Top 5 Thai restaurants in Toronto


Published June 28, 2024 at 11:54 am

thai toronto

Thai food in Toronto is expansive, ranging from humble stalls to multi-course tasting menus, and some of the best can be found in surprising places. The greatest Thai spots in the city serve up exemplary versions of staples like pad thai, khao soi, pad see ew and a selection of fragrant curries, but also often offer their own spins on classics as well as creations all their own.

These top spots represent the best of Thai cooking in Toronto, and are relatively accessible to everyone. There are fancier Thai restaurants in town where you could go to dine like royalty, but while these places may feel more casual, the food at any of them is fit for a special occasion.

Revel in the spicy, sour, sweet and salty flavours of Thai food at these restaurants.

5 – Mengrai Thai

Award-winning Chef Sasi is renowned for her cooking prowess at this restaurant with a bohemian vibe near Queen and Parliament. She serves up favourites with finesse, like her chef’s special pad thai, curries and stir fries, but Mengrai is also known for Sasi’s royal cuisine, which includes whole red snapper and their popular #54 red chicken curry with lychee.

For a dish that’s visually impressive while still relatively typical, opt for the royal Thai pineapple fried rice served in a pineapple. It’s sweet, nutty and comforting, and the rice is perfectly cooked and studded through with lots of veggies, pineapple and protein.

One of the things that’s really great about this place is that they offer lots of vegetarian and vegan options, and allergens are very clearly marked on the menu.

4 – Isaan Der

There are multiple locations of this Thai restaurant, and once you try the food, it’s easy to see why.

The kitchen is headed up by Chef Ko, who immigrated to Toronto in 2011. They offer all the usuals like pad thai, pad si ew, khao soi and curries, but they also serve signature dishes that go way beyond typical Thai offerings.

Some of those signature dishes are their fried golden bags, their fish panang curry, a duck red curry with lychee and pineapple that usually needs to be ordered at least 24 hours in advance, and a tender lamb shank massaman curry that you won’t find at just any Thai restaurant.

The meat falls off the bone, and the rich flavour of the lamb is excellently complemented by the deep, warm spices and flavours of the nutty curry.

3 – Lao Thai

Tucked away on Gladstone just off Queen West, this place with just a few tables may be small, but don’t underestimate the flavours inside.

Thai and Lao influences come together at this restaurant, meaning you can get a taste of both cultures here for a take on Thai that’s a little bit different. That means you’ll find Lao sausage and ribs mingling with tom yum soup and laap on the menu.

For a great example of how this restaurant combines Thai and Lao influences, try their pad thai that’s definitely not like all the others. It’s much saucier and a little funkier, and the soupiness of the sauce perfectly coats the noodles with sweet, sour and salty flavours.

Like many of the best Thai spots, this place isn’t afraid to hit you with the real spice, so if you like it hot, head here to request one of their higher heat levels.

2 – Thai Nyyom

This small restaurant on Bloor between Lansdowne and Dundas West only has two consistent dishes on the menu each day, and that’s the magic of it. The rest of the menu constantly changes every single day, with daily specials and sides. Want to know what the special of the day is going to be? You’ll have to check their social media or head to the restaurant in person to check the menu in order to find out.

Those rotating specials might include pork fried rice, ginger chicken, tom yum pork noodles, and even pad thai. That’s right, pad thai isn’t one of the two consistent dishes.

Those places of honour are reserved for their chicken rice and their khao soi, and both are equally deserving of their spots on the menu.

Their chicken rice is just what it sounds like, an aggressively basic dish of chicken and rice that’s schmaltzy and rich in its simplicity. The khao soi is textbook, an aromatic soupy curry that envelops slippery soft noodles, crispy fried noodles, juicy chicken, mustard greens, onions and herbs to create a symphony of intense flavours.

1 – Pai

With two locations in Toronto, this might be the city’s most famous Thai restaurant. It’s Michelin-recommended, frequented by celebrities and draws lineups even in the middle of the day on weekdays.

The kitchen is helmed by well-known Chef Nuit Regular, who has gone on to pioneer other projects beyond Pai. Still, this is the place to head to if you’re looking for some of Toronto’s best Thai, hands down.

Iconic papaya salad, beef salad, khao soi, pad see ew, pad gra prow and curries are all represented here, but the Chef Nuit pad thai is one of their must-try dishes. It’s made using a house-made tamarind-palm sugar sauce and is garnished with Pai’s signature shredded cabbage that adds a cooling crunch to the spicy, slick noodles. Savoury, sweet and hot, this pad thai is seriously addictive. You can opt for spice levels up to Farang spicy and Thai spicy for this dish, so you can really get your sweat on if you so choose.

thai toronto

  1. Pai
  2. Thai Nyyom
  3. Lao Thai
  4. Isaan Der
  5. Mengrai Thai