Toronto Thai Restaurants 2020

Looking for the best Toronto Thai restaurants? We’ve traveled several times to Thailand on an eating spree to sample the country’s unique regional dishes.

Our comprehensive guide to Toronto Thai Restaurants includes the best downtown eateries serving authentic Thai dishes.

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Toronto Thai Restaurants

Toronto is one of the best city’s in Canada to sample authentic Thai dishes. But it wasn’t always so. Over a decade ago, most of the Thai food on menus in Toronto were unlike the dishes you’d encounter in Bangkok, Sukothai, Chang Mai, Phuket, Krabi, Ko Samui, or Ko Phi Phi. Local foodies chuckle at the early days when pad thai was served with ketchup instead of tamarind. The horror!

Our go-to resource on Toronto Thai restaurants is Chef Nuit Regular. She is regularly noted by local food writers for bringing an authentic taste of Thailand to Canada’s largest city. Chef Nuit has graced the kitchen’s of Toronto’s best Thai restaurants, including Sukothai, Khao San Road, Pai, Kiin and Sabai Sabai.

Chef Nuit grew up in northern Thailand. She was born in the outer region of Chang Mai, then moved to a town called Phrae. After graduating university in Phitsanulok, she moved to Pai to practice nursing. She lived in Pai for 10 years before marrying her Canadian husband Jeff and moving to Toronto with him.

Chef Nuit describes her move to Canada, “I arrived to Toronto in January 2006. I never planned on leaving Thailand, but after I met Jeff and we got married, he wanted to take me to Toronto to meet his family. He said that he just wanted us to stay there for at least a couple of years and if I didn’t like it we could move back to Thailand. But I fell in love with Toronto, even the winters. I still love the snow!”

She goes on to describe the Toronto Thai restaurant scene when she arrived, “It was very difficult to find food that tasted like home and also had an atmosphere like home. I always liked the feeling of going to Thai restaurants and meeting Thai people, but the food felt like it was missing something. But now, with the growing popularity of Thai food in Toronto, more Thai ingredients are easily available and the Thai food scene has really stepped up its game.”

Chef Nuit Regular's Kiin is one of our favourite Toronto Thai restaurants.
Chef Nuit Regular’s Kiin is one of our favourite Toronto Thai restaurants.

Best Toronto Thai Restaurants

Chef Nuit goes on to describe how locals have embraced authentic Toronto Thai restaurants, “When we first opened Sukhothai and introduced unfamiliar Thai dishes to Toronto, like khao soi, people were hesitant to try it. Everyone just wanted pad thai. Even our pad thai was very unfamiliar to many as it was made with real homemade tamarind sauce. They loved the dishes so much and began to trust me to show them new authentic flavours from Thailand.”

Chef Nuit adds, “Every restaurant we’ve opened introduced at least one new dish that was unfamiliar to Toronto at the time, like pad gra prow or grabong. With Kiin, I felt Toronto was ready for the next step. I created an entire menu that would not be recognizable to most people here. Some of the dishes are even rare in Thailand. Toronto has a great food culture. We always appreciate good food and are always very curious about what food really tastes like in different parts of the world, which is perfect for me, because that’s exactly what I want to share.”

Toronto’s best Thai restaurants use high quality ingredients and traditional cooking techniques. The interiors are designed to transport you back to Thailand and service is classically Thai, as warm and friendly as can be!


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Masaman Curry at Sukothai Restaurant in Toronto.
Masaman Curry at Sukothai Restaurant in Toronto.

Sukothai

274 Parliament St, 416-913-8846

The story of Sukothai is so cute, it all started on an elephant-hence the logo. Jeff was backpacking through the jungles of Northern Thailand and met his future wife Nuit who was working at the time as a nurse at the local hospital. A few years later they opened up a cozy little restaurant in Pai, Thailand, called the Curry Shack. The spot became a hit with travellers as well as the Thai locals.

