Best Restaurants For Local Thai Food In Koh Samui
Koh Samui is paradise on earth. There is simply no other way to best describe it. An island off the east coast of Thailand, it attracts a plethora of tourists every year. It is especially great for budget travellers, as the place is relatively less expensive compared to other popular tourist destinations. There are plenty of tourist attractions on the island too ranging from dreamy beaches, monuments, various water sports and activities, safari and trekking.
It seems Koh Samui has everything for every kind of tourist. Beachside shacks and bungalows for people on a budget, world class luxury villas and resorts for the tourist who likes to holiday in refined style, and even family friendly hotels and restaurants. Chaweng Beach, one of the most popular beaches, is always busy and filled with tourists, while Lamai Beach is more calm and relaxed. Fisherman’s Village in Bophut, is a great place to really see Thai culture and living while Maenam, with its white sand and lines of coconut trees is calming and a picture perfect tropical paradise.
The multitude of activities available for tourists is made even more attractive by the amazing restaurants serving appetizing and mouth watering Thai cuisine. After all, who does not want to energize themselves with good food before setting out for an activity filled day and end the day with equally amazing dishes? The Thai experience can never be complete without immersing yourself in the infamous traditional local Thai food. It is a must for every tourist visiting the island. So here is a list of the best restaurants that serve traditional Thai food in the island of Koh Samui.
Pastis, located in Lamai beach, is under French management and one of the most popular restaurants on the island. They serve not only Thai food, but a good selection of European cuisine. Touted to have a lovely and cosy ambience with green plants and white curtain draping, a lot of happy customers call it “the best restaurant on the island”. The owner, a French man and his partner, are said to be friendly and warm, and always make sure their guests are comfortable. Despite being in a tourist oriented area and the restaurant itself being very popular, dishes are reasonably priced. Pad Thai, special fried rice and crispy garlic chicken pepper are the must try dishes.
The Siam Residence Beach Restaurant (Lipa Noi)
The Siam Residence Beach Restaurant in Lipa Noi offers a one of a kind view with a stunning sunset. It is one of the most elegant and sophisticated restaurant, serving popular cuisines from all over the world, combined with the zest and essence of Thai products. They also serve authentic and traditional Thai dishes. They specialize in seafood and it is definitely a must try. Although a bit pricey due to it being a resort too, if you have money to spare, it is definitely worth it. It is located in a quiet hideaway, far from the hustle and bustle of tourists, making it the perfect place to relax and rejuvenate on your holiday.
Le Betole (Choeng Mon)
Located in Choeng Mon, Bophut, Le Betole serves Thai, Italian and European dishes to guests. Satisfied customers cannot stop talking about the excellent service, and warm and friendly staff. A lovely and snug little place, Le Betole creates a cosy and inviting ambience with its candle lit tables, white furniture and perfectly dimmed lighting. Said to be highly family friendly, this restaurant serves excellent home-made food and is popular among tourists. The Pad Thai, tom yum soup and fried rice with pork are the most loved and popular dishes among customers. They are also famous for their home-made ice cream tourists cannot stop raving about.
Shiva Samui (Maret)
Formerly called Samui Beach Village and now called Shiva Samui, this resort and restaurant is an ideal destination for couples and families with the holiday packages it offers. It offers luxury villas, with number of bedrooms ranging from 2 to 5. The beachfront venue also provides free services including yoga, water sports and children’s clubs among many others. Shiva Samui boasts being the only luxury villa resort that offers world class and comprehensive resort and restaurant services in all of Koh Samui. So if you are someone who wishes to holiday in style and class, Shiva Samui is the perfect holiday destination for you.
Sala Thai Restaurant (Chaweng)
Sala Thai serves a range of delicious authentic local Thai dishes at reasonable and affordable prices. Apart from their Thai speciality, they also offer a limited range of international cuisines. The setting is extremely inviting with an elegant traditional structure in Thai style. Customers can enjoy a wonderful evening with a gentle tropical breeze blowing lightly while they dine as the restaurant does not have any walls. This also gives it a scenic view. The seating, furniture and overall ambience of Sala Thai makes guests feel like they are in a classy and refined restaurant, all the while paying very little. What better way to experience the island paradise? Popular dishes include som tam, green curry, fried rice and tom yam soup.
