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The Travellers Guide To Eating In Thailand

If you go native in your eating, forget the knife and fork

No, that doesn't mean you have hit the geriatric list and forgotten how to use a knife.  You are in the land of where "the rice is introduced to the curry" and slurping by way of spoonful is acceptable.  Depending on your sense of culinary adventure, take up the passion for eating that is an indelible part of Thai culture. They are constantly eating, snacking and gathering in groups on kiddies' plastic furniture beside the road or on the floor of a shop, they just love to eat "sum rap Thai", all parts of the meal making up the whole eating experience.  So be prepared for an onslaught of little dishes of aromatic mysteries sitting meekly in front you that will set your mouthwatering.


This is the land where it is polite to ball up some rice in your right hand and smother it in a curry sauce, or wrap a banana leaf around that irresistible chunk of fish lazily floating in a tamarind sauce.  It's where you can slurp up a bowl of rice noodle soup and not worry about the dribbles down your chin and it is actually acceptable to "play" with your food, so long as some of it gets into your mouth. But remember to cover your post meal tooth pick dredging with a hand, so as not to cause any embarrassment for the other diners near you. Thai cuisine is a colorful exotic mix of balancing textures, flavors and upping the ante with the fiery heat of chilies if you so desire.


Bordered by Malaysia, Myanmar, Laos and Vietnam; Thai cuisine has had its fair share of Asian influences. The ebb and flow of people across its borders also created a melting pot of cooking styles and different foods shaped by the original culture, environment, availability and ingenuity.  Think of an intricate tapestry where one thread leads to another; one flavor seamlessly flowing and complimenting the realms of another, and you have Thai food in all its glory and explosive tastes in your mouth.


This is not a list of "hail Mary" restaurants that have accumulated a wall of shiny plaques as to their legendary deconstructed molecular creation on a plate that may resemble anything but what it tastes like. It is purely a mud map of different cities in Thailand of where to find food that is "good food", despite probably lacking the latest million dollar fit out; although a few of the western cuisine ones do have amazing swanky decor and the most up to date high tech kitchens one could imagine.


The best food is more likely to be in an old-fashioned shop front in the middle of some garish tourist area of ill repute, or rickety chairs in the sand with a black smoking barbecue close by grilling whole fish.  Where there are masses of people, there is always mounds of food being devoured, so head to the street stalls or the shop fronts overflowing with eager locals vying for their favorite dishes and don't just hover around the "safe" options to satisfy your hunger pangs.

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Best Restaurants In Bangkok

Monday is definitely a restaurant day........Bangkok's city streets are cleaned every Monday, so many street food vendors take the day off.

Sumptuous BUT Pricey

(Business Expense Account or sell the kids)

Enoteca Italiana

39 Sukhumvit Soi 27, Bangkok 10110
Tel:  02 2584386


Despite being in the middle of the city, Enoteca Italiana is tucked away in Bangkok's hectic metropolis in its own cocoon of "la dolce vita".  Producing Italian fare that will transport you to the true heart of Italy cuisine.   Extensive antipasto, fresh pasta dishes such as linguine vongole, veal cheeks and lamb dishes, are all impeccably presented and lovingly cooked by a passionate Italian chef.

I Just Want to Eat

(food glorious food)

Rock Restaurant and Bar

7/1 Paholyothin Soi 9 Bangkok
Tel:  082 688 8200
Open: Mon - Sat 5:30 pm - 12:00 pm


A new addition to the culinary scene of Bangkok and proving to be a favorite for its modern take on Thai/fusion food in a contemporary setting offering dishes such as coconut prawn poached noodle and five spice lamb shank soup. Wacky named signature cocktails mixed to perfection

complete the picture.

JP French Restaurant

59/1 Sukhumvit Road Soi 31, Klongtoey, Wattana
(Between Soi 23 and Soi 31 (Soi Sawadee), Bangkok)
Tel: 02 258 4247
Open:  Mon - Sat 11:30 am - 10:30 pm


A French/European Bistro hiding behind an unimpressive street facade, JP French Restaurant is a hidden gem. Authentic French cuisine such as frog legs, beef rosiny or côte de boeuf, lobster bisque, tuna tartare and duck breast with foie gras, this restaurant is a must for anyone chasing good service, great wines and value for money.

Eat Me Restaurant

20 meters off Convent Rd  (In Soi Pipat 2), Silom, Bangkok
Tel: 02 238 0931
Open:  Daily 3pm - 1am


Not especially cheap, but if you are looking for creative outstanding food with excellent service and a fun atmosphere, this is a restaurant cross art gallery with a difference.  Try the wagyu beef or risotto with truffles and follow with a decadent sticky pudding or homemade raspberry sorbet.  A small eatery with cafe style tables in a chic courtyard setting, Eat Me will surprise you for the freshness of ingredients and attention to detail on every plate.

Eat With the Locals

(Where it is Always Good)

Sukhumvit Soi 38

by Thong Lor BTS station, Bangkok


Yes, you are beside the road on plastic furniture, but you will get to eat the best noodle soups, chicken satay, pad Thai and amazing mango sticky rice amidst the Bangers' bustle all for a pittance.

Rut & Lek Seafood and or T & K Seafood

Intersection of Yaowarat Road and Thanon Phadung Dao Street, Chinatown

Forget about all your preconceived rules of thumb in relation to health and safety standards where food is concerned.  Once again join the throng sitting or standing whilst eating at one of these two opposing restaurants, and I use the term "restaurant" loosely.  Beware of buzzing tuk tuks whilst you gorge on the best seafood feast you will ever experience.

Eat With Meaning

(Support Disadvantaged Kids)

Cabbages and Condoms Bangkok

Sukhumvit 12 Alley, Khlong Toei, Bangkok 10110
Tel: 02 229 4610
Open:  11am - 11pm


With a motto of "our food won't make you pregnant", this quirky restaurant full of condom inspired characters is actually tackling a very real problem of unwanted pregnancies and the incidence of STD diseases in Thai culture.  Profits are used to develop programs supporting the local community of the Population and Community development Association.  Despite this "in your face approach", the restaurant actually serves great Thai food in a gorgeous garden.

