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A spread of Thai food, sauces and cocktails.
With lunch, dinner, and weekend brunch, Kin Dee serves up vibrant cuisine that spotlights various regions of Thailand.
Michael Anthony

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.
| Michael Anthony

Whether it comes in the form of a steamy curry, a cold larb, or saucy noodles, sometimes there’s nothing more satisfying than the perfectly sweet, salty, spicy, and sour notes of Thai food.

Fortunately, Houstonians have plenty of options (and at their preferred heat level, at that). Head to any of these spots for the 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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Sao Lao

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This Northside counter-to-table spot is known for its boat noodle soup, which features a deeply flavorful beef broth base with rice noodles and rib-eye steak. Serving Thai food with a bit of Laotian influence, you’ll find other options like drunken noodles, Thai red curry, and chicken basil. Need another reason to love Sao Lao? Its BYOB policy and $5 corkage fee might sway your feelings.

Street Food Thai Market

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It’s said that no one should ever grocery shop hungry, and here, you don’t have to. Stop in at the restaurant for big portions of Northeastern Thai and Laos-style classics like the green curry, fried rice, and the pad see ew or stir fry, or go for the “all-time favorite” deep-fried whole white pompano that’s served with a special Thai sauce. Finish the meal off with Street Food’s mango sticky rice, and then shop in its mini market for ingredients where you can test your cooking skills at home.

Vieng Thai

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While Vieng Thai might go easy on your wallet with a welcoming BYOB policy, the Spring Branch restaurant doesn’t skimp on flavor. This hole-in-the-wall dishes out a solid pad see ew, tiger cry, tom yum soup, and much more.

Kin Dee

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This vibrant Heights restaurant spotlights the diversity of dishes from across the regions of Thailand. Its Thai flower dumplings, also known as chor muang, might look too beautiful to eat, and they are just as tasty as they are visually stunning. Don’t miss out on the signature cocktails to pair with a crispy crab omelet and glass noodle salad. 

Asia Market Thai Lao Food

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Hosted inside a market just off I-45, this quaint restaurant boasts some of the best Thai and Laotian food in Bayou City. Its lemongrass chicken nuggets and fermented sausage are a perfect snack before diving into a main course like the red curry with pineapple or a classic pad thai. While you’re in, peruse the aisles and find something fun to add to your next at-home meal. 

Zaab Der

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Prepare for robust flavors at this Memorial Drive hotspot, which promises all the usual suspects, including pad Thai, a variety of curries, and a picturesque papaya salad that you eat with your eyes first. Plus, one of the best tiger cry, or Thai grilled marinated steaks, in the city.

Nara Thai

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With locations spanning across the city, and a popular Express location tucked inside a Downtown convenience store, Nara Thai makes finding quality chicken satay, green curry, or pad kra pow easy with its several locations across town from Spring to Baytown. Looking for something new? Try out the roasted duck red curry for a twist on a classic.

Thai Kun

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Located inside the POST Market food hall, Thai Kun serves Thai street food with plenty of vegan and gluten-free options. The TK fried chicken and waterfall pork with tiger cry sauce are standout items, with herbs and rice serving as the perfect offset to the spicy, savory meats. Looking for something else to try? Don’t sleep on the crab rice and black noodles. 

Mint Thai Kitchen

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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 seafood soup 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, while desserts like Thai tea creme brûlée and Thai coffee affogato stray from tradition.

Songkran Thai Kitchen

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Uptown Park’s elegant spot serves fresh, traditional Thai dishes alongside its impressive wine, cocktail and liquor selection. House specialties include the heavenly beef, and the crispy whole red snapper that will make heads turn as it arrives at your table. Have a sweet tooth? Don’t miss out on its lychee and jackfruit creme brulee or the fried banana rolls.

Nidda Thai Cuisine

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Deep in the heart of Montrose lies the newly renovated Nidda Thai. You’ll find all of your Thai favorites like green papaya salad, Thai pepper steak, drunken noodles, and green curry done right. Chase it down with a sweet Thai tea and a mango with sticky rice if you’re feeling dessert.

Street to Kitchen

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This neighborhood gem serves up one of Clutch City’s best khao soi gai soups. Traditional to northern Thailand, the coconut and curry paste soup base is accompanied by tender chicken, mustard greens, red onion, scallion, and two types of rice noodles — one boiled and one fried. The yum nam khao tod or pork sausage with deep-fried rice balls and lime chili dressing is the perfect crunchy textural companion dish to round out your meal.

Rim Tanon

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River Oaks’ Rim Tanon dishes out modern Thai dishes that always deliver the perfect balance of sour, spicy, savory, and salty. The loaded Rim Tanon noodle – featuring fish ball, baby bok choy and bean sprouts topped with crispy fat BBQ and minced pork, crushed peanuts, chili powder, cilantro, and onions with crispy wontons — is sure to deliver on taste and texture. Its Thai-style shaved ice, layered with coconut jelly, herbal jelly, red bean paste, and milk, is a sweet way to take the edge off the heat.

Thai Bistro

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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.

