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Best of Toronto

The Best Thai Restaurants in Toronto

Posted by Liora Ipsum / October 15, 2014

best thai torontoThe best Thai restaurants in Toronto are a contentious topic - with rivalries between restaurants and rapid expansions turning up the heat on Thai dining options citywide. Worth noting is the influence of Chef Nuit Regular (widely regarded as putting Khao San Road on the map) who, since parting ways with KSR, has opened a number of popular family-run eateries that embrace regional styles and street food specialties.

Even those not directly caught in the crossfire of competition between these downtown restaurants have been prompted to step up their game, resulting in destination-worthy Thai restaurants where status-quo pad thai is hardly the main attraction.

Here are the best Thai restaurants in Toronto.

See also: The Best Pad Thai in Toronto

Khao San Road

Khao San Road

This well-established Thai restaurant on Adelaide remains the most popular in the city for its selection of spicy noodles, mellow curries and signature dishes like pad gra prao with stir-fried minced meat and holy basil. More »

Sukhothai

Sukhothai

Now with three locations, this branch of Nuit and Jeff Regular's empire of Thai restaurants has earned a reputation for authentic flavours not tempered for Canadian palates. Crowd-pleasers on the menu include soups like guaytiaw, as well as house favourites like pla tais, a fried fish dish served with tangy mango salad and fluffy rice. More »

Sabai Sabai

Sabai Sabai

By day, this restaurant on Church (also part of the Regular family) dishes out hearty noodle soups and curries to the lunch crowd, but by night, it's the place to go for Thai mojitos and tapas. Squash fritters and lao minced pork lettuce wraps are not to be missed. More »

Pai

Pai

Named for a bohemian village in Northern Thailand, Nuit Regular's latest eatery on Duncan is located within spitting distance from Khao San Road and poised to go head to head for the same clientele. Nuit's signature pad thai is among the menu favourites but also expect to find rare and interesting selections featuring plenty of pork and even some offal. More »

Jatujak

Jatujak

Named for Bangkok's largest weekend market, this sunny eatery in Scarborough specializes in Thai street foods. The menu offers a roster of familiar favourites including steaming bowls of tom yum soup, mango salad and a rainbow of curries. More »

Mengrai Thai

Mengrai Thai

The stunning red curry chicken with lychee presented in a cored pineapple is among the most popular picks at this upmarket Thai restaurant located off the beaten path in Corktown. Other noteworthy menu features include the addictive crispy fried morning glory and beef tenderloin doused in a pomegranate and tamarind reduction. More »

Salad King

Salad King

Positioned near Ryerson campus, this cheap and cheerful Thai eatery attracts students with vibrant housemade curries and stir fry noodles customized to varying degrees of spiciness per personal preference. Be sure to inquire about the off-menu pad thai alternative, the infamous Thai Islamic noodles in a peanut coconut curry sauce. More »

Ranu Thai

Ranu Thai

The Etobicoke eatery offers a range of traditional Thai foods at impressive value, including set lunches starting at just $8. House specialties include chicken larb, a minced chicken salad with sticky rice, as well as crisp fried fish with tangy mango. More »

Sorn Thai

Sorn Thai

This Thai restaurant at Yonge and Eglinton offers an extensive menu for dine-in, take-away and delivery. Standout dishes on the menu include the spicy minced chicken salad, as well as the lemony seafood-laden soup. More »

