The Best Thai Restaurants in Boston

Whether you're hankering for stir-fried rice noodles, hot and sour soup, or vibrant curries—here's where to head.


Pad Thai lovers, take heed; tom yum fans, your attention please. Whether you’re hankering for stir-fried rice noodles, hot and sour soup, vibrant curries, or another expression of Thai cuisine—here are a handful of Boston-area favorites that are best designed to satisfy. We’ve called out a few new options that are catching our eye right now, as well city stalwarts, updated with availability for the COVID era. [Last updated: November 25, 2020]

Red curry duck from Chalawan. / Photo by Angela S. via Yelp

Chalawan Asian Eatery

Chalawan doesn’t serve Thai cuisine exclusively, but it’s certainly very well-represented on the spot’s Southeast Asian-spanning menu: crispy confit pork hock with nahm pla prik and tamarind chili sauce; stir-fry soft shell crab with ginger, chili, and coconut; and red curry of duck with lychee, apple, and eggplant are all among the Land of Smiles-inspired plates that (alongside dishes from Malaysia, Indonesia, and elsewhere) have helped turn Chalawan into a foodie-favorite over the last year.

1790 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, 617-547-8888, thechalawan.com.

Is’Original Thai Cuisine

For years, the Rod Dee restaurants have been beloved staples of Thai cuisine in the Boston area—so when Brookline’s New Rod Dee closed in the spring of 2019, many tears were shed by those suddenly stranded without tom kha soup. Luckily, Is’Original Thai Cuisine opened in its place at the start of 2020, with original (see what we did there?) Rod Dee chef Pichaya Promploy at the helm. His recipes, passed down from his mother, are as delicious as ever; we’re big fans of the tofu triangles with sweet sauce and crushed peanuts, vibrant curries in coconut milk, and drunken noodles with basil sauce.

1671 Beacon St., Brookline, 617-879-0544, isoriginalthai.com.

Kor Tor Mor

Bangkok street foods are the purview of this recent addition to Somerville, as well as its newer Cambridge cousin, 9Zaab. So when you feel like imagining yourself amid the sights, sounds, and smells of a bustling Thai market—well, update your passport (we’ll be traveling again eventually) and then grab Kor Tor More takeout hits, including the signature khao na kai, a rice bowl topped with sauced chicken, sausage, and fried egg.

24 College Ave., Somerville, 617-666-9822, kortormorboston.com.

Pad kana moo krob. / Photo by Christine V. via Yelp

Mahaniyom

If pad thai totally dominates your order history, it’s time to expand your palate. For this, turn to Mahaniyom, which opened in February: The place takes a tapas bar-like approach to Thai cuisine, which allows it to highlight less ubiquitous offerings. That might include Hat Yai-style fried chicken topped with crispy shallots; pomelo salad with fried shrimp, toasted coconut, and chili jam; and turmeric-spiced flying squid for dipping in a spicy seafood sauce. Don’t miss the standout cocktails, either—we recommend flying the Bangkok First Class, butterfly pea-infused gin with maraschino and violet.

236 Washington St., Brookline, 617-487-5986, mahaniyomboston.com.

The Best Thai Restaurants in Boston

You know ’em, you love ’em—and they’re back in action. Here’s our recap of the best places to find Thai food in Boston, with details on the availability of takeout, delivery, and on-site dining. Watch this space for more updates!

A lunch special at Brown Sugar Cafe / Photo by Clara L. via Yelp.

Brown Sugar Cafe

Status: Open daily for indoor and outdoor dining, takeout, and delivery. 

It’s an institution for a reason. This stalwart has stood at its current, Boston University-side location since 1999 (and spawned a similarly-great sibling near Kendall Square, the Similans, in 2005). From cash-strapped students to neighborhood long-timers, the seats stay filled with fans of tod mun (spicy minced, fried shrimp with cucumber sauce and crushed peanuts); look chin ping (charcoal-grilled pork or beef meatballs with a sweet chili sauce); and other specialties.

1033 Commonwealth Ave., Allston, 617-787-4242, brownsugarcafe.com.

Cha Yen Thai Cookery

Status: Open Tuesday through Sunday for indoor dining, takeout, and delivery. 

It might be easier to get to chef Manita Bunnagitkam’s newer restaurant, Kala Thai Cookery, which opened near Faneuil Hall last summer. But it’s worth making a trip to Watertown for her first venture, Cha Yen Thai Cookery, a casual and contemporary-feeling operation that well-earns attention for khao soi-style noodles with braised brisket; skewers of grilled pork sausage with sliced ginger; and Bunnagitkam’s beloved homemade ice cream, which comes in rotating flavors like spicy chocolate and Thai iced coffee.

613 Mt. Auburn St., Watertown, 617-393-0031, chayenthaicookery.com.

The signature “Crying Tiger” (spicy beef) at Crying Thaiger. / Photo provided

Crying Thaiger Rustic Thai Kitchen

Status: Open Wednesday through Monday for takeout and delivery. 

