Siam Telluride

Located on West Pacific Street, Siam Telluride is the only Thai restaurant in town. Walking minutes from the free gondola and blocks from the main street (the heart of Telluride), Siam is conveniently located next to The Wine Mine at the intersection of Davis and Pacific.

While the location is simple for people to find, getting in and getting a table are much more complicated — especially during the winter season and on holidays.

Siam is only open for dinner, but nightly beginning at 5:00 p.m. Reservations can be made by calling in (728.6886) before the restaurant opens, but only on the day you wish to dine.

The building, which formerly housed a Mexican restaurant years ago, is small, and only 15-20 tables are available.

With a full bar that offers specialty drinks as well as imported  — including Saporro, Corona and Stella Artois — and local Telluride beer, the bar area is also an option for seating.

Besides the small capacity, there’s a reason it’s so hard to get in: Many people say this is the best meal in town. Siam is not only beloved by visitors; It’s also the favorite among many locals, who say if they are going to spend the money going to dinner, they prefer to do so at Siam.

Siam prides itself in its kitchen staff. With true Thai people preparing and cooking food, the dining experience is authentic. Many a tourist have come through Telluride, happened to have eaten at Siam, and have been quoted as saying that the Pad Thai is some of the best they’ve ever eaten.

That’s because the kitchen staff know that the food must be cooked at high heat. Some Thai kitchens are reluctant, for fear of burning food, and do not always follow through with the tradition of creating real Thai cuisine. At Siam, you can taste the difference.

The menu is extensive, and besides traditional Thai food, like Tom Kha or Tom Yum, as well as Pad Thai, Pra Ram, spring rolls, satays and other delicious favorites, Asian fusion dishes exist including curries and sushi. “Traditional and contemporary” is how Siam describes their food.

Spiciness is up to the patron, and the wait staff will ask a preference for each dish.

Shrimp, seafood, beef, chicken, tofu and even duck are protein options that can be added to the various rice and noodle dishes, as well as soups.

Siam offers a kids’ menu, affordably priced, featuring fried rice, chicken, Pad Thai and more. Shirley Temples and lassis are available from the bar.

Outdoor seating is a possibility for the summer season, but only a few tables are offered on the narrow deck. At the same time, live music happens in the warmer weather, and local musicians play live reggae, classical guitar and other tunes for tips.

As with most restaurants in Telluride, the ambiance is casual. You can certainly show up in jeans and fleece, though ski boots are not appropriate.

You’ll enjoy the décor: Thai photographs, sculptures of the buddhas and a fish pond into which patrons cast pennies.

But, the food — the incredible food is what will bring you back to Siam.