Experience a range of delicious northern Thai food at DaLaya Thai Cuisine, a welcoming North Carolina eatery not far from Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
On our recent trip to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, there were two things we were anticipating: great hiking and great food!
There’s no shortage of either, and in spite of rainy weather the trip was still a success.
We found a less-traveled but gorgeous waterfall trail called Sweat Heifer Creek, and we booked a fun, laid-back hike-and-sip tour at Souther Williams Vineyard.
But my favorite restaurant discovery has to be DaLaya Thai Cuisine, an upscale Northern Thai restaurant in Sylva, North Carolina.
It was amazing!
If a small but gourmet eatery with a menu rather different from your usual Thai places sounds good to you, you’re in for a treat. Here’s what to expect at DaLaya Thai Cuisine!
Looking for trail guides in the Smokies? Try Abrams Falls, Andrews Bald, Charlies Bunion, and Alum Cave! If you’re staying on the North Carolina side, here’s a guide to things to do.
Before You Go
The town of Sylva, North Carolina, is about 30 minutes from the south side of Great Smoky Mountains National Park. It’s also about an hour west of Asheville. It has quite a few restaurants for a small town!
DaLaya Thai Cuisine is on Main Street. It’s open for supper most days of the week (and pickup-only for lunch hours). You can check out the menu on their website, and order online if you’re doing pick-up.
No reservations are needed for dine-in.
There’s patio outdoor seating, as well as just a few indoor seats.
The restaurant is right next to Scott Creek, a stream that runs through most of the downtown area. It adds to the peaceful ambience.
The Menu at DaLaya Thai Cuisine
The menu was unlike other Thai restaurants I’ve been to. It could have possibly been overwhelming, but the server was super helpful!
She explained that they serve Northern Thai food, so there’s no Pad Thai, and also the curries are slightly thinner than we might be used to when ordering Thai restaurant staples like panang curry.
The server also let us know that they don’t customize heat levels, so she could help us choose meals that fit our spice preferences. (Basically, the server was amazing!)
The meals were gorgeous, as was my blooming jasmine tea. We also tried the iced hibiscus tea.
Our server told us that one of their most popular dishes was Khao Soi, a classic north Thai dish.
We ordered the Khao Soi and the Khanom Jin Naam Yaa Plaa (a rainbow trout curry). That curry was one of the best things I’ve ever eaten!
After I got home, I experimented with versions of Khao Soi and ended up with a fish coconut curry soup with noodles that I loved! You know, for those times when I can’t drive to North Carolina to eat at DaLaya.
For dessert we tried the Thai ice cream, and it was fantastic.
They also had a lavender honey ice cream that sounded wonderful. Next time!
I hope you get to try DaLaya Thai if you’re in this corner of North Carolina, and I hope you have as much fun with these flavors as I did!
There’s a lot of great food in this part of North Carolina: we also loved the Everett Hotel Bistro in Bryson City, about 25 minutes away!
Leave a Comment: