These Thai restaurants in Karon Beach are the places where you’ll find the ‘real Thai food’ which practically every traveler to Phuket comes looking for. With so many hotels in this beach resort town, there are plenty of places that cater more for foreigners than for Thais. Even so, we’ve listed spots where the food is so tasty, of good value, and genuinely Thai that even the locals regularly dine there.

    There’s no doubt that the world-famous Thai cuisine is best enjoyed in its native country, with seafood being a particularly popular choice in Phuket because it’s mostly caught-that-day fresh. Restaurants closest to the sea are often (though not universally) tourist-oriented and not real ‘local’ places. Some of the best local Thai restaurants in Karon are found further away from the beach and the other tourist hotspots, as you’ll find below.


    Mama Jin's Restaurant

    Mama Jin's Restaurant stands out among the line up of small restaurants in Karon Beach. It’s set in a great location right by the beach and offers tasty and cheap Thai food (with some international dishes available). You can also enjoy great service from the friendly staff.

    Mama Jin's Restaurant is particularly busy around lunch and dinner times, but it's often frequented throughout the day by local Thais, too. The restaurant's seafood dishes are naturally the most popular, such as barbecue prawns and seafood pad Thai.

    Location: 418/8 Patak Rd, Karon, Muang, Phuket 83100, Thailand

    Open: Sunday–Friday from 10am to 10pm (closed on Saturdays)

    Phone: +66 (0)81 893 9043


    The Phad Thai Shop

    The Phad Thai Shop is a very small and innocuous little eatery that serves excellent Thai dishes, including pad Thai (obviously). This rough-and-ready restaurant is located well away from Karon Beach, right on an otherwise largely uninteresting stretch of Patak Road.

    The Phad Thai Shop is often packed, particularly with locals, even outside of normal mealtimes. The signature dish, as well as great khao pad boo (fried rice with crab) and chicken stew, are all exceptionally cheap. Most dishes cost below 100 baht.

    Location: Patak East Road, Karon, Muang, Phuket 83100, Thailand

    Open: Monday–Saturday from 8am to 6pm (closed on Sundays)


    Ging Restaurant

    Ging Restaurant, located on the access road to Old Phuket Hotel, naturally attracts a good share of tourists. It’s the most Thai of the choice of restaurants along this side street off Patak (Beach) Road.

    Ging Restaurant is also popular with Thais who work in or visit the area. As with most of the best local Thai restaurants in Karon Beach, it serves reasonably priced and good quality Thai dishes with particularly friendly service. One of the top choices at Ging is the glass noodles with squid.

    Location: 192/36 Karon Rd, Karon, Muang, Phuket 83100, Thailand

    Open: Daily from 10am to 11pm

    Phone: +66 (0)76 398 106


    Family Seafood Restaurant

    Family Seafood Restaurant has a cool piazza-like design, with greenery surrounding this otherwise typical shophouse restaurant. This little Thai eatery is also known as Red Peppers Family Seafood Restaurant or Family Seafood No. 1.

    With seafood as the top choice – particularly the tom yam goong and steamed whole fish – fresh fish are on display in a bed of ice in the evenings. Its real Thai cuisine at affordable prices makes it popular with Thais and travelers alike.

    Location: Patak East Road, Karon, Muang, Phuket 83100, Thailand

    Phone: +66 (0)87 276 7656


    Bai Toey

    Bai Toey is a restaurant within The Old Phuket Karon Beach Resort in central Karon. Atmosphere-wise, it offers tasteful soul music discreetly piped in, with period fittings throughout the dining area.

    Bai Toey serves up predominantly traditional Thai dishes such as phad thai, deep-fried fish with garlic and pepper, tom yam goong, and green curry. Western dishes and reasonably priced set menus are also available. Sign your name and write a short review on the wall before leaving.

    Location: 192/36 Patak Rd, Karon, Muang, Phuket 83100, Thailand

    Open: Daily from midday to 11pm

    Phone: +66 (0)81 691 6202


    Sabaijai Café

    Sabaijai Café is a tiny restaurant conveniently located on Soi Patai 24, right opposite Nong Han Lake. The specialty in genuine Thai food, quality of its cuisine, and fair rates make this restaurant an unmissable place to dine in Karon.

    Recommended dishes include panang kai (red curry chicken), glass noodle soup with seafood, and tom ka gai (chicken in coconut milk) to just name a few. Note that it’s best to make reservations if you do not want to wait in front of the restaurant to get a table.

    Location: 5/3 Patak Soi 24, Karon, Muang, Phuket 83100, Thailand

    Open: Monday–Saturday from midday to 9pm (closed on Sundays)

    Phone: +66 (0)80 519 6665


    Ying Restaurant

    Ying occupies a little shophouse in Karon, but with some classy touches to it. These include smart table settings and wall decorations and the wooden sign over the entrance. Specializing in reasonably-priced Thai seafood (which makes its location right next to a fish spa kind of ironic), must-tries include barbecued squid and prawns in tamarind.

    Ying Restaurant is also particularly well-known for its excellent milkshakes and fruit shakes, along with impressive cocktails and beer served in frozen mugs.

    Location: 472/2 Patak East Road, Karon, Muang, Phuket 83100, Thailand

    Open: Daily from 10am to 11pm

    Phone: +66 (0)80 527 5585


    Bounty Seafood Restaurant

    Bounty Seafood Restaurant is part of a line of small seafood restaurants at the southern end of Karon’s beachfront road. All pretty much follows the same style: seafood out on display in beds of ice, a seafood-heavy menu with Thai and international dishes, pretty similar prices, and an open frontage with a view out to the sea.

    Even so, Bounty is consistently the busiest of all of them, which certainly says something about the quality. A popular ‘no-frills’ sort of place in Karon, some of its most popular choices include tom yam goong and seafood fried rice.

    Location: Patak Road, Karon, Muang, Phuket 83100, Thailand

    Open: Daily from 2pm to 2am


    Elephant No. 9 Restaurant

    Elephant No. 9 Restaurant is just over the road from Wat Karon, making it a convenient place to try some tasty Thai food after visiting the temple. The selection of international dishes is quite impressive – there are even a couple of pages dedicated Russian cuisine on the menu.

    Thai dishes are Elephant No. 9 Restaurant's specialties, with fresh seafood and panang curry particularly popular with locals and tourists. Its interior has a slightly eclectic look, with funky colorful lamps hanging from a corrugated metal roof, illuminating rattan and bamboo wall coverings, and simple wooden furnishings.

    Location: 485 Patak Rd, Karon, Muang, Phuket 83100, Thailand

    Open: Daily from 10am to 11pm

    Phone: +66 (0)76 396 432

    Ben Reeves | Compulsive Traveler

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