While the Hmong scene in Minneapolis is strong, the Thai scene in Minneapolis has struggled and been flooded by mediocrity (which might be a blasphemous thing to say for lovers of Chiang Mai Thai, Roat Osha, Tum Rup Thai, Sawatdee, etc.). True Thai, located in the Seward neighborhood, represented best in class to me for a long time, but it was a little out of the way, and is now sadly closed. My first visit there was definitely the first time I was impressed with a curry. It was exceptionally balanced and not sickly sweet with coconut milk as I had tasted elsewhere and made me fall in love with Thai food. I’ve also always had a weak spot for Amazing Thailand’s happy hour ($3 Surly Furious, and $3-4 nua sawan, jalapeño cream cheese puffs, and spring rolls are hard to pass up). On the other side in St. Paul, Bangkok Thai Deli is a long-standing establishment. However, I don’t often make it to St. Paul, and my only familiarity with decent Thai in that area was Supatra’s Thai Cuisine.
When the Bangkok Thai folks opened up Krungthep Thai (Krungthep is another name for Bangkok) in late 2011 right on Eat Street, it presented a new possibility for me. It didn’t take long for Krungthep to gain acclaim from local magazines, winning City Pages Best Thai Restaurant in Minneapolis 2012, but it took me another year after that to finally make my way there.
The location right on Eat Street is great, but this place blends in among the Asian storefronts. Inside, there is plenty of seating, and the dining area has a very open, spacious, casual, family feel. I didn’t capture many pictures because there wasn’t much to see.
My dining companion and I opted for a light lunch of the chicken larb and the typical pad thai. Both were excellent. The larb packed an impressive kick, considering we didn’t order it to the spiciest level, and I can handle a decent level of heat. Flavors were fresh and reminded me of my visit to Thailand. I returned and shared some fried rice and curry with a friend for lunch, which was also executed excellently and true to the authenticity for which the restaurant is known. I would also gladly return to try the hor mok that was so highly spoken of in the reviews.
Most dishes are around $10, with a few specialty fish dishes around $25, so for the quality, you won’t find a better deal.