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Best of Toronto

The Best Pad Thai in Toronto

Posted by Todd H / March 23, 2010

pad thai torontoThe best pad thai in Toronto is a surprisingly contentious issue and I can already hear the shouts of "Oh that pad thai is made with ketchup!" or "That pad thai tastes like shrimp paste" or even such war mongering declarations as "Their pad thai is completely inauthentic", so let's just stop before we start and set the record straight.

According to almost all of the following restaurateurs, most of whom hail from Thailand and several who visit the motherland at least once a year, there's no such thing as "authentic" pad thai. Even in Thailand, it's sometimes made with ketchup. Yeah, I said it (or rather they did), it's out there and it's declarative, so bite me...or if you'd rather something far more tasty, then bite into any of the following superb renditions of what just might be the perfect food.

Behold the 12 best pad thai in Toronto.

Sukhothai

Sukhothai

Posted exclamations like “your food brings tears to my eyes”, is “the bomb”, and “my stomach was singing” at this tiny 6 table family run halal Thai powerhouse on Parliament make it clear you’re in for something special. Award winning chef Nuit Regular’s tamarind based pad thai is complex, deep and number one for a very good reason. Don’t walk. Run. More »

Mengrai Thai

Mengrai Thai

Open since 2007 and hidden on Ontario in the former Regal Brewery, this place does pad thai two ways - the more sweet and tomato-y kind favoured by many Torontonians and a more traditional version with tamarind and shrimp paste. If you don’t like sweet then Chef Sasi’s pad thai is definitely where it’s at. More »

Bua Thai

Bua Thai

Decorated with 90% imported goods from Thailand, this Avenue Road resto’s “raison de vivre” is Thai food by Thai people. Assembled in a carefully laid out step by step process, unlike the all-in method sometimes employed by others, their pad thai uses a thinner rice noodle, more egg, and a tamarind-tomato combo punch. De-lish. More »

Jean's Vegetarian Kitchen

Jean's Vegetarian Kitchen

Jean and Harry have been in the Thai food restaurant biz for over a decade but 4 years ago they saw a market niche in strictly vegetarian Thai and leapt at it. Using no preservatives or msg, their tamarind based pad thai has soy and whey protein mock chicken and shrimp that are so tasty you don’t miss the originals. More »

Thai To Go

Thai To Go

This petite storefront on Gerrard west of the DVP only does takeout and delivery but business is booming. With concern for their environmental impact (no AC in the summer, 13% discount if you bring your own to-go containers), their tamarind based pad thai has just a hint of sweetness and travels well, so pick-up the damn phone will ya! More »

Golden Thai

Golden Thai

This downtown east mainstay has made their pad thai the same way since 1991 and with longevity like that in a fickle business, owner Kiem Thung knows he must be doing something right. The tomato based sauce greedily clings to the rice noodles while the perfectly cooked jumbo shrimp compete for your taste buds. More »

Flip, Toss & Thai Kitchen

Flip, Toss & Thai Kitchen

Around for 8 years and busy enough to open a new restaurant, Thai Fresh on Front, owner Wei is definitive about pad thai and his wife, a former chef at Salad King and creator of their award winning stuff, concurs. No Tomato sauce. Tamarind only. Bangkok style. If you’re looking for a less sugary pad thai, this is where it’s at. More »

Sue's Thai Food

Sue's Thai Food

Surviving the Roncesvalles upheaval hasn’t been easy, but in this ‘hood Sue is eternally thankful and optimistic and with pad thai this good and a philanthropic, community oriented heart to boot, it’s not hard to see why. Layered with flavour and surprisingly light, she’s sure to be here for another 13 years. Every neighbourhood should be so lucky. More »

Baan Thai

Baan Thai

Located in the Junction for the last 3 years, Baan Thai’s made a name for itself. A tamarind sauce that takes 1-2 days to make, combined with thin rice noodles, crispy carrots and chopped roasted peanuts make this extremely tasty version sing. With the chef’s connections to the 7th Queen of Thailand, it’s no wonder the food’s this good. More »

