In this article, we cover the following aspects related to the famous Pad Thai Thip Samai:
- 1. A bit of history
- 2. Our review of Pad Thai Thip Samai
- 3. General information about Pad Thai Thip Samai (Maha Chai Road Branch
- 4. Pad Thai Thip Samai's Other Branches
- 5. Other amazing restaurants near Pad Thai Thip Samai
Pad Thai Thip Samai at Maha Chai Road, one of the most popular local restaurants in Bangkok.
1. A bit of history
The founder of Pad Thai Thip Samai, Ms Samai, was the first person to start selling Pad Thai in Thailand after learning the recipe from her mother. She opened her first street food stall in 1947 on Pratoopee Intersection, hence, the former name Pad Thai Pratoopee which was located not too far from its current location. The restaurant served a regular Pad Thai for 1.50 THB and a special Pad Thai for 2.00 THB. The food stall quickly gained popularity and soon flourished into a proper restaurant. Nowadays, Thip Samai is a well-established business with several branches in Bangkok as well as having their own Pad Thai sauces and recipes that you can buy at supermarkets and create your own classic Thip Samai Pad Thai!
Ms Samai in 1985.
Before we jump to our in-depth review of Pad Thai Thip Samai, we need to explain why Pad Thai became such a popular international dish. Due to rice shortage in the 1930s and a government campaign to promote Thai nationalism, Pad Thai was declared as Thailand’s “National Dish”. Pad Thai did exist already, which was called Kuay Tiew Phad, but was not (yet) popular. By changing the name from Kuay Tiew Phad to Pad Thai and with the help of the government campaign, the dish became hugely popular. As there was a huge shortage of rice, Chinese Noodles were used for many dishes instead, including Pad Thai. These noodles are nowadays known as Sen Chan, named after the Chanthaburi Province, but do actually have Chinese roots.
The prime minister behind the Pad Thai campaign named Plaek Phibunsongkhram claimed that Pad Thai Pratoopee is the truly authentic taste of Pad Thai and brought his foreign guests to this restaurant. Because of this, Pad Thai Pratoopee earned a legendary reputation. In 1966, the restaurant changed its name to Thip Samai Pad Thai Pratoopee and nowadays, guests queue up every evening to sample the Pad Thai at this famous restaurant.
Before, the opening times of Pad Thai Thip Samai at Maha Chai Road were from 17:00 until 01:00, meaning that there was a long line of hungry guests waiting for a table. Nowadays, they changed their opening times from 10:00 until 22:00 to spread the customers more evenly. That does not mean that during dinner time, there are no queues.
Pad Thai Thip Samai Restaurant at Maha Chai Road
You might think that Thai eat Pad Thai all the time, but in reality, there are many Thai dishes that are far more popular than Pad Thai, such as Som Tam (Papaya Salad) and Pad Kra Pao (a spicy stir-fry with Thai Holy Basil). That does not mean Thai don't like Pad Thai, but it's far less popular among Thai than foreigners think. With that being said, you can find Pad Thai in every Thai restaurant and both Thais and foreigners sure enjoy it.
2. Our review of Pad Thai Thip Samai
Cooks show off their Pad Thai cooking skills in front of the restaurant above charcoal-fired woks. Entering the establishment, you immediately notice pictures on the wall of all the awards Pad Thai Thip Samai won and reviews they’ve received from international media outlets over the years. Even if you did not know the complete backstory, you know immediately that you can expect some extraordinary food.
A wall full of awards and recognitions
The menu of Pad Thai Thip Samai is simple. There are five different types of Pad Thai. Choose from the cheaper Pad Thai without Prawns (60 THB) to a premium Pad Thai Song-Kreung which is prepared with crab meat, dried squid, sour mango and sea prawns (300 THB). The speciality is Pad Thai Wrapped in Omelette, which is called the Superb Pad Thai. They serve these charcoal-flavoured, omelette-wrapped noodles with either regular or jumbo prawns.
Superb Pad Thai with Large Prawns (200 THB)
Superb Prawns with Small Prawns (90 THB)
We always go for the Superb Pad Thai with jumbo prawns. It’s a bit more expensive, but ask yourself, how many times do you eat at the world’s most famous Pad Thai restaurant? Also, the jumbo prawns are really worth paying a bit extra for, as the enormous prawns make the Pad Thai at Thip Samai even more delicious. You can adjust the sweet noodles to your taste with one of the ingredients on the table: peanuts, chilli, sugar, fish sauce and vinegar. See this as the Asian version of salt and pepper in Western countries.
Delicious big, juicy prawns. Well-worth the extra bucks.
Every day from ten o'clock in the morning, the cooks start wrapping the fried noodles above their blazing woks and don’t stop till about ten o'clock at night. Queues reach their peak between 18:00 and 20:00 when waiting times can reach up to 60 minutes. On weekends, you’ll definitely have to line up to sample the world’s most famous Pad Thai. With the new opening times, it's highly recommended to visit Pad Thai Thip Samai at Maha Chai Road before six o'clock in the evening.
