This year marks the second year in a row that Bua Thai has taken first place in the Best Thai category.
Perhaps it’s because this restaurant, located just off Jasper Avenue, is unrelenting with the flavours it can pack into just one dish. Nothing illustrates this better than the rice.
Bua Thai serves what is likely the best coconut rice in town. Be warned: It’s sweet. And the coconut flavour can overpower the more delicately flavoured dishes – so use the coconut rice responsibly. That being said, if you pair it with a strikingly sweet green curry, the flavours marry together quite well. Or try coating it in the phat phed kung (stir-fried prawns with mushrooms, eggplant, green peppercorns, red bell peppers, kachay root and basil, slathered in a red curry paste) for some spice to balance out the sweet. –Cory Haller
10049 113 St., 780-482-2277, buathairestaurant.com
This Thai/Laotian spot, located in the heart of Chinatown, made an appearance in Avenue‘s January issue for its excellent Tom-Yum-Gah-Tee soup. But this place is about a lot more than an excellent, spicy broth. You’ll find great version of Thai staples, like curries and, of course, pad Thai. The stuffed chicken wings, which are chock full of clear “glass” noodles, are a great way to start off the meal. I used to go to Boualouang a decade ago, when it was a real hole in the wall a block north of where it is now. It’s wonderful to see how it has evolved. –Steven Sandor
10569 97 St., 780-423-4207, boualouang.dtwn.ca
When it comes to getting your money’s worth, it’s tough to beat Numchok Wilai, a longtime fixture of the food scene on 124th Street. If you can get past the repetitive strains of Thai music – really, it’s the same few bars over and over – you can enjoy floral lemongrass soup, spring rolls and a solid entre for less than $15 at lunch hour. My personal favourite is the green curry; spoon some of the wonderful basil-and-pepper sauce over a bed of coconut rice, and you have one part sweet and one part spice, which offsets the rich beef or chicken slices. –S.S.
10623 124 St., 780-488-7897, numchokwilai.ca