Spicy, savory, herbaceous, and sweet—Thai food truly covers all the bases. Luckily for Fayetteville, there’s a slew of excellent Thai restaurants in town, from hip food trucks to much-loved neighborhood locals. This vibrant culinary scene is due to the city’s sizable Laotian and Vietnamese communities. Here are the best Thai and Vietnamese restaurants in the city.
Original A Taste of Thai
31 E Center St #100
A longtime favorite on the Fayetteville Thai cuisine scene (since 2000), A Taste of Thai is as well-known for its food as it is for its ambiance. The cozy interior is outfitted with thick drapes, gilded mirrors, and golden Buddhas, and the intimate, twinkly-lit patio is a great spot to dine in warmer months. Be sure to sample the fried spring rolls and a cup of Tom Kha or Tom Yum soup with your entree.
Thai E San
2334 N College Ave
Thai E San’s lengthy menu of noodles, curries, and soups is delectable, fusing together Vietnamese and Thai ingredients to excellent effect. Their lunch specials (served Monday through Friday, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.) are affordably priced and come with a spring roll and soup. Wash it all down with a mason jar mug of potent Thai coffee.
1525 S School Ave
A Fayetteville favorite for decades, Thep Thai’s handmade Ozark-Thai architecture includes a front porch overlooking a frog pond. The building is surrounded with a bountiful garden - some of which is used in the kitchen. Diners can tuck into aromatic curries, freshly stir-fried pad Thai, and an array of Thai salads prepared with lime juice, Thai chili, veggies, and your choice of protein, among many other dishes. Save room for dessert: mango sticky rice, peach sticky rice, or banana rolls—deep-fried rolls stuffed with bananas, chocolate syrup, and sweetened condensed milk.
514 N College Ave
Thai Diner’s Asian fusion fare is addictively tasty. Take your pick from stir-fries, sushi, and specialty entrees like roasted duck with red curry sauce, served with creamy curry sauce, fresh pineapple, and juicy tomatoes. On a cold day, there’s nothing like a bowl of hot pot spicy coconut soup to warm your bones (and satisfy your taste buds). The friendly, efficient service here is as charming as the food.
Apple’s Thai Nee Kitchen
4782 N College Ave
This colorful food truck at Lake Fayetteville is a great place to grab lunch after a stroll around the lake. Their menu is a mix of Thai and Lao cuisines, with featured items that include pad Thai, pad see ew, fried dumplings, and pineapple fried rice. Your dish of choice is best accompanied by a refreshing Thai tea.
318 Nelson Hackett Blvd
At Siam, the vibe is casual, and the food is rich and full of flavor. You can’t go wrong with anything on the menu, but the saucy, indulgent drunken noodles and curries—fragrant with basil leaves, bamboo shoots, and spices—are outstanding. The shrimp and pineapple red curry, in particular, is the perfect blend of sweet and savory ingredients.
1189 Steamboat Dr #1
Family-owned and operated, Thai Spice specializes in spicy, well-balanced dishes that provide a carefully thought out taste of Thailand. Some of their favorite dishes include beef jerky with sticky rice, lo mein, pad Thai, and fried rice, although there’s a wide range of entrees. The soups and salads are also exceptionally good.
1241 M.L.K. Jr Blvd
Don’t let the no-frills exterior fool you. Sala Thai serves up excellent Thai cuisine that pushes the boundaries of flavor and spice. Start with the Lotus Wontons—crab meat with cream cheese, deep-fried in a Wonton wrapper—and chicken dumplings before devouring a mouthwatering curry or noodle dish. Their portions are generous, so come extra-hungry (or enjoy some mighty scrumptious leftovers).
2612 M.L.K. Jr Blvd #2
At TyPHOon, choose from several classic Vietnamese dishes, all of which are highly seasoned and skillfully prepared (and, not to mention, served by a robot waiter). The Pho Typhoon—a meaty mix of round steak, tripe, brisket, meatballs, and pho noodles in beef broth—is the star of the show, although there are also chicken and veggie broth options. The banh mi sandwiches are packed tight with anything from char-grilled pork to shredded tofu to chicken and all the fixings on crisp, buttery baguettes. Partake in a seasonal bubble tea to round out your meal.
Pho Thanh II
637 E Joyce Blvd
Pho Thanh II’s fresh, flavorful Vietnamese food includes banh-mi, beef noodle soup, and fried rice, with plenty of vegan and vegetarian offerings. Especially if it’s chilly or rainy out, the hot pot is a must-get. This vat of broth, meat (your choice of seafood or beef, or both), egg noodles, and veggies is a true communal dining experience, as it’s enough food for at least four people. Talk about a delicious feast.