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Best of Koh Samui

  • 10 Best Local Thai Restaurants in Bophut Beach

    Real Thai Food Restaurants in Bophut

    Some of the best local Thai Restaurants in Bophut Beach are found among the huge selection of fine dining restaurants along the seafront in Fisherman’s Village. While these tend to be on the expensive side, the quality of their food is undeniable, making them as popular with Thais as they are with visiting tourists, though more as a special treat than an everyday meal.

    If you venture away from the tourist hotspots, you are rewarded with the finest flavours and truest taste of genuine Thai food. Many of the dining options – particularly those along Koh Samui’s main ring road – are very simple in appearance, but more than make up for this deficiency by serving up casual food, well prepared. Best of all, such places are usually significantly cheaper than the classy restaurants by the beach, making them ideal for those travelling on a tight budget.

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    Happy Elephant

    The Happy Elephant on the Beach restaurant has been at the heart of the Fisherman’s Village in Bophut since 1995. The main part of the restaurant is housed in a charming, rustic wooden building, with tables laid out on the sand behind it most evenings. The prices are a little high, it being located right in the middle of a popular tourist destination and being a rather classy place, but the use of first-class ingredients means that it remains a popular choice for tourists and locals looking for something a bit special. Alongside an impressive choice of high-quality international dishes are such Thai classics as tom yam soup (280 baht), pad Thai (220 baht) and Panang curry (240 baht).

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    Sabienglae Bophut

    Located close by the beach in The Wharf Samui shopping centre, towards the end of Bophut Beach Road, Sabienglae is very popular with both Thais and tourists. Specialising in seafood, the popular choices include deep-fried king prawns with tamarind sauce and fried New Zealand mussels with Thai herbs, both of which are priced according to weight. Whether or not this outlet is related to the others of the same name in Chaweng and Lamai is difficult to tell, but this newest one does share a similar reputation for good quality, though the prices are a little higher.

    • Opening Hours: 11:00 – 23:00
    • Location: The Wharf Samui, Bophut Beach Road, Fisherman’s Village, Bophut
    • Tel: +66 (0)7 796 2333
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    Krua Bophut offers a choice of dining areas, including a traditionally-styled indoor room and tables down on the beach – it’s not difficult to guess which is the most popular. The menu features a good range of traditional Thai dishes which are tasty and well prepared, if a little on the pricey side. Notable dishes include stir-fried chicken with cashew nuts, costing 270 baht, and duck with three spices for 290 baht. It is a pleasantly romantic setting for lovely meal, making it a popular choice in Fisherman’s Village. Read More...

    • Opening Hours: 13:00 – 24:00
    • Location: 16/16 Moo 1, Bophut Beach Road, Fisherman’s Village, Bophut
    • Tel: +66 (0)7 743 0030, +66 (0)7 724 5035
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    Happy Friday Restaurant

    Happy Friday is named after the fact that the last day of the working week sees the Walking Street market starting from this little restaurant and running all the way down to The Wharf Samui. A bit rough-and-ready in appearance, with a mix of garishly coloured tables set alongside weathered metal ones, it is a popular choice for its cheap local dishes, such as a barbecued mixed seafood from 300 baht. The recommendations on the chalkboard out front suggest that green curry is both the top choice and also number five, so it is certainly worth a try.

    • Opening Hours: Daily
    • Location: Bophut Beach Road, where it meets Route 4171
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    The Friendly Frog

    The Friendly Frog specialises in traditional Thai dishes, including the spicy Issan dishes which are popular throughout Thailand. Notable dishes include som tam (120 baht), fried crab curry (250 baht) and massaman curry (130 baht). Despite the fact that it is located in the largely tourist-oriented Fisherman’s Village area (though not on Bophut Beach Road), the prices are impressively low thanks to the simplicity of the food and setting, with its plastic garden chairs under a corrugated metal roof.

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    Noodle Soup & Food

    The name says it all, though not as much as the tagline on their sign by the side of Route 4169, which boasts that they serve “The Best Noodle Soup in Town”. It must be good, though, because the place is popular with the local Thais and there are a number of trophies on display in the simple little restaurant. Most of the menu is written up on chalkboards entirely in Thai because this is really “local” sort of place, but the few scraps of English text reveal that the pork noodle soup cost just 50 baht and beef is 60 baht.

    • Opening Hours: Lunch and dinner
    • Location: Route 4169, Bophut
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    My Friend Restaurant

    Located on the road leading towards Bangrak and Big Buddha Beach, a lengthy walk (or a short songthaew ride) away from town, My Friend is particularly popular with local Thais. The food is reputed for its great flavours and fresh ingredients as well as low prices, such as tom yam soup from 299 baht. The setting is quite simple – just a corrugated metal roof supported by steel joists – but it is set right by a quiet stretch of coast and the service is friendly and efficient.

    • Opening Hours: Lunch and dinner
    • Location: 147/5-8 Moo 5, Route 4171, Bophut
    • Tel: +66 (0)7 742 5187, +66 (0)7 742 5123
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    Ko Pan Restaurant

    Ko Pan may look a little rough around the edges, being essentially just a corrugated metal roof with no walls, but the unobstructed view out to sea gives it a fantastic panoramic view. It has a short menu of extremely affordable Thai dishes, making it very popular with locals. Top dishes include pad Thai and green curry, with prices starting from 50 baht and getting little higher than 100 baht per dish.

    • Opening Hours: Lunch and dinner
    • Location: Route 4171, Bophut
    • Tel: +66 (0)81 539 1157
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    Thai Food

    An extremely small and simple eatery located down one of the small and unremarkable side roads off Bophut Beach Road, in the heart of Fisherman’s Village, this restaurant consists of just a handful of tables with simple plastic seats. However, its affordability (particularly compared to the high-end restaurants on the main street) makes it attractive for locals and those travelling on a shoestring. The menu consists largely of simple Thai favourites such as som tam (80 baht), noodle soup (50 baht) and fried rice (60 baht). Despite its rough appearance, the owners and welcoming and the food is generally good.

    • Location: Off Bophut Beach Road, Fisherman’s Village, Bophut
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    Krua Je Paew Restaurant

    Krua Ja Paew is a simple but charming little restaurant by Route 4169. The simple corrugated metal roof and wall-less look is offset with potted plants, a thatch-roofed drinks stand and good wooden furniture. The menu has a good selection of Thai dishes (often with questionable English translations) such as tom yam goong (120 baht) or pad Thai (120 baht). There are also a few oddballs like spicy stir-fried frog (150 baht) or stuffed squid soup (130 baht), as well as one or two western options.

    • Opening Hours: 10:00 – 23:00
    • Location: Route 4169, Bophut
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