Thai Food in Columbus

“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)

Click here for a map.

G.A. Benton of Columbus Alive offers an excellent review of Westgate Thai.


3277 Refugee Road, East Side

(614) 231-8787  (Call for hours)

Click here for a map.

I recommend reading the review of Bangkok at alt.eats.columbus.


3859 Refugee Rd., East Side

(614) 237-9310

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!


5 Responses to “Thai Food in Columbus”

  1. “Authentic” Thai cooking is very rarely vegetarian… except for a handful of monks and extremely religious Chinese. Bangkok is a food paradise with tens of thousands of restaurants and stalls on ever corner… but you’ll be hard pressed to find a vegetarian dish of any kind (except for fruit and deserts.) The heart and soul of Thai cuisine is fish sauce and shrimp paste, respectively. Although they are Buddhist and their faith proscribes the killing of animals… they love to eat so much that they come up with creative ways of circumventing that…like saying that the fisherman didn’t kill the fish.. he just brought it out of the water.. and it was already dead before they ate it.

  2. Emily says:

    Thanks for the insight, Brett. Pretty funny! It makes me think we’re fortunate to have restaurants that are willing to be so flexible about vegetarian options.

  3. Molly Maloney says:

    I agree with your 3 best and cannot pick a favorite. I do like the authentic Thai restaurants better than the American or Chinese versions. There’s something about the ambiance that makes the food taste better and the overall experience much nicer. Thanks for the post.

  4. Taikwon says:

    I have been to several Thai restaurants and I must say so Bangkok is the best one for quality, quantity and atmosphere hands down…