The first of Chef Nuit’s Toronto Thai Restaurants was Sukothai on Parliament Street. The tiny hole-in-the-wall eatery quickly became the city’s Thai obsession. Sukothai first opened its doors in Toronto in 2008 and since then has spawned three additional locations on Dundas, Wellington and in the Canary District.

Must-Try Dishes at Sukothai

  • Tom Kha Gai: chicken in creamy coconut soup with herbs
  • Khao Soi: noodles in curry gravy with beef, chicken or tofu
  • Lemongrass Fish: chopped herbs, peppers, lime and rice
  • Pad Thai: with bean sprouts, egg, shallots and peanuts
  • Gaeng Phed: red curry with squash
Gra Bong Squash Fritters at Khao San Road.
Gra Bong Squash Fritters at Khao San Road.

Khao San Road

11 Charlotte St, 647-352-5773

After Chef Nuit’s remarkable success with Sukothai, she spent two years designing the menu and concept at Khao San Road.

Ranked as one of the best Toronto Thai restaurants, Khao San Road originally opened in a basement on Adelaide Street West. The restaurant is now located on Charlotte Street and was designed by Make Studio. The dining room has sky-high ceilings and a double decker wall made up of imported tiles from Thailand.

Khao San Road is always bustling, so if you can’t find a seat at the restaurant, try your luck at their Thai bar, Bang Sue, upstairs.

Must-Try Dishes at Khao San Road

  • Squash Fritters “Gra Bong”: kabocha squash, wild ginger, lemongrass, fresh makrut lime leaf, red curry, egg
  • Grilled Steak Salad: beef, onions, red bell pepper, cilantro, scallion, fish sauce, oyster sauce, ground toasted rice, long leaf cilantro, mint, chili
  • Massaman Curry: massaman curry, tamarind, onion, fresh roasted peanuts, potato, shallot, fish sauce, coconut milk
  • Three Flavours Pad Thai: rice noodles, tamarind, egg, tofu, bean sprout, fresh roasted peanuts, shallot, chive, dried chili, lime, long leaf cilantro
  • Green Curry Fried Rice: green curry, rice, bamboo shoot, green bell pepper, thai basil, fish sauce
A taste of Northern Thailand at Pai Restaurant in Toronto.
A taste of Northern Thailand at Pai Restaurant in Toronto.

Pai

18 Duncan St, 416-901-4724

Chef Nuit and Jeff Regular’s Pai Restaurant on Duncan Street first opened its doors in 2014. After captivating Toronto’s Thai food fans with their dishes at Sukothai, Khoa San Road and Sabai Sabai, Pai became the duo’s first owned and operated enterprise.

Visit the subterranean restaurant in Toronto’s entertainment district and you’ll always find a crowd outside waiting to be seated. Skip down the stairs of one of the best Toronto Thai restaurants and you’ll find a bustling 80 seat dining room. Guests feel a bit like they’re wandering through a Thai food market, peering into a lively open kitchen.

Cafe and bar Bebop (named after a legendary music bar in Pai) offers its own snack bar menu. You’ll also find a takeout station in the back, which looks like a traditional Thai street food hawker stall.

Pai Northern Thai Kitchen in Toronto serves up a selection of spicy dishes you’d expect to find in city’s like Chang Mai and Chang Rai.

Must-Try Dishes at Pai

  • Thai Chicken Wings: chicken wings, crispy shallots, lemongrass, crispy chillies with a sweet tamarind sauce
  • Laap Salad: ground pork in a home-made northern Thai leap paste, peppercorn, garlic, shallots, galangal, lemongrass, shrimp paste, fennel served with lettuce leaves and sticky rice
  • Tom Yum Kung: savoury, spicy and sour shrimp soup with lemongrass, long leaf coriander, shallots, mushrooms, tomatoes, green onions, served with steamed jasmine rice
  • Fried Fish: crispy base fillet, steamed jasmine rice, crispy shallots, fresh chili sauce and tangy tamarind sauce
  • Pad Gra Prow: holy basil stir fried with your choice of ground pork, chicken, beef or tofu, steamed jasmine rice, thai style fried egg, nam price nam pla sauce
Lao BBQ Chicken Ping Gai at Sabai Sabai Toronto.
Lao BBQ Chicken Ping Gai at Sabai Sabai Toronto.

