Kala Thai
Photograph: Courtesy Kala Thai/Jessica Nathania

16 best Thai restaurants in Boston

Find all of your favorite Thai spots and a few new options in Boston here.

JQ LouiseTanya Edwards
Written by: Tanya Edwards
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Of course you can get a delightful plate of pad thai in many Boston Thai or fusion restaurants, but the city is also home to restaurants serving authentic, regional dishes packed with flavor. From Bangkok street food favorites, to creative takes like lox rangoon to traditional style spots with full bars, you’ll find something for every taste of Thailand in Boston.

After you’ve had your fill of Thai food, keep the spice party going by seeking out the best Indian restaurants in Boston, or explore other Asian cuisines at the best Chinese restaurants in Boston or the best Japanese restaurants in Boston.

Best Thai food in Boston

Opened in 2017, this cheery spot in Malden leans into “Crying Tiger” dishes, that is, Thai style grilled tender beef brisket with Jaew sauce, and they also offer the style with salmon, pork, veggies and rib eye. You don’t want to miss the perfectly spiced Thai style wings, some of the best in the Boston area, and the roti with green curry.

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Tanya Edwards
Contributor

A small, seatless storefront in East Arlington, this new takeaway and market focuses on authentic, home cooked Thai food. Try the lox rangoons (yes, lox!), shrimp donut and deeply flavorful spicy satay noodles. While you wait, you can browse the market for items like black garlic and confections from Phetchaburi, a region known for sweets.

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  • Thai
  • price 2 of 4

Acclaimed chef Manita Bunnagitkam uses Thai techniques and the freshest ingredients to churn out new takes on Thai standards. To start, try quail eggs and a shrimp “donut” made from fried shrimp paste. Menu highlights include pineapple fried rice, khao soi brisket, and spicy panang curry. If you’re able to save room, finish with house-made ice cream: changing flavors include jasmine thai basil, spicy chocolate, strawberry basil sorbet, and thai iced coffee.

  • Thai
  • Allston/Brighton
  • price 2 of 4

A longtime favorite for both takeout and dine-in, Brown Sugar serves dishes from all regions of Thailand. Don’t miss the clay pot selections or lesser-known dishes like kai jeow moo sub (minced pork omelet). Standard, recognizable options like chive dumplings, pad thai, and fried rice are delicious, but don’t be shy—friendly waitstaff are happy to talk you through the more authentic dishes.

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  • Thai
  • Porter Sq
  • price 3 of 4

Sugar & Spice is notable for its modern, sophisticated interior, in addition to its authentic Thai fare. More than 100 dishes grace the pages of the menu, so take your time. Highlights include boat noodle soup, crispy pork belly gaprow, and guay jub (wide, cigar-shaped noodles with pork, tofu, boiled egg, and an exhilarating five-spice broth). In warmer weather, opt for seating on the flower-filled patio and try a fresh mango shake.

  • Thai
  • Allston/Brighton
  • price 2 of 4

Tiny and no-frills, this Allston eatery—primarily a takeout joint—satisfies those looking for a quick, authentic Thai option. Standard offerings like pad see ew and red curry won’t disappoint, but try something different such as pad prik khing moo krob (crispy pork with string beans in a spicy curry sauce), pad gra prow (thai basil beef), or kai look kaey (fried boiled eggs with tamarind sauce). Pay heed to the heat levels on the menu; try a five-chili item if you dare.

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  • Thai
  • Somerville
  • price 2 of 4

Somerville’s Dakzen is one of the more authentic Thai joints around. The focus is on street-style noodles prepared fresh and fast, just like in Thailand. Flavors are bold and often fiery, with funky ingredients you might otherwise overlook on other menus. The spicy tom yum noodle soup—packed with fish cake, fish ball, ground pork, dried shrimp, and more—is a highlight, as is a tasty version of the Northern Thai classi khao soi .

