While the places on our list of the best local Thai restaurants in Chaweng Beach may not be the finest of the fine dining establishments available in the popular resort town, they are ideal for those who want the genuine ‘local’ experience. Thai food is globally renowned for its unique flavours, but there is no experience quite like eating Thai food prepared how the Thai people like it. Using fresh local ingredients and time-honoured preparations, what is already a remarkable experience is made even more appetising.
Being a popular tourist destination, many of the Thai restaurants in Chaweng have westernised their dishes, taking out some of the chillies (and, often, adding a few more baht to the price). We’ve done our best to find the places which stay true to the original recipes (and prices) while still being comfortable and approachable venues, giving you an enjoyable taste of Thailand.
An unpretentious little restaurant located just off the main road through Chaweng, Green Bird specialises in Thai seafood at affordable prices, compared to the bigger places right on Beach Road. In spite of a rough appearance, it is scrupulously clean and consistently gets great reviews – as you can see from the walls of the restaurant, where they are posted. The extremely friendly service is particularly frequently mentioned. It is particularly popular with tourists and favourite dishes include fried basil and chilli with seafood (80 baht) and fried rice with seafood (80 baht). Read More...
- Opening Hours: 11:00 – 22:00
- Location: 157/17 Moo 2, Chaweng Beach Road, Chaweng
- Tel: +66 (0)86 906 4638
- Website: https://www.facebook.com/Pu.greenbird
Mit Samui Restaurant
Claiming to be “the biggest Thai food and seafood restaurant in Samui”, Mit Samui Restaurant almost certainly deserves the title. The huge building with a pair of giant light-up lobsters on the frontage is situated along the unnamed road which heads inland from the northern end of Chaweng, skirting the top of the lake. Inside, you will find a menu containing over 200 dishes, mostly Issan-style seafood. Popular dishes include lobster in tamarind sauce and stir-fried crab in yellow curry, with prices ranging from about 100 baht up to around 400 baht per dish.
- Opening Hours: 11:00 – 02:00
- Location: 184/27 Moo 2, Chaweng Seafood Center, Chaweng
- Tel: +66 (0)89 727 2034
Kung Pao Restaurant
Kung Pao is one the better Thai seafood restaurants along Chaweng Beach Road, with bountiful displays of the day’s fresh catch on display in front, including lobsters, tiger prawns, crabs and oysters. Many of these can be bundled together into a reasonably priced set banquet for two. Such offers include getting one lobster, one fish (red or white snapper being the popular choices), calamari and a sea crab – all intended to be shared between two people - for 1,490 baht, with rice added for free. The staff are friendly and its popularity creates a welcoming atmosphere.
- Opening Hours: Dinner only
- Location: Near Chaweng Resort, Chaweng Beach Road, Chaweng
Samui D BBQ Buffet
Samui D BBQ is a very Thai-style restaurant, with an array of mostly seafood dishes available in an all-you-can-eat buffet. The mostly plastic seats are often entirely filled with locals enjoying the cheap food. There is also an extensive a la carte menu, which is entirely pictorial with very little text of any kind. Identifiable dishes include tom yam goong (150 baht), stir-fried morning glory (60 baht) and pad kra pao (120 baht).
- Opening Hours: 16:00 – 24:00
- Location: 152/1 Moo 2, Chumchon Chaweng Yai Soi 4, Chaweng
- Tel: +66 (0)83 103 2828, +66 (0)87 461 6792
Thong Suk Bar and Restaurant
The friendly, welcoming staff at Thong Suk Bar and Restaurant insist that theirs is the finest food around as they welcome you into the open-sided eatery. They have live music performances most evenings, which helps to make it a very popular hangout for the local Thais. The availability of tasty local dishes at reasonable prices is also a big attraction, with tom yum goong costing 159 baht and stir-fried seafood with black pepper at the same price. Few dishes are priced much higher than 200 baht.
- Opening Hours: 18:00 – 02:00
- Location: Chumchon Chaweng Yai Soi 4, Chaweng
- Tel: +66 (0)81 766 8844, +66 (0)81 737 9933
- Website: https://www.facebook.com/ทอง-สุข-บาร์-แอนด์-เรสเตอรอง-856522504421664/
Krua Aow Thai Seafood
Krua Aow Thai Seafood is located quite some way from the beach, but is a very Thai restaurant, popular with the locals for its cheap and tasty food, live entertainment and open design. Laid out under a sequence of simple metal roofs, there are plenty of seats available and there’s no reason to feel cramped. The menu features mostly seafood dishes (as the restaurant’s name implies), with prices only getting higher than 200 or 300 baht for really special dishes such as deep-fried striped snakehead fish in sour curry soup (320 baht) or steamed black pomfret in sweet plum sauce (380 baht). For more common dishes, the average prices is around 150 baht.
- Opening Hours: 16:00 – 02:00
- Location: 4/160 Moo 2, Chumchon Chaweng Yai Soi 4, Chaweng
- Tel: +66 (0)91 820 7613, +66 (0)80 887 9808
- Website: https://www.facebook.com/Aowthai-Seafood-694310740701470
Ploy Samui Seafood & Thai Food
Ploy Samui Seafood has its own little courtyard just off the main road with all the common styling of a small local Thai restaurant, such as plastic chairs, simple metal roofs and a barbecue blackened by constant use. The menu also has a lot of the common features, including a limited range of western dishes and an extensive selection of great cheap Thai food, including fried squid in curry sauce and steamed fish in lemon sauce. It’s a popular place with tourists, being close enough to the beach without also becoming over-touristy. Prices are generally between 120 and 300 baht per dish.
- Opening Hours: 11:00 – 24:00
- Location: Chumchon Chaweng Yai Soi 4, Chaweng
- Tel: +66 (0)92 983 3231
Isaan Tam Thai
A very typical Thai restaurant by the side of the main ring road around Koh Samui, Isaan Tam Thai has a simple corrugated metal roof, barbecues made from half an oil drum, wooden furnishings and modest, polite staff. They’re not that used to dealing with English-speaking customers, so ordering becomes a bit of a challenge, but pointing and hand gestures will usually get you a filling meal, with the average cost around just 60 baht. Somewhat unusual for such a place is the row of thatch-roofed bamboo cabana-style dining tables along one side.
- Opening Hours: 09:30 – 23:00
- Location: Route 4169, Chaweng
Trang Samui Pochana
Conveniently located right over the road from Bangkok Hospital Samui, Trang Samui Pochana has a short menu of all the popular favourites of Thai cuisine, such as fried rice, noodle soup, pad Thai and pad kra pao, among others. The prices are exceptionally low, starting around 50 baht and very rarely entering triple figures, even when duck (usually an expensive meat) is the principle ingredient. The restaurant is a bit simple – essentially a garage with a few tables and chairs set up inside – but is clean and colourful.
- Opening Hours: 10:00 – 11:00
- Location: Opposite Bangkok Hospital Samui, Route 4169, Chaweng
Surat Restaurant is a tiny little Thai eatery on Chaweng’s famous Soi Green Mango. Not