In my surveys over the years, this question has received more votes than any other category. No so for 2015’s Best Thai Restaurant in Portland. Perhaps Portlanders are getting more sophisticated, and experiencing other cuisines as more diverse restaurants open. I am glad interests seem to be evening out.
In the 2011 poll, Pok Pok took an impressive 43% of the vote, but in those days the competition was not nearly as strong as it is today. This year they dropped to a very respectable 26%, but other restaurants have come in and eaten away at their margins – including Sen Yai, which is also owned by Andy Ricker. I was struck that previous winners Mee Sen and Red Onion didn’t even crack the top ten, placing at #11 and #17 respectively.
This may be the first of the 2015 surveys where I completely agree with the top five choices, though I’m not sure I would put Pok Pok above LangBaan. On the other hand, the latter doesn’t have reservations available until next fall, so it is just as well. Depending on whether you want the simple menu of Nong’s or the wider variety of PaaDee, I might switch their placement. I received 48 comments about this category, most saying how difficult it was to choose between the top three.
1343 votes cast –
1. Pok Pok – 26% of the vote.
2. LangBaan – 9%
This tiny space is the “it” Portland restaurant right now, with reservations booked until at least October 2015. You can get on a Notify Me list via the reservations panel on their website.
- 6 Southeast 28th Ave., Portland, OR 97214 Map (971) 344-2564
3. Chiang Mai – 6.15%
- 3145 SE Hawthorne Blvd Portland 97214 Map
4. Nong’s Khao Man Gai – 6.15%
- 609 Southeast Ankeny St. Portland, OR97214 Map (503) 740-2907
4. Paadee – 5%
- 6 Southeast 28th Ave. Portland, OR 97214 Map (503) 360-1453
5. Sen Yai Noodles – 4.1%
- 3384 Southeast Division St. Portland, OR 97202 Map (503) 236-3573
6. Cha’Ba Thai – 3.5%
I’ve never understood why this restaurant is so popular. I’ve always experienced average food and mediocre food here.
- 3024 Northeast Alberta St. Portland, OR 97211 Map (503) 719-6917
- 5810 NE Sandy Blvd Portland, OR 97213 Map (503) 282-3970
- 2013: Pok Pok, Chaing Mai, Red Onion Thai
- 2012: Pok Pok, Chiang Mai, Cha Ba Thai, Red Onion Thai, Mee Sen
- 2011: Pok Pok, Red Onion Thai, Chiang Mai
My favorite comments:
- I had a millipede in my pad kee mow recently at Tuk Tuk. Never never again.
- I think K.P’s [Kuhn Pics?] food is great but I’m not always ready for the side of marital strife it comes with.
- I see Pa Dee, Nong’s, Pok Pok, and Lang Bann as so different they should be in different catagories. I think they are equally good.
I think its worth mentioning that LangBaan is in a league of its own in regards to price. $60 before tip/drinks is astronomical for Thai and IMO not worth it at all.
The food at LangBaan was clearly made with a lot of thought and definitely delicious. But as long as a great Thai dinner is accessible at $12-15 a plate… One trip through LangBaan was enough.
Bitter sweet that my fav didn’t make the cut. They totally deserve the recognition, but I like having the place to myself!
I don’t get the lavish praise on Pok Pok. Sure, it’s good and all, but there are far better choices in Portland. I feel like they have captured the mind share and that’s about it. For my money, Kinara Thai Bistro in Goose Hollow is the place to go. Nobody can beat their yellow curry!
Kinara Thai is pretty great. I also like Thai Ginger on N Rosa Parks Way.
I love Thai food and have been to some amazing restaurants including pok pok, padee, and Thai bloom. I have a new favorite it recently opened but the owner has owned Thai restaurants in the area for over 35 years the name of this incredible restaurant is SIAM LOTUS Asian kitchen & Bar. It has over 100 menu items and amazing halibut dishes and an entire section of the menu is designated to a street vendor food.
Susan Bradley says
It always makes me nervous when I read “over 10 menu items.” I wish restaurants would limit their menus to 20 dishes or less and make sure each one is perfectly executed. :-)
PDX Food Dude says
I completely agree!
I do have to concur, though, that their food is excellent. I’ve only been for their happy hour, which is very impressive!