Five Favorite Thai Restaurants in Metro Phoenix

Categories: Top Lists
Jackie Mercandetti
Pete's Thai can roll out quite a spread and pulls no punches with the spice.
The Valley is home to more than a few Thai restaurants. Grabbing a mediocre plate of pad thai is easy enough, but finding quality Thai is another matter entirely. Below are some of our favorites. They run the gamut from an upscale Scottsdale joint to a Mom and Pop eatery closing in on its third decade. Despite their differences, all of them succeed at capturing the essence of Thai food: An inferno of vibrant and delicious flavors.

Angel Wings
5. Thai E-San

Like many restaurants on this list, Thai E-San has been a crowd favorite for years. While it isn't exactly in downtown Phoenix, it is close enough to hit during a lunch break. And that's a good thing because their lunch menu checks both the tasty and cheap boxes. If you're looking for something a little more exotic, try their angel wings. It's hard to go wrong with a deep-fried chicken wing stuffed with chicken.

4. Sala Thai

What sets Sala Thai apart from other Thai restaurants is their affection for duck. They have three distinct preparations on their menu but the curry duck is probably the most popular. It's somewhat shocking that duck hasn't found its way onto more Thai menus. The natural richness of duck compliments the rich, almost gravy-like, flavor of their red curry. Mixed with some pineapple and bell peppers it makes for a near perfect Thai curry experience.

IMG_7383 (1).JPG
Lauren Saria
3. Siamese Cat Thai Restaurant

Located in a ghost town of a strip mall and hunched in the shadow of a Department of Economic Security office, the Siamese Cat Thai Restaurant isn't much to look at from the outside. But inside you'll find a homey decor, friendly family service, and plentiful Thai food worth stuffing in your face. Their "Thai Beef Noodle Soup," rice noodles in a rich but not too sweet broth, is an excellent Thai flavored alternative to a bowl of Vietnamese pho.

Jackie Mercandetti
2. Sa Bai Modern Thai

In addition to their phenomenal Thai food, Sa Bai Modern Thai is in the running for, "The Greatest Retrofit of an Existing Wendy's" award. They've even kept the drive-thru open so you pick-up orders can be easily picked up without leaving the air-conditioned confines of your car. Architectural magic aside, the food will be what keeps you coming back. Sa Bai's menu is brief compared to the sprawling of menu of many Thai establishments. But this is a fantastic quality, because what they have, they do well. Their tom kha and interpretations of traditional curries are impressive.

1. Pete's Thai Cuisine

Pete's Thai probably offers the most authentic Thai food in the entire Valley. If you are up to a culinary safari then try our their ultra-traditional papaya salad with crab and stinky fish. The name says it all and be sure to order it five out five for spiciness. Be warned though, when you order "Thai hot" you are requesting that the chef open a gateway to Hell in your mouth. Thai spicy here can and will reduce even the most seasoned Thai veteran to tears. But with food that tastes as good as this, they'll be tears of joy mixed in.

Follow Chow Bella on Facebook and Twitter and Pinterest

All of our favorites lists are also available on our Best of app; see it in action at

Location Info

E-San Sab Sab Thai Cuisine (Pete's Thai Cuisine)

12032 N. Cave Creek Road, Phoenix, AZ

Category: Restaurant

Sponsor Content

My Voice Nation Help
Green Tara
Green Tara

I have had the same problem at both Thai Lahna AND Thai E-San: absolutely atrocious service, which in both cases appears to stem from the restaurants being grossly under-staffed. I will not even consider either establishment when choosing a Thai place to eat anymore.


Pete has great food,  but it is VERY SLOW.  Get some help in the Kitchen.

Dominic Armato
Dominic Armato

papaya salad with crab and stinky fish."


Isaan sausage, too... really need to get over here.


Missing Wild Thaiger...check your batteries.


Thai Lahna in Arcadia should have made this list, best coconut soup I've found

Dominic Armato
Dominic Armato

Couldn't disagree more.  I've tried them on three occasions now, and I can't figure why they're widely regarded as one of the best in town.  Absolutely no balance whatsoever in a cuisine that's even more dependent on precise balance than most, with single flavors completely obliterating everything else in the dish.  I've had the tom kha twice, and it was bordering on inedible both times.

Now Trending

From the Vault