Adventure Eating

(Street Food and Local Markets)

Victory Monument (Anusawari Chai Samoraphum)

near the transport hub for buses and trains


A smorgasbord of traditional Thai fare can be found at the roundabout and down the adjoining sois and alleys for an array of little traditional restaurants, stalls and street food.  Make sure you head for noodle boat alley on the northeast side of the roundabout.  It is a food fest to make you salivate.

Tha Pra Chan Market

Location:  spreads out from the ferry pier near the Democracy Monument to the Thammasat University gates. Take a taxi or a boat from Saphan Taksin to Phra Arthit pier or Tha Pra Chan pier (no public transport to this area).

Open hours: Day and night


A veritable maze of food stalls, tiny restaurants, coffee havens and snack vendors abut each other in a chaotic juxtaposition that defies town planning of any description.  Thai specialties abound and it is possible to gorge yourself from one end to the other in a feeding frenzy.  The fried chicken is worth selling your granny for and the sticky rice sweets will leave no room to debate the issue.

A Vegie's Alternative

(when meat is on the taboo list)

Mango Vegetarian & Vegan Restaurant and Arts Gallery

20 Tanao Road Taladyod Phanakorn Bangkok 10200, Bangkok
Tel:  022824996
Open:  Sun - Sat 9:00 am - 1:00 am


A chic chilled out little restaurant with artsy decor serving amongst many dishes such as Singapore rice noodles crammed with fresh vegetables, mango lasagna, falafel burgers with baked banana, and a decadent chocolate lava cake, which is on the to-die for list.  Portions are on the large size and the owners are on-site which ensures a friendly welcome.

A Local Chef's Favorite

(Eating Haunts Chefs Don't Want to Share)

Nahm Restaurant at Hotel Metropolitan by COMO

27  Sathorn Rd, Thung Maha Mek, Sathon
Tel:  02 625 3333
Open:  Lunch 12 noon - 2pm and Dinner 7pm - 11 pm


Sell the rug rats for this one, but Nahm is worth it for mouthwatering traditional Thai cuisine.  Try the set menu option to experience the full gamut of balanced Thai flavors; spicy, sweet, bitter and sour.

"Meet Me"

(for decadent dessert)

Teuscher Chocolates of Switzerland & Cocoa Lounge Thailand

Central Embassy | L03-04, 1031 Ploenchit Road, Bangkok
Tel:  02 160 5724


Opened in May 2014 and described as a cafe, wine bar, cocoa lounge and chocolate library, need I say more for anyone with a sweet tooth that likes to indulge their mouths in a haze of rich chocolate smoothness.

"Talk to me in English"

(where the Expats Hangout)

Bradman's Sports Bistro

4/6 Sukhumvit Soi 23, Sukhumvit Road, Bangkok
Tel: 02 661 7176
Open: Mon - Fri 10:30 am - 12:00 am
Sat - Sun 9:00 am - 1:00 am


A sports bar/gastro pub where you will find expats, families, singles and couples looking for hearty soups, salads, sandwiches, or a meal of fish and chips, or for the meat lovers, steak, cooked just how you like it.  Comfort food at its best with a vibrant friendly atmosphere and a well stocked bar. Go on a Sunday for their special roast.


enoteca italiana bangkok

Rock Restaurant Bangkok

Eating In Bangkok

Eat Me Restaurant Bangkok

Sukhumvit Sio 38

Rut and Lek Seafood Bangkok

Cabbages and Condoms Bangkok

Bangkok Street Food

Tha Pra Chan Market Bangkok

Mango Vegetarian and Vegen Bangkok

Nahm Restaruant Bangkok

Teuscher Chocolates Bangkok

Bradman's Sports Bar Bangkok




Best Restaurants In Chiang Mai

It is a quirky fact that there are more cafes in Chiang Mai than restaurants.  And believe it or not, even more than 7 Elevens, which have literally spawned everywhere in Thailand.

Sumptuous BUT Pricey

(Business Expense Account or maybe sell the kids)

DK David's Kitchen at 909

90/9 Moo 3, Sanpisuur Rd, Sanpisuur, Chiang Mai
Open:  Sun to Sat 10am - 10pm
Tel:  +66 91 068 1744


A nightmare to locate, but totally worth the effort for the personal service and the mouth-watering food.  French and fusion cuisine complete with a romantic
candle lit terrace if you want to woo your partner. Booking recommended and there will be no need to put the kids into slavery after paying the bill.

I Just Want To Eat

(food glorious food)


145/6 Ratchadamnoen Road, Chiang Mai
Open:  Sun 10:00 am - 11:30 pm; Mon - Sat 9:30 am - 10:00 pm
Tel:  +66 81 634 2245


A tea house, or grab a wine, with five star service and scrumptious food, it is not really for the cheapskates but worth the extra cash.

Nakara Jardin

11 Soi 9 Charoenprathet Road, Chang Klan, Chiang Mai
Open: Breakfast, lunch and dinner
Tel:  +66 53 818 977


On the Ping River sits a tropical  "Monet" garden where decadent French cuisine is served for lunch or for that almost forgotten art of taking afternoon tea (2.30pm - 5.30pm)

Raming Tea House Siam Celadon

158 Tha Pae Rd, Chang Mai
Open:  Daily 8.30am - 6pm
Tel:  +66 53 234 518


Escape the heat and chaos of the streets of Chiang Mai and pop into this traditional teak house where you will find find a cosy verandah or lush garden seating to indulge in some fabulous Thai food or sinful desserts. It is not open for dinner so make sure you get to this tea house come show room of some of Chiang Mai's finest pottery during the day.

Eat With The Locals

(Where it is Always Good)

Lemongrass Thai Restaurant

Loi Kroh Road 200 meters pass Royal Lanna Hotel towards the river, Chiang Mai

Sorry no telephone and no real address - find the queue outside an unprepossessing building and stand in line to indulge in cheap Thai food at its finest.


Location is around 100m from Chiang Mai Ram Hospital, next to a 7-Eleven on Boonrueang Rd, Chiang Mai - ask a tuk tuk driver to take you as it is an institution.  Cheap excellent Thai food with their grilled chicken"kai yang" the house specialty.  Also try their laap or tom seap. Chillies are not optional but you could ask for "nid noi" (little).

