Melbourne’s Hidden Thai Gems:10 Restaurants You Need to Discover

Embark on a culinary adventure with our selection of the top ten Thai restaurants. Each spot weaves a tale of flavor and tradition, inviting diners into a world where aromatic spices meet harmonious blends. From street-food inspired dishes to elegant, modern interpretations, these restaurants are not just meals, but experiences that celebrate the rich tapestry of Thai cuisine.


At HER’s level three, BKK is a dynamic Thai BBQ canteen that delivers an authentic Bangkok street food experience. Its open-concept kitchen, led by Executive Chef Nick Bennett and Head Chef Sungeun Mo, is a culinary stage where the fire and clamor of woks bring the vibrant energy of a Thai night market to life. Diners are treated to a menu that combines traditional Thai dishes with modern twists, featuring everything from barbecue skewers and charred meats to laab and a variety of Thai curries, all crafted with the finest Australian produce.

📷@Courtesy of BKK / Parker Blain

BKK’s ambiance is a blend of traditional and contemporary, with its exposed brick and warm orange neon set against terracotta floors, creating a welcoming atmosphere. The menu offers a variety of flavors, from the punchy laab variations to the innovative tiramisu with rum, white chocolate, and shaved ice.

The culinary experience is enhanced by a selection of tropical cocktails and wines, carefully chosen to complement the bold flavors of the dishes. BKK not only serves up a delightful array of Thai cuisine but also invites diners to immerse themselves in a uniquely Melbourne interpretation of Thai dining.

2.Rice Paper Scissors

Rice Paper Scissors, birthed from the dream of two friends passionate about Asian street food, opened its doors in 2013. Celebrating the vibrant style of Southeast Asian cuisine, the restaurant offers an inviting atmosphere where food and fun intertwine, symbolizing the essence of connection and joy.

📷@Rice Paper Scissors

Its menu, primarily influenced by Thai flavors, also takes culinary excursions into Vietnam, Cambodia, and neighboring regions, showcasing shareable delights like snapper ceviche, Thai fried chicken with sriracha mayo, and steamed pork buns.

Not just about great food, Rice Paper Scissors is a destination for creating memorable experiences. The restaurant’s offerings include substantial curries like beef cheek massaman and pork belly in tamarind caramel, complemented by enticing desserts and a range of beverages from whiskey to Vietnamese coffee. This Melbourne gem, nestled in Hardware Lane, is perfect for events or casual gatherings, earning a high rating for its excellent service, delightful ambiance, and the unique dining journey it provides.

3.Hochi Mama

Hochi Mama, renowned in Melbourne for its innovative Asian fusion cuisine, operates in two prime locations – the bustling CBD and the vibrant Richmond. This restaurant has carved its place among Melbourne’s must-visit dining destinations. At Hochi Mama, the culinary journey is a fusion of traditional South East Asian flavors with a unique twist of ‘mama’s love’, serving dishes that are both familiar and excitingly new. From fluffy baos with Hochi Fried Chicken to the flavor-packed Southside Curry and spicy Salmon Sashimi, each dish is a testament to their commitment to reinventing classics.

The experience at Hochi Mama goes beyond just food. Inspired by its namesake, the ‘God Mother’ of street artists and rappers in the nineties, the venue echoes a history of underground art and rap battles, creating an atmosphere that’s both homey and electrifying. It’s not just a place to eat; it’s a venue where culture, art, and cuisine meet.

The vibrant South East Asian Fusion setting makes it perfect for anything from a casual cocktail to an intimate date night, embodying the spirit of inclusivity and innovation in every aspect.


Longrain, situated in the heart of Melbourne on Little Bourke Street, is an iconic restaurant that blends South East Asian culinary traditions with a modern twist. Established in Sydney in 1999 and opening in Melbourne in 2005, it’s housed in a beautifully converted 1900s horse stable. The venue, saved from closure in 2020 by celebrated restaurateur Scott Pickett, has maintained its original essence with a focus on communal, banquet-style dining.

The menu at Longrain is an exploration of classic and contemporary Thai dishes. Signature offerings like the seared scallop in betel leaf and caramelized pork hock are joined by innovative creations in the Royal Banquet, featuring dishes like red kangaroo curry. The food is complemented by an extensive range of Thai-inspired cocktails and shared plates, embodying the restaurant’s philosophy of communal enjoyment and culinary adventure.

Upstairs from Longrain is Longsong, a more casual, vibrant bar area offering a relaxed setting for pre- or post-dinner drinks. This space provides a complementary experience to the main dining area, serving casual eats and a variety of drinks. Longrain continues to captivate diners with its bustling atmosphere, making it a go-to destination for those seeking a taste of South East Asia in Melbourne.

5.Chin chin

Since its inception in 2011, Chin Chin has become a Melbourne dining scene renegade, known for doing things its own way. Merging into the city’s cultural fabric, this establishment, far from being a typical institution, is fueled by a chaotic and relentless energy that influences everyone who steps inside. Embracing the philosophy of democratic dining, Chin Chin is a place where passion for food matters more than status, offering an experience that’s both inclusive and exhilarating.

📷@Chin chin

Chin Chin’s success is unparalleled in Melbourne’s culinary history. Opening in mid-2011, it instantly became a sensation, a trend that has only intensified over time. Owner Chris Lucas leveraged its popularity to expand his portfolio, while Chin Chin itself evolved into a destination for both tourists and locals. The restaurant’s vibrant vibe, culinary expertise of Executive Chef Benjamin Cooper, and commitment to quality ingredients contribute significantly to its allure.

