These Are the Best and Most Authentic Thai Restaurants in Melbourne

There is a lot of Thai food down under, but it really takes a tasting journey to find the hidden gems. While dishes like pad Thai and tom yum have been hugely westernised, there’s a massive difference between the real deal and a dish that’s been altered to appeal to an Aussie palate.

But once you’ve been to Thailand — or tasted authentic Thai cuisine, there’s no going back.

Luckily, there are quite a few places in Melbourne that are true to their roots and bring seriously authentic and interesting Thai food to Melbourne’s buzzing food scene.

These are the best Thai restaurants in Melbourne.

Instagram / @tomtoon_thai

TomToon Thai Noodle Cafe

This unassuming in-and-out Thai eatery is totally underrated. They hands down produce some of the most authentic and delicious Thai food, at super affordable prices. Think well-known classics (an A+ pad Thai) intertwined with less common dishes, and their range of som tum (Thai green papaya salad ordinarily served with some hectic spice and meat) is out of this world, with over 20 to choose from. This is about as close as you’ll come to slurping zesty noodles from a street vendor in Pai.

Instagram / @thaitownqv

Thai Town

Artemis Lane, CBD
Located inside the QV is not typically where you think of culinary delights, but in the case of Thai Town, it’s nothing short of delicious. Operating as a retail shop, booze store, market-style kitchen and a place to play ping pong — Thai Town is constantly buzzing with electric energy and mouth-watering smells. With everything from Thai sweets — mini crepes spread with meringue fluff, fried bananas, shrimp-flavoured coconut in bright colours etc — to some of the best Pad Thai you’ll find in Melbourne and other impeccable classics, like tom yum with half-boiled egg noodle soup and pad see-ew. Their menu is classic and authentic, but catered to English speakers, with each dish explained and labelled thoroughly; it’s a great place to get out of your comfort zone and try something new. Oh, and they also have really delicious cocktails, just sayin’.

Instagram / @jindamelb

Jinda Thai

Jinda has been going strong since 2013 and has grown a pretty impressive following during its lifetime so far. It’s in a pretty funky setting, located in an industrial warehouse with exposed brick walls and an eclectic collection of mismatched tables — it certainly stands out. With $6 beers and a considered and affordable wine list, Jinda is well-known for their authentic hawker boat noodles and stand-out pad Thai, as well as some pretty incredible noodle soups. At Jinda, you can’t go wrong.

Instagram / @nana_mookata

Nana Mookata Thai BBQ and Hotpot

Bourke Street
Nana Mookata is so friggin’ popular, there’s always a line, but it’s well worth it. Popping up on Bourke Street — having previously been in a discreet car park near Parliament Station. In its new location, Nana Mookata has carved out a reputation for being the first spot to offer Thai-style hot pot and barbecue in Melbourne. While most Thai restaurants in Melbourne serve Bangkok-style (central) cuisine (pad Thai, tom yum soup etc), Nana Mookata focuses more on Isaan (northeastern) cuisine. Moojoom — Thai hot pot — is the central dish, with a lemongrass-heavy broth, dished up on a portable stove with an array of meats such as pork intestine, pork neck, chicken, prawns, plus vegetables and glass noodles. Think Japanese BBQ set-up, but with Thai flavours. It’s pretty unique for Melbourne, and by all accounts, extremely authentic.

Instagram / @soi38

Soi 38

Mcilwraith Pl, CBD
Soi 38 is literally a piece of Bangkok that lives in a car park just off Bourke Street in Melbourne’s CBD, and it’s every bit as colourful and delicious as you’d imagine. They serve up Thai street food, with a focus on noodle soups and zesty salads, as well as some finer bits like Thai ceviche, pork belly, oysters and grilled skewers, as well as specials that pop up without warning and are always delicious. Being part-owned by Andy Buchan — the quirky winemaker behind Analog wine — Soi offers up an impressive selection of natural wines, that pair perfectly with the spices of Bangkok street food. Set to expand in 2022, Soi will continue to be a no-brainer for simple and authentically delicious central Thai cuisine.

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