Spots to find premium pad Thai in Toronto

While Toronto may be home to plenty of Thai and Asian-fusion restaurants, finding an authentic pad Thai with that perfect blend of crunchy, sweet, salty and sour isn't always easy. From the most non-traditional of places to a few downtown hotspots, here’s our top pad Thai picks in the city, west of Bangkok.

Queen Mother Cafe

1
208 Queen St W, Toronto, ON M5V 1Z2

At first glance, it may not seem intuitive that this retro-style diner serves up one of the best pad Thais outside of Thailand. Step through the mind-its-own-business doorway and into an interior bursting with kitschy décor paying homage to Queen Elizabeth, herself. The menu not only offers traditional brunch and drool-worthy burgers and fries, but it also hosts one of Toronto’s perfectly authentic pad Thais. Choose from mild, medium or spicy and don’t overlook the fan-favourite vegetarian option, chock full of peppers, broccoli and carrots.

Nirvana

2
434 College St, Toronto, ON M5T 1T3

With its chilled Buddhist décor and relaxed vibe, this College and Bathurst hangout is a local favourite for meeting friends, catching up over brews or a post-bar fuelling of grilled cheese and fries on a Saturday night. But Nirvana also boasts a pad Thai that will give a traditional Thai restaurant a run for its money – choose from chicken, tofu or tiger shrimp, tossed with just the right amount of tamarind and crunch.

Khao San Road

3
11 Charlotte St, Toronto, ON M5V 2H5

If you’ve ever been to Bangkok’s Khao San Road, you’ll know all all about rubbing elbows with other travellers at restaurants or street stalls while munching pad Thai and soaking in the city’s frenetic energy. And in some ways, this downtown spot offers a glimpse of the real thing. You never know who you may be sitting beside at the communal-style tables and surrounded by the hustle of food orders and servers. The pad Thai here is definitely authentic and the balanced flavours are the real deal.

Sukho Thai

4
274 Parliament St, Toronto, ON M5A 3A4

With two east locations and one west, eating in or grabbing a “real” pad Thai is easy. The St. Lawrence lunch crowd flocks to Sukho Thai’s Wellington location, so if you’re going with a group, be sure to arrive early or place your order before the crowds hit. Hot tip: there’s two takes on the traditional pad Thai; check out the Sukho Thai specialty version, and you'll detect a northern-style twist – or the never disappointing straight-up style with your choice of chicken, tofu, shrimp or beef!

Mai Thai Restaurant

5
2364 Yonge St, Toronto, ON M4P 2E6

For the mid and uptown crowd looking for some authentic pad Thai for lunch or dinner, Truly Thai Cuisine has opened its second location south of Vaughan. The spot’s pad Thai is exactly what you’re hoping it will be – simple and straight up – and that’s the point. While you may not come for the ambience, you’ll leave feeling satiated with an authentic pad Thai (regular or veggie) that won’t break the bank.

Pai

6
18 Duncan St, Toronto, ON M5H 3G8

A relative newcomer to King West scene, Pai is the place for both the flavours and the atmosphere. With an open kitchen, exposed brick walls and your choice of table, bar or traditional-style seating (cushions on the floor), this offspring of Sukhothai has already established itself as one of King West’s hip spots for a killer northern-style pad Thai.

Salad King

7
340 Yonge St, Toronto, ON M5B 1R8

Salad King serves up some of the best stir- fried pad Thai in the city - plus, it's cheap! Expect all the classic pad Thai ingredients, vegetarian and gluten-free options.

Bangkok Garden Restaurant

8
18 Elm St, Toronto, ON M5G 1G7

This restaurant has been a Toronto institution serving up authentic Thai dishes for more than 30 years, The pad Thai is found on the Bangkok Garden Favourites menu, and it's jam-packed with rice noodles, chicken, shrimp and vegetables.

Jatujak Thai Street Style Food

9
1466 Kingston Rd, Scarborough, ON M1N 1R6

Jatujak is generally considered one of the city's best Thai restaurants, so it's no wonder their pad Thai made our list. The dish features a house-made tamarind sauce and tofu, chicken, beef or shrimp options.

Nana

10
785 Queen St W, Toronto, ON M6J 1G1

This West Queen West go-to spot for pad Thai is run by the same people behind Khao San Road. You can get your noodles with chicken, vegetables, beef, tofu or shrimp. Vegans rejoice! There is a pad Thai version for you too.

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