“This is Thai Thai food!”
That’s how a friend of mine describes authentic Thai food. There are restaurants that serve Thai food and then there are Thai Thai restaurants.
The difference is authenticity—not quality. Don’t get me wrong–there are some great Americanized places to eat Thai food in Columbus. Sometimes these more Americanized restaurants use the word “fusion” in their description. There is no shortage of places at which you can get a tasty meal, good service, and a stylish atmosphere.
Today, let’s look at the more uncommon qualities that come with authenticity. In addition to delicious food and friendly service, here are a few things you might experience at an authentic Thai restaurant:
- an earlier closing time
- lots of flexibility for off-menu ordering
- no menu online (no website either!)
- Thai karaoke video playing on the flatscreen TV
- a small, non-trendy dining room
- generous portions
- low prices
- plenty of vegetarian options (see comment section for more on this)
- a skilled and balanced use of spices
- there may or may not be alcohol served
Also, you may have to drive a bit out of your way for the authentic Thai dining experience.
If you’re looking for the charm of the unexpected that comes with authentic dining, then make the drive. Currently, I have three restaurants on my list of the best places for authentic Thai food in Columbus.
The Best “Thai Thai” Restaurants
3201 Sullivant Ave., West Side
614-458-1165 (Call for hours)
G.A. Benton of Columbus Alive offers an excellent review of Westgate Thai.
3277 Refugee Road, East Side
(614) 231-8787 (Call for hours)
I recommend reading the review of Bangkok at alt.eats.columbus.
3859 Refugee Rd., East Side
Open: 6 days, 11am – 9pm, Closed Tuesdays Click here for a map.
I recommend reading the review of Erawan Thai at alt.eats.columbus.
If you think there are others that deserve to be included on this short list, then share your scoop with the rest of us by leaving a comment below!