We often get asked to recommend Thai restaurants in Samui. When I’m put on the spot it’s hard to explain where some of the small restaurants are, especially when we’re out on a paddle board and can’t just reach for my iPhone. So I thought I’d list a few of our favourites here, to make it easy to share the details of our favourite places to eat.
This is still a work in process. I’ll continue to update with photos and a price range for each restaurant.
Krua Choeng Mon – a small family run Thai restaurant in Plai Laem (not far from where we live). We often go here for lunch and dinner. The food is consistently really good and it’s not expensive. You can get beer, fruit shakes and coconuts. It’s located on Plai Laem Soi 10, just behind the 7-11.
Crystal Restaurant – we’ve been going to this family run beachfront restaurant for over 15 years, and we still love their Crab Meat Curry. They have an extensive Thai and Western menu. You can also use their sunloungers if you fancy hanging on the beach for a little while before/after your meal. The tables are laid out on the beach at night for dinner.
Pui Relax Restaurant & Bar – this is a sweet little Thai restaurant close to the Choeng Mon post office, on the road between Choeng Mon and Chaweng. Delicious food and some daily specials.
Small Thai restaurant opposite Choeng Mon post office: great little spot with 50 Baht meals. Food is fresh and tasty. And friendly owners. Great option for lunch. I think they close around 7pm most days.
Bangrak / Big Buddha area
60 Baht Lunch Cafe – Not sure what the name is, because it doesn’t have an English sign out front. But most of the meals cost just 60 Baht. It’s a popular with the Samui residents – we know some people who go for lunch 5 days a week! It’s opposite Saboey Resort and next door to a little Cafe and massage shop. It’s only open for breakfast and lunch, and serves a range of noodle and rice dishes for around 60-80 Baht per plate. Our favourites includes Squid with Garlic and Pepper (Pla Mook Kratiem), Chicken with Chilli and Basil served with a fried egg (Pad Krapow Gai Khai Dao), and Fried Kale with Crispy Pork (Pad Kanaa Moo Thawt).
Shambala – a lovely Thai restaurant close to Big Buddha. Really friendly owners, yummy food and good prices. My favourite is the Shambala special curry. I usually have it with prawns, but it’s equally as nice with chicken.
Sunset By Angelina – this is one of our favourite restaurants/bars in Samui. Go here for the amazing sunset views, chic ambience, fab cocktails and yummy food. Plus the owners and staff are super friendly. There’s a great mix of Western food such as steaks, burgers and ribs, and a good selection of Thai food with a twist (our favourite is the Red Curry Clams, but I also like the Snapper with Black Pepper and Garlic). It’s not the cheapest place for Thai food, but you won’t be disappointed.
Secret Garden – a beachfront restaurant with great Thai food and western choices too. Last time I was there I had a Pomelo Salad with Prawns. Western breakfasts are pretty good and they also have specials on most nights, such as “All you can eat Ribs” on Thursdays, and “Live Music with a Thai Buffet” on Sundays.
Jungle Club – a real favourite with the Samui residents. We can easily spend a few hours up here – the food, views and fruit shakes are great. Call ahead and book a Sala (pavillion). It’s a steep road going up to the Jungle Club, and fairly easy to drive up if you have a 4WD or motorbike. We leave our car at the bottom of the road and call for their 4WD transfer service.
Call 081 894 2327 / 081 891 8263.
Tanya’s Cafe – a sweet little cafe on the very south end of Chaweng Beach Road. I can recommend Tanya’s gluten free cakes and chai latte’s, but she also makes a delicious Thai appetiser called “Miang Kom” and some other simple dishes. And I’ve heard her coffee is good too!
Bophut Fishermans Village
The Address – We take our visitors here when we’re up for a seafood feast. They have a selection of set menu’s, and we usually order the one for 3-4 people for around 3000 baht. It includes fish, prawns, lobster, squid, clams, mussels, salad and rice! You get loads of food and can choose how each dish is cooked. If the weather is nice, choose a table down on the beach front.
Directions: located in the Fishermans Village, near CopaCabana.