In front of the restaurant, cooks are preparing Pad Thai at a fast pace.
The daily queue in front of Thip Samai
3. General information about Pad Thai Thip Samai (Maha Chai Road Branch)
Opening Times: Pad Thai Thip Samai at Maha Chai Road is open daily from 10:00 until 22:00. Before, the opening times were from 17:00 until 01:00, but this has been changed.;
Location: Google Maps, tip: Pad Thai Thip Samai Maha Chai Road Branch is located close to Wat Saket, a beautiful temple build on a "mountain". Combining a visit to Thip Samai and Wat Saket is highly recommended, especially during sunset.
If you're curious about what other TopTravelFoods users think of Pad Thai Thip Samai, check out the TopTravelFoods review page of Pad Thai Thip Samai Maha Chai Road Branch. Here you will find rated and reviewed dishes, as well as more general information such as the menu, atmosphere pictures and check-ins by TopTravelFoods users.
The front of Thip Samai, where it is always busy.
4. Pad Thai Thip Samai's Other Branches
Although the original restaurant at Maha Chai Road is by far the most popular due to its authenticity, Pad Thai Thip Samai has four other branches in Bangkok that serves the exact same Pad Thai, often at a much more modern environment. If you don't mind not experiencing the authenticity of Pad Thai Pra-Too-Pee (the branch at Maha Chai Road), then head over to one of the following other places:
a. Pad Thai Thip Samai Siam Paragon
Opening Times: 10:00 - 21:00 Daily
Location: Google Maps (G Floor Paragon Food Hall)
b. Pad Thai Thip Samai ICONSIAM
Opening Times: 10:00 - 21:00 Daily
Location: Google Maps
c. Pad Thai Thip Samai King Power Complex
Opening Times: 10:00 - 21:30 Daily
Location: Google Maps (located close to Victory Monument BTS)
d. Pad Thai Thip Samai Putamonthon Soi 4 Branch
Opening Times: 11:00 - 20:00 Daily
Location: Google Maps (this branch is located outside Bangkok on the west side)
5. Other Amazing Restaurants Near Pad Thai Thip Samai
Pad Thai Thip Samai is located at Maha Chai Road and in this area, you will find a huge variety of amazing local restaurants. These local eateries are often run by an old lady who mastered her recipe over the decades. Examples of such amazing restaurants are:
a. Jay Fai
Jay Fai is located almost next to Pad Thai Thip Samai and she mastered a handful of amazing seafood dishes so well, that she even got rewarded with a Michelin-star. She even got her own episode on the Netflix-Series "Street Food". Her incredible Crab Omelette is the main reason why people visit this place. Make sure to make a reservation, otherwise, it's nearly impossible to try her food. Keep in mind that the Crab Omelette costs you 1,000 THB. More information can be found on the TopTravelFoods review page of Jay Fai.
b. Natthaphon Coconut Ice Cream
As the opening times of Thip Samai have changed, it is now possible to combine the delicious Pad Thai with the best coconut ice cream in Bangkok. Natthaphon Coconut Ice Cream does not look like an ice cream shop and is located in the middle of a residential area. The ice cream is made one hundred per cent of coconut, with no additional flavour enhancers and a scoop of this deliciousness costs you only 30 THB. More information can be found on the TopTravelFoods review page of Natthaphon Coconut Ice Cream or check our article about Natthaphon Coconut Ice Cream.
c. Tee's Yen-Ta-Fo
Almost next to Pad Thai Thip Samai and Jay Fai, you will find Tee's Yen-Ta-Fo. This street food vendor is specialized in yen-ta-fo soups which have a distinctive red flavour due to the use of fermented beans. The yen-ta-fo soup can be seen as one of the best you can find in the capital. Keep in mind that the soup is pretty spicy, but if you can handle a bit of spiciness, you going to have an amazing meal. More information can be found on the TopTravelFoods review page of Tee's Yen-Ta-Fo.
d. Mont Nom Sod
For an even more local dessert, we recommend you to visit Mont Nom Sod. This modern-looking restaurant is specialized in toasted bread with sweet spreads such as chocolate spread and pandan spread. You would be surprised how popular this simple dessert is among Thai. Visiting Mont Nom Sod and watching the organized chaos is an attraction on its own. A loaf of toasted bread with chocolate spread costs you only 25 THB. For more information can be found on the TopTravelFoods review page of Mont Nom Sod or check our article about Mont Nom Sod.
There you have it, everything you should know about Pad Thai Thip Samai. You can find Pad Thai Thip Samai, the highly recommended other restaurants and many more in our food recommendation app called TopTravelFoods. With this app, you can find the best food in Bangkok and other places in Thailand. It's specially designed for tourists who have no knowledge about the local cuisine but really want to eat like a local. The app is available for both iOS and Android and is completely free.