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.
Krua Choeng Mon – a small family run Thai restaurant in Plai Laem. 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.
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 Thai and Western food and some daily specials.
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. 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 (Pad Kratiem Pla Mook), 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).
The Sunset – 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. 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. They make a great Massaman, and I also like their 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.
Phensiri – one of Samui’s secrets in the south of Chaweng. Khun Santi serves a range of southern Thai food, some are labelled as “Samui’s lost recipes” – plus all the favourites. There’s both outdoor and aircon/indoor seating areas.
Bophut Fishermans Village
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 x Sasatorn Coffee – A gem of a cafe just outside Fishermans Village. 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.
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.
Spices Cafe – This is one of our favourite fusion Thai restaurants. We like Soft Shell Crab with Penang Curry, Fried Fish with a special sauce, and Southern style curry beef (red curry).
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!
Taling Ngam (west coast)
i-Talay -Owned by the same familiy at Think Retro Cafe. This is an even better location for sunset, and a peaceful beach walk. It’s one of our favourite places to paddle from on the west coast.
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.
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 swimming pool that little kids can use (it’s really shallow).
Hua Thanon / Namuang area (down south)
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!
Note: You must book in advance! Call Khun Chai 080 532 9005.
Sweet Sisters – they have an extenisve meny of healthy Thai food, all prepared fresh for you (so yes, it takes a little time). My favourite is the Laab Squid with avocado, mango shakes… and one of their cakes for dessert.
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.