Cooking Love

18/7 Rachadamnoen Road, Soi 1, Chiang Mai
Open:  Breakfast, Brunch, Lunch, Late Night
Tel:  +66 92 278 6509


Delicious organic Thai food served by friendly staff at cheapo prices in a little soi off the main road's hustle and bustle.  Go for the coconut chicken curry.

Eat With Meaning

(Support Disadvantaged Kids)

Free Bird Cafe

Manee Nopparat Rd, Si Phum, Mueang Chiang Mai
Open:  Daily 9am to 5pm
Tel:  +66 81 028 5383


Offering Thai, Burmese, Shan and western cuisine. The Free Bird Cafe's profits go to the Thai Freedom House, which is a language and arts learning center aimed at helping the refugees from Burma.

Be Entertained

(whilst eating)

The Riverside

9/11 Charoenrat Road, Chiang Mai
Open:  Sun - Sat 12am - 12pm
Tel: (053) 243 239


A popular venue where live bands play, offering indoor and outdoor seating on the Ping River with a "mixed" menu.  A great place for a big night out.

Adventure Eating

(Street Food and Local Markets)


If you want to experience real Thai food in a bustling and vibrant atmosphere, go to the night market at the Chang Puak Gate on the outside of the moat in Sri Chum Road.  This is where you can sit on brightly colored kiddies furniture, slurping spicy soups or pigging out on crispy pork dishes for a pittance.


Sunday nights visit the Walking Street Market in Ratchadamnoen and Pra Singh Roads, where you will find all the temple grounds have become pseudo
food malls of the Thai variety.

A Vegie's Alternative

(when meat is on the taboo list)

Anchan Vegetarian Restaurant

Nimmanahaeminda Rd, Opp Soi 13, Chiang Mai
Open:  Tues - Sat 11.30am - 8.30 pm
Tel:  +66 83 581 1689


Located upstairs, look for the sign and make sure you try the banana flower salad

A Local Chef's Favorite

(Eating Haunts Chefs Don't Want to Share)

Love At First Bite (Bakery)

28 Soi 1, Th Chiang Mai-Lamphun, Chiang Mai
Open:  Tues - Sun 10.30am - 6pm
Tel:  +66 53 242 731


Mouth watering pastries and cakes with the added bonus of great coffee. Sit in air conditioned comfort or in a gorgeous garden setting.


This is where the local Thai "hi-so" indulge their sweet tooth.

Meet Me

(when you want a bar)

Boy Blues Bar

Soi 6, Changklan Rd | Kalare Night Bazaar, Chiang Mai
Open:  7pm - 1pm


Located in the middle of the night Bazaar road, a little past the "Le Spice" sign opposite the car park for Kalare Food Court is Chiang Mai's very own Blues venue that will keep you there longer than you planned on.  

"Talk to me in English"

(where the Expats Hangout)

The Writers' Club and Wine Bar

141/3 Ratchadamnoen Road (near Wat Chedi Luang)
Open: Sun - Fri midday to midnight
Tel: +66 53 814 187


In the midst of the Sunday Walking Street, pop into this bar for great food at cheap prices and a glass of vino in this popular expat haunt.

Eating in Chiang Mai

Eating in Chiang Mai

Eating in Chiang Mai

Eating in Chiang Mai

Eating In Chiang Mai

Eating in Chiang Mai

Eating in Chiang Mai Free Bird Cafe

Eating in Chiang Mai The Riverside

Eating in Chiang Mai Pad Thai

Eating in Chiang Mai

Eating in Chiang Mai Love At First Bite

Eating in Chiang Mai Boy Blue Bar

Eating in Chiang Mai Writers Club 

Best Restaurants In Pattaya

Pattaya, once the playground for the American servicemen during the Vietnam War, it has evolved from a small fishing village into an international tourist destination attracting over 4 million tourists each year.  Its' somewhat dubious image of being a mecca for girlie bars is gradually changing to that of a family focused holiday destination.

Sumptuous BUT Pricey

(Business Expense Account or sell the kids)

Cafe des Amis

391/6 Moo 10, Thap phraya 11, Pattaya<
Tel:  +66 84 026 4989
Open:  Mon - Sat 5pm


Extraordinary food in decadent surrounds, European based cuisine with a dash of aphrodisiac oysters and an extensive international wine list with 7 different champagnes to wash the little suckers down with.  An elegant bar for pre or post dinner imbibing and faultless table service, either indoors or on their garden terrace.

This is fine dining for the romantics, that special occasion or heaven forbid if you have to do it, entertaining clients.

I Just Want to Eat

(food glorious food)

Da Marco

Swiss Sabai, Toongklom-Talman 12, Pattaya
Tel:  +66 82 206 0525
Open:  Only for dinner


Where you feel like you are dining in a chef's kitchen and yes, he does supervise all the fare that comes from his open plan domain. It is an adventure within itself finding the restaurant, as it appears to be in the middle of nowhere, but is worth the effort for his luscious Hokkaido scallops alone.  This is where Swiss and Italian cuisines meet in the middle with a flare that has your taste buds salivating for more.  Dining options are set menu or a-la-carte and bookings are essential.

A Taste of Thailand

185 Soi 13 Beach Road, The Haven Hotel, Pattaya
Tel:  038 710 988
Open:  Sun - Sat 7:00 - 12:00


A Thai restaurant that will have you going back time and time again for its authentic and traditional food that cannot be faulted.  Set in a quiet soi away from the Pattaya mayhem service is quick, efficient and friendly.  The green curries are a tantalizing treat and the seafood is so fresh that it is still swimming.  Portions are a decent size so you won't be needing a late night snack.

Tamar Bakery & Restaurant

124/130-131 M. 10 Third Road, Pattaya
Tel:  +66 81 437 3202
Open:  Breakfast and Lunch


If you have a craving for carrot cake and want the best, this is the place to go.  For coffee addicts wanting that essential caffeine hit during the day, your fix is quickly served up with a beautiful Thai smile.  Pop in here for a scrummy breakfast or lunch where your support will earn you some good karma, as the Bakery's mission is to teach vulnerable girls skills to keep them out of the prostitution trade.  If you are not in need of a feel good moment, go anyway, because the decadent cakes and yummy sandwiches won't disappoint you.

