Twelve best Thai restaurants in Denver

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Danielle Lirette
With the temperatures dropping, Thai food -- with all its fresh flavors and heat -- is sounding very appetizing. Thai Monkey Club, which Gretchen Kurtz just reviewed, is just one of the exciting new spots that's joined a line of favorite standbys. Spice junkies often quabble over the spots with the best pad thai, curry or tom kai gha in the metro area. Here, to settle some of those arguments and inspire new ones are our Cafe Society picks for the twelve best Thai restaurants in the Denver area.

See also: Thai Monkey Club: this place is hot!

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12) Thai Flavor
1014 South Peoria Street
At Thai Flavor, the curries are what shine, made by Surin Thanon, a native of Chiang Mai in northern Thailand, and served in a no-frills Aurora dining room. The star of the show is the panang curry--creamy with coconut milk and laced with the heat of chili peppers, tempered with fresh lime, garlic, and herbs, and dotted with tender cuts of meat.

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11) Thai Diamond Cafe
1560 Kipling Street
Among a vast menu of hot curries and a host of other traditional Thai plates, it's hard to go wrong. Complex, savory favorites like Pad Thai are coveted by the loyal flocks that return to Thai Diamond Cafe, along with comforting bowls of Tom Kha Gai, a hot and sour soup scented with lemongrass, swimming with chicken, mushrooms, and lime leaves in a delicate coconut broth.

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10) Thai Pot
1550 South Colorado Boulevard
This pint-sized Thai spot on Colorado Boulevard is about to move into some new digs: In January 2014, Thai Pot will move a stone's throw away from its current location, where patrons can still find aromatic Thai basil chicken, shrimp red curry, and drunken noodles, in a range of heat levels.

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9) Snow Thai
406 East Colfax Avenue
This Colfax newcomer has quickly been decorated with praise from the Capitol Hill neighborhood, and although the owner is from Burma, Snow Thai turns out healthy portions of Thai standards, like flavorful Pad Thai and spiced curries. To top it off? every entree comes with a freshly-made eggroll, on the house.

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8) Liang's Thai Food
16th and Tremont Street
This friendly downtown cart serves up simple, authentic Thai food to a snaking lunch line, and everything is made from scratch on Liang's one burner. The expansive menu runs the gamut from Panang and massaman curries to pad Thai, spicy sour soup and pad see ewe.

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Hunter Stevens
7) J's Noodles Star Thai
945 South Federal Boulevard
J's Noodles Star Thai crafts its dishes in a simple (and tiny) space that seats no more than a handful of customers. Still, they come in for traditional plates of larb, ground meat mixed in a spicy lemon dressing with onions, cilantro, roasted rice powder and mint, and a legendary pad Thai.

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6) US Thai Cafe
5228 West 25th Avenue
US Thai is actually owned by a Laotian, and the cuisine tends to favor northern Thai. The balanced offerings dreamed up in the open kitchen include habit-forming curries and noodles, which if you're not careful, can scorch your taste buds for your next few meals. Play it safe and order the medium heat -- it will still make you sweat.

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5) Udom Thai
7547 South University Blvd.
For staples like papaya salad, thom yum, and thom kha (plus chef specialties like pork belly with broccoli and addictive mango sticky race), Udom Thai is one of greater Denver's most coveted Thai spots, especially for Littleton residents. But for those willing to venture just a little bit further, it's worth the drive.

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Cassandra Kotnik
4) Wild Ginger
399 West Littleton Boulevard
Wild Ginger is one of a handful of global cuisine options in Littleton and a comfortable place to train your palate in the tastes of Thai flavor: an Americanized heat scale that ranges from mild to hot-hot is available across the board in all dishes, like traditional noodles and curry. Kudos to a more expansive selection of desserts.

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3) Star Thai
8048 West Jewell Avenue, Lakewood
Yet another nondescript strip mall gem, customers swear by the bright, complex green curry and plates of pad Thai, all customizable on the heat scale. And although the space might feel questionable, the Thai dishes, along with a small section of Chinese specialties influenced by one of the native Chinese owners, make the place truly shine.

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Danielle Lirette
2) Thai Monkey Club
102 South Broadway
4122 East Colfax Avenue
To many, Thai food is associated with a sweat-inducing heat, and at Thai Monkey Club they've made something of an endurance test out of this association, offering a six-level heat index not intended for the faint of heart. Whatever your poison, it can be cooled down with a refreshing papaya salad or creamy Thai iced tea.

