Thai food is one of our favorite cuisines and one that we make a lot at home, so it takes a really good Thai restaurant for us to get excited. Luckily there's no shortage of Thai restaurants in the city for when we just don't feel like cooking- Nicky's Thai Kitchen being one of the most universally loved and acclaimed.
Three Locations Worth Visiting
Nicky's has three locations- one in the North Hills, one downtown, and the original location on Western Avenue on the North Side. The ambiance at the locations is what you'd expect for a nice Thai restaurant: lots of gold artwork and warm, lavish tones. The North Side location we frequent even has a lush, peaceful courtyard for outdoor dining in the warmer months.
The North Side location is BYOB with just a $5 corkage fee per bottle, while the downtown location has its own bar and a $10 corkage fee if you decide to BYOB instead.
A Wide Menu Selection
For appetizers we usually start with the crab rangoon served with a housemade pineapple sauce, or the fresh spring rolls when it's hot outside. The spring rolls are so refreshing with the tender rice wrapper surrounding the rice noodles, tofu, basil, and veggies, while the peanut dipping sauce provides a nice burst of flavor.
The menu is quite extensive but we usually stick to ordering a noodle dish and a curry dish. The ubiquitous Phad Thai is a great choice here. In other establishments often times the sauce can be sickeningly sweet or non-existent, but here there's just the right amount and it has a nice balance of sweet, salty, and tangy.
Our other go-to noodle dish is the Phad See Ew with its wide noodles, sweeter soy-based sauce and perfectly cooked stir-fried broccoli. With all of the noodle dishes, you can add your choice of protein including chicken, tofu, pork, beef, shrimp, or mixed seafood.
And finally, we come to the curry selection. Thai curry is one of our all-time favorite foods and pretty much our barometer for the quality of any Thai restaurant. The curry options here range from the standard red, green, and massaman to some less common options like pineapple curry, panang curry, and wild curry (without coconut milk).
The curry broth is hearty and tasty but is a bit different from how we make it at home; here the broth leans more to the savory side and lacks a palm sugar sweetness like we are used to. The curries here are good, though- the veggies and proteins are always cooked to perfection. We also like that they don't skimp on the seafood and meat. And as with most other Thai restaurants in the city, you can customize the spiciness of your dish on a scale of 1-10 such that all spice tolerances are covered.
All of this comes together to make Nicky's one of our favorite Thai restaurants in the city, and is definitely one you shouldn't miss next time you head out for this delicious cuisine.
Nicky's Thai Kitchen has three locations- one in the North Side, one downtown, and one in the North Hills. The North Side location was featured in this review.
For more Thai in Pittsburgh, check out Pusadee's Garden in Lawrenceville or Noodlehead in Shadyside! Or, for more reviews of Pittsburgh restaurants, click the previous link to be taken to our directory of every review on Discover the Burgh!
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