Eat With the Locals

(Where it is Always Good)

The Surf Kitchen

75/16, Moo 12 on Jomtien Beach Road, Pattaya
Tel: 038-233-710 or 038-233-550
Open:  every day from 7am


Cheap and cheerful authentic Thai and various staples of European fare with stunning panoramic views over Jomtien Beach, this is a family run business that keeps locals and travelers coming back day after day.  Prices are on the cheap side with great service and extra friendly staff.  The place buzzes during the dinner rush, so make sure you get there early to grab a good seat.     

Momento Beach

Thepprasit Road Soi 8, 143/117 Moo 12, Soi Daeng-Dum, Pattaya
Tel:  +66 38 422 114
Open:  Mon - Fri 7:00 - 18:00  Sat 10:00 - 18:30


A local favorite, possibly for the huge servings that fly out of the busy kitchen that dishes up barbecue, French and traditional Thai food.  If you have lunch here, you will not be looking for another feed for quite some time.  The food is fresh, tasty and filling at a reasonable price, with wine available either by the glass, carafe or bottle.  

Pattaya Beer Garden

Beach Road, PattayaTel:  038-710754
Open:  Sun - Sat 10:30 - 22:30


Situated at the beginning of Pattaya's famous walking street with prices a tad higher than its competitors, the international food and good service on offer keeps the punters coming back to this local hangout. It is a good venue to while away a bit of time over coffee or a must have beverage overlooking the blue ocean.

Eat with Meaning

(Support those in need of a helping hand)

Tamar Bakery & Restaurant

See the section "I Just Want to Eat" above

Cabbages and Condoms

366/11 Moo 12 Phra Tamnuk Soi 4 Road, Pattaya
Tel:  +66 38250557


As with its sister restaurant in Bangkok, stating that their "food won't make you pregnant", this is another quirky restaurant full of condom inspiration.  Profits from the business help to combat the issue of unwanted pregnancies and the spread of STDs in Thai culture, of which Pattaya is a hot spot.  The restaurant does serve excellent food and sits on a fantastic beach location.

Adventure Eating

(Street Food and Local Markets)

Soi Khao Talo Market

Opposite Tesco Lotus on the Sukhumvit and Thepprasit Roads intersection, east of Jomtien, Pattaya


Go for the food and stay to revel in the experience.  This market is a looking glass into Thai cuisine and its varied local produce which does not stop, and where bug offerings are on display if you care for a snack with a difference.  Amidst the usual market paraphernalia delicious aromas will lead you straight to the alleys of food stalls where the local Thai people jostle for ready-made dishes as much as the tourists do.  Assorted curries, steamed sweet corn, barbecued meat skewers; sticky rice, whole cooked ducks and chickens are some of the morsels that will have you salivating as your eyes devour the colorful displays. It is cheap and it is fun.

A Vegie's Alternative

(when meat is on the taboo list)

Govinda's Pattaya

Shri Krishna Restaurant 356/79 Bun Kanchana Alley, Jomtien, Pattaya
(on 2nd Road, opposite Mari Jari sauna)
Tel:  0897213350


Devotees of Shri Krishna, the chefs create fantastic vegie food with tastes that will tempt you to return.  All the dishes are made from fresh local produce and individually prepared when ordered, so do not expect fast food in this haven of love.

Locals actually join "the club" by purchasing a "customer card" which gives you a discount each time you indulge in their ever-changing menu.

A Local Chef's Favorite

(Eating Haunts Chefs Don't Want to Share)

New York Pizza House

340/18 Moo 9, Pattaya Third Road,between Central Road and South Pattaya Road

(Opposite Soi LengKee), PattayaTel:  0807873330
Open:  Sun - Sat 11.30 - 0.00


The best crispy crust pizza place in Pattaya with friendly staff and professional service. The pizzas are overflowing with scrumptious toppings just as you want them.  Delivery is no issue to wherever you may happen to be, even if you are sitting on a bar stool somewhere late at night and the hunger pangs strike.

"Home Comfort Eating"

(I just want western food)

The Golf Club Sports Bar & Grill

33/133 Soi L.K. Metro, Soi Buakhao, Soi Diana, Pattaya
Tel:  +66 8954343377
Open:  Breakfast, lunch and dinner


This is no golf club, but a small restaurant right in the heart of bustling Pattaya where it is possible to indulge in great barbecued rib eye steaks complete with jacket potato and fresh corn on the cob.  Top your plate up from the overflowing salad bar or if you are vegetarian, there are plenty of options available. If you wish to indulge in a Cuban cigar, this is the place to light one up.

"Meet Me"
(funky bar for a cocktail or two)

Bodega Bar

183/79-81, Moo 10, Soi Post Office, Pattaya
Tel:  (038) 423713

Go for a bit of fun, a few drinks or to meet some locals and other travellers in a vibrant atmosphere.  The staff are super friendly and the atmosphere is buzzy and boisterous.

"Talk to me in English"

(where the Expats Hangout)


Follow the throngs of people along Pattaya Beach Road where over 100 bars line the roadsides.  Pubs, discotheques, cabarets, karaoke bars, and go-go bars vie for a position amidst a plethora of restaurants that are quite often full to overflowing with locals and tourists alike.

"Sunday Brunch"

Mantra Restaurant & Bar

Amari Resort
Pattaya Beach Road, Pattaya
Tel:  +66 (0) 38429591
Open:  11am - 3pm Sundays (open other days 5pm - 1am)


For that long indulgent and usually decadent long Sunday lunch, Mantra is the ultimate experience.  With a setting to make you go "wow" of black granite and slashes of red decor, the incredible spread of exquisite international food completes the experience.  The seating is as sensational and wickedly sensual as the fare on offer with names such as Hedonist Harlem, Sultan's table and Opium Den to name a few of the different areas. With a walk-in wine cellar and over 160 brands of wine on offer, this is definitely the place to be seen.

"A little whisper from a local"

If you know how to eat it, try the

Korean Barbecue Hanwoori

located behind Soi 6, near Nab Gay Club.