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1) Thai Street Food
11650 Montview Boulevard, Aurora
Utumporn Killoran's works of food art made their mark on patrons when she began turning out her dishes from a cart on the 16th Street Mall. A few years and a move to a brick-and-mortar later, Killoran delights with plates influenced from her home in the Issan region of Thailand, from standby curries to the coveted noodle jelly salad, earning Thai Street Food Westword's award for Best Thai Food this year.



Location Info

Thai Flavor Restaurant

1014 S. Peoria St., Aurora, CO

Category: Restaurant

Thai Diamond Cafe

1560 Kipling St., Denver, CO

Category: Restaurant

Thai Pot

1550 S. Colorado Blvd., Denver, CO

Category: Restaurant

Snow Thai - CLOSED

406 E. Colfax Ave., Denver, CO

Category: Restaurant

Apple Ridge Cafe

3790 Kipling St., Wheat Ridge, CO

Category: Restaurant

J's Noodle Star Thai

945 S. Federal Blvd., Denver, CO

Category: Restaurant

US Thai Cafe

5228 W. 25th Ave., Lakewood, CO

Category: Restaurant

Udom Thai

7547 S. University Blvd., Littleton, CO

Category: Restaurant

Wild Ginger

399 W. Littleton Blvd., Littleton, CO

Category: Restaurant

Star Thai

8048 W. Jewell Ave., Lakewood, CO

Category: Restaurant

Thai Monkey Club

102 S. Broadway, Denver, CO

Category: Restaurant

Thai Street Food Restaurant

11650 Montview Blvd., Aurora, CO

Category: Restaurant


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64 comments
bdobbs7777
bdobbs7777

I don't know how Thai Monkey Club keeps getting all these good reviews, the food is not great, compared to Thai street food or US Thai or even J's. Very mediocre. But I guess hipster appeal > taste.

alumlerst
alumlerst

How did Thai Lotus and Thai Bistro not make the list?

OOFA
OOFA

US Thai is by far the best, the only competition is Thai Avenue in Boulder and maybe Liangs.

D Noe
D Noe

Wild Ginger is the bomb

cityparkmom
cityparkmom

Erawan Cafe on 8th and Colorado!!! Hands down best thai food in Denver. 

Vicky Nokes
Vicky Nokes

My fave's in Boulder: Khow Thai :-).

JP Thomason
JP Thomason

I've only eaten at one. And it was at Evans and Uni. "Jason's Thai"? I liked it. I'd recommend it.

Lance Nolde
Lance Nolde

I believe it comes down to the amount of soft, lanolin tissues they provide.

Nicholas Ashleigh Cvitak Vanek
Nicholas Ashleigh Cvitak Vanek

Pathaithai colfax & wadsworth. Best crab cheese wontons I have ever ate. drunken noodels are great! Hot, hot thai food-if requested. Only 8 per plate.

Katie Varney
Katie Varney

Yay for Thai Monkey Club! So happy to see that it is getting the attention that is deserves :)

Brandon Craig
Brandon Craig

Danielle, we should try all of these when I get home

Tammy Roop
Tammy Roop

I've had #4 and #9 def deserved to make the list !

Matt Pierce
Matt Pierce

There's a place just across from Swedish on old hampden called Taste of Thailand that is hands down the best Thai food I've ever had.

AnDrea Durden
AnDrea Durden

Mmmm that sounds amazing right now! I want some coconut soup!

Dylan Crosby
Dylan Crosby

Jess Crosby, I see mine on this list at #3 but where is yours???

Grady Hines
Grady Hines

Taste of Thailand is easily the best and did not make the list

NeedzMoarCowbell
NeedzMoarCowbell

Pattaya Thai at Wadsworth and Colfax deserves a nod here.

Ryan Davis
Ryan Davis

Surprised to see no Thai Basil. Thai Pepper 2 is amazing as well but they moved.

Jackie Brown-Griggs
Jackie Brown-Griggs

I can't believe the Taste of Thailand isn't on the top of your list! It's the best in town.

Joel Jensen
Joel Jensen

A curry is a curry...which one of these represents northern Thailand and will make a decent Khao Soi?

Jennifer Garcia
Jennifer Garcia

J Noodles is the best and the best customer service! Glad they made the list!!!

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