Thai cuisine varies greatly from region to region, with a wide variety of spicy, sour, sweet, crispy, crunchy and soft Thai dishes. London offers plenty of options to explore all of these aspects.
Despite its rich, popular and closely tied to local traditions, Thailand’s gastronomic culture is not as coveted as other trendy cuisines. However, in London, you can enjoy a variety of different flavours and textures of barbecue, curries, noodles, soups, and less-anticipated regional specialties, topped with sticky rice and jasmine rice. Our list covers local, high-end, modern, classic and fusion restaurants.
MONKEY & ME
Monkey & Me offers “a dining experience that highlights the brightness and beauty of Thai cuisine” based on the endless charm and aroma of Thai cuisine. This purpose stems from a deep understanding and passion for Asian food culture, and a desire to present it in a personal way. Diners are exposed to authentic traditions face-to-face, gently honing in on creativity and innovation. Spices, herbs, vegetables and other ingredients are carefully sourced from Thailand through our partner Thai Tana, ensuring the authentic quality of local ingredients.
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Shared plates and an open Peckham terrace may be all people need to explore Thai cuisine. Chef Jane Alty and her partner Jamie Younger opened The Begging Bowl in 2012 with the simple aim of recreating the true taste of Thailand in London. This flavor comes from a strict cooking method, as the professional ingredients are carefully selected and everything is made in the kitchen (they even have a coconut juicer!) . The ‘begging bowl’ is a vessel used by Thai Buddhist monks to collect alms, and what it represents reflects the community-driven ethos that the restaurant pursues and is characteristic of South London.
Rosa’s Thai vegetarian food.
Raised on a mountain farm in northern Thailand, chef Saiphin put her passion for authentic local produce into the Rosa’s brand in 2008, when she and her partner Alex founded the Soho branch as their second restaurant, later transformed into Rosa’s Thai Veggie, where classic Thai food is loved by vegetarians and vegans alike, but by no means catered to vegetarian tastes. Due to its increasing success and popularity, several other Rosa’s locations in London have opened in succession.
Shampoo – Shampoo
Champor-Champor is more than just a restaurant, it’s more of a well-rounded dining experience. The restaurant’s name comes from a Malay word meaning “mash-up” and the menu does have a mix of Thai and Malay influences. The eclectic range of dishes is complemented by the quirky décor, giving the restaurant a warm, cosy, bohemian atmosphere without being too relaxed.Champor-Champor has long been regarded as the best Thai restaurant in the London Bridge area – in fact, it is one of the best Thai restaurants in the whole of London – and it continues to offer a high standard of dining experience.
Having recently moved to Tottenham Court Road, SUDA is a Thai street food themed restaurant.SUDA’s menu consists mainly of shared bowls and small plates (although there are also large plates), inviting diners to explore the street food of Bangkok. The selection of dishes includes both traditional and more contemporary options, giving you the full picture of Thai cuisine, and SUDA opened in 2011 to provide the West End Theatre District with a quality selection of Thai cuisine that is missing in the West End.
The original Mango Tree restaurant is located in the heart of Bangkok, and its London branch aims to keep you from noticing how far away it is. Their modern cuisine is served in a stylish and spacious location, arguably the most authentic Thai corner of Belgravia (even J.K. Rowling mentioned it in her novel, The Silkworm). The warm atmosphere and traditional service enrich your dining experience. The menu may include dishes such as plaice meal, fillet flounder tuna and green curry chicken.
Imm Thai Fusion is where classic Thai food meets Indian. The extensive menu is divided into classic Thai and fusion, the latter including Vietnamese dishes such as pan-fried and spring rolls. Other fusion dishes include pan-fried salmon with chocolate gravy, duck and chicken skewers, and steak with ribs marinated in Thai spices, while the classic menu features fish and duck dishes, stir-fry dishes, and a range of Thai curries. It’s tempting to sample the pre-show menu before heading to the New Wimbledon Theatre or the Polka Theatre.
This is a must-visit when looking for Thai BBQ food in Soho. In Kiln, the focus here is on local specialties from various parts of Thailand, especially Yunnan, Myanmar and Bangkok’s Yarowat Road (also known as Chinatown). What all these different influences have in common is that the dishes here are meticulously sourced from local specialties, so the herbs, fish and vegetables are the freshest, and the cuts of meat can change daily depending on the ingredients. An unpretentious, authentic food experience that takes you straight to Thai food culture.
Esarn Kheaw opened in 1992 as a family-run restaurant and is expected to continue to do so. All of the recipes on the menu were created with the inspiration of Mr. and Mrs. Puntar, who were inspired by local Thai cuisine that reminded them of their childhood. In addition to Esarn’s specialties, the menu includes classic stir-fry, noodle, vegetarian, seafood and curry dishes; all of which are enjoyed in a warm atmosphere in a true neighborhood restaurant.
Just a stone’s throw from Spitalfields Market, Som Saa restaurant offers guests a thoughtful selection of shared plates. Guests can find their own combination of barbecue, stir-fry, salads, soups and curries that strike the perfect balance between the flavors and textures of regional Thai cuisine: tart, sweet, sour, soft, crispy, spicy and soothing. The restaurant also offers a bold cocktail list with rare ingredients and original recipes, debunking the myth that Thai food cannot be paired with wine and drinks.