For laid-back Thai dining, Café Isan is a must-visit. In 2019 it relocated to Cluster B in JLT and now has a petite indoor area and a space on the terrace for outdoor dining. Service is fantastic and friendly, the food is consistently delicious and it’s a top spot for a casual meal. The flavours are fresh and lighter than typical Thai dishes, as they are in Isan in north eastern Thailand – if you like your food spicy you’re in for a treat – these pack a real punch.
Open Sun-Wed 11.30am-10pm, Thu 11.30am-11pm, Fri-Sat noon-11pm. Cluster B, Jumeirah Lakes Towers (04 557 9778).
This stunning restaurant has a wonderful terrace set out into Burj Lake with front row seats to Burj Khalifa. Dishes are super-tasty, with classic dishes done well – especially the creamy green Thai curry and the delicious satay.
Open Sat-Thu 6pm-11.30pm, Fri 12.30pm-4pm, 6pm-11.30pm. Palace Downtown Dubai, www.addresshotels.com (04 888 3444).
The Thai Kitchen
Overlooking Dubai Creek and the marina, this longstanding Thai restaurant at Park Hyatt Dubai is always a reliable choice. Sit outside when the weather allows for excellent views and a holiday vibe. Meanwhile inside the open kitchens making for a fun, lively setting. Dishes are packed with flavour with top choices being the zingy soups and creamy curries.
Open Sat-Thu 7pm-midnight, Fri 12.30pm-4pm, 7pm-midnight. Park Hyatt Dubai, Deira, www.hyattrestaurants.com (04 602 1814).
This Sheikh Zayed Road restaurant is an oldie but a goodie, and you’ll find all your favourites on the menu, from curries to noodles and more. A majestic interior resembles the royal dining halls of King Rama IV while affording gorgeous views of Dubai’s skyline.
Open daily noon-3.30pm, 7pm-11pm. Dusit Thani Dubai, Sheikh Zayed Road, www.dusit.com (04 343 3333).
There are few things more special than hopping on a boat and sailing your way to dinner, which is why Pai Thai is one of the best around. Board your abra and disembark at this popular Thai restaurant set out into the waterways of Madinat Jumeirah. The restaurant is rather grand, and prices match, but it’s top for a special occasion. The classics are excellent and the dim sum needs to be ordered.
Open Sun-Thu 6pm-11pm, Fri-Sat 12.30pm-3.30pm, 6.30pm-11pm. Jumeirah Al Qasr, Umm Suqeim, www.jumeirah.com (04 432 3232).
Meaning ‘dawn of happiness’ Sukhothai is decked out in warm tones of oak and red with lighting giving the venue an orange glow so that the ambience is relaxed. Choose from five set menus offering authentic, bold Thai flavours.
Open daily 12.30pm-2.45pm, 7pm-11.45pm. Le Méridien Dubai Hotel & Conference Centre, Garhoud, www.sukhothai-dubai.com (04 702 2455).
Sticky Rice is a relative newcomer to the city’s Thai food scene, and it’s been welcomed with open arms. It’s a small restaurant in JVC, with only six tables, coming from an Emirati founder with a Thai mother. The restaurant is adorned with rubber ducks everywhere you look, but the queue lining up outside the door will tell you everything. Sweet tooth? Don’t miss the mango and sticky rice with ice cream.
Open daily 2pm-10.30pm. JVC, www.stickyrice.ae (04 580 8350).
The Royal Budha
This low-key restaurant in Al Barsha serves up some delicious dishes, and if you haven’t thought to venture here, you should put it on your list. Set just off the lobby, the décor is traditional – there’s low seating if you wish – and the dishes will be familiar. Portions are generous, too. The massaman curry is a must-try.
Open Sat-Thu 6pm-11.30pm, Fri noon-midnight. Holiday Inn Dubai Al Barsha, Al Barsha, www.theroyalbudha.com (04 323 4333).
An upmarket Thai restaurant in JW Marriott Marquis, Tong Thai has a chic vibe with huge floor-to-ceiling windows and moody red lighting. The menu is also exciting with some delicious classic dishes. Try the sharing platter to start to kick off your meal with a variety of flavours. Plus if you love seafood the talay phad phong karee is packed with prawns, scallops, squid and veg.
Open daily 6pm-midnight. JW Marriott Marquis Dubai, Business Bay, Sheikh Zayed Road, www.jwmarriottmarquisdubailife.com (04 414 3000).
This kitsch Thai restaurant, filled with Thai movie memorabilia is fun and chilled-out. The menu is packed full of tasty dishes and the classics are all great (try the pad Thai noodles). There’s also a bargain street food snack menu to check out too.
Open Sun-Thu noon-3pm, 6.30pm-11pm, Fri-Sat noon-11pm. DusitD2 Kenz Hotel, Barsha Heights, www.wisekwai.com (04 567 2247).