Supermarket

Supermarket

Although only open for 4 years, it feels like Supermarket's always been a part of the Kensington scene and that’s a good thing. Chef Manh’s gorgeous pad thai is tamarind based and has wonderful twists with bokchoy, onion, Mexican spice whole roasted peanuts and just enough sauce to make the noodles happy. Me too. More »

Thai Princess

Thai Princess

A stalwart on King West for the past 13 years, consistency amongst the pad thai is assured as only the owner makes the special sauce. Butterfly shrimp atop wonderfully shiny rice noodles, along with the requisite chicken, fried tofu and peanut make this the kind of pad thai most people love and know. More »

Restoran Malaysia

Restoran Malaysia

While a little farther afield, this Thornhill resto (with a second location opening soon) more than makes up for the trek. An enormous serving awaits with crisp bell peppers, a nice tamarind tang and tons of shrimp and with line-ups out the door it’s not surprising they sold more than 24 000 of these last year! More »

Discussion

78 Comments

turd ferguson / March 23, 2010 at 10:52 am
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Salad King!
Sadie / March 23, 2010 at 10:55 am
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I've had the phad thai at Supermarket and it is absolutely delish! Mmmm.. Now I'm craving it..
Colin / March 23, 2010 at 10:56 am
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Baan Thai!!! Yay!!!
Peter K / March 23, 2010 at 11:12 am
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Salad King blows. The food is shitty and the service licks balls.

Red Curry's way better than Pad Thai as a dish anyway.
d replying to a comment from turd ferguson / March 23, 2010 at 11:13 am
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yes
Katie / March 23, 2010 at 11:15 am
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Thai Princess all the way! <3
Glad to see them included here!
Warren / March 23, 2010 at 11:19 am
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Some of these may taste like Thai noodles, but I just came back from Thailand and the pretty noodles you see in the photos above look nothing like the congealed thick sticky noodle you see in Thai food stalls in Bangkok and Pattaya.
Nat / March 23, 2010 at 11:48 am
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"Even in Thailand, it's sometimes made with ketchup."

Okay... They make cheap powdered borshch that's made in Eastern Europe but people know it's not authentic.
Hwan / March 23, 2010 at 11:49 am
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Thai Princess is definitely my favourite; I prefer their sweeter sauce and stickier noodles. Admittedly I haven't tried the top three listed here but am looking forward to doing so!
mp / March 23, 2010 at 11:54 am
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Baan Thai ftw! I'm fortunate enough to live down the street, and hopefully it's not 49x busier after this story.
Salad King / March 23, 2010 at 12:07 pm
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Salad King.
Chuck / March 23, 2010 at 12:08 pm
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Supermarket? Really? How??

I don't think I've ever had a worse Pad Thai than at the Supermarket. You could tell the noodles were microwaved, the freshness of the chicken was questionable. I devour EVERYTHING on my plates (some might call me a pig..) but that Pad Thai was so bad I couldn't finish it. It was blend, chewy, and no taste.

I wish you could see the look on my face... I'm astonished that this is even on the list... I've lost faith in Blog TO readers...

*crushed
Missing / March 23, 2010 at 12:09 pm
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Yeah salad king. :D
Jerrold / March 23, 2010 at 12:11 pm
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Great to see Salad King in this list.

Thai Princess is also great.
Tanya / March 23, 2010 at 12:23 pm
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Ha! Whenever I go past Thai to Go, I wonder who would ever eat there. For shame. I have to try it now.
Dani / March 23, 2010 at 12:48 pm
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how about East! and/or Spring Rolls? Their Famous Phad Thai is very different from ANY I have ever tasted (in Canada or Thailand) but it's mega yum.
Joe / March 23, 2010 at 12:50 pm
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Thai Basil in the Annex has the best Pad Thai that I've had personally; but it doesn't look as tempting as the ones on this list which I'll definitely end up trying.

