If you want to find authentic Thai food in Chicago, unfortunately you have to do a little bit of digging. There is so much Thai food in America that has been watered down.
Here is how to find authentic Thai food in Chicago amongst the Americanized Thai food restaurants:
Look for people who came from Thailand at a later age: Those who left Thailand at an early age probably will not remember what real Thai food tastes like.
Issan is not considered Thai food in Thailand: In fact, there are many Thai folk who dislike Issan, so if you see it being served run the other way.
Thai food has an intensity of all flavors: Americanized Thai food restaurants will over emphasize spice in their food. You will not see the other flavors like: Sweet, sour, spicy and salty. Thai salads are always going to be spicy. If the salad isn’t spicy you should be asking questions. Also not all authentic Thai food will be spicy.
There are a lot of Americanized Thai restaurants in Chicago. So much that it can be hard to find authentic Thai food, but when you find it you will know because it will taste so much different from what you have ever tasted.