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Kao Thai Cuisine, Columbia, SC

Kao Thai Cuisine

4.6
4.6
279 Reviews
$31 to $50
Thai
Located in the old Columbia Firehouse Headquarters (closed down in 1995), this unique restaurant revitalizes the historic building by combining the old and the new - complete with original rafters, floors, and garage door exit.

Our menu offers modern Thai eats that are commonly found on the streets of Bangkok as well as a mix of creative pan-Asian and Asian-American fusion dishes that are fresh and exciting. With a rotating menu of specials, we hope to continuously bring new flavors and dishes to the Vista!

Make a reservation

2 people

7:00 PM


Booked 10 times today

Additional information

  • Dining style

    Casual Dining

  • Cuisines

    Thai, Asian, Fusion / Eclectic

  • Hours of operation

    Lunch Mon–Fri 11:30 am–2:30 pm Dinner Mon–Thu 4:30 pm–9:00 pm Fri, Sat 4:30 pm–10:00 pm Happy Hour Mon–Fri 4:30 pm–7:00 pm

  • Phone number

    (803) 569-6881

  • Payment options

    AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa

  • Dress code

    Smart Casual

  • Executive chef

    Doug Seaver

  • Neighborhood

    Columbia

  • Cross street

    Senate St. and Park St.

  • Parking details

    We offer customers free parking in our adjacent lot. Enter on Senate St. and exit onto Park St.

  • Additional

    Bar/Lounge, Beer, Cocktails, Counter Seating, Full Bar, Gender Neutral Restroom, Gluten-free Options, Happy Hour, Non-Smoking, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Private Room, Takeout, Wheelchair Access, Wine

Popular dishes

What 279 people are saying

Overall ratings and reviews

Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant

4.6
4.6 based on recent ratings
  • 4.6Food
  • 4.6Service
  • 4.3Ambience
  • 4.3Value

NoiseModerate

Loved For

  • South Carolina

    Innovative

  • South Carolina

    Healthy

  • South Carolina

    Great for outdoor dining

  • Columbia

    Best Overall

  • Columbia

    Best Food

  • Columbia

    Best Service

  • Columbia

    Best Value

  • Columbia

    Innovative

  • Columbia

    Good for groups

  • Columbia

    Neighborhood gem

  • Columbia

    Romantic

  • Columbia

    Lively

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  1. RM

    RhondaM

    Charleston

    1 review

    4.0

    1 review

    Dined 5 days ago

    overall4food5service3ambience3
    The food was great. Our sever Adam was ok. He was very accommodating.
  2. a

    alvinmc67

    New York Area

    147 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    147 reviews

    Dined on January 21, 2023

    overall5food5service5ambience4
    The food was excellent. It was properly spiced. I specifically liked the lychee duck curry. Seaweed salad is also very nice. Another of my party had the pork dumplings and they were excellent. The drinks were well prepared. Overall, one of the better restaurants in Columbia.
  3. AW

    AngieW

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on January 21, 2023

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Food very good and served quickly. Drinks were replenished abundantly. Had Pad Thai and it was hot and fresh. I would go back. Small restaurant so I would recommend reservation.
  4. MV

    MariVegan

    Charleston

    2 reviews

    5.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on January 21, 2023

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Delicious, reasonable prices, great for vegans and omnivores. Just ask for vegan options—many dishes can be made vegan. Good amount of food for the price, fresh ingredients.
  5. JC

    JC30

    Charleston

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on January 19, 2023

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Everything was delicious! I highly recommend the roti and curry appetizer
  6. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    Charleston

    1 review

    1.0

    1 review

    Dined on January 15, 2023

    overall1food1service1ambience1
    Possibly the worst restaurant we have ever been to. None of could even eat our food. Tom yum soup tasted like sugar. Asked for no bell peppers on noodles and still got them. Awful!!!
  7. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    Charleston

    18 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    18 reviews

    Dined on January 14, 2023

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Always all around great at Kao
  8. MM

    MelMuko

    Charleston

    1 review

    4.0

    1 review

    Dined on January 13, 2023

    overall4food4service5ambience4
    Happy hour apps are great. We had the shrimp shumai (absolutely delicious!), spring rolls (nice and crispy), and crispy wings. Didn’t care for the traditional Thai soup. Cocktails were good. We had the Chaing Mai oh my and the Sabai Sabai. Both tasty. We shared the Udon noodles. Overall liked the apps better than the entree. Portions are generous. Service was very good. Our server, Riley, was sweet and helpful. This was our second time visiting. We would return.
  9. JJ

    JJinSC

    Charleston

    20 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    20 reviews

    Dined on January 11, 2023

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Great food, great service from Riley. Love this place! Will be back.
  10. ZR

    ZekeR

    Charleston

    3 reviews

    5.0

    3 reviews

    Dined on January 11, 2023

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Our Table was perfectly stationed between inside and patio dining and was ready when we arrived. Julian was our Server and did a great job - We had cocktails, several appetizers plus entrees and everything was fantastic. We have only been there 2 other times and each time I re remember why we love it there! We will be back soon!
  11. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    Charleston

