We don’t know about you, but the cuisine in Thailand is one of the things we look forward to the most when travelling there. Leave it to the Land of Smiles to put, well, a smile on your face each time you fill your tummy with their local specialities; from good ol’ Bangkok street bites to shmancy Royal Thai dishes. But since our international travel plans are still on hold, you’re probably wondering, “Where can I get the yummiest and most authentic Thai food in Manila?”
Well, fortunately, we’ve got your back (and cravings)! As avid lovers of their gastronomic scene, best believe we’re constantly on the lookout for where we can get a taste of this that’s closer to home. So, whether you’re a frequent traveller in Thailand or simply a fan of their cuisine, here are the best Thai restaurants in Manila that you should try!
Must-try Thai restaurants in Manila
Since it’s named after the most commonly used herb for Thai dishes, one would easily get the impression that Basil is a great pick for authentic Thai food in Manila. While we’re lowkey sad about its OG store in White Plains closing down recently, there are still four more branches in Ayala Malls The 30th, One Bonifacio High Street Mall, The Podium, and SM Mall of Asia. All locations boast rustic interiors with hints of garden inspo that’ll probably remind you of your lola’s probinsya home.
Must-try dishes: Pad Thai, Thai Crispy Fish with Green Mango Salad, Thai Heavenly Pineapple Fried Rice, and Green Chicken Curry.
Locations: Ayala Malls The 30th, One Bonifacio High Street Mall, The Podium, and SM Mall of Asia
2. People’s Palace
People’s Palace is conceptualised by the same chef behind Sala Bistro and Blackbird: two of the most popular spots in Makati Central Business District for upscale dining. That said, expect to spend a bit more than unusual — but hey, all for the love of top-notch Thai food in Manila, amirite? You’ll find this tucked in the garden side of Greenbelt 3, and its refined ambience makes it quite apt for date nights and special occasions. Oh, and they also offer red rice (if you’re not keen on white rice) and fancy cocktails (because why not?).
Must-try dishes: Thom Yum Goong, Prawn Spring Rolls, Crispy Pork and Sticky Rice, Roast Duck Curry, and Mango Pavlova.
Location: Level 1, Greenbelt 3, Esperanza Street, Makati
3. Crying Tiger Street Kitchen
Crying Tiger Street Kitchen is a hip hole-in-the-wall that easily became a crowd favourite among Makati Poblacion regulars. With its vibrant interior and laid-back yet lively ambience, it’s as close as you could get to the actual Thailand street food scene. Most locals come here for pre-game and post-work dinners, though it’s also ideal for a late-night bite since it remains open even past midnight! Though, if your plans aren’t impromptu, you might wanna reserve ahead since it gets easily packed especially on weekends.
Must-try dishes: Khao Pad Goong, Chicken Satay, Moo Krob, Pad Thai Woon Sen, and Khao Nian Mamuang.
Location: #4986 P. Guanzon Street, Poblacion, Makati
4. Mango Tree
Mango Tree is a global concept that boasts over 70 branches around Asia. Though, if you had to pick one that’s close to home, we definitely recommend their Philippine flagship in Bonifacio Global City. With its modern tropical décor and expansive dining space, it’s easily one of the most IG-worthy Thai restaurants in Manila. We also love how their menu is divided between traditional (heads up, purists) and experimental (hello, adventurous foodies) dishes. In fact, the former is heavily based on the four regional cuisines of Thailand!
Must-try dishes: Pomelo Salad with Prawns, Gai Yang, Pad Thai Soft Shell Crab, Thai Tapioca Dumplings, and Mango Cheesecake.
Locations: Bonifacio High Street – Central Square, Greenbelt 3, Ayala Malls Manila Bay, and TriNoma
5. DOON Thai and Asian Fusion Cuisine
DOON Thai and Asian Fusion Cuisine has quite the interesting backstory: originally, it was supposed to be a good ol’ lutong-bahay eatery catering mostly to college students in the area. But when they started offering Thai cuisine, word eventually got out about how delicious (yet affordable!) these were — and the rest is history. You’ll find this in the historic Malate district, and it’s even right next to a laundry shop, which all the more adds to its ‘neighbourhood hidden gem’ feel.
Must-try dishes: Tom Ka Gai Soup, Catfish Salad, Red Curry, Pad See Ew, and Butt’rd Garlic Shrimp.
Location: #936 Dolores Street, Malate, Manila
Also read: An Open Letter to Manila — Love, Manila Girl
6. Easy, Tiger
Easy, Tiger lives up to its subtle message of bringing affordable Thai comfort food for constantly on-the-go peeps. After all, it started out as a tiny stall at The Corner Market at The Podium. Don’t be fooled by its quick-service style though, their menu is well thought-out. It’s also one of the few Thai restaurants in Manila that serve delicacies from Isaan: the northeastern region of Thailand whose cuisine is generally spicier than that of Bangkok. Oh, and make sure to pair your dish with their best-selling Thai Milk Tea!
