With a magical combination of sweet, spicy and sour flavours and famous staples like Pad Thai and Green Curry, Thai food is one of the most popular cuisines in the world. If live in Portland or just visiting, there is a dizzying array of Thai eateries to choose from. From hip eateries that are 100% plant-based to the more traditional, here are the best Thai restaurants in Portland…
1. Thai Peacock Restaurant – a delicious Southeast Asian food in a relaxing dining room
Since 1999, this top Thai restaurant has expertly merged Pacific Northwest flavors with traditional Southeast Asian comfort food in a cozy, relaxed environment.
Pick any dish from their classic comfort menu and top it with your choice of meat, seafood, veggies or tofu. Try their namesake house curry: a panang base with lime leaf, broccoli, red bell pepper, carrot, and peanut sauce; their totally gluten-free stir-fries, crafted with fun ingredients like chili jam and fingerroot; heaping bowls of classic Thai noodles; or fried rice with holy basil or pineapple.
Looking for lighter bites? Creative flavors characterize Thai Peacock’s small plates. Sample coconut prawns in chili sauce, crispy trout with sweet chili and garlic-lime, or classic crab-cream cheese wontons. There are also plenty of great vegan options.
- Address: 219 SW 9th Ave
- Thai Peacock Restaurant
2. Basil Vegan Kitchen – for Vegan and gluten-free Thai food in Portland
3131 NE Broadway St Suite B, Portland, OR 97232
Opened in 2020, this is a vegan version of the Sweet Basil Thai Cuisine restaurant which has been open for more than 20 years. This one caters to both vegan and gluten-free diets as well as offering takeout and delivery options.
They have an extensive menu at the Basil Vegan Kitchen and offer appetizers, rice and noodle dishes, salads, soups, desserts, as well as drinks in cozy, intimate surroundings. Popular dishes include pumpkin curry and the Avocado Noodle Curry.
3. Thai Bloom – a superb Thai restaurant in a cozy neighborhood that offers sidewalk seats
333 NW 23rd Ave
Starting out as a humble food cart in Beaverton, Thai Bloom’s (stylized Thai Bloom!) brick-and-mortar location in the trendy Nob Hill district quickly earned the blessing of being featured on Portland Food Adventures. Priding themselves on exceptional service, a distinctive dining experience, and, of course, wonderfully-spicy Thai curries, it’s easy to see why.
As the days get colder, you’ll want to go for their warming fall-winter specials, which include pumpkin curry, choo-chee catfish (lightly battered, served with jasmine rice, curry sauce, and veggies), and their take on the ever-popular chicken noodle soup, with added egg, green onion, and romaine. Or, how about the intriguing “Bags of Gold”: a mix of prawn and water chestnut fried in a crispy wrapper and dished up with tangy plum sauce?
4. PDX Thai Dining – said to be one of Portland’s best Thai restaurants that uses fresh ingredients for flavorsome meals
2801 SE Holgate Blvd
The customer reviews don’t lie: PDX Thai Dining’s food has been dubbed “some of the best […] in the area” and “seriously phenomenal”!
You just have to try their fresh salad tofu rolls slathered in peanut sauce – it’s one of their most popular items for a reason. Their appetizers take the form of tasty Thai staples – salad rolls, pot stickers, and satay – whilst their soups are made with greens, garlic oil, and a choice of protein or veggies.
If you’ve somehow reached the Specials section without placing an order already, panang salmon, stir-fried eggplant, and glorious gong-gong noodles await.
5. Sivalai Thai Restaurant – a family-friendly dining room that provides traditional Thai food
4806 SE Stark St
Don’t let Sivalai’s unassuming storefront fool you. This family-friendly establishment serves up creative Thai cuisine alongside all the old favorites, so you’re guaranteed to find something to sink your teeth into!
Start out with a plate of their fresh veggie or shrimp rolls, or sample their “Heaven” wraps, featuring ground chicken and peanut sauce in a delicious deep-fried tortilla. Keep it light with staple soups and salads, or spice things up with their Thai green, yellow, and red curries. You also won’t want to miss their range of specials, which come with fun monikers like Surprise Red (chicken, pineapple, peach, and bell pepper in peanut sauce) and Pink Lady (battered shrimp, assorted veggies, and sweet and sour sauce).
6. Kinara – a restaurant with modern decor where you will certainly find your favorite Thai dish
1126 SW 18th Ave
A colorful little eatery that aims to make every bite feel “lovingly crafted”, laid-back Kinara has some truly special seasonal dishes, such as asparagus salad sprinkled with chicken, shallots, and coconut-lime sauce, and nom jean pla, a coconut-based curry bursting with white fish, noodles, and veggies.
