From refined dining experiences, to authentic street-food-style eats, the Sunshine Coast is peppered with Thai restaurants transporting your tastebuds to the ever popular Southeast Asian holiday destination.
Fancy a traditional red curry? Or perhaps you have a hankering for a scrummy pad Thai. We’ve hooked you up with the best Thai on the Sunshine Coast that’ll have you saying, “Aroi mak mak”.
Sum Yung Guys
This Asian fusion restaurant is at the top of many foodies’ favourites lists, and for good reason, the food is exceptional. Earlier this year, Matt Sinclair and the boys headed on a tasty tour of Southeast Asia, kicking off in Thailand, where they picked up some inspired new recipes to roll out in their menu—so you know you’re in for a truly authentic culinary experience. Our favourites are the Southern Thai Prawn Curry; Aromatic Red Curry of Confit Duck; and the Sour Yellow Curry with silken tofu. With a menu that’s designed to share, grab a few of your mates and indulge banquet-style at Sum Yung Guys. Just don’t forget to order a few spare rotis, those babies are finger-licking good.
Led by head chef Dan Jarrett, this one-hatted restaurant is one of the best in Australia, having been recognised for its innovative techniques while staying true to traditional flavours. If you choose to order from the two or three-course menu, the Whole Crispy Fried Fish is a real showstopper with the most epic concoction of flavours, including chilli, tamarind, finger ginger, pickled garlic and crisp basil. Or if you’re struggling to decide, why not settle into a long lunch and splurge on the five-course degustation showcasing The Tamarind’s most popular dishes.
The Spirit House is one of those restaurants you have to book months in advance—no impulsive date nights here, sorry. And once you’ve experienced the magic of Spirit House, you’ll understand why it’s so hard to get a table. Set in lush tropical gardens, you’ll feel like you’ve stepped out of the car and into Thailand, and that’s even before the food comes out. Among the most popular dishes is the Coconut Soup of Salmon with Thai aromatics and chilli oil; Crispy Pork Belly with Citrus Caramel; and Duck Braised in Master Stock with Red Curry Sauce. There’s no denying this is one of the best Thai restaurants on the Sunshine Coast.
While it’s more of a pan-Asian restaurant than purely Thai, Namory in Cotton Tree serves up some of the best curries this side of the equator. Grab a comfy spot on their bench seat or sit outdoors to soak up any leftover balminess, while you feast on their Panang Curry with roasted duck, pumpkin, bok choy, kaffir lime and lychee. It’s so succulent it hurts.
Cafe De Orient
If you’re feeling like an easy evening out, or perhaps it’s a ‘takeaway on the couch in your pyjamas’ kind of night, Cafe de Orient is a firm favourite. Set in the heart of Palmwoods, this quaint eatery is almost a hidden secret of locals, so you know it’s going to be good. Hot tip: order the Vegetable Fritters, a perfect crunch of lightly-battered and fried zucchini, sweet potato, onion and coconut. The only downside is they come in threes, so you’ll have to paper, scissors, rock it for the last one.
Originally opening in Melbourne over 30 years ago, Phon’s Thai has gone on to outgrow three of its premises here on the Sunshine Coast, before settling into its current location overlooking the Kawana Waters Marina. There’s no doubt Phon’s has collected some very loyal customers during its time here on the Coast, and for good reason, the food is divine. Standout dishes are the Roast Duck in Red Curry and Thai Beef Salad. If you feel like ordering in, Phon's Thai offers free delivery in the central catchment of Maroochydore to Buderim and down to Wurtulla.
Thai Frenzy has been popular with locals for almost 20 years and is one of the best Thai restaurants on the Sunshine Coast. You’ll go for their delicious food and you’ll stay for their cruisy vibes. Do yourself a favour and try the Bangkok style chicken with cashews, the sauce has a depth of flavour that will have you licking your plate clean. We won’t judge.
Siam Spicy Thai
Another one of those trusty local recommendations is Siam Spicy Thai, overlooking Peregian Beach Village Square. With 51 items on their menu, there’s no doubt you’re spoilt for choice, but it’s hard to deny our need for Soft Shell Crab Stir Fry, and their Choo Chee Fish is super spicy and super delicious. You can thank us later.
Pum’s Kitchen has a fan following because of the lovely lady in the kitchen. Located in the Big Top, just inside the entrance on Ocean Street, you’ll find Pum whipping up some of the best Thai on the Sunshine Coast–sharing recipes from her family. Not sure what to order? Their Pad See Ew is always a winner.
Image credit: Hayley Williamson for Urban List