Irving Meanderings: Java Thai, Classic Quirk

Irving Meanderings: Java Thai, Classic Quirk
Java Thai's Cookie Case

Java Thai is one of the city's odd little delights: Not fancy, not perfect, but if you get the right thing, it's just what you need.I found this place right after I moved to the area, and while I don't drop by often, I'm usually happy when I do.

Java Thai's name is descriptive, but perhaps confusing. It is a coffee house, serving coffee, Stash bagged tea and a variety of espresso drinks. You can also get a tasty Thai iced coffee or tea at any time. However,  the menu is strictly American before 4pm on weekdays. In the evening, the restaurant begins to serve Thai food.

Java Thai's Thai Iced Coffee


Mind you, the American foodstuffs aren't half bad if you get the right thing, such as the Avocado and Jack Cheese Omelette. Consisting of melted jack cheese surrounded by eggs, the whole shebang is topped with thinly sliced avocado. Ask for a side of Thai pepper sauce to spread on top, and you'll be very happy for the next fifteen minutes.

Java Thai's Avacado Jack Omelette

(The omelette comes with fried redskin potatoes, your choice of toast, and costs a mere $5.50.)


Another odd little dish that nonetheless works is Java Thai's "Lox Salad," which consists of thinly sliced lox, turkey breast and some hard boiled eggs atop a bed of iceberg lettuce. You get to choose your dressing.

(Don't argue with me, just try it. Particularly on a hot day.)

Incidentally, the Thai menu is available all day on weekends. Visit on Sunday mornings and you'll be offered a breakfast special menu. Visit after 11:30 am on Sunday mornings, and you'll also get to hear live jazz as you dine.

Of course, not everything is perfect at Java Thai. It is usually a two person operation, so if the place gets busy, you are going to wait awhile for your food. The bacon is thin, skimpy and uninteresting. The kitchen needs a better exhaust system, as the cooking smoke likes to creep into the dining room, causing eye irritation. But all that aside, this place offers some decent food at very reasonable prices. Give it a try.


Java Thai

4272 West Irving Park Road

Chicago, IL

(773) 545-6200


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