Except for Supermarket... I LOL'd.
vigilante / March 23, 2010 at 01:05 pm
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I like Springrolls'
Erik / March 23, 2010 at 01:20 pm
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Your lack of Thai Bistro (Yonge, south of Finch) invalidates the scientific accuracy of your study.

Just sayin'.
scubasnack / March 23, 2010 at 01:43 pm
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it's hardly the best, but the red room's pad thai is hands down my favourite toronto comfort food. it's kind of like the kraft dinner of pad thai.
agentsmith / March 23, 2010 at 01:44 pm
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Why no love for Thai One On?
Richard S / March 23, 2010 at 02:25 pm
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Flip Toss Thai & Harbord Fish and Chips being next to each other is a pretty awesome combination :D



I also thought that Thai Spring Roll's (east of Bathurst & Bloor) pad thai (and other dishes, like the glass noodles and green curry chicken) was impressive. I tried it out because of that wagjag deal a while back.
Richard S / March 23, 2010 at 02:30 pm
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Continuing with my above thought, Thai Fresh is owned by the same people as Flip Toss Thai and its a good place to get a healthy, tasty meal if you're near the Metro Convention Centre/Rogers Centre. It was the only place open during the autoshow that wasn't a McD's or Fry truck :D
Ann / March 23, 2010 at 04:03 pm
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Sue's Thai Food? This definitely seems to be a case of championing the underdog rather than legitimately good phad thai. Every time I've had it, they've been watery, and either overly sour or devoid of taste. Nice lady though.
KR / March 23, 2010 at 04:25 pm
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Though not a place that you'd suspect has good Phad Thai, the Rivoli makes a noteworthy version.
Wexler / March 23, 2010 at 04:54 pm
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a couple of those choices are very questionable, however, good job overall.

Xaphire on Eglinton west is, in my opinion, the best in town. Check it out......and Join the Food Snobs group on Facebook.
Sheryl / March 23, 2010 at 05:02 pm
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Another 'YAY!' for Baan Thai. AMAZING Phad Thai, and Tom Yum soup.

I may have to swing by after work this week for a fix.

Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmm..........

Thai One On is also awesome. :D
renee / March 23, 2010 at 05:24 pm
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Sweet...Baan Thai is 2 seconds from home. Going there tonight for date night. Been meaning to try it out, but thanx to this post, we are actually going!
prince / March 23, 2010 at 06:09 pm
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Sue's Pad Thai is really good.. also (not to be Ronces-centric) Thai Chef is worth a mention.. Supermarket is good too - glad they were on the list
sourpuss / March 23, 2010 at 06:20 pm
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yes I'm nitpicking but it's spelled either Pad Thai or Phat Thai.

either way equally delicious
Elizabeth / March 23, 2010 at 06:29 pm
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I think the worst pad thai I had was at the Green Room, and I do love Real Thailand on Bloor. Their pad thai is pretty great. I thought it would make the list. Anyway, thanks for this list - now I know some more places to try!
Chair Massage / March 23, 2010 at 09:41 pm
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After I go out for Pad Thai, I like to go home and get a massage!
Mike / March 23, 2010 at 10:34 pm
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Thai Basil on Bloor! sooo good!
Phat Phuc / March 23, 2010 at 11:14 pm
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What the heck is phad thai? I've heard of pad thai and phat thai, but never phad thai.
jane / March 24, 2010 at 02:19 am
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pad thai = phad thai = phat thai

