Phuket is a melting pot full of different resorts and hotels as well as individual restaurants that offer some amazing food for all budgets and palates. Most people think that there will only be Thai food available but there are plenty of choices when it comes to Phuket food. So you are probably wondering what are the best restaurants in Phuket, and where are the best places to eat in Phuket? Well read on and I’ll give you our list of the 5 best restaurants in Phuket you should definitely visit. Remember, this is just our favourite spots from living here in Phuket as expats for the last 8 years. We tend to favour some Western food restaurants over Thai food restaurants as you don’t necessarily need to go to a Thai restaurant to enjoy some amazing Thai food. There are so many street carts around that serve up traditional and delicious food.
Suay Restaurant (Cherng Talay)
There are actually two branches of this restaurant. One is in Phuket Town, which opened in 2010 and the other is in Cherng Talay which opened in 2017. Both of these restaurants serve amazing food and both have a beautiful ambience but there is something about the Cherng Talay restaurant that we prefer a little more. Their outdoor garden area is quite magical and it is so nice to dine outside here. Suay is a modern Thai fusion restaurant that serves up some traditional flavours with some seriously creative and visually stunning dishes.
This beauty has also been a long time favourite. Chef Martin and his beautiful wife Jade, own and run three of these restaurants now. Back in the old days they used to have a stunning beach front restaurant but sadly that was closed down along with all the other beachside restaurants on Surin Beach. Nowadays you can taste their delicious creations at their restaurant in Kamala, Bang Tao and the newly opened Cape Yamu branch. All of their dishes are well considered and presented beautifully using fresh tasty ingredients. Our personal favourite is the fish taco. Luckily you can get it in an appetizer and main size so make sure you try it.
The Slate for Sunday Brunch
This has been a long time favorite of ours since moving to Phuket 8 and a half years ago. It used to be called Indigo Pearl back then but had a name change and is now known as The Slate. Luckily their Sunday brunch didn’t change and they still serve up some amazing foods on their buffet. There is an array of delectable meats and seafood to choose from. You can choose how much you want and how you want it cooked. To accompany that there is a wonderful assortment of salads, cheeses, pastas, Indian and Thai curries and then for the sweet tooth, a huge selection of cakes, pastries and sweets. This brunch is not to be missed. It is on the pricier end these days so maybe best to save it for a special occasion.
If you’re looking for some traditional Italian food served by a wonderful Italian host then look no further than this restaurant. Gianni is such a wonderful host and gives you such a warm friendly welcome. He caters to all guests needs. One of my favourite touches is Gianni’s reading glasses menu. He has a range of reading glasses to suit all eyes. One night Gianni noted that our friend was struggling to read the menu as she had forgotten her glasses. Next minute Gianni is by her side with a wooden tray offering her a selection of reading glasses. Truly wonderful attention to detail.
This little gem is off the beaten track and can be a little hard for people to find. Thong Dee is best known for its traditional Sunday roast. They do also serve an array of other Western and Thai dishes but the roasts are what draws the crowds.
Thailand is a pretty diverse country geographically, culturally and with its food. The country can be divided up into 4 locations, The North, South, Central and Northeast. Each of these different locations bring with them a different landscape, culture and cuisine. We are going to focus on the different food per region. You may be wondering what the difference is. Isn’t Thai food all the same? Well no actually. Depending on the region of Thailand they all tend to cook a little differently with what is available to them.
In the North, there are a lot of influences from Myanmar and Laos as they border the northern region. One of their most popular daily foods is sticky rice. They will serve it for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and dessert. They prefer to cook with bitter flavours and dried spices. The North is known as being the least spicy of all four regions.
In Central Thailand, they tend to use a combination of various flavours and tastes. You can experience sweet, salty, spicy and rich flavours in their dishes. One of their most famous dishes is Green Curry.
In the Northeast, Isan region they are all about their dried ingredients. Their dishes often contain dried shrimp, chilly and peanuts. In Isan, they also layer their flavours and therefore their dishes seem to be quite complex. One of their most popular dishes is Som Tum (papaya salad).
In the South, they have access to some wonderful seafood so a lot of their food is based heavily around seafood. There is also quite a strong Muslim influence in the south and therefore you will also find a lot of curries and very spicy food.
So let’s get down to the main cuisine served here in the south on this beautiful island. Where are the best restaurants in Phuket Thailand to taste traditional Phuket food? See below for five of our recommendations in no particular order:
Piang Prai Restaurant appears to be quite hidden and remote but if you are going to visit Bang Pae Waterfall it is a must visit. It is a little remote but well worth the effort for their excellent Phuket food.
Mor Mu Dong is a restaurant located in Chalong. This restaurant is definitely off the beaten track and is a hub for locals. It serves up some wonderful traditional Phuket food. It is a rustic place so don’t expect fine dining but do expect authentic, delicious food.
Ko Benz is a fabulous noodle soup restaurant that is extremely busy! You’ll need to be prepared to wait and keep your eyes on a table that may be freeing up. Don’t be discouraged by the crowds, it’s certainly worth the wait. Interestingly, the restaurant opens based on the moon calendar.
Laem Hin Seafood is one of the best-known seafood restaurants for locals and expats. The restaurant is huge so there are usually spare tables available. Here you can choose your own live seafood and get it cooked the Phuket food way.
Northern Chaing Mai Restaurant is technically Northern Thai food, but it is certainly not one to be missed and can easily be considered one of the best restaurants in Phuket. This gorgeous little restaurant is located in Cherng Talay and has a nice garden area out the back to sit in and enjoy the ambience. If you come to this restaurant you must try the Khao Soi. This is my all time favourite Thai dish. It is similar to a delicious soup that has been topped with fried noodles. You can alter the spiciness of this dish too to suit your requirements. Squeeze some fresh lime over it and enjoy the tangy, spicy, crispy and all round goodness of this dish. Some other notable mentions are the spicy northern sausage and crispy pork rinds.
So now that you know all about the best restaurants in Phuket and where to eat traditional Phuket food, it’s time to get off the beaten track while soaking in the Phuket experience and building up your appetitie. If you have time, I’d highly recommend going on a Krabi boat tour to check out the scenery and also to have lunch at Centara Resort Krabi. This resort is not only stunning but it serves up some wonderful Western, Asian and Thai food. It has one of the best restaurants in Thailand. What are you waiting for? Experience Phuket’s surrounding islands with a luxurious boat tour.