Second Helpings: Thai One On

Everything you could possibly want to know about Austin's Thai restaurants.


The weekly Chronicle feature "Second Helpings" offers readers the opportunity to sample tasty, bite-sized restaurant listings compiled from new and previous reviews, guides, and poll results. This week's entries were compiled and updated by Chronicle Cuisines editor Virginia B. Wood from their original publication date of June 26, 1999. When you need quick, reliable information about Austin eateries, check here.

Little Thailand

4315 Caldwell Lane in Garfield, 247-3855

Mon-Sat, 11am-2pm, 6-9pm

Little Thailand is a cozy family joint located east of the new airport where owners Dick Simcoe and his Thai wife, Surin, offer spectacular authentic Thai food in a funky, relaxed setting. Enjoy Dick's killer Thai Bloody Marys in the comfortable attached lounge while you anticipate the cooked-to-order specialties such as Surin's superlative rendition of the Thai national dish, pad Thai.

Thai Passion

620 Congress, 472-1244

Mon-Thu, 11am-2:30pm, 5-10pm; Fri, 11am-2:30pm, 5-10:30pm; Sat-Sun, 5-10pm

A sunlit atrium setting complemented by fresh flowers contributes to the lovely ambience of Thai Passion, creating just the right atmosphere in which to enjoy their light, fresh rendering of the cuisine of Northeastern Thailand. Thai Passion's convenient downtown location and classy atmosphere make it a good option for a moderately priced special occasion.

Classic Thai

200 Buttercup Creek, #128 in Cedar Park, 331-3810

Mon, 11am-2:30pm; Tue-Fri, 11am-2:30pm, 5-10pm; Sat-Sun, noon-9pm

The Classic Thai folks are down to one location, the popular suburban outpost in Cedar Park. The exceptionally fresh and delicious affordable lunch buffet is still available. Meat eaters, fish lovers, and vegetarians alike will marvel at the array of satisfying menu choices here.

Thai Village

6406 N. I-35, #1550, 452-3888

Mon-Thu, 11am-2:30pm, 5-10pm; Fri, 11am-2:30pm & 5-11pm; Sat, 11am-11pm

The detailed Thai Village menu features many of the same traditional dishes as other local Thai restaurants, but the cloth-covered tables and very artful food presentation create a sophisticated atmosphere in which to enjoy a classy but still affordable meal. And the service is excellent.

Thai Noodles, Etc., House

2602 Guadalupe, 494-1011

Daily, 11am-10pm

This cozy campus area joint is Satay's younger sibling, and it's a popular spot with the financially challenged college crowd looking for a healthy, filling meal on a student budget. The fare here is a good selection of Thai street foods including Thai noodle soups, dry noodle bowls, and stir-fry noodles. Unique Asian breakfast items are available on weekends from 11am-3pm.

Thai Kitchen

South: 801 E. William Cannon, 445-4844

Mon-Fri, 11:30am-2:30pm, 5-9:30pm

West Lake: 3437 Bee Caves Rd., 328-3538

Mon-Sat, 11:30am-2:30pm, 5-9:30pm

Central: 3009 Guadalupe, 474-2575

Daily, 11:30am-2:30pm & 5-9:45pm

Thai Kitchen regulars tell us that the food quality tends to vary depending on where founding chef/owner Toy happens to be cooking at the

moment, but this family of restaurants remains a perennial favorite among Thai food lovers. We prefer the suburban locations for dinner and find the newer campus-area outlet a great spot for healthy, inexpensive lunches.

Thai Garden

5517 Manchaca, 326-5205

Mon-Thu, 11am-9pm; Fri-Sat, 11am-9:30pm; Sun, noon-9pm

Though the menu here is not particularly large or detailed, it does cover most of the traditional Thai dishes at very affordable prices. There's no

liquor license, but you can BYOB and the take-out trade is also brisk in this far-southwest suburban location.

Bangkok Cuisine

9041 Research, 832-9722

Mon-Fri, 11am-2:30pm, 5-10pm; Sat-Sun, 5-10:30pm

Opened in 1986, Bangkok Cuisine is one of Austin's oldest Thai restaurants and boasts a longtime clientele loyal to its array of stellar vegetarian dishes. Available with or without meat, Bangkok's pad Thai is one of the most memorable versions of the traditional Thai dish to be found in Austin.

Thai Spice Restaurant

701 S. Capital of Texas Hwy., 330-0203

Sun-Thu, 11am-9pm; Fri- Sat, 11am-10pm

Thai Spice Buffet & Restaurant

2501 Parmer Lane, 821-1522

Mon-Sat, 11am-2:30pm, 5-9pm

This pleasant family of restaurants is owned and operated by women chefs Vicki Vicha and Orasinee Ratana-Apron. Both eateries have the same basic menus, offering fresh, fast, reliable versions of traditional Thai dishes. The buffet at the north location is popular with the neighborhood's business techies while West Lake families are fond of the southwest suburban outlet.

Lemongrass Asian Bistro

1310 RR 620 S., 263-2221

Mon-Thu, 11am-2:30pm, 5-9pm; Sat-Sun, 11am-2:30pm, 5-10pm

This sassy young spot has been generating lots of buzz in the lake-area community and in town, as well. Thailand-born chef Ped Phommavong considers himself a pan-Asian chef, taking the best dishes from various Southeast Asian cuisines and making them his own. His renditions of classic Thai dishes are first-rate, and he's a man who loves a challenge. If there's an Asian dish you're craving, give him 24 hours notice and he'll whip it right up.

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