The 10 best local restaurants in Phuket are a sample of local eating venues that specialise in Thai and/or Phuket cuisine. These are where locals go when feel like good, familiar food. Some of these popular eateries do not even bother with any interior décor! Most have simple tables and plastic chairs (if you are lucky you might have a plastic tablecloth as well as a roll of toilet paper in a container – Thailand’s answer to table napkins.)
As long as the food is delicious, clean and fresh and at reasonable prices of course, customers will always come. This type of venue is usually run within the same family for generation after generation. Customers are mainly from the same neighborhood or attracted from far by word of month. Eating at a restaurant on the Top 10 list can be challenging, especially at lunchtime because many are crowded but it’s worth it.
Phuket Floating RestaurantsPhuket East Coast - Thai Oysters
Phuket’s floating seafood restaurants (‘krachang’ in Thai) are a novel way to dine out and can be found along the east coast of Phuket. The trip involves a fun, brief long-tail boat ride from Laem Hin Pier to the restaurants. It’s a great day out all year round, come rain or shine!
This unique dining concept is there only because about 20 years ago a group of friends from Phuket Town were looking for a more relaxing place to dine and relax. Someone suggested a brilliant idea would be for them to go to a floating fish farm off Laem Hin and ask the fishermen’s family to cook something basic and simple using the seafood they reared. Meanwhile, so the idea went, the group could just hang out, read books or fish away on the farm’s deck (the farms always have a reuan pae or houseboat, where they actually live, connected to it). Read More...
- Opening Hours: Daily usually from 10:00-22:00
- Location: East coast of Phuket
Mor Mudong RestaurantChalong - Whole Fish Steamed in Salt Crust
Mor Mudong is right in among the mangroves. Many of the dishes are typical fiery-hot Phuket food but there are milder dishes on the menu. What’s fascinating about this place is its location and atmosphere. Here, you can sit and enjoy your meal with the mangroves alongside, within your reach.
If there were an island-wide competition for rustic, unusual and out-of-the-way restaurants then Mor Mu Dong seafood restaurant in east Phuket would definitely win it. Set up next to a ‘klong’, a brackish watery inlet from the sea 100 metres away and in a mangrove swamp, Mor Mu Dong is a warren of ‘salas’ – bamboo huts – where diners can sit on mats and eat off low tables as well as at standard tables and chairs. Read More...
- Opening Hours: Daily from 10:00 – 21:30
- Location: Soi Palai (way past Phuket Zoo)
- Tel: +66 (0)76 282 302
Bangpae SeafoodPhuket East Coast - Tom Yum Seafood, Steamed Blue Crab
Bangpae is one of the island’s all-time favourites and is located not far from Bangpae Waterfall near Thalang. Try their Tom Yam Talay, steamed blue crab, deep-fried tempura shrimp, stir-fried vegetables with cashew nuts and fresh oysters with local herbs. This seaside restaurant has a lovely backdrop of mangroves.
If you feel like dining on good-quality Thai seafood, it’s really best to go where the locals go. Bang Pae Seafood is one of the island’s all-time favourite neighborhood restaurants and is located in Bang Pae Village, not far from Bang Pae Waterfall near Thalang. Yes, it is a little bit out of the way for most tourists, but it offers diners the real deal. Read More...
- Opening Hours: Daily from 10:00 – 20:00
- Location: About nine kilometers from the Heroines’ Monument towards Ao Por Pier and only a few hundred metres further down the road from Bangpae Waterfall and the Gibbon Rehabilitation Project. The restaurant is on the right-hand side of the road. Look for the big red sign.
- Tel: +66 (0)87 887 5785
Khun Jeed’s Rad-Na Yod PakPhuket Town - Rad-Na noodle and Satay
Rad-na or kwit-teow rad-na is a Thai-style wide rice-noodle dish with meat and vegetables in a gravy-like sauce: Thai fast food, if you want. At Khun Jeed’s Rad-Na Yod Pak in Phuket Town, you can enjoy this popular dish with pork or seafood. Other popular items here are pork and chicken satays. The restaurant is on Phang Nga Road, in the heart of Phuket Town on the same side of the road as the vintage On On Hotel and diagonally opposite the Bangkok and Kasikorn banks. Though it’s a simple shop-house just like the others in the same area, you can easily spot it because of its bright yellow exterior. Read More...
