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The Top Thing to Eat: Phuket

Written: The Top Thing Staff | October 20, 2023


Traditional Thai Dishes

When visiting Phuket, you're in for a culinary adventure like no other. The island is famous for its mouthwatering traditional Thai dishes that are sure to leave a lasting impression on your taste buds. Whether you're a fan of spicy curries or aromatic stir-fried dishes, Phuket has something for everyone.

Traditional Thai Dishes Overview

  1. Pad Thai: This iconic Thai dish is a must-try. It consists of stir-fried rice noodles with shrimp, tofu, bean sprouts, and eggs, topped with crushed peanuts and served with a side of lime.

  2. Tom Yum Goong: This hot and sour soup is a staple in Thai cuisine. Made with shrimp, lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves, galangal, and chili, it offers a burst of flavors that will leave you craving for more.

  3. Green Curry: Known for its vibrant green color, this curry is made with fresh green chili, Thai basil, coconut milk, and a variety of vegetables. Served with steamed rice, it's a perfect combination of spicy and creamy.

Must-Try Thai Street Food

  1. Satay: These grilled skewers of marinated meat, usually chicken or pork, are a popular street food snack. Served with a peanut sauce for dipping, they make for a flavorful and satisfying treat.

  2. Mango Sticky Rice: For those with a sweet tooth, this dessert is a must-try. Made with ripe mangoes, sticky rice, and coconut milk, it's a perfect balance of sweet and creamy flavors.

  3. Pad See Ew: This stir-fried noodle dish is both delicious and filling. Made with wide rice noodles, soy sauce, and your choice of meat or vegetables, it's a comfort food that will keep you coming back for more.

Whether you're dining at a local restaurant or exploring the vibrant street food scene, be sure to indulge in these traditional Thai dishes during your visit to Phuket. Your taste buds will thank you!


Seafood Delicacies

Fresh Seafood in Phuket

If you're a seafood lover, then Phuket is a paradise you don't want to miss out on. The island offers an abundance of fresh and delicious seafood dishes that will satisfy your cravings.
One of the must-try dishes in Phuket is the Tom Yum Goong, a spicy and sour soup made with fresh prawns, lemongrass, lime leaves, and Thai spices. It's a burst of flavors that will awaken your taste buds.
Another popular dish is the Pad Thai, a stir-fried noodle dish that typically includes shrimp, tofu, bean sprouts, and peanuts. It's a classic Thai dish that you can find almost everywhere in Phuket, and each place adds its own twist to make it unique.
For seafood lovers, a visit to the seafood market in Rawai or the local fishing villages is a must. Here, you can handpick fresh ingredients and have them prepared by talented local cooks right in front of you. It's an interactive and delicious experience you won't forget.

Popular Seafood Restaurants in Phuket

When it comes to seafood, there are several renowned restaurants in Phuket that locals and tourists alike flock to.
One of them is Kanom Tom Seafood, located near Patong Beach. They specialize in serving a variety of fresh seafood dishes, including grilled prawns, steamed fish, and their famous seafood platter.
Another popular spot is Lobster and Seafood Buffet at Kalim Beach. As the name suggests, they offer a wide selection of lobster dishes, along with other delectable seafood options. The buffet allows you to try different dishes at a reasonable price.
If you prefer a more upscale dining experience, Andy's Seafood and Grill in Surin Beach is the place to be. Their menu features a fusion of Thai and international flavors, with an emphasis on fresh seafood. Try their lobster thermidor or seafood curry for a truly indulgent meal.
From local seafood markets to high-end restaurants, Phuket offers a plethora of delicious seafood options that will leave you craving for more. Whether you're a fan of traditional Thai flavors or looking for a unique twist, Phuket has something to satisfy every seafood lover's palate.


Local Specialties

When you visit Phuket, you're in for a treat! This Thai paradise is not only known for its stunning beaches and vibrant culture but also for its mouthwatering local specialties. Get ready to tantalize your taste buds with these must-try dishes!

Famous Phuket Noodles

If you're a fan of noodles, you're in luck! Phuket is famous for its delectable noodle dishes that will leave you craving for more. One must-try dish is Phuket Hokkien Mee, which is made with thick yellow noodles stir-fried with succulent seafood, vegetables, and a flavorful sauce. Another popular noodle dish is Ba Mee Nam, a tasty combination of egg noodles, pork, crispy wontons, and a savory broth. Don't forget to try Mee Udang, a mouthwatering noodle soup filled with fresh prawns and fragrant herbs.

Unique Phuket Desserts

End your culinary adventure on a sweet note with Phuket's unique desserts. One dessert you must indulge in is Khanom Jeen, a traditional dish made from fermented rice noodles served with a variety of savory toppings like curries, vegetables, and fish. For those with a sweet tooth, Roti Gluay is a must-try. These delicious banana pancakes are crispy on the outside and soft on the inside, topped with a drizzle of sweet condensed milk. And don't miss out on Khao Nieo Mamuang, a heavenly combination of sticky rice, ripe mangoes, and coconut milk that will transport you to dessert paradise.

So, when in Phuket, make sure to satisfy your cravings with these irresistible local specialties. From the savory flavors of Phuket noodles to the delightful sweetness of unique desserts, your taste buds will thank you for the unforgettable journey through Phuket's culinary delights.


International Cuisine

Best International Restaurants in Phuket

If you're a food enthusiast and visiting Phuket, get ready for a culinary adventure that will delight your taste buds. Phuket is not only known for its stunning beaches but also for its diverse and vibrant food scene. From local Thai delicacies to international cuisines, there is something for everyone to enjoy.