📷@Chin chin

The secret to Chin Chin’s magnetism lies in its ambiance, culinary mastery, and efficient service. The restaurant cultivates a lively atmosphere with upbeat music, while Cooper’s mastery in Thai cuisine brings to the table an array of vibrant dishes. The service, especially in drinks, complements the dining experience, featuring Asian-style beers, a curated wine list, and quality cocktails. All these elements combine to make Chin Chin not just a meal but a celebration, a party that Melbourne continues to embrace.


atmosphere to the city’s dining scene. Full of color and life, it welcomes everyone with a menu that combines refined Thai salads, curries, and hawker-influenced dishes, all made with exceptional Australian produce. Complementing the food is an impressive selection of wines, cocktails, and mocktails inspired by Thai flavors.


Located along the picturesque Yarra River, BangPop offers more than just great food; it’s an experience. The restaurant’s casual and lively setting is perfect for enjoying the company of friends and family, with options to dine riverside, at communal tables, or by the bar. It’s all about enjoying the moment, with great music and a relaxed vibe.


BangPop’s name reflects its essence – ‘Bang’ meaning a village by a stream and ‘Pop’ symbolizing bold flavors and a larger-than-life personality. This essence is captured in its colorful, riverside location on South Wharf Promenade, making it a must-visit spot for an immersive Thai experience right in the heart of Melbourne.

7.Thai Baan

In the heart of Melbourne’s CBD on Bourke Street, Thai Baan has quickly gained popularity since its opening in 2023 by owners Jirada Ponpetch and chef Saifon Wichian. Known for its exceptional Thai cuisine, the restaurant has become a local favorite, attracting lines down the street, particularly for its signature Ayutthaya noodles, a recipe Ponpetch learned in Isan, northeastern Thailand.

The menu at Thai Baan draws inspiration largely from Isan street foods. Guests can savor dishes like fermented lotus root salad, salmon with century egg, and som tum pu plara, a green papaya salad with fermented fish and pickled crab. Chef Wichian, also hailing from Isan, brings her expertise in traditional dishes like pok pok noodles and nam tok salad, enhancing the authentic dining experience.

Spicy yet adaptable to milder tastes, Thai Baan’s dishes can be tempered with drinks like Chang and Leo beer, apple soju, and Thai milk tea. Desserts such as ruam mit and coconut ice-cream offer a sweet relief from the heat. The restaurant’s vibrant Thai temple-inspired décor, complete with colorful bunting and a mural with LED fireworks, adds to the joyful and bustling ambiance of the space.

8.Kan Eang

Kan Eang, a new culinary venture in Melbourne’s CBD by the family formerly behind Thai Culinary and Raan Kan Eang, offers an immersive dining experience. This two-story Thai restaurant on Flinders Lane, led by siblings May and Nat Pongvattanaporn, blends tradition with contemporary flair, creating a refined yet welcoming atmosphere. Drawing on 17 years of experience, it invites guests to feel “Kan Eang” (at home) amidst an imaginative jungle-like setting with elegant marble décor.

Kan Eang’s menu is a tribute to Thai culinary traditions, combining regional flavors and unique cooking styles. The restaurant features both classic and lesser-known Thai dishes, emphasizing the importance of culinary heritage and the joy of sharing time-honored recipes. Signature dishes like the OG Kan Eang Fried Chicken Ribs and the Lucky Fish, a deep-fried barramundi in special seasoning, highlight the menu’s diversity and creativity.

Adding a modern touch to traditional Thai dining, Kan Eang also boasts a range of innovative offerings. The menu includes an array of seafood dishes, house-made sauces, and creative bao sandwiches. For dessert lovers, options like pandan cake and caramelised pumpkin with coconut gelato provide a sweet finish. Complementing the food, an extensive cocktail list, including the unique Bloody Thai, and a selection of wines and beers, make Kan Eang a standout destination in Melbourne’s bustling culinary scene.

Isan Soul, located in Melbourne, offers a nostalgic journey to Thailand’s Isan region. Its vibrant atmosphere, adorned with eclectic Thai decor like old cassettes, vintage soft drink signs, and even a tuktuk, creates an authentic setting. The menu, crafted by head chef Ben Kunchairattana, features spicy Isan cuisine, including dishes like steamed barramundi, grilled chicken, and red duck curry.

📷@Jake Roden

Embodying Thai street vendor spirit, Isan Soul uses the tuktuk as a hot bar for quick takeaways. Their unique drinks, such as Thai milk tea and Butterfly Pea tea, further enhance the cultural experience, making it a go-to spot for Thai food lovers in Melbourne.

📷@Jake Roden


Cookie, nestled in Melbourne’s Curtin House on Swanston Street, is a versatile gem combining a beer hall, cocktail bar, and modern Thai restaurant. Renowned for its vibrant atmosphere, it transforms throughout the day, from a bustling after-work spot with an extensive selection of tap beers and wines to a tranquil retreat on its “Juliet” balconies.


Crafted by Chef Karen Batson, Cookie’s Thai menu is compelling, mirroring her success at Colonel Tan’s. The bar’s intimate corners offer a diverse range of cocktails, making reservations a wise choice for those wanting to experience this dynamic and beloved Melbourne locale.