  • Thai
  • East Cambridge
  • price 2 of 4

For tasty Thai in Inman Square, The Similans is your spot. Friendly staff add to the welcoming atmosphere. Alongside standards, lesser-seen options include brown sugar mango curry, Thai chili fish, and honey pork. Traditional dishes such as country-style pad Thai and pad kee mao are more flavorful than most, with a good level of spice. Finish up with a sweet serving of fried ice cream.

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  • Thai
  • Fenway/Kenmore
  • price 2 of 4

Thaitaion is a student favorite, with its extensive and affordable lunch menu of Thai favorites like mango curry, pad thai, and grapow chicken. The dinner menu offers more to explore, with dishes like lobster pad ped, “Seafood Volcano” (curry with scallops, shrimp and salmon) and the “Old Lady Spicy,” a chef’s specialty of spicy sauteed eggplant. This spot is cozy for dining in, but in warmer weather there is patio dining as well.   

  • Thai
  • Chinatown
  • price 2 of 4

This family-run joint has been serving Thai specialties since 1986. The menu offers both authentic Thai cuisine and Americanized options for the less adventurous. Go beyond your average red curry or tom yum with plar goong (shrimp mixed with spicy lime juice, tomato, lemongrass), poo nim rad prik (crispy soft shell crabs with sweet basil chili sauce), or one of the deep-fried whole fish selections. The cocktails are also notable, but the draw here is the level of authenticity of the menu, offering a chance to broaden your Thai expertise.

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  • Thai
  • Chinatown
  • price 2 of 4

My Thai offers a huge menu of Thai dishes that are not only flavorful, but 100% vegan. Even omnivores will enjoy the classic Thai specialties; there’s a lot of tofu on the menu, but the veggie “shrimp,” “chicken,” “beef,” and “duck” dishes are flavorful enough rival the real thing. Favorites include the avocado medley with yellow curry (served in a fresh, whole avocado), and a fried taro root “bird’s nest” filled with veggies and a spicy green curry. Dishes are authentically Thai, and spiciness can be adjusted accordingly.

12. Chalawan Asian Eatery

This Southeast Asian (with a heavy emphasis on Thai dishes) restaurant opened near Porter Square in 2019, this full service (they have a nice wine selection) spot with a charming interior has been a hit with locals since. Meat-eaters and vegetarians alike will enjoy the robust menu that includes delicious bits like steamed snapper dumplings, Sri Lankan beetroot curry, Yunan black pepper tofu and much more.

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  • Thai
  • Somerville
  • price 2 of 4

This tiny Somerville spot specializes in Bangkok street foods (great for takeout if the few available tables are taken). Rice plates like khao na kai (sauteed chicken with Chinese sausage and a fried egg), kapow moo grob (crispy pork belly, string bean, basil leaves, and pepper in chili sauce), and khao moo dang (roasted pork, crispy pork, boiled egg and Chinese sausage) are highlights. Soups, salads, and curries are available as well, but the selection of street foods is the most fun.

  • Thai
  • South End
  • price 3 of 4

House of Siam is the South End’s go-to spot for Thai cuisine. All the standards—from pad Thai and beef satay to glass noodles and pineapple chicken—are done well. It’s easy to stick to the regulars, but don’t miss out on dishes like panang goong (shrimp curry) or shrimp macadamia. 

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  • Thai
  • Quincy Market
  • price 2 of 4

An offshoot of Watertown’s Cha Yen Thai Cookery, Kala Thai brings fresh Thai flavors to the high-traffic Haymarket area. Start with corn cakes—a Cha Yen favorite—then choose from a selection of noodle dishes (egg or rice noodles), fried rice, or curry. Spicy tom yum soup carries a kick, and chef specialty stir-fried dishes feature fresh ingredients and bold flavors. If the weather permits, get takeout and enjoy on the Greenway nearby.

  • Thai
  • Beacon Hill
  • price 3 of 4

King & I has been a favorite of Beacon Hill neighbors for decades. Vegetarians are well-served; meatless options are extensive, and the kitchen is happy to make any meat-based dish a veggie one by request. Highlights include curry puffs, Siamese fried rice, drunken chicken, and crispy soy duck. Heat levels can be adjusted to your liking, and for a real bang try the spicy chicken krapow.

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