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Senae Thai Bistro (Photo by Jackie Tran)

The Best Thai Food In Tucson

Updated September 1, 2023

Widely recognized as one the great cuisines of the world, the food of Thailand is vibrant with flavors and wonderfully versatile, including everything from fiery hot curries to comforting noodle dishes. Whatever your preference in Thai food and whatever part of town you live in, this guide will help you find the best Tucson Thai restaurants to suit your tastes.

We’ve chosen Thai restaurants that we at Tucson Foodie and our foodie friends in the community have enjoyed over the years. That said, the local restaurant scene changes frequently and, while we do our best to keep our listings updated, we’d love to hear from you. Use the button at the bottom of this guide if you’ve got an addition or an update for us.

a picture of food
(Photo courtesy of Bai Thong)

Bai Thong

A great choice in central Tucson for those who enjoy Thai flavors without the heat, Bai Thong offers curry dishes that satisfy a milder palate. Even some dishes labeled spicy might be considered on the mild side for some.

Check out the Panang Curry with sautéed beef, served with red chili, fresh basil, coconut milk, and peanut sauce. It’s wonderfully traditional and slightly sweeter than some of the other dishes. You’ve got a wealth of curries to choose from: green, red, yellow, Panang, and Massaman varieties with a choice of beef, pork, chicken, shrimp, and salmon.

 

a picture of thai food
(Photo Courtesy of Bangkok Cafe)

Bangkok Cafe

Recognized by Thai Select — the official Thai government seal of approval — for its contemporary Thai cuisine, Bangkok Cafe is a midtown Tucson favorite, great for business lunches, casual meals, and date nights alike. Try the Kang Kua Sap-pa-Rod Koong (Red Curry with duck); the pineapple helps make it a sweet and spicy delight. Or go for the Kang Massaman, a smooth brown curry with chicken, onions, potatoes, and peanuts. Served medium or spicy, it’s a Thai chicken dish for the soul.

(Photo courtesy of Char's Thai Restaurant on Facebook)

Char’s Thai Restaurant

Serving Tucson for more than 30 years, Char’s Thai is the city’s first Thai restaurant. While the ambiance was updated in the last few years, the menu remains tried and true.

Must-tries on the menu include the classic Pad Thai, crispy Egg Rolls, and Green Curry with Beef — accompanied with carrots, peppers, and bamboo shoots and served over fried rice rather than white.

pad thai with shrimp
(Photo Courtesy of Dao's Tai Pan's Restaurant)

Dao’s Tai Pan’s Restaurant

Dao’s Tai Pan’s Restaurant offers a rich blend of Vietnamese, Chinese, and Thai cuisines. Located near St. Joseph’s hospital and the Wilmot library, this family-run establishment has been serving the community since 1996.

Whether you’re craving their famous rice noodle soups, vibrant Thai curry, or the ever-popular orange chicken, you’ll find every dish crafted with care and authenticity.

thai food
(Photo Courtesy of Karuna's Thai Plate)

Karuna’s Thai Plate

In September 2021, a garbage truck crashed through this restaurant’s storefront, scattering glass, bricks, and tables everywhere. A year later, Karuna’s Thai Plate was finally able to re-open its doors. The restaurant remains modest, but the food is anything but.

Check out the Gang Gar a savory, thin-sauced curry with chicken, beef, pork, or shrimp; heat lovers will like the spicy version. For vegetarians, the Panang Curry with Straw Mushrooms and Tofu hits the spot. Perfect for a hot day: the Larb salad, with cilantro, lemongrass, lime, and mint creating a medley of flavors.

 

seafood curry in a bowl
Seafood Curry at Luckie's Thai-Asian (Credit: Mark Navarro)

Luckie’s Thai Asian Cuisine

Foodie Favorite:
a woman sitting at a table with food
Hannah Hernandez

“The green curry with tofu is a day maker. The combination of velvety sauce, a hint of spice, and a mix of vegetables and crispy tofu creates a truly comforting experience.”

Located on the southeast side since 2009, Luckie’s offers a casual order-at-the-counter dining experience, with seemingly endless combinations and choices.

The menu includes an impressive array of curry dishes, from the standard red, green, yellow, Panang, and Massaman varieties to the more unusual Chu Chi Curry (shrimp), Salmon Curry, Seafood Curry, and Gang Pah dry curry.

a pan filled with meat and vegetables
(Photo courtesy of Mali Thai)

Mali Thai

The owner of Mali Thai grew up in Thailand, helping their mother cook authentic Thai food. Now, folks in Oro Valley and eaters from all around Tucson can enjoy the classic recipes. From Tom Yum Soup to Crab Fried Rice and Fried Banana with Ice Cream, there’s plenty on the menu to suit anyone’s cravings.

a picture of thai food
(Photo courtesy of Nattha's Bann Thai Asian)

Nattha’s Bann Thai Asian

Opened in 2022, this restaurant has quickly become a local favorite, featuring a menu that combines authentic Thai flavors and cherished Cantonese recipes from its predecessor, Peking Palace. Head Chef Sam, with over 25 years of Asian culinary expertise, ensures that every dish, from crispy egg rolls to rich curry paste, is prepared with fresh, made-from-scratch ingredients.