Sabai Sabai

81 Bloor St E, 647-748-4225

Sabai Sabai is the best Thai restaurant in Yorkville. Located a short walk from Yonge and Bloor, Sabai Sabai offers classic Thai dishes alongside authentic Laotian specialties.

The popular Toronto Thai restaurant was the dream of Laotians Seng Luong and Jason Jiang, who grew up in Vientiane, the capital of Laos.

Seng Luong explains, “We came up with the concept of Sabai Sabai in early 2012 and first opened at a location on Church and Dundas in November. Sabai Sabai is the brainchild of Jason and Chef Nuit. The inspiration behind Sabai Sabai was to offer Northern Thai food with a mix of lesser known Lao dishes.”

Sabai Sabai is one of the only restaurants in Toronto offering authentic dishes from Laos. You’ll find all your favourite Thai staples here, but we suggest focussing on the restaurants unique offerings from Laos as they’re hard to find elsewhere in the city.

Must-Try Dishes at Sabai Sabai

  • Minced Pork Salad “Laap Lao”: unofficial national dish of Laos, fresh herbs, lettuce
  • Lao BBQ Chicken “Ping Gai”: boneless chicken marinated with in-house spices, fresh herbs, chili garlic dipping sauce, papaya salad
  • Pork Belly Lao Sausage “Sai Oua”: housemade, lemongrass, kaffir lime leaf, galangal, chili
  • Khao Poon: lao rice noodle dish, red curry coconut broth, chicken, fresh herbs, shredded banana blossom, black pudding
  • Holy Basil Stir-Fry “Pad Gra Prao”: fried egg, rice, (add chicken, pork, or shrimp)
A colourful Royal Thai Platter at Kiin Restaurant in downtown Toronto.
A colourful Royal Thai Platter at Kiin Restaurant in downtown Toronto.

Kiin

326 Adelaide St W, 647-490-5040

“Kiin is where Thailanders can get a taste of what they’ve been missing from home and Torontonians can try traditional dishes that they haven’t likely seen before but are favourites of ours,” says Chef Nuit.

After the success of Pai restaurant, Chef Nuit and her partner Jeff opened one of Toronto’s most elevated and elegant Thai restaurant concepts. While Chef Nuit is best known for her Northern Thai restaurants, Kiin introduced pretty plates from across the country.

Kiin’s interior designed by Steven Fong Architect was renovated and reimagined at the original Khao San Road location. The long and narrow basement, which was once dimly lit, is now brightened by shuttered colonial windows inspired by royal houses in Thailand.

Kiin is the best Toronto Thai restaurant for those looking to enjoy a romantic night out. Chef Nuit’s most eye-popping dishes include a parade of petite Royal Thai Dumplings and rainbow-coloured Khao Yum.

Must-Try Dishes at Kiin

  • Royal Thai Dumplings: Miang Kung, Mha Hor, Chor Ladda, Thoong Thong
  • Soft Shell Crab: deep fried soft shell crab, mango salad, mint, cashew, chilli-lime garlic dressing
  • Khao Yum: jasmine rice, white turmeric, long beans, lemongrass, sawtooth coriander, kaffir lime leaves, cucumber, toasted coconut, pomelo, fried chilli, sunflower sprouts, edible flowers, tamarind, soy bean sauce
  • Pork Ribs: pork ribs, green curry, red chilli, thai basil leaf, coconut milk, kaffir lime leaf, wild ginger
  • Mee Grob: crunchy vermicelli noodles, shrimp, tofu, egg, sorrel sauce, wonton bowl, chives, yuzu zest
The magical interior of Bangkok Garden, a popular Thai restaurant in Toronto.
The magical interior of Bangkok Garden, a popular Thai restaurant in Toronto.

