Stepping into the basement of a nondescript brick building in downtown Toronto on Duncan St you may have your doubts about Pai Northern Thai Kitchen, but don’t let the humble abode of one of our favourite UB venues fool you. With an open kitchen imitating the sights and sizzle of the market, and salvaged doors imported from the motherland the smell of bold flavours and its electric atmosphere will have you retuning again and again for your Thai cravings. You’ll quickly be greeted with an ambient crowd of people –excited patrons, booming music and sizzling dishes that make their way to new tables at breakneck speeds.

Pai is the latest restaurant from Nuit and Jeff Regular, the duo also behind Sabai Sabai (another awesome UB Media venue) and Sukhothai. Named after a spot in Northern Thailand, Pai specializes in family-style dishes, divided into “Snacks and Starters” and “Mains” all of which is best eaten family-style, inviting diners to help themselves and share around the table. We recommend adding the papaya salad and the Thai omelet to your usual repertoire.

This place is always jam packed, especially during TIFF, and don’t be surprised to spot some celebrities there too around that time. Plenty a time have they had infamous faces drop in for an authentic laid-back Thai experience.

Visit their site:

Pai, Northern Thai Kitchen
18 Duncan Street
Toronto, M5H 3G8