Toronto has an abundance of restaurants serving cuisine from around the world, and Thai food is well-represented. But you need to wade through the heaping piles of ketchupy take-out pad thai to find the good stuff. That’s what I’m here for, and among the best is Khao San Road.
Named after the street in Bangkok filled with backpackers and hostels, Khao San Road is a bustling, vibrant spot filled with young Bay Street bankers and lawyers after work, and savvy tourists headed to the theatres nearby. Chef Nuit Regular serves up flavourful, comforting dishes that jive with the rowdy atmosphere.
Pad Thai is of course on the menu, and their own spin on it will put every take-out container of the stuff you’ve ever had to shame. But venture beyond that- dig into crunchy squash fritters, fresh rolls filled with carrots, herbs and Thai sausage, and pad gra pao, a hearty dish of fried rice with peppers, egg, and your choice of ground meat. My personal favourite is the khao soi, a winter-appropriate bowl of rich golden curry and coconut milk, with egg noodles, chicken, and a shot of lime. It will warm you up, and clear out your sinuses immediately.
The service is quick and friendly, and the festival atmosphere is lively and fun. Not the place for a quiet romantic meal, but perfect for a group of friends and rounds of Singha beers. Reservations are recommended if you can snag one.