Thai Restaurant Scene in the Bay Area, California

San Francisco has always been a city that celebrates its food and its restaurants, and it is home to some of the best eateries on the planet.

Millions of people flock to San Francisco from all over the world each and every year just for the opportunity to eat at some of these specialty restaurants. And while many of them come for the sourdough bread (the only place you’ll be able to find sourdough bread that tastes just like this) or the sushi and authentic Asian food, many of them are starting to find out about the incredible Thai restaurant scene that is exploding all throughout the Bay Area.

Thai restaurants have always been pretty popular in California, but they used to be relegated to smaller eateries, café style places, and food trucks/carts. Most of the Thai food served in San Francisco was street vendor fare, and though it was delicious, there weren’t all that many established Thai restaurants in the Bay Area up until just a few short years ago.

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Today, however, Thai restaurants are absolutely exploding in popularity, with a dozen or more popping up each and every year. Though it is likely that Thai food will never overtake authentic Asian/Chinese food, sushi, or specialty craft food as the heartbeat of the San Francisco restaurant scene, it’s definitely giving those specialties a run for their money right now!

If you are thinking about visiting the City by the Bay and want to enjoy some of these specialty meals at the best high restaurants in the city, you’re going to want to check out some of the hotspot locations we break down for you below!

Amphawa Thai

For one reason or another, the overwhelming majority of Thai restaurants in the Bay Area all look like carbon copies of one another.

You aren’t going to have that problem when you come to Amphawa Thai.

Quiet, unassuming, and almost “invisible” as far as decor and design is concerned, this just kind of looks like a restaurant – and unassuming, friendly, open and inviting restaurant that you might have in your home town – that just happens to serve some of the best Thai food in the Bay Area. You’ll want to try out the Angel Wings, any of their stir-fry plates, and especially the yum pla muk.

Trust us, if there’s only one type of authentic Thai restaurant that you’re going to visit in San Francisco, it has to be this one!

Arun Thai

A smaller restaurant and definitely one of the more upscale locations offering authentic Thai food with a bit of a twist, this just might be the most famous Thai restaurant in the United States and one of the destination locations that help set off the Thai restaurant revolution in the city of San Francisco.

With absolutely no affiliation with the restaurant of the same name in Chicago, the San Francisco Arun Thai location is as special a place to eat Thai food as you’re going to find. All of the meals here are 100% authentic, prepared by individuals that have either lived in Thailand or studied under someone that has, and all of them have elite level culinary experience and skills that help them elevate the freshest ingredients available in the United States to something really, really special.

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On top of that, Arun (the owner) used to be a sommelier with the Mandarin Oriental in San Fran, which means that the wine list here is top-notch and will be perfectly paired with whatever it is you decide to eat when you visit this restaurant.

If you are looking for a very interesting and memorable experience, want to taste some of the best Thai food in the city (and maybe even the United States) and aren’t afraid to open up your wallet a little bit, you’ll need to make sure that you have reservations to Arun Thai.

Hint – try the “drunken noodles”. You won’t regret it!

Benjarong Thai Cuisine

As close to a “takeout Thai” location as you’re going to find that actually offers authentic and incredibly delicious Thai food, you’ll want to try and visit the Benjarong Thai Cuisine restaurant if you’re looking to grab a quick bite to eat on the fly and don’t want to spend a lot more than $10 and meal.

Everything about this location is pretty simple, straightforward, and open, and though they have a bar most regulars know that you should go into eating here with a “grab and go” kind of mentality. This is the kind of Thai food that tastes even better a day after you leave it in the refrigerator!

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