Chanon Thai Restaurant in Salt Lake

Best Thai in Salt Lake City, Chanon Thai Cafe

Reviewed by Becky
What qualifies as a good Thai restaurant? Besides the food of course, it needs to be a little quirky with random decor, badly translated menus, handwritten signs, and waiters whose English is patchy at best.  All of this makes this ‘hole in the wall’ experience a gold mine for local Thai restaurants.

Beyond the food, I am always amused by the service and menus.  I love the small, bizarre little shop front that houses this cafe.  Its sign is sometimes flickering, a few letters might be missing light, and you never know if they are even going to be open when you arrive.  If they are open, the dining room is full, sometimes even packed.  Some might find these characteristics annoying or frustrating but somehow I find them endearing.Chanon Thai Menu

All of those funny quirks aside, what keeps me coming back to Chanon Thai?  The Gang Dang (pictured above).  A strange name, but this dish is seriously tasty.  It is a red curry dish with coconut milk and thai basil, filled with “zucchinis,” red and green bell peppers, bamboo shoots, eggplant, green beans and your choice of meat.  Perfectly sweet and spicy all at once.  Chanon Thai is known for their spicy dishes, and this one can be particularly spicy.  Your waiter will ask you what level of spiciness you would like and I recommend a 0-1.  As Texans we love our spice but we tried to be brave and ordered a 5 once and sweated our way through the meal.  We finished it of course but it wasn’t as enjoyable as it should have been.

Another side note you should know before arriving is they prefer for you to share your dishes.  Maybe prefer is not a strong enough word….they nearly demand you share and do not understand why you would want to order two of the same dish.  We’ve been told, “You are in Thailand now.  We share dishes here.”  This is totally cool with me, I actually love sharing and trying several dishes, but my husband would sometimes just like his own bowl of Gang Dang without having to share with anyone.

After a few years of dining at Chanon Thai, we understand the rules and we often share or get take out.  They still remain our favorite Thai in Salt Lake.  In fact, after a bad day the Gang Dang puts a smile back on my face.

Oh and if you want brown rice come before 6pm.

Chanon Thai Cafe
278 E 900 S
Chanon Thai Cafe on Urbanspoon

Comments (12)

  1. Ohhhh, how I love reading about this place. They opened right around the time I moved out of SLC and I've heard so many great things about them. It seems like you've really captured the vibe. Some of that Gang Dang would be loverly on this snowy NY day!

  2. I couldn't agree more with the Thai about sharing dishes! I also agree that badly translated menus are a sign of a good Thai restaurant – authentic indeed!

  3. We love man's favorite for sweaty hot heat! HOWEVER, it sucks that they are closed on MOndays and Tuesdays! What is 2nd best??? Auretha Callisonwww.IntuitionStyling.com801.694.8092

  4. Auretha,Unfortunately, we really don't have a back-up. Many people rave about Sawadee but we weren't impressed really. My Thai is really good but super casual, in a strip mall on 300 West. Their spring rolls are the best in town!

  5. Thank you for sharing and eat like Thai. We also offer a cooking class. Sat and Sun morning just let us know a week ahead, we will teach you how to cook Thaifood. Also can give you a recipies if you would like to. From "BAW" chanon thai cafe staff.

  6. My 2 cents- I like Thai Lotus (5th south, near the Leonardo/old Library) as a Monday/Tuesday thai fix when Chanon is closed.

  7. Jeremy, thanks for the tip!!BAW, I would LOVE to come to a cooking class and to have a recipe of yours to post on my blog. Please let me know what is the best way to contact you. Thanks

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