Discussion

42 Comments

Mikey / October 15, 2014 at 01:37 pm
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Most of the best thair restaurants are in the north York area and are dives, all along steeles.
Steve / October 15, 2014 at 01:51 pm
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Young Thailand on Parliament is better than Sukhothai down the street. Fresh ingredients and reasonable prices. Sukoh is full of itself and was for the most part inedible. I think my shrimp had gone off... horrible food, never-mind "BEST"! Avoid at all costs! Young Thailand has great food, friendly staff, polite and fast delivery - never bad!
Typicalblogtoreader / October 15, 2014 at 01:52 pm
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Uhhhhh no you didn't. No you didn't just put up the best Thai food list and forget about sammysammy Thai in north York, or Bengal pad Thai in lesliville. This list is horrible. I know everything about pad Thai in Toronto.........like the best and most authentic are made with ketchup and sugar.......we all know that
Ray replying to a comment from Steve / October 15, 2014 at 01:55 pm
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It just looks bad and inn poor taste. Why slam others. You want to speak about how great Young Thailand is great go ahead. Your perception of Sukhothai is not everyone's, In my opinion Sukhothai is great, and I love the fact they've opened a THIRD location on Dundas west!!!
domesticaffair / October 15, 2014 at 01:57 pm
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Little help for those of us living anywhere btw Spadina and South Kingsway... :(
Julia / October 15, 2014 at 01:59 pm
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Ahh! Jatujak totally deserves to be on there, so glad you guys hit that. There's also a sushi place near there too called Umi Fashion Sushi (Birchmount and Kingston) and they really deserve some recognition (obviously not in this article, but somewhere). Both are gems in that area.
ThaiFoodLover / October 15, 2014 at 02:00 pm
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Linda Modern Thai should have been on this list. It's from the same owners of Salad King and they have a modern take on traditional thai. They have just started to serve brunch and the combination of curry with a traditional western brunch is delicious.
Elephant replying to a comment from Steve / October 15, 2014 at 02:03 pm
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STFU. Keep your basil beef and ketchup pad thai. Sounds like you work there. The prices have gone up significantly, but Suhkothai is still Great.
KP / October 15, 2014 at 02:34 pm
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Love KSR good choice!

Dee / October 15, 2014 at 02:48 pm
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Nimman at Lake Shore and Mimico definitely deserves to be on this list. They are hands down one of the better Thai restaurants in Toronto.
They always have very fresh produce, and you can really taste it in their food.
There aren't many restaurants that can survive around Etobicoke's Lake Shore Blvd strip, but I really hope this restaurant succeeds, they deserve to.

They also have a daily lunch special which is pretty hard to beat. For $8-$9 depending on your entree. You get a salad, soup and spring roll with your entree.

I would recommend their - Pad Thai, Crispy Tamarind Beef, Cashew Nut Chicken, Massaman, but my hands down favourite, is their Penang ... Seriously their Penang is life changing haha.

I really wish the owners at Nimman the best and they deserve the very best!
Jeff / October 15, 2014 at 03:14 pm
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Can someone comment on whether all three Sukhothai chains are owned by the same owner? I heard the Parliament/Dundas one is actually in dispute with the other two chains - and is now considered to have different owners. The waiter at the St. Lawrence Market location was telling our table about that.

I must say that most of the top chains are touched by Chef Nuit (KSR/Pai/Sukhothai), really an icon for Thai food in Toronto despite the drama within the Thai food scene nowadays.
Jesse / October 15, 2014 at 03:15 pm
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A TASTE OF THAILAND - IMO best thai place in the city. Near Kipling Station beside z103.5 radio station.

Impeccable service, warm and romantic atmosphere, food comes in appropriately timed and tastes fantastic. A little expensive for a Thai place - dishes at 10 - 13$ and often don't include a side of rice. I get the Mango dish or Pad Kee Mao w/ chicken