Tears of joy will flow when you snag a table at this nearly-two-year-old Malden Center restaurant, a short walk from an Orange Line MBTA stop. It cribs its name from the dish suea-rong-hai (Thai for “crying tiger”), beef brisket served with pungent jaew sauce of dried chilis and toasted rice. Naturally, that signature sauce is served alongside a few different plates (“crying” pork, chicken, and salmon are all on the agenda), but don’t snooze on snacks like pork skewers marinated in coriander, cilantro, and soy sauce; or honey-glazed spare ribs with pickled garlic.

114 Ferry St., Malden 781-480-1243, cryingthaigerma.com.

Flavorful bowls of Thai street noodles await at Dakzen. / Photo courtesy of Dakzen

Dakzen

Status: Open daily for indoor dining, takeout, and delivery. 

Our newly-dubbed “Best of Boston” winner for Best Thai Restaurant doesn’t cast too wide a net: Street food-style noodles are the emphasis here. But the narrowed focus yields great depth of flavor in standouts like the brothless ba mee doo dang, egg noodles with pork belly and smoky barbecue sauce; and khao soi, a vibrant Northern Thai noodle bowl of coconut-creaminess, crunchy noodles, spicy funk, and fresh aromatics.

195 Elm St., Somerville, 617-718-1759, dakzen.com.

Laughing Monk Cafe

Status: Open daily for indoor dining, takeout, and delivery.

The problem: You’re craving Thai specialties, but your dinner date is hankering for sushi. Solution: Laughing Monk Cafe, a Mission Hill temple serving raw fish rolls alongside delightful Thai dishes like crispy tamarind duck, torched squid in a spicy lime sauce, and a slew of red, yellow, and green curries. It doesn’t hurt that dishes are often decorated beautifully with micro-greens and flowers grown in chef Nick Korboon’s own greenhouse.

737 Huntington Ave., Boston, 617-232-8000, laughingmonkcafe.com.

Montien Thai Restaurant

Status: Open daily for indoor dining, takeout, and delivery. 

Last year’s “Best of Boston” winner is still a standout, more than 30 years after doors first opened. The half of the menu that is specifically dubbed “authentic” is, perhaps unsurprisingly, where most of the prizes are to be found. So head there for deep-fried whole fish; coconut milk-free jungle curry, a “country-style” offering of eggplant, bamboo, and green beans; and duck noodle soup in a dark soy-sauce broth.

63 Stuart St., Boston, 617-338-5600, montienthaiboston.com.

Pad Thai Cafe

Status: Open daily for takeout and delivery.

The flavors simply sing at this casual favorite near Berklee College of Music. Naturally, you’ll want to hit up the various iterations of the namesake, stir-fried noodle dish, but don’t hold back from sampling the rest of the broad-ranging menu, which covers everything from rice plates with spicy bamboo or curried pineapple, to specials like zesty orange beef with steamed veggies.

6 Hemenway St., Boston, 617-267-2828, padthai.cafe.

Rod Thai Family Taste

Status: Open daily for takeout and delivery.

This recently-renamed restaurant, tucked among a slew of other cuisine-spanning joints in a Fenway-area strip dubbed “Restaurant Row” by locals, is  still going strong under its new moniker. Formerly Rod-Dee 2 Thai Cuisine, it serves up a street-food sensibility with plenty of pad Thai, prik prow fried rice, and “drunken noodles” in basil sauce.

94 Peterborough St., Boston, 617-859-0969, rodthaifenway.com.

S & I To Go

Status: Open daily for indoor dining and takeout.

There are only a few tables in this pint-sized Allston winner (hence the “To Go”). But even if it’s just to snag some takeout, swing by for  spicy standouts like squid sauteed with hot peppers, sai oua pork sausages, or phat phong karii (shrimps or crabmeat stir-fried with curry powder) that taste just as good no matter where you eat them.

168 Brighton Ave., Allston, 617-254-8488, sanditogoallston.com.

Khao yum at Sugar & Spice. / Photo by Amy Kridaratikorn

Sugar & Spice

Status: Open daily for outdoor dining, takeout, and delivery. 

Shout-out to this lovely Porter Square spot, the only restaurant in Somerville (and one of only six in Massachusetts) to receive “Thai Select” certification from Thailand’s International Promotion, Ministry of Commerce, which recognizes standout exports of the country’s cuisine. We can see why, when you consider dishes like the stunning khao yum salad. Its centerpiece is rice that is dyed bright blue using butterfly pea flower (but turns purple when mixed with citrus); accouterments include lemongrass, lime leaf, coconut flakes, and mango.

1933 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, 617-868-4200, sugarspices.com.

Thai North

Status: Open daily for takeout and delivery. 

Pretend you’re in class, and pay attention to the blackboard: Though the menu is sprawling, that’s where you’ll find the most tantalizing northern-Thai standouts, including clay pots of tilapia with cabbage, lemongrass, and lime leaves; jack fruit salad with pork rind, boiled egg, and steamed veggies; and pork curry with pickled bamboo shoots.

433 Faneuil St., Brighton, 617-254-2025, thainorthcuisine.com