Since coming to Chicago, I've missed my favorite Thai place from home. I hadn't found a place here that matched the quality of my hometown place. My favorite spring rolls and yellow curry seemed so far away. Every Thai place I went just didn't compare, and I was so close to seeing if they would send food halfway across the country.

Then, Kinnaree Thai Kitchen reached out: and I am a changed woman.

If you turn left on North Ashland, you'll walk by this hip Thai joint. It's a seemingly unassuming brick building, but inside is an amazing food experience waiting for you. The second you walk in, you feel as if you've transported into a classy restaurant. Thai music plays and the large windows let in the perfect amount of Instagram-worthy light.

Madeleine Mason

This Thai joint currently has a good standing on Yelp, Facebook, Google, Zagat, and is definitely on Chicago's foodie radar. Did I mention that everything is under fifteen dollars? You can get a huge serving of Pad Thai, Jade Dumplings, and a Thai Iced Tea for under twenty dollars. Swing by for lunch and you can snag an eight dollar lunch deal, and if you're a student at DePaul, there is 15% student discount. 

What to Know

Kinnaree Thai offers in restaurant dining, pickup, and takeaway and is BYOB. A fifteen dollar minimum purchase is required if you are ordering through GrubHub. It is a twenty-minute walk from DePaul's student center, but it is possible to take the bus for half of that journey.

Madeleine Mason

What to Get

The most popular dishes are the Pad Thai (pictured above), Shu Mai Dumplings, Spicy Kow Pad Basil,  and the Spicy Pad Khee Mao. The Pad Thai is a standard Pad Thai but extremely well done. It tastes fresh, and fresh lime juice brings it to another level. If you want to watch your carb intake, the Spicy Sam Tom Salad is an excellent choice. Unlike some Thai restaurants, Kinnaree does not water down their spice. This is a place for people who know and love authentic spicy Thai food.

The crowning jewel of Kinnaree is their Kinnaree Noodles, which are unique to Kinnaree and cannot be found anywhere else in Chicago. What makes them so special? Their spice. The noodles are wide and fried then cooked with tamarind sauce and served with basil, chicken, tofu, shrimp, carrots, and bell peppers. It's a party on a plate.

Next time you want to get some serious Thai food that's a bang for your buck, swing by Kinnaree. The staff is friendly, the restaurant is beautiful, and the food is amazing. It's definitely a Thai spot to look out for.

Note: Even though I received a free meal from Kinnaree Thai Kitchen, all thoughts and opinions are my own.