The southern part of Phuket Island has always been regarded as a more residential area than a tourist destination. Having said that, the sunset viewing point of Cape Phrom Thep is positively bustling on a nightly basis and the nightlife scene along Rawai’s beachfront is growing slowly but surely but it is the restaurant scene that truly reflects the suburban nature of this district.
Put simply, there are restaurants scattered everywhere – down back streets, in the most unlikely of places and the main drags of Wichit Road and Soi Sai Yuan are lined with eateries and bars of wildly fluctuating style and quality. Here are some of the best places to dine in Rawai and Nai Harn.
- Phuket FantaSea Cultural Theme Park
- Phi Phi Islands Tour with Express Boat
- James Bond Island Full-Day Tour via Big Boat
- Coral & Racha Islands Full-Day Tour
- Whitewater Rafting & 4-Wheel-Drive Adventure
- Sea Kayaking at Ang Thong Marine Park
- Flying Hanuman Ziplining Experience
- Canoeing Excursion in Phang Nga Bay with Thai Buffet Lunch
- Introduction to City Tour
- John Gray's Cave Canoeing Tour in Phang Nga Bay
With a slick white design in a courtyard set off from Nai Harn’s main road, Da Vinci has been popular with locals for some years now because of its quality approach to Italian dining, its pleasing aesthetics and cheerful service. Here, you can find good thin-crust pizza, Australian beef, local seafood, and a whole gamut of dishes prepared by the highly competent Thai chef.
The adjacent V Lounge serves good cocktails in a sophisticated atmosphere and you’ll have the choice of al fresco or indoors dining. Slightly more pricy than its compatriots, Da Vinci nevertheless delivers in style. Read More...
- Opening Hours: Daily from 17:30 onward
- Location: Soi Saiyuan Nai Harn, Rawai
- Tel: 076 289 574
Located in Serenity Terraces, a chic resort on Phuket’s east coast, East 88 does a good line in Mediterranean dishes as well as Thai favourites and western comfort food. Atmospheric and modern in design, the restaurant borders the shoreline and benefits from the sea breezes and views out to Coral and Lone islands and it’s a good place to go for an afternoon chill out with children as it has its own swimming pool.
East 88 also has a pretty good and varied wine list and is a happening place with live music and a traditional dancing show on a weekly basis. Read More...
- Location: in Serenity Resort & Residences
- Tel: +66 (0)76 371 900
Friendship Beach is somewhat enigmatic as it not only serves American comfort food but also the healthiest dishes available around this area. As one can imagine, this is good news for both camps of the taste vs. health divide and it’s all the more appealing as it is beachside and has a swimming pool.
So if its raw cuisine bursting with enzymes and vitamins that you’re after, or simply a burger and chips, you can have it both ways at Friendship Beach. The ideal family destination, Friendship is a popular for long, lazy Sunday afternoons. Read More...
- Opening Hours: Daily from 08:00 – 23:00
- Location: in Friendship Beach Waterfront Resort
- Tel: +66 (0) 76 288 996
Operating since time immemorial, Nikita’s is a firm local favourite for a number of very good reasons. It has recently added a kitchen (previously it enjoyed a symbiotic relationship with the restaurant next door) with spectacular results and has morphed from being a ‘bar with food’ to a full-blooded restaurant serving quality western and Thai dishes (try the massaman curry – highly recommended).
Located right by the Rawai waterfront, Nikita’s is a lovely afternoon destination to watch the fishing boats and yachts pass by and the local sea gypsy children frolic in the tide. Reasonably priced with a canny wine selection, it’s deservedly a Rawai institution. Read More...
- Opening Hours: 10:00 till late
- Location: Wiset Road, Rawai Beach
- Tel: +66 (0)76 288 703
The Family largely purports to serve Mediterranean food but there’s definitely a Middle-Eastern twist to what’s on offer here as well as western and Thai dishes so, as you can imagine, the menu is bulky.
Located right next to Tesco Park on the main Chalong-Rawai road, The Family is popular with hard-working expats who order ahead and take away the robust and value-for-money food; indeed many of the dishes are hard to finish, they’re so generously proportioned. The pita bread here is baked to perfection and is a great base for the many spicy and exotic offerings on the menu. Read More...
- Opening Hours: 12:00 – 22:00 Closed Mondays
- Location: Directly next to Tesco Lotus on Wiset Road
- Tel: 076-280454