Eating In Pattaya Cafe Des Amis

Eating In Pattaya Da Marco

Eating In Pattaya Thai Green Curry

Eating In Pattaya Prawn Pad Thai

Eating In Pattaya Tamar Bakery

Eating In Pattaya Surf Kitchen

Eating In Pattaya Momento Restaurant

Eating In Pattaya Beer Garden

Eating In Pattaya Cabbages and Condoms Pattaya

Eating In Pattaya

Eating In Pattaya

Eating In Pattaya Govindas

Eating In Pattaya New York Pizza House

Eating In Pattaya Golf Sports Bar

Eating In Pattaya Bodega Bar

Eating In Pattaya

Eating In Pattaya Mantra Restaurant

Eating In Pattaya Lorean Barbecue

Best Restaurants In Phuket

Playground for the rich and famous.

Sumptuous BUT Pricey

(Business Expense Account or sell the kids)

Acqua Restaurant, Phuket

324/15 Prabaramee road, Kalim Bay, PatongTel: +66 76 618 127
Open: Dinner
Booking advisable


This is one award-winning restaurant that deserves to be noticed.  The dishes are pure Italian, both traditional and some with a modern twist, served with creative flair and attention to details with the freshest ingredients sourced throughout the world.

I Just Want to Eat

(food glorious food)

Gallery Cafe by Pinky

19 Yaowarad Road,  Taladyai, Phuket Town
Tel:  +66 89 103 7000
Open:  breakfast, lunch and dinner


A cozy cafe in the heart of Phuket Town with scrumptious home made delectable cakes, numerous sweet and savory options for breakfast or lunch and the best fruit smoothies ever.  And, the coffee is some of the best on the island.  The cafe has a funky atmosphere with numerous seating arrangements either in the buzzy front area or the relaxing courtyard at the back.  Free Wi Fi available.


34 Lagoon Road, Cherngtalay
Tel:  +66 76 324 349
Open:  Dinner, late night


Incredibly fresh produce bought daily from local markets to produce an array of Asian fusion dishes.  Must try is the Thai bouillabaisse.  Fantastic food at a great price and served by friendly staff.  Indoor and outdoor seating in a relaxed atmosphere.

Thong Dee Restaurant & Bar

Soi Bangthong 110/25, Kathu
Tel:  +66 76 319 323
Open: 4pm - 11pm Closed Mondays

Thai, International and Asian fusion fare full of perfectly mixed flavors that some say are created in heaven, the food is "that" good.  Friendly and efficient service with some expat locals calling it their home away from home when dining and a favorite to take visitors to.  It is hard to find a restaurant that excels in both Western and Thai food, but this is it.

Eat With the Locals

(Where it is Always Good)

Khun Jeed’s Rad-Na Yod Pak

Phuket Town


Phang Nga Road near On On Hotel diagonally opposite the Bangkok and Kasikorn Banks

If you find yourself with a case of the munchies and you are in Phuket Town look for the Thai "fast food" of rad-na or kwit-teow rad-na which is a rice-noodle dish of meat and vegetables in a sauce.  Or try the pork or chicken satays as they are irresistible.  It is a simple shop house with a bright yellow exterior. It is definitely a case of eating the best with the locals.

Tamachart Restaurant

Phuket Town


Soi Phutorn which branches off Ranong Road - turn right at the Jui Tui Chinese Temple

Ask any tuk tuk driver for this local’s favorite as it has been in situ forever.  A place where locals and expats wanting mouth watering Thai-Chinese fare at very much a local price point.  It is an oddity that has to be experienced to be believed.

Phuket Floating Restaurants

Laem Hin Pier, Phuket


If you are looking for a novel eating experience try eating at one of the many floating restaurants along the east coast of Phuket.  Grab a long tail boat and head out to one of the wooden floating structures which were originally local fish farms which serve up freshly shucked oysters, stir-fried crab, roast shrimp with salt and garlic or try your taste buds out on a fiery rendition of tom yam kung soup.  You can even pick out your own swimming morsel from the many floating wood and net enclosures within the restaurants to be freshly cooked the way you want it.

Eat a Burger

(We all get desperate for one)

Rider Cafe

Yaowarad Road 30, Thalad Yai, Phuket Town
Tel:  +66 81 958 6832
Open:  Tue - Sun 9:00 am - 10:00 pm


A cool little cafe with a great ambience serving up that essential comfort food which we all have a food panic attack for at some point.  A big juicy burger that actually slops everywhere when you bite into it.  If this is only on the agenda for one of you, there are alternative offerings of Thai food and scrummy cakes to devour.

Adventure Eating

(Street Food and Local Markets)

Phuket Week End Market

Phuket Town


Thailand is renowned for its street food, which many tourists avoid because of worries about hygiene.  Rule of thumb is always go for the busiest stalls and make sure you watch them cook it in front of you.  Don't go for items that have been left sitting.  The weekend market in Phuket Town along Chao Fa West Road, which is not far from Central Festival shopping center, is worth exploring not just for the amazing and tantalizing array of street food but also for an eclectic collection of objects for sale.   Try the corn on the cob, sausages that will set your mouth on fire, spicy fish cakes and even deep fried insects if you really want to get on the gourmet adventure trail.

Lock Tien Food Court

Phuket Town


Really get into the local cuisine by exploring the food stands on Yaowarat Road in Old Phuket Town.  Ask a local tuk tuk driver to take you to the stalls known as "Lock Tien" or "Old Siam Theater" to discover a culinary world of traditional Thai dishes that you may never experience anywhere else. Dishes such as "mee hoon pah chang" which is a pork bone soup with fried noodles or "por phee" which is a fresh spring roll.  Make sure you go just before lunchtime or you will get lost in the local hordes descending on the stalls.

A Vegie's Alternative

(when meat is on the taboo list)

Mom Tri's Kitchen at Villa Royale

12 Kata Noi Rd, Kata Beach
Tel:  +66 76 333 569
Open:  Breakfast, lunch and dinner


You may have to "hire" the kids out for this one

Sitting above the rocks at Kata Noi Beach, you can gaze at the panoramic view whilst enjoying Mediterranean, Thai and Vegetarian fare.  This is not one of the cheapest options around but it is definitely one with the most amazing setting for tourists to enjoy.  It is an award winning restaurant so the prices match its standing in the culinary world.  Mouth watering food is served in a decadent cliff hanging open-air terrace or Thai salas that capture the true Thai essence of a relaxing holiday.

