SriPraPhai: Queens, New York
I lived in Bangkok from age zero to thirteen and only realized I took true Thai food for granted after I spent some time in the US. Yes, it’s true that there’s plenty of Thai folk working their culinary magic right here in America (especially in New York), but I’d given up hope for perfectly authentic Thai food until I experienced SriPraPhai, a little spot in Queens that made me miss home more than ever. The place is not exactly fancy, but that just adds to the effect, reminiscent of the Thailand I remember where the best food is at street level and won’t cost you much. While I’ve always favored beef noodle soup, that’s about the most basic thing on the extensive menu, which includes obscure items from every region. Go there once and take a Thai person with you. They’ll agree, the proof is in the spicy som tam.