The Best Thai Takeaway Dishes for Every Palette

Before you pick up the phone and put in your go-to order of tom yum soup and fried rice, check out our Thai takeaway favourites. Whether you like spice or not, there’s something in this list for you!

Our top 5 best Thai takeaway dishes:

  • Pad Thai.
  • Panang curry.
  • Green papaya salad.
  • Massaman curry.
  • Mango sticky rice.

We’ve shared our favourite Mexican foods, Chinese takeaway dishes and Japanese restaurant dishes. So, we thought it’s time we revealed the top 5 best Thai takeaway dishes to add to your order tonight.

With almost 3 times as many Thai restaurants in Australia per capita than in the United States, it’s pretty obvious us Aussies love our Thai food. From street food to restaurant-quality, Thai dishes are always delicious and packed full of unique flavours.

The following ingredients are very common in Thai cooking:

  • Fish sauce.
  • Dried shrimp.
  • Oyster sauce.
  • Coconut milk.
  • Lime juice.
  • Chilli.

Photo by The Creative Exchange on Unsplash

Top 5 Best Thai Takeaway Dishes

1. Pad Thai

While Pad Thai’s origins may be from China, it was claimed by the Taiwanese in the 1930s, when Thai Prime Minister, Plaek Phibunsongkhram, pushed the use of rice noodles over rice. This was done to increase rice exports from Thailand, making it their biggest export of the time.

After this, Pad Thai was mainstreamed by street vendors and became a national dish to both foreigners and locals alike, due to its low cost and great flavours. Traditionally, these flavours combine sweet, sour, salty and spicy, with different textures added with tofu, meat, vegetables or all three. To finish it off, roasted peanuts are mixed in to give it that beautiful crunch.

Common ingredients in Pad Thai:

  • Rice noodles.
  • Coriander.
  • Lime juice.
  • Fish sauce.
  • Roasted peanuts.
  • Garlic.
  • Chilli.

2. Panang Curry

This tasty little curry is one of the more popular Thai dishes, as it’s not too spicy and slightly sweet. If you like the taste of other Thai curries, such as green or red curry, but find them too hot, this will be a more mellow, but still delicious treat.

The main difference between panang curry and red curry is the inclusion of ground peanuts in the curry paste. Other common ingredients in panang curry include:

  • Ground peanuts.
  • Lemongrass.
  • Kaffir lime zest.
  • Cumin seeds.
  • Dried chillies.
  • Shrimp paste.

3. Green Papaya Salad

While the green papaya salad is most popular in Thailand, it’s also a favourite in other parts of the world. Foodies think this dish originally came from Laos, with neighbouring countries like Cambodia and Vietnam also have a version of it. 

The Laos version of the dish uses fermented fish paste, which has a very strong taste and can put off diners who aren’t used to such an intense flavour. Thailand’s version of the green papaya salad is definitely preferred of the types for international foodies, with its classic sweet, salty, sour and spicy flavours.

Common ingredients in green papaya salad:

  • Lime juice.
  • Fish sauce.
  • Garlic.
  • Chinese long beans.
  • Green papaya.
  • Coriander.

4. Massaman Curry

For as long as Massaman curry has been around, people have debated if it’s a Thai-muslim dish or if it hails from Southern Thailand, influenced by Malayasian and Indian cuisine. While the history of the massaman curry still remains a mystery, all you need to know is it’s delicious and well worth adding to your Thai takeaway order. 

With its thick and rich flavour, massaman curry is a real Thai classic. It has less heat than other Thai curries and is cooked with meat and potatoes, making it a great curry for just about anyone to try—even fussy eaters. 

Common ingredients in a massaman curry:

