The 6 Best Thai Restaurants in Budapest

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.

#1 Rim Thanonh Thai Food

In 2018, three Thai ladies, two of whom had been working in Thai kitchens in Budapest, decided to strike out on their own. Their restaurant, Rim Thanonh, is a pocket-sized space on the edge of the city's party district, near the Grand Boulevard. With a bare-bones, undecorated interior, Rim Thanonh isn’t the type of place where you'd go for birthday celebrations or business dinners, but if tasty and reasonably priced home-style Thai food is what you’re after, I can’t think of a better place in Budapest.

#2 Ngon Street Food

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 once here, you could explore one of the city's two Chinatowns (it actually has more Vietnamese than Chinese vendors these days). Despite its name, Ngon Street Food is actually an indoor-only, sit-down restaurant with a service staff, but the vibes do evoke a bit of Southeast Asia — the makeshift building is outfitted with bare tables and low plastic tools, and there's an open kitchen where giant flames often leap from the cast iron woks.

#3 Parázs Presszó Thai Restaurant (Jókai Street)

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 others comprise mom-and-pop takeouts with slim menus and operating out of small, undecorated spaces. Parázs represents 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 with main dishes ranging €9-15.

#4 Kao Niaw Ping Kai Restaurant

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 of car traffic has all but cleared the area of pedestrians. But don't despair. A downtown bus (take #5, #7, #110, #112, or #178) will drop you right outside the restaurant so you won't need to inhale any exhaust fumes.

#5 Bangkok Thai Étterem

Bangkok 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. 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. The food is a bit hit-or-miss. I've had disappointingly tired papaya salad (som tam; €7) but also bright and silky green curry (€7) here. A highlight is the whole roasted trout, served with a crispy skin and blanketed in a chili-laced sauce (€12). The stir-fried noodles feature the usual suspects: pad see ew, pad thai, drunken noodles, and pad woon sen (glass noodles).

#6 Tom Yum Thai Restaurant

Tom Yum is a Thai restaurants in Budapest lining the city's grand 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 are cozier and put out more nuanced dishes than Tom Yum, but if you're craving Thai food near downtown, it's the most conveniently located.

Rankings are based on a combination of food/drink, atmosphere, service, and price. To remain unbiased, I visit all places incognito and pay for my own meals and drinks. But this also means I must rely on readers to support my work. If you've enjoyed this article, please consider making a donation.