The Owner Who Brought Legendary Rice Paddy Restaurant to Marquette, Michigan Retires
I love finding little hole in the wall, unknown gems, and staple businesses in Michigan, as many of us may not be aware some of these places that make a trip to them totally worth it. One of those places popped up on my feed recently, as someone highlighted a tiny Thai food restaurant in Marquette, Michigan that is a huge part of the community. It's called "The Rice Paddy" at 1720 Presque Isle Ave features all sorts of classic Thai meals and appetizers, and according to Cory Kattelus, is a place everyone needs to experience:
The flavors and quality are amazing. Admittedly, I've never been to Thailand. I have, however, had Thai food around the US at some really great places, and this is right there with anything. This spot is a unique Marquette experience, and, seriously, the food is off the charts. Two things to bear in mind if you plan to visit The Rice Paddy: 1. Bring cash 2. This place is very popular and can get very busy. All of the food is made fresh to order. Expect a wait of some kind. I recommend calling your order in ahead.
How Was The Rice Paddy Started?
The Rice Paddy is a Marquette institution. It is the life work of Aoy LaChapelle, a local legend and absolute dynamo of a woman. Aoy is a native of Bangkok, and immigrated to the US when she was nineteen. She opened The Rice Paddy over 30 years ago, and ran the restaurant on her own for much of that time.
Aoy recently sold the restaurant and stepped aside, leaving her apprentice, Nang, in charge of the kitchen. She and her husband now handle the daily operations of the restaurant. Cory says, "this is one of those places where you feel immediately welcome, and the people are truly glad you're there and look forward to the privilege of feeding you, just as Aoy always intended."
Marquette is also home to 2 other Thai restaurants, including Thai House Restaurant & Teriyaki Bowl. Who knew there was such a demand for Thai in the U.P.