The exotic island of Phuket charms with its white sandy beaches, swanky clifftop villas, gracious Thai culture – and mouth-watering food. Spicy Thai dishes, chilled cocktails and world-class cuisine served in stunningly beautiful settings… what’s not to love? Here is our delicious guide to the best restaurants in Phuket.
Thai Food You Shouldn’t Miss
Thai cuisine is known for its spicy flavours and fresh textures and is often ranked as one of the most delicious and beloved cuisines in the world. Regional cuisines vary throughout the country, so dishes served in Bangkok will have a different edge than those you’ll find in Northern Thailand or on the southern islands, including Phuket. Thai dishes are most often served with rice or noodles.
Pad Thai is arguably one of Thailand’s most famous exports. These Thai style fried noodles offer an easy introduction into Thai cuisine and usually come served with chicken or seafood though vegetarian options are also available. Pad Thai is generally not spicy, making it a very beginner friendly dish.
Tom Yum Goong
Another Thai icon, tom yum goong is a steaming dish of hot and sour soup, usually served with shrimp. This flavourful dish benefits from a hearty broth cooked with rich spices and fresh herbs, with lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves, lime juice and the omnipresent fish sauce adding a distinctly Thai flavour.
Som Tam or green papaya salad is a great example of the fresh flavours and textures used in Thai cuisine. One of the most famous local dishes, the classic som tam is a mix of green papaya, carrots, peanuts and green beans served with a zesty mix of fish sauce, tamarind, sugar, garlic, lime and chilli.
Kuay tiew is the general name for a variety of noodle soups which are usually made with chicken, beef or pork. The dish is topped with the usual suspects: lime juice, fish sauce, sugar and dried chilli. A no-nonsense way to get acquainted with Thai food.
Khao Niew Ma Muang
Khao niew ma muang or sticky mango rice is the perfect way to wrap up a meal of fiery Thai dishes. The name really says it all: this super popular dessert is made up of sliced mango and sticky rice, with a generous splash of condensed milk to sweeten the deal.
This unassuming Thai eatery is hidden just north of the upscale area of Surin, close to Bang Tao Beach. Heralded as something of a hidden gem (for now), Riverside Restaurant is lauded for its rich Thai flavours and incredible pricepoint. Sure, this family-run operation is not the most elegant setting but the green papay salad, curries, fresh fish and more will leave you salivating for more. Be sure to check the off-menu specials recommended by the staff.
Location: Haad Surin Soi 8, Bang Tao
If you’re looking for a more refined take on Thai dining, Silk restaurant is one of your best bets in Phuket. This beautiful venue is located in Kamala and offers a fine dining interpretation of Thai cuisine, with a few Western dishes populating the ambitious menu. Signature Thai dishes include goong saroong (deep-fried prawns wrapped in noodles, served with mango and chili sauce) and gaeng khew wan gai (green curry with chicken fillet, baby Thai eggplants, coconut and sweet basil). Silk also offers Thai cooking classes.
Location: Andara Resort and Villas, 15 Moo 6, Kamala
Tel: +66 (0)76 338777 extension 6880
The stunningly designed Back Ginger restaurant is located at the high end Slate villa resort in Naithon. A traditional mansion built over a lagoon, Black Ginger serves Thai cuisine with a refined modern twist. Chef Piak has created an ambitious menu covering Thai salads, chef recommended seafood, curries and much more. Be sure to book your table in advance.
Location: The Slate, Nai Yang Beach 116 Moo 1, Naithon
Tel:+66 (0)76 327 006
Blue Elephant is part of the celebrated brand of restaurants with sophisticated venues located in Phuket, Bangkok, Malta, Paris, Brussels and Copenhagen. Housed in a grand villa offering endless ambiance, the restaurant offers a refined take on Thai cuisine with highlights including green chicken curry and giant prawns. The tasting menu is a great option to get a taste of everything.
Location: 96 Krabi, Phuket Town
Tel: +66 (0)76 354 355
The 9th Floor
The 9th Floor is a haven of refined dining hidden above the busy streets of Patong. As the name suggests, the restaurant is located on the upper floor of the Sky Inn Condotel, offering sweeping views over Patong and beautiful vistas at sunset. The restaurant specialises in Mediterranean cuisine, with a menu covering Thai prawn risotto, pappardelle and lamb ragout, salads, soups and an extensive selection of pasta.
The 9th Floor
Location: 47 Rat-U-Thid Road, Sky Inn Condotel, Patong
Tel: +66 (0)76 344 311
Siam Supper Club
One of the most iconic restaurants on the island, Siam Supper Club brings a touch of old Hollywood glam to tropical Phuket. A destination in its own right, this elegant bar and restaurant focuses on “West Coast Cuisine” with pizza, pasta, seafood and even a few local dishes covered in their celebrated menu. To finish things off on a sweet note, don’t miss the Siam Supper Club Cheese Cake – they claim it’s the “best under the sun.”
