Did I just go for an extra long run and want to reward myself? Yes Thai. Do I want something healthy and full of flavor? Yes Thai. Do I want an affordable Chicago meal in a uniquely decorated restaurant in a fun neighborhood full of unique condos and real estate? Yes Thai.
OK, so I’m probably having more fun than necessary with that name, but seriously, this is a good place. I first went to this restaurant located in Lincoln Square with my sister and brother-in-law on the recommendation of my realtor, Maggie Finegan. Our favorite part of the meal was the $4.75 chive dumplings appetizer with an intense soy sauce. The chives are sliced thin and are stuffed inside a warm pan-fried rice dumpling that essentially melts in your mouth. Paired with the soy sauce, they are a bit spicy, too, but the heat isn’t overwhelming.
This time I went there for lunch and decided to order the $11 chicken Panang curry with 100 percent pure coconut milk, green bell peppers, carrots, lime leaf, and steamed Jasmine rice. I asked for the dish to be prepared mildly spicy, but even with that low heat threshold, it was enough to warm me on this chilly day. The chicken Panang curry is even gluten free.
If interior decorating is your thing, then Yes Thai is also worth a visit. It’s not a big restaurant — it’s a long rectangle on the east side of North Damen Avenue, just north of Foster Avenue — but it certainly makes you take notice of the space. The restaurant’s colors are mostly white with some black, and the main accent wall is made up of partially extruding white tiles. Hanging from the ceiling are large, circular ceiling lamps. The seamless blend of textures and shapes makes up for the small size of the restaurant and gives you something interesting to focus on while you’re waiting for your food to arrive.
Like beer or wine with your meal? You’ll have to bring your own to Yes Thai, which is open Tuesdays through Thursdays from 11:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m., Fridays and Saturdays from 11:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m., and Sundays from 3 p.m. to 9 p.m. It’s located at 5211 N. Damen Ave. The phone number is 773-878-3487.
Victoria Marty has written for newspapers and magazines for more than 15 years and recently moved to the Lincoln Square, Chicago area. A frequent runner who loves learning and exploring new places, she has perfected the art of getting lost while simultaneously finding unique landmarks, boutiques and out-of-the-way nooks worth writing about. Her blogs are geared toward the newly transplanted who want to learn as much about Chicago as they can, as quickly as possible.