This has all the flavours you could want: salty, spicy, sweet, and sour. These staple ingredients may be found in every Thai recipe, from the seafood-centric south to the herb- and root-focused north.
Thai cooks don't typically value simplicity. When they could season tomatoes with chilli, salt, lime juice, lemongrass, and galangal instead of olive oil, they would never use olive oil. The goal is to achieve the highest possible level of flavour while still maintaining a harmonious overall presentation.
Apparently, this is the aesthetic and culinary standard for Thai restaurants in Melbourne. Some of them are more sedate, but on the whole they are a lively, boisterous group, complete with flashing neon signs and bright drinks.
Not being able to enjoy our pad thai while gazing out at the ocean is disappointing, but these exciting alternatives (with serious food) will have to do.
It's not easy to pick the greatest Thai restaurant in Melbourne, given the city is home to some of the most well-known chefs and innovative concepts in the world. Here they are for your tasting enjoyment after much debating and sampling.
We all have that one favourite Thai restaurant in Melbourne that we order from exclusively (or at least have bookmarked on our prefered meal delivery app), but every once in a while it's nice to branch out and give somewhere new a try.
We know it's startling, but perhaps you could occasionally go outside of your sweats and try some Thai cuisine at a real restaurant.
There is a plethora of Thai restaurants in Melbourne, so we've done our best to compile a list of the best of the best. This is where you go to get the best Thai food in Melbourne.
FAQs About Melbourne
There are so many Thai restaurants to choose from in Melbourne's CBD. Scott Pickett's Longrain is highly regarded as one of the best Thai restaurants in the area. It offers modern Thai cuisine at its best and even has its swanky cocktail bar. A visit here will be sure to impress your friends, colleagues or your picky other half!
If you are looking for traditional hawker-style Thai food, look no further than Isan Soul or Jinda Thai. Delicate yet punchy authentic flavours that will transport you from Melbourne straight onto the streets of Bangkok.
Thai 29 in South Melbourne delivers across Melbourne's CBD and surrounding suburbs. Check out their traditional style Pad-Thai and homemade spring rolls for that true taste of Thailand at home.
Part of the reason Thai places here charge more is that Thai ingredients are more expensive to import-real Thai jasmine rice, the herbs, the pastes all have import taxes on them.
3000 Thai restaurants
– Australia is home to more than 3000 Thai restaurants, about one-quarter of which are in Sydney? Per capita, this gives Australia more than three times as many Thai restaurants as the States, which has a much longer history of immigration by Thais.
The latest Census in 2011 recorded 45,465 Thailand-born people in Australia, an increase of 48.8 per cent from the 2006 Census. The 2011 distribution by state and territory showed New South Wales had the largest number with 17,541, followed by Victoria (10,766), Queensland (7,022) and Western Australia (5,662).
1976 First Thai restaurant. The first Thai restaurant in Australia was the Bahn Thai, which opened in Melbourne's St Kilda Road in June 1976. By the end of the 1980s, Thai cuisine began to rival Chinese as a casual dining choice. According to Museums Victoria, the first known Thai migrants arrived in Australia in 1901.
Best Thai Restaurants in Melbourne
The greatest Thai restaurants in Melbourne can satisfy your 'Full-Moon' cravings while you're down under. Melbourne's South and Southeast Asian restaurants are as fascinating as a trip across Thailand on the back of a scooter.
There is a wide range of styles among Melbourne's most popular Thai restaurants, from traditional decor to elaborate fishbowl cocktails to neon lights and cartoon-inspired fare. Do not worry, traditionalists. The greatest Thai restaurants in Melbourne put an emphasis on serving authentic dishes, and their menus have dishes with both subtle and bold flavours that will take you on a culinary journey from Melbourne's back alleys to the bustling streets of Bangkok.
Do you long for the robust, contemporary flavours of South and Southeast Asia? The best time may be had at Chin Chin. Ten years after it first opened, there is still a line around the block. Indeed, each meal is a veritable explosion of flavour, so the high praise is well deserved.
However, this venue offers more than simply an oral celebration. This is more like a huge celebration. Chin Chin has become a modern Melbourne institution thanks to its Neon lighting, DJ music, and laid-back, funky vibe.
And who can blame them? People from all over come to sample the delicious food at Chin Chin. The best Thai food in Melbourne, if not the entire city. The renovation has made the place seem almost as nice as its meals.
The ancient and gold pad thai, the rendang wagyu beef curry, and the corn and coriander fritters are all dishes worth mentioning on the phone call back home.
Don't feel like you have to limit yourself to only great Thai; there are plenty of other options in the $70 'feed me' menu if you can't make up your mind.