Bangkok Garden

18 Elm St, 416-977-6748

Housed in a historic building near Dundas Square, Bangkok Garden introduced Thai cuisine to Toronto over 36 years ago. Bangkok Garden was awarded the Thai Select Premium designation from the Thai Consulate – recognizing the authenticity of the food and outstanding service.

Located on Elm Street, the popular Toronto Thai restaurant features an exotic interior. Step inside the dining room and you’ll find tropical greenery, teak furniture, dangling bird cage lanterns, Buddha statues and a magical river.

While enjoying date night at Bangkok Garden offers awesome ambiance, its the restaurants weekday lunch buffet that locals rave about most. Bangkok Garden’s award-winning All-You-Can-Eat lunch buffet runs Monday to Friday from 11:30am-2:30pm and costs $17.95 per person.

Bangkok Garden is also the only Thai restaurant in Toronto that owns a luxurious spa. If you’re looking to escape the city on a staycation we suggest indulging in Bangkok Garden’s lunch buffet followed by a Thai-inspired massage treatment at Elmwood Spa next door.

Must-Try Dishes at Bangkok Garden

  • Mango Salad: shredded green mango, shallots, coriander, red pepper, mint, palm sugar and peanuts. toasted shredded coconut
  • Grilled Seafood Satay: shrimp, squid and mussels marinated in a curry coconut cream, grilled on bamboo skewers, with piquant garlic dipping sauce.
  • Toasted Cashew Chicken “Gai Phad Met Mamuang“: onions, bell peppers, roasted cashews, Thai spices.
  • Panang Nua: stir-fried curry of beef, red curry paste, coconut cream and fresh green beans.
  • Phad Si Ew: broad rice noodles, green vegetables, egg. Choice or beef, chicken or tofu.
Royal Lemongrass Coconut Soup with Shrimp at Mengrai Thai Restaurant.
Royal Lemongrass Coconut Soup with Shrimp at Mengrai Thai Restaurant.

Mengrai Thai

82 Ontario St, 416-840-2754

Mengrai Thai first opened its doors in Toronto’s King East neighbourhood in 2008. It’s located in a historic building, which was once a brewery back in the 1920s and 1930s.

The Toronto Thai restaurant’s interior is filled with arts and craft inspirations from Thailand. Skip through the restaurants three dining rooms and you’ll find smiling golden Buddha statues, upside down multi-coloured umbrellas hanging from the ceiling and classic Thai triangle pillows that fold out on comfy bench seats.

The kitchen is run by Chef Sasi Meechai who grew up in a small village called Wiang Pa Pao, located in Chiang Rai. Chef Sasi prepares traditional dishes from northern Thailand at Mengrai Thai restaurant in Toronto. Chef Sasi’s menu has also been enjoyed by visiting A-listers such as Drew Barrymore, Jessica Alba and Mick Jagger.

Must-Try Dishes at Mengrai Thai

  • Royal Thai Pineapple Fried Rice: served in a fresh pineapple. Soy, garlic, peas, carrots, roasted scallions and cashews.
  • Sasi’s Pad Thai Noodle: chilli bean shrimp paste, tiger shrimp, chicken, tofu, egg, garlic, tamarind, green onion, bean sprout and crushed peanuts.
  • Panang Curry: mild and flavourful curry with kaffir lime, garlic, galangal and lemongrass.
  • Divine Morning Glory: lightly battered thai spinach, topped with mouth melting sweet chilli tamarind palm sugar drizzle.
  • Royal Lemongrass Coconut Soup: served in a fresh coconut. Coconut broth, thai ginger, kaffir lime, basil, chillies, tamarind, tomato, mushroom, onion and roasted scallions.
Favorites Thai BBQ is the best Thai restaurant on Ossington Avenue.
Favorites Thai BBQ is the best Thai restaurant on Ossington Avenue.

Favorites Thai BBQ

141 Ossington Ave, 416-588-3376

Favorites Toronto opened in July, 2019 on Ossington Avenue by the restauranteurs behind Paris Paris, Khao San Road and Superpoint.