    2 reviews

    5.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on January 11, 2023

    overall5food5service5ambience3
    Food was amazing. Will definitely be back!
  12. EF

    ElaineF

    Key West

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on January 11, 2023

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Food was presented beautifully PLUS it tasted fantastic. I had tuna and seaweed salad topped with tofu. Best ever seaweed salad. Watermelon Radishes were superb. The bartender was attentive to everyone and was making a lot of different drinks and nothing seemed to bother her in being so busy and multi-tasking all at one time.
  13. BC

    BillC

    Charlotte

    6 reviews

    5.0

    6 reviews

    Dined on January 7, 2023

    overall5food5service5ambience4
    My wife and I were scrolling through the restaurants in town looking for one to go to for her birthday. I suggested the usual special occasion places, but none flipped her switch. Then I saw Kao Thai, we had been there before and loved it, she said yes. I made a reservation for 5:45 on Saturday thinking we would beat the crowd, I was mistaken it was full, everybody else new what we were getting ready to find out. The interior has a modern but laid back vibe. We were seated right away and our server, Skye came right over and got our drink orders. The menu has lots of small plate options as well as soups, salads and entrees. We usually go for the small plates as you can sample more dishes without getting filled up. We ordered the Tuna Tataki and Roti Duck Roll. The tuna dish was beautifully plated with a papaya salad on top, it was incredible. I thought the duck roll was going to play second fiddle, boy was I wrong. It was rich and refreshing at once with the duck and veggies. After we had those, we figured we needed a vegetable and went with the Crispy Brussel Sprouts, they were in the same league as the tuna, duck and Skye all excellent. Beverages and food were an excellent value. On the way out we got a gift card for our neighbors that are without a kitchen. We will be back soon!
  14. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    Charleston

    1 review

    3.0

    1 review

    Dined on January 6, 2023

    overall3food4service2ambience3
    Ok — Not great. Nice little place where the food was good, but definitely not something that I would rush to recommend to friends looking for a ‘must visit.’ Surprisingly, the service was lacking. The gentleman didn’t seem concerned, and he did mess up our order with his apathy. A co-worker has to make the situation right. Maybe we will try the service at a different day and time.
  15. H

    Hanna

    Charleston

    2 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on December 31, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Our waitress was amazing. The food was also great. I would highly recommend this place.
  16. PH

    PhilH

    Washington DC

    2 reviews

    5.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on December 24, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Kao Thai has become our go-to for Thai food in Columbia. Not only is the food always consistently good, but the decor and bar sets it apart from all of the other Thai places in the area.
  17. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    Charlotte

    3 reviews

    5.0

    3 reviews

    Dined on December 11, 2022

    overall5food5service4ambience4
    Food was great. Service was timely. Like the bartender too.
  18. NV

    NellieV

    Charleston

    2 reviews

    5.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on December 3, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Best Thai food evahhh!! Really loved out first dining experience and Hunter is an excellent and chill bartender. Definitely going again!!
  19. HM

    HannahM

    Charleston

    2 reviews

    4.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on December 2, 2022

    overall4food3service5ambience4
    Server was very kind. Loved the Brussel sprouts and the drunken noodles were pretty good after I had to send my first one back because it was too spicy, and my friends was not spicy at all. Did not care for the Bao mushroom app, and the tofu eggplant entree. They have a nice happy hour menu.
  20. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on November 20, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Accommodating, great ambiance , excellent food and Service
  21. f

    foody123

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on November 19, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    The food and drinks were a 10/10. I think our server’s name was Michelle, but she was AMAZING and so sweet.
  22. LR

    LauraR

    Charleston

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on November 12, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Wonderful cocktails, food, service and atmosphere! Locally owned gem off the path of the business of the vista!
  23. j

    jane

    Charleston

    11 reviews

    5.0

    11 reviews

    Dined on November 5, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Great meal, great service, loved the huge window being open. All around gastric experience.
  24. TW

    TracyW

    Charleston

    3 reviews

    5.0

    3 reviews

    Dined on October 29, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Our server was friendly and patient with us as we took our time ordering. She also gave recommendations as this was our first time there. She knew the menu and ingredients which was super helpful. The food was hot and so tasty! Presentation was on point as well. Very impressed and we will be back! Great place!
  25. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    San Francisco

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on October 28, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Absolutely awesome
  26. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    Atlanta

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on October 26, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Delicious. The yoti curry dip and shrimp dumplings were phenomenal.
  27. CK

    CuiK

    Atlanta

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on October 25, 2022

    overall5food5service4ambience4
    Had trouble deciding -- too many delicious looking things on the menu. Roti and Curry was absolutely delicious as an appetizer. Really well-fried tofu too. Great spot even for a group with different tastes and dietary restrictions.
  28. CC

