As quintessentially Thai as Pad Kra Prao, Pad Thai is a dish notorious for its tamarind-enriched flavours. Popular among both Thais and foreigners, the stir-fried noodle is basically a savoury powerhouse made out of rice noodles, some form of protein (shrimp, pork, chicken, beef or tofu), mung bean sprouts and concentrated tamarind juice.
But when every Thai restaurant from fine dining spots to street stalls feature the dish on their menu, it’s nearly impossible to cover all the spots that serve legit, crave-worthy Pad Thai. So to keep you posted on the best places to get the best eats in town, we’ve curated a roundup of eateries we editors always go back to for our favourite Pad Thai. Scroll down to see which one on the list would match up to your standards.
Hero image credit: Unsplash/Alyssa Kowalski
Baan Phadthai – Kankanit Wichiantanon’s pick
Pad Thai is so high in delicious savouriness. But this one at Baan Phadthai, in particular, has conquered my heart and tummy with its selection of unami-packed Pad Thais. Helmed by the people behind the successful Issaya Siamese Club, Pizza Massilia and Namsaah Bottling Trust, the Pad Thai-focused spot absolutely celebrates this Thai noodle dish at its best. Phad Thai Jumbo Mud Crab (THB 1,400) is what I always go for and it’s truly a thing of beauty. Seasoned to excellency, the Pad Thai mixture then gets hugged by the gigantic mud crab. Considering the price and the big portion, this dish can easily be shared between two people.
Baan Phadthai, 21-23 Charoen Krung 44, North Sathorn, Bangkok, +662 060 5553
Open: Mon-Sun, 11 am-10 pm.
Thonkrueng – Catherine Napalai Faulder’s pick
Thonkrueng is a haven for Thai comfort food. And for someone who has an obsession for simple Thai grub like Isaan sausages, our Managing Editor, Catherine, considers Thonkrueng as a spot she can always count on for authentic Thai dishes with none of those nonsensical twists. Although the venue makes mean a Beef Green Curry with Roti (THB 190), she loves to also get the Shrimp Pad Thai (THB 160) since it’s apparently pretty darn good there.
Thonkrueng, 211/3 Sukhumvit 49/13 Sukhumvit 49, Bangkok, +662 185 3072
Open: Mon-Sun, 11 am-10:30 pm.
Pad Thai Thipsamai – Lisa Gries’ pick
Lisa’s late-night, after-club meal relies almost always on street-side fare. Yes, her pick might be cliché but she insists we keep it real. The good old Pad Thai Thipsamai, aka, Ghost Gate Pad Thai, on Mahachai Road, is always her preferred choice for Pad Thai. Her favourite is the Shrimp Pad Thai wrapped in a thin egg omelette (THB 70). Thanks to their heavy use of concentrated tamarind sauce, the noodle is ultra moist and rich in flavours here. So diners, we can guarantee you it is nearly impossible to get bland stir-fried noodles here.
Pad Thai Thipsamai, 313 315 Mahachai Road, Samran Rat, Bangkok, +662 226 6666
Open: Mon-Sun, 5 pm-2 am.
Chubby Papaya – Karn Chatikavanij’s pick.
Run by Somneuk “Parn” Klangnok, a renowned Thai cartoon illustrator, Chubby Papaya is an all-in-one cafe, art gallery and Isaan-style eatery, serving som tam, Isaan-style curry, Thai chilli relish and more. And as much as our style writer likes to go there to appreciate arts hanging throughout the outlet’s walls, she also loves to spend her time wisely and have a meal there at the same time. Her go-to dish there is the Shrimp Pad Thai (THB 125) which has a subtle crunch from the semi-cooked mung beans and roasted peanuts as well as a wonderful creaminess from the tamarind sauce-laden noodles. For art lovers slash foodies, this one is a sure win.
Chubby Papaya, 97 Nakhon Sawan Road, Bangkok, +6665 552 6353
Open: Thu-Tue, 10 am-10 pm.
Soul Food Mahanakorn – Alisha Pawa’s pick.
After a long day at work, our staff writer Alisha always craves for a soulful, satisfying meal. That’s why she is constantly on the hunt for after-work spots that serve comfort-filled fare like some good butter chicken and fried chicken. But if talking about Pad Thai, Soul Food Mahanakorn is always her right move. Although they offer up an extensive list of soulful, heart-warming Thai food along with Thai-inspired cocktails, the dish that is actually a true showstopper here is the Pad Thai with Fresh Softshell Crab (THB 400). The addition of the crustacean is a refined touch that totally makes the Pad Thai here shine.
Soul Food Mahanakorn, 56/10 Sukhumvit Soi 55 (Soi Thong Lor), Bangkok, +662 714 7708
Open: Mon-Sun, 5:30-11 pm for dinner; Sat-Sun, 11:30 am-3:30 pm for lunch.