Their Essential Rolls bring your favorite parts of crispy duck pancakes together in one convenient wrap, while their wok specials – featuring crab in pong ga ree sauce and roast pork belly sprinkled with crispy basil – are sure to get your tastebuds tingling!
Already in the holiday mood? Grab a dish of fried or garlic sprouts!
7. Farmhouse Kitchen Thai Cuisine – a beautiful place where you can try classic Thai curries and unique street food
3354 SE Hawthorne Blvd, 121 NW 9th Ave
Rustic chic meets Thai classics at this airy eatery that divides its delicious dishes between distinct weekday and weekend menus. Amongst street food, spicy soups, and sumptuous specials including the popular Crying Tiger (beef with chili dip and sticky rice), you’ll discover vegan-based curries and marvellous meat- and tofu-topped noodles.
While Farmhouse Kitchen’s weekend range is a little more limited, it’s worth heading down for the offerings you just can’t get any other time. Check out the Basil Bomb, with stir-fried tiger prawns, scallops, and calamari; Crispy Duck Kapow, made with half a roasted duck and red-eye chili; and their super-hot Volcano Cup!
8. Mee-Sen Thai Eatery – a must-try groovy eatery with delightful Thai dishes
3924 N Mississippi Ave
Mee-Sen’s funky reclaimed-wood décor reflects their inventive approach to Thai cooking; and their authentic foodie passion shows in their wide range of fantastic flavors.
Chow down on comforting bites like pork and meatball skewers, pot stickers, and hotpot green mussels with spicy lime and garlic sauce. Bask in the tastes of real Bangkok favorites, of which the real star is their “next level” pad thai with plenty of prawns and tofu, served with fried wonton chips. Or, treat yourself to some Guay Tiew (noodle dishes): tasty Tao Hoo tofu in veggie broth with peanut, vinegar, and optional chili, and Mhoo Dang pork in a heavenly honey tomato sauce.
9. Eem – Thai BBQ & Cocktails – contemporary restaurant that provides one of the best Thai BBQ
3808 North Williams Avenue
A modern Thai restaurant concocting tiki drinks and cocktails alongside its famous BBQ meats, which appear in almost all the items on their basic-but-brilliant menu.
In the “curry” section, you’ll see their twists on well-known Thai basics: green curry with crispy pork, red curry with smoked veggies and king oyster mushrooms, and – perhaps the best – a “white” version with roasted cauliflower and brisket burnt ends. Also on offer are crunchy wok-fried greens; green salad with seasonal fruit and toasted coconut; and crispy sweet and sour fried chicken.
Don’t say you Shoulda Woulda Coulda to their awesome drinks – grab that gin, strawberry lime, and Thai chili combo! Or make that Pipe Dream a reality with whiskey, pina, and tamarind amaretto.
10. Red Onion Thai Cuisine – a stunning restaurant with a relaxed atmosphere and a lovely decor
1037 NW 23rd Ave
There’s no surer sign that you’re heading into a haven of Thai cuisine than the traditional statues adorning this restaurant. Red Onion, with its bright red-and-green logo, seeks to bring all the “liveliness and excitement” of their kitchen to your plate (or bowl!).
Their fast and friendly staff serve up curries, stir-fries, and a range of fun rice dishes. Jasmine rice is the base for Chinese sausage and spicy basil, both cooked up with tomato, onion, and veggies. Unmissable specials include volcano beef (tender sirloin in chef’s special sauce); three-flavor halibut (battered, laid on chopped pineapple, and smothered with spicy, sweet, and sour dressing); and roasted duck in tangerine sauce.
11. Thai Pod – a family-owned restaurant that offers exquisite Thai food
2015 Northeast Broadway Street
Take it easy at Thai Pod, where spiciness can be tailored exactly to your taste. Pick up some pot stickers, crab puffs, and hot and sour po tak soup, and sip a Thai iced tea. Or, sample satay, salmon pumpkin curry with bell peppers and basil, and salad with lemongrass, tomato, mint, and cilantro, with a glass of soda to keep things sweet.
Fancy simple comfort food? Spoon up fried or steamed rice topped with handfuls of meat, shrimp, squid, or tofu, then finish it off with a few scoops of creamy coconut ice cream.
