If you’re looking for some of the best Thai food in Sydney, you don’t have to look very far. From traditional Thai dishes to modern interpretations, there are plenty of great Thai restaurants to choose from. We’ve put together a list of some of our favourites, so you can experience the delicious flavours of Thailand without leaving town. So if you’re in the mood for something spicy and fragrant, read on for Sydney’s best Thai restaurants.
Sydney is known for its fabulous food scene, with a wide variety of restaurants to choose from. We've got you covered if you’re looking for some delicious Thai food! We’ve put together a list of the best Thai restaurants in Sydney, so you can enjoy your favourite cuisine without having to leave town. So get ready to tuck into some tasty Thai dishes!
The Best Thai Restaurants In Sydney
Thanks to immigration from South East Asia, Sydney has some of the best Asian (both authentic and fusion) food to be found anywhere in the world. That being the case, competition between restaurants is extremely high, and as is the case, particularly with Thai food, most of the Pad See Ews and curries you'll get are so similar as to be basically indistinguishable from everywhere else.
The key with Thai food is to choose the place that goes one step further in its pursuit of authenticity, and as such, we put together a list of GQ-recommended joints across the city (no Longrain here) for a real taste of Thailand’s hot, sour, salty and cuisine.
Cronulla bar Alphabet Street isn't just famous for the cocktails that attract flocks of Shire locals on the weekend but the elevated Thai fare that also comes out of the kitchen. It's slightly more pricey than your average Thai restaurant, but the portions, dishes, and fresh flavours make up for it.
Bangkok Bites brings the hustle and bustle of Thailand to Sydney. Authentic Thai street food dishes are cooked fresh to order in a firey hot open kitchen, the centre stage of this restaurant, filling the room with delicious smells and adding to the sizzling atmosphere. You’ll find this place is packed full of diners on a regular basis, a sure sign that the food here is on point. Seating flows out onto the street, where you can watch the Bondi bubble go by.
With an extensive menu showcasing all your favourite Thai dishes, you’re sure to find something you’re craving here. Along with a lively atmosphere and BYO booze ($2 corkage per person), what more could you need for a weekend dinner?
The menu here boasts a vast array of dishes. Pages and pages of them in fact. Everything is made fresh, so you can have it exactly how you like it, with plenty of gluten-free, vegetarian and vegan options on offer. Try the Massaman Beef curry served with roti; beautifully tender meat simmered slowly with coconut broth, palm sugar and massaman curry paste.
Founded by the Inthavong family, The Green Peppercorn prides itself on offering an authentic experience inspired by their South Eastern heritage. The family’s love for food and culture runs deep.
The menu here blends the best of Thai and Lao cuisine to create a selection of traditional dishes using the freshest quality ingredients to ensure unforgettable flavour. Understated and casual - the food is the true hero.
An assortment of mouth-watering dishes are on offer, from classic curries to more unusual specialities such as the ‘Banana Flower Salad’; thinly sliced banana flower salad tossed with chicken, spices, coconut cream, and aromatics, and the ‘Crispy Pork Belly’; stir-fried Asian water spinach with garlic, chilli, topped with crispy pork belly.
Fans of Green Peppercorn in Fairfield will feel right at home here, both restaurants are owned by brothers Tony and Tona Inthavong, whose delectable cuisine is inspired by their cultural heritage. The original restaurant location in Canley Heights remains a popular spot for birthday celebrations, catching up with friends or simply for those fried ice cream dessert cravings.
The menu here is a reflection of the family’s South-East Asian roots, boasting an assortment of authentic Thai dishes paired with beautiful Laotian flavours. The signature dish here is fresh fried snapper served on a bed of green mango salad doused in house dressing. Make sure you follow it with their infamous fried ice cream; ice-cream wrapped in pastry, fried and served with special caramel sauce and coconut crunchies. Yeah, it’s a thing.
