There are many hidden gems in Bayonne, and Thai O’Brien’s is one of them. If you’re craving authentic Thai cuisine, this spot is the place to go, but with a twist. Located at 478 Avenue E, the unique concept houses a Thai restaurant in the front, and then customers can make their way to the back area where there is a low-key Irish bar that has daily and weekly drink specials, plus a jukebox and dart game. Read on to learn more about Thai O’Brien’s in Bayonne.
What Makes Thai Unique
Thai O’Brien’s has been around for 14 years. The restaurant was opened by David Ma, a former restaurant owner from New York City. He had previously owned six restaurants in NYC. The Hoboken Girl spoke to David Ma exclusively.
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“When I sold my restaurants in New York, I moved to Jersey and was looking for a neighborhood to open a new restaurant. I ended up in Bayonne. There are a lot in Hoboken and Jersey City, but here, we are one of the few Thai restaurants in the neighborhood,” David told HG. He now solely focuses on Thai after joking that he’s “ready to retire” and “doesn’t want to open any other restaurants or expand Thai to another location.”
(Photo credit: Courtesy of Thai O’Brien’s)
The cozy vibe at Thai O’Brien’s is in part thanks to it being a family-owned business. “It feels like home for some customers. My cousin is doing the cooking and my cousin’s son works in the dining area,” David shared. “People come and experience it and then they come back because they like it. We have people coming from all over. People come from Staten Island just to eat here. They like the food and they like to sit at the bar and watch sports.”
The Irish bar in the back area is managed by Milan Rodak. In addition to having a fully stocked bar, there are some other fun activities to do while hanging out: a dart game, a nostalgic jukebox, and even a karaoke machine. The bar hosts events throughout the week, including Karaoke Night and Latin Night. The bar area, which is dimly-lit and has colorful lights, can even be rented out for private parties and events.
About The Menu
David explained Thai O’Brien’s menu as: “We give people choices with the menu. You know, we try to keep the menu simple and keep it reasonably priced. It’s good food and what people like to eat — it’s as simple as that.”
The menu is broken up into appetizers, soups and salads, fried rice, noodles, chicken, beef and shrimp dishes, vegetable dishes, special dishes, and desserts. Although there are many popular items, the most popular ones, per David, include Pad Thai (available in chicken, beef, shrimp, or tofu), Beef with Basil Chili Sauce, and the Chicken Wrap appetizer.
(Photo credit: Courtesy of Thai O’Brien’s)
Customers’ Yelp reviews have, for the most part, been very positive. One person wrote: “Absolutely fresh tasting and delicious…The pineapple chicken rice was flavorful and the chicken with peanut sauce was just as delicious!”
Another said: “We shared their fried dumplings and spicy boiled wontons. Both were waaaay above average, obviously hand-crafted in-house. Delicious. We then had a chicken dish, a shrimp special (a bit pricey at $16), and the most freaking incredible chicken fried rice I’ve ever had.”
A third person commented: “I ordered the Pad Thai and Pineapple Fried Rice, both of which were amazing. The restaurant chose a great chef because the dishes were seasoned with many nuances most Americanized Thai restaurants lack. The generous portions were exactly what you’d expect from a Thai restaurant and the service was top-tier. Overall, this is the best Thai restaurant I’ve found in North Jersey and I will definitely be back soon!”
A Visit to Bayonne
If you’re looking for a place to dine in or take out, Thai O’Brien’s provides plenty of options to try out their cuisine. The spot is available to order on several apps, and the hours of operation are Sunday through Tuesday from 1PM to 9PM, Friday and Saturday from 1PM to 10PM, and closed on Wednesdays.
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David told The Hoboken Girl, “It’s sometimes very busy, it’s sometimes a little slow. Business has been unpredictable ever since the pandemic. The bar gets busy though, which, of course, is a good thing.”