We Found the 8 Absolute Best Thai Spots in Brisbane
There’s a lot to love about Thai food in Brisbane. It’s extremely flavoursome, comforting and features those five quintessential elements: sweet, salty, spicy, sour and bitter. In particular, our society has adopted pad Thai, Thailand’s national dish, with a dizzying amount of passion. With Thailand and Brisbane both sharing sunshine, heat and humidity, it’s only natural the Thai restaurant scene is thriving. So, we thought we’d venture to the capital of the Sunshine State and hunt down the best Thai Brisbane has to offer.
A brief history of pad Thai
Pad Thai consists of rice noodles stir-fried with eggs and firm tofu, and then flavoured with tamarind, fish sauce, dried shrimps, palm sugar, garlic and red chillies. Most pad Thai will also come with prawns, chicken or other fresh seafood. It’s then always served with crushed peanuts, bean shoots and lime wedges. It’s the perfect street food number, but all around the world it’s been elevated to restaurant heights.
Historically this Thai favourite was introduced in the late 1930’s by the leader of the time, Plaek Phibunsongkhram. With a desire to make Thailand more westernised, a new national dish was ordered. And so, this noodley delight was born. And we couldn’t be happier about it.
The 8 best Thai restaurants in Brisbane
1. Same Same
What better place to start our Brisbane Thai guide than with Same Same (previously known as Longtime). Situated just around the corner from our favourite Ann Street restaurant hub, Same Same is tucked away in an elegant bustling home down Ada Lane. The restaurant opens up into a cavernous space, with dramatic arches, an open kitchen, high ceilings, and contemporary furnishings. It all comes together and makes dining here an ambient experience you’re not likely to forget. As for the menu, it’s of Michelin quality and is not just typically Thai. Think tuna ceviche, prawn larb tacos, Hervey Bay scallops with chilli garlic and more. Our pick? The pad see ew with crispy pork belly, choy sum, pickled chilli and crispy garlic.
When: Mon, 5:30pm – 9.30pm; Tues to Thurs, 5.30pm – 10pm; Fri & Sat, 12 – 3pm & 5.30pm – 11pm; Sun 12pm – 3pm & 5.30pm – 9.30pmWhere: Located inside The Calile Hotel Brisbane, Shop AM3 Ada Lane, Fortitude Valley
Ms Pad Thai
If there was a Thai restaurant pageant contest, Ms Pad Thai would most certainly take the crown. Though rather unassuming from the outside, it’s what’s on the inside that counts – just ask any enamoured Wilston resident. Despite the name, there’s a lot more than everyone’s favourite noodle dish being whipped up in Ms Pad Thai’s kitchen. And by a lot more, we’re talking well over a hundred dishes, including a dedicated vegetarian menu. They also dabble in great Vietnamese and Chinese dishes if you’re all Thai-ed out (said no one ever). We recommend going for the ‘build your own’ option where you can choose your favourite noodles, protein and Thai flavours.
When: Mon to Sun, 4.30pm – 9pmWhere: 74 Kedron Brook Road, Wilston
To Be Thai
Cooking up delicious Thai for over a decade, To Be Thai in New Farm is a local favourite for very good reason. But the secret is well and truly out now. Spacious and breezy, this restaurant is one of the best spots in town for authentic eats. Classic dishes are brought to life with fresh quality ingredients and produce. There’s also quite a few noodle dishes and for a creative take on pad Thai, we love the pad kee mao served with thick noodles, egg, fresh chilli and basil. Delicious!
When: Lunch: Mon to Fri: 11 – 3pm; Dinner: Mon to Sat: 5 – 10pmWhere: 1/92 Merthyr Road, New Farm
Sushi and sashimi more your thing?Check out our guide to the best Japanese food in Brisbane.
As soon as That Thai opened in May 2005, we all knew we were in for a lifetime love affair. Just a short walk from the river, this Thai restaurant is a special part of Brisbane’s Ascot community. The focus is on creating an environment perfect for families and old friends sharing a meal together, with the addition of an outdoor terrace making for a very relaxed dining experience. Don’t miss out on the Banana Leaf Chicken, a popular dish enriched with red curry paste, Thai herbs, zingy lime leaves and a refreshing cucumber sauce.
When: Lunch: Tues to Sun, 11am – 2.30pm; Dinner: Mon to Sun, 4.30pm – 8.45pmWhere: 133 Racecourse Road, Ascot
Thai at Home
Designed to feel like you’re dining in your own living room, Thai at Home in St Lucia is all about sharing home-cooked, authentic and flavourful Thai cuisine. Is there anything better? We think not. Located a stone’s throw from UQ, the menu is made up of dishes inspired by traditional dishes from the owner’s grandmother. It’s safe to say, the food here will leave you delighted. Of course the pad Thai is a stand out. You can opt for the classic with your choice of seafood, tofu, chicken, beef or duck, or go for the glass noodle pad Thai from the chef’s recommendation. Our tip: order the satay chicken skewers to start.
When: Lunch: Mon to Thurs: 11 – 2:30pm; Fri to Sun: 12 – 3pm; Dinner: Mon to Thurs: 5 – 9:15pm; Fri to Sun: 5 – 9:30pmWhere: 5/224 Hawken Drive, St Lucia
Thai Ginger Restaurant
Thai Ginger Restaurant is a Southeast Asian delight. Located in North Lakes, not of the Brisbane CBD, it’s a casual restaurant that features relatively simple decor and some of the greatest traditional Thai food in the city. There’s an extensive menu here that includes jungle, massaman, yellow and Panang curries; many stir-fries; seafood specialties and of course the signature pad Thai. It’s fresh, wholesome and perfect for relaxed evenings out with the family or your best mates.
When: Lunch: Mon, Tues, Fri: 11 – 2pm; Dinner: Every day except Tuesday: 4:30 – 8pmWhere: 1 College St, North Lakes
Dining at Thai Ayuthaya in Chermside will leave you feeling as though you’re in a picturesque village in the Land of Smiles. You’ll be greeted by relaxing wafts of incense, followed by mouth-watering aromas coming from the kitchen. The space itself features Thai artworks and statues, and there’s plenty of flowers and plant life which adds to the experience in the best possible way. As a treat, we highly recommend starting with a round of curry puffs filled with chicken and potato or the coconut prawns. As for the pad Thai? It features a secret tamarind sauce that honestly sets it apart from any others we’ve tried and leaves you dreaming of the next time you get to eat it.
When: Lunch: Wed to Sun: 11 – 2:30pm; Dinner: Mon to Sun: 5:30 – 10:30pmWhere: 725 Gympie Road, Chermside
Last but certainly not least, we have My Thai. An Auchenflower local haunt for over 20 years, this charming restaurant is the brainchild of chef extraordinaire Busara Nulnanan. The vibe here is soft and tranquil, while the menu is a standout. Featuring all the regulars, the generous use of excellent produce and attention-to-detail preparations sets them apart. Each dish is layered with rich and unique flavours that complement each other perfectly, and there is liberal use of lemongrass, ginger, garlic and piping hot chillies. The pad Thai here is served with chicken and features a secret pad Thai sauce that we’d do pretty much anything to get our hands on. Brilliant and charming, it’s a strong hold for the Brisbane Thai community and offers some of the best pad Thai in Brisbane. Oh, and did we mention Prince Harry has eaten here?
When: Tues to Sun: 5 – 9pmWhere: 113 Haig Rd, Auchenflower, Brisbane 4066