When it comes to international cuisine, Phuket offers a wide range of options that cater to different tastes and preferences. Here are some of the best international restaurants in Phuket that you must try:

  1. Bampot Kitchen & Bar – Known for its modern Australian cuisine, Bampot Kitchen & Bar offers a unique dining experience. From seafood to juicy steaks, their menu is sure to satisfy your cravings.

  2. Acqua Restaurant – This award-winning Italian restaurant is a favorite among locals and tourists alike. Acqua Restaurant combines traditional Italian flavors with modern twists, offering a menu that is both delicious and innovative.

  3. Sizzle Rooftop Restaurant – Located on the rooftop of Avista Hideaway Phuket Patong, Sizzle Rooftop Restaurant offers breathtaking views of the city along with a menu that features international cuisine. From grilled seafood to juicy burgers, this restaurant has it all.

Phuket's Fusion Food Scene

Phuket's Fusion Food Scene is another reason why food lovers flock to this island paradise. Fusion cuisine combines ingredients and cooking techniques from different cultures, resulting in unique and flavorful dishes. Here are some must-try fusion food options in Phuket:

  1. Black Ginger – Located at The Slate hotel, Black Ginger offers a fusion of Thai and Indian flavors. The restaurant is set on a floating wooden deck, surrounded by a lagoon, creating a magical dining experience.

  2. Suay Restaurant – Suay Restaurant brings together Thai and Western flavors to create a delightful fusion menu. The restaurant is known for its creative dishes and stylish ambiance.

  3. Tunk-Ka Cafe – Nestled on a hillside, Tunk-Ka Cafe offers a fusion of Thai and Swiss cuisine. From traditional Thai curries to Swiss-style fondues, this restaurant offers a unique blend of flavors.

Whether you're craving international cuisine or want to explore the fusion food scene, Phuket has it all. So, get ready to indulge in a culinary journey that will leave you wanting more.


Food Markets and Night Markets

Phuket's Vibrant Food Markets

When you're in Phuket, one of the best ways to experience the local culture is through its vibrant food markets. These markets offer a wide array of delicious street food that will satisfy your cravings and introduce you to authentic Thai flavors.

One of the most popular food markets in Phuket is the Malin Plaza Patong. Here, you can find a diverse selection of local dishes, seafood, grilled meats, fresh fruits, and refreshing beverages. It's the perfect place to try famous Thai street food like pad Thai, mango sticky rice, and fresh seafood skewers.

If you're looking for an immersive food experience, head to the Phuket Weekend Market, also known as Talad Tai Rot. This bustling market opens on weekends and features a mix of food stalls, clothing, accessories, and handmade crafts. You can explore the market while indulging in mouthwatering treats like grilled pork skewers, Thai-style pancakes, and fried chicken.

Night Market Delights in Phuket

When the sun sets in Phuket, the night markets come alive, offering an exciting assortment of food options. These markets are a must-visit if you want to taste the best local cuisine at affordable prices.

One of the most famous night markets in Phuket is the Chillva Market. This open-air market features a trendy atmosphere with colorful containers turned into shops and stalls. Here, you can find a variety of street food delicacies like grilled squid, Thai-style hot pot, and crispy fried insects for the adventurous foodies.

Another popular night market is the Naka Market, also known as the Phuket Weekend Night Market. This market is a paradise for food lovers, offering an extensive range of dishes such as grilled seafood, spicy papaya salad, and traditional Thai desserts.

Exploring the lively food markets and night markets in Phuket is a fantastic way to experience the local food culture and indulge in the mouthwatering flavors the island has to offer. So, make sure to bring your appetite and embark on a culinary adventure during your visit to Phuket!



Are you a food lover planning a trip to Phuket? Get ready to tantalize your taste buds with a variety of mouthwatering dishes! From fresh seafood to spicy street food, Phuket offers a culinary adventure that you don't want to miss. Here are some top recommendations and useful tips to make the most of your food journey in Phuket.

Top Recommendations for Foodies in Phuket

  1. Try the Local Specialties: Kickstart your culinary exploration with must-try local dishes like Phuket-style curry, Tom Yum Goong (spicy shrimp soup), and Mee Hokkien (stir-fried noodles). These traditional flavors will introduce you to the authentic tastes of Phuket.

  2. Seafood Feast: With its proximity to the Andaman Sea, you can't miss indulging in fresh seafood. Head to the local seafood markets or beachside restaurants to savor delicious grilled fish, prawns, crabs, and squid.

  3. Street Food Delights: Phuket's vibrant street food scene is a paradise for foodies. Wander through the night markets and sample local favorites like Moo Ping (marinated grilled pork), Pad Thai (stir-fried noodles), and Kanom Jeen (rice noodles with curry).

Useful Tips for Exploring Phuket's Food Scene

  1. Try Local Food Tours: Joining a local food tour is a great way to discover hidden gems and learn about Phuket's culinary traditions from knowledgeable guides.

  2. Embrace Street Food: Don't be afraid to try street food! Not only is it delicious, but it also offers an authentic and affordable dining experience. Look for stalls with long queues as a sign of popularity and quality.

  3. Stay Hydrated: Thai cuisine can be spicy, so keep yourself hydrated by sipping on refreshing drinks like Thai iced tea or coconut water.

  4. Explore Beyond Tourist Areas: Venture out of the main tourist areas to explore local neighborhoods and discover hidden food gems where the locals eat.

Now that you have these recommendations and tips in mind, get ready to embark on a culinary adventure and experience the vibrant flavors of Phuket!