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A brunch spread of Thai food at Heights’ restaurant Kin Dee.
With lunch, dinner, and weekend brunch, Kin Dee serves up vibrant cuisine that spotlights various regions of Thailand.
Alex Montoya

15 Essential Thai Restaurants in Houston

Where to find the city’s best tom yum, larb, pad see ew and more

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With lunch, dinner, and weekend brunch, Kin Dee serves up vibrant cuisine that spotlights various regions of Thailand.
| Alex Montoya

When an insatiable need for fiery spice hits, there are few foods that satisfy the craving more than a piping hot bowl of Thai curry or saucy noodles. In Houston, diners are blessed with a bounty of Thai restaurants serving up aromatic soups, loaded noodle bowls, and sizzling stir-fries, all perfect for quelling the need for heat. While Mango Tree, Kanomwan, P. King, and Night Market have either closed or shifted focus from strictly Thai eats, restaurants like Nara Thai, Thai Cottage, and Vieng Thai continue to impress.

Looking for Houston’s best Thai restaurants? Head to one of these killer establishments for perfect green curry, pad Thai, and so much more.

Is your favorite Thai restaurant missing from this map? Shout it out in the comments.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Sao Lao

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5013 N Shepherd Dr
Houston, TX 77018
(832) 203-5920

What was once the popular Pho-jita food truck is now the brick and mortar Sao Lao, located in the GOOF. The casual, but charming restaurant features counter service and is famous for its boat noodle soup, a dish that often sells out before the day is up. Fear not — other offerings, like the drunken noodles with shrimp and crispy fried rice, are equally worthy.

2. Vieng Thai

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6929 Long Point Rd
Houston, TX 77055
(713) 688-9910
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This no-frills restaurant in Spring Branch is a reliable go-to for honest Thai plates like chicken satay, pork larb, Panang curry, and hot basil tofu. In addition to being budget-friendly with plenty of options under $10, it’s also BYOB.

3. Thai Spice

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460 W 19th St
Houston, TX 77008
(713) 880-9992
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Explore a broad range of Thai dishes at this decades-old café with locations around Houston and its suburbs. From soft summer rolls and crystal noodle salad with ground pork to oversized bowls of yellow chicken curry soup, pretty much everything on the menu here will satisfy you wholly.

4. Kin Dee

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1533 N Shepherd Dr Suite 160
Houston, TX 77008
(281) 826-2655
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A trendy addition to the Heights, Kin Dee’s plates are not only vibrant, but they also spotlight the various regions of Thailand. Try the picture-perfect “money bags” — deep-fried chicken and shrimp dumplings wrapped up like little pouches, the grilled pork skewers, or its Southern-style green curry served with rice noodles. And take note, Kin Dee offers weekend brunch with swoon-worthy plates like a Panang curry omelet and pork belly steamed buns.

5. Asia Market Thai Lao Food

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3620 N Main St
Houston, TX 77009
(832) 968-4559
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Have twice the fun at this Thai restaurant, which doubles as an Asian market. Dine-in on favorites like Thai egg omelets and pad see ew, then peruse the aisles of the market for imported Thai ingredients and sauces to make DIY dishes at home.

6. Nara Thai

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4601 Washington Ave ste 100
Houston, TX 77007
(832) 530-4069
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With locations spanning across the city, and a popular Express location tucked inside a Downtown convenience store, Nara is synonymous with great Thai in Houston. Start with aromatic green curry or beef pad Thai and then sweeten your palate with a plate of mango-topped sticky rice. Its buzzy new location on Washington Ave. offers all of the classic Thai eats and drinks, and has an expansive dog-friendly patio, too.

7. Mint Thai Kitchen

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540 Waugh Dr A
Houston, TX 77019
(832) 849-1563
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With locations in Montrose and Willowbrook, this cafe doesn’t skimp on its menu. Tom yum and tom kha soups, offered with your choice of either chicken or shrimp, and the seafood-heavy poh taek with lemongrass and tomatoes are sure to tickle the senses. Equally as satisfying are the stir-fried dishes ranging from crispy fried chicken to the vegetarian dish featuring eggplant and basil, and desserts like Thai tea creme brûlée and Thai coffee affogato stray from tradition.

8. Songkran Thai Kitchen

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1101 Uptown Park Blvd #8
Houston, TX 77056
(713) 993-9096
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This chic Uptown Park eatery has an attractive dining room and plenty of traditional Thai dishes made with freshly ground spices and local ingredients. Order the crispy whole red snapper and watch as heads turn as the dish makes its way to your table, or splurge on the wagyu braised short rib with Thai herb sauce. Complement the extra spicy dishes with Thai tea to cool down, or imbibe with a solid wine list and cocktails like the Songkran tiki colada.