- Address: 125 Flinders Ln, Melbourne VIC 3000
- Hours: Mon-Sun: 11 am-12 am
Need a Thai cuisine fix? In the heart of Melbourne's central business district, you'll find Dodge Padang, a no-frills restaurant serving meals in the Thai style. Quick and delicious, the flavours are to die for. You simply must try their grilled fish and meats.
It gets crowded because it's so well-liked by the neighbourhood, but if there's a wait, you can always try your luck at its sister location, which is conveniently located just around the block on Swanston Street. The food on this menu is excellent.
After making a name for themselves in Sydney, Dodge Paidang have finally opened shop on Little Collins St, and we couldn't be happier. The cuisine of the streets of Thailand is highlighted, with an emphasis on its unique and adventurous flavours.
There are a plethora of noodle soups to pick from, including numerous iterations of the classic tom yum, and you can also order some of the Moo Ping pork skewers that everyone else seems to be devouring. If you're tired of ordering late-night takeout, why not try one of their many Thai breakfast options instead?
- Address: Basement/353 Little Collins St, Melbourne VIC 3000
- Hours: Mon – Thurs: 11am-2:45pm, 5pm-9:30pm, Fri: 11am-2:45pm, 5pm-11:30pm, Sat: 11am-11:30pm, Sun: 11am-9:30pm
Previously a pop-up, now with a permanent home in Melbourne’s CBD and open seven days a week, Soi 38 produces authentic Bangkok style street food. Soi 38 is famous for their Boat Noodles, associated with central Thailand, an intensely flavoured but little known traditional Thai dish, similar to a Vietnamese Pho, but packing more of a punch. Once you’ve tried them, you’ll be hooked!
- Address: 38 Mcilwraith Pl, Melbourne VIC 3000
- Hours: Mon – Sat: 11am-3pm, 5pm-11pm, Sun: 5pm-11pm
Are you interested in finding Thai restaurants in Melbourne that are not in the central business district? Paradise Road is the place you want to be. This classy eatery in the middle of Glen Waverley is the perfect place to unwind after a long day.
It has a distinctive aesthetic. The restaurant's focal walls are adorned with reproductions of traditional Thai monastery doors painted in gold and red and paintings of Buddhist monks.
Hot meals, hawker-style satay chicken, and a selection of flavorful curries are available, and if you don't feel like drinking one of the many beers on tap, you can always cool off with some homemade Thai iced tea.
They are conveniently placed right off the main drag (Kingsway) in Glen Waverley. Their pineapple fried rice, which comes with egg, cashew nuts, and vegetables, is a fan favourite and is presented beautifully in a pineapple boat. Moreover, it tastes as good as it looks. You have the option of including shrimp, chicken, or keeping it vegetarian.
- Address: 171 Coleman Parade, Glen Waverley VIC 3150
- Hours: Tues – Thurs: 5pm-10:30pm, Fri: 12pm-2:30pm, 5pm-10:30pm, Sat: 5pm-10:30pm, Sun: 12pm-2:30pm, 5pm-10:30pm
Longrain has been resurrected by Scott Pickett after the iconic restaurant announced its permanent closure in 2020. Brought back to life with a brand new facelift, this rustic-chic South-East Asian restaurant certainly still packs a punch.
Both their modern cuisine and their Thai-inspired cocktails are up there with the best in Melbourne. A bit pricier than your local Thai joint, but worth it for the five* dining experience.
The stunning restaurant is perfect for special occasions—or, if you’re like us, make it a fancy Wednesday night feed—and they’re also available on Provider.
Go for the banquet menu if you’ve got cash to spend and you’re after a bit of everything, or go a la carte for a more modest (but still very sophisticated) approach. The caramelised pork hock is our pick of the bunch.
- Address: 44 Little Bourke St, Melbourne VIC 3000
- Hours: Mon – Thurs: 5:30pm-10pm, Fri: 12pm-3pm, 5pmm-11pm, Sat: 5pm-11pm
A cosy little Thai restaurant with an eclectic dining space and a traditional tatami ceiling. As expected, in the heart of Sydney Road, Tom Phat offers a fun and vibrant dining experience. All the dishes are designed for sharing, so bring your friends and try the punchy Asian flavoured delights that this little Brunswick gem has to offer.
- Address: 184 Sydney Rd, Brunswick VIC 3056
- Hours: Tues – Sat: 5pm-10pm
Magic Mountain Saloon
Sister venue of The Toff and Cookie, Magic Mountain Saloon is a buzzy late-night bar and eatery in Melbourne’s CBD. The menu is ‘Thailand meets Australia’, full of creative, bold new ideas mixed with traditional South-East Asian flavours, and the creativity doesn’t just stop at the food.
