In this article, we cover the following aspects related to the best Pad Thai in Bangkok:
- a. The 6 best Pad Thai in Bangkok
- b. Is pad thai famous in Thailand?
- c. How much is pad Thai in Bangkok?
- d. Where was pad Thai invented?
- e. What is pad Thai taste like?
- f. A brief history of Pad Thai
- g. Map of the best Pad Thai in Bangkok
a. The 6 best Pad Thai in Bangkok
Unfortunately, Pad Thai restaurants can be hit or miss and we definitely don’t recommend that you start your search for the best Pad Thai in Bangkok with one of the vendors on Khao San Road. Want to know where you can find the best Pad Thai in Bangkok? Then check out these top local restaurants.
The best Pad Thai in Bangkok are:
1. Superb Pad Thai (200 THB) - Thip Samai
This list of the best Pad Thai in Bangkok wouldn’t be complete without Pad Thai Thip Samai. Thip Samai (Former: Pad ThaiPratoopee) is Thailand’s most famous and longest-running Pad Thai restaurant. The prime minister who introduced the national dish claimed: “Pad Thai Pratoopee is the truly authentic taste of Pad Thai.” The Prime Minister famously brought his foreign guests to this restaurant, earning it a legendary reputation.
Today, the restaurant is still extremely popular and people queue every night for up to an hour to get a table. We recommend that you come before 18:00 or after 21:30 when you’ll get through the queue quickly. Pad Thai Thip Samai specialises in Pad Thai wrapped in a thin omelette. They serve five different versions, ranging from a 60 THB Vegetarian Pad Thai to their premium 300 THB version which is prepared with prawns, crabmeat, dried squid and sour mango.
We always go for their Superb Pad Thai with Big Prawns which costs 200 THB. It’s a bit more expensive than their Superb Pad Thai with Regular Prawns, but we think the addition of these large premium prawns is well worth the extra cost. Ask yourself, how many times do you eat at the world’s most famous Pad Thai restaurant? More in-depth information can be found in our article about Thip Samai and its famous Pad Thai. General information, such as opening times, location, menu and TopTravelFoods users' opinions can be found on the TopTravelFoods review page of Thip Samai.
Why Thip Samai is among the best Pad Thai in Bangkok?
Thip Samai is THE institution in Bangkok for serving Pad Thai. For so many years, Thip Samai is one of the most popular and busiest local restaurants, simply for their Pad Thai.
2. Pad Thai with Jumbo Prawns (250 THB) - Baan Pad Thai
This neat shop house focuses more on the premium (and slightly more expensive) Pad Thai. The restaurant is located in a Soi on Charoen Krung Road, a street with lots of famous restaurants like Kuajub Mr Jo, Silom Saeng and Prachak Ped Yang. Baan Pad Thai takes this traditional dish to the next level, preparing it with crab (280 THB) or three grilled jumbo river prawns (250 THB). Trust us, the prawns are really large! The version with smoky grilled chicken is another great option. Baan Pad Thai is the most expensive restaurant on this best Pad Thai in Bangkok list but we really enjoy the premium ingredients, even if they do come with a higher price tag. Baan Pad Thai is also listed in our article about the best restaurants near Lebua Sky Bar in Bangkok. More information about this restaurant, such as opening times, location, menu and TopTravelFoods users' opinions can be found on the TopTravelFoods review page of Baan Pad Thai.
Why Baan Pad Thai is among the best Pad Thai in Bangkok?
This is a higher-end Pad Thai that excites both Thai as foreigners with nice savoury flavours and large, juicy jumbo prawns.
3. Pad Thai with Mixed Seafood (150 THB) - Hoi-Tod Chaw-Lae Restaurant
This restaurant not only serves delicious Hoy Tod, but its Pad Thai is something to write home about too (so we did!). Why do we think the Pad Thai at Hoi-Tod Chaw-Lae Restaurant deserves to be on this list of best Pad Thai in Bangkok? The slightly sweet Pad Thai itself is well-prepared, but what we like most is the crispiness of their fried battered shrimp, which are of decent size and quality. They also serve a Pad Thai with mixed seafood (150 THB.) Prices here are a bit higher than what you usually pay for your Pad Thai, this is due to the location in high-so Thonglor. Hoi-Tod Chaw-Lae Restaurant is also listed in our article about the best hoy tod in Bangkok, as it serves phenomenal oyster omelettes as well. More information about this restaurant, such as opening times, location, menu and TopTravelFoods users' opinions can be found on the TopTravelFoods review page of Hoi-Tod Chaw-Lae Restaurant.
Why Hoi-Tod Chaw-Lae Restaurant is among the best Pad Thai in Bangkok?
By far the most crispy Pad Thai in Bangkok and therefore the one with the best texture.
Pad Thai with Mixed Seafood (150 THB)
4. Padthai Ar-Simp Song-Krueng (150 THB) - Pad Thai Ar-Simp
Pad Thai Ar-Simp's menu boasts lots of different options. These include Pad Thai Wrapped in Egg, a unique Crispy Pork Pad Thai and their signature Pad Thai Ar-Simp served with quality seafood such as mussels, squid and shrimp. There’s something for everyone here but we recommend choosing from the “Ar-Simp” signature list, which is spicier and full of flavour. The Ar-Simp signature Pad Thai deserves a spot on this Best Pad Thai in Bangkok list. Ar-Simp is also listed in our article about the best restaurants near Jim Thompson House Museum. More information about this restaurant, such as opening times, location, menu and TopTravelFoods users' opinions can be found on the TopTravelFoods review page of Ar-Simp.