Widely regarded as the most exciting Thai eatery to open in Sydney for some time, Long Chim takes the flavours of a bustling Bangkok street market and elevates them for the Sydney crowd. Chef David Thompson has made sure that the quality of food coming out of his kitchen matches that of his renowned Bangkok eatery Nahm, flying in the best ingredients with no expense spared in the pursuit of Authentic flavour.
Long Chim Sydney has the kind of menu that’ll either paralyse you with choice or see you throwing caution and cash to the wind to try everything. However, all three problems are solved if you just go the $45 set menu: it’s an affordable treat with all the good bits in reasonable portions – and reasonable means you’ll be full to bursting but very, very pleased with your life choices.
Long Chim is the way to go if you want exceptional Thai food. Not only is it affordable, but each dish is also mouth-wateringly good and amazingly fresh. This restaurant knows how to give you the best Thai in Sydney, from their fish cakes to their nong’s eggplant. They have both an a la carte menu and a set menu that can cater to your dining needs.
Lucky Thai & Lao
Lucky Thai & Lao is the epitome of a hidden family restaurant that focuses on flavour and home cooking. While there is nothing fancy about the space, the large and flavoursome dishes certainly make up for it - offering everything a good Thai restaurant should. The eatery also provides photo menus so you can see exactly what you’re going to get before you place an order.
Lucky Thai & Lao is also packed full of diners most nights, a sure sign that the food is on point. The menu here is seriously extensive. We suggest trying the crispy egg noodles or one of the curries (the red packs a punch), alongside their famed chicken stir fry.
Dining at Chin Chin is a luxury experience. It’s a modern chic eatery with a dark twist. Gogo, described as Chin Chin’s ‘mistress,’ is the night to the day of Chin Chin, with mood lighting that’ll transport you into a realm of delectable cuisine. Our favourites are their Chin Chin fried rice and the white fish green curry with apple eggplant. It’s also not too pricey, giving it a big thumbs up from us.
Sydney might have invented the dance known as ‘queuing for hours for a hot new restaurant’ but that aspirational jig was perfected by Melburnians when Chin Chin, the Modern Thai eatery on Flinders Lane, proved that the quickest route to popularity was a hot wok, a cache of chilis and a stocked bar.
Boon Cafe is the perfect fusion Thai restaurant. During the day, the cafe has brunch styled dishes, and in the night, the dishes are a nod to Northern Thai cuisine that’s a little stronger in flavour and veggies. Paying homage to what it means to be Thai and eating authentically is what Boon Cafe is all about. They also have a wide range of speciality cocktails that’ll complement every dish.
Boon Café in Haymarket is from the folks behind Sydney's indefatigable (and consistently excellent) food chain, Chat Thai, and is one-third styled-up city café, one-third restaurant and one-third Thai supermarket. The menu is overwhelmingly long, but thankfully, many pictures make it easier to choose.
Stocked with fresh produce and Thai-imported goods, Jarern Chai’s cavernous, light-filled store is the perfect place to pick up healthy, nourishing and medicinal Asian groceries.
Despite serving burgers, sandwiches and pasta, Boon café (inside the store) doesn’t mix elements of Thai and western cuisine – it recreates the whole thing naturally like they always belonged together.
The morning starts with cold-pressed juices, made on a daily rotation, with a turmeric shot and garnished with pennywort. The breakfast menu offers traditional congee, Thai egg dishes and a selection of toasts. There is crab congee with shiitake mushrooms, kai gatah (pan baked eggs with smoked fish sausage), and fig and walnut toast with mascarpone and jam.
Boon’s sandwiches and rice bowls show the team’s devotion to creating things from scratch. Everything from the cashew butter in the chicken cashew sandwich, to the rustic chilli relish and mayo of the crab-and-prawn-cake burger, are all made in house. Sai ouah kamut pasta uses Boon’s homemade, spicy-Thai-herb sausage.
