Pad Thai is so synonymous with Thailand, it even contains part of the country’s name. The famous wok-fried noodle dish was introduced to Bangkok around 60 years ago thanks to a campaign by Luang Phibunsongkhram, the country's Prime Minister at that time. He wanted to address Thailand’s rice shortages by introducing noodles into the country’s cuisine, as well as increase patriotism and nationalism.

    For the uninitiated, pad Thai is a dish made of wok-fried flat rice noodles, mixed with tamarind paste, to which shrimp, tofu, bean sprouts and spring onion are then added. Peanuts, chilli flakes and sugar are added according to personal taste. If there’s one place you really need to sample the dish then it’s Bangkok – and we’ve picked the best places to do it.


    Pad Thai Thip Samai

    Old City

    Ask any local where to find the best pad Thai in Bangkok, and most will tell you Thip Samai. Also known as Pratu Pee (meaning 'ghost gate'), this really is the grandfather of Bangkok’s most famous dish, opening up shop nearly 50 years ago in the Old City.

    Portions here are generous, and the signature egg pad Thai comes with a thin layer of omelet cocooning the moist and fresh noodles that are cooked over a charcoal fire. Prices start at a slightly inflated 60 baht, and go all the way up to 200 baht if you want a huge shrimp too. Don’t forget to order their famous orange juice, which is delivered fresh from the countryside every day. Thip Samai is easy to find – just look for the line of people queuing underneath the bright red sign on Machachai Road, near Wat Saket (Temple on the Mountain).

    Location: 313-315 Maha Chai Rd, Samran Rat, Phra Nakhon, Bangkok 10200, Thailand

    Open: Daily from 5pm to 1am

    Phone: +66 (0)2 226 6666


    photo by Iudexvivorum (CC0 1.0) modified


    Baan Phadthai


    Baan Phadthai is a restaurant devoted to Thailand’s most famous noodle dish. While it’s true that most travelers visiting Bangkok will enjoy a pad Thai – usually cooked in front of you in a wok as old as the person cooking it – the versions created at this converted shophouse close to the Sapan Taksin BTS Skytrain Station are a little more special. Because the original recipe is very simple, many pad Thai restaurants and street stalls add unique ingredients or condiments – there’s nothing new about that. But Baan Phadthai takes this simple delicious dish to the next level with high-quality ingredients and a few innovative variations such as pad Thai phoo (crab) or pad Thai with moo yang, a traditional and popular grilled pork neck.

    Location: 21-23 Charoen Krung (Soi 44), Bang Rak, Bangkok 10500, Thailand

    Open: Daily from 11am to 10pm

    Phone: +66 (0)2 060 5553


    Pad Thai Mae Am (ผัดไทย แม่อัม)

    Rama IV Road

    Pad Thai Mae Am is a modest yet highly rated spot that's walking distance from the Klong Toey MRT Station. Specializing in only 2 noodle-based dishes (the second being kuay diow gai or thick rice noodles and chicken), Pad Thai Mae Am really brings things back to basics. Seating comes in the form of miniature stools, while the tired-looking walls are adorned with old photos and magazine clippings.

    The pad Thai recipe is just as old school (which can only be a good thing) with the noodles being prepared before with tamarind paste, palm sugar and fish sauce, and then given a re-fry to give them a classic pinkish color. The result is about the best we’ve ever tasted in Bangkok – not too greasy to give you a heart attack, but not too clean to make you feel like you’re on a diet.

    Location: 2253/5 Rama IV Rd, Khlong Toei, Bangkok 10110, Thailand

    Open: Daily from 11am to 10pm

    Phone: +66 (0)89 230 4302


    Nara Thai Cuisine


    Nara is a foreigner’s favorite restaurant that has been serving lovingly presented Thai food for many years. They have 2 versions of pad Thai, but we recommend the pad Thai with shrimp, sweet tamarind sauce and crispy egg, which costs around 220 baht.

    The taste definitely caters more to overseas visitors than locals as it's sweeter than most other pad Thai recipes. All of the ingredients used are top quality and the dining room is stylish and air-conditioned. Side ingredients include fragrant banana flower, lime, spring onion and crushed nuts. If you want to create a more localised version of the dish, use the pretty garnish selection to add a few mounds of chilli flakes and vinegar. Nara has several locations but we rate the original branch next to Grand Hyatt Erawan Bangkok as the best.

    Location: Lower Ground Floor, Erawan Bangkok, Phloen Chit Rd, Bangkok 10330, Thailand

    Phone: +66 (0)2 250 7707


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