The Most Popular Thai Dish in America: Ranking the Top Contender

Choose the dish you think is the most popular!

Author: Gregor Krambs
Updated on Feb 28, 2024 06:36
Welcome to StrawPoll, your ultimate destination for gauging America's taste buds! Today, we're on a quest to uncover the most popular Thai dish that tantalizes American palates. From the irresistible aroma of Pad Thai to the fiery kick of Tom Yum, Thai cuisine has taken the nation by storm. So, what's America's favorite Thai dish? This is where you, our beloved food enthusiasts, come in! We've compiled a mouth-watering ranking of delectable Thai dishes just waiting for your vote. Cast your vote for your all-time favorite or suggest a hidden gem that deserves the spotlight. Together, let's embark on this flavorful journey to discover the ultimate Thai dish that reigns supreme in America. Grab your chopsticks, and let the feast begin!

What Is the Most Popular Thai Dish in America?

  1. 1
    Pad Thai
    Takeaway · CC BY-SA 3.0
    This dish is made with stir-fried rice noodles, vegetables, and protein, all coated with a savory, sweet, and tangy sauce. It’s a favorite among Americans because it’s flavorful, easy to find, and customizable.
    Pad Thai is a popular and beloved Thai dish that is renowned worldwide for its delicious flavors and unique combination of ingredients. It is a stir-fried rice noodle dish that is commonly enjoyed as a street food in Thailand and has gained immense popularity as a go-to comfort food. The dish typically combines thin rice noodles, protein (such as shrimp, chicken, or tofu), eggs, bean sprouts, green onions, peanuts, and a flavorful sauce that brings all the elements together. Pad Thai is known for its balance of sweet, sour, and savory flavors, which makes it irresistibly tasty.
    • Noodles: Thin rice noodles
    • Protein: Shrimp, chicken, or tofu
    • Vegetables: Bean sprouts, green onions
    • Garnish: Crushed peanuts, lime wedges
    • Sauce: Tamarind sauce, fish sauce, sugar
    Pad Thai in other rankings
  2. 2
    This spicy and sour soup is made with lemongrass, chili peppers, and shrimp or chicken. Its bold flavors and health benefits make it a popular choice among health-conscious Americans.
    Tom Yum Soup is a popular Thai soup known for its distinct, spicy and sour flavors. It is considered one of the most delicious vegetable soups in the world. The soup is usually made with a fragrant broth, fresh vegetables, herbs, and sometimes includes seafood or meat.
    • Flavor profile: Spicy and sour
    • Ingredients: Fresh vegetables, herbs, broth, optional seafood/meat
    • Cuisine: Thai
    • Texture: Brothy with tender vegetables
    • Spices: Lemongrass, galangal, kaffir lime leaves, chili paste
    Tom Yum Soup in other rankings
  3. 3
    Green Curry
    Takeaway · CC BY-SA 3.0
    This curry is made with coconut milk, green chilies, and various herbs and spices. Its creamy texture and spicy kick make it an ideal comfort food.
    Green Curry, also known as Kaeng Khiao Wan, is a popular Thai curry dish known for its vibrant green color and rich, spicy flavor. Made with a paste of green chili peppers, fragrant herbs, and spices, it is typically made with coconut milk and served with rice or noodles. The curry gets its distinctive green hue from the use of fresh green chilies and Thai basil leaves.
    • Spiciness: Hot and spicy
    • Preparation time: Approximately 30 minutes
    • Main ingredients: Green chili peppers, Thai basil leaves, coconut milk, meat or vegetables
    • Flavor profile: Spicy, herbaceous, and slightly sweet
    • Texture: Creamy and thick
    Green Curry in other rankings
  4. 4
    Massaman Curry
    Takeaway · CC BY-SA 3.0
    This curry has a unique blend of spices like cinnamon, cardamom, and cumin, along with peanuts, potatoes, and meat. It’s a rich and flavorful dish that appeals to the American palate.
    Massaman Curry is a popular curry in Thailand that is known for its rich and aromatic flavors. It is a fusion of Thai and Indian cuisine, resulting in a uniquely flavorful and complex dish. The curry is typically made with a fragrant blend of spices, including cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, star anise, and cumin, combined with Thai herbs such as lemongrass and galangal. It features tender chunks of meat, commonly beef or chicken, cooked in a creamy coconut milk-based sauce along with potatoes, onions, and roasted peanuts for a delightful crunch. Massaman Curry is often served with jasmine rice, providing a perfect balance to the rich and spicy flavors.
    • Spices: Cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, star anise, and cumin
    • Herbs: Lemongrass and galangal
    • Meat: Beef or chicken
    • Creaminess: Coconut milk-based sauce
    • Vegetables: Potatoes and onions
    Massaman Curry in other rankings
  5. 5
    Papaya Salad
    Takeaway · CC BY-SA 3.0
    This refreshing salad is made with shredded green papaya, tomatoes, chili peppers, and peanuts, all tossed in a tangy dressing. It’s a light and healthy option that satisfies hunger without weighing down the stomach.
    Papaya Salad, also known as Som Tum in Thailand, is a popular Thai dish that is loved by many in America. It is a refreshing and vibrant salad made primarily with shredded green papaya and a flavorful dressing.