it's just the spelling..
amanda / March 24, 2010 at 07:19 am
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Hmm.. my favourites didn't make the list.. but I've never tried any of these. I'm excited to go try some out. :D
Pad Thai replying to a comment from jane / March 24, 2010 at 08:01 am
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Google "phad thai". Nuff said.
hezeus / March 24, 2010 at 10:26 am
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Surprised no one has mentioned (the now defunct) Chieng Mai Thai at Spadina and Baldwin. Hands down the best. Wasn't too impressed with The Real Thailand though.
joe / March 24, 2010 at 10:34 am
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If you're in the Beach(es), check out Green Basil, it's excellent!
Dave / March 24, 2010 at 01:37 pm
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Thai Grill on Eglinton West is definitely my favourite for Pad Thai...
sd32 / March 24, 2010 at 02:16 pm
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The fact that you left vanipha lana off this list tells us that you know nothing about Toronto thai/laotian food. Vanipha has been a Toronto institution for over 15 years and is by far the best Pad Thai in Toronto. Do some more research pal. ?
Misstdot / March 24, 2010 at 02:47 pm
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I live in the hood and the word is that sadly, Vanipha hasn't hit the mark since the moved to St.Clair. It's so rare to even see a customer in the joint.
Will replying to a comment from Peter K / March 24, 2010 at 03:28 pm
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I've noticed that too.. the portions are smaller and they've raised the prices... ugh.
APOW / March 25, 2010 at 03:47 pm
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HOW BOUT THE BEST PAD GUY IN TORONTO? APOW WANNA KNOW!
apow / March 25, 2010 at 03:50 pm
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that is not the real apow, btw.
Thea replying to a comment from Erik / March 26, 2010 at 11:52 am
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I totally agree Erik! The ultimate best pad thai there is. Everyone NEEDS to go to :Thai Bistro: on Young St. NO One will be disappointed with this pad thai. I promise.
twodayrom4nce / March 26, 2010 at 12:52 pm
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Great "The Best..." article. I will be sure to try the Flip, Toss & Thai Kitchen.

I also enjoy Real Thai at Bloor and Spadina. Greatest Tom Yum soup evaaaaaaaa!
Krissy / March 29, 2010 at 05:02 pm
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Yay for Jean's Vegetarian Kitchen making the list! I LOVE this place...often get take-out from there. I agree, their pad thai is delish. Love the faux shrimp they put in it. Mmmmmm...
Duder McGee / March 30, 2010 at 12:15 pm
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Check out where Andy Rooney goes for the best Pad Thai in Toronto
http://wp.me/pIDFN-5y
Vivyruest / March 31, 2010 at 12:46 pm
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Really Glad to see Jean's Kitchen making the list! I did not know about the other places, I'll be checking them out. Thanks BlogTO for that list :)
ScottA / April 1, 2010 at 10:32 am
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How can you list the best Pad Thai and not even mention Salad King/Linda's . Its an institution and consistently has the freshest ingredients and spices (they grind the spices themselves in-house).
pk / April 1, 2010 at 02:48 pm
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Salad King is NOT the best padthai in any way....its known as a cheap pop in place in the core....but NOWHERE is it near the best.

You get the basic lets get it out quick to the masses serving....

it's not horrible, but it just average.

yes it is known, has a known location...and cheap cheap....but if you want real THAI start using your tastebuds

DeNure / April 3, 2010 at 03:56 am
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I've long been searching for the best pad thai in the city... In my opinion a place called Thai Magic on yonge in rosedale was the best, amazing food all-round. It was a sad day indeed when I learned they were closing forever...
Amanda / April 4, 2010 at 09:44 am
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WOAH WOAH WOAH. WOAH. ...WOAH.
No Coco Rice on King & Bathurst? FOR REAL, GUYS. I'm dyin' here.
ik / April 7, 2010 at 09:52 pm
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My Thai Kitchen, Bloor W and Montgomery location, amazing pad thai.
Lose That Girl / April 8, 2010 at 12:06 pm
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Queen Mother ...their pad Thai is the best in the city. Nuanced, not overpowering. Add their string rolls and you're happily in dining nirvana.
Lose That Girl / April 8, 2010 at 12:07 pm
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That should be spring rolls ..not string. Oh the joys of the iPhone's typepad.
Hamish Grant / April 9, 2010 at 12:25 pm
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Tried Sue's Pad Thai last night and it was meh... especially compared to Thai Chef Cuisine down the street. One thing that appeals to me about Thai Chef's food (other than that they deliver promptly while Sue's is pick-up or dine-in only) is that it's not as greasy, in fact some of the dishes taste almost healthy. This is a form of sacrilege to some people but I'm not one of those, I just like good tasting food and I prefer the taste of the food over the taste of cooking oil. Anyway at least in the Roncey 'hood I cast my vote for Thai Chef.