The entrance to Favorites is hidden. You can access the Ossington restaurant through the Sam James Coffee entrance. Once inside, guests are greeted by an open kitchen featuring grills fuelled by binchotan charcoal. The sweet smelling smoke perfumes the dining room, which features hanging plants, flecked tile, peach lighting, bead curtains, white walls and a tiny portrait of the King of Thailand.

Unique to Favorites Toronto is its central ice bucket bar, which sits in front of the open kitchen and offers bar stool seating for up to five guests. On busy nights you’ll find servers clutching for dripping wine bottles as friends slice into spicy sausages.

Chef de cuisine Haan Palcu Chang has spent years studying the flavours of Thai cuisine. Having worked in some of the best restaurants in North America and Europe, including Vancouver’s award-winning Maenam, Chef Haan joined the Favorites Toronto team to bring its quirky Thai inspired menu to life. 

Chef Haan describes the Ossington restaurant’s most popular menu items, “our scallop curry really showcases our kitchen’s ability as curry paste is pounded in house and cooked in cracked coconut milk. Also the lamb chops, which are done on the charcoal grill with a tamarind dipping sauce. Our popular summer salad featured Ontario corn with salted duck egg yolk, tomatoes and peanuts.”

Must-Try Dishes at Favorites Thai BBQ

  • Coconut Braised Mushroom with Herbs & Toasted Rice
  • Betel Leaf “One Bite Wrap” with Shrimp & Tamarind
  • Crispy Tofu & 3 Flavoured Sauce
  • Red Curry Duck Sausage
  • Fried Ontario Trout with Apple, Peanut & Toasted Coconut
A taste of Northeast Thailand at Isaan Der in The Junction.
A taste of Northeast Thailand at Isaan Der in The Junction.

Isaan Der

2961 Dundas St W, 416-604-9262

Isaan Der is the best Thai restaurant in The Junction, sitting perched over Toronto’s Dundas Street West. The Toronto Thai restaurant opened its doors in March, 2017. It’s named after Isaan, the Northeastern region of Thailand, where Chef Ko grew up.

Chef Ko was inspired to open her first Thai restaurant in Toronto after traveling around Thailand as a reporter at TV Channel 7 for 16 years. In Thailand she did creative writing for a home magazine and became known for her culinary reports. While traveling around Thailand to write for her food column, Ko got acquainted with various regional cuisines and that’s how her passion for food was born. Chef Ko later got professional culinary training at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Bangkok.

Isaan Der on Dundas Street West offers seating for 42 in a dining room decorated with Chef Ko’s treasures from Thailand. The ceiling is decorated with scarfs adorned with Isaan ornaments. On the walls you’ll find Patoong, Thai women’s Isaan silk dresses as well as traditional Thai fishing tools.

The Isaan Der bar serves a selection of beers, including Toronto’s High Park Brewery, and wine’s from Niagara-on-the-Lake. Isaan Der’s mission is to represent the unique flavours of Thailand’s Northeast. Chef Ko suggests first time visitors order her signature dishes such as BBQ Pork with Stick Rice, Pad Kee Mao drunken noodles and Guaytiaw Gang red curry.

Must-Try Dishes at Isaan Der

  • Golden Bags: deep fried pastry filled with water chestnuts, carrots, corn, taro and herbs with chili sauce for dipping.
  • Papaya Salad: shredded green papaya, cherry tomatoes, chilies, long yard beans, shredded carrot, tamarind and peanuts.
  • BBQ Pork & Sticky Rice: grilled pork marinated in garlic, honey and coriander root.
  • Pad Prik Gaeng: stir fried long yard beans, red bell peppers, kaffir lime leaf, red curry paste. Choice of chicken or tofu.
  • Green Curry: coconut milk, bamboo shoots, baby eggplant, bell peppers, kaffir like leaf, basil. Choice of chicken, beef, shrimp, fish or tofu.
Toronto Thai Restaurants: Sala Modern Kitchen is located on Danforth Avenue.
Toronto Thai Restaurants: Sala Modern Kitchen is located on Danforth Avenue.