    • Main Ingredients: Green papaya, tomatoes, long beans, garlic, chili peppers, and peanuts
    • Dressing: A combination of lime juice, fish sauce, palm sugar, and garlic
    • Flavor Profile: A balance of sweet, sour, savory, and spicy
    • Texture: Crunchy and crisp, with the shredded papaya providing a refreshing base
    • Spiciness Level: Variable, depending on personal preference. It can range from mildly spicy to very hot.
  6. 6
    Pad Kee Mao
    Takeaway · CC BY-SA 3.0
    Also known as drunken noodles, this dish is made with wide rice noodles, vegetables, and meat, all stir-fried in a spicy sauce. It’s a hearty and filling dish that’s perfect for those who love spicy food.
    Pad Kee Mao, also known as Drunken Noodles, is a popular Thai dish in America. It is a stir-fried noodle dish typically made with wide rice noodles, various vegetables, Thai basil, and a spicy sauce. The name 'Pad Kee Mao' translates to 'drunkard's stir-fry,' suggesting that this dish is perfect for enjoying after a night of drinking.
    • Main Ingredients: Wide rice noodles, vegetables, Thai basil
    • Sauce: Spicy sauce with flavors of chili, garlic, soy sauce, and sometimes fish sauce
    • Spice Level: Typically medium to spicy, but can be adjusted to personal preference
    • Variations: Can include protein such as chicken, shrimp, beef, or tofu
    • Texture: Soft and chewy noodles with crispy vegetables
    Pad Kee Mao in other rankings
  7. 7
    Red Curry
    Takeaway · CC BY-SA 3.0
    This curry is made with red chilies, coconut milk, and various herbs and spices. Its fiery taste and bold flavors make it a popular choice among spice lovers.
    Red curry is a highly popular Thai curry known for its vibrant red color and rich, spicy flavor. It is made by combining a paste of red chili peppers, garlic, shallots, lemongrass, galangal, coriander roots, and other aromatic herbs and spices with coconut milk. The paste is then cooked with various ingredients such as meat, poultry, seafood, or vegetables to create a delicious and aromatic dish.
    • Spice Level: Spicy
    • Color: Vibrant Red
    • Flavor: Rich and Savory
    • Ingredients: Red chili peppers, garlic, shallots, lemongrass, galangal, coriander roots, coconut milk
    • Protein Options: Meat, poultry, seafood, or vegetables
    Red Curry in other rankings
  8. 8
    This soup is made with coconut milk, chicken, lemongrass, and galangal. Its creamy texture and aromatic flavors make it a comfort food for many Americans.
    Tom Kha Gai is a popular Thai soup known for its rich and aromatic flavors. It is made with a broth of coconut milk, lemongrass, galangal, kaffir lime leaves, and Thai chilies. The soup is traditionally prepared with chicken, mushrooms, and a variety of fresh herbs. Tom Kha Gai is known for its balance of spicy, sweet, and sour flavors, creating a harmonious and comforting dish.
    • Origin: Thailand
    • Primary Ingredients: Coconut milk, lemongrass, galangal, kaffir lime leaves, Thai chilies, chicken, mushrooms
    • Flavor Profile: Rich, aromatic, spicy, sweet, and sour
    • Texture: Creamy with tender chicken and mushrooms
    • Serving Temperature: Hot
    Tom Kha Gai in other rankings
  9. 9
    This salad is made with minced meat, fish sauce, lime juice, chili peppers, and herbs. It’s a flavorful and healthy option that’s perfect for those who want to watch their calorie intake.
    Larb is a popular Thai dish in America that originated from the Northeastern region of Thailand. It is a minced meat salad typically made with ground chicken, pork, or beef, mixed with fresh herbs, spices, and toasted rice powder. The dish is known for its bold flavors, combining the richness of the meat with the freshness of the herbs and the tanginess of lime juice. Larb is often served with sticky rice and lettuce leaves, allowing diners to create their own lettuce wraps filled with the flavorful meat mixture.
    • Origin: Northeastern region of Thailand
    • Main Ingredients: Minced meat (chicken, pork, or beef), herbs, spices, toasted rice powder
    • Flavor Profile: Bold, savory, tangy
    • Serving Style: Lettuce wraps
    • Accompaniments: Sticky rice, lettuce leaves
  10. 10
    This dessert is made with sticky rice, coconut milk, and fresh mango. Its delicious and indulgent flavor makes it a favorite among Americans with a sweet tooth.
    Mango Sticky Rice is a traditional and highly popular dessert in several Asian countries, particularly Thailand. It is made with glutinous rice, ripe mangoes, and a sweet coconut sauce. The combination of the sticky rice's texture, the juicy sweetness of the mangoes, and the creamy coconut sauce creates a delightful and refreshing treat.
    • Ingredients: Glutinous rice, ripe mangoes, coconut milk, sugar
    • Texture: Sticky and chewy
    • Flavor: Sweet and slightly tropical
    • Preparation Method: The glutinous rice is soaked, steamed, and then mixed with a coconut milk mixture. The ripe mangoes are peeled and sliced. The dish is typically served with an additional drizzle of sauce on top.
    • Serving Temperature: Usually served chilled or at room temperature
    Mango Sticky Rice in other rankings