Check out the “AppeThaizers,” which include Yum Nua (grilled beef salad) and Tom Sabb (pork ribs). They’ve got Red, Green, Yellow, Mussaman, and Panang Thai curries, too, and the Pad Prik King (Thai rice stir fried with crispy pork belly) is mouthwatering!

a plate of food and a cup of coffee
Yellow Curry with Shrimp at Sa-ing Thai (Photo credit: Mark Navarro)

Sa-Ing Thai Cuisine

There’s no need to travel into central Tucson for good Thai food. Head on down to the southeast side for a surprising delight.

A super casual, no frills, seat yourself kind of place, Sa-ing Thai offers great tasting, authentic Thai food, plain and simple.

There are five curries to choose from — the standard red, green, yellow, Panang, and Massaman — and each can be ordered with beef, chicken, pork, tofu, or shrimp. Sa-ing’s Gaeng Garee (yellow curry) with shrimp, onions, and potatoes is the perfect blend of spice, heat, and texture.

a picture of thai food
(Photo Courtesy of Thai China Bistro)

Thai China Bistro

Serving Tucson for more than 20 years, this restaurant originally opened as Thai China Palace in 1994, then reopened as Thai China Siam at River and Rudasill in 2001 before moving to the current location on the east side in 2011. We mention this history because many people like to follow their favorite restaurant, no matter where they’ve relocated.

The restaurant offers a blend of Thai and Chinese cuisines, and nearly all the dishes can be served vegetarian, vegan, or gluten-free.

Bangkok Delight, Thai China Bistro’s most popular dish, is a red curry served with chicken, shrimp, pineapple, bell pepper, onion, and carrot. Note: it’s a bit mild, so if you like your curries on the hot side, order it extra spicy!

(Photo courtesy of Tuk Tuk Thai on Facebook)

Tuk Tuk Thai

Foodie Favorite:

“My go to local Thai, always fresh and delicious. Don’t miss the generous Pad Kee Mao with beef,  a rice noodle dish with a kick.”

Tuk Tuk Thai is named after the auto rickshaw, the motorized version of a vehicle previously pulled by hand, horse, or bicycle. And as soon as you enter, you’ll see why — a life-sized Tuk Tuk immediately greets you, along with beautiful murals. This is Thai street food raised to an art form. The original midtown location was so popular, branches opened in the Foothills and Oro Valley.

If you’re feeling adventurous, try the Hoy Joh (fried, savory meatball dumplings); the mango sticky rice dessert is a rare delight, too.  You won’t go wrong with any of Tuk Tuk’s curries: try the Khao Soi Chicken, Tom Yum Goong, or Pumpkin Curry Chicken. And don’t forget to wash it all down with a tasty Thai tea.

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Bai Thong

A great choice in central Tucson for those who enjoy Thai flavors without the heat, Bai Thong offers curry dishes that satisfy a milder palate. Even some dishes labeled spicy might be considered on the mild side for some.

Check out the Panang Curry with sautéed beef, served with red chili, fresh basil, coconut milk, and peanut sauce. It’s wonderfully traditional and slightly sweeter than some of the other dishes. You’ve got a wealth of curries to choose from: green, red, yellow, Panang, and Massaman varieties with a choice of beef, pork, chicken, shrimp, and salmon.

 

a picture of food
(Photo courtesy of Bai Thong)
Bangkok Cafe

Recognized by Thai Select — the official Thai government seal of approval — for its contemporary Thai cuisine, Bangkok Cafe is a midtown Tucson favorite, great for business lunches, casual meals, and date nights alike. Try the Kang Kua Sap-pa-Rod Koong (Red Curry with duck); the pineapple helps make it a sweet and spicy delight. Or go for the Kang Massaman, a smooth brown curry with chicken, onions, potatoes, and peanuts. Served medium or spicy, it’s a Thai chicken dish for the soul.

a picture of thai food
(Photo Courtesy of Bangkok Cafe)
Char’s Thai Restaurant

Serving Tucson for more than 30 years, Char’s Thai is the city’s first Thai restaurant. While the ambiance was updated in the last few years, the menu remains tried and true.

Must-tries on the menu include the classic Pad Thai, crispy Egg Rolls, and Green Curry with Beef — accompanied with carrots, peppers, and bamboo shoots and served over fried rice rather than white.

(Photo courtesy of Char's Thai Restaurant on Facebook)
Dao’s Tai Pan’s Restaurant

Dao’s Tai Pan’s Restaurant offers a rich blend of Vietnamese, Chinese, and Thai cuisines. Located near St. Joseph’s hospital and the Wilmot library, this family-run establishment has been serving the community since 1996.

