The best local restaurants in Phuket are a sample of local eating venues that specialize in Thai and/or Phuket cuisine. These restaurants are where locals go when feel like good, familiar food. Some of these popular eateries do not even bother with any interior décor! Most have simple tables and plastic chairs (if you're lucky you might have a plastic tablecloth as well as a roll of toilet paper in a container – Thailand’s answer to table napkins.)

    As long as the food is delicious, clean and fresh and at reasonable prices, of course, customers will always come. This type of venue is usually run within the same family for generation after generation. Customers are mainly from the same neighborhood or attracted from far by word of mouth. Eating at a local Phuket restaurant on this list can be challenging, especially at lunchtime because many are crowded, but it’s worth it.


    Phuket’s floating seafood restaurants (krachang in Thai) are a novel way to dine out and can be found along the east coast of Phuket. The trip involves a fun, brief long-tail boat ride from Laem Hin Pier to the restaurants. It’s a great day out all year round, come rain or shine!

    This unique dining concept was created 20 years ago by a group of friends from Phuket Town who were looking for a more relaxing place to dine. Someone suggested a brilliant idea would be for them to go to a floating fish farm off Laem Hin and ask the fishermen’s family to cook something basic and simple using the seafood they reared. Meanwhile, so the idea went, the group could just hang out, read books or fish away on the farm’s deck (the farms always have a reuan pae or houseboat, where they actually live, connected to it).

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    Location: All along the east coast of Phuket, Thailand

    Open: Daily from 10 am to 10 pm


    Mor Mudong restaurant


    Mor Mudong is right in among the mangroves. Many of the dishes are typical fiery-hot Phuket food but there are milder dishes on the menu. What’s fascinating about this place is its location and atmosphere. Here, you can sit and enjoy your meal with the mangroves within your reach.

    If there were an island-wide competition for rustic, unusual and out-of-the-way restaurants then Mor Mu Dong seafood restaurant in east Phuket would definitely win it. Set up next to a klong, a brackish watery inlet from the sea 100 meters away and in a mangrove swamp, Mor Mu Dong is a warren of bamboo huts where diners can sit on mats and eat off low tables as well as at standard tables and chairs.

    Location: 9/4 Soi Chalong, Muang, Phuket 83000, Thailand

    Open: Daily from 10 am to 9.30 pm

    Phone: +66 (0)76 282 302


    Bang Pae Seafood

    Phuket East Coast

    Bang Pae is one of the island’s all-time favorites and is located not far from Bangpae Waterfall near Thalang. Try their Tom Yam Talay (steamed blue crab, deep-fried tempura shrimp, stir-fried vegetables with cashew nuts and fresh oysters with local herbs. Enjoy these delights at the seaside with a lovely backdrop of mangroves.

    If you feel like dining on good-quality Thai seafood, it’s really best to go where the locals go. Bang Pae Seafood is one of the island’s all-time favorite neighborhood restaurants and is located in Bang Pae Village, not far from Bang Pae Waterfall near Thalang. Yes, it is a little bit out of the way for most visitors, but it offers diners the real deal.

    Location: 66 Muang Mai, Pa Khlok Road, Thalang, Phuket, 83110, Thailand

    Open: Daily from 10 am to 8 pm

    Phone: +66 (0)87 887 5785


    Khun Jeed’s Rad-Na Yod Pak

    Phuket Town

    Rad-na is a Thai-style wide rice-noodle dish with meat and vegetables in a gravy-like sauce: Thai fast food, if you want. At Khun Jeed’s Rad-Na Yod Pak in Phuket Town, you can enjoy this popular dish with pork or seafood. Other popular items here are pork and chicken satays.

    The restaurant is on Phang Nga Road, in the heart of Phuket Town on the same side of the road as the vintage On On Hotel and diagonally opposite the Bangkok and Kasikorn banks. Though it’s a simple shophouse just like the others in the same area, you can easily spot it thanks to its bright yellow exterior.

