St. Louis Thai restaurants honored with prestigious award

ST. LOUIS — A drive down South Grand can take St. Louisans’ taste buds on a culinary adventure, with cuisines ranging from Japanese to Vietnamese and Lebanese to Italian. It can also lead local food enthusiasts to some of the most authentic Thai cuisine in the country.

King & I was awarded the prestigious Thai SELECT Signature award from the Ministry of Commerce Royal Thai Government. It’s the highest level of recognition given by the Ministry of Commerce, which gives out the awards once a year after a committee visits and reviews restaurants across the U.S.

King & I was the only Thai restaurant in Missouri to be honored with the recognition, which denotes “authentic Thai dishes with premium quality, refined décor and excellent service.”

“King & I has been a staple Thai restaurant in St. Louis for more than three decades and we are honored to have received the Thai SELECT award for 5 years,” said Chief Operating Officer of Global Foods Group Shayn Prapaislip.

Prapaislip’s family opened King & I, making it the first Thai restaurant in the city.

But it’s not the only Thai restaurant in the family that was honored Tuesday. Chao Baan received the second-highest level of recognition with the Thai SELECT Classic award. It was the first time The Grove restaurant received the award.

“We opened Chao Baan to bring authentic regional Thai cuisine to St. Louis, and sticking to our roots from the Northeastern and Southern regions of Thailand was considered a bit of a risk as we weren’t certain that Midwesterners would love out-of-the-box dishes. This award solidifies our hard work to offer the most authentic regional cuisine to our friends in the states,” said Prapaislip, who owns the restaurant.

“Congratulations and welcome Chao Baan, our newest Thai SELECT restaurant,” said Usasri Kheorayab, director of Thai Trade Center-Chicago. “We would also like to congratulate King & I, which is the first Thai restaurant in St. Louis to be awarded the Thai SELECT Signature certification. We always appreciate their continuation of maintaining our standards of authentic Thai food with quality and services.”

Several other Thai restaurants in the St. Louis area earned the second-highest designation. We’ve included the full list of restaurants in the 5 On Your Side viewing area that were honored below.

Restaurants honored with Thai SELECT recognitions:

  • Signature award:
  • Classic award:
    • Chao Baan – St. Louis
    • Manee Thai – Manchester, MO
    • Sen Thai Asian Bistro – St. Louis
    • Thai Country Cafe – St. Louis
    • Thai Gai Yang Cafe – St. Louis
    • Thai Sawadee Restaurant – Chesterfield, MO
    • Addie’s Thai House – Chesterfield, MO
    • Rice Thai Bistro – Winchester, MO

You can hear more from the Prapaislip family and how they’ve brought the flavors of the world to St. Louis in the Abby Eats St. Louis podcast episode titled “The Thais that bind” or by clicking play in the podcast player below.


About the Abby Eats St. Louis podcast:

The Abby Eats St. Louis podcast tells the story of St. Louis based on what’s on the table. From the hunger for local ingredients, to the booming brunch scene and the craving for creative cocktails, Abby dives into the nitty-gritty of how St. Louis grew to become the foodie town that it is. 

Subscribe and download weekly episodes for free wherever you get your podcasts. We’ve included links below to some of the most popular podcast platforms.

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