Story and photos by Chelsea Rose Moore

Opening a restaurant is often the result of a carefully curated business plan. But for Best Thai Kitchen, Middleburg’s newest restaurant, they opened quickly – before there was signage, before the air conditioner worked properly, before there was art on the walls. They weren’t sure what to expect, but were certain they would have time to focus on interior design and other cosmetic fixes in the restaurant’s early stages. Instead they experienced something of a “Field of Dreams” moment, quickly realizing that people were coming in swarms.

One customer told them he followed his nose through Middleburg and ended up at their restaurant — even without a sign to tell him where to go. On weekends, they have often run out of tables.

Left to right sisters Maggie, Banyen, and Jaime

Left to right sisters Maggie, Banyen, and Jaime

Best Thai Kitchen opened in the middle of April 2017, and has already been received warmly and developed loyal customers.

“We are not business people. We are family,” said owner Jaime, “We just love to cook and hope everyone enjoys our food. We care about how the customer feels when they come in to eat.”

Long before Best Thai Kitchen was a concept, Jaime and her sisters Maggie and Banyen were happiest in the kitchen. They grew up with a mother who loved to cook traditional Thai food, and they developed a passion for making food together. Meetups were centered around food, and they often spent hours making delicious spreads for family and friends. The restaurant’s recipes have been passed down in their family, from grandmother, to mother, to daughter.

Best Thai Kitchen signage

Best Thai Kitchen signage

Their love for their craft is palpable, and translates into joy and laughter both in and out of the kitchen. Food is their love language, and satisfied customers fill them with delight and pride. “We serve the food from our hearts, like we are cooking for our family,” said Jaime.

Opening a small restaurant in America had long been a dream for them. In Thailand, Banyen had owned a popular outdoor venue where she sold street food. When she announced her move to the states, her customers asked her, “Where will we eat when you’re gone?”

Best Thai Kitchen Interior

Best Thai Kitchen Interior

After dreaming about it for years, the sisters decided to make their dreams a reality and open a restaurant. They began looking at spaces close to their home in Leesburg, and settled on Middleburg’s charming and quaint community. When deciding on the menu, they picked out the favorite dishes of their husbands, kids, and friends.

Best Thai Kitchen focuses on producing authentic Thai food. They import products from Thailand, ensure that all ingredients are fresh, and make everything from scratch, “like the Thai people make for their families.” As Jaimie specified, their food is not American Thai, but is “real Thai – the food of the people.” Many of their customers have traveled to Thailand, and tell them they have never found food in America that tastes as authentic as theirs. Their most popular dish is Pad Thai, followed closely by the Panang Curry. ML

Thai Appetizers - Ma Haw, a bite sized appetizer of pork shallots and peanuts served on sliced pineapple, orange, and kiwi and crispy rice with dipping sauce

Thai Appetizers – Ma Haw, a bite sized appetizer of pork shallots and peanuts served on sliced pineapple, orange, and kiwi and crispy rice with dipping sauce

Best Thai Kitchen: Open six days a week: 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Closed on Tuesdays | 4 E Federal St, Middleburg, VA 20117 | To view their menu, visit
bestthaikitchen.com.