Pad Thai is without a doubt, the most well known Thai dish in the world outside of Thailand. You won’t find a Thai menu in any restaurant in The West that doesn’t include this famous Thai fried noodle dish and it’s just as widely available in Thailand with every hotel, guesthouse and Thai restaurant selling pad Thai. Far too often these Pad Thais can be overly sweet, badly cooked and lacking in flavour. Oh, and don’t get me started on the ‘Pad Thai’ sold on the Khaosan Road!
The only place to eat Pad Thai is from a stall that exclusively sells pad Thai or a hoy tod (mussel omelette) shop. To get the desired charred flavour into the noodles, it has to be cooked over searingly high heat. This article isn’t a Top 5 or a Best in Bangkok, just a list of 5 great places to grab your next Pad Thai that won’t leave you disappointed.
The Tourist Friendly One
Thipsamai Padthai (ทิพย์สมัย ผัดไทยประตูผี)
Undoubtedly the most famous Pad Thai in Bangkok and by most travellers to the city, considered the best. This old shophouse restaurant, located in the old city on Mahachai Road, has been churning out plate after plate of Pad Thai noodles wrapped in omelette for over fifty years and is now firmly on the tourist radar. While there is an argument to be had as to whether these are, in fact, the best you can get in Bangkok, they are definitely a step up from your average guest house or hotel offering. If you’re a first timer to Bangkok and you’re after a hassle free experience with solid pad Thai and you don’t mind queueing this is the place for you.
Open daily 5 p.m – 1 a.m
Photo credit: thipsamai.com/
The Upmarket One
Baan Padthai (บ้านผัดไทย)
The most expensive Pad Thai on the list will always divide opinion due to the prices charged, however, there’s no doubting the quality of the ingredients used here are a step up from your usual street Pad Thai. The pad Thai sauce used at Baan Pad Thai contains a blend of 18 different ingredients and their seafood comes in fresh every morning from the famous Mahachai Market in Samut Sakhon. Baan Pad Thai source their sen chan noodles from the Eastern city of Chanthaburi, use house-dried shrimps, homemade tofu and crab fat in their Pad Thai. The specialty here is Pad Thai with crab and if you don’t mind spending a few extra baht, you’ll be well rewarded. Although the Pad Thai here is a little expensive by local standards, the ingredients are a cut above your average street offering and the portions are easily big enough that you can share a plate between two people. Baan Pad Thai would be the perfect place to bring overseas guests to get their first real taste of Thailand’s national dish.
Open daily 11am – 10pm
You can check out the full video review of Baan Pad Thai below. Don’t forget to subscribe to The Roaming Cook YouTube channel for more great content!
The Up and Coming One.
Padthai Narok Taek ผัดไทยนรกแตก (Editor’s Choice)
Pad Thai Narok Teak has come out of nowhere as a strong contender for the best Pad Thai in Bangkok. Chef Aom has taken his small two table street food stand and turned it into a jam packed, local, sit down restaurant within five years. Unlike a lot of other famous street food restaurants in Bangkok, that have hired extra cooks to lighten the load, Chef Aom can be seen every night, churning out dish after dish by himself to his queue of loyal customers. The Pad Thai here comes in an egg basket with two massive river prawns, shredded sour green mango and the obligatory bean sprouts, garlic chives and of course, fresh lime wedges all for 85 baht. Our favourite thing about this pad Thai is its crispy topping that we’ve only seen served here. Small dried prawns are fried with shallots, whole dried red chillies and lime leaves to create a crunchy, salty and savoury topping that adds extra texture and flavour to the noodles. Don’t worry if you don’t like dried prawns, they end up tasting like a sort of prawn bacon once they’re fried.
You can read our full review of Pad Thai Narok Taek here.
Open Tuesday to Sunday 5 p.m – 10 p.m
The Old School One
Sawasdee Ratchawat (สวัสดี ราชวัตร ผัดไทยหอยทอด)
Located on the foodie haven that is Nakhon Chai Si Road in Bangkok’s beautiful Dusit district, this much loved old school eatery is jam packed with locals from the minute they open until the shutters come down. On top of their solid Pad Thai offering, which comes with a choice of dried shrimp or for a little extra, plump river prawns, you can indulge in other local delights such as crispy mussel pancake (hoy tod), gooey oyster pancake (or suan) and steamed radish cake stir-fried with egg and bean sprouts (khanom phak kad).
The Underdog One.
Pad Thai Sala Daeng.
Nestled on Soi Sala Daeng in the business district of Silom, Pad Thai Sala Daeng has been producing consistently great Pad Thai to the hordes of lunchtime office workers that frequent the area for over ten years now. Chef Pranee Thanee actually used to work as a housekeeper on the site of the restaurant, looking after the children of the owner of the Thai house that it sits outside. She set up her business when the children went to study abroad and hasn’t looked back since. Here you’ll find the perfect balance of salty, sweet and sour flavours that every Pad Thai chef worth their salt should strive for.
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