We’ve all done it at least once: Gone to a ‘Thai’ restaurant in anticipation of a real feast only to have been served not very spicy curry, watery tom yam goong, and ultra-greasy phad thai. Yup, even in Thailand, and especially in tourist areas, you can draw the short straw when it comes to genuine Thai food in a real Thai ambience.
Here’s a definitive list of Phuket’s best Thai restaurants where the chilies are fiery, the service is hot and the ambience spicy. The restaurants featured here are not necessarily the cheapest deals on Phuket and represent more the top end of Thai dining on the island.
Mom Tri’s KitchenKata Noi
Mom Tri’s Kitchen is a fine-dining experience with one of the finest wine cellars in the country yet you can enjoy down-home and expertly prepared Thai food here. Simple dishes such as som tam (green papaya salad) are lovingly rendered with delicate flavours and fine textures. Try a fish dish here and you’ll be blown away; it’s excellent stuff. Read More...
- Opening Hours: 7:00 – 23:00
- Address: 12 Kata Noi Road, Phuket 83100
- Tel: 076 333 568
One Chun RestaurantPhuket Town
One Chun Café & Restaurant serves an authentic Thai cuisine with a preference for southern dishes at affordable prices in the relaxed atmosphere of a vintage décor. Located on Thepkasattri Road’s last section in Phuket Old Town, One Chun is set in a historical building dating back early 20th century. When it comes to food, there's no doubt that One Chun is amongst the best Thai restaurants in Phuket as its daily high-level of occupancy – mainly of whom are locals - really speaks for itself. Featuring a 13-page menu, the restaurant serves only genuine Sino-Thai and southern Thai dishes. Similar to its sister-restaurant Raya, the most popular dish here is crabmeat curry in coconut milk (280 baht) – blending the sweet soft taste of coconut with the slow-burning effects of curry in addition to the freshness and typical taste of crabmeat is indeed a winner (the best side-dish for crabmeat curry is khanom jeen – fresh rice noodles). Read More...
- Opening Hours: daily from 10:00 – 22:00
- Location: 48/1 Thepkasattri road (near the intersection with Dibuk Road in Phuket Old Town)
- Tel: 076-355909 and 085-145443
Ka Jok See RestaurantPhuket Town
Known more for its nightly party atmosphere, Ka Jok See actually serves up well-prepared Thai dishes in portions fit for sharing. One of the longest-running establishments on the island, expect dishes based on traditional Thai recipes with a few twists here and there. You’ll have to reserve ahead at Ka Jok See, due to its popularity. Read More...
- Opening Hours: 18:30 – late, Tuesday – Saturday
- Address: 26 Takua Pa Road, Phuket Town (off Rassada Road, past Michael’s bar)
- Tel: 076 217 903
Raya RestaurantPhuket Town
The charm of Phuket Town's old quarter is nowhere more evident than in its Sino-Portuguese architecture. Along Dibuk, Thalang and Phang Nga roads downtown you'll see beautiful examples of restored shop-houses and a good example of this genre is Raya Restaurant. Raya, not to put a too fine point on it, is THE Thai restaurant in Phuket. Read More...
- Opening Hours: 10:00 - 22:00
- Address: 48 New Dibuk Road, Phuket Old Town.
- Tel: 076 218 155, 076 232 236
Seafood is the speciality at Kand Eang @ Pier and many visitors make a beeline to it to experience the genuine tangs of the coconut-husk-fired grills. The menu is massive and features dishes that you may not have heard of before; fortunately the experienced wait staff can talk you through the many options. Read More...
- Opening Hours: 10:30 – 23:00
- Address: 44/1 Viset Rd. Moo 5 Rawai (Chalong)
- Tel: 076 381 212
Suay RestaurantPhuket Town
Joining the list of quality places to eat downtown Phuket is Suay, a simple, yet effective setup showcasing the talents of Tammasak Chootong. Suay (meaning ‘beautiful’ in Thai) keeps things uncomplicated and cheap but that doesn’t mean it’s not without a lot of allure and appeal; Chef Tammasak enjoys delivering top-class food at reasonable prices so it’s not surprising that the place does well with an approach like that.
Braised beef in sweet Thai green curry and the spicy fresh yellow fin tuna Issan-style are both eye-openers for their easy panache and brio. Choose from the specials backboard with its daily changing offers or go for old favourites such as grilled seas scallops. Portions are relatively small at Suay and sharing dishes, Thai-style is the logical way to go about dining here as dishes are extremely reasonably priced and certainly won’t break the bank. Read More...
- Opening Hours: Daily from 17:00 till 24:00
- Address: 50/2 Takuapa Road
- Tel: +66 (0)87 888 6990
Pan Yaah RestaurantKalim Beach (near Patong Beach)
For one of the best restaurant views of Patong Bay and the town itself a good choice would be Pan Yaah, in Kalim about one kilometre north of Patong along the scenic beach road heading up to Kamala Beach. Established for many years, it’s a great little place for romantic and intimate sunset and evening dining. Read More...
- Opening Hours: Daily 11:00 – 23:00
- Address: 249 Prabaramee Road (Beach Road) Kalim
- Tel: 076 290 450
Tamachart RestaurantPhuket Town
Tamachart Restaurant in Phuket Town has got to be the most unusual, out-of-the-ordinary eatery this side of Phuket. It’s been going for what seems like forever now and is a tremendously popular spot for expats and locals alike as well as being a welcome oddity for visitors. The word ‘tamachart’ translates into English as ‘natural’ and many people in Phuket use the English word when discussing this unusually 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
Blue ElephantPhuket Town
Blue Elephant specialises in Royal Thai cuisine – a rich and exotic combination of flavours once uniquely created for the Royal Palace that has recently grown popular because of the global spread of Thai cooking. It’s located in a splendid, old Chinese-colonial style mansion near the heart of the old quarter of Phuket Town. Read More...
- Opening Hours: Open daily 11:30 – 14:30 and 18:30 – 22:30
- Address: 96 Krabi Road, Phuket Town
- Tel: +66 (0)76 354 355 - +66 (0)76 354 357
Baan Rim PaPatong Beach
One of Phuket’s finest all-round dining experiences, Baan Rim Pa is a teakwood house overlooking Patong Bay and serves Thai cuisine with panache. With a fantastic wine selection, an elegant wait staff, traditional dishes served on crisp white tablecloths, Baan Rim Pa is years away from budget Thai eateries. Read More...
- Opening Hours: 12:00 – 24:00
- Address: 223, Prabaramee Road, Patong (Kalim)
- Tel: +66 (0)76 340 789