Portions at Sue's are smaller than Thai Chef too. Thai Chef also has a computer system that remembers your address and previous orders as well so they win on organization. Props to Sue for community involvement, though. She's terrific for that.
Gigi / April 10, 2010 at 09:43 am
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Yeah I wasn't too impressed with Sue's either. Not very tasty and definitely lacking pizzaz.
David / April 19, 2010 at 06:05 pm
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Queen Mother is where it's at. Surprised it has been overlooked. Salad King is also quite good.
Sam / May 5, 2010 at 10:46 am
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TWO WORDS: THAI BISTRO!! I guarantee you wont enjoy another Thai in town!! 5306 Yonge Street.. been going there for 6 years!! Try "Panang Shrimp" to die for...
Foodie / May 18, 2010 at 11:07 pm
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Restoran Malaysia is no where near Thornhill.

It's deep in Richmond Hill at Bayview and Major Mac.
supunstatestreet / May 28, 2010 at 10:29 pm
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actual pad thai is incredibly sticky and the sauce is almost pasty
Tamara Levitt (@superspiritgirl) / May 30, 2010 at 10:49 pm
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Sues in roncies has been awful when. I've gone. The place iright on the corner of fern/fermanagah and roncies is the best around this area for sure. ;)
lollercoaster replying to a comment from Peter K / June 4, 2010 at 01:13 am
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aha, youre a turd.
MoC / January 29, 2011 at 11:48 am
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Ate at Sukho Thai on Parliament St. for first time on Friday Jan.28 Best thai food i"ve eaten and service was awesome Highly recommend to anyone
KimMitzi32 / February 22, 2011 at 01:21 am
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This is understandable that cash can make people autonomous. But how to act when one has no cash? The one way is to try to get the <a href="http://bestfinance-blog.com/topics/home-loans";>home loans</a> and college loan.
Ian / February 22, 2011 at 04:56 am
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Pad Thai with anything tomato-ish in it is flat out wrong.
Glad to see Queen Mom didn't make the list, their pad thai is disgusting.
Xeb / June 4, 2011 at 02:57 pm
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Starting a blog about Asian food in Toronto!!!

http://asianfoodtoronto.wordpress.com/

Tried some of the places on this list...
hailee / November 18, 2011 at 08:35 pm
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the worst delivery service of food in this city--sukho thai
ALS / December 21, 2011 at 06:10 pm
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Khao San Road! (on Adelaide)
I dislike the sweet and tomato-y type so this place is a favourite!
John / July 20, 2012 at 11:33 am
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Check out the Thai Chef, they have good Kao Soy but their star dish is better than anyone's Pad Thai.
Jenny / August 8, 2012 at 09:10 pm
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I've tried most of the Pad Thais on your list but none compare to the Pad Thai I had at The Rose and Crown. They have been known for it for years I'm very surprised that it's not on your list. Check it out!
COSPLAY / September 26, 2012 at 11:29 pm
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Some of these may taste like Thai noodles, but I just came back from Thailand and the pretty noodles you see in the photos above look nothing like the congealed thick sticky noodle you see in Thai food stalls in Bangkok and Pattaya.
Lazyness / May 7, 2013 at 10:38 am
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Thai Shann Inn is the best pad thai I've had. I've searched for years for a better one. Ive gone through some of the places in the list, not one better than Thai Shann Inn. Maybe I am just biased.
kb / June 4, 2013 at 12:32 pm
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Best Pad Thai is on Keele and Steeles by York U called Thai Bamboo. Seriously a hidden gem
Cassie / August 3, 2013 at 04:33 pm
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I like the pad thai from Asian Bowl near the Eaton Centre. I wouldn't call it authentic but it's tasty.
greek smith / October 15, 2013 at 02:19 am
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Wow I liked it.Please let me know can you provide thai delivery on home site

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