Thai Restaurants in Athens

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A huge statue of Buddha watches over the dining room at Surin of Thailand, although his peaceful gaze is subverted by complex curries, spicy stir-fried noodle dishes, and flavorful barbecue-chicken entrees a day in the making. Half chickens are marinated in Thai barbecue sauce overnight before being slowly roasted and grilled, then they’re plated with scoops of shrimp fried rice and reminders to chew each bite thoroughly, not matter who’s threatening to steal the flavorful dark meat.

Surin measures its dishes' spiciness on a three-pepper scale, where one is "spicy" and three is "Thai hot." Though most dishes fall between nonspicy and hot, a few earn their trio of peppers, including a medley of mussels, scallops, and shrimp with spicy basil sauce.

Another Buddha—actually, just a head—guards the sushi bar, where nigiri, sashimi, and creative maki rolls are born. Under the two Buddhas' protection, diners settle into leather seats or tuck into booths backed by ferns and foliage. Outside the stone-walled eatery, a patio seasons dishes with sunlight and refreshing breezes.

975 Airport Rd.
Huntsville,
AL
US

A huge statue of Buddha watches over the dining room at Surin of Thailand, although his peaceful gaze is subverted by complex curries, spicy stir-fried noodle dishes, and flavorful barbecue-chicken entrees a day in the making. Half chickens are marinated in Thai barbecue sauce overnight before being slowly roasted and grilled, then they?re plated with scoops of shrimp fried rice and reminders to chew each bite thoroughly, not matter who?s threatening to steal the flavorful dark meat.

Surin measures its dishes' spiciness on a three-pepper scale, where one is "spicy" and three is "Thai hot." Though most dishes fall between nonspicy and hot, a few earn their trio of peppers, including a medley of mussels, scallops, and shrimp with spicy basil sauce.

Another Buddha?actually, just a head?guards the sushi bar, where nigiri, sashimi, and creative maki rolls are born. Under the two Buddhas' protection, diners settle into leather seats or tuck into booths backed by ferns and foliage. Outside the stone-walled eatery, a patio seasons dishes with sunlight and refreshing breezes.

6213 Kingston Pike
Knoxville,
TN
US

Like two pristine streams meeting to form a mighty river, Thai and Japanese food merge at Lemon Grass Thai Cuisine & Sushi Bar. The chefs' creations range from panang curry to nigiri sushi. They also present a complementing selection of libations ranging from wine and beer to sake. To further cultivate their restaurant’s status as a culinary destination, the team hosts events in the eatery's party room, which is the least intimidating thing a room could possibly be named, right after chocolate-furniture room.

9117 Executive Park Dr
Knoxville,
TN
US

Upon walking into Prince Hookah Lounge, patrons are enveloped in hues of crimson that set off a sinuous forest of hookah pipes. Merlot-hued curtains draped across the ceiling and walls filter light from hanging globe lambs, casting shifting light across the lounge and through veils of scented smoke. Once visitors settle onto long benches or cushioned banquettes, they pop open BYOB beers or wine and pass around a hookah pipe's mouthpiece. The cool smoke from flavored tobacco rises past mounted TV screens, and hands snag bites from shareable plates of hummus or potatoes sautéed with roasted chili and lemon. In the kitchen, tzatziki sauce brims with cool yogurt and cucumbers near grape leaves stuffed with extra-virgin olive oil, mint, rice, and tomatoes like the backpack of a child who is not prepared for first grade.

1580 Holcomb Bridge Rd
Roswell,
GA
US

Creamy curries, drunken noodles, and sushi rolls stuffed with barbecue eel and fried oysters helped earn Stir Fry Cafe runners-up nods in both the Best Asian and Best Sushi categories for Knoxville News Sentinel’s Best of 2012 list. Blackened tilapia and thai teriyaki chicken stand on plates beside walls decorated with art from local artists. Wine and beer flow freely at the black-and-white checkered bar, which also served as the base for Stir Fry Cafe’s attempt at crafting the longest fish taco in known space.

11001 Parkside Dr
Knoxville,
TN
US

At first, Tin Drum Asia Café's rapid service and bright decor evoke the aromatic street stands of Hong Kong, where founder Steven Chan ate throughout his childhood. The traditional ambiance is no accident—the franchise's name also harks back to a bygone era, when a tin drummer would awaken citizens and regale them with current events as they ate the day’s first meal. The electronic kiosks dotting the café, however, plunk this traditional scene in the middle of a cyberpunk setting. They allow patrons to customize their orders based on taste preferences and nutritional content, accommodating dietary endeavors such as vegetarianism and weight-loss goals.

This merger of technology and urban convention reflects a penchant for edgy ideas that also affects the menu. Items inspired by the culinary techniques of Japan, China, Vietnam, and Thailand share space in the savory catalog, taking the form of street tacos, soups, and mango chicken, a take on the general tso's staple that's sweeter than a syrup-soaked army helmet. Music is the final ingredient that charges the atmosphere. Nation's Restaurant News reports that it typically plays at an energizing 120 beats per minute and was a factor in attracting the café's initial college crowds.

410 Peachtree Pkwy
Cumming,
GA
US