Thai food in London

Fifty-five years ago, in 1967, the first restaurant selling Thai food in London opened its doors on Bute Street. With package tourism still in its infancy, and most holiday-makers of the day restricting their travel to mainland Spain and the Balearics, Thai cuisine was a whole new experience.

While a few culinary trailblazers took the plunge and tried this ‘new kind of Chinese’, it took a while to get off the ground. By the 1970s, the number of Thai restaurants in London had slowly increased to four.

However, holiday-makers were also traveling further afield, and Thailand was becoming an increasingly popular destination. Within 25 years, the number of Thai eateries around London had increased to over 300, but there were rumblings of discontent on the horizon.

With increasing numbers of tourists enjoying authentic Thai cuisine in Thailand, they began looking for a similar culinary experience in the UK. Diners wanted the unique flavours they found in Thai food in Thailand, reciprocated in their local Thai restaurant. No longer prepared to put up with the overuse of coconut milk or mediocre peppers, local gourmets began seeking the more astute places to eat.

So profound was the problem that even the Thai government got involved, and came up with the Signature Thai Select Award for restaurants and eateries offering authentic Thai food in London. Now there are numerous Thai restaurants in London where you can enjoy authentic Thai cuisine. All it takes to find them is a little research.


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