I was on the hunt for good Thai food in the Loop recently and turned to Twitter for help. Star of Siam was recommended most often but since I’d had its food before and the restaurant isn’t wheelchair accessible, I was more interested in the runner-up recommendation — Siam Rice. Located on north Wells at Washington, it’s nestled among fast-food lunch spots, and it’s the last place I expected to find a nice, sit-down, affordable place for dinner. But there it is! A hidden gem for theater goers (since it’s literally right around the corner from the Cadillac Palace) and downtown commuters.
We tried a variety of the menu — the vegetable rolls, the spring rolls, the pad thai, the coconut curry and the salmon — all of which were excellent and received rave reviews. I recommend going light on the teriyaki sauce so you can really taste the salmon, and the table agreed that the pad thai tasted best with chili sauce added at the table rather than spices added in the kitchen. The food was fresh, particularly the fish and veggies, the service was fast and efficient, and the entire bill for a party of four came to an obscenely manageable $56. Note that Siam Rice is a BYOB, but don’t worry if you forget to bring a bottle. There’s a CVS right across the street where you can pick one up, and the selection’s not so bad.
Siam Rice doesn’t take reservations, but you likely won’t have trouble getting a table in the evening. I’m told the place is regularly busy for dinner — it certainly was when we were there — but there are still open tables. Lunch seems to be the high traffic time. You can even place delivery orders online if you can’t get away from your desk. Even still, the dining room is nicer than what one would expect, lending itself to lingering. Unfortunately, you can’t linger too long because Siam Rice closes at 8 p.m. Luckily a number of downtown bars are near by, so it can be a good starting point for a fun night. Check it out! And thanks to our Twitter folks for the recommendation.
117 North Wells
Chicago, IL 60606-1801