    Open: Thursday–Tuesday from 9 am to 8.30 pm (closed on Wednesday)

    Phone: +66 (0)84 1875 737


    Lock Tien Food Court

    Phuket Town

    Discovering the authentic tastes and cuisine of the island is not difficult when you explore Phuket Old Town. Just head to the local food stands known by the collective names of ‘Lock Tien’ and ‘Old Siam Theatre’ or just ‘Siam’ on Yaowarat Road. This simple food court caters to a variety of local tastes with dishes that are hard to find anywhere else.

    Such dishes include mee hoon pah chang (fried noodles with pork bone soup), lo bah (deep-fried tripe with fried tofu and spicy sweet-and-sour sauce), mee nam Hokkien (noodles soup with prawn Hokkienese style), por phee (a fresh non-fried spring roll) and oh eaw (an iced dessert made of flour, banana, and a little seaweed.) They serve some of the best satays in town, too.

    Location: 173 Yaowarat Rd, Muang, Phuket 83000, Thailand

    Open: Wednesday–Monday from 6.30 am to 5 pm (Closed Tuesdays)


    Mee Ton Poh

    Phuket Town

    Mee Ton Poh serves some of Phuket's best-fried noodles in Hokkien style. Yellow egg noodles are stir-fried with vegetables in soy sauce, usually with different choices of meat like pork, chicken or seafood. Located near the clock tower traffic circle on Phuket Road, this shop has been run by the same Phuket family for several generations.

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    Location: 402 Thepkrasatti Rd, Thalang, Phuket 83110, Thailand

    Open: Daily from 8 am to 8 pm

    Phone: +66 (0)76 311 233


    Kota Khao Man Gai

    Phuket Town

    Kota serves mainly khao man gai (Thai steamed chicken on rice) – one of Thailand's most popular fast-food dishes. Khao man gai is rice steamed with garlic, with boiled chicken and chicken stock. It's eaten with fresh vegetables, chicken soup and a dipping sauce. Prices start from about 50 baht, which is unbelievable for such an outstanding dish.

    Location: 16-18 Soi Surin Montri, Muang, Phuket 83000, Thailand

    Open: Daily from 6.30 am to 5 pm

    Phone: +66 (0)76 212 816


    Keawjai Bakery and Restaurant

    Phuket Town

    Keawjai Bakery is a popular spot for real Thai food. Family-run and opened in 1961, the restaurant is rather small with an air-conditioned space inside and a few more tables just outside the door. Enjoy a fair selection of Thai and Thai-Chinese food as well as desserts and baked treats.

    Location: 4 Phang Nga Rd, Talat Yai, Muang, Phuket 83000, Thailand

    Open: Monday–Saturday from 7 am to 6 pm (closed on Sunday)

    Phone: +66 (0)91 462 6292


    Kopitiam by Wilai

    Phuket Town

    A meal at Kopitiam by Wilai in Phuket Town is like a journey into the past. The cuisine is noted for its great tastes, especially the fried chicken with basil leaves. This well-established restaurant is quite affordable, with prices rarely exceeding 120 baht per dish. If you want to give your kids the true taste of Thai cuisine, Kopitiam by Wilai is probably one of the best places in Phuket to do so.

    Location: 14/18 Thalang Road, Phuket Town, Muang, Phuket 83000, Thailand

    Open: Monday–Saturday from 11am to 5pm and from 6.30pm to 9pm (closed on Sundays)

    Phone: +66 (0)83 606 9776



    Phuket Town

    Tamachart Restaurant in Phuket City has got to be the most unusual, out-of-the-ordinary eatery this side of Bangkok. The word tamachart translates into English as 'natural’ and many people in Phuket use the English word when discussing this oddly fitted out Thai-Chinese eating place.

    Tamachart is a veritable crazy house filled to the rafters with old valve radios, sculpted masks, seashell lamps, hanging plants, fish tanks made out of TVs and computer monitors. Try the steamed sea bass in lemon sauce, which comes especially recommended.

    Location: 62/5 Phuthon, Bangkok Rd, Talat Nuea, Phuket 83000, Thailand

    Open: Daily from 10.30 am to 11 pm

    Phone: +66 (0)76 214 037

    Stephan Audiger | Compulsive Traveler

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