We’ve all got our local Melbourne Thai restaurant that we swear by and practically have on speed-dial—or at least saved in our favourites on our food delivery app of choice—but sometimes it’s good to step out of our comfort zone and try a new place. Maybe you could even swap out of your trackies for a change and venture out to eat Thai food in a restaurant—shocking, we know.
Melbourne is spoilt for choice when it comes to Thai restaurants, but we’ve done our best to round up the pick of the bunch for you. Here’s where to find the best Thai Melbourne has to offer.
Just outside the bustling Camberwell Junction, this unassuming Thai restaurant packs a damn punch when it comes to flavour. The Bangkok Terrace menu features all the classics you know and love, the service is quick and the restaurant itself is rather beautiful with woven stools and atmospheric lanterns hanging above. Some of the best Thai Melbourne has for date nights in the eastern suburbs, and would 10/10 recommend the roasted duck salad.
If you’re after a delicious meal that also gives cred to your gram, then look no further than Thai Tide. This CBD restaurant makes beautiful food—in terms of both taste and looks. The pink neon lighting and indoor plants make it ideal for cocktail hour, and so does their cocktail menu. The Butterfly Gin is a favourite, as well as the Dawn in Bangkok cocktail containing lychee syrup and gin. Definitely a sweet way to finish off the working week.
For a fancier fare, head to Scott Pickett’s Longrain in the CBD for some seriously good modern Thai food. The stunning restaurant is perfect for special occasions—or, if you’re like us, make it a fancy Wednesday night feed—and they’re also available on Providoor. Go for the banquet menu if you’ve got cash to spend and you’re after a bit of everything, or go a la carte for a more modest (but still very sophisticated) approach. The caramelised pork hock is our pick of the bunch.
If you ever find yourself searching for an authentic Thai feed in Melbourne’s south-east, hit up Paradise Road. You’ll find them located just off of Glen Waverley’s bustling Kingsway strip. One of their most popular dishes is their pineapple fried rice, which is served with egg, cashew nuts, vegetables and, best of all, it’s plated up in a pineapple boat. And yes, it’s as enjoyable to eat as it is to look at. You can choose to add prawns or chicken, or simply keep it vegetarian.
The Wanderer Thai Bar And Kitchen
Low-key yet equally flamboyant, The Wanderer Thai Bar and Kitchen hides in plain sight on Lonsdale Street. Whether you’re looking for crispy prawn spring rolls at 1am on a Saturday night or a weekday lunch special, wander over and they’ll sort you out with some of the best Thai Melbourne CBD has to offer. Their authentic, seasonal menu is fresh produce-based and even has cocktails and desserts to match. Bookings are highly recommended.
Folks flock from near and far to try the good on Chin Chin’s menu, and who can blame them? It’s only (quite possibly) the best Thai Melbourne has in the city. After a recent facelift, the place is looking just as good as the food—almost. Dishes worth phoning home about include the old and gold pad thai, the rendang wagyu beef curry and the corn and coriander fritters. There’s also a host of other delicious Asian dishes, so don’t feel like you have to restrict yourself to just delicious Thai—or if you can’t decide what you want, just go for the $70 'feed me' option.
Dodee Paidang first made their presence known in Sydney, but they've now set up shop on Little Collins St and we’re pretty happy about it. The focus is on street food, showcasing bold and inventive flavours from around Thailand. There are countless noodle soups to choose from, including variations on the classic tom yum, or you can try some of the Moo Ping pork skewers you see customers scoffing down around you. Check out their range of Thai breakfasts too for a change from your usual late-night takeaway routine.
Over in the sleepy suburb of Mount Waverley you'll find Mango Tree Thai offering up simple and delicious Thai without any of that inner-city glam. As you'd expect, the Pad Thai is a winner, but don't skip the Pad Makeua for something a little different from your usual order, and try the wok-fried eggplant with minced chicken or pork, chilli and Thai basil to round it all out. The whole fried barramundi with sweet, spicy sauce is a winner too. Can’t go wrong with the best thai Melbourne’s southeast burbs can boast.
