Bai Thong: delicious northeastern Thai food comes to San Francisco

banana leaf Bai Thong (“banana leaf”) is a new Thai restaurant on Gough St. (at Fell) in Hayes Valley. It specializes in northeastern Thai dishes (which tend to include lime juice), although they also serve southern Thai dishes such as red and green curries, and a few Northern Thai noodle soups. We tried the following dishes (and told the kitchen to make it very spicy) and we were impressed:

  • Larb salad with ground beef ($8): extremely delicious salad of ground beef with red and green onions, mint leaves, kaffir lime leaves, lime dressing, chilis, tomatoes and lettuce sprinkled with ground roasted rice. You can get larb with ground chicken or ground pork if you don’t like beef.
  • Lime Tilapia ($15): a big plate of steamed tilapia fillet with lemongrass, lots of chopped garlic, mushroom and sliced cabbage in a spicy lime dressing — absolutely divine!
  • Spicy basil pork ($10): made with Thai basil, chilis, red bell peppers in a delicate but tangy sauce.
  • Sticky rice with mango ($7): just like they make it in Thailand, the sticky rice (very densely packed) is topped with a rich savoury coconut milk sauce.

The Thai food at Bai Thong is much more delicate and remarkable than the dishes I have eaten in other Thai restaurants in the city. Bai Thong is an excellent place to have dinner if you are going to the San Francisco Opera which is only a few blocks away.

Bai Thong
298 Gough St. (at Fell)
San Francisco, CA 94102
+1 415 863 9335

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Bai Thong on Urbanspoon

About Esme Vos

Esme Vos is the founder of Mapplr, a travel site featuring boutique hotels, luxury resorts, travel guides and restaurant reviews. You can find her on and Twitter.