Dok Bua Vegetarian Restaurant

2 Soi Ratchapruk, Samkong | (Street Next to Bangkok Hospital)
Located opposite wedding shop, Phuket Town
Tel:  +66 76 211 985
Open: 10.30 to 8.30pm


A vegan/vegetarian restaurant that will not make you sell or hire out the kids to enjoy the fare.  Incredibly fresh ingredients combined with local knowledge and flair in each dish.  Here you will find tasty and healthy fare at a reasonable cost.  A must try is the mushroom tempura.

A Local Chef's Favorite

(Eating Haunts Chefs Don't Want to Share)

Taste Surin Beach

Surin Beach 3, Choeng Thale, Phuket
Tel:  +66 76 270 090
Open:  Lunch and dinner


A definite must for the pork sliders that overwhelm your taste buds with flavor, as do all the dishes on offer.  Sit on the beachfront of Surin Beach and watch the endless blue of the Andaman Sea.  It is a great place for lunch or dinner, with the bonus of excellent service and a great wine list. Fusion food with a flair for keeping the integrity of the ingredients bought freshly each morning at the local markets.

Home Comfort Eating

(I just want western food)

Sam's Steaks and Grill

52 Thaweewong Rd, Holiday Inn Resort Phuket, Patong, Kathu
Tel:  +66 76 370 200
Open:  6pm to 12 midnight


A bit on the high side for prices especially in hectic Patong, but the steaks are cooked perfectly and the service is impeccable.  There is a large wine list to find that perfect red to accompany your favorite piece of meat whether it is a rib eye or an eye fillet that is sure to melt in your mouth.

Sunday Brunch

(sleek service brilliant food)

Breeze at Cape Yamu

224 Moo 7, Pa Khlok
Tel:  +66 81 271 2320
Hours:  Sun 12:00 pm - 5:00 pm, Wed - Sat 12:00 pm - 10:00 pm
Bookings essential


If you are looking for a decadent Sunday lunch and have no children in tow, head for Breeze at Cape Yamu for the most amazing indulgent spread of food that you will ever experience with a view to die for.  One long table is the setting, so not only are you being introduced to amazing flavors and textures of food that can only be described as works of art, you get the added benefit of mixing with "stray" people.  It is a delicious feast of dishes that never stop coming with matching wines to be totally indulged in.

"Meet me for a drink or two"

(a classy bar/restaurant)

Siam Supper Club

36 /40 Lagoon Road, Choeng Thale
Tel:  +66 76 270 936
Open:  Dinner to late
Bookings recommended


Not on the cheap side but definitely on the suave side.  It is the place to meet for a cocktail, or a good glass of red.  A restaurant, but with a fantastic bar ambience that will keep you drinking long after you should have stopped.  A great place for those that wish to be seen and the "people perve" in all of us.  Known as a hang out for the wealthy local expats, and tourists alike as the prices are not on the cheap side.  The service and personal attention is flawless as is the food, which would be described as Pacific Rim with excellent steaks and pasta.

Fresh from the Ocean

(when all you want is seafood)

Trisara Seafood

60/1 Moo 6, Srisoonthorn Road, Choeng Thale, Phuket
Tel: +66 76 310 100
Open:  for lunch and dinner


A restaurant where you can literally put your feet in the sand if you wish, whilst elegantly soaking up a romantic Andaman Sea beachside dining experience in utter luxury.  The seafood is fresh, the presentation is an

artwork on the plate and the service is impeccable.

Entertaining Eating

(A unique experience)

Ka Jok See

26 Takua Pa Road, Takua Pa, Phuket Town

Tel: +66 76 217 903
Open:  Dinner Tues - Sunday
Reservations a must do


If you want to "camp" it up and dance on a table after indulging in a Thai feast, this is the place to go for an outrageous experience that will linger in your memories long after you return home.  It is the place of cavorting costumed katoeys dancing to ramped up music that will leave you breathless with laughter.  A very small restaurant that is big on entertainment and definitely not one for the kiddies to be taken to.  Basically it is a grown ups playground for food and dancing the night away.

Eating in Phuket Acqua

Eating In Phuket Gallery Cafe by Pinky

Eating In Phuket Tatonka

Eating In Phuket Thong Dee

Eating In Phuket Khun Jeeds Rad-Na Yod Pak

Eating In Phuket Tamachart

Eating In Phuket Floating Restaurants

Eating In Phuket Riders Cafe

Eating In Phuket

Eating In Phuket

Eating In Phuket Mom Tris Kitchen

Eating In Phuket Dok Bua

Eating In Phuket Taste Surin Beach

Eating In Phuket  Sams Steakhouse

Eating In Phuket

Eating In Phuket Breeze by Cape Yamu

Eating In Phuket Siam Supper Club

Eating In Phuket Trisara Seafood

Eating In Phuket

Eating In Phuket Money Bags


Best Restaurants In Koh Samui

Stretches of soft white powdery sand to wriggle your toes in, lounges and cushions in abundance on the golden beach apron and best of all, the tastes of Thailand, or Italy, or France or.............

Sumptuous BUT Pricey

(Business Expense Account or sell the kids)

Dining on the Rocks

9/10 Moo 5, Bophut, Koh Samui
Tel:  +66 77 245 678
Open:  Lunch and Dinner


For the romantic in each and every one of us, or for no reason at all except to have the ultimate dining experience.  Dining on the Rocks is one venue not to be missed to satisfy all of your senses with perfectly presented fusion food and service to match.  Make the most of it and arrive late afternoon for mind blowing sunset views, whilst literally perched on the rocks.

I Just Want to Eat

(food glorious food)

Kob Thai Restaurant

101/18 Moo 3, Maret, Lamai Beach, Maret, Koh Samui
Tel:  +66 82 534 9325
Open: 12 noon to 10.30pm


A mere 600 meters from the center of Lamai Beach in a quiet Soi, this genuine Thai restaurant consists of 7 private salas sitting around a swimming pool.  Go for authentic Thai banquets and indulge in the mango sticky rice and deep fried ice cream.  The kids will love you for it.

Cafe 69

157/52 Bophut Avenue Apartment, Bophut, Koh Samui
Tel: +66-81-978-1945
Open:  Lunch and Dinner


When you want to indulge in cheap southern Thai food, an amazing Bloody Mary, real coffee or "dribbling good" ice cream and sorbets.  Cafe 69 is the perfect funky and colorful place to do it.  Sit on a cozy cool terrace or inside on comfy couches in the air conditioning, a few steps from Fisherman Village and Bo Phut traffic lights.  When no tables are available, there is a bar area to prop yourself at, for a comfortable wait.