Rice Paper Scissors
Right in the heart of Fitzroy on Brunswick Street, this melting pot of Thai and Vietnamese fusion is brimming with flavour. It boasts a fab selection of small and large serves of street food that’ll curb your Thai craving in no time. Infused with modern methods, Rice Paper Scissors is the perfect lunch or dinner destination, thanks to its share-friendly menu (and not to mention its famous crispy pork). They’re also one of the best vegan thai venues with their whole vegan menu, not just vegan options.
Jinda Thai Restaurant
Perched on Ferguson Street in Abbotsford, Jinda Thai has been famous for its incredible service, venue and cuisine since it opened its doors in 2013. Everything is fresh and flavoursome, plus the serving sizes are generous and everything’s affordable—as the best Thai Melbourne options should be. Best dishes include soft-shell crab on a green papaya salad, traditional pad thai, and authentic hawker boat noodles.
We're all familiar with Rooftop Bar on a Friday evening in Summer, but head down a few levels and you'll find some of the best Thai food in Melbourne at Cookie. Amongst a whole bunch of funky cocktails (try the French Flip) you can polish off some steamed fish dumplings with pickled cucumber, a zesty salmon, avocado & pomelo salad served with lemongrass and ginger, and of course a bloody good pad thai.
The Toff In Town
The Thai offering at Cookie is certainly extensive, but just a few rounds up the staircase you’ll find The Toff in Town, where there are even more Thai-inspired options from the Toff Kitchen menu. Think fun foods like jaffles filled with chicken rendang, pizza roti with curried lamb, rice pancakes, burgers and tuck shop-style dishes. All you have to do is perch yourself in one of their cosy, carriage style seating arrangements and you’re good to go.
Located in quiet Kensington, this cosy little cafe is the west’s go-to institution for some of the best thai Melbourne has on this side of the CBD. Highlights on the menu include the cashew chicken and the green curry, and their famous curry puffs which deserve a chef’s kiss. The entire menu is available online for pickup and delivery, but Pimm Thai is one of the cosiest and most romantic spots around, with cushion-filled booths against both walls—we’d recommend making the trip for this one.
Fun fact, when Revolver isn’t Revolver, it’s actually Colonel Tan’s—one of Melbourne’s best Thai restaurants. Open from 5 pm Tuesday through to Saturday (and 12 pm on Fridays), this dance space is home to an eclectic collection of mismatched furniture and kitsch tables, plus it rocks an extensive and affordable Thai menu. Don’t leave the venue without trying the yellow sweet potato curry, the popcorn chicken and the sweet potato and cashew dumplings.
Son In Law
Son In Law offers seasonal dishes in addition to their permanent menu—the specials are usually only available for a few months at a time. Expect the most creative, Insta-worthy culinary feats (because folks, these plates practically style themselves). Also, if you’ve never had Son In Law eggs before—you’re missing out. The delicious deep-fried eggs are served with sweet tamarind, chilli, and fried shallots. After your meal, we recommend getting stuck into the Cartoon Bao Buns, which truly need to be seen to be believed.
Magic Mountain Saloon
Just like Cookie, you'll find a classic combo of inventive cocktails and punchy Thai flavours when you step into Magic Mountain Saloon—they do have the same owner after all. Anything you order is going to be damn delicious, but do yourself a favour and order the Magic Mountain BBQ Chicken, served with hot tamarind sauce and fried shallots. Then some snapper and green papaya, yellow curry and acacia pancake. And of course, you can’t miss the pumpkin and coconut creme brulee—it’s drool-worthy.
Okay, chances are you've heard of this one. Tom Phat has a big reputation in Melbourne for their punchy flavours and vibrant dishes—and rightly so. You could pretty much close your eyes and hope for the best when it comes to the menu (it's all good), but our tip is the duck leg braised in lemongrass, galangal, chilli and coconut, which is then chargrilled and served with tomato and eggplant sambal. Or go vegan and grab the nasi mesantan—red coconut rice with tofu and tempeh fritters and eggplant chilli sambal. Wear loose pants for this one because you’ll want one of everything.
Need some culinary variety? Take your tastebuds to Vietnam with the best Pho in Melbourne.
Image credit: supplied