No one can say why the Thai food in Honolulu is so exceptional, but across the board, the vegetables are more succulent, the spices hotter, and the flavors more delicate than in mainland outlets. Topping the city’s Thai eateries is Chiang Mai, located on the restaurant-heavy South King Street. Particularly outstanding are its green papaya salad and mee krob (crispy sweet-and-sour noodles served with chicken, bean sprouts, and tofu chunks), and its red curries. Most options can also be made suitable for vegetarians.

2239 S. King St.