It’s then a constant life goal to find somewhere back home that can recreate that amazing Pad Thai you bought on the street in Bangkok or that Prawn Tom Yam Goong that you had whilst hungover in Phuket.
Unfortunately, it’s not always as easy as that, but with such a wealth of Thai options here in Manchester – it’s fun to at least give it a try.
From the recent addition of a Neo-Bangkok BBQ offering in the Northern Quarter to a traditional Pad Khing served out of a hole in the wall of a garage in Cheetham Hill, the city is home to a number of truly outstanding Thai restaurants that are as diverse in food as the country is in wildlife.
So, here’s our picks of the very best Thai restaurants in Manchester and further afield…
One of the most innovative and exciting restaurants to burst onto the Manchesteer scene in the last few years, DISTRICT is technically a Thai restaurant, but it’s like nothing you’ve ever seen before. The interior has been dredged from the mind of Philip K. Dick – a Blade Runner-esque scape of LCD screens, clean tiles, brushed metal and neon. But the main focus is the open kitchen, and within it – the real coal fire BBQ which imbues many of DISTRICT’s exceptional dishes with that characteristic street-food char and smokiness. You should really go here – it is truly excellent – not just the food, but make sure you try the cocktails too.
DISTRICT, 60 Oldham St, Manchester M4 1LE
The newest addition to the city’s Thai scene, Neon Tiger opened up a couple of weeks back on Bridge Street in the old Grindsmith site – you know, the one with the tiles outside. Inspired by the northeast region of Thailand, Neon Tiger is another barbecue-focused kitchen, with “flame-kissed skewers” sat alongside bright salads and deep-flavoured noodle and curry dishes. They promise “bold, fiery and unapologetic flavours” and that’s exactly what you get – traditional Thai dishes that have been reimagined for a contemporary crowd. Also, cocktails and a specially curated wine list from Ad Hoc Wines.
Neon Tiger, 62 Bridge St, Manchester M3 3BW
A firm favourite on Deansgate ever since they opened their doors just before lockdown in 2020. Unfortunate timing for them but Rosa actually managed to smash it offering deliveries throughout the pandemic and has returned stronger and better than ever. The original Rosa’s was launched back in 2008 on Brick Lane, and since then they’ve built a reputation for bold, punchy flavours with dishes that have been inspired by owner Saiphin’s childhood where she grew up on her family’s farm in Northern Thailand.
Rosa’s Thai, The Old Courthouse, 184 Deansgate, Manchester M3 3WB
0161 464 3197
Now pretty much a bonafide Manchester institution, Siam Smiles began their journey to greatness operating out of a basement supermarket in Chinatown. Back then they were about as hidden as a gem could ever be, but they managed to cultivate a fiercely loyal customer base down there, so when they were forced to leave – there was a huge uproar across the city. Alas, there were no riots, as Siam Smiles instead moved across the city into their own spot on Deansgate Mews – and the rest is history.
Siam Smiles, Deansgate Mews Unit G Upper Level Great Northern 253, Deansgate, Manchester M3 4EN
In the most unsuspecting of places, you’ll find probably the city centre’s very best Thai cuisine at That’s Thai. Hidden down the side of a car garage at the top of Cheetham Hill Road doesn’t exactly sound very exotic, but once you spy the colourfully painted exterior of this place – you know that you’re in for something special. Owner Wan has transformed this former greasy spoon into a Thai food haven, and it’s massively popular with local workers and hi-viz fellas who pop down for a phenomenal Pad Thai for as little as £7.50. If you’ve never been here – now is the time.
That’s Thai, 27a Park St, Cheetham Hill, Manchester M3 1EU
Try Thai Restaurant & Bar
A huge favourite in Chinatown, Try Thai has consistently been voted one of the top spots in the city for Thai food and represents an experience that’s at the higher end of the restaurant experience, especially when compared with some of the other venues on this list. Luxurious, elegant interiors and velvet full-length curtains give way to a canopied bar serving up an extensive cocktail menu, and a food menu cooked and prepared by a team of chefs “trained and schooled in the most famous destinations of Thailand’s culinary societies.” At the moment Try Thai is currently closed, but they should be back open again in the next few weeks or so.