Why Pad Thai Ar-Simp is among the best Pad Thai in Bangkok?
A locals favourite Pad Thai that is much spicier than regular Pad Thai. The signature Pad Thai with seafood still excites veteran Pad Thai eaters as it's an unusual, yet tasty Pad Thai.
5. Pad Thai (80 THB) - Pad Thai Narok Taek
This restaurant is relatively new to the game but is already gaining a good reputation among local Pad Thai lovers. Pad Thai Narok Taek is a worthy mention on our Best Pad Thai in Bangkok list, located on Lat Ya Road, a street with lots of famous restaurants. The cook fries up his famous Pad Thai at a street cart in front of his house, which is always surrounded by locals satisfying their Pad Thai cravings.
The Pad Thai served here is a bit on the sweet side and the noodles have a tasty charcoal flavour. Pad Thai Narok Taek serves four versions ranging from a 40 THB vegetarian Pad Thai to an 80 THB Pad Thai which comes with large, tasty, fried river prawns. This makes it the cheapest Pad Thai champion on this list. More information about this restaurant, such as opening times, location, menu and TopTravelFoods users' opinions can be found on the TopTravelFoods review page of Pad Thai Narok Taek.
Why Pad Thai Narok Taek is among the best Pad Thai in Bangkok?
A Pad Thai with a charcoal flavour, giving it the popular Thai dish a completely new dimension. It's these adjustments that make these kinds of local restaurants so interesting.
Pad Thai (80 THB)
6. Pad Thai Original (40 THB) - Pad Thai Mae Am
Pad Thai Mae Am is a popular, typical local restaurant located in Klong Toei, near the MRT Station. This area is rapidly changing as it’s one of the last parts of Bangkok that is not modernized yet. With all these brand new skyscrapers build, some amazing local restaurants had to move to a different location. Pad Thai Mae Am, however, is still located at the original location, but the question is for how long? The restaurant has that ultimate local feeling with aluminium tables, white tiles, air fans constructed on the ceiling and the owner - an older lady - stir-frying Pad Thai to perfection.
As the name suggests, Pad Thai Mae Am is specialized in Pad Thai. Visitors can choose between three different types of Pad Thai, namely the Pad Thai Original (40 THB), the Pad Thai Chicken (50 THB) and the Pad Thai Shrimp (60 THB), although there are other daily-changing Thai dishes available at the counter, as well as a small variety of traditional Thai desserts. But the main attraction is the delicious, Pad Thai. The Pad Thai is made with thin rice noodles which are covered in a tamarind sauce and tofu, egg, beansprouts, Chinese chives and dried shrimp are added. What makes this Pad Thai so popular, is the traditional, no-nonsense hearty and slightly sweet flavours for a bargain. More information about this hugely popular local restaurant, such as the opening times, the location, other recommended dishes and TopTravelFoods users’ opinions, check out the TopTravelFoods review page of Pad Thai Mae Am.
Why Pad Thai Mae Am is among the best Pad Thai in Bangkok?
A traditional version of Pad Thai with the perfect balance between savoury and sweet. Also, it's almost impossible to find a cheaper Pad Thai than this one, especially when you take the quality into concideration.
b. Is Pad Thai famous in Thailand?
For foreigners, Pad Thai is the most famous dish in Thailand, but it is less famous in Thailand among the Thai themselves. Yes, it is available in every Thai restaurant, but there are far more popular Thai dishes for Thai. The fame of this dish comes from a PR campaign during the rice shortage of World War II and the boost of nationalism, hence the word "Thai". Before, Pad Thai was known as Kuay Tiew Phad. We dive deeper into the history of Pad Thai in the next paragraphs.
c. How much is Pad Thai in Bangkok?
Generally speaking, a Pad Thai from a street food vendor costs you around 35 THB, while you easily pay the double in a local restaurant. In this article about the best Pad Thai in Bangkok, you will see that prices can go up to 250 THB when the restaurant uses giant jumbo prawns.
d. Where was Pad Thai invented?
An early version of Pad Thai was first introduced to Thailand by Chinese traders during the Ayutthaya Kingdom (1351 – 1767) and Thai people adjusted the dish to their own tastes. The Pad Thai as we know it today was "invented" with the help of Plaek Phibunsongkhram thanks to his campaign during the rice shortage in World War II.
e. What is Pad Thai taste like?
The taste of Pad Thai is the ideal combination of savoury and sweet. The secret is the use of tamarind sauce, which makes the dish sweet in a good balance. As you add peanuts, lime, dried chilli and fish sauce to your preference, a Pad Thai can turn into everyone's favourite dish. As it's not spicy, it's one of the favourite meals among tourists, especially with a Western taste palate.
f. A brief history of Pad Thai
An early version of Pad Thai was first introduced to Thailand by Chinese traders during the Ayutthaya Kingdom (1351 – 1767) and Thai people adjusted the dish to their own tastes. During World War II when Thailand suffered from a shortage of rice because of floods and war, Pad Thai was crowned Thailand’s “National Dish” to promote the consumption of noodles and Thai nationalism. Since then, Pad Thai has become hugely popular. More details about the history of pad thai can be found in this extensive well-written article about the history of Pad Thai.
Today, although the recipe has stayed the same, you’ll find five key ingredients on the table which you can use to adjust the flavour of your Pad Thai: peanuts, chilli, sugar, fish sauce and vinegar. This is similar to the western habit of seasoning dishes with salt and pepper and you’ll quickly learn what suits you best.