Designed by lisa c /
Designed by lisa c /


You may have read our spirited articles on how to find your nearest Thai restaurant, and how to vet eating spots for the best Thai experience. Now that you’ve found the place—before you can dig in—one question remains: ‘what do I order’?

To help you decide, we’ve rounded up a couple of Thai dishes we can’t imagine living without. Are you a vegetarian? We’ve got you covered. Just read until the end.

Gaeng Daeng (Red Curry)

This is a milder version of Thailand’s famous green curry. Gaeng Daeng has a rich aroma, and sure to tingle those taste buds. Curry paste brings out the spiciness, coconut milk its unique flavour, and palm sugar its sweetness. It is typically a chicken dish but a number of restaurants offer variations that use different kinds of meat. This curry goes well with fragrant rice.

Pad Krapow Moo Saap (Fried Basil and Pork)

This popular Thai dish is made with holy basil leaves, fresh chili, green beans, soy sauce, pork and a pinch of sugar. To top it all off, it usually comes with a fried egg. Traditionally, this dish tends to have a lot of chilies; be sure to ask for mild if you’re not a fan. Fragrant rice is part of the dish.

Yam Nua (Spicy Beef Salad)

Do not let the ‘salad’ part fool you; this dish has more meat than greens. Thailand is well known for their love of chilies; if a dish says ‘spicy’ in the name, there is a good chance you may want to ask the chef for the mild or medium. These are still plenty hot in our experience. A masterful blend of onion, coriander, spearmint, lime, dried chili and tender strips of beef gives this dish its delicious taste.

Nam Tok Moo (Waterfall Meat)

Made with tender, juicy pork, green onions, chili, mint sprigs, and fish sauce, this dish is sure to catch first-timers by surprise. This truly mesmerizing culinary experience is sure to have you begging for more.

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Tom Yum Goong (Spicy Shrimp Soup)

This is probably the first dish you see on any Thai food list, and for good reason. This delicacy goes with virtually every meal; it’s unique, exotic aroma stays stuck in your mind long after the meal is over. This soup is packed with fragrant lemongrass, chili, galangal, lime leaves, shallots, succulent fresh prawns and straw mushrooms. The fusion of sour, salty, spicy and sweet makes this a truly unforgettable dish.

A note for vegans and vegetarians

Thai dishes can easily be made vegetarian. This is why we waited until the last section to address vegetarian concerns; every dish we’ve presented can easily be altered to cater for vegetarians and vegans. There are 3 ingredients you will want to have replaced if you are a vegan. These are fish sauce, eggs, and meat, obviously.

Fish sauce can be replaced by soy sauce or just be left out of the equation altogether. Meat can be replaced by Tofu, mushrooms, broccoli or soya pieces.

Now that we’ve covered all the bases, here are two more dishes:


Pad Pak Bung Nam Man Hoy (Morning Glory)

This is a stem-oriented hollow vegetable with small leaves. It is lightly stir fried with garlic, oyster sauce, and chilies on a high heat to remain crispy and retain its fresh flavour.

Kao Niew Ma Muang (Yellow Mango and Sticky Rice)

We are yet to meet a human being who does not love mangoes; mangoes prepared in this way anyways. Slices of sweet, succulent, ripened mango are placed on top of a thin layer of fragrant rice. Coconut cream syrup is smeared on top of the mangoes to make a delicacy that is absolutely mouth-watering.

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And there you have it. We hope you enjoy your Thai food experience.

Bon appetit.