With this list of the best local Thai restaurants in Patong Beach, we are answering a question that the vast majority of people visiting Thailand ask: ‘where can I find real Thai food?’ Thailand is famous for its cuisine and no restaurant in the world can capture the unique blend of herbs and spices quite like a genuine Thai eatery. Finding such a place, however, is not that easy. Many of the ‘really Thai’ restaurants – even in a tourist resort like Patong – do not advertise much and rely instead on word-of-mouth within Thai-speaking communities.
We have managed to uncover the best of the properly local restaurants around Patong. These are not the places which boldly advertise themselves as being a true taste of Thailand, but the places which don’t need to advertise because the locals already know that they provide the top Thai food at fair and reasonable prices. These are the places where you can really eat like and with the locals, even in a ‘touristy’ place like Patong.
Pan Yaah RestaurantPatong Beach
With its seafront location just south of Patong Beach and looking out across the bay, as well as its classy presentation, you would not expect Pan Yaah to be what you would call a common Thai restaurant. However, its fantastic affordable seafood makes it extremely popular with locals. Without booking ahead, you will have to be extremely lucky to get a table. Top choices include goong ob woonsen (rice vermicelli with large prawns in a heavy casserole) and pla nueng manao (steamed sea bass in lime sauce and chillies). With its cool sea breeze, fantastic view and genuine local cuisine, Pan Yaah is one of the best local restaurants in Phuket. Read More...
- Opening Hours: 11:00 – 23:00
- Location: 249 Prabaramee Road, Kalim
- Tel: +66 (0)7 629 0450
Kaab Gluay RestaurantPatong
A long-established restaurant in Patong, its modern, western look can trick people into thinking that it is not really a local restaurant. However, the reasonably priced Thai cuisine is far more genuinely Thai than any you will find in the more ‘local-looking’ restaurants around town. A predominantly seafood menu includes delights such as stir-fried crab with curry powder, whole sweet-and-sour fish and steamed prawns with various sauces. Its local popularity gives the clean and modern room a boisterous, food court-like atmosphere. Read More...
- Opening Hours: Lunch and dinner
- Location: 58/3 Phrabarami Road, Patong
- Tel: +66 (0)7 634 0562
Sea Hag RestaurantPatong
An icon of the gay community in Patong – demonstrated by the rainbow flag hanging from the upper balcony – Sea Hag Restaurant is well-known for its great Thai food. As you would expect from the name, seafood dominates the menu, with top choices including steamed lemon fish with rice and huge tiger prawns with dipping sauces. The owner – Khun Kenya – creates not only fine, genuine Thai food but also a fun atmosphere, making it an appealing choice regardless of your sexuality. Read More...
- Location: 78/5 Permpong Soi III (Soi Wattana Clinic), Thaweewong Road, Patong
- Tel: +66 (0)7 634 1111
No. 9 Restaurant
A simple, no-fuss eatery a short walk from the beach, No. 9 has an impressive menu of inexpensive Thai and international cuisine, making it as popular with tourists as it is with locals – so much so that it can be a challenge to find a seat after 18:00! The staff are friendly and welcoming, serving up such delights as Penang curry and Tom Kha Gai, along with great examples of all the top tourist favourites and an impressive choice of seafood. A second No. 9 has opened further up the road, close to the entrance of Rat-U-Thit Road, and is under the same management, with the same great food.
- Opening Hours: 13:00 – 22:00
- Location: 209 Prabaramee Road, Patong
- Tel: +66 (0)7 634 1575
Briley is so well known for the one dish on its menu – khao man kai (boiled chicken and rice) – that it is sometimes known by that name. A simple and inexpensive one-plate meal originally from China and particularly common in Chiang Mai, it is known as Thailand’s answer to fish and chips. This tasty and satisfying staple is especially well prepared here, making Briley a remarkably popular restaurant with both Thais and tourists, in spite of its extremely short menu.
- Location: Rat-U-Thit Road, next to the Friendly Dental Clinic
Aroonsom Patong Food Park
A collection of extremely popular seafood restaurants along Rat-U-Thit Road, the Aroonsom Food Park includes 89 Seafood and Kusuma Halal Restaurant, both of which draw big crowds of tourists and locals alike. It is noted for high-quality tom yum goong as well as great fresh fish, lobster and prawns, mostly in Thai preparations. Having been widely discovered and attracting many tourists, it does now have a collection of touts attempting to draw you in, which might make you think that it is not really a ‘genuine’ Thai place. The food, however, speaks for itself.
- Opening Hours: 17:00 – 01:00
- Location: Rat-U-Thit Road, opposite Siam Commercial Bank, Patong
Sam Chor Restaurant
Sam Chor is commonly known by its slogan of ‘Delicious 24 Hours’ and is popular with locals for its great range of Thai cuisine, including fresh seafood and Isan favourites like Somtam and spicy preparations of duck, squid and fish. It is also a good place to try out Thai breakfasts, including stuffed omelettes or rice soup. It is popular with tourists for its genuine Thai food at good prices as well as a small collection of international favourites. Despite a grubby, weather-worn interior, the kitchen area is sparklingly clean and all the food is cooked fresh and tasty.
- Opening Hours: All day
- Location: Behind Patong Police Station, Sainamyen Road, Patong
- Tel: +66 (0)7 634 3044
Its location close to Beach Road makes S&G particularly popular with tourists, though the genuine and affordable Thai cuisine also attracts locals, creating a friendly, bustling atmosphere. Indeed, the prices are exceptionally low for Patong, with phad Thai costing a mere 60 baht! Although the menu also lists quite a few European choices, it is the Thai dishes like tom yam goong and sweet and sour pork that really excel, as does the friendly and efficient service. Read More...
- Location: Soi Post Office, off Beach Road, Patong
- Tel: +66 (0)7 634 0151
A virtually unknown side street off Bangla Road, Soi Lao is home to three small Thai restaurants which are the most popular places for the people who work on the busy nightlife hub to eat at. Offerings include a selection of seafood, numerous curries, omelettes and more. The street is sometimes called “Soi Hong Nam” (meaning ‘Toilet Street’) because there is a public restroom at the end, which is often the only thing which leads visiting tourists to discover this little hive of Thai food. Since most of the customers are Thai, the food is made to their tastes, making it probably the most genuinely Thai cuisine anywhere around Bangla Road. Read More...
- Location: Off Bangla Road, next to Soi Patong Resort, Patong
- Tel: +66 (0)7 634 0151
Krua Tungtong, a popular restaurant in Kathu, is better known by its nickname ‘The Big Chicken.’ It’s easy to understand why, once you spot the enormous statue of a rooster in front of the venue by the side of the road in Kathu between Phuket Town and Patong. Most of the regular customers (many are family groups) come here for the authentic food and already know what to order first – the grilled chicken or kai yang. It’s well seasoned and cooked just right; the perfect combination is to have it with sticky rice. Krua Tungtong’s menu features a good selection of meat, pork, seafood and chicken dishes. They have quite a few vegetarian items too. Read More...
- Opening Hours: 11:00 - 21:30
- Location: Wichit Songkram Road, Kathu. Look out for the giant chicken!
- Tel: +66 (0)7 632 1546, +66 (0)7 631 9263