Where to go for authentic pad Thai in Toronto

Toronto is home to oodles of noodles claiming to be traditional Thai street food, but many of the city’s pad Thai recipes have been adapted with sugary tomato-based sauces to appeal to a Western palate. Here are several spots to enjoy authentic pad Thai without a dollop of ketchup in sight.

Thai Room

243 Carlton St, Toronto, ON M5A 2L2

This bustling Entertainment District eatery has garnered critical praise from discerning Toronto foodies thanks to the hip downtown vibe and authentic flavours on the menu. The bestselling Bangkok-style pad Thai is flavoured with tamarind, egg, tofu, pickled radish, shallot, dried shrimp, fish sauce and fresh roasted peanuts. As with any much-hyped spot, expect a noisy crowd and long wait times.

Jatujak Thai Street Style Food

2386 Kingston Rd, Scarborough, ON M1N 1V2

Get a taste of genuine Asian street food at this casual eatery named after the largest outdoor market in Thailand. Don’t let the unassuming interior fool you; the menu features homemade Thai recipes that pack bold and exciting flavours. The signature Jatujak pad Thai is inspired by Bangkok’s popular street-vendor fare. Don’t expect a plate full of red sauce; these stir-fried rice noodles get their flavour from the house-made tamarind and palm sugar sauce.

Mengrai Thai Restaurant

82 Ontario St, Toronto, ON M5A 2V3

Noodle lovers can pick from three different pad Thai varieties at this Cabbagetown restaurant specializing in gourmet northern Thai cuisine. Skip the house version, which comes with a typical sweet red sauce, and order Chef Sasi’s specialty style. The signature pad Thai features rich seafood flavours thanks to the addition of sun-dried shrimp and tiger shrimp. Chef Sasi also offers hands-on cooking classes for individuals, couples and groups who want to learn how to recreate her authentic dishes at home.

Salad King

340 Yonge St, Toronto, ON M5B 1R8

Be ready to compete for a spot at the communal tables at this boisterous downtown cafeteria; the second floor hangout is permanently packed with hungry co-eds from the nearby Ryerson University campus. The traditional Phud Thai is a perennial classic but in-the-know diners favour the off-menu alternative: Islamic noodles laced with a creamy Penang curry base with peanut and coconut. Turn up the heat and customize your dish by adding anywhere from one to 20 extra chilies.

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