For dinner, it’s all about Isaan cuisine from north-eastern Thailand. Curries, soups and warm salads are on offer, including tub gai yaang (chicken liver skewers), dtom leng (a hot and sour soup of braised pork bones), larb gai (spicy minced chicken) and several takes on som dtum (green papaya salad).
A selection of blended fruit drinks, Thai red tea and trad Thai sweet soybean drinks complement Boon’s cuisine perfectly.
‘When traditional meets modern’ is the ethos of Moon Restaurant and Bar in Darlinghurst. Head Chef Aum wants you to feel pure enjoyment with every bite of his Thai and European fusion dishes. In addition, they offer a degustation menu for $95 that will be worth every penny. You’ll get a mix of seafood, pork, beef, and so much more.
How do you convince a town whose bachelor degrees are powered by six-dollar Thai that they should pay $36 for a Panang curry? Serving it inside a room that looks to be moonlighting as a European wine bar is a good start. Elegant restraint is the design brief here, in the former Onde building opposite the original Darlo Bills, but the bar sends the clearest message about the intentions of this upscale riff on Thai dining.
Joe’s Table is simply the best. Joe Kitsana is the brains behind the business and makes some of the most delicious South-East Asian dishes you can find in Sydney. His stir-fried pork hock is to die for, and don’t get us started on his stir-fried prawns that are so light and airy. It’s a great place to sit down, have an amazing meal, and relax.
Joe Kitsana is an impressive one-man show. He moves gracefully from affable host to server to bartender to the chef; he’s been in hospitality for more than 20 years (and also worked at Longrain).
Kitsana opened Republic Sandwiches and Salads for lunch in June 2016 and began offering dinner in 2017 when he renamed the restaurant Joe’s Table.
Kitsana puts a lot of care into his mains. Making the stir-fried pork hock is an overnight job too. The pork hock is braised for four hours, taken off the bone and then pressed under something heavy overnight. The result is succulent pieces of meat tossed in sticky chilli jam finished with slivers of kaffir lime.
A long mirror in the space creates the illusion of size in the narrow room and the walls are decorated with charming floral enamel plates that match the ones on the tables.
Are you curious about trying Thai that breaks away from the tastes you’re used to? Then Cheng Kitchen is perfect for you. It celebrates North Thai food, with their speciality being Khantoke – an arrangement of Thai curries relishes and jams. All dishes are priced reasonably well, and it’s a great stop off on your way to Chinatown.
Founded in Bangkok in 1982, Yok Yor in Sydney taps into the precision and fine art of making Thai food. Traditional practices of food preparation are at the heart of this establishment, which is evident with every bite. Their Pad Thai and Som Tum Pu Pla Ra are some of our go tos. Located on the corner of Castlereagh St, Yok Yor is the perfect casual Thai restaurant near you.
We Thai Cuisine
Expect all Thailand's flavour, colour, and excitement when dining at We Thai Cuisine on Morrison Road in Putney. This traditional restaurant allows you to enjoy your meal at your own pace in the casual and inviting surrounds of a cheery yellow feature wall adorned with artwork, polished wood floors and glowing cane pendents overhead.
Whether you are in the mood for something spicy, sweet or savoury, an authentic menu dishes up temptations to suit all tastebuds, from signature Pad Thai to roast duck curry; perhaps start with deep-fried prawns in coconut crumb, served with plum sauce. Then, for the main, delve into the likes of salmon with chu chee curry, coconut milk, fresh red chilli and lime leaves; or a tender char-grilled rack of lamb marinated with Thai herbs and Chef’s special sauce.
The Thai and I
Striking a balance between elegance and simplicity, head to The Thai and I on The Strand in Dee Why for exceptional and often unusual Asian fare with flair. Ideally positioned with views of Dee Why Beach and beyond, soak up the sun alfresco at wicker tables as salty sea breezes ruffle leaves; indoors is light, bright and airy with one wall dominated by one an impressive mural of a rooster.