310/7 Moo 3, Ang Thong, Koh Samui
Tel:  +66 86 268 4088
Open: Lunch and Dinner


Nettuno is value for money, dishing up Italian fare with a decadent chocolate fondant topping the list for the sweet freaks. Catering to vegetarians as well as the carnivores, there is home made gnocchi and pasta, huge crispy pizzas to jump over and bread to devour.  With a view of the sea for the blushing red sunsets, nowhere is better to sit back and relax with a glass of
vino in your hand.   

Eat With the Locals

(Where it is Always Good)

All you can eat BBQ Buffet

A short distance along the ring road towards Chaweng, from the traffic lights at the junction of the Fisherman's Village, on the right hand side.


Don't be shy and step into another world with unique local Thai flavor and people.  A definite must when famished.

Noodle Soup Kitchen

Hard to find but sure to please especially at 40tb per bowl!  Located opposite the pharmacy beside the 7 to 11 Shop, just past the turnoff to Tongsai Road, which leads to the Six Senses Resort.  It is only open in the evenings.

Anywhere, anytime for cheap and tasty Thai

Sit on a plastic kiddies chair at any noodle stall, duck into a bamboo hut on the roadside or wonder into any one of the many small open lean-to huts beside a house.  If the locals are eating there, you know you will be having authentic Thai food cooked with a healthy dose of love and attention.

Adventure Eating

(Street Food and Local Markets)

Chaweng Walking Street

Chaweng Walking Street is not only the place to haggle for those tourist souvenirs you must take home. It is a conglomerate of aromas, sounds and colorful street ambiance complete with wafting smoke from barbecue street side stalls that will have your mouth watering and your taste buds zinging. Dance up the street to live music, if you so desire, with a cocktail in one hand and a charcoaled chicken satay in the other.

Mae Nam Walking Street

Thursday nights only, this small walking street is worth exploring for a turbulent noisy family experience, it is loads of fun.  Get there before 6pm if wanting to park a car as the area quickly fills up with tourists and locals alike.  Mobile cocktail bars, food stalls and snack vendors en masse selling anything from corn on the cob and deep-fried grasshoppers, to that knock of handbag or sunglasses.

A Vegie's Alternative

(when meat is on the taboo list)

Phensiri Thai Bistro

80/30 Chaweng Beach Rd. Koh Samui Suratthani, Chaweng,
Bophut, Ko Samui
Tel: +66 77 952 412
Open:  Dinner 7pm - 10.30pm


Book a table at Phensiri as there are only 25 seats in this cute Thai restaurant.  With an open kitchen, daily fresh local produce from the markets, and an ever-changing menu, this is one Thai place that you should not miss.  Book in for a cooking class and have the total experience of discovering authentic Thai flavors.

Sweet Sisters Cafe

Baan Bang Kao Road
(Corner of route 4173 and route 4170),Koh Samui
Tel:  +66 8647088631
Open:  Thurs-Tues 11am - 9pm


This is a cafe encompassing the gambit of all that is healthy and delicious.  Dishing up plates of distinct Southern Thai influences where the vegans, vegetarians, gluten-free, dairy-free or whatever you want to be, are catered for.  Passionate about where their produce comes from, everything is fresh daily and from sustainable organic sources. Make sure you try the banana flower salad and follow it up with a healthy slice of their carrot cake.

A Local Chef's Favorite

(Eating Haunts Chefs Don't Want to Share)

Da Bardo Restaurant Pizzeria

11/23 Moo 4 Mae Nam Koh Samui Surattani,
Wat Na Phra Lan, Koh Samui
Tel:  +66 90 394 3134
Open:  Sat - Thurs 2.30pm to 11 pm


You won't be left sitting in a hunger panic for long in this place, as the service is quick and efficient.  Great thin crust pizza and luscious home made pasta at a very cheap price, with a tiramisu to die for.  Simple and fresh, it is Italian at its best, for when you have had your fill of Thai cuisine.

Home Comfort Eating

(I just want western food)

Stacked Samui

In front of Ozo Chaweng Samui Hotel
Chaweng Beach, Chaweng, Bophut, Koh Samui
Tel:  +66 77 915 222
Open:  5pm - 1am


Slurp on a signature cocktail at the bar or gorge on gourmet burgers, seafood, prime steaks or a salad whilst sitting on an outdoor terrace listening to live blues or rock classics.  A well thought out imported wine and beer list including champagne to sip on whilst licking your fingers, it is a fun place to spend an evening.  Arrive in time for the happy hour and stay for the complimentary popcorn later in the night.

"Meet Me"

(funky bar for a cocktail or two)

Cool Bar

49 M.2 Maret, Surat thanee, Koh Samui
Tel:  +66 869442884
Open: until the last customer leaves


As the name implies, a rustic low key shack on the beach which quickly becomes the "local" hang out for many tourists and is a long standing favorite of expat locals.  Fantastic cocktails, sensational sunsets, cheap eats and staff that look after you as if you are at a friend's place.  Put your favorite music on and sit back and soak up the atmosphere of a true Thai beach bar.

Eating In Koh Samui Dining ON The Rocks

Eating In Koh Samui Kob Thai

Eating In Koh Samui Cafe 69

Eating In Koh Samui Nettuno

Eating In Koh Samui

Eating In Koh Samui

Eating In Koh Samui

Eating In Koh Samui

Eating In Koh Samui

Eating In Koh Samui Sweet Sisters Cafe

Eating In Koh Samui Da Bardo

Eating In Koh Samui Stacked

Eating In Koh Samui Cool Bar


Thai Food - what, where and how to devour it

Here are a few tips for the novice to eating in Thailand. The food will not be anything like what you eat in your own country that is labeled "Thai cuisine". It is an adventure into the unknown of tastes, flavors and sometimes for the adventurous few, even crawlies that go crunch in your mouth.  The spices will tantalize your taste buds, the intricate composition of ingredients is a symphony of traditional cooking and the freshness of the produce is a testament to the many local bustling open-air market places.  Whilst the chili will set your mouth on fire, the sublime local home made coconut ice cream will give you a good brain freeze on a steamy tropical day.