Missing your favorite dish?


Ranking factors for popular dish

  1. Cultural appeal
    How well does the dish appeal to American culture and taste preferences? Is it a dish that is easy for Americans to understand and enjoy?
  2. Authenticity
    How authentic is the dish to its original Thai roots? A dish that stays true to its traditional form might be more popular among purists.
  3. Diversity
    Are there variations of the dish that are popular in different regions of America? Is the dish popular among different ethnic groups?

About this ranking

This is a community-based ranking of the most popular Thai dish in America. We do our best to provide fair voting, but it is not intended to be exhaustive. So if you notice something or Dish is missing, feel free to help improve the ranking!


  • 156 votes
  • 10 ranked items

Voting Rules

A participant may cast an up or down vote for each Dish once every 24 hours. The rank of each Dish is then calculated from the weighted sum of all up and down votes.

More information on most popular thai dish in america

Thai cuisine has been gaining popularity in America over the past few decades, thanks to its unique blend of flavors, textures, and spices. From the sweet and sour Pad Thai to the creamy and spicy Tom Yum soup, Thai dishes have become a staple in the American food scene. But what is the most popular Thai dish in America? To find out, we turned to our database of thousands of polls and rankings on StrawPoll. Through our research, we discovered the top Thai dishes that Americans love to indulge in. Read on to learn more about the most popular Thai dishes in America!

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