The inventive drinks list is packed with beers, spitzes and an incredible cocktail selection… It's a pretty informal atmosphere, so why not sit back, relax and enjoy a couple of their popular boozy Thai Coladas!
- Address: 62 Little Collins St, Melbourne VIC 3000
- Hours: Wed – Thurs: 12pm-11pm, Fri: 12pm-12am, Sat: 11am-12am
With their flavours representing the heart of Thailand, ‘fierce, deep and sweet’, Mango Tree is truly one of the best Thai restaurants in Melbourne. A simple and authentic dining experience using fresh Thai ingredients.
Just walking into Mango Tree, you feel as though you are on the streets of Bangkok and those hawker-style smells are almost as good as the dishes you are about to devour.
Over in the sleepy suburb of Mount Waverley, you'll find Mango Tree Thai offering up simple and delicious Thai without any of that inner-city glam.
As you'd expect, the Pad Thai is a winner, but don't skip the Pad Makeup for something a little different from your usual order, and try the wok-fried eggplant with minced chicken or pork, chilli and Thai basil to round it all out.
The whole fried barramundi with sweet, spicy sauce is a winner too. You can’t go wrong with the best that Melbourne’s southeast burbs can boast.
- Address: 315 Stephensons Rd, Mount Waverley VIC 3149
- Hours: Mon: 5pm-10pm, Tues – Sun: 12pm-2:30pm, 5pm-10pm
In true Thai style, family-run, Jinda Thai is a treat for all the senses. Enter into the atmospheric dining room, full of warm red exposed brick walls and low-hanging lights, with fun pops of colour.
Also popping here are the flavours. The dishes are jam-packed with fresh Thai herbs and spices, inspired by the family’s grandmother’s recipes. If you like your Thai curries traditional, this certainly is one of the best Thai restaurants in Melbourne.
- Address: 1/7 Ferguson St, Abbotsford VIC 3067
Were you looking for a funky night out and a delicious feed? Welcome to Ladyboy, fantastic fantasy land and Richmond’s latest hawker-style diner, bringing Bangkok’s frivolity to Bridge Road.
Graffiti wall art, colourful paper lanterns and large neon signs adorn the walls and ceilings of this bustling bar and dining room, set up to reflect the buzzing atmosphere on the streets of Bangkok. Like the decor, the food is fun and creative, sharing style food with mid and large size plates…and some of the best desserts this side of Thailand.
- Address: 394 Bridge Rd, Richmond VIC 3121
- Hours: Mon-Sun: 4pm-10pm
“Fresh, fragrant and fun” is the philosophy behind Melbourne’s funkiest Thai restaurant, Bangpop. Overlooking the river, this casual restaurant is full of colour and an atmosphere of not taking itself too seriously, which is very refreshing.
Something they do take seriously, however, is the food and flavours serving up unconventional hawker influenced dishes made with exceptional Australian produce and fresh Thai ingredients.
- Address: 35 South Wharf Promenade, South Wharf VIC 3006
- Hours: Mon – Fri: 12pm-10pm, Sat-Sun: 10am-10pm
Step away from the bustling crowds on Bourke Street into this lively two-storey eatery. A local favourite and one of the best Thai restaurants in Melbourne. Staple dishes from the Thai region of Isan pack a flavoursome punch, combining extreme heat and sourness to create a harmony of flavours. Try the crispy pork, the massaman curry and the crying tiger.. a feast fit for a king.
- Address: 98 Bourke St, Melbourne VIC 3000
- Hours: Mon-Sun: 4:30pm-10pm
Son In Law
Named after the popular Thai dish, son-in-law eggs (kai lough key), this popular Collingwood eatery is great for the young folk in the family and Instagram-lovers! This chic, modern Thai restaurant is decorated with pink walls and fluro chairs.
On the menu are cartoon gau bao ( actual edible bao made to look like your favourite cartoon characters!) and even a drink topped with hello kitty and a mountain of fairy floss! Don’t worry, though… This isn’t just for the young at heart.
They do a mean Tom Yum Soup and an incredible savoury menu of traditional small and medium bites, noodles and rice dishes, without a pokemon in sight! One of Melbourne’s most unique Thai restaurants.
- Address: 56 Johnston St, Collingwood VIC 3066
- Hours: Mon – Fri: 5:30pm-10pm, Sat: 12pm-4pm, 5:30pm-11pm, Sun: 12pm-4pm, 5:40pm-10pm
Head upstairs at Melbourne’s well-known nightclub spot, Revolver, and you’ll find street food kitchen Colonel Tan’s. Great for big parties and Thai-inspired banquets, this is Thailand meets hipster American diner (sounds crazy, but it works, trust us!)
