If you’re looking for a vibrant tapestry of authentic flavors, Seattle’s Thai food scene has you covered. Thai restaurants across the city offer a wide array of authentic and fusion dishes, including classic Pad Thai and green curry, to lesser-known regional specialties.
Seattle’s Thai restaurants pride themselves on using fresh, locally sourced ingredients, and they cater to all tastes and dietary preferences. Depending on the occasion, you can choose to dine at an elegant restaurant or wait patiently for a spot at a small table at a “hole in the wall” favored by students. Let’s explore some of the best Thai restaurants in Seattle.
The best 7 Thai restaurants in Seattle are:
- Bahn Thai Restaurant, lower Queen Anne
- Golden Singha Thai Cuisine, Belltown
- Noi Thai Cuisine, Downtown
- Wild Ginger, Downtown
- Pestle Rock, Ballard
- Thai Tom, University District
- Bai Tong Thai Street Café, Capitol Hill
Where to Find the Best Thai Food in Seattle
Seattle is well-known for its diverse culinary scene, including excellent Thai restaurants. Here are some of the best Thai restaurants in Seattle, known for their exceptional dishes, authentic flavors, high-quality ingredients, and ambiance:
1. Bahn Thai Restaurant, Lower Queen Anne
409 Roy Street
It’s apt to start our list with one of Seattle’s oldest Thai restaurants, Bahn Thai. Bahn Thai operates from a converted house painted orange, and it opened its doors in 1984. The current owners, Suppasek (Sean) and Noppachai (Tony), took over the bustling restaurant, which needs very little online presence because it’s been thriving on word-of-mouth for almost forty years.
Bahn Thai offers a classic menu that includes customer favorites like Pad See Iew with fried tofu, Drunken Noodles, and their gluten-free curries. If you like spicy food, Bahn Thai will surely please your tastebuds. Even their two-star heat-rated dishes offer a spicy kick, and you’ll be pleased to know they do not use MSG in their food.
2. Golden Singha Thai Cuisine, Belltown
425 Cedar Street
Golden Singha invites diners into a warm and aromatic haven of Thai culinary delights. This charming eatery is nestled in the heart of Seattle near the Space Needle, Museum of Pop Culture, and Chihuly Garden. The golden-hued interior reflects the richness of Golden Singha’s cuisine, and their food combines traditional recipes with a contemporary twist.
Their menu includes an array of flavorful curries, stir-fries, and fragrant noodle dishes. Each dish tells a story of centuries-old recipes and the artistry of their skilled chefs. Some of their most popular and recommended dishes at this culinary gem include the following:
- Tom Kah coconut soup with prawns
- Crispy garlic chicken
- Dragon Moustache
- Pad Thai
- Panang curry
3. Noi Thai Cuisine, Downtown
1303 1st Avenue, Harbor Steps Building
Noi Thai Cuisine is an open love letter to the inspiration behind the name. Noi means tiny in Thai, the name of Noi Thai Cuisine’s founder’s wife. JJ adores his wife and expresses his adoration for Noi in how he makes and presents the delightful dishes.
The elegant food presentation is also art and is made from fresh and vibrantly-colored produce. Their menu is extensive, and they offer vegetarian and gluten-free options. Additionally, you can sit indoors or on their patio and enjoy the views.
Noi Thai Cuisine’s signature dishes include:
- Red curry roast duck
- Clay pot crab with glass noodles
- Spicy-sour soup with tom yum lobster
4. Wild Ginger, Downtown (and other locations)
1401 3rd Ave
Wild Ginger’s flagship restaurant is near Seattle’s waterfront and Pike Place Market. This upscale Thai restaurant chain offers Thai and Southeast Asian cuisines that are innovatively prepared and exquisitely presented. The menu offers a diverse range of Thai specialties, including classic curries and stir-fries to creative vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, and seafood options.
Wild Ginger provides a stylish ambiance, attentive service, and an extensive cocktail menu. This makes them a popular choice for both casual diners and those celebrating a special occasion. One of the favorite dishes among patrons is the Pad Thai, which stands out from other Thai restaurants in the area.
5. Pestle Rock, Ballard
2305 NW Market Street
Pestle Rock is a spot renowned for its authentic Isan (Northern Thai) cuisine. The restaurant is named after the traditional Thai cooking tool where they “rock” the pestle with a mortar to grind the fresh spices. From spicy curries and grilled meats to delightfully aromatic soups and noodle dishes, Pestle Rock provides a genuine taste of Thailand.
The cozy interior and knowledgeable staff enhance the dining experience, attracting tourists and locals alike. Pestle Rock stands out as a popular destination for those craving traditional Thai flavors and ambiance in Seattle’s vibrant food scene. They encourage you to mix and match dishes and not worry about getting messy because “more messy means more delicious.”
6. Thai Tom, University District
4543 University Way NE
Thailand Tom is a beloved, no-frills, cash-only Thai eatery started by the legendary Tom Suanpirintra. This popular establishment is a small “hole in the wall” and incredibly popular, so you might have to wait for a seat at a table or bar – but it’s totally worth the wait. The portions are small, but so are the prices, which are comparably lower than the local Thai restaurants.
Tom, the founder and owner, sadly passed away in 2021, but his presence and passion for Thai food continue in his honor. He was the son of Lisa, the founder of Thai Kitchen in Bellevue, which opened in 1981. She’s believed to have inspired and trained many of the Thai chefs in Seattle. Takeaways are an option at Thailand Tom, but you’ll miss out on its delightful vibe.
7. Bai Tong Thai Street Café, Capitol Hill
1121 E Pike Street
Bai Tong Thai Street Café is an offshoot of the original Bai Tong Thai restaurant, founded by a Thai Airways flight attendant named Chanpen Lapangkuru. Incidentally, Chanpen is the mother of Noi, the namesake of Noi Thai Cuisine. Chanpen started the flagship restaurant near the Tea Pac airport in 1989 and handed over the business to the next generation in 2005.
Bai Tong Thai Street Café offers authentic Thai food in a modern and pleasant setting in the trendy Agnes Lofts. It is often busy, so you might consider making a reservation to avoid disappointment. Recommended dishes include the following:
- Yellow curry
- Vegetable Deluxe
- Chicken Pad Thai
- Pork or prawn rolls with Satay sauce
When dining at one of the seven eateries, you can anticipate a variety of traditional and delicious Thai dishes. These range from curries and stir-fries to noodle soups and tasty appetizers. It’s recommended to check their websites or call ahead for reservations, especially during peak dining hours, to ensure you have a delightful and authentic Thai dining experience in Seattle.