Best Thai restaurants in London

Bamboozled looking for the perfect Thai in London? Find the best selection of Thai restaurants in and around London with SquareMeal. Aromatic, spicy and a balance of sweet and sour flavours, Thai cuisine has cemented itself in the nation’s hearts

Updated on 13 November 2018

London has a superb range of Thai restaurants, the very best of which can be found in this Square Meal guide to the best Thai restaurants in London.  Thai cuisine encompasses the culinary traditions of the four main regions of Thailand in addition to the speciality that is Thai Royal cuisine and places emphasis upon lightly prepared dishes with strong aromatic components. Balance of flavour holds much significance to Thai chefs and the perfect balance between sweet, salty, sour and bitter is vital in the preparation of Thai cuisine.

Thai food has become highly desirable in London so it comes as no surprise that the capital boasts many great Thai restaurants. Take a look through Square Meal’s guide to the best Thai restaurants in London, featuring some of the finest Thai restaurants available in the capital, and choose your perfect Thai restaurant today. If you can’t find what you are looking for here, Thai food is also incorporated into the menu at many of London’s great Pan Asian restaurants too.

Every one of the Thai restaurants featured in Square Meal’s list of London’s top Thai restaurants have been tried and tested by food critics and our own customers so check out the reviews and book a table online with Square Meal today. As well as the restaurants on this page, we have listings for Thai restaurants in Soho; Thai restaurants in Marylebone and Thai restaurants in the City along with Thai restaurants in many other areas of London. Each Square Meal listing features an independent review, as well as reviews from diners, together with unique special offers such as free drinks and discounts.

Som Saa

Som Saa

43a Commercial Street, London, E1 6BD

Andy Oliver might be best known from the 2009 series of Masterchef, but he worked with David Thompson at Nahm – still the best Thai restaurant London has ever had – as well as spending two years at Bangkok’s even more highly rated Bo.Lan.

Oliver’s calling card is authentic northern Thai cooking, producing flavours unfamiliar to most Londoners. Lon gapi relish of shrimp paste with wild ginger and coconut cream was oily-rich, and satisfyingly dripped off crunchy crudités. Tamarind dipping sauce for a plump grilled chicken leg was worlds away from the usual sweet gloop, simultaneously sharp, sweet and sour. Burmese-style pork belly and shoulder curry arrived as a comforting pot of melty meat, but there was no hiding from the slap-in-the-face sour heat of som tam Isaan, a green papaya salad with snake beans, tomatoes and fermented fish sauce. 

Too full for dessert (palm-sugar ice cream with grilled banana, say), we opted for a Dragon’s Milk cocktail (a heady combination of sticky-rice rum, Kahlúa, coconut cream, condensed milk, salt and sesame) from a list boasting interesting takes on the classics. Previously a no-bookings joint, Som Saa thankfully now takes bookings for parties of any size.

£30 - £49
Thai
Crazy Bear

Crazy Bear

26-28 Whitfield Street, London, W1T 2RG

Unfailingly lively, Crazy Bear has been transporting fans of chintzy glamour “to another world” since 2004. Gleaming dark wood, floors in reflective black, a velveteen staircase and leather booths padded in striking red are as unashamedly over the top as a vast pan-Asian menu plundering every corner of the Far East. From reliable sushi (the dragon roll of Alaskan king crab is a pure-luxury winner) and dim sum (venison puffs are our pick) to honey-roasted Old Spot pork reared on the group’s own Oxfordshire farm, exotic ostrich fillet with long beans and chilli paste or budget-busting chateaubriand with bok choy and XO sauce, the food seldom disappoints. Prices can seem steep, but bargain-hunting fans report that meal deals are “definitely worth it” – provided you resist the lure of Asian-themed cocktails in the plush basement bar. Service by assorted beautiful people mirrors the super-glam vibe, sometimes at the expense of efficiency.

£50 - £79
Thai
Farang

Farang

72 Highbury Park, London, N5 2XE

There’s already quite a following for this Thai venture from chef Sebby Holmes, thanks to his two successful Street Feast stalls (Dinerama and Hawker House). Loyalty is certainly required to find the restaurant, ensconced in Holloway suburbia on the former site of neighbourhood Italian San Daniele (which was run by Holmes’s stepdad for years). The look has barely changed inside or out since the days of San Daniele, but what this outfit lacks in funds, it makes up for on the plate. The small menu manages to incorporate something for all palates, from a broodingly meaty curry of coconut-braised, butter-like beef cheeks, to a slap-you-round-the-face jungle curry: an energetic, spicy concoction of fresh Cornish fish, supremely fishy sauce and bitter baby aubergines. Everything arriving at our table intrigued, from the whiff of smoke evident in the ketchup-like burnt chilli dipping sauce, to a Bolognese-like salad of lon (fermented shrimp paste dip, slowly simmered in coconut cream) partnered by an array of raw vegetables for dipping. The large, low-key dining room is convivial, prices low and the mostly young troupe of staff effortlessly charming. The only dud was an overpriced, unremarkable doughnut dessert, so save your money for a bottle of Monsoon Valley wine all the way from Thailand’s Hua Hin vineyards.