9. Nidda Thai Cuisine

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1226 Westheimer Rd
Houston, TX 77006
(713) 485-5515
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Nidda has long been a Thai favorite in the heart of Montrose, and after a temporary closure to revamp the retail center it’s located in, guests are welcome back once again. Straight-forward and approachable, the menu includes green papaya salad, a slew of vegetarian and meat curries, drunken noodles, and Thai pepper steak sauteed with garlic pepper.

10. Street to Kitchen

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6501 Harrisburg Blvd
Houston, TX 77011
(713) 428-1975
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Helmed by chef Benchawan Jabthong Painter from northern Thailand, Street to Kitchen features an authentic menu of Thai traditions. The pad see ew combines a mess of flat rice noodles with garlic, eggs, and broccoli, while the made-from-scratch green curry is hearty with creamy coconut milk and chicken. Craving something different? Keep your eyes and ear to the street (kitchen) for weekend specials like fish cakes, shrimp salad, and grilled pork belly.

11. Thai Pepper Restaurant

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2049 W Alabama St
Houston, TX 77098
(713) 520-8225
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This unassuming restaurant housed in a quaint bungalow bordering Montrose and River Oaks has been bringing the spice for nearly four decades. Choose from items like ginger chicken or Massaman curry, and pick your own spice level ranging from mild to Thai — or “suicide” — hot, as stated on the menu.

12. Rim Tanon

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2241 Richmond Ave
Houston, TX 77098
(713) 529-3100
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This casual River Oaks hideout puts a modern spin on Thai traditions, including a sweet and savory pumpkin red curry pad and Thai stir-fried with tamarind sauce and presented in a delicate egg sheet. Dessert earns just as much attention, with traditional mango and sticky rice — a seasonal offering — and top-notch, Thai-style shaved ice layered with coconut jelly, herbal jelly, red bean paste, and milk.

13. Thai Gourmet

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6324 Richmond Ave
Houston, TX 77057
(713) 780-7955
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Despite building a bigger dining room, patrons still continue to pack into Thai Gourmet for true Thai eats during lunch and dinner. The hearty drunken noodles here are spiked with plenty of fresh vegetables and fragrant basil. Be warned, though — ordering “hot” here means getting a seriously spicy plate, so tread carefully when making spice requests.

14. Thai Cottage Greenway

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3995 Richmond Ave Suite B
Houston, TX 77027
(713) 623-0707
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Launched by a husband-and-wife team who immigrated from Bangkok, Thai Cottage has remained a hot spot in Houston for Thai eats since 1997 — now, with multiple locations across the state. Spring rolls, noodle plates, and curries are aplenty, and grilled specialties like Thai-style barbecue pork ribs are definitely a good idea.

15. Thai Bistro

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3241 Southwest Fwy
Houston, TX 77027
(713) 669-9375
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At Thai Bistro, proceed with caution. Spice levels range from “mild or “comfortable medium burn” to “professional-only Thai hot.” Try the fiery roasted duck red curry or consider the more mild pineapple curry with shrimp. Cool down with the sweet rice custard.

1. Sao Lao

5013 N Shepherd Dr, Houston, TX 77018

What was once the popular Pho-jita food truck is now the brick and mortar Sao Lao, located in the GOOF. The casual, but charming restaurant features counter service and is famous for its boat noodle soup, a dish that often sells out before the day is up. Fear not — other offerings, like the drunken noodles with shrimp and crispy fried rice, are equally worthy.

5013 N Shepherd Dr
Houston, TX 77018

2. Vieng Thai

6929 Long Point Rd, Houston, TX 77055

This no-frills restaurant in Spring Branch is a reliable go-to for honest Thai plates like chicken satay, pork larb, Panang curry, and hot basil tofu. In addition to being budget-friendly with plenty of options under $10, it’s also BYOB.

6929 Long Point Rd
Houston, TX 77055

3. Thai Spice

460 W 19th St, Houston, TX 77008

Explore a broad range of Thai dishes at this decades-old café with locations around Houston and its suburbs. From soft summer rolls and crystal noodle salad with ground pork to oversized bowls of yellow chicken curry soup, pretty much everything on the menu here will satisfy you wholly.

460 W 19th St
Houston, TX 77008

4. Kin Dee

1533 N Shepherd Dr Suite 160, Houston, TX 77008

A trendy addition to the Heights, Kin Dee’s plates are not only vibrant, but they also spotlight the various regions of Thailand. Try the picture-perfect “money bags” — deep-fried chicken and shrimp dumplings wrapped up like little pouches, the grilled pork skewers, or its Southern-style green curry served with rice noodles. And take note, Kin Dee offers weekend brunch with swoon-worthy plates like a Panang curry omelet and pork belly steamed buns.

1533 N Shepherd Dr Suite 160
Houston, TX 77008

5. Asia Market Thai Lao Food

3620 N Main St, Houston, TX 77009

Have twice the fun at this Thai restaurant, which doubles as an Asian market. Dine-in on favorites like Thai egg omelets and pad see ew, then peruse the aisles of the market for imported Thai ingredients and sauces to make DIY dishes at home.