  • Meat (usually beef or chicken).
  • Coconut milk.
  • Peanuts (or cashews).
  • Potatoes.
  • Tamarind paste.
  • Cardamom pods.
  • Cinnamon.
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Massaman curry🤤 – a milder version of Thai curry with aromatic spices🤩that is a perfect cold weather comfort food. Give it a try & have great Thursday, friends.⁣🤗 ⁣ Recipe (yields 2 servings)⁣ 🌱Ingredients:⁣ ~ 8oz firm tofu – drained & cubed ~ 3 shallots, minced ~ 4 garlic, minced⁣ ~ 1/2 small onion, sliced⁣ ~ 1 tablespoon minced ginger⁣ Veggies: 1 small carrot (chopped), 1 small potato (cubed, soaked in water), 1/4 cup baby corn, 3 tablespoons bamboo shoot & 2 servings blanched broccoli⁣ ~ 1.5 cups water/veggie stock⁣ ~ 2 dried chilis (soaked until soft)⁣ ~ 1 tablespoon red chili paste (recipe in highlights)⁣ ~ 1-2 tablespoons 'fish' sauce (recipe in highlights)⁣ ~ 1 teaspoon nut butter/crushed toasted nuts⁣ ~ coconut milk⁣ ~ oil, salt to taste⁣ ~ 2 servings of grain (used basmati)⁣ 🌱Spices: 2 cinnamon stick, 2 star anise, 2 bay leaves, 5-6 cloves, 1 black cardamom, 1/2 teaspoon cumin seed, 1/2 teaspoon coriander seed⁣, pinch of nutmeg ⁣ ✅Pan fry tofu cubes in a non-stick pan with a drizzle of oil until golden brown over low heat & season with salt. Remove & set aside.⁣ ✅Using the same pan/new pan, add 1 teaspoon oil & saute shallots, onion until translucent, then continue to cook ginger & garlic until fragrant. ✅Add in potatoes, carrots, red chili paste, dried chili & all spices, then stir continuously until part potatoes are halfway cooked (look for the translucent on part of the potatoes). Simmer in veggie stock until potatoes are tender.⁣ ✅Finally, add in the rest of the veggies & cook for another 2 minutes. Thicken curry with some coconut milk & season accordingly. ⁣ Serve warm with 🍚😍 .⁣ .⁣ .⁣ .⁣ .⁣ #thaicurry #thaifood #massamancurry #bestofvegan #lefooding #plantbased #makesmewhole #veganfoodie #glutenfree #forkyeah #veganasianfood #staranise #goodoldvegan #foodgawker #tofu #foodandwine #feedfeed #buzzfeedfood @thefeedfeed #woonheng #f52grams #gloobyfood #foodporn #foodgasm #asianfood #fitfood #tohfoodie #vegancurry

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5. Mango Sticky Rice

Now we get to one of the most delicious and traditional desserts in Thailand—mango sticky rice or Khao Niew Ma Muang as it’s known in Thai. This is a constant favourite of both locals and travellers with fresh mango, sweet coconut milk and sticky rice. It’s this simplicity that draws people to it and its great taste, keeping people ordering it time and time again. 

Common ingredients in mango sticky rice:

  • Thai sticky rice.
  • Brown sugar.
  • Coconut milk.
  • Fresh mangos.

Bonus Thai Side Dish to Finish Off Your Order

Thai Fried Rice

Thai fried rice may look similar to its Chinese counterpart, but it has a few key differences, making it stand out. In place of the long-grain rice used in China, Thai fried rice uses jasmine rice. It also contains less vegetables than the Chinese version.

What makes Thai fried rice so different is the use of fish sauce and how the egg is added to the dish. In Chinese fried rice, the egg is scrambled and then added to the dish, while in the Thai version, the egg is added without scrambling before cooking is finished. This allows the egg to stick to the rice and adds an amazing creamy texture to the dish. Yum!

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Is anyone else’s December just flying by like a blur? My favorite month has been unexpectedly busy and stressful so far. I have been totally ignoring my poor food blog and I sincerely apologize for it 🙏🏼 One more work week and then it’s Christmas in Houston for a whole week. I. Can’t. Wait. 💜 ~ Checked out a new restaurant today with a few friends. When I hear the phrase “Asian Fusion”, I get pretty skeptical. When you focus on 3-4 countries’ cuisine at one restaurant, how can everything taste equally good? Oh boy did @1618asianfusion prove me wrong. Their menu includes Thai food, pho, hu tieu, fried rice, whole fried fish, and is now the only place in Austin that serves Hanoi Egg Coffee. ~ We ordered family style. EVERYTHING was delicious. The duck skewers and lamb chops were super tender. We got the appetizer sampler to share and cleaned the plate. Thai pineapple fried rice had just the right amount of flavor and spiciness to it. My friend ordered a whole fried red snapper, and we made our own spring rolls. You can order the rice paper and other ingredients on the side of the fried fish even though it’s not on the menu. The restaurant itself is big and inviting with plenty of natural lighting. It’s slightly pricey but for the quality of the food, it’s totally worth it. I am very curious on what their Pho broth taste like. I can’t wait to go back soon to try it 🤩 • • @1618asianfusion •

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      Luke Davidson

      Digital Content Specialist

      Luke Davidson is a Digital Content Specialist at Localsearch, his professional journey ranges from startups to international digital agencies working in content for a wide variety of clients, big or small. When he isn't deep diving content, data and SEO, Luke is an avid guitarist, surfer, coffee nut and gamer. As a digital content specialist and lifestyle fanatic, Luke provides valuable insights on lifestyle musings on the Localsearch Blog.