- Opening Hours: 09:00 – 20:30, closed on Wednesday
- Tel: +66 (0)84 1875 737
Lock Tien Food CourtPhuket Town - Po Pia (spring roll) and oh eaw (iced dessert)
Discovering the authentic tastes and cuisine of the island is not difficult when you explore Phuket Old Town. Just head to the local food stands known by the collective names of ‘Lock Tien’ and ‘Old Siam Theatre’ or just ‘Siam’ on Yaowarat Road. This simple food court caters to a variety of local tastes with dishes that are hard to find anywhere else. Such dishes include mee hoon pah chang (fried noodles with pork bone soup), lo bah (deep-fried tripe with fried tofu and spicy sweet-and-sour sauce), mee nam Hokkien (noodles soup with prawn Hokkienese style), por phee (a fresh non-fried spring roll) and oh eaw (an iced dessert made of flour, banana, and a little seaweed.) They serve some of the best satays in town, too. Read More...
- Opening Hours: Open from 06:30 – 17:00 or when supplies run out. Closed Tuesdays.
- Location: At the traffic lights between Dibuk and Yaowarat Road
Mee Ton PohPhuket Town - Hokkien Noodles and Satays
Mee Ton Poh serves some of Phuket's best fried noodles in Hokkien style. Yellow egg noodles are stir fried with vegetables in soy sauce, usually with different choices of meat like pork, chicken or seafood. Located near the clock tower traffic circle on Phuket Road, this shop has been run by the same Phuket family for several generations. Read More...
- Opening Hours: Daily from 08:00 – 20:00
- Location: On Phuket Road, facing both the Metropole Hotel and the Surin Clock Tower at the traffic circle. It’s easy to spot with signage in both English and Thai.
Kota Khao Man Gai (Chicken Rice)Phuket Town - Chicken Rice
Ko Ta serves mainly khao man gai (Thai chicken rice); one of Thailand's most popular fast-food dishes. Khao man gai is rice steamed with garlic, with boiled chicken and chicken stock. It's eaten with fresh vegetables, chicken soup and a dipping sauce. Prices start from about 35 baht, which is unbelievable for such an outstanding dish. Read More...
- Opening Hours: from 10:00 to when supplies run out
- Location: 16 - 18 Soi Surin Montri (near the traffic circle with the clock in the middle).
Keawjai Bakery and RestaurantPhuket Town - Khao Pad Gai (fried rice with chicken) and Tom Yum Seafood
A family run restaurant opened in 1961, Keawjai is a popular spot for real Thai food. The restaurant is rather small with an air-con space inside and a few more tables just outside the door. Enjoy a fair selection of Thai and Thai-Chinese food as well as desserts. Read More...
- Opening Hours: Daily from 07:00 to about 16:00
- Address: on Soi Phang Nga 4, not far from Royal Phuket City Hotel and the original Phuket Bus Station
WilaiPhuket Town - Hokkien Noodles
Popular with locals and visitors, this small restaurant has long list of ready-made curries/dishes. The must-try menu includes fried basil leaves and chili with pork/shrimp, tom yum goong (spicy Thai soup with shrimp), tom kha kai ((hot sweet soup with chicken and coconut milk) and pa nang moo (coconut curry with pork). Read More...
- Opening Hours: 11:00 - 22:00 closed Sunday
- Location: Next to Nguan Choon Tong Herb Shop, a few doors away from the China Inn Café on Thalang Road
TamachartPhuket Town - Steamed sea bass in lemon sauce
Tamachart Restaurant in Phuket City has got to be the most unusual, out-of-the-ordinary eatery this side of Bangkok. The word ‘Tamachart’ translates into English as ‘Natural’ and many people in Phuket use the English word when discussing this oddly fitted out Thai-Chinese eating place. Read More...
- Opening Hours: Daily from 10.30 - 23.30
- Address: 62/5 Soi Phutorn, Phuket Town
- Tel: +66 (0)76 214 037