5458 N. Broadway
Chicago, IL 60640
We have been meaning to try Jin Thai FOREVER…well maybe not forever, but certainly sometime soon after they made it onto the Michelin Bib Gourmand list in 2012. Every time we go up and down Western we looked at the Jin Thai sign longingly. We finally made it there on a particularly blustery and cold night, and we were certainly glad we did. The place is tiny, and they don’t take reservations unless your party is more than 4 people (we had 4), so we waited about 20 minutes for a table to open up on a Friday night. There really is no room to wait, which made it a little awkward as we loomed over other tables. It is also BYOB and also does carry out, so keep that in mind if it is a particularly busy night.
Jin Thai’s menu hits all the classics while incorporating some less common dishes, enough to keep Chicago’s seasoned Thai food aficionados happy. A well-curated and manageable menu includes a set of highly recommended curries, as well as one of the best crab rangoon in the city. On this trip, we stuck to our favorites: Lindsay got her classic Pad See Ewe ($8.95), a delicious version made better by the addition of a little something else in the sauce beyond soy. Maybe fish sauce? Whatever it was, it had a great depth of flavor. Matt got the Massamun Curry ($14.95), with chicken, potatoes, onions, pineapple, and peanuts. This was one of the more complex curries he had ever had. We also shared a plate of crab rangoon to start, and everyone agreed with the reviews: one of the best in the city.
Everything at Jin Thai was delicious, and the flavors were slightly more complex and elevated than we expected. If we lived closer, this definitely would be our go-to place, though we plan to visit it whenever we are on that stretch of Western. Get there early so you can get a table!