The 10 Must Try Thai Dishes

1. Kao Phad (Fried Rice)

All the different Asian cuisines have their own versions of this dish that can be good, bad or indifferent.  A sometimes food filler, a snack or a side dish, but it can be the main course when you add in protein in the form of chicken, pork or prawns.  If you want it spicy hot, liberally throw the chili sauce over

it and pig in.

2. Pad Thai

Chances are if you are in Thailand for a day, a week or a month, this is one dish that will stand out as a lunchtime treat especially if you are reclining on the beach.  It is quick and easy to gorge on or to share.  Egg noodles are tossed together with tofu, onion, bean sprouts and whatever protein infusion you would like.  Then you get to play with your food and add the finishing flair with however much you would like of crushed peanuts, chili powder, lime juice and fish sauce.

3. Geng Kheaw Wan Gai (Green Curry Chicken)

One curry that stands out as a traveler's favorite as it is not an overly "hot" dish, is the flavorsome green curry.  Go for chicken if you are a poultry fan, but you can ask for a duck or prawn one if so desired. Add steam rice to eat with it and do as the Thai's do and "introduce" your rice to the curry.  The coconut milk in this dish takes a lot of the heat out of the curry.

4. Som Tam

Looking for a bit of fire, grab a spicy papaya salad.  Originating in the northeast of Thailand, it is prevalent throughout the country and it is virtually a "cult" food dish.  Green papaya is shredded with herbs such as basil and coriander, then add spring onions, bean sprouts and of course the mandatory peanuts with a healthy dose of chili sauce.  Oh so low in calories and a flavor explosion in the mouth, there are a few variations on what is put in this dish.  The slightly tart taste from the unripe papaya refreshes and cleans the mouth.  Perfect to pair with barbecued chicken or sticky rice.

5. Gai Med Ma Moung (Chicken Cashew Nuts)

For cashew nut lovers, this is a definite one to eat.  Originally a Chinese dish, the Thais have adapted it perfectly.  A stir-fry in a wok of roasted cashew nuts, chicken, spring onions, chilies, with dashes of oyster, soy, and fish sauces with a touch of palm sugar.

6. Tom Yam Goong

The aroma of this dish is a national symbol of Thai cuisine.  Fragrant herbs such as lemongrass, lime leaves, galangal and shallots infuse this classic spicy soup creating a unique flavorsome dish of spicy hot contrasting with sour notes.  Have some steamed rice with it and it is a complete meal.

7. Kuay Tiew (Noodle Soup)

Rice or egg noodles are used in this dish that is a complete meal and allows you to show off your dexterity with chop sticks, or disgrace yourself as may be the case.  Normally a light stock made from vegetables, chicken or pork (or even all three) is the base to which different cuts of meat or wontons are added. It is then sprinkled with aromatic coriander leaves.  Leave it as is, or doctor it up yourself from the selection of sauce jars you will find placed in front of you.  If you want to feel the heat, just add dried chili flakes. 

8. Massaman Curry

A dish embraced by the Buddhists, it consists of coconut milk, potatoes, bay leaves, roasted peanuts, cinnamon, cloves, star anise, sugar and tamarind sauce with either beef, chicken, duck, goat or pork thrown in.  It is a filling, strongly spiced curry that is believed to have originated in the 17th Century in Ayutthaya, central Thailand.

9. Tom Kha Gai

Or, Thai coconut soup as it is known; most variations include galangal, kaffir lime leaves, chili peppers, coriander, coconut milk, lemongrass, straw mushrooms, fish sauce, chicken and lime juice.  For a smoky flavor add fried chili.  Thought to be the mot refreshing of soups, it is a balancing act to get the flavors in harmony.

10. Khao Man Gai (Chicken and Rice)

The Thai variation of Hainanese chicken rice, it is juicy chicken pieces sitting on top of rice that has been cooked in chicken stock.  It is comfort food and can also be "doctored" to your own taste buds if you want.  Any time of the day you will be able to find this dish which is served with a bowl of chicken broth on the side.  Note that it is one of those "high cholesterol" temptations.




Pad Thai Top 10 Thai Dishes

Thai Green Curry Top 10 Thai Dishes

 Som Tam Pappaya Salad Top 10 Thai Dishes

Tom Yam Goong Top 10 Thai Dishes

Massaman Curry Top 10 Thai Dishes

Tom Kha Gai Top 10 Thai Dishes

Thai Meal Times - any minute and every hour of the day

What is constantly amazing about the Thai eating custom is that it appears to a foreigner that they are always eating, snacking or chasing food of some description.  It is a revolving door of what aroma will whizz past you in the street, or assail your nostrils in beach car parks.  


There are fruit vendors who will chop your chosen fruit into bite size pieces and supply you with a skewer to use as a fork and add in a little bag of sugar, salt, and chili mix to add a bit of spice to the taste.  Motorbike sidecar visions that are virtual charcoal grills on wheels cooking up chicken or beef satays.  Some will strategically park roadside and set up kiddie's furniture for customers to sit at.  Salted dried squid is another amazing sight swinging on the back of one of these "meals on wheels" contraptions.  Some specialize in the most decadent nutella and banana pancakes you can imagine, cooked on the spot whilst you watch your treat cook in front of you.  Like coolies of old, vendors will walk the streets or the beach with baskets on a pole slung over their shoulders overflowing with anything from meatballs on skewers to sticky rice mixed with banana. 


Another vendor may even carry their own pot of steaming water, in which they will drop fresh corn.  Stainless steel carts are a step above the others and usually sell ice cream and some even have bottles of beer on ice. It is a colorful moving feast the whole day and wherever you may be, food vendors will bob along the paths, squat under a palm tree in the sand at the beach or simply stop on the roadside waiting for you, the customer.

Categories : Destination
Tags : Stay Relaxed, Food, Southeast Asia, Thailand, Phuket, Asia, Bangkok, Restaurants, Koh Samui, Chiang Mai, Pattaya
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Gail Palethoorpe

Gail Palethorpe

A "wandering gypsy" Gail lives in Thailand and has travelled extensively, owned restaurants and is an accomplished photographer and writer.

See more of Gails work at:


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