Must-try dishes: Green Papaya Salad with Chicken Skin, Pad Thai, Chicken in Pandan, Pad Krapow, and Crispy Pata with Red Curry.
Locations: The Podium, Uptown Mall, Eastwood Mall, and SM North EDSA – The Block
7. Nara Thai
In a nutshell, Nara Thai is to Thai cuisine the same way as Din Tai Fung is to Taiwanese cuisine. This Bangkok-based global concept is your best bet for an extensive menu — which isn’t to say it prioritises quantity over quality. In fact, it’s one of the very few restos here that received the Thai Select badge of honour. It has two locations so far: one at SM Megamall and another at Ayala Malls Manila Bay. So, if ever you get cravings after a long day of shopping, you know where to go!
Must-try dishes: Nara Thai Sampler, Pla Gao Neung Ma Nao, Crispy Fried Shrimp Cakes, Massaman Curry, and Khao Niew Ma Muang.
Locations: SM Megamall – Mega Fashion Hall and Ayala Malls Manila Bay
8. My Thai Kitchen
For another Thai resto that you can easily find in lots of malls around the Metro, check out My Thai Kitchen. It’s also hard not to notice their stores when walking around, with all those well-lit interior and brightly coloured furnishings. This balances out their delicious menu offerings that are absolute comfort food. And the best part? Most of these come in generous servings — so, dig in!
Must-try dishes: Pow Piet Tod Gha, Khau Kluk Gapi, Tom Kha Gai, Shrimp Pad Thai, and Khao Neaw Mamuang.
Locations: BGC Stopover Pavilion, Net Park, Gateway Mall, Eastwood Mall, Robinsons Magnolia, Addition Hills, Eton Centris, SM City Fairview, Venice Grand Canal Mall, and Festival Mall
9. Same Same Thai Satay Bar
The laidback neighbourhood of Kapitolyo is known for its wide array of restaurants that cater to nearly every craving. If it’s Thai food you’re looking for, then Same Same Thai Satay Bar is the way to go! Despite its small space, it’s quite easy to spot with their large griller in front. This hole-in-the-wall is reminiscent of the sidewalk eateries in Bangkok, which definitely adds to its charm. Complementing this is their straightforward menu that’s a mix of Thai and Pinoy street food — all for less than ₱200!
Must-try dishes: Satay Sampler, Shrimp Pad Thai, Crab Khao Pad, Thai Omelette, and Chicken Green Curry.
Location: 6b San Rafael Street, Kapitolyo, Pasig
10. Thai BBQ Original Restaurant
Hailing from sunny Los Angeles, Thai BBQ Original Restaurant is a crowd fave among Asian-Americans. If you’ve already tried this abroad, then you’ll probably want to try their locations around Metro Manila, too. If you haven’t, well, it’s about time you find out what the hype is all about! Here’s what to expect from the menu: tender and fall-off-the-bone meat, lots of delish sauce, and dishes that are the right balance of sweet, sour, spicy, and salty. Convinced yet?
Must-try dishes: Tom Yum Goong, Yum Pla Dook Foo, Sate Combination, BBQ Spare Ribs, and Sticky Rice with Mango.
Locations: Glorietta 4, Shangri-La Plaza, Ayala Malls Vertis North, and Ayala Malls Cloverleaf
If you ever find yourself craving Thai food while strolling around Power Plant Mall, then make a beeline for The Grid (a.k.a. their trendy food hall). There’s a stall called Samyan and its menu is spearheaded by Ton Tassanakajohn, one of Thailand’s top chefs with two Michelin-starred restos under his belt. And in case you’re wondering what’s in the name: all dishes are inspired by street food from Bangkok’s Samyan Market, where Tassanakajohn visited a lot growing up.
Must-try dishes: Tom Yung Kung Namkun, Khao Pad Tom Yum, Phad Krapao Moo, and Thai Roast Pork.
Location: Stall No. 16, The Grid Food Market, Second Floor, Power Plant Mall, Rockwell, Makati
If you wish to dine in an upscale and elegant setting, look no further than Benjarong in Dusit Thani. Since it’s housed in the only five-star Thai hotel in the country, one can easily assume that it’s also one of the best Thai restaurants in Manila. This resto specialises in authentic Royal Thai cuisine, which is characterised by intricate preparation, moderate flavours, rare and expensive ingredients, and of course — lavish presentation! Finally, Benjarong also has a bar where they serve craft cocktails alongside complementary tom yum popcorn.
P.S. — Like most hotel restaurants, make sure to dress accordingly with (at least) smart-casual attire.
Must-try dishes: Som Tam Tord Salmon Foo, Pad Thai Gung Sod, See Sa Hai, Gaeng Massaman Nuea, and Khao Niew Ma Muang.
Location: Ground Floor, Dusit Thani Manila, Ayala Centre, San Lorenzo, Makati
Suffice to say, the dishes from these Thai restaurants in Manila are to Thai for. Which of these have you visited already? Or better yet, which one are you most excited to try out soon? We’d love to hear all about it in the comments!