If there ever was a classic culinary destination it's got to be Phuket Island. Here, you'll find a myriad restaurants catering for the widest of tastes and leanings. For those who love fairly-priced Thai food here are some suggestions, mostly from the central and southern part of the island. Find out a list of where to eat in Phuket, Patong and more.
Where to Eat in Phuket
Dining in Phuket
Kaab Gluay Restaurant Patong
For those who don't fancy driving over Patong Hill in search of genuine Thai dining options Kaab Gluay is a good place to consider in Patong itself. For a start, the restaurant has been going for simply ages and has undergone a recent renovation so is looking decidedly smart (before it looked more like a glorified refectory). Uniformed staff members are there to greet and seat you and the best way to appreciate the fare at Kaab Gluay is to go Thai style with many dishes to share. It's easy to order here as the restaurant has a photo menu. Choose between downstairs air-conditioned dining and the upstairs al fresco arrangement.
Paradoxically, Uptown is to be found downtown Phuket. Extremely popular with the lunchtime office crowd, it's really more practical and less time-consuming to eat here before or after midday if you want fast(er) service. Choose from the vividly illustrated photo menu dishes like pak krapow gai (chicken and basil) and the ubiquitous phad thai gai and watch the world go by on this bustling open-sided corner restaurant located between the indoor Expo market and Phuket Town's night market.
Tungka Coffee is something of a Phuket institution and it seems that Tungka has been at the top of centrally-located Rang Hill in downtown Phuket forever. It's an extremely popular sunset-viewing spot and also gets very busy at lunchtime as several guided tours take their customers there as part of their day's itinerary. Serving mainly Thai standard dishes Tungka is not known for its fine dining (although the menu offers no less than 113 dish choices) but as an all-round pleasurable experience it's hard to beat. If you're planning on dining there in the evening try to get there at around 18:30 for sunset ? the views just get better as the evening continues.
Laem Hin Seafood
Another Phuket favourite, Laem Hin Seafood is situated in a fishing village just a few kilometres northeast of Phuket Town. Serving lots of marine delights such a nam pla manao (steamed whole fish in lime sauce) and deep-fried breaded prawns along with a great selection of Thai salads (something the restaurant specialises in). Laem Hin isn't the most attractive restaurant in Phuket ? it's rather basic, but it does have open sides that afford panoramic sea views out over the east coast of the island. You'll be paying a whole lot less here than if you were ordering the same dishes on Phuket's west coast so tuck in and order lots of delights!
This is a fun place to dine as to get to Kruvit Raft you have to take a complimentary long-tail boat (if you don't feel like swimming, that is) from Laem Hin pier to reach it. Located on a large wooden raft with lots of live seafood in nets surrounding and under the wooden floors, you won't find fresher marine fare on the island. Kruvit Raft is also a great sunset-viewing spot as it faces west and you can watch the sun set over the 'spine' of the island. Check out the day's catch with a staff member and choose accordingly. Reasonably priced, Kruvit Raft is a real treat.
Rimtang @ Chalong
Located behind Wat Chalong just outside Phuket Town, Rimtang @ Chalong serves up mostly Thai fare at reasonable prices with a few western dishes thrown in. Simple and unpretentious yet spanking clean, you can dine al fresco outside or inside this pleasantly decorated garden location eatery. If you choose to dine outside you'll have attractive lakeside views to complement the experience. All the popular Thai dishes are served up here along with a wide range of colourful desserts including chao kuey ? black jelly. Rimtang also has an adjacent souvenir shop that's worth checking out for its lower-than- average prices.
Kan Eang @ Pier
It comes as no surprise that this Kan Eang is adjacent to Chalong Pier and is also a large seaside restaurant shaded by tropical almond trees. But the award-winning Kan Eang @ Pier is decidedly more up-market than its namesake down the road and has al fresco and air-conditioned dining options along with live soft jazz. Also an old-timer on the Phuket dining scene, it's almost obligatory to dine here and many visitors follow the guide books' advice and do so. Local fishermen deliver their wares to Kan Eang and it's expertly prepared using fired coconut husks. There's also an onsite branch of the excellent Wine Connection for those who appreciate a sophisticated tipple with their meal. There are a wide range of dishes here but predominantly seafood is served.
Kan Eang 2
Ostensibly Kan Eang is a seafood restaurant but in reality you can order a wide variety of food here, including chicken and duck dishes. Set seaside just north of Chalong on the east coast, Kan Eang is a sprawling affair with tables under shady tropical almond trees so, along with sea breezes, things stay cool here at any time of day. There is also an indoor section if the weather proves too much. The restaurant's been around for 40 years so experience is no problem and many Phuket families regard Kan Eang 2 as a second home. Recently renovated, it's a good choice if you're looking for a picturesque and peaceful place to slow down and enjoy a long and delicious meal.
Rawai Seafood Market
If you're after a totally unique dining experience it's hard to beat Rawai Seafood Market right at the bottom of the island. Stand after stand (owned by local families) features the catch of the day and the choice of marine life is startling. Please remember to bargain the original asking prices down as it's expected and, when handled with a sense of humour, can be fun. Now here comes the interesting part; opposite is a row of restaurants to which you can take your 'catch' and request the cooks to prepare it for you; out of these restaurants Mook Dee is recommended. The best time of day to grab the freshest seafood is lunchtime when fishermen have delivered the morning's catch.
Paknam Seafood Thalang
This is the sister branch of the original Paknam in Phuket Town. Serving generous portions at reasonable prices, Paknam in Thalang is the ideal restaurant if you've just flown into the island and are looking for a quality meal near to the airport (it's a 15-minute drive). Try the tom yam pla (fish soup) for a spicy entr?e and there's no shortage of large whole grilled and steamed fish to choose from. You can either dine al fresco or in air-conditioned surroundings. Paknam is the genuine article ? great Thai food prepared and served up by an all-Thai team.