Noonie's Thai Café brings authentic, affordable Thai cuisine to Destin

Jessica Coker
Luke Stephens tells The Log his wife Noonie has lived in the area for about five years and he's lived here for eight years.

At Noonie’s Thai Café, with each stir-fry entrée you get white rice and a big decision to make — chicken, beef or pork? Noonie's is quite literally "the new kid on the block" in Destin’s culinary scene. Having just opened weeks ago, this establishment is proving to be anything but a neophyte in the world of Thai fare. Although this wee restaurant is painted candy apple red, it's easy to pass by at the foot of the Destin Bridge — but it's definitely worth turning around, say owners Luke and Noonie Stephens. Luke and Noonie "Thai-ed the knot" three years ago, and this is their first venture into business together. Noonie's offers up an assortment of tempting lunch specials from 11 a.m. - 3 p.m. everyday for only $7. The red curry lunch special is proving popular with guests as is the pad Thai. All of the lunch specials offered at Noonie's are served with a fried appetizer, and they come with your choice of protein — chicken, beef or pork. For an additional $3 you can add pork spare ribs to any order. Lunch isn't all they do at Noonie's. They have an appetizer platter with crispy spring rolls, wontons, loompia, ribs and chicken satay (four of each) for $15. For those of you who want to try something a little different they also have a wide selection of stir-fry, like their ginger stir-fry with fresh ginger root, black mushrooms, green and white onions and bell peppers. If you're looking for something light, they offer a large variety of soup and salad choices as well; including a Thai noodle soup with rice noodles, bean sprouts, cabbage and onions and a som-tum, a papaya salad served on a bed of lettuce with white rice, tomatoes, carrots, garlic and steamed shrimp. Having both Thai and American food on the kid's menu for the sophisticated palates of the little ones is a great way to please the entire family. If you have a sweet tooth — or an entire set of them — Noonie's has a dentist-approved dessert menu as well, including their fresh sweet mango and sweet sticky rice topped with coconut milk and sesame seeds. Luke says that Noonie does most of the cooking, but, "we do have one family member who helps out in the kitchen some." Noonie's is a truly authentic taste of Thailand, from the food to the libations; they feature Thai teas, hot jasmine or green tea, even Thai beer like Singha and Chang. Noonie's Thai Café is located at 107 Harbor Blvd., in the old Crust Pizza and legendary Miss Chen’s restaurant. You can call them at 424-7203 or find them on Facebook, Noonie's Thai Café. They're open Sunday-Thursday 11 a.m. - 10 p.m. and Friday-Saturday 11 a.m. - 2 a.m.