Yum Thai

The measure of a good Thai restaurant is not necessarily from their Pad Thai… but for some reason it’s the first thing I order when trying a place out.  And, when I say “That Thai restaurant is great” it’s usually because I liked their Pad Thai.  It’s sort of silly, but it’s something people do all the time.  You recommend a place, based on what you like (and always order)- not necessarily taking into account what the person you’re telling, likes to order.

For some it’s the curries, or spring rolls, for me, it’s usually the Pad Thai.  Don’t get me wrong, I like a good green curry or Pad Si Ew, just as much as the next guy.  But Pad Thai is what I start with.  The go to guy.  If you can’t do Pad Thai… I’m probably not going back.

When I started this blog, I got a lot of comments urging me to go to Yum Thai, and I have to say I was not disappointed.  A small, hole in the wall place- it’s the kind of place you walk by 100 times, not sure if you want to try it out.  It looks sort of dirty from the outside, and they’ve got pictures of food in the window (never a good sign).  All you need is that one recommendation to get you to try it out.  Well, consider this your recommendation.

You order at a counter, and then can sit down at one of their 10 or so tables or you can take it to go.  They cook the food right behind the counter, just a few feet from the tables, so it can get kind of hot in there- especially during the summer.  So, taking the food to go might be the way to do it.

The +/- and a picture of my Pad Thai, after the jump…

Despite some pretty good looking other options, I went for the Pad Thai on my first visit.  Cooked fresh to order, it came out really quick- and piping hot, with everything I like to see on a good plate of Pad Thai.  Scallions sauteed in it, bean sprouts on top, and a wedge of lime to tie the whole thing together.

Pad Thai can come in various different ways (dry vs wet, sweet vs less sweet, and sometimes spicy).  This Pad Thai was a little on the wet and sticky side (although there was a woman eating a Pad Thai next to me that looked a little dryer then mine- so it might be different every time).  It wasn’t too sweet, but it was defintely on the sweet side- and no spicyness.  But it came with a little cup of Nam Prik Kiga (Thai spicy red chili sauce) if you like your dish spicy.  All in all it was good, and not too expensive for $7.50.

I will definetely be back… and hopefully I’ll be able to bring myself to order something other then the Pad Thai.  Pad Si Ew… I’m looking in your general direction! (If you’ve eaten here, and want to recommend a dish for my second visit- feel free to comment below)


  • Good, cheap and quick Thai Food
  • Good Pad Thai.
  • You can take out… but it also has tables if you want to eat in.  No waiters, so you don’t have to tip, keeping the price down.
  • Made to order, so it’s real fresh.


  • There are tables, but this is not a sit down meal kind of place.  It’s small, and bare bones.  The atmosphere leaves alot to be desired
  • Like most places in Midtown- this is not the best Thai food you are ever going to have in NYC… but it’s pretty darn good for the area, price and convenience.

Yum Thai, 129 44th St. (btw. 6th Ave. & B’way), 212-819-0554


21 Responses to Yum Thai

  1. Red says:

    I have been eating at Yum for a while now, and I can also heartily recommend their basil chicken and Tom Kha Gai.

  2. Yossi says:

    If you had a quick wait, you were lucky. I try to go before 12:30 – I’ve had very, very long waits at peak lunch time.

    They sometimes have an excellent spicy ground pork dish written on a paper plate as a special. Recommended.

  3. M. Bouche says:

    The chicken with green paste is the best dish. The Tom Gun Yung is a little funky.

  4. JP says:

    The best item is the chicken with paste, which is NOT the green curry chicken — they are NOT the same thing.

    Watch out for the fumes from the kitchen and smile at the nice cooks in the back.

    I also like the free candies.

  5. Joe says:

    Went there today on your recommendation and had the Massaman curry. It was a little sweeter than how they make it in Thailand, but definitely a place I will keep going to!

  6. Austin says:

    If you like bad, bland, watered down, Chinese Style, greasy Thai food then Yum Thai is perfect !!

    I’ve tried pretty much everything off the menu in a vain attempt to find some Thai dish that actually resembles the food I’ve had in Thailand. It truely sucks that something as simple and flavourful as Thai food can be so badly butchered.

    Head to 9th ave if you have a bit of time to one of the many Thai places there as you can find far better.

  7. Samantha says:

    Try the beef noodle soup at Yum Thai. They have a wonderfully rich beef broth, with beef pieces, and light noodles. My coworkers down the hall always come over and ask what delicious-smelling lunch I’m having when I get the beef noodle soup.

  8. Inane says:

    Duck Salad. It -is- summer after all.

  9. anon says:

    Everything from Yum is a disgusting greasy mess. I love it.

  10. corey says:

    I had the chicken basil and my coworker had the chicken garlic. we both really liked our meal and enjoyed the $7.50 price and portion size. I’ll definitely be heading back again. thanks, midtown lunch.

  11. tyler says:

    yum thai is bland and terrible, as stated above. well, not TERRIBLE, but there are MUCH better thai options around. walk a few blocks to Yum Yum Bankok on 9th and 45th and you’ll be rewarded with a) GREAT thai food, b) nice atmosphere to sit down in, and c) the prices are actually a bit cheaper (lunch special is about $7 which includes two side items). trust me on this one.


  12. Pat says:

    Service is very slow. I found the food pretty tasty, but it was
    more of a Chinese style with Thai spicing (Ginger Pork).
    A bit pricy for the portion size.

  13. RRica says:

    Love the food-anyone who says otherwise have something wrong with their tastebuds. Everyone thinks their a food critic talking about authenticity-wake up you’re in America, if you want authentic, go to Thailand. If you like the smell and taste of good food based on what your tongue tells you, then go to this place. I love the Chicken Basil and the Beef Fried Rice.

  14. Josh says:

    Went I want Thai, it’s a cross between this place and Red Lantern on 37th and 5th.

    Both are great, both have excellent pad thai, but the best thing here is the Shumai appetizer. It’s a little pricy but so, so good.

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