With iconic dishes such as Pad Thai and satay chicken, it comes as no surprise that Thai food is one of the most popular cuisines in the world. Whether you’re craving a healthy salad, or want to indulge in something fried, you’re bound to find it at a local Thai restaurant. As Aucklanders, we’re spoiled with endless dining options, which is why we’ve decided to narrow it down by listing our top Thai spots below.
Chu Thai Eatery
This modern new-age spot combines the contemporary scenes of Ponsonby with the traditional flavours of Thailand. The sleek black interior of Chu Thai dresses up your usual Thai meal, making it feel appropriate to indulge in a bottle of red or white with dinner. The menu consists of banquet, dinner, lunch, and vegan options – Catering to each and every type of diner. There's your classic favourites including spring rolls curry puffs, as well as deeper flavours such as their massaman curry and homemade Khao Sawy noodle. Gather your friends to take advantage of their BYO feature or book in your next adventurous date night!
Khu Khu Eatery
Ponsonby's latest addition to their ever-evolving eatery scene, Khu Khu really is something special. Not only does the eatery combine traditional Thai flavours with modern twists, Khu Khu is 100% vegan. Wanting to recreate one of the most beloved Asian cuisines without any of the animal product, they've mastered an entirely vegan-friendly menu with all the classic favourites. Fresh rice paper rolls, Thai green curry, and Pad Thai have all been converted to capture the same taste you know and love, with a kindness towards the environment. Additional to the awesome mission statement, Khu Khu's interior is bright and bold, also making it the latest gram-able spot.
Taking a fine dining twist on Thai cuisine, SOHO Kitchen deliver an all-round experience. Situated in the rapidly growing Goodside precinct, SOHO Kitchen has mastered the art of traditional Thai cooking, and revamped it with a modern take on authentic techniques. Roasting their own duck, chicken, wagyu beef, and kurobuta pork, their dishes are best enjoyed shared (so you can try as much as possible). Dine on soft shell crab curry, garlic pepper snapper, smoky lamb ribs, and coconut marinated fried chicken as you take in the euphoric atmosphere, paired with a creative cocktail as the finishing touch.
Khao San Eatery & Bar
In addition to their Symond Street dine-in and takeaway joint, owner Nat Harrington kicks things up a notch with a new branch in Newmarket known as Khao Shan Eatery & Bar. Brought to life with a cultural graffiti mural, hanging umbrellas, and Thai lanterns, it’ll be hard not to feel like you’re on an exotic getaway. Holiday-mode continues with its selection of authentic sharing plates, soups, curries, stir-fries, and classic cocktails. If you’re battling to choose what to order, their Seafood Drunken Noodle is often referred to as their signature dish.
True to its name, this Kingsland hotspot certainly makes you feel like you’re in Bangkok. With their menu doubling as a Bangkok map, you can immerse yourself into the wonders of the city while eyeing out your dinner order. From street salads to noodles, At Bangkok has it all. For a starter, we highly recommend their tuk-tuk chicken wings. Drenched in mouth-watering spicy and sour sauce, you’ll be savouring every last drop. As seating is limited, it’s worthwhile to reserve a spot at this local favourite. Or, if you’re spending the night in, their entire menu is available to takeaway.
With their cocktail menu displayed inside a view master stereoscope, Kiss Kiss undoubtedly offers a unique dining experience. This retro menu matches their vibrant aesthetic consisting of neon lights, vibrant blue tablecloths, and massive Thai umbrellas. This epic interior, combined with superb service makes for the perfect place to enjoy some Thai inspired food. From pork ribs to stir-fried rice, your taste buds are in for a treat. You can even end your night on a sweet note with their sticky rice with mango, or pan-dan custard buns.
As a sister eatery to the renowned Xuxu Dumpling Bar, you can expect to be impressed when dining at Saan. Their elegant yet casual Ponsonby restaurant offers both regular Thai dishes as well as individual banquets. The main menu is separated into small plates, grilled, large plates, vegetarian, salads, and sweets. With such an array, you can guarantee everyone will spot something they love. For those opting for the banquet, you’ll get to enjoy three courses plus dessert, selecting between four to eight options each time.
Tucked away on High Street you’ll find Sunflower Thai Vegetarian Restaurant. Using meat alternatives to create classic Thai dishes, this place can easily be described as any vegetarian’s dream. While their interior is kept simple, the tasty meat-free food will keep you coming back for more. Some of their best sellers include “chicken” with peanut sauce and Pad Thai. But, if neither tickles your fancy, don’t worry, there’s plenty of other vegetarian rice, curry, and noodle dishes to choose from.
Topped with a colossal corrugated-iron elephant, it would be hard to miss this well-loved Parnell Restaurant. Inside Blue Elephant you’ll find cosy red booths and crisp white tablecloths. To match this lovely vibe, passionate owners Karen and Wayne go out of their way to ensure that each customer has a great dining experience. You can either pick items from their a-la-carte menu or choose from two delicious set menus (if you're dining with three or more people).
Owned by the creators of Grasshopper, Mai Thai, and Red Crab, Thai Street brings the taste of Thailand to Wynyard Quarter. Their relaxed, social environment is a beautiful spot to catch up with friends, enjoy a drink, and devour some golden money bags. With an accommodating menu filled with $10 takeaway Pad Thai, sit down pad si-ew, $7 beers, and BBQ pork ribs, it's suitable for almost every occasion. They also have a killer dessert menu, with options such as Khao niew mamuang (sticky rice and mango) and Gluay khak thord i tim (deep-fried banana, coconut, sesame, and ice cream). We’ll take one of each, thanks!
Aroy Thai Eatery
Dedicated to creating authentic Thai street food, Aroy Thai Eatery is a go-to lunch or dinner option. It’s bright minimalist interior provides a splendid atmosphere to dig into some tasty dishes. From spring rolls to Thai inspired duck, you’ll undoubtedly leave with a satisfied belly. In between bites, your meal is best paired with one of their Thai beers such as Singha or Chang.