£30 - £49
Thai
Kiln

Kiln

58 Brewer Street, W1F 9TL

The name of Ben (Smoking Goat) Chapman’s second restaurant tells you everything you need to know: it’s cramped, full of fire and spins out baked clay pots filled with outstandingly appetising noodle dishes from the northern Thai borderlands. Kiln’s focus is on casual dining, with a long, metal counter running parallel to the open kitchen: various Thai-style barbecues deal with the clay-pot dishes, while modern grills turn out the meat skewers, smoked sausages and chickens that complete the menu. Our must-order is a sticky, dense assemblage of glass noodles with pork belly and brown crab, but there’s also grilled Tamworth pork loin paired with a sweet, dark fish-sauce dip and super-spicy Laos-style salad with roasted rice and a heavy dose of chilli. Order stir-fried greens or brown jasmine rice to counteract these intense, salty flavours, and drink quality beers or something from the ever-evolving wine list. Uncomfortable stools don’t encourage lingering and mark-ups sometimes seem high, but this high-voltage newcomer is an undoubted hit.

£30 - £49
Thai
Mango Tree

Mango Tree

46 Grosvenor Place, London, SW1X 7EQ

Mango Tree's extravagant entrance gives way to a small bar where spiky-haired Thai bartenders are ready to indulge their clientele with devilishly potent cocktails. Meanwhile, hungry guests descend into the enormous dining space, with its plush leather banquettes, showy floral arrangements and beautiful bamboo blinds. The kitchen serves up Thai classics, but with some added panache when it comes to flavour and presentation: a green curry of corn-fed chicken, aubergine and sweet basil arrives in a freshly cut pineapple, while pad thai is gussied up with spiky spring onions, red chillis and a mound of crushed peanuts. Otherwise, order from the chef's special menu, which takes a whistle-stop tour of Thailand. Mango Tree also delivers top-class service: sleek staff armed with walkie-talkies stay unshakably polite despite the high-decibel atmosphere.

£30 - £49
Thai
Under £30
The Begging Bowl

The Begging Bowl

168 Bellenden Road, London, SE15 4BW

No one can accuse this “hip” Thai canteen of resting on its laurels: in 2016, the owners repurposed the terrace as an airy all-weather space, did away with the colour-coded prices on its menu, and developed a cute children’s offering. Other than that, it’s business as usual at The Begging Bowl. A constantly changing line-up of “amazing Thai tapas” still features exhilarating flavour combos shot through with full-throttle herbs and spices: try the “piquant” little fishcakes, “sticky, umami-rich” pork belly, caramelised tiger prawns in lime leaves (“so good we ordered them twice”) or the show-stopping whole sea bass, lavishly sprinkled with slivers of green mango, deep-fried chilli, Thai shallots and toasted rice. To drink, delicious eastern-inspired cocktails complement the spice-friendly wine list. And each night, dozens of would-be diners still vie for tables in the colourful, driftwood-decorated dining room – thankfully the friendly staff are experts at waiting-list diplomacy.

£30 - £49
Thai
Greyhound Café

Greyhound Café

37 Berners Street, London, W1T 3NB

Greyhound Café is a side project from Thai designer Bhanu Inkawat that stretches to 17 cafés across Asia. Its London debut may look dark and minimalist but, once seated, you’ll find a riot of fun. An overwhelming menu (we counted at least 10 pages) features artily-shot food imagery, and we’d recommend ordering four to five small plates between two and then a large plate each. Zanily-named dishes include Complicated Noodles, which arrives as a DIY plate of rice noodle sheets and iceberg lettuce to be topped with spicy minced pork, a chilli-spiked lime sauce and chopped coriander. Much of the food is messy and designed to be eaten with your hands; a mound of crunchy, juicy pork knuckle arrives alongside fiery dipping sauces and a box of sticky rice, while crispy chicken wings are zingily marinated in fish sauce. The fun continues through to the signature Happy Toast for pudding: golden brioche toast next to the word ‘happy’ spelled out in flour, and a range of sauces to top it with – you’ll see it a lot on your Instagram feed this year. Luminous soft drinks, a buzzy atmosphere and staff wearing t-shirts that read ‘I don’t speak Thai, but I recommend good dishes’ are further pluses. Prices are on the steep side, but sizeable portions mean you won’t leave hungry.  