Whether you’re craving their famous rice noodle soups, vibrant Thai curry, or the ever-popular orange chicken, you’ll find every dish crafted with care and authenticity.

pad thai with shrimp
(Photo Courtesy of Dao's Tai Pan's Restaurant)
Karuna’s Thai Plate

In September 2021, a garbage truck crashed through this restaurant’s storefront, scattering glass, bricks, and tables everywhere. A year later, Karuna’s Thai Plate was finally able to re-open its doors. The restaurant remains modest, but the food is anything but.

Check out the Gang Gar a savory, thin-sauced curry with chicken, beef, pork, or shrimp; heat lovers will like the spicy version. For vegetarians, the Panang Curry with Straw Mushrooms and Tofu hits the spot. Perfect for a hot day: the Larb salad, with cilantro, lemongrass, lime, and mint creating a medley of flavors.

 

thai food
(Photo Courtesy of Karuna's Thai Plate)
Luckie’s Thai Asian Cuisine
Foodie Favorite:
a woman sitting at a table with food
Hannah Hernandez

“The green curry with tofu is a day maker. The combination of velvety sauce, a hint of spice, and a mix of vegetables and crispy tofu creates a truly comforting experience.”

Located on the southeast side since 2009, Luckie’s offers a casual order-at-the-counter dining experience, with seemingly endless combinations and choices.

The menu includes an impressive array of curry dishes, from the standard red, green, yellow, Panang, and Massaman varieties to the more unusual Chu Chi Curry (shrimp), Salmon Curry, Seafood Curry, and Gang Pah dry curry.

seafood curry in a bowl
Seafood Curry at Luckie's Thai-Asian (Credit: Mark Navarro)
Mali Thai

The owner of Mali Thai grew up in Thailand, helping their mother cook authentic Thai food. Now, folks in Oro Valley and eaters from all around Tucson can enjoy the classic recipes. From Tom Yum Soup to Crab Fried Rice and Fried Banana with Ice Cream, there’s plenty on the menu to suit anyone’s cravings.

a pan filled with meat and vegetables
(Photo courtesy of Mali Thai)
Nattha’s Bann Thai Asian

Opened in 2022, this restaurant has quickly become a local favorite, featuring a menu that combines authentic Thai flavors and cherished Cantonese recipes from its predecessor, Peking Palace. Head Chef Sam, with over 25 years of Asian culinary expertise, ensures that every dish, from crispy egg rolls to rich curry paste, is prepared with fresh, made-from-scratch ingredients.

Check out the “AppeThaizers,” which include Yum Nua (grilled beef salad) and Tom Sabb (pork ribs). They’ve got Red, Green, Yellow, Mussaman, and Panang Thai curries, too, and the Pad Prik King (Thai rice stir fried with crispy pork belly) is mouthwatering!

a picture of thai food
(Photo courtesy of Nattha's Bann Thai Asian)
Sa-Ing Thai Cuisine

There’s no need to travel into central Tucson for good Thai food. Head on down to the southeast side for a surprising delight.

A super casual, no frills, seat yourself kind of place, Sa-ing Thai offers great tasting, authentic Thai food, plain and simple.

There are five curries to choose from — the standard red, green, yellow, Panang, and Massaman — and each can be ordered with beef, chicken, pork, tofu, or shrimp. Sa-ing’s Gaeng Garee (yellow curry) with shrimp, onions, and potatoes is the perfect blend of spice, heat, and texture.

a plate of food and a cup of coffee
Yellow Curry with Shrimp at Sa-ing Thai (Photo credit: Mark Navarro)
Thai China Bistro

Serving Tucson for more than 20 years, this restaurant originally opened as Thai China Palace in 1994, then reopened as Thai China Siam at River and Rudasill in 2001 before moving to the current location on the east side in 2011. We mention this history because many people like to follow their favorite restaurant, no matter where they’ve relocated.

The restaurant offers a blend of Thai and Chinese cuisines, and nearly all the dishes can be served vegetarian, vegan, or gluten-free.

Bangkok Delight, Thai China Bistro’s most popular dish, is a red curry served with chicken, shrimp, pineapple, bell pepper, onion, and carrot. Note: it’s a bit mild, so if you like your curries on the hot side, order it extra spicy!

a picture of thai food
(Photo Courtesy of Thai China Bistro)
Tuk Tuk Thai
Foodie Favorite:

“My go to local Thai, always fresh and delicious. Don’t miss the generous Pad Kee Mao with beef,  a rice noodle dish with a kick.”

Tuk Tuk Thai is named after the auto rickshaw, the motorized version of a vehicle previously pulled by hand, horse, or bicycle. And as soon as you enter, you’ll see why — a life-sized Tuk Tuk immediately greets you, along with beautiful murals. This is Thai street food raised to an art form. The original midtown location was so popular, branches opened in the Foothills and Oro Valley.

If you’re feeling adventurous, try the Hoy Joh (fried, savory meatball dumplings); the mango sticky rice dessert is a rare delight, too.  You won’t go wrong with any of Tuk Tuk’s curries: try the Khao Soi Chicken, Tom Yum Goong, or Pumpkin Curry Chicken. And don’t forget to wash it all down with a tasty Thai tea.

(Photo courtesy of Tuk Tuk Thai on Facebook)