Complete with retro furniture and pineapple tablecloths, this is one of Melbourne’s best Thai Restaurants and is full of South-East Asian flair. Open Thurs-Sun, the venue switches from grub to the club at 11 pm…so why not stay for a boogie?
Fun fact, when Revolver isn’t Revolver, it’s Colonel Tan’s—one of Melbourne’s best Thai restaurants. This dance space is home to an eclectic collection of mismatched furniture and kitsch tables, plus it rocks an extensive and affordable Thai menu.
Don’t leave the venue without trying the yellow sweet potato curry, the popcorn chicken and the sweet potato and cashew dumplings.
- Address: 229 Chapel St, Prahran VIC 3181
- Hours: Thurs – Fri: 5pm-10:45pm, Sat: 1pm-10:45pm, Sun: 1pm-8pm
Are you looking for an authentic Thai experience? Thai 29 is exactly that. This small restaurant in South Melbourne certainly packs a big punch when it comes to flavour.
With menu items ranging from the usual favourites such as Green Thai Curry and Pad Thai to some more unusual dishes such as Pork Neck Salad..there will be something here for everyone.
- Address: 29 York St, South Melbourne VIC 3205
- Hours: Mon – Sun: 11:30am-3pm, 4:30pm-9:30pm
One of Fitzroy’s original South-East Asian restaurants, Thai Thani on Brunswick Street, offers a street-smart hawker-style menu in its heritage-listed building. The space has a mainly monochrome theme with luscious indoor greenery and a large mural wall.
Stand out menu items come in the way of the Tom Kha Soup (one of the best in Melbourne) and hawker favourites such as Braised Pork Hock (Khao Kha Moo) and Muslim Chicken Rice (Khao Mok Gai).
- Address: 293 Brunswick Street, Fitzroy VIC 3065
- Hours: Mon – Thurs: 11am-3pm, 5pm-10pm, Fri: 11am-3pm, 5pm-10:30pm, Sat: 12pm-10:30pm, Sun: 12pm-10pm
Pok Pok Jnr
Pok Pok Junior, located in the heart of Melbourne's CBD just off St. James' Mall, serves authentic Thai street food that could have come straight from Bangkok.
Leave the hustle and bustle of Bourke Street behind you and relax at a luxurious Thai-style resort. The decor of the eatery is a mashup of street art from Melbourne's laneways and that of Bangkok's hawker centres. There will be pink chairs, an industrial decor scheme, and authentic Thai street food flavours. A functional, modern, and minimalist menu.
- Address: 9/555 Bourke St, Melbourne VIC 3000
- Hours: Mon: 8am-3pm, Tues – Fri: 7:30am-9:30pm
Inspired by the energetic hustle and bustle of Bangkok’s hawker eateries combined with Thailand’s famous Full Moon Party, Rock Sugar is a lively Thai restaurant with a-rockin' twist. Pick from the menu or choose a “Feed Me” banquet, picked by Phi Phi, the lucky cat. Either way, you can’t go wrong with the food here.
Cocktails aka. #Rocktails mix traditional sips and tropical flavours, from fairy floss martinis to Full Moon Party buckets.. the drinks list is lively and varied. Perfect for a night out with all your friends… Now, all we need is the Full Moon.
- Address: 477 Malvern Rd, South Yarra VIC 3141
- Hours: Mon – Fri: 4pm-10pm, Sat: 12pm-3pm, 4pm-10pm, Sun: 4pm-10pm
You've just left Chin Chin for the fifty-first time, and the tom yum and pad Thai flavours are making their way to your stomach as you boast that Thai food is the best. Is that the case, though? You have a lot to learn about the many Thai restaurants in Melbourne if your only exposure to the ridiculously diversified food has been limited to takeout or the upscale modern Asian fusion at Chin Chin.
When exploring Melbourne's best Thai restaurants, you'll find a wide variety of options, from aromatic chicken curry noodles (khao soi) to chewy boat noodles accompanied with crispy pork and Thai style fried rice.
This goes beyond the contemporary Thai of Chin Chin and the layered spices of Longrain (both of which have a place).
You won't find the more exotic tastes of Thai street food in Melbourne like you would in Bangkok (think raw beef with uncooked blood, tadpoles, duck embryos - balut - and deep-fried tarantulas), but you should note the following Thai restaurants in Melbourne if you want to explore the essential tastes of this incredibly diverse Asian country.