The Best Pad Thai in Toronto
The 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.
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 »
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 »
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 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 »
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 »
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 »
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 »
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 »
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 »
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 »
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 »
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 »