Authentic Thai restaurant thrives in the heart of downtown Greenville

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Authentic Thai restaurant thrives in the heart of downtown Greenville

With its classic Thai menu and ideal location, Lemongrass has quickly become a Greenville hotspot. Photo: Luke Cleland

The streets of downtown Greenville are always busy, but Lemongrass Thai Restaurant offers a simple, elegant and peaceful spot to grab a tasty lunch or enjoy the welcoming atmosphere with a dinner date.

Inside, tables stand upon a narrow, raised platform that extends all the way to the back of the room. Malaysian shadow puppets line one wall, Thai tapestries and photos the other. The restaurant is a blend of traditional and contemporary culture, and the food is award-winning.

Locally owned by Thai natives Sid and Tip Leeyakas, Lemongrass has been open for 10 years and offers fresh, authentic food, free of MSG and other preservatives.

Kristen Williams, Lemongrass’ only American waitress, dispelled the myth that all Thai food is spicy. In fact, Lemongrass can adjust the spice level of every dish. The restaurant can also accommodate gluten-free, vegan and vegetarian diets.

The Lemongrass menu offers numerous options including rice noodles, fried rice, curries and stir-fries. The options go on. Select pineapple, spicy or regular fried rice and choose the meat for your stir-fry. Lemongrass’ curries are made with a base of coconut milk, so they are sweet as well as spicy.

Thai food is known for its use of basil, as well as its blending of flavors. One soup includes coconut, cilantro and mushrooms. Lemongrass makes a variety of soups, and they even offer dessert. After dinner, try some fried ice cream or bananas. “Our fried bananas are out of this world,” Williams said. Fried in wheat paper, they are crisp, crunchy and covered with cinnamon and sugar. Don’t forget to order lemongrass tea, a mild, decaffeinated tea the restaurant is known for.

Enjoy lunch for about $10 per person and dinner anywhere from $12 to $20. Despite the unique decorations and lovely setting, what makes the Lemongrass experience is the taste of the food, according to Williams.

Lemongrass was voted “Best Thai Restaurant of the Upstate” by readers of The Greenville News in 2006, and it has also been voted “best first date” restaurant.

Offering healthy, succulent dishes, Lemongrass Thai Restaurant provides plenty of conversation starters and a one-of-a-kind dining experience.