The Friendly Frog (Bophut)
The Friendly Frog is located in Fisheman’s Village, Bophut, an area widely popular among tourists. Despite this, the prices of the dishes the restaurant offers are surprisingly low and reasonable due to the simple setting and ambience of the restaurant. With its white plastic chairs and tables and a metal roof, The Friendly Frog presents itself as a small but cosy little nook, surrounded by plants. Some of the most popular dishes are som tam, only for 120 baht, the massaman curry, which is available only for 130 baht and the fried crab curry at just 250 baht.
Ko Pan (Bophut)
Ko Pan is a simple, tiny restaurant with an amazing view of the ocean. Located in Bophut, it is opened for lunch and dinner. It may look a little rugged from the outside, with its red metal gates, metal roof, wooden floors and no walls. But looks can be deceiving, because once you walk past those gates, it’s a whole different ambience. As it does not have any walls, you get a completely unobstructed and open view of the ocean. It’s almost as if you are dining while floating in the sea. Though the menu is short with few options, the available Thai dishes are not only mouth-watering but reasonably priced too. The green curry and Pad Thai are a must try, only costing less than 100 baht, as is with all other dishes.
Mit Samui Restaurant (Chaweng)
Mit Samui Restaurant, located at Chaweng, claims to be “Samui’s biggest seafood and Thai food restaurant”. The place seems deserving of this self acclaimed title, as it is always filled and crowded with locals and tourists alike. It is a huge building, and can be easily identified with the two humongous light-up lobsters at the front. Mit Samui presents customers a vast menu which offers more than 200 Thai dishes. If you ever choose to visit this place, make sure to try the stir fried crab with yellow curry and lobster dipped in tamarind sauce, the most popular dishes. Everything is reasonably priced too with dishes ranging from around 100 baht to 400 baht.
Green Bird (Chaweng)
A simple and clean, yet inviting little restaurant sits at Chaweng, just by the main road. This restaurant, Green Bird, although consisting only of simple tables and white plastic chairs, is greatly loved by the locals as well as tourists. This is very clear from the great reviews left by customers, which are posted on the walls of the restaurant. The friendliness and amazing service of the staff is frequently mentioned in these reviews. They serve great authentic Thai food at an affordable rate, making it popular among tourists on holidays with a budget. Since it was opened for service in 2007, this place has maintained its signature green colour on the walls and the tables.
Kung Pao (Chaweng)
Although opened for dinner only, Kung Pao at Chaweng Beach Road is common among tourists who wish to taste authentic local Thai food. The place is simple and unpretentious, brandishing the fresh catch of the day in front of the restaurant, by the street. These include crabs, oysters, tiger prawns and lobsters among others. Kung Pao gives customers the option of bundling together these sea foods for two people at an extremely reasonable price, which you hardly get anywhere else. For example, if you take up the offer, you can have one fish of your choice, one lobster, sea crab and a calamari just for 1490 baht, accompanied by rice which is on the house. The friendly staff makes the place even more welcoming.
Kob thai (Lamai)
Being one of the most popular and widely loved restaurants in Lamai, Kob Thai was opened in 2012 under French running. Apart from the having a serene and peaceful tropical setting, it has a swimming pool and eight wooden salas. This makes it a common destination for families on holiday. Considering that it has grown to be so popular, you would expect the food to be pricey. But on the contrary, they are extremely affordable with a sizable serving. You can have a bowl of lip-smacking chicken stir fried noodles only for 100 baht, and other equally delicious local Thai dishes at reasonable prices. You can easily walk around 600 m from Lamai Beach, and Kob Thai can be easily found with the famous Coco Splash Water Park right next to it.
The Island View Restaurant (Talin Ngam)
On the west coast of Koh Samui in Talin Ngam, nestled among coconut trees on the beach is a cosy little restaurant made from thatch and bamboo – The Island View. Indeed living up to the name it’s given, this place has an amazing view. Being a beachfront setting, you can relish on their delicious and scrumptious Thai food, with sand, coconut trees and water right in front of you! Sounds like the perfect holiday already. But it gets even better with their happy hour, which is from 17:00 to 18:30, where they serve cocktails only for 100 baht. They also specialize in seafood and fresh fish Thai dishes.