From pad thai to pho: 4 new places to feast on Thai & Vietnamese cuisine in Chicago

Looking for your next great Vietnamese meal in Chicago? Can't choose between Japanese and Thai? These spots have something for everyone. Here are the newest places to check out the next time you're in the mood for some southeast Asian fare.

Pho Cafe

232 W. Cermak Rd. (between Wentworth and Cottage Grove avenues), Chinatown

Photo: Eric K./Yelp

Located in the former Cafe Hoang space, Pho Cafe specializes in classic Vietnamese noodles.

Diners can expect large and filling bowls of pho like the crab cake and pork with shrimp and tofu or the house special with rare beef, tripe and tendons. Pho Cafe also offers vermicelli bowls and smoothies, as well as Thai dishes like a spicy beef salad and tom yum soup. (You can check out the full menu here.)

Yelp users are still warming up to Pho Cafe, which currently holds 3.5 stars out of five reviews on the site.

Yelper DC A., who reviewed Pho Cafe on April 23, wrote, "This is by far the best pho restaurant in Chinatown! I recommend the house special pho and the honeymoon soup!"

Jeana C. noted, "I'm so glad they replaced the previous restaurant with another pho place. The portions are way bigger now. The flavor of the bun rieu was comparable to Cafe Hoang."

Pho Cafe is open from 11 a.m.-10 p.m. daily.

Ruk Sushi & Thai

5419 W. Devon Ave. (between Kinzua and Central avenues), Edgebrook

Photo: Lana P./Yelp

Ruk Sushi & Thai recently opened its latest location in Edgebrook; it has two outposts in Portage Park and Albany Park. It offers a wide variety of dishes for fans of both cuisines.

On the Thai menu, look for popular dishes like pad thai and the tango mango fried rice, with egg and pineapple. The Japanese menu offers a la carte nigiri and sashimi, as well as rolls like the summer roll, which comes with tuna, super white tuna and hamachi. (You can check out the full menu here.)

Yelp users are excited about Ruk Sushi & Thai Edgebrook, which currently holds five stars out of six reviews on the site.

Yelper Anna B., who reviewed Ruk Sushi & Thai Edgebrook on April 13, wrote, "So happy to have this addition to the neighborhood! Ordered dragon, spider and California roll, and all absolutely fabulous!"

Lana P. noted, "Great new spot that just opened up in Edgebrook! They have two more locations and brought the best of the menu here! ... Best part is the fast service! You have your food freshly made in 10 minutes!"

Ruk Sushi & Thai Edgebrook is open from 11:30 a.m.-9 p.m. Monday-Thursday and 11:30 a.m.-9:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. (It's closed on Sunday.)

Raw II

2203 N. Clybourn Ave. (between Webster and Greenview avenues), Lincoln Park

Photo: Hana Hana I./Yelp

Over in Lincoln Park, Raw II is another spot specializing in Japanese and Thai cuisines. The restaurant offers Thai noodles, curries and fried rice, as well as Japanese sushi rolls and nigiri.

Diners can expect an extensive menu of popular dishes like pad woon sen, stir-fried vermicelli with eggs, meat and vegetables or chirashi, the chef's choice of sashimi served over sushi rice.

In a similar vein to the chirashi, Raw II also offers bowls of poke: cubes of tuna, salmon or other seafood, tossed with vegetables and spicy sauce, then served over rice or salad. (You can check out the full menu here.)

Yelp users are responding positively to Raw II, which currently holds 4.5 stars out of six reviews on the site.

Emily H. noted, "The Thai fried rice is really good! Quite authentic with the fish sauce added! I got the spicy version, which is quite spicy and I love it. The pad see yeow is great too. This place's spicy level is on par with authentic Asian places, so its scale a bit spicier than the Americanized ones. If you are not used to spiciness, order a level below your comfort level."

And Yelper Jim N. wrote, "Awesome food, well-run place. Had the panang curry which was excellent. Miso soup also had plenty of vegetables and tofu. Seafood salad was also very good."

Raw II is open from 11 a.m.-10 p.m. on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Sunday and 11 a.m.-2 a.m. on Friday and Saturday. (It's closed on Monday.)

Ca Phe Da

1800 S. Carpenter St. (at 18th Place), Lower West Side

Photo: Kaman T./Yelp

Ca Phe Da is a Vietnamese spot specializing in banh mi, pho and Vietnamese coffee. It's located next door to its acclaimed sister restaurant, the James Beard award semifinalist HaiSous.

Diners on the go can grab a ca phe trung (coffee with vanilla egg custard) and pastry like the banh la dua (pandan brioche and coconut jam), or stay for a heartier meal like a banh mi with "the works:" roasted pork, grilled chicken, grilled beef, pickled papaya and chicken pate. (You can check out the full menu here.)

Ca Phe Da currently holds four stars out of 49 reviews on Yelp, indicating good reviews.

Yelper Michelle T., who reviewed Ca Phe Da on April 14, wrote, "A little cafe that packs a loaded menu! I love that I don't have to travel all the way to the Northside anymore if I want a good bowl of pho. Additionally, it's an extension to its higher-end sister restaurant, HaiSous, without the matching prices."

Shari B. noted, "The pho ga broth was very aromatic and not too sweet and the texture of the noodles were good. The worker's meal changes daily, and I had the braised sweet-and-sour pork rib with veggies and rice. This was also tasty and comforting."

Ca Phe Da is open from 7 a.m.-midnight Monday-Saturday and 7 a.m.-3 p.m. on Sunday.