Embark on a flavoursome journey with entrées of prawn and minced pork money bags or salt and pepper soft-shell crab with sweet chilli sauce; before tantalising mains like deep-fried whole baby barramundi, Panang curry paste, coconut cream, chilli, basil and lime leaves. Perhaps slow-cooked lamb cutlets, potatoes, and Massaman curry entice; or twice-cooked crispy pork belly, broccoli and oyster sauce.
Having worked behind the scenes in some of Sydney’s best Asian dining spots – namely Ms G’s, Spice I Am and Mr Wong – Bangkok-born chef Pla Rojratanavichai requires no introduction for his first Thai venture Khao Pla (meaning rice and fish). This black and white-themed kitchen, though cosy in size, is invigorated by a vibrant collage of Thailand’s street culture on the wall.
With 90s hip-hop artists like Notorious B.I.G. and Nas playing in the background, the signature here is the twice-cooked tamarind pork ribs with palm sugar – get ready for sticky fingers. The eclectic raw section is a standout, with delicate sea scallop sashimi with lemongrass and kaffir lime leaf (Pra hoy dib), while other sections of the menu feature wok-fried pippies with chilli jam and Thai basil (Pad hoy Lai) and crisp soft shell crab with tom yum spice salt. Thai classics also appear. Think slow-cooked, sweetly fragrant massamun beef curry, spiced with cinnamon and star anise, complemented by a side of soft roti.
Desserts are promising, with black sticky rice with a dish of jasmine tapioca, dark sugarcane sauce and Thai milk tea ice cream a clear winner.
While there are plenty of Thai favourites on the menu at Caysorn, the true quality of the restaurant shines when it turns its focus onto the fragrant, seafood-heavy cuisine of Thailand's southern reaches. Co-owner Chalio has been cooking out of the Haymarket institution for almost 40 years, having cut his teeth in some of the most renowned restaurants in Bangkok.
Caysorn specialises in southern Thai cuisine – a part of the world known for its heat. Kanom jeen – a vermicelli-like noodle traditionally made with pounded fermented rice – is offered in several versions. But the house special is kanom jeen tai pla: noodles sauced with a dark, complex salted fish curry that seethes with chilli.
Moving to Australia in 1973, Caysorn's co-owners hoped to bring the punchy, spicier elements of southern Thai cuisine to the Australian palate.
Caysorn offers fresh and balanced flavours in its extensive menu, with favourites including the popular kanom jeen, a fermented rice noodle that’s typically served with a strong and potent curry which is offset by the inclusion of fresh vegetables and herbs, and the blended flathead and kaffir lime namh ya pah. The latter is a gentler curry than some of the restaurant's others but still packs the kind of tangy punch you're looking for.
Frequently Asked Questions About Thai Foods
Some of the popular Thai dishes include Thai curries, Som Tam Salad, Tom Yum Soup, Pad Thai noodles, Satay, among others.
Thai food is notorious for its fresh herbs and spices particularly lemongrass, mint, galangal, lime and chili. These ingredients give each dish layer upon layer of zingy freshness and intense aroma. Thai cuisine is quite healthy and largely based on vegetables, lean proteins, and fresh herbs and spices.
Green curry is considered the most popular curry in Thai cuisine. The green color of Thai green curry sauce has become more vibrant over the years with the addition of fresh coriander (cilantro), makrut lime leaf and peel, and basil.
While some may see these two different cuisines as interchangeable, they're completely different from one another with very little in common. Both Thai and Chinese foods make use of noodles and rice in their dishes, and that's where their similarities begin and end.
Pad Thai is a Thai noodle stir fry with a sweet-savoury-sour sauce scattered with crushed peanuts. It's made with thin, flat rice noodles, and almost always has bean sprouts, garlic chives, scrambled egg, firm tofu and a protein – the most popular being chicken or prawns/shrimp.