Regardless, it's a great place to try and it should be on the list. My girlfriend brings me to a lot of different Thai places (can't even begin to remember the names) and this is by far her favourite - was her choice for our anniversary.
J / October 15, 2014 at 03:31 pm
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Shoutout for Royal Elephant on Eglinton near the Allen. Really yummy everything, but their tamarind beef is to die for.
Haha replying to a comment from Elephant / October 15, 2014 at 03:31 pm
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STFU? Oh my aren't you an internet toughguy keyboard warrior. I am SO scared. BWAHAHAHHAHAHAHAA! FAG!
John Labatt replying to a comment from Mikey / October 15, 2014 at 03:31 pm
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"All dives". Kinda racist comment don't you think. Not all Thai restaurants are dive's you must be a racist.
SydB replying to a comment from John Labatt / October 15, 2014 at 03:42 pm
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Pretty sure Mike meant that the best Thai food (in his opinion) is at nondescript, unassuming restaurants without fancy aesthetics. Those are called dives. And many dives of many culinary ethnicities have incredible food in marked contrast to their appearance. Lay off the beers before you read, John.
Really replying to a comment from Haha / October 15, 2014 at 03:43 pm
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Haha (Steve), Best of luck passing grade ten this year.
Elenka replying to a comment from Ray / October 15, 2014 at 03:50 pm
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Actually, he's absolutely correct in his assessment. The food I was served at Sukhothai was inedible garbage.
Bill / October 15, 2014 at 04:24 pm
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I mean these are all fine for rather bland, mainstream, super-Westernized Thai. Unfortunately, Toronto is severely lacking in authentic, full-flavored Thai cuisine. There was a great Globe and Mail review of Pai that said it all...alternate names included were
Pseudosukothai and Khao San Middle of the Road ;)
matt replying to a comment from Steve / October 15, 2014 at 04:28 pm
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I'll try this Young Thailand you speak of, and it better be fucking good.
Never had anything but great food at Sukhothai. And it's at a good price.
Daniel MacKay / October 15, 2014 at 04:31 pm
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Nice to see The love for Jatujak on this list. Well deserved indeed!
aDawg / October 15, 2014 at 04:37 pm
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To everybody that's dissing Pad Thai made with ketchup, I've had Pad Thai all over Thailand, and many of them were made with ketchup as one of the ingredients. And, no, these weren't to be found in tourist traps, but from street vendors and other "authentic" Thai restos. Not that I prefer it this way, but I'm not sure that one can truly call Pad Thai with ketchup "inauthentic", at least not in my experience...
Joe Eye Thai / October 15, 2014 at 06:18 pm
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Golden Thai was missed. Should be number 1.
Gus replying to a comment from Steve / October 15, 2014 at 06:24 pm
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Ha Ha Steve. These lists are voted for by us the readers of Blogto. I guess your fav place just didn't get the same amount of votes as some of the others as it didn't make the list :(

Ohh well there's still the opportunity to fix the business and maybe your fav will make the list next year if if has a better reputation, better food, better service, a better website. You know bring up the standards a bit.
YMCMNAJ replying to a comment from aDawg / October 15, 2014 at 08:01 pm
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I worked and lived in Bangkok for almost a decade. Beautiful city, delicious and cheap eats, and wonderful people. Yes, in many many areas in Thailand, Ketchup is USED!!! Don't tell that to the north americans though who have only had westernized thai food like Thai Express. Same folks that probably love Manchu Wok and think that's real Chinese food.

What a joke. This is not a great list, it's decent at best. Sukho is the closest thing to authentic, but even these guys have sold out. Pi-tom is another decent one.
Jen / October 15, 2014 at 08:58 pm
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Thai Bistro on Yonge is by far one of the best Thai places in Toronto. The owner is a bit abrupt but he is so passionate about his food.
justaguy / October 15, 2014 at 09:44 pm
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Sawasdee on Yonge north of Church/Davenport!! Quiet and unassuming but delicious authentic fare in an immaculate small space with genuinely friendly service.
melliott / October 15, 2014 at 10:14 pm
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Christ, Salad King is the McDonald's of Thai food!
Skwiggy / October 15, 2014 at 10:23 pm
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Woah woah what? How did Pi-Tom's not even make the list?
Anonymous / October 15, 2014 at 11:07 pm
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Surprised that Golden Thai didn't get more votes and get on this list. I haven't been there in several years though so maybe it's gone downhill.
Catch Up / October 16, 2014 at 12:23 am
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LOL! I'm getting a little bored with the past five years of everyone dissing everyone else's Thai restaurant for having "ketchup" pad thai. This has become a cliché that people say to make other gullible types think they are an expert in Thai cuisine. These are usually people who went for a 10 day beach holiday in Thailand ages ago, and came back to Toronto and spent the next decade telling everyone that REAL Thai food doesn't exist here. That is sort of like going to an all inclusive in Mexico, and then trashing all Mexican restaurants for the rest of your lives. haha!
k.k. / October 16, 2014 at 07:18 am
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Don't forget Thai Chef on roncy! It's been one of my favs for years!
McGurk / October 16, 2014 at 08:51 am
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This list needs more all you can eat poutine. bet they'll close half these thai restaurants and replace them with high-rise condo developments. And don't even get me started on the transit issue here!
links replying to a comment from Skwiggy / October 16, 2014 at 09:46 am
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I guess this might be a good reason why blogto readers didn't vote it into the top 10...