Anna Thai Food

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Located in Bellaire’s Hong Kong Food Market, Anna Thai Food offers authentic Thai cuisine from a humble family-run space. Try out the fried catfish with kaffir lime leaves, pad woon sen, or classic pad thai.  Beware, Anna’s takes its spice levels seriously, but rest assured — its Thai teas or iced coffee can help drown out any residual heat.

Sao Lao

This Northside counter-to-table spot is known for its boat noodle soup, which features a deeply flavorful beef broth base with rice noodles and rib-eye steak. Serving Thai food with a bit of Laotian influence, you’ll find other options like drunken noodles, Thai red curry, and chicken basil. Need another reason to love Sao Lao? Its BYOB policy and $5 corkage fee might sway your feelings.

Street Food Thai Market

It’s said that no one should ever grocery shop hungry, and here, you don’t have to. Stop in at the restaurant for big portions of Northeastern Thai and Laos-style classics like the green curry, fried rice, and the pad see ew or stir fry, or go for the “all-time favorite” deep-fried whole white pompano that’s served with a special Thai sauce. Finish the meal off with Street Food’s mango sticky rice, and then shop in its mini market for ingredients where you can test your cooking skills at home.

Vieng Thai

While Vieng Thai might go easy on your wallet with a welcoming BYOB policy, the Spring Branch restaurant doesn’t skimp on flavor. This hole-in-the-wall dishes out a solid pad see ew, tiger cry, tom yum soup, and much more.

Kin Dee

This vibrant Heights restaurant spotlights the diversity of dishes from across the regions of Thailand. Its Thai flower dumplings, also known as chor muang, might look too beautiful to eat, and they are just as tasty as they are visually stunning. Don’t miss out on the signature cocktails to pair with a crispy crab omelet and glass noodle salad. 

Asia Market Thai Lao Food

Hosted inside a market just off I-45, this quaint restaurant boasts some of the best Thai and Laotian food in Bayou City. Its lemongrass chicken nuggets and fermented sausage are a perfect snack before diving into a main course like the red curry with pineapple or a classic pad thai. While you’re in, peruse the aisles and find something fun to add to your next at-home meal. 

Zaab Der

Prepare for robust flavors at this Memorial Drive hotspot, which promises all the usual suspects, including pad Thai, a variety of curries, and a picturesque papaya salad that you eat with your eyes first. Plus, one of the best tiger cry, or Thai grilled marinated steaks, in the city.

Nara Thai

With locations spanning across the city, and a popular Express location tucked inside a Downtown convenience store, Nara Thai makes finding quality chicken satay, green curry, or pad kra pow easy with its several locations across town from Spring to Baytown. Looking for something new? Try out the roasted duck red curry for a twist on a classic.

Thai Kun

Located inside the POST Market food hall, Thai Kun serves Thai street food with plenty of vegan and gluten-free options. The TK fried chicken and waterfall pork with tiger cry sauce are standout items, with herbs and rice serving as the perfect offset to the spicy, savory meats. Looking for something else to try? Don’t sleep on the crab rice and black noodles. 

Mint Thai Kitchen

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 seafood soup 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, while desserts like Thai tea creme brûlée and Thai coffee affogato stray from tradition.

Songkran Thai Kitchen

Uptown Park’s elegant spot serves fresh, traditional Thai dishes alongside its impressive wine, cocktail and liquor selection. House specialties include the heavenly beef, and the crispy whole red snapper that will make heads turn as it arrives at your table. Have a sweet tooth? Don’t miss out on its lychee and jackfruit creme brulee or the fried banana rolls.

Nidda Thai Cuisine

Deep in the heart of Montrose lies the newly renovated Nidda Thai. You’ll find all of your Thai favorites like green papaya salad, Thai pepper steak, drunken noodles, and green curry done right. Chase it down with a sweet Thai tea and a mango with sticky rice if you’re feeling dessert.

Street to Kitchen

This neighborhood gem serves up one of Clutch City’s best khao soi gai soups. Traditional to northern Thailand, the coconut and curry paste soup base is accompanied by tender chicken, mustard greens, red onion, scallion, and two types of rice noodles — one boiled and one fried. The yum nam khao tod or pork sausage with deep-fried rice balls and lime chili dressing is the perfect crunchy textural companion dish to round out your meal.

Rim Tanon

River Oaks’ Rim Tanon dishes out modern Thai dishes that always deliver the perfect balance of sour, spicy, savory, and salty. The loaded Rim Tanon noodle – featuring fish ball, baby bok choy and bean sprouts topped with crispy fat BBQ and minced pork, crushed peanuts, chili powder, cilantro, and onions with crispy wontons — is sure to deliver on taste and texture. Its Thai-style shaved ice, layered with coconut jelly, herbal jelly, red bean paste, and milk, is a sweet way to take the edge off the heat.

Thai Bistro

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.

Anna Thai Food

Located in Bellaire’s Hong Kong Food Market, Anna Thai Food offers authentic Thai cuisine from a humble family-run space. Try out the fried catfish with kaffir lime leaves, pad woon sen, or classic pad thai.  Beware, Anna’s takes its spice levels seriously, but rest assured — its Thai teas or iced coffee can help drown out any residual heat.

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