Try Thai, Upper Ground Floor, 52-54 Faulkner St, Manchester M1 4FH
0161 228 1822
A slick Spinningfields’ Thai restaurant whose Tuk Tuk has been enticing diners through its doors for years now. As well as a menu filled with delicious noodle dishes, grilled meat, fish and crunchy stir-fries, their curry menu is also pretty irresistible – especially the spicy Green Curry. They also offer a Street Food Sharing Stack with a selection of four different dishes all served together – just like on the streets of Phuket.
Thaikhun, 17, 3 Hardman St, Manchester M3 3HF
0161 414 0264
Nahm Prik Thai Cuisine
A Thai offering that’s absolutely adored by the Altrincham locals, ‘Nahm Prik’ actually means condiments in Thai – an opportunity for the owners to highlight how important the finest and freshest ingredients are to their menu – which is extensive, to say the least. It might take you more than 10 minutes to read, but as you’d expect it’s full of classic Thai dishes that you all know and love, plus some of the more unique offerings from regions across the country. There are extensive veggie options, plus a widely applauded Gluten Free menu, and a dedicated Vegan menu too.
Nahm Prik Thai , 12 Ashley Rd, Altrincham WA14 2DW
0161 222 9202
If you want no faff, traditional Thai food, you’ve found your place in Phetpailin. Of course, they serve all of our favourite Thai dishes: Pad Thai, Gai Yang and Khoa Pad Siam, but they also offer dishes that are perhaps less well-known. Ranging from mild to super-hot, their curry selection offers a range of delicious meals that are all infused with the authentic flavours of Thailand. If I were you, I’d opt for the ‘special’ Gaeng Ped Yang- a dish made from special Thai roasted duck, red curry with pineapple and tomatoes and creamy coconut milk.
Phetpailin Thai, 46 George St, Manchester M1 4HF
A massive favourite down in the village of Standish in Wigan, Siam House is the brainchild of Ed Jennings and his partner Kannika Mahanam, who decided to transform an old chippy into a Thai takeaway and restaurant back in 2017. It’s hard to express just how popular this place is amongst locals, with many saying that they’ll order from here at least once a week just to get their hands on their slow-cooked honey ribs, noodles and curry dishes. Fresh, authentic and with tonnes of flavour, and the prices here are very reasonable indeed. Basically, you’re going to have to befriend someone nearby so that you can get it ordered in ASAP.
Siam House Thai, 65 Church St, Standish, Wigan WN6 0JT
A Taste of Thailand
Okay so this one is actually in Lancashire and quite a distance away from Manchester, but it’s so good that it has people travelling far and wide to Buckshaw Village to get their hands on the food – so you can do that too I suppose. Specialising in Thai street food, the extensive menu features everything you’d expect – Panang, Green, Red, Massaman Curries, all the Pads, Noodles, Soups and Salads, plus some excellent small plates and starters. All can be enjoyed in this rather eclectic restaurant alongside some seriously good cocktails too.
A Taste of Thailand, 11 Barnes Wallis Way, Buckshaw Village, Chorley PR7 7JA
There are two branches of My Thai in Manchester, one on John Dalton Street just opposite the Town Hall and the other one in the Northern Quarter, right next to Evelyn’s on Tib Street. Inspired by the street food markets of Bangkok, the menu at both venues is extensive and there’s always a busy buzz about them. I don’t think I’ve ever been past the one in the NQ without first smelling some wonderful aromas and then commenting about how busy it is in there. I suppose no other endorsement is needed really.