Cafe 69 – Awesome fusion Thai food and a super friendly owner. We love the food and the atmosphere at Cafe 69. Our favourite dishes are the Green Curry Pie and Red Curry Duck dumplings (both appetisers). The portions are very big, so don’t over order. For 6 people, 4 mains and 4 starters was enough. It’s located on the Ring Road in Bophut, almost opposite the entrance to The Wharf car park. Give it a try! But make sure you call ahead to book a table!
My Cafe & Restaurant – Located on a side road close to the Bophut Traffic Lights, this is a great little place to hang out for a couple of hours. The cafe overlooks a small lake and you can choose to sit in the openair house or the new air-conditioned building. The fruit shakes are amazing works of art and super tasty. And the food is pretty good here too (they serve both Thai and western dishes).
Bar Baguette – One of our favourite beachfront cafes. Simple Thai dishes, western meals. You can also get poached eggs, pastries and coffee for brunch. A great place to chill out during the day or at night. It’s at the front of The Wharf shopping centre in Bophut. Open from 8am every day. Sometimes we paddle from Bangrak across to Bophut and can stop at Bar Baguette for breakfast or coffee at the end before heading back to your resort.
Fishermans House Cafe – A gem of a cafe in Fishermans Village – in a classic old Thai style house. It’s run by the same owners of Bar Baguette, so you’ll find a similar menu of simple Thai dishes. Plus you can get breakfast, pastries and coffee. Open from 8am every day.
Spices Cafe – This is now one of my favourite fusion Thai restaurants. Make sure you call ahead to book a table, as it gets busy. We had some fantastic dishes including Soft Shell Crab with Penang Curry, Fried Fish with a special sauce, Southern style curry beef (red curry).
Treehouse on Silent Beach – This is how Samui used to feel about 10-15 years ago, but now with all the modern conveniences of healthy food and fast wifi! It’s a great place to hang out for a few hours, enjoy some fresh Thai food, healthy western options and great zingy fruit shakes. There’s also a small massage place on the beach. We sometimes stop here for lunch or fruit shakes during one of our north coast paddle tours.
Think & Retro Cafe – this little gem on the south end of Lipa Noi beach also reminds us of what it was like in Samui around 15 years ago. They have an extensive selection of Thai food, western dishes and pizzas!! We love their Lemon-Mint shake and their fresh passionfruit soda. You might even want to stay overnight in one of their funky bungalows, made from old sea-shipping containers. Lipa Noi is usually a great spot for paddling from January – April, the water is nice and calm and there’s very little wind!
AM Samui Resort – we usually stop here for lunch after our Five Islands Longtail SUP Tour. They have a great range of Thai dishes. My favourite appetiser is their Chicken Satay which is served with the skewers sticking out of a pineapple. It’s a lovely spot to hang for a few hours, and you’ll get great sunset views too.
Uncle Rang’s – A great little restaurant just a few steps from a quiet beach. We sometimes take our paddle boards and paddle from the beach in front of the restaurant and then stay for lunch or dinner. Good food. Friendly service. And as long as it’s low tide, it’s a lovely spot for a stroll along the beach. Located next to the Renaissance Hotel. Take the side road off the ring road – signposted to the Renaissance and the Banyan Tree.
Kob Thai – An authentic Thai restaurant in a quiet garden setting, just off the main ring road. Friendly owner and fantastic food. I’ve been for lunch on my own, and also for dinner with a group of friends. There’s a small pool that you can use as well – great for little kids because it’s really shallow.
Hua Thanon / Namuang area
Chai’s Cuisine & Farm – This is as fresh as it can get, and run by a super friendly and down-to-earth couple. Khun Chai and Khun Rut grow their own vegetables in the garden behind the restaurant and will freshly pick what they need after you’ve placed your order. We love their Prawns with Chilli & Basil (Pad Krapow Goong) and Morning Glory (Pad Pak Bung). Well worth the drive south to try their food. Ask about their Thai cooking courses too. Yum!
Directions: Located on the ring road about 500m before Wat Khunaram (if you’re driving from Lamai). There is a map on their Facebook page (click here).
Take a look at our Guide to the beaches in Koh Samui for more information about where we like to hang out on the island.