£30 - £49
Sukho Thai

Sukho Thai

855 Fulham Road, London, SW6 5HJ

One reader’s claim that this is “still the best Thai in town” overstates the case, but there’s no doubting that unassuming Sukho Thai is the real deal when it comes to authentic South-East Asian cuisine. House specialities show a “wonderful balance of spicing” – witness pla tod sam rod (whole, de-boned sea bass with a chilli, tamarind and lemongrass sauce) or plah tuna (a salad of thinly sliced tuna in lemongrass and fresh mint vinaigrette). Otherwise, multicoloured steamed dumplings are “a treat in themselves”, and the menu also accommodates the usual satays, curries, stir-fries and noodles. The dimly lit, dark-wood interior is in line with nearby sibling Suksan, although it undoubtedly plays second fiddle to the accomplished cooking and “amazingly accommodating staff”.

£30 - £49
Thai
Isarn

Isarn

119 Upper Street, London, N1 1QP

Sleek and chic, Isarn is an attractive modern Thai restaurant with equally appealing service. For a zingy midday fix, try the Khantok lunch sets (perhaps char-grilled pork with chilli, garlic and lime; tom yam mushroom soup; steamed jasmine rice; and fresh fruit): excellent value at £6.90. The usual stir-fries and noodle dishes are all present and correct on the full menu, but there are also more original offerings – say, roasted baby chicken with chilli and tamarind, or chargrilled lamb chop with Kaffir lime leaf and red curry. Seafood is a particular strength: from fried red snapper with sweet chilli sour sauce to lobster tail and Chinese celery stir-fry in yellow curry. Wines are well chosen, if a little pricey, and desserts are both traditional (mango with black sticky rice) and fanciful (strawberry Champagne jelly).

£30 - £49
Thai
Suksan

Suksan

7 Park Walk, Chelsea, SW10 0AJ

From the same mini stable as Sukho Thai, this neighbourhood eatery is still something of a find and a haunt worth knowing, according to local fans. Inside, Thai artefacts, bare tables and carved deities provide the trappings in a tidy, if unexceptional space, but it’s the cooking that really warrants attention here. Regional dishes such as mieng bhed (roasted duck fillet wrapped in rice paper with herbs) and pla yang (sea bass in red chilli paste served in a banana leaf) overshadow the more predictable satays, spring rolls, stir-fries and pad thais, while fans of green and red curries will find their favourites pimped up beyond the usual standard; hot-and-sour salads and classic tom yum soups also get a jazzy makeover. Be prepared for a wait at peak times.

£30 - £49
Thai
Nipa at the Lancaster London

Nipa at the Lancaster London

Lancaster London, Lancaster Terrace, W2 2TY

Modelled on its opposite number at the Lancaster’s twin in Bangkok, Nipa comes with a long-established history as well as a view over Hyde Park. Nipa’s menu is the kind you could recite in your sleep – tom yum soup, fishcakes, spring rolls and satay, followed by ‘traffic light’ curries of different colours, pad thai noodles, head-clearing hot and sour salads and artfully carved fresh fruit – although it’s also worth checking out the chef’s specials (stir-fried sweet and sour sea bass with Asian vegetables, say). Prices are steep, but Nipa scores with its overall quality, care, classy interiors and lovely view. 

£30 - £49
Thai
Kaosarn

Kaosarn

Brixton Village Market, Coldharbour Lane, Brixton, London, SW9 7EL

"If street food is your thing, this is the place”, says a fan of this popular refuelling point on Brixton Village Market. Kaosarn is praised as “authentic, fast and tasty”, with refreshingly small bills and punchy food without frills or frippery – as you might expect from an outfit that evolved from the first Thai cafés in London. The menu covers all the essentials, but also ventures beyond the satays, green curries and pad thai noodles to offer everything from gai tod (deep-fried garlic and pepper chicken) to larb (a salad of spicy minced pork with ground roasted rice, chilli and lime). Service is pretty basic – it’s worth having a plan to go on somewhere afterwards, because the management is likely to want your seats back the moment you’ve finished. Our advice is bring your own wine and your own company to enjoy Kaosarn at its best.

