Explore Phuket's Local Culinary Gems
Explore Phuket's Local Culinary Gems

We know what you’re thinking, “another article about food in Phuket, don’t you get tired of it?” In short, no, because it’s a little-known fact that anyone who stays in Phuket long enough will become a foodie. The culinary scene is just too varied, well-known, and amazing to ignore. With new restaurants opening constantly and newfound favorites turning up often, one could discuss Phuket’s food scene endlessly. That being said, of course, not all are created equal. There are dozens of great local Thai restaurants, but let’s look at a few standouts. 


Tu Kab Khao

It’s logical to start the list with this restaurant seeing as it’s well-established, well-known, and well-loved. Located right in the middle of Phuket’s iconic Old Town on Phang Nga Road, some may not recognize the name but will know it as the restaurant with the huge, colorful lobster sculpture on the side of the building. 

Tu Gap Khao is quintessentially Phuketian in both style and decor, as well as their culinary offerings. It’s a fairly formal setting and you’ll often see local families enjoying a meal and dressing up for the occasion. The menu is extensive, however, some of the favorites include moo hong (stewed pork in a cinnamon-spiked sweet and savory broth), kanom jeen gaeng poo (a rich and mild coconut curry with huge chunks of fresh crab meat served with thin rice noodles), and the yam sahm oh (sweet and tangy made with fresh pomelo, shallot, prawns, and more). 


Sheaw Jong Shin

If you want to try something unique and don’t mind foregoing the niceties of a more formal restaurant, then Siow Jung Sin is a must-try. The scene is a small one-room setup with no sign out front, adorned with random old mining paraphernalia, and glass-topped tables with cassette tapes underneath, all amongst a smoky haze of smoldering sandalwood and fireball-style cooking. They’re located on the same road as the Naka Weekend Market.

The food is a unique blend of Chinese Sichuan style and Thai, a little on the oily side, but so flavorful. Don’t let their signature souper dteen gai (sweet and spicy chicken foot soup) scare you off. If nibbling cartilage off of tiny bones isn’t your thing, then try the yam tua plu (fresh winged bean salad with minced pork and prawn) or, if you can handle some spice, the phad pet moo pa (spicy curry with wild boar), or for something a bit less common the phad tao hoo ee (fermented soy paste stir fry). Oh, they also make their own in-house ya dong, which is rice whiskey aged with herbs and spices. 


Parknam Seafood Talang

Situated right along Thepkrassatri Road in Thalang, is another great spot for real-deal Southern-style Thai cuisine. With a personable owner, top-notch service, and of course killer food, Pak Nahm is in the rotation of any self-respecting Phuket foodie. 

As the same may suggest, they have a greater focus on fresh seafood, but that’s not to say that they offer a plethora of flavorful offerings. While you can’t go wrong with many of the seafood and shellfish dishes, try the pla phad cha (chunks of fresh fish stir-fried with green peppercorns, garlic, fingerroot, and more), the gaeng som cha om kai (sour orange curry loaded with acacia shoot omelet and prawns), or the simple yet perfect phad mala kai (stir-fried bitter gourd with egg).

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