Pok Pok Ny
It would take a hugely concerted effort to stand out from the hundreds of Thai restaurants found in New York. Or, it would take Pok Pok Ny: a restaurant so good that it counts among our favourite eateries in the city, full stop.
Opened by Chef Andy Ricker, who’s spent years trawling across Thailand and sampling its regional specialities, the restaurant is a Portland, OR transplant. There, Pok Pok was famous for its spicy, addictive chicken wings, which also show up on the menu here. They’re delicious, but aren’t the standout: there are just too many other exceptional plates. Don’t come expecting Americanised staples like green chicken curry or pad see-ew: instead, be ready to sample dishes largely from the north of the country, laced with chilli and other unidentifiable spices, virtually free of coconut milk. The food is more flavourful than you thought possible.
The downside of all this is that Pok Pok Ny is hardly a well-kept secret: crowds spill onto the pavement in hour-long queues to get into the dining room. If the wait is over-long, relax in the adjacent Whiskey Soda Lounge Ny, or head to the Lower East Side for the smaller, snackier Pok Pok Phat Thai. Or do as we do: cultivate a bit of patience.