Siam Supper Club
Location: 36 – 40 Lagoon Road, Bang Tao
Tel: +66 (0)76 270936
Occupying a prominent spot on Phuket’s dining scene for almost three decades, The Boathouse offers a picture-perfect setting for elevated dining experiences, built directly on the soft sands of Kata Beach. The restaurant offers an international menu covering both Western and Thai Dishes. Highlights of the beautifully presented menu include grilled seabass and Andaman kings prawns. Book in advance if you want to secure a table out on the beachfront deck.
Location: 182 Koktanode Road, Kata Beach
Tel: +66 (0)76 330 0157
As the quirky name suggests, Acqua is an avant-garde restaurant offering high design and ambitious cuisine inspired by the Mediterranean. Headed by Chef Alessandro Frau, Acqua offers an elaborate à la carte menu, but to get the full effect, we recommend opting for one of the eight-course degustation menus. French oysters, American lobster, grilled octopus and so much more – it’s safe to say this is as close to foodie heaven as one can get.
Location: 324/15 Prabaramee Road, Patong
Tel: +66 (0)76 618127
EAT Bar & Grill
EAT is a great option for families looking for a quality meal in a relaxed setting. EAT prides itself for offering simple flavours executed to perfection – plainness and quality are their modus operandi. Think black angus beef, grilled chicken breast and pasta carbonara. The lively venue is perpetually packed and the open kitchen only adds to the fun ambiance. The staff is also very attentive and friendly towards kids.
EAT Bar & Grill
Location: 250/1 Patak Road, Karon
Tel: +66 (0)85 292 5652
Catch Beach Club
Looking for a fun day by the pool? Catch Beach Club is one of the coolest beach clubs on the island and it’s about to get a whole lot more family friendly. As of early 2019, a Catch Junior venue for the kids is in the works – watch this space. The menu is a fresh mix of poolside classics that will keep little beachgoers and parents happy with club sandwiches, pizzas and Thai dishes.
Catch Beach Club
Location: 202/88 Moo 2, Bang Tao
Tel: +66 (0)65 348 20 17
The Corner Restaurant
The Corner Restaurant is a cosy venue that’ll make you feel just like home. Serving Thai cuisine with a warm German twist, The Corner Restaurant offers a relaxed setting that’s ideal for a family meal. Open from breakfast to dinner, the Thai dishes and Western favourites can be modified into smaller portions for little eaters. One of their biggest draws is the Thai buffet which is served two nights a week. Book a table to avoid disappointment!
The Corner Restaurant
Location: 118/1 Bandon-Cherngtalay Road, Bang Tao
Tel: +66 (0)76 324 023
In Villa Dining
One of the most decadent ways to dine in Phuket is to enjoy a customised feast at your private villa. Most luxury villas in Phuket are staffed with a private chef, meaning you and your entourage can enjoy a fabulous meal without lifting a finger – or leaving the villa.
Naturally, the chefs are masters of Thai cuisine and can also cater to Western tastes and most dietary requirements. Our team has stayed and dined in Jivana Beach Villas and Baan Paa Talee. At the former, we enjoyd a relaxed family style lunch of Thai delicacies while at the latter, we celebrated two birthdays with a chic round of canapés followed by hearty pizzas (and karaoke!).
Some villas offer a fixed menu similar to a restaurant, while others operate off a grocery system where guests only pay for the cost of groceries used to prepare the meals with a possible surcharge added on top. Take a look at our Phuket villas staffed with a private chef.
The Coffee Club
No two ways about it – finding a decent cup of coffee in Phuket can be a real mission. While that perfect cup of joe might elude you during your time on the island, The Coffee Club is one of your best bets for a trusty caffeine fix. This Australian chain of coffee shops has outlets at the Jungceylon Mall, Banana Walk, several hotels and at the airport. Besides lattes, flat whites and cappuccinos, The Coffee Club serves breakfast, brunch, burgers and other casual bites. Another decent option for coffee in Phuket is Black Canyon which has outlets in Jungceylon, Central Festival and beyond.
The Coffee Club
Location: Jungceylon, Banana Walk and more
Another good option for “real” coffee is the cute and cosy 936 Coffee located in Kamala. This bijou coffee joint serves lattes, cappuccinos, espressos and more and the breakfast is not to be missed – the banana pancakes are lovely. Note that 936 is closed during the low season between May and September.
Location: 93/6 Kamala Beach, Kamala
Tel: +66 (0)81 256 7071
Coffee House Café
Coffee House Café is a well-styled coffee shop located in Kata and serves what is hands down the best coffee in this neck of the woods. Lattes and ‘cinos and croissants, oh my! Next to your daily caffeine fix, Coffee House Café serves yummy sandwiches, breakfast dishes and a few Thai specialities.