http://www.blogto.com/eat_drink/2013/04/this_week_on_dinesafe_pi-toms_thai_cuisine_king_tasty_bbq_kim_vietnamese_restaurant/

don't see too many closures and the words "gross unsanitary conditions"
Disha Parekh / October 16, 2014 at 09:48 am
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Excellent list BlogTo!! Nice to know there are a few Thai spots I have yet to explore. I wrote a blog post on my favourite Thai restaurants and guess I was bang on with #1 and 2!! Check http://pinktintedlenses.blogspot.in/2014/05/top-3-thai-restaurants-in-toronto.html?m=1

Does anyone have suggestions for Thai places in Mississauga?
Random Reader / October 16, 2014 at 09:50 am
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Golden Thai is awesome. Agreed with those who mentioned the place in the comments. Amazing food, nice atmosphere, and a great lunch special too.

I will disagree with comments supporting Young Thailand though. While all of their apps are well prepared, all of the mains I've tried were terrible (including some of the blandest pad thai I've ever had).
Linda Modern Thai replying to a comment from ThaiFoodLover / October 16, 2014 at 10:00 am
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THAIFOODLOVER, thank you for the vote of confidence, we really appreciate it! We're not surprised we didn't make the list, but really glad that Salad King did.

And yes, we agree that our brunch is really really special! Nothing like a fresh baked butter brioche, a perfectly poached egg purchased directly from the farmer, smoked duck breast (also purchased directly from from the supplier), and our housemade Panang curry. Yum!
Ugh / October 16, 2014 at 10:05 am
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Yet another SEO-mangled first sentence on BlogTO. It should read "the best Thai restaurants in Toronto is a contentious topic...". Topic, the subject of the sentence, is singular.

Stop writing articles for Google's spiders and start writing them for people.
Allen replying to a comment from Steve / October 16, 2014 at 06:54 pm
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Poor Steve. I acutally didn't know so many Sukhothai fanatics exist. It's like meeting really socially inept nerds "LISTEN TO ME YOURE WRONG BECAUSE MY OPINION IS CORRECT".

People: he's just expressing his opinion. I've been to Sukhothai (parliment/dundas and front st as well), Khao San Road, and Sabai Sabai. Mostly Sukhothai and Sabai Sabai cause they're close to where I work. To be honest, they're just okay. They have tasty fushion food. I have to say, their Tom Yum Kom is def not how I'm used to it. To elaborate, it's like someone making chicken noodle soup for me by boiling down chicken bones for hours. And then there's the version that comes from a can and you add more ingridents to it. It tasted like the latter from Sukhothai twice. It's lacks depth and felt everything was just thrown into bowl. Though their garlic chicken is still the best.

What I'm missing is the stinky shrimp paste that Thai food uses, but most places will omit because it's too strong of a palette for people who never had it. To be honest, a lot of Viet restaurants serve Thai food that are tastier than the mentions above.

The whole ketchup deal, when I was in Thailand, they use ketchup in their padthai.
Amy / October 19, 2014 at 09:06 am
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Poor Steve his "Avoid at all costs" message was were event wrong. Steve let me know if you want some cuddle snuggle tickle 1:1 time I'm pretty sure we can lift those spirits and full release that tension.
Emily / October 20, 2014 at 06:22 pm
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There's a place on Spadina called Country Thai. They don't use ketchup in their pad thai and their food is authentic. It's a family owned restaurant. Their food is good and affordable.
Guest replying to a comment from Emily / October 22, 2014 at 11:40 am
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Do you mean Thai Country Kitchen? If so, yes that place is pretty good.

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