102 W. Union St.
Athens, OH 45701
websiteAthens has a ton of options for Chinese food, but other cuisines from Asia are actually pretty hard to come by in the College town. Sure, a few places to sushi, and a few others have pad Thai but that’s about it. Thai Paradise has brought the change; opened in 2008 in Pickerington, east of Columbus, this destination staked out a spot in Athens in 2014 and since then has been the go-to place for Thai food in town. With a great selection of dishes to try, and a feel that is just a bit on the nicer side, this is one you will want to try.
The menu has all the favorite Thai dishes, and there are few other places in walking distance from Ohio University that does them. Among the options:
- Pad Thai: The classic Pad Thai recipe, this one has the unique advantage of being a bit spicier and meatier than some of the alternatives in town. Which is really nice; there are only a few really good places to get pad Thai in town. Sprinkle a lot of peanuts on the dish, and that lime? It makes a nice little spirited addition.
- Pad See You: Pad See Ew is a lighter Thai noodle dish than pad Thai, typically a bit sweeter with a dark sauce and very fat noodles. This take on the dish is par for how it’s typically made. Pretty good!
- Pad Broccoli: A meat of your choice stir-fried and served with broccoli and served in a brown oyster sauce. A stir-fried specialty with a bit of a Thai flavor, but still pretty familiar. This one is a lot like the Mongolian Beef or the Pepper Steak — though of course those are both on the menu — and feels a bit more up the alley of some of the Chinese dishes on the menu.
- Crab Rangoon: Cream cheese and crab wrapped in a thick wonton wrapper. More cream cheese than anything else, though.
- Drunken Noodles: A mountain of stir-fried noodles and veggies, lighter on the dark, sweet sauce than this dish usually is, but no less good.
- Mongolian Beef: Stir-fried beef and broccoli, in a thin sweet sauce and probably kind of generic. But it’s a good safe meal if you don’t want noodles.
The restaurant has pretty reasonable prices — which makes sense when it is primarily suited to the student population at OU. The atmosphere, in the meantime, is really a very nice place. It’s casual dining, to be sure, but it’s the perfect kind of place to bring a date, or maybe to have a nicer gathering. It’s certainly not run-of-the-mill cheap eats, this is the kind of place that would be perfect to take someone you want to impress.
Prices are good, food comes quickly and the restaurant is an overall impressive experience. It’s very nice to see this one open in town. Give it a try.
- There is a huge Chinese food menu to be sure, but this spot has the largest selection of Thai food in town. It’s the best place to find Korean food too. Go for those first if you’re looking for something unique.
- This is a perfect date spot.
- Many of the dishes have spice options, and spicier is more authentic.