3620 N Main St
Houston, TX 77009

6. Nara Thai

4601 Washington Ave ste 100, Houston, TX 77007

With locations spanning across the city, and a popular Express location tucked inside a Downtown convenience store, Nara is synonymous with great Thai in Houston. Start with aromatic green curry or beef pad Thai and then sweeten your palate with a plate of mango-topped sticky rice. Its buzzy new location on Washington Ave. offers all of the classic Thai eats and drinks, and has an expansive dog-friendly patio, too.

4601 Washington Ave ste 100
Houston, TX 77007

7. Mint Thai Kitchen

540 Waugh Dr A, Houston, TX 77019

With locations in Montrose and Willowbrook, this cafe doesn’t skimp on its menu. Tom yum and tom kha soups, offered with your choice of either chicken or shrimp, and the seafood-heavy poh taek with lemongrass and tomatoes are sure to tickle the senses. Equally as satisfying are the stir-fried dishes ranging from crispy fried chicken to the vegetarian dish featuring eggplant and basil, and desserts like Thai tea creme brûlée and Thai coffee affogato stray from tradition.

540 Waugh Dr A
Houston, TX 77019

8. Songkran Thai Kitchen

1101 Uptown Park Blvd #8, Houston, TX 77056

This chic Uptown Park eatery has an attractive dining room and plenty of traditional Thai dishes made with freshly ground spices and local ingredients. Order the crispy whole red snapper and watch as heads turn as the dish makes its way to your table, or splurge on the wagyu braised short rib with Thai herb sauce. Complement the extra spicy dishes with Thai tea to cool down, or imbibe with a solid wine list and cocktails like the Songkran tiki colada.

1101 Uptown Park Blvd #8
Houston, TX 77056

9. Nidda Thai Cuisine

1226 Westheimer Rd, Houston, TX 77006

Nidda has long been a Thai favorite in the heart of Montrose, and after a temporary closure to revamp the retail center it’s located in, guests are welcome back once again. Straight-forward and approachable, the menu includes green papaya salad, a slew of vegetarian and meat curries, drunken noodles, and Thai pepper steak sauteed with garlic pepper.

1226 Westheimer Rd
Houston, TX 77006

10. Street to Kitchen

6501 Harrisburg Blvd, Houston, TX 77011

Helmed by chef Benchawan Jabthong Painter from northern Thailand, Street to Kitchen features an authentic menu of Thai traditions. The pad see ew combines a mess of flat rice noodles with garlic, eggs, and broccoli, while the made-from-scratch green curry is hearty with creamy coconut milk and chicken. Craving something different? Keep your eyes and ear to the street (kitchen) for weekend specials like fish cakes, shrimp salad, and grilled pork belly.

6501 Harrisburg Blvd
Houston, TX 77011

11. Thai Pepper Restaurant

2049 W Alabama St, Houston, TX 77098

This unassuming restaurant housed in a quaint bungalow bordering Montrose and River Oaks has been bringing the spice for nearly four decades. Choose from items like ginger chicken or Massaman curry, and pick your own spice level ranging from mild to Thai — or “suicide” — hot, as stated on the menu.

2049 W Alabama St
Houston, TX 77098

12. Rim Tanon

2241 Richmond Ave, Houston, TX 77098

This casual River Oaks hideout puts a modern spin on Thai traditions, including a sweet and savory pumpkin red curry pad and Thai stir-fried with tamarind sauce and presented in a delicate egg sheet. Dessert earns just as much attention, with traditional mango and sticky rice — a seasonal offering — and top-notch, Thai-style shaved ice layered with coconut jelly, herbal jelly, red bean paste, and milk.

2241 Richmond Ave
Houston, TX 77098

13. Thai Gourmet

6324 Richmond Ave, Houston, TX 77057

Despite building a bigger dining room, patrons still continue to pack into Thai Gourmet for true Thai eats during lunch and dinner. The hearty drunken noodles here are spiked with plenty of fresh vegetables and fragrant basil. Be warned, though — ordering “hot” here means getting a seriously spicy plate, so tread carefully when making spice requests.

6324 Richmond Ave
Houston, TX 77057

14. Thai Cottage Greenway

3995 Richmond Ave Suite B, Houston, TX 77027

Launched by a husband-and-wife team who immigrated from Bangkok, Thai Cottage has remained a hot spot in Houston for Thai eats since 1997 — now, with multiple locations across the state. Spring rolls, noodle plates, and curries are aplenty, and grilled specialties like Thai-style barbecue pork ribs are definitely a good idea.

3995 Richmond Ave Suite B
Houston, TX 77027

15. Thai Bistro

3241 Southwest Fwy, Houston, TX 77027

At Thai Bistro, proceed with caution. Spice levels range from “mild or “comfortable medium burn” to “professional-only Thai hot.” Try the fiery roasted duck red curry or consider the more mild pineapple curry with shrimp. Cool down with the sweet rice custard.

3241 Southwest Fwy
Houston, TX 77027

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