    CoCmack

    Charleston

    2 reviews

    4.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on October 13, 2022

    overall4food3service4ambience4
    Thank you for your hospitality. We loved the ambience.
  29. MB

    MarkitaB

    Charleston

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on October 8, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    This was our first time dinning here and I can say that it will not be our last! I recommend the crab fried rice and if you like spicy or something with a little kick, try their KFC- Korean Fried Chicken.
  30. MD

    MikeDeas

    Nashville

    58 reviews

    5.0

    58 reviews

    Dined on October 8, 2022

    overall5food4service4ambience4
    If you're looking for genuine old school Thai, this isn't it. This is uptown, Asian fusion, something for everybody Thai, in a great space with a street front that open to the outdoors on a beautiful fall evening. The food was delicious and well priced, but the star of the show is the cocktail list. Kudos to Michelle for her imaginative, well executed creations.
  31. j

    jane

    Charleston

    12 reviews

    5.0

    12 reviews

    Dined on October 8, 2022

    overall5food4service5ambience5
    This place continues to be one of my favorite Columbia restaurants. I’ve been here many times and the food is always great, service is excellent. Last night however our dishes were extra saucy. Way too much sauce on both of our meals. This was a one off, may be a new cook and back. It certainly won’t deter me from coming back!
  32. T

    Thomas

    Charleston

    19 reviews

    5.0

    19 reviews

    Dined on October 8, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Fabulous wide range of Thai Asian Fusion. Delicious, fair priced, and calming atmosphere.
  33. CT

    ColaThai

    Charleston

    32 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    32 reviews

    Dined on October 6, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience4
    We had an excellent meal. It was served timely. Music was an added plus. Weather was great. Staff very helpful.
  34. KB

    KathleenB

    Raleigh

    30 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    30 reviews

    Dined on September 23, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Great spot for really authentic Thai cuisine. Service was excellent
  35. MQ

    McQgkdjsjnskdkdkdmdkfick

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on September 22, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience4
    Food was great and reasonably priced. Staff was friendly and accommodating.
  36. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    Charleston

    1 review

    4.0

    1 review

    Dined on September 19, 2022

    overall4food5service5ambience3
    The food is delicious but you guys really need to put a fan or two outdoors…that one step cuts down on the flies tremendously. We do a lot of outdoor dining around Columbia and you guys have the worst flies and are also the only place without an outdoor fan directed toward the tables. I think it would help a lot! :-)
  37. CT

    ColaThai

    Charleston

    32 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    32 reviews

    Dined on September 17, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Good Friday evening dinner . Weather great, so we ate outside. Food consistently very good. Service attentive . Good vibe
  38. GC

    GregoryC

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on September 16, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience4
    Had a 7:30 reservation for a busy Friday night in Columbia. Arrived early, around 7:00, and they were able to seat us immediately. Very good service. Food was very good, although the KFC Chicken dish I had (KAO, not Kentucky) was a little spicier than I'm accustomed to. Would definitely eat there again on a trip through Columbia.
  39. MB

    MartiB

    Charleston

    30 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    30 reviews

    Dined on September 9, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Our server was great with an extensive knowledge of the menu. Everything we had was delicious (including the cocktails). I highly recommend!!!!
  40. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    Charleston

    18 reviews

    vip
    4.0

    18 reviews

    Dined on September 2, 2022

    overall4food4service5ambience4
    Always a good meal etc here. This time they forgot the veggies in the pad Thai which is why we came to begin with! Service nice per all a 4.

FAQs

Kao Thai Cuisine does offer delivery in partnership with Chow Now. Kao Thai Cuisine also offers takeout which you can order by calling the restaurant at (803) 569-6881.

Kao Thai Cuisine is rated 4.6 stars by 279 OpenTable diners.

Yes, you can generally book this restaurant by choosing the date, time and party size on OpenTable.

Make a reservation

2 people

7:00 PM


Booked 10 times today
Google Map for Kao Thai Cuisine

1001 Senate Street, Suite 300, Columbia, SC 29201

Additional information

  • Cross street

    Senate St. and Park St.

  • Neighborhood

    Columbia

  • Hours of operation

    Lunch Mon–Fri 11:30 am–2:30 pm Dinner Mon–Thu 4:30 pm–9:00 pm Fri, Sat 4:30 pm–10:00 pm Happy Hour Mon–Fri 4:30 pm–7:00 pm

  • Cuisines

    Thai, Asian, Fusion / Eclectic

  • Dining style

    Casual Dining

  • Dress code

    Smart Casual

  • Parking details

    We offer customers free parking in our adjacent lot. Enter on Senate St. and exit onto Park St.

  • Payment options

    AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa

  • Executive chef

    Doug Seaver

  • Additional

    Bar/Lounge, Beer, Cocktails, Counter Seating, Full Bar, Gender Neutral Restroom, Gluten-free Options, Happy Hour, Non-Smoking, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Private Room, Takeout, Wheelchair Access, Wine

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