Some Like it Hot: Thai Cuisine in Indianapolis

How spicy is too spicy? These Thai restaurants are sure to challenge your heat tolerance with their delicious stir-frys, soups, noodles and curries. Let yourself out of your comfort zone and into the rich Southeast Asian culture that Indianapolis has to offer.

Kratiem at Siam SquareSiam Square is the only Thai restaurant not located on the far north side of Indianapolis. Modestly found in Fountain Square, this restaurant is a spicy blend of traditional and new innovations on Thai cuisine. I love trying new teas, so I ordered the Honey Chrysanthemum Tea, which smelled like it was about to blossom out of the cup. Traditional Kratiem was my favorite, a plate of tender stir-fried chicken with garlic sauce and Thai seasonings served with white rice, cucumbers and tomatoes. Fried curry puff appetizers, Drunken Noodles with green beans, tomatoes, bell peppers and chicken, and the Pad Thai served hot just to see how hot it really is were just a few dishes at our table. Thai coconut curries and seafood are amongst fried bananas and fried rice, proving there’s something for everyone at any time of day on the menu.

Sawasdee, like Siam Square, asks the question you’ll be asked with every entree order: no heat, mild, medium, hot or Thai hot? Well known for their light and fluffy fish cakes and the Thai noodle soup that can only be ordered at lunch, Sawasdee offers traditional Thai cuisine at a healthy portion sizes. Entrees are served with a choice of two sides (salad, soup or spring rolls). If you spy an orange drink on your neighbors table, don’t be afraid to ask your server for one. It’s Thai Iced Tea, a sweet and milky drink that will cool off your tastebuds from the spicy food.

Curry puffs

Thai Cafe’s reputation is enough to get me through the door, winning Indianapolis Monthly’s People’s Choice and Critic’s Choice Awards for several years in a row. Lime juices, cilantro, mint leaves, lemongrass and coconut milk are the star ingredients of this unique menu. I like that the menu states how to order “vegetables” vs a “vegetarian” meal, as Thai Cafe will not add any meat products (like fish sauce) to your dish if you are a vegetarian. The modest menu keeps you from feeling overwhelmed by too many unique dishes, which I appreciated. Enjoy lunch specials, stay for dinner or order to-go.

Many other Thai restaurants reside north of 465 in Fishers, Carmel and Zionsville. How spicy do you enjoy your Thai cuisine in Indianapolis?

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  • Sara Risley

    Just prior to reading this, I dined at one of my favorite Thai restaurants in my neighborhood – Thai Orchid. For lunch, you get soup AND salad, plus a small spring roll with your entree. Delicious every time.