Phuket Restaurants - My Phuket Restaurant Suggestions
You are really spoiled for choice when it comes to restaurants in Phuket. You want cheap local food, you got it, you want a juicy steak, you got it, you want Italian food, Mexican food, Arabic food, Indian Food ... whatever, you can find it. We tend to avoid the really touristy places, but even around the main beaches there are a few places I like. We do tend to eat local food, and tend to eat at home most of the time (since we live here), but it can be cheap to eat out in Thailand, and it's very easy to be lazy! The following are some Phuket restaurants that we like... many of our favourites are a bit out of the way - in general we don't eat at the main tourist beaches. To get good local food, you might just want to get out and explore the real Phuket. The majority of the Phuket restaurant recommendations here may need some exploring to find, which is what this blog is about! Get out, explore and find some good food!
Many people want to eat seafood when visiting Phuket, and you'll see seafood displays outside many restaurants on the main beaches. We prefer quieter places which are frequented more by locals. Laem Hin (in my opinion) has the best food. The restaurant is on the east coast north of Phuket Town. Bang Pae Seafood is way up in the north of the island, very quiet. Near Chalong you have Kan Eang and a bunch of others near the zoo, and there's also the new Kan Eang @ The Pier which is more expensive, but very nicely done - we have only stopped there for drinks so far, but I am sure will go for dinner sometime if we feel rich.
• Laem Hin Seafood
• Bang Pae Seafood
• Pak Nam Seafood
• Bang Mud Seafood
• Kan Eang 2 Seafood
• Tha Sai Seafood (Phang Nga)
• Samchong Seafood (Phang Nga)
Eating by (or near) the sea (mostly you can get seafood at these too!)
We like to find small local places that don't have tourist rip off prices, which normally means getting off the main tourist beaches. The Beach Bar at Cape Panwa is one of our favourite places to go and relax by the sea, watch the sunset and let the kids play on a beach devoid of jetskis and umbrellas. The views from Phromthep Cape restaurant or the After Beach Bar are great. There are several favourite places on the east coast like Bang Rong, Kruwit Raft. On Koh Sirey there are several small places which get almost no tourist business - inexpensive, by the sea, peaceful - just how we like it.
• The Beach Bar at Cape Panwa
• Baan Rimlay
• Kruwit Raft Floating Restaurant
• Thanoon Seafood at the Sarasin Bridge
• Phromthep Cape Restaurant
• The After Beach Bar
• Bang Rong Floating Restaurant
• Nikitas, Rawai Beach
• Friendship Beach
• Nice Food Good View (Cape Panwa)
• Lucky 13 Sandwich (Rawai)
Around Phuket Town
Phuket Town has a lot of dining options - we try to go "into town" more often these days, and have found a few good ones recently like Zaab and Eleven Two. A few of our favourite places are on the edge of town. Dairy Hut is near the Phuket Bangkok International Hospital and has indoor (aircon) and outdoor tables, live music, big screen TV's and tasty food. Tunk Ka is great - on top of Rang Hill with a very nice view. Kopitiam in the heart of old town has a huge menu of local food. And there are little local restaurants all over the place around town - try eating at a place like this for some proper local flavour! Some of these places are in town, some on the edge of town. We live in Kathu, about 6km from the old town. Some favourites ...
• The Big Chicken
• Tunk Ka Restaurant on Rang Hill
• Krua Suan Cha
• Caffeine Italian
• Eleven Two & Co
• One Chun
• Zaab Tae Tae
• Maireab Zaap Ver
• Abduls Roti Shop
• Yellow Door
• Dairy Hut
• Wine Connection
• Rimtang Restaurant
• Kaewjai Bakery and Restaurant
• Moo Grob Khun Yai
• Khao Yam and Dim Sum in Kathu
• Rider Cafe
• Zaab Kafe
• UpTown Restaurant
Main Phuket beaches
We don't eat much around the main beaches, except I mostly have lunch in Karon because I work there, often at Sala Bua, otherwise street food or cheap local / noodle shops which are all over the place (don't be scared, it's good!). In Patong, if you want a treat - the Ninth Floor. Otherwise, I rarely ever go to Patong. Rum Jungle in the Naiharn area has a lot of tasty dishes.
• Sabai Sabai Indian Curry (Kata)
• Mom Tri's Kitchen (Kata Noi Beach)
• Rum Jungle (near Nai Harn Beach)
• Mama Noi (Karon Beach)
• Sala Bua (Karon)
• Pim's Kitchen (Karon)
• The Ninth Floor (Patong)
• BBQ Hut (Patong)
Out in the Sticks
Lots of little restaurants in the center of Phuket away from the beaches and away from the town. We tend to eat around Phuket Town as it's near our house, but we are always exploring. Most recent discovery was Nern Khao, near Khok Kloi about 10km north of Phuket (over the bridge into Phang Nga).
• Nern Khao View Talay
• Dairy Hut Seafood in Phang Nga
• Kin Dee
• Peang Prai Restaurant
• Andaman Viewpoint - 360 Degree Coffee (just off the island, over the Sarasin bridge)
• Krua Guilin in Khao Sok National Park
If you just want a snack - a bowl of noodles does the trick and normally only costs about 30 - 40 Baht. There must be a noodle shop on every street and every corner. We have several favourite noodle shops. Another noodly favourite is Phad Thai, fried noodles rather than soup. Always a good lunch!
• Noodles in Phuket
• More Noodles in Phuket!
• Best Phad Thai in Phuket!
• Kuay Jap restaurant near Phuket Town
• Spicy Noodles for Breakfast!
There are also plenty of food options in the Phuket Town shops, supermarkets and malls such as Tesco Lotus or Central festival (we like Fuji Japanese). The food courts in the big stores do decent local food. Restaurants everywhere and I can't review them all... this blog does not do the main beaches as much as the more local places.
I will start writing more about street food, which is mainly snacks rather than full meals. You can find fruit stalls, fried chicken stalls, somtam stalls, sticky rice sellers etc. all over Thailand. Street food is well worth a nibble! If you head to any market area in the evening, lots of food stalls to try.
• Street Food - Pa Tong Go
• A Working Lunch
• Fruit Stalls
• Weekend Market (lots of food here)
More to come, may include some cheap local restaurants in Karon and some more seafood places... Of course, nothing compares to good home cooking (see: Thai Food: Home Cooking), but we have vowed to try and keep trying new restaurants for the blogs sake!
More Phuket dining options can be found on the Where to Eat in Phuket web site, or the Phuket Dining web site.
"Is the food safe to eat in Phuket?" is a question I get asked.... Answer : yes, 99% of the time. I eat mostly in local restaurants, not expensive ones, street food, small roadside local shacks ... they may be the safest food - high turnover, always fresh and cooked right in front of you. I've had a bad belly a few times, and a couple of times I am sure it was from old chicken or coconut milk that had gone bad, and from tourist restaurants not local places. Basically, I would not worry, and don't worry about ice either, it's made from purified water.
In 2008 the Travel Channel made an episode of Bizarre Foods here in Phuket. Well worth watching - see Bizarre Foods : Phuket.
I also check other people's blogs for good restaurant tips and reviews - after all, as a resident I do tend to eat in most of the time, whereas tourists and visitors will be eating out... Try these for starters:
• Tim's Phuket restaurant blog
• Cathy and Gary's Phuket Travel Pages
• Mala Dimsum, Kata Beach by Camille
• Thalay Tong - going to try it sometime soon!