How does one live up the island life without a seafood feast or two? It’s definitely a dining experience that can’t be missed in Phuket. From beachfront restaurants to local haunts and quaint venues set above mangrove swamps, here are 10 places worth checking out.
Bang Mud Seafood Floating Restaurant
Hop on a longtail boat from Laem Hin Pier to arrive at Bang Mud, one of the handful of floating restaurants located next to Coconut Island. The restaurant’s picturesque surroundings, friendly service and lack of busy crowds add on to the restaurant’s tranquil charm, but its dishes like the steamed squid with lemon, stir-fried morning glory in oyster sauce, blue crabs and soft shell crabs that keep diners coming back for more.
Bang Mud Seafood Floating Restaurant is located at 3 Laem Hin Road, Ko Maprao, Phuket Town, Phuket, p. +66 81 273 2367.
This long-running restaurant is known for its scrumptious seafood, panoramic views of Chalong Bay, and relaxed vibes. The décor is chic and stylish, featuring wooden dining sets, red patio umbrellas, and a glass-walled breakfast café. Don’t leave without trying items like the baked lobster in butter, deep-fried freshwater weed with shrimp and tom ka gai. Kan Eang@Pier has a small Wine Connection outlet within its grounds too – leaving wine lovers with plentiful options for choosing a perfect pairing that’ll go down smoothly with a fishy feast.
Kan Eang@Pier is located at 44/1 Moo 5, Viset Road, Muang, Phuket, p. +66 83 173 1187. Open 10:30am-11pm daily.
Kaab Gluay Restaurant
Kaab Gluay oozes a relaxed, down-to-earth charm with its minimal decor and fuss-free setting. It’s a place that draws a loyal stream of diners with its wallet-friendly prices and authentic Thai seafood fare – all of which are cooked to perfection and dished out in generous portions. Busy dinner crowds are the norm here, so be sure to arrive in the early hours of the evening to secure a table.
Kaab Gluay Restaurant is located at 58/3 Phrabaramee Road, Patong Beach, Phuket, p. +66 81 787 7830.
Laem Hin Seafood
Locals and travellers (at least, those in the know) flock to Laem Hin Seafood for mouthwatering seafood dinners. The menu features a wide selection – so if you’re having a hard time deciding, skip the decision-making process altogether by sticking with classics like the spicy seafood salad, spicy fish with Thai herbs, prawn omelette, hor mok (steamed fish curry wrapped in banana leaf) and tom praet talay (spicy seafood soup). Group dinners are best enjoyed at one of the tables laid out on the wooden deck, while tables placed along the old jetty offer a more intimate dining experience.
Laem Hin Seafood is located at 90/11 Moo 7, Soi Baan Leam Hin, Thepkrasattri Road, Phuket Town, Phuket, p. +66 76 239 357. Open 10am-10pm daily.
Kan Eang 2
With a spacious dining area by the beach, Kan Eang 2 makes a great option for families and large groups. Most of the seating is set outdoors under the shade, where diners can enjoy uninterrupted ocean views and cooling sea breezes. Choose from a wide-ranging menu that lists myriad seafood fare, along with Thai classics like pad thai, fried rice or spicy salad. If you’re dining with friends or family, go for the set menus so everyone gets a taste of the best of what the restaurant offers – irresistibly tangy Thai soup to deep-fried shrimp cakes and steamed fish with lemon and chilli.
Kan Eang 2 is located at 9/3 Moo 9 Chofa Tawan Aok Road, Chalong Bay, Phuket, p. +66 76 381 323. Open 10am-11pm daily.
Mor Mu Dong Restaurant
Be warned, Mor Mu Dong is quite a difficult place to locate, which is also what makes it such a hidden gem. That said, it hasn’t escaped the notice of foodies and renowned food writers (such as Andrew Zimmern) in search of an authentic Thai feast. You won’t go wrong with crowd favourites like the stuffed fish, sea bass in plum sauce or salad with squid, and the meat lovers in your dining party will enjoy items like moo kua klua (pork belly) and kaeng prik kradok moo (spicy pork curry).
Mor Mu Dong Restaurant is located at 9/4 Thanon Chao Fah Tawan Tok, Chalong, Phuket, p. +66 76 282 302. Open 10am-9:30pm daily.
Pak Nam Seafood
The popular Pak Nam Seafood is almost always bustling with a lively atmosphere, despite its fairly remote location in the north of Phuket Town. Seating options are aplenty, with two air conditioned dining spots, a central indoor-outdoor dining area and balconies that look out to the surrounding greenery. Recommended mains include the kaeng poo – a local favourite of crab curry with rice vermicelli – as well as tom yum talay, stir-fried fish in sweet-and-sour sauce, baked mussels and king prawns in tamarind sauce.
Pak Nam Seafood is located at 52/220, Moo 3, Rassadanusorm Road, Phuket Town, Phuket, p. +66 76 240 240. Open 10:30am-10pm daily.
Pan Yaah Restaurant
Pan Yaah is more than just a seafood haunt with its beachfront location, breathtaking views over Patong Bay, beautiful dark wood interior, and friendly service – it also doubles up as a picture-perfect venue for romantic dinners and evening sundowners. After a round of cocktails, sample the restaurant’s delectable seafood offerings – from a decadent dish of mussels in butter, to local favourites like hor mok kanom kro (fish baked in clay pot) and goong ob woonsen (rice vermicelli and prawn casserole).
Pan Yaah Restaurant is located at 249 Prabaramee Road, Patong, Phuket, p. +66 76 290 450. Open 11am-10pm on Monday-Saturday.
Thanoon Seafood Restaurant
Situated along the coasts of the Phang Nga province, the serene environment of Thanoon Seafood Restaurant offers a refreshing change from the hustle and bustle of Phuket. Arrive in the early evening to snag the best seats in the house for the sunset show (hint: these tables are set along the beachside or under the thatched roof salas). Seafood lovers are in for a treat: Thanoon offers an extensive menu featuring dishes like oysters with garlic and chili, geng som (Thai orange curry), prawn cakes, and yum gung siap (Thai salad with smoked prawns).
Thanoon Seafood Restaurant is located at 3 Moo 7, Khokkloi, Takhua Thung, Phang Nga, p. +66 76 452 052. Open 11am-11pm daily.
The Crab House
As its name suggests, The Crab House is a dining establishment made for crab lovers. This easy-to-locate venue delivers on its promise to serve the ‘biggest mud crabs in Thailand’, and offers a fun dining experience complete with bibs, a variety of homemade sauces and all the tools you’ll need to get at succulent chunks of crab meat.
The Crab House is located at 169/83 Phungmueang Road, Patong, Kathu, Phuket, p. +66 76 687 065. Open 12pm-11pm daily.
Top Image: Laem Hin Seafood, courtesy of Wikimapia