There’s really no doubt about who has the best Thai food in the Dallas area: It’s this tiny cafe in the suburb of Allen, mere feet from the new Watters Creek Convention Center. Ask for the “Thai menu,” a front-and-back sheet separate from the main menu that lists spectacular versions of dishes like tom sap (sour soup with pork intestines), pad cha (spicy stir fried seafood and vegetables), gra pow moo krob (crisply seared pork with green beans and enormous quantities of basil) and hoy tod (a pancake filled with mussels). Spice Thai Cafe is BYOB, too. If you can’t stand some extra heat, exercise more caution with spice levels here than you would elsewhere.
Top pick: As much as we love the light, fluffy fried mussel pancake, so delicate it’s almost like tempura, the real star here is the ultra-herby, fresh-tasting Thai salad of grilled shrimp mixed with lemongrass, lime, cilantro and big thick wedges of chile pepper.
The downside: Spice Thai closed in October 2020 for renovations, including some kitchen improvements and a fresh look in the dining room, but the redecorating should not take long and the restaurant should be open by January 2021.
Fun fact: In case it’s not enough to order off the Thai menu, a few items on the main menu can also be made “Thai style” if you ask. Practically, by the way, Thai style means modifications like using freshly chopped hot peppers rather than a powder or spice mix.