Sisters Thai has consistently delivered on or exceeded every aspect of my expectations over 4 trips across all of my experiences with their food, staff, and space. Trust me - go here.
The Small Details
Reader Rating0 Votes
Very courteous staff
Pleasant (yet fun) environment
Amazing menu & excellent food
I want to open this by establishing that Thai isn’t my favorite food, but – thanks to Sisters Thai (located at 503 Montgomery St, Alexandria, VA), there’s a chance that Thai could move up the ranking. This place has become one of my favorite eateries, coffee spots, and general hang locations in the last few months and I’d like to tell you why.
Sisters Thai (Sisters) is a new-ish cozy Thai restaurant (duh) in Old Town’s Alexandria’s new commercial area, the North End. I have been there 4 times in the last 2 months or so, and I think very highly of the place. So highly, in fact, that it’s this site’s first 5-star review. And unlike my last food review where I abstained from talking about the establishment as a whole, given the fact that it’s new & I want more people to support this place – Sisters demands that I do this time around. It is that enjoyable of an experience.
I wouldn’t call Sisters a chain, but it is a set of locations specific to the area. They already had spots in both the Mosaic District (THE ORDINARY CAFÉ) and Fairfax (THE LIVING ROOM CAFÉ) before coming into Old Town. And now their vibrant atmosphere and wonderful take on multiple dishes are dangerously close to me (although, I’m not complaining). And they even brought a little bistro (Magnolia) along for the ride.
My Opinion After The Last Bite…
If you can’t tell from my repeated praise and the fact that I’ve gone there 4 times in such a short period: I think Sisters is a “10 out of 10, would recommend” type of place. It doesn’t take a lot to get my approval, nor does it take much to impress me — but it is hard for me to give something a perfect score, and I just think they’ve got it! Whatever “it” is – Sisters has it, hands down.
This is a perfect 5-star review, so I won’t bother putting the stars next to the headers on this one. All of the scores in today’s categories are “5”.
I want to try to paint a picture for you regarding experiencing the interior of this restaurant.
You walk through the main entrance and are immediately greeted by 1-2 people. There’s normally a host in the front along with a server to walk you to your seat. I know COVID-time is likely skewing this for now, but each time you walk in you get to choose where you’d like to sit (which is always a plus). I expect that to go away once people feel more comfortable going out.
Anyway, as you follow them in – you immediately see a beautiful wall of books (flipped pages out) in front of you. Shelved on massive bookcases with lit industrial sconces between each one & records on top. (They even have a policy that if you want one of their books, all you need to do is trade, and you can take from their wall. That’s right – just bring in a book you don’t want that you own, and swap it out for any text on their shelves that you’d like)…
When you turn left, you see an open eating/bar area, set underneath dramatic hanging ceiling lights – complete with an old movie-theater style sign and cool wall decoration in the form of a giant mural on the distant brick. Each table has a vividly fresh (live) floral arrangement on top of it, and the parquet hardwood floor is offset by colorful walls and high ceilings. It all works together due to a clever balance of tone, color, lighting, and a mixture of furniture that I would’ve considered a bit hipster in another life.
If you opt to go to the slightly elevated upper-level, you walk past richly colored booth-seating beneath yet another gorgeous ceiling. You sit in the same space as wonderfully arched large windows in a lightly-colored sandstone brick wall, with a nice touch of sconcing that looks like they’re typically used outdoors. And you finally get to see the interior bistro/café I mentioned earlier – Magnolia.
The scent of the fresh flowers aside, the smell of Magnolia may draw you in if you sit too close.
You can order the baked goods from there anywhere inside the restaurant – but inside Magnolia, you get to SEE those creations made right in front of you. The interior of the bistro is very cozy, and they’ve created an atmosphere all its own, separate from the other portions of Sisters, as you’re greeted by a view of Red Rock Canyon (I think) in front of a backdrop of a clear blue sky.
All of this is happening to your sight and sense of smell, while your ears are listening to a nicely curated playlist played at just the right volume. It gives a nice energy to the happenings in your immediate surroundings.
This was all the first section of this review, and I promise that most of the others are much faster.
The service is top-notch here. They have patiently answered my questions. They are attentive. A manager (or owner – or someone!) comes around to each table during their meal and asks if everything is to their liking.
And I get the sense that everyone working her ACTUALLY enjoys working here. They laugh together. They joke with customers. They smile while still being really focused and dedicated to their tasks at hand.
The thing I told you about the books earlier… I didn’t ask about that, my server just told me about it.
Their menu, or should I say The Sisters Daily, is plentiful – but not overly so. I love the added touch of it appearing in the form of a newspaper…
But the contents are good as well. They actually have pictures of their food (which I always prefer in my menus), and a nice range of selections typical of most Thai restaurants – complete with commentary from their head chef.
This is the first menu I’ve seen in a long time that customers keep reading AFTER they’ve placed their order just because it’s so visually striking.
I have eaten breakfast, dinner, and dessert here – but I haven’t had lunch just yet in any of my four visits.
I have tried seafood dishes and appetizers (complete with bloopers where I forgot I was recording video instead of taking a photo). Poultry and Pork. Beef.
Sumptuous. Spicy. Sweet. Savory. Starchy.
The food is always brought out with surprising speed – served hot – and It’s ALL good! I just haven’t had anything alcoholic there yet, but I see the bartender working, and I’ve always seen people give their cocktails a pleasant stare after their first sip (because I people-watch sometimes, like a creeper).
If you’ve never had Thai Iced Tea, stop what you’re doing right now – go to a Thai restaurant (preferably this one) – and order yourself one. You won’t be disappointed that you did.
I love the fact that you can drop upwards of $75+ on a meal for two at Sisters with all of the courses (ordered drinks, appetizers, meals, and dessert), but you can also easily fill those same two people spending half of that. The portions during the meal times I’ve ordered have always been just right for me, and I often see others taking food home in shame – defeated by their lovely meal (haha).
Bottom Line: If you can afford a night out at Chili’s you can totally swing a meal at Sisters, only the food will be much better (sorry Chili’s – I still love you, too).
The Small Details
I think what separates great restaurants from average ones is their attention to small details.
How is your staff dressed? Is everything clean at all times? What condition are the bathrooms in? What music is playing? How loud is the music for everyone? How much do you care about your lighting? Do you speak to our customers? How is each table set?
Once you get past the basic functions of operating, things like the aforementioned go a very long way. Sisters Thai has its ground covered here. They have exceeded my expectations in every single dimension I can think of that would fall into this category. THAT is what set them apart from other places I’ve been to in this area, and ultimately makes them deserve a “5 out of 5” review score from this site.
I actually got hungry while writing this review up. I literally just ate there last night, but I may have to hit up Sisters again this weekend – LOL!
If you’ve eaten there, please feel free to add your own review score using the widget at the top of this post, and add any comments you’d like to share below.