12. Thai Champa – a food cart that serves original Thai dishes at affordable prices
938 E Burnside St
A bright blue food truck that stocks only the freshest ingredients, all dishes at Thai Champa are devised and cooked by Air, a former head chef, and her husband Sone.
Thai classics abound throughout their menu, the highlight of which is the namesake meal of jasmine rice, egg, onion, peas, carrot, tomato, and cucumber. There’s also a veritable rainbow of curries, thom yum and thom ka soups, and a range of appetizers. Also try their awesome entrees, like Veggie Delight (greens tossed in a light oyster sauce) and Spicy Eggplant (with rice, carrots, basil leaves, and protein).
13. Nong’s Khao Man Gai – a perfect spot for amazing and authentic Thai food with outdoor seating
Applying the Thai principle of focusing on one superbly-done dish, entrepreneur Nong brings crowds to her carts with the titular fare, which consists of Thai chicken and rice wrapped in butcher paper. It’s also available in a tofu version for the vegetarians and vegans out there!
Alongside this Thai staple, which is served with cucumber, cilantro, Nong’s special sauce, and a side soup, the fabulous food truck offers up chicken (or tofu) on a bed of jasmine rice and smothered in peanut sauce, and the aptly-named “Super Soup”: an amazingly-comforting combo of their classic chicken and rice in a large bowl of broth. Fried chicken skins, Thai-style pickles, and steamed veggies are available as sides.
- Address: 219 SW 9th Ave, 417 SW 13th Ave
- Nong’s Khao Man Gai
14. Sa Bai Thai Cuisine – a hidden Thai secret treasure a perfect stop for authentic Thai food
4440 NE 131st Pl
Straightforward is the watchword at Sa Bai. No-fuss, homestyle Thai food characterises their cuisine, sold from a super little shopping-mall store.
Seafood lovers will relish the Rock and Roll Shrimp filling fresh rolls, and deep-fried, sauteed salt and pepper calamari, while noodle nuts are bound to enjoy Sa Bai’s yakisoba versions of pad thai and kee mao. While there, you’ll want to check the chef’s specials, which are all served with steamed jasmine rice. What about lemongrass and teriyaki chicken, or smoked duck with cherry tomatoes, red bell peppers, and pineapple?
15. E-San Thai Cuisine – a great place that specializes in Laotian and Thai cuisines perfect to dine-in or for takeout
3003 SE Division Street
E-San’s menu is simply packed with Thai classics, from crab-and-cream-cheese wontons to chicken satay, egg rolls, and wonderful “pot stickers” – deep-fried dumplings. They’ve perfected the staple thom yum and thom ka soups, both of which boast a distinctive lemongrass flavor rounded out with your choice of protein; and their spectacular salads come topped with chunks of hearty beef, lamb, and papaya.
Aside from their awesome appetizers, noteworthy noodle dishes, and colorful curries, folks really come to E-San for their house special: nam khao tod lettuce wraps. These brilliant bundles are stuffed with crispy fried rice, bulked out with ground meat, fish, or tofu, and seasoned with a blend of chili, fish sauce, lime, mint, and peanuts.
16. Hat Yai – a restaurant worth trying for its famous foods from Southern Thailand
1605 NE Killingsworth St, 605 SE Belmont St
First thing’s first: each of Hat Yai’s locations has different specials, so it’s well worth going to both!
Killingsworth is known for Dtom Som shrimp, served in a broth of tamarind, ginger, chili, and fish sauce; Southern pad thai with dried shrimp, peanuts, and pork rinds stirred in; and sweet grilled corn slathered in coconut cream. Belmont, meanwhile, boasts stir-fried flank steak; a super-spicy short rib curry complete with green banana, lime leaf, and dried orange; and Phuket Hokkien noodles, loaded with dried shrimp, shiitake mushrooms, shallots, and poached egg.
Keep in mind their curry and roti sets, available with chicken, beef cheek, and vegan alternatives!
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Ever since he was knee-high to a grasshopper Michael has always been a sucker for an adventure. Growing up he was lucky enough to live in a handful of exotic far flung locations including Hong Kong, Pakistan, Kenya and Tanzania and since then he’s continued his taste for seeking out new cultures. So much in fact he now travels the world as a trading digital nomad, exploring everything from the sizzling street markets in Bangkok to random back alleys in Sri Lanka and everything in between! He also has a special fondness for Cohibas, street food, playing carrom, and fine wine and knows his clarets from his chiantis. He counts Cuba, Amsterdam, Indonesia, Cambodia and Italy as his favourite destinations.