11 John Dalton St, Manchester M2 6WH
G19, Smithfield Buildings, 42 Tib St, Manchester M4 1LA
May Wakefield, owner of Chilli B managed to secure a spot in Mackie Mayor back in 2019 and has been absolutely smashing it ever since. Starting life as a street food trader hosting kitchen takeovers and pop-ups around South Manchester, May brought Chilli B to the city’s most prestigious food hall and introduced a range of experimental Thai dishes perfected over the years. There’s Drunken Noodles, Pad Krapow topped with a fried egg, and my favourite the Kow Soi – a fragrant yellow curry with noodles, chicken and pickled mustard leaves.
Mackie Mayor, 1 Eagle St, Manchester M4 5BU
Right in the centre of Didsbury Village, 2Nakhon is a massively popular, rather slick Thai restaurant inspired by the cities that owner Wole and Head Chef Ekachai grew up in. Ekachai is from the South of Thailand and has over 25 years’ worth of experience in the kitchen – meaning he has crafted authentic Thai dishes – honed and perfected over the years. Alongside the classics you’d expect, you’ll find some imaginative and delicious chef’s specials too.
2Nakhon, 745 Wilmslow Rd, Didsbury, Manchester M20 6RN
Baan Phad Thai
A small, family-run business bringing the traditional taste of Thailand to Reddish, and making a whole lot of hungry locals very happy along the way. With a Head Chef that’s been cooking Thai food for over 30 years, you know that you’re in good hands, and it doesn’t get more authentic than the canteen-style, minimalist interior. All of your favourites are on the menu, plus Baan Phad Thai is BYOB, with just a small corkage charge.
Baan Phad Thai Restaurant, 41 Broadstone Rd, Reddish, Stockport SK5 7AR
0161 217 1080
Jarern Street Food
A lovely little independent spot in Bolton, Jarern Street Food’s menu revolves around their five favourite food markets in Bangkok – Yaowarat, Rachawat Market, Charoen Krung, Talat Phlu and Rangnam – and all of the flavours and aromas that they offer. Everything is cooked from scratch by their passionate chefs, and there’s a dedicated ‘tapas’ menu of small plates, set alongside larger mains such as the curries, noodles and a rather special deep-fried crispy sea bass.
Jarern Street Food, 66 Bridge St, Bolton BL1 2EF
Thai Kitchen No. 6
An excellent family-run Thai restaurant that sprung up in the wake of Chaophraya on Chapel Walks just off King Street, Thai Kitchen No. 6 has earned itself a number of loyal fans over the last few years, thanks in part to their rather hidden location, as well as their fantastic Thai dishes. You’ll find aunties, brothers, mums and grannies in the kitchen, all preparing dishes to traditional family recipes and this place will provide a very authentic experience for anyone looking to re-create their Thailand ‘travelling’ experiences.
Thai Kitchen No.6, Chapel Walks, Manchester M2 1HN
0161 637 1750
Another huge suburban neighbourhood favourite, this time in Levenshulme. ChangYai Thai is a cracking little Thai takeaway spot that serve up thousands of Pad Thai, Noodles and Crispy Pork week-in, week-out for hungry locals in M19. It goes without saying that their Red Curry is sensational and should be on every order. Don’t forget their in-house Golden Triangles either – filled with king prawns and a homemade curry sauce.
ChangYai-Thai, 110 Barlow Rd, Levenshulme, Manchester M19 3EF
0161 225 2888
A slicker cousin to Altrincham’s Nahm Prik, Phanthong first opened their doors back in 2012, taking over the former Grapes Pub on Regent Road. Since then they’ve grown to include a second venue in WIlmslow and third in Sandbach, each one offerinp up authentic Thai dishes that won’t break the bank. Every Sunday they also offer a ‘Sunday Service’ where you can enjoy an ‘all-you-can-eat’ style dinner, but instead of a buffet they instead bring the dishes out to your table from a regularly rotating menu of starters, curries, noodles and stir-frys.
Phanthong, 15 Regent Rd, Altrincham WA14 1RY
0161 928 5808