The Best Thai Restaurants in Melbourne

Discover fine diners and neighbourhood haunts, or head down to a hidden CBD basement where robots deliver all your fave Thai dishes to the table.
Concrete Playground and Andrew Zuccala
February 19, 2024

The Best Thai Restaurants in Melbourne

Discover fine diners and neighbourhood haunts, or head down to a hidden CBD basement where robots deliver all your fave Thai dishes to the table.

Creating a list of the very best Thai restaurants in Melbourne is no easy task. We are spoilt for choice when it comes to places that serve up the perfect green curry, pad thai and tom yum soup. But while us Aussies love these classic dishes, each of Melbourne's best Thai restaurants serves up stacks of other local delicacies that must be ordered — either keeping traditional dishes as authentic as possible or totally reinventing them for a new audience.

Of course, you can head to any of these joints for your old favourite, but we always suggest changing things up. Go off-piste, asking the server for recommendations or simply close your eyes and pick something totally random. Let fate decide. Whatever option you choose, you're not going to be disappointed by the food, drinks and service at the eight best Thai restaurants in Melbourne.

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Recommended reads:
The Best Pho in Melbourne
The Best Hot Pots in Melbourne
The Best Japanese Restaurants in Melbourne
The Best Restaurants in Melbourne

  • 8

    Son in Law is the perfect destination for a cheap and cheerful Thai fix in Melbourne’s CBD. Located in the Melbourne Central, this isn’t the kind of place that takes bookings — rather it’s more a grab and go destination with a few tables located inside and plenty more in the food court. The menu features several meat and vegetarian baos and curries as well as some of the cutest fried chicken burgers you’ll ever eat.

    These tasty bites are sandwiched between colourfully decorated baos, made to resemble cartoon characters. They even come in several sweet forms, too — including Thai milk tea, coconut and Nutella with banana. This is really not your average Thai restaurant in Melbourne.

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  • 7
    Cookie - one of the best Melbourne CBD bars

    Cookie beer hall, eating house and disco is a flamboyant venue full of chatter and laughter that serves up classic Thai dishes and innovative cocktails late into the night. Either come for drinks and snacks at the bar or go all out with a bunch of mates, ordering from the long menu of contemporary Thai dishes.

    Our favourites? The deep fried five spice chicken with sweet chilli sauce and homemade pickles, as well as the seafood platter of snapper, calamari, mussels and king prawns in a red curry. Make sure you order some cocktails from the bar as well. These guys are known for constantly creating new concoctions that can’t be missed.

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  • 6
    thai tide - thai restaurant melbourne

    Thai Tide prides itself on creating a laidback, feel-good setting where you can enjoy classic grilled dishes from the heart of Bangkok as well as regional delicacies from all parts of Thailand. It is easily one of Melbourne’s best Thai restaurants. Book in for a casual lunch or dinner with bold flavours made with local ingredients. All this can be paired with some of the cloudy Aussie natural drops from their excellent wine list.

    The food journey begins with oysters in a burnt chilli jam, betel leaf wraps stuff with herbs and nuts, and the north-eastern delicacy of crispy bamboo worms with silkworm pupae. Yes, you’ll surely be trying something new here. That’s especially true if you get the signature dish — ants larvae served with dried chilli and sour lime leaf. Don’t think too much about what you’re eating. Just trust the team and try some of the most unique Thai food in Melbourne.

    Image: Parker Blain.

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  • 5
    A table spread with Thai dishes

    Sitting on level three of the Arbory crew’s HER building, Thai barbecue canteen BKK celebratess punchy flavours cooked over flame and coal. Enjoy the open kitchen’s theatrics as you tuck in to fire-driven fare centred around BKK’s custom-built five-metre Zesti charcoal grill and oven. The menu is the brainchild of Executive Chef Nick Bennett and Head Chef Sungeun Mo.

    From barbecued meats to authentic curries, the menu pulls inspiration from across Thailand, with a few modern reinterpretations in the mix. The drinks offerings are designed to complement the menu’s gutsy flavours and heat, with fresh, interesting wines and tropical-leaning cocktails. You can even get an adaptation of the BKK menu up on the HER Rooftop.

    Image: Parker Blain

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  • 4
    DoDee - one of the best restaurants in Melbourne CBD

    Hidden in a basement just off Little Collins street, Dodee Paidang is a vibrant eatery bursting with aromatic smells and bustling conversation which perfectly captures the energy of a Bangkok diner. Opened in 2017 by Somporn Phosri, who grew up working in his mother’s kitchen, this Melbourne Thai restaurant now has seven locations.But this one is the original and, fair to say, the best.

    The menu is vast and can be daunting to those who don’t know much about Thai food. Thankfully, it features photos of every dish so you won’t be ordering blind. This is extra important as you’ll purchase all your food and drinks through the website (you can’t depend on waiters to make recommendations). All your food will then be delivered to the table by a robot for a little extra fun.

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  • 3
    Longrain - one of the best Melbourne CBD restaurants. One of the best Thai restaurants in Melbourne.

    Owned by renowned chef and restaurateur, Scott Pickett (founder of EstelleMatilda and Pastore), Longrain is a vibrant and modern Thai restaurant in an impeccably restored horse stable, featuring a relaxed and communal eating experience. Head here for the impressive banquet menu or go a la carte, trying a series of inventive sharing dishes.

    Longrain, one of the best Thai restaurants in Melbourne, also has a prolific list of wines by the glass — both local and international — that best be sampled. But if cocktails are more your vibe, head upstairs to Longsong, a casual bar with Thai-inspired cocktails and local wines aplenty. Visit here before or after dinner or drop by just to experience the glam bar itself.

    Image: Eugene Hyland.

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  • 2
    Jinda Thai - one of the best BYO restaurants in Melbourne.

    Bypass Victoria Street’s seemingly endless spots for cheap eats and duck down one of the nearby alleyways to find Jinda Thai Restaurant. Since opening in 2013, Jinda has gained a strong following. Sure, there are spots on the strip that cost less money, but the authentic, high-quality food here makes this undoubtedly one of the best-value restaurants in the area.

    There are all the Thai classics that’ll take you back to Patong Beach, but you shouldn’t look past the deep-fried barramundi fillet with tamarind sauce, fried shallots and coriander or the traditional yellow curry with grilled chicken. This particular dish showcases Grandma Jinda’s recipe, crafted from many years spent serving customers along Bangkok’s canals. Just beware that the word is out about Jinda, one of the best Thai restaurants in Melbourne, so expect to line up for a table.

    Image: Visit Victoria

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  • 1
    Soi 38 one of the best restaurants in Melbourne CBD.

    Soi 38 is an authentic Thai street food restaurant in the CBD, with an atmosphere that perfectly mirrors the vibrant hustle and bustle of a Bangkok market. With plastic stools and brightly coloured tables, this is the kind of place you come to experience classic yet tantalising flavours with genuine Thai ambience.

    The menu here, at one of the best Thai restaurants in Melbourne, never seems to end, staying true to the inventiveness of the country’s street food scene. Get around papaya salads, kingfish ceviche, a few hot pot options, and stacks of small and larger bites. Pair it all with a Chang, Singha or Leo beer to counteract all the spice you’re bound to ingest and settle in for a long feast.

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Top images: BKK by Parker Blain.

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