£30 - £49
Thai
101 Thai Kitchen

101 Thai Kitchen

352 King Street, London, W6 0RX

The garish-pink exterior hints that 101 does things a little differently. Its kitchen focuses on the Isaan cooking of north-eastern Thailand, a cuisine generally spicier than in neighbouring regions. Diners keen on Thai staples will be pleased to find pad thai and green and red curries all present and correct. However, it pays to try the more unusual likes of tum sua (a salad of noodles, salted crab, salted fish and pickled cabbage), or tom kruang nai wua (spicy ox tripe soup). The sous chef hails from southern Thailand, so that region’s fish dishes are also represented, including the intriguing option of sea bass hotpot containing curry sauce, bamboo shoots and cauliflower. A lunch deal offers a meal-in-one plate plus a soft drink for a bargain £6.

Under £30
Thai
Patara Soho

Patara Soho

15 Greek Street, London, W1D 4DP

Patara may be a chain, but there are very few Thai clichés to speak of. The sitting Buddhas and wood carvings formerly decorating its branches are being steadily (and expensively) replaced with a contemporary palette of greys and marine blues, accented with angular mirrors, feature lights and muted, modern wall art. The menu strives to be ‘authentically different’ and succeeds via innovative twists on tradition, such as pad thai tossed with lobster meat, say, or massaman curry made with fall-apart lamb shanks. Fragrant Thai flavours crop up in unexpected dishes too, with tofu slices glazed in tamarind and lemongrass, before being pan-fried and sprinkled with crisp shallots, for example. Look out, too, for signature dishes, from coconutty dumplings filled with caramelised chicken and peanuts, to ginger-marinated beef fillet stir-fried with chilli, lime leaves and tangy green peppercorns. Delectable vegetarian and seafood set menus and playful cocktails are also excellent. 

£30 - £49
Thai
Wild Rice and Mamasan

Wild Rice and Mamasan

28 Brewer Street, Soho, London, W1F 0SR

This double restaurant features two differing takes on Thai food across its two floors. On the ground floor, you’ll find Wild Rice which features interiors inspired by Bangkok and offers a menu of small plates made with seasonal British ingredients. Expect to chow down on the likes of Thai ceviche made with raw seabass, red chilli, fish sauce and toasted rice, or opt for a pulled chicken leg soup.

Downstairs in the more intimate Mamasan, guests can indulge in Thai-inspired street food dishes, such as southern Thai fried chicken, seasoned with coriander root, garlic, and soy sauce and topped with crispy shallots. The beverage offering includes bubble tea and cocktails, while the décor is themed around Thailand’s Chinatown with lanterns and neon signage.

Thai
Kin + Deum

Kin + Deum

2 Crucifix Lane, London, SE1 3JW

Kin + Deum’s name means ‘eat and drink’ in Thai and was more apt perhaps when it was a Thai pub, opened by expat Suchard Inngern in 1975. Now taken over by Inngern’s three kids, the emphasis is very much more on eating than drinking in a dining room where the plain decor (pale green walls, bistro chairs, random pot plants) give little to indicate that this is a Thai restaurant.

The younger generation of Inngerns have shortened the menu while keeping a focus on the familiar – there are none of the detours along the byways of regional Thai cuisine that have recently taken London by storm. Full houses suggest it’s an idea with mass appeal, although we found that some fairly humdrum cooking offered little that was different to the old style of Thai restaurant you can find on almost any London high street.

The peanut sauce, rich and deeply flavoured, accompanying chicken satay to start was the best thing we ate, and we appreciated the chunks of absorbent brioche to soak up what was left. Deep-fried garlic squid was springy and crisp-battered, but chicken and prawn dumplings encased in stiff pastry should have been steamed for longer and slices of fried aubergine tasted of nothing at all.

To follow, duck in a honey and coriander sauce and weeping tiger steak were ok enough, but like all of the food, we thought the portions seemed small for the prices. Service, meanwhile, bordered on the chaotic, although the staff were very sweet.

Suchard Inngern’s children are to be applauded for offering a contemporary spin on the cooking that they grew up with, and there will be diners glad to discover a contemporary Thai restaurant that doesn’t dynamite their heads with a chilli explosion. But we were disappointed to find a somewhere that instead of offering new takes on old favourites, simply offered more of the same.

Under £30
Thai
Addie

Addie's Thai Café

121 Earl's Court Road, London, SW5 9RL

The decor may have been spruced up, but Addie’s Thai Café is still offering customers ‘really delicious, authentic food’ at down-home prices. No wonder it’s so popular. While the man himself may be spending a little less time behind the stove these days, his family have taken to the concept with relish. The whole place is now themed as a street-food eatery, although the menu hasn’t changed much – crowds continue to pack in for cracking renditions of hot and sour tom yang kun soup, massaman and green curries or pad thai, as well as Addie’s own wacky inventions such as a dish of prawns and squid infused with galangal, lime leaves, chilli and a slosh of French brandy. There’s local delivery, too – a bonus for anyone living within a one-mile radius.

Under £30
Thai