For a city whose Thai community numbers less than a thousand, Budapest has a surprisingly good representation of Thai restaurants. Spicy green-papaya salad with sticky rice from the Isan region of northeastern Thailand is just as readily available as stir-fried noodles, coconut curries, over-rice dishes, and the signature Thai dessert, mango sticky rice. Here, the best Thai restaurants in Budapest.
If you're on the fence whether it's worth trekking out to a Budapest outskirt for a Thai meal, here's a little encouragement: Ngon Street Food is easily accessible by public transport (take bus #9 from Astoria) and it's among the top Thai restaurants in Budapest. Also, once here, you can catch a glimpse at one of the city's two Chinatowns (it actually has more Vietnamese than Chinese vendors these days). This one—consisting of rows of repurposed industrial buildings—is a little run-down, but that's part of the experience.
Budapest's Thai restaurants can be grouped into two categories: there are a few formal establishments with a service staff and a comprehensive drinks menu, while most other places comprise mom-and-pop takeouts with slim menus, and operating out of small, undecorated spaces. Parázs is the best representative of the former genre, so if a proper, sit-down Thai meal is what you're after, head to Parázs Presszó Restaurant in District 6, not far from downtown. Know before you go that Parázs isn't cheap by local standards; main dishes are €9-15.
I'll start with the bad news: Kao Niaw Ping Kai Restaurant is located on one of the least inviting stretches of Budapest, the multi-lane Rákóczi Road, where the constant stream and pollution of car traffic has all but cleared the area of pedestrians. But don't despair. A quick bus-ride from downtown (take #5, #7, #110, #112, or #178) will drop you right outside the restaurant, so you won't need to inhale any exhaust fumes.
Bangkok Thai Étterem is one of Budapest's oldest Thai restaurants, occupying a below-ground space near the Grand Market Hall and the tourist-heavy Váci Street. This, of course, means that most customers here consist of foreigners. Golden Buddha statues and fading celebrity photos line the walls—hello Matt Damon and Yoko Ono!—and lend an adorably dated feel to the inside.
Tom Yum is a Thai restaurants in Budapest, lining the city's sumptuous Andrássy Avenue. Led by a duo of native Thai chefs, the kitchen covers all pillars of Thai food, including chili-inflected spicy dishes, stir-fries, over-rice dishes, and coconut curries. There are several Thai restaurants in Budapest that put out more nuanced dishes than Tom Yum, but if you're craving Thai food near downtown, it's the most conveniently located.