Sala Modern Thai Kitchen

1262 Danforth Ave, 416-405-9999

Sala is considered the best of the Toronto Thai restaurants on Greek Town’s Danforth Avenue. The popular East End restaurant opened its doors in April, 2014 after taking over Jean’s Vegetarian Kitchen.

Translated from Thai, Sala means “a shelter.” It is a quintessential symbol of Thai hospitality. It could denote a cool bus stop in the middle of a road, a tent amidst a scenic rice field or a grand pavilion, anything that promises rest and relaxation.

Chef Mo is a restaurateur with 10 years professional experience and over 20 years of cooking experience. Born and raised in Isaan, Chef Mo has been cooking since the age of 10 by helping her aunt at a local Thai restaurant. As she was gaining experience, she opened her own French restaurant in Thailand, where she sharpened her culinary skills.

Sala Modern Thai Kitchen’s menu is comprised of Thai classics from all regions of Thailand. The special focus is on unique fusion options as Chef Mo strives to introduce guests to current trends in Thai cooking.

Must-Try Dishes at Salad Modern Thai Kitchen

  • Tom Yum Soup: Thai style spicy & sour soup with fresh herbs and mushrooms.
  • Coconut Noodle: stir-fried vermicelli noodle with creamy coconut sauce, egg, tofu, beansprouts, chives, roasted minced peanuts, and crispy shallots.
  • Pad Ma Khou: stir-fried eggplants and minced meat with Thai basil in the house chili paste sauce.
  • Gung Pad Pong Kari: stir-fried thick golden curry with shrimp, chinese celery, green onions, crispy shallots, green a red pepper.
  • Pineapple Curry: Red curry with rich coconut cream, and fresh pineapple.
Toronto Thai Restaurants: Nana offers a Bangkok street food vibe on Queen Street West.
Toronto Thai Restaurants: Nana offers a Bangkok street food vibe on Queen Street West.

Nana Restaurant

785 Queen St W, 647-352-5773

Nana Thai restaurant in Toronto is located in the trendy Queen Street West neighbourhood near Trinity Bellwoods Park. Ranked as one of the best Toronto Thai restaurants, Nana opened its doors in October 2014.

Nana is the second Thai restaurant opened by the owner of Khao San Road. Nana offers contemporary Thai food, in an urban, Thai street-style setting. Inspiration for Nana restaurant’s theme and decor were drawn from Wan’s time in Bangkok, and realized by designers Dina Sarhane and Anne Van Koeverden. Eating street food, and capturing the atmosphere were important concepts to bring into the Nana dining room. Skip inside and you’ll find flooring that resembles a road, and tables and seats much like what can be found in street-style eateries in Thailand’s capital.

In Thai, the word nana refers to many or multiple and can also mean meeting place. Nana was also historically, the part of Bangkok where people met to discuss philosophical ideas. In modern times, the area is now where people meet to dine and socialize. This part of the city has numerous restaurants, bars and nightlife.

“There is so much incredible Thai food to share with the people of Toronto,” says Monte Wan, owner and executive chef. “We want to offer patrons exposure to a wider variety of Thai dishes, some which are a bit more adventurous, that the city has not seen.”

Must-Try Dishes at Nana Thai Restaurant

  • Southern Fried Chicken Salad: fusion of crispy southern style fried chicken with northeastern thai flavours of fresh mint, shallots, toasted rice, coriander, citrus and chili
  • Kua Gling Pork Ribs: stewed pork ribs infused with kua gling, a southern red curry, featuring the flavours of lemongrass, turmeric, peppercorn, garlic, galangal, kaffir lime, shrimp paste, chili, and coconut milk
  • Boat Noodle Soup with Beef: rice noodles served in a broth of chicken stock flavoured with cinnamon, star anise and beef blood topped with choice of braised shank, sliced beef or beef balls.
  • Pad See Ew: wide rice noodles, chinese broccoli, soy and oyster sauce.
  • Yellow Curry Fried Rice with Coconut: thai-style fried rice with toasted coconut, tomatoes, cilantro and crispy fried shallot
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