perfect bite. We recommend tearing off a piece of roti, wrapping it around a morsel of fried chicken, and dipping it in the curry for a flavor-packed mouthful. With quality you can taste, Farmhouse Thai sources its’ fresh ingredients from local farmers’ markets and uses Mary’s Organic chicken breast. So no need to guilt yourself after finishing every last bite.

Hat Yai Fried Chicken from Farmhouse Thai (Photo by @zhangstah_eats)

Hat Yai Fried Chicken from Farmhouse Thai (Photo by @zhangstah_eats)

Delicious Spread at Phuket Café featuring Khao Mok Gai (bottom right) via IG (Photo by @iamshanut)

Spread at Phuket Café featuring Khao Mok Gai (Photo by @iamshanut)

4. Khao Mok Gai from Phuket Café

Phuket Café has caused quite a stir on the food scene since opening its doors in March of this year.  A collaboration of two taste geniuses: esteemed chef and restaurateur Akkapong “Earl” Ninsom (PaaDee, LangBaan, Hat Yai) and the King of cocktail creation Eric Nelson (Eem). The menu is inspired with flavors from Bangkok, the city where Ninsom was born, along with influences from China, Malaysia and the Middle East. Everything on the menu is to die for, including the tasty libations. One dish stands out amongst the rest - the Khao Mok. Tender Thai chicken is served alongside brightly yellow spiced biryani rice, topped with cucumber salad and pickled red onion, with a refreshing mint & chili vinegar on the side for drizzling; this dish will warm your tummy and your heart.

5. House Thai Peacock Curry from Thai Peacock

We couldn’t create a list of cozy dishes without including a warm and savory curry. Our top pick - the House Thai Peacock Curry from Thai Peacock. A divine medley of fresh veggies like broccoli, bell pepper, and carrot, aromatic lime leaf, and choice of protein, combined together in a creamy mix of House Panang curry & peanut sauce. Peanut sauce in a curry? Count us in! One bite and you’ll be on a train headed straight to Cozy Town! Don’t believe us? Order today and see for yourself.

House Thai Peacock Curry from Thai Peacock via IG (@thaipeacock)

House Thai Peacock Curry from Thai Peacock (@thaipeacock)

Ba-Mhee Tom-Yum from Khao Moo Dang (@khaomoodang)

Ba-Mhee Tom-Yum from Khao Moo Dang (@khaomoodang)

6. Ba-Mhee Tom-Yum from Khao Moo Dang

How about a bowl of tangy, delicious soup to satisfy your cold-weather cravings? Khao Moo Dang’s Ba-Mhee Tom-Yum playfully combines hot and sour Tom-Yum broth with a bounty of hearty toppings like five spice pork loin, umami crispy pork belly, whole soft boiled egg, fresh yu-choi, crunchy ground peanuts, and oodles of wavy egg noodles. The variety of flavors and textures keep things exciting to the very last bite. Pro tip: add dumplings and don’t forget the house made spicy sauce! Have a special event planned for fall? Treat your guests to a mouthwatering spread from Khao Moo Dang for a meal that will really impress!

7. Khao Man Gai at Nong’s Khao Man Gai

This may be the coziest meal in Portland. Simple, yet unapologetically life changing. Now with two brick and mortar restaurants, it is evident just how magical Nong’s Khao Man Gai is. What’s her secret? Quality. Nong starts by poaching whole Mary’s Free Range Chicken in a broth of water, ginger, pandan leaves, and garlic. That same broth, which marinates with leftover chicken bones and Chinese winter squash, is served as a side. The holy grail sauce is made of fermented soybean, Thai chili, vinegar, house-made syrup, and tons of ginger and garlic. The dish is topped with a garnish of cucumber and cilantro, adding a fresh element. Pro-tip: order the Crispy Chicken Skins.

Khao Man Gai from Nong’s Khao Man Gai (@nongskhaomangai)

Khao Man Gai from Nong’s Khao Man Gai (@nongskhaomangai)

Spicy Crispy Chicken Basil (bottom left) from Khao San Thai Street Food (Photo by @flavormoth)

Spicy Crispy Chicken Basil from Khao San Thai Street Food (Photo by @flavormoth)

8. Spicy Crispy Chicken Basil at Khao San Thai Street Food

The next time the craving strikes for something decadently fried and naughty, you need to try the Spicy Crispy Chicken Basil from Khao San Thai Street Food! Picture it; tender chicken lightly battered in rice flour, deep fried to crispy perfection, then stir-fried in a spicy special sauce with bell peppers and Thai basil. Is your mouth watering yet? Thought so! The flavors in this dish are so bright and satisfying, the perfect balance between sweet and spicy. If you choose to dine in, be sure to request the Tuk-Tuk booth, converted from a three-wheeled motor vehicle typically used as a taxi in Thailand. Or, instead, treat the whole office to a delicious lunch spread to keep those gloomy moods at bay. Order today.

9. Chicken Golden Sacks at City Thai

We don’t know what magic ingredient City Thai uses in their Chicken Golden Sacks, but whatever it is we are addicted! What we do know is these bite-sized delights are dairy-free, nut-free soy-free, and free of any judgment when you finish the whole plate within a matter of seconds. The perfect precursor for a decadent meal, these crispy wrapped morsels are savory, salty, with a hint of sweetness for balance. Definitely consider ordering these along with a spread of other delicious appe-thai-zers for that upcoming Halloween party you have.

Chicken Golden Sacks from City Thai

Chicken Golden Sacks from City Thai

Butterfly Tom Yum Noodle Soup at Nakhon Sawan Thai Restaurant (@nakhonsawan.pdx)

Butterfly Tom Yum Noodle Soup at Nakhon Sawan (@nakhonsawan.pdx)

10. Butterfly Tom Yum Noodle Soup at Nakhon Sawan Thai Restaurant & Bar

A delicious meal is a thing of beauty. This is especially true for Nakhon Sawan Thai Restaurant’s Butterfly Tom Yum Noodle Soup. The vibrant colors are as complex and diversified as the accompanying flavors and textures. A medley of red roasted BBQ chicken, minced pork, green Chinese broccoli, onions, cilantro, garlic, sprinkles of ground peanuts, boiled egg, bean sprouts and crispy wontons sit on a bed of purple pho’ noodles, which have been steamed in butterfly pea flower broth to give them their vibrant color. Cover everything in a hot and sour Tom-Yum broth. Buckle up, this is your ticket to tummy heaven.

Now that we’ve whet your appe-thai-tes, it’s time to get cozy and chow down! If you are planning a spook-tacular feast this fall and craving Thai food, use our link below to get started. Feel free to reach out if you have any questions and please give us a follow on social media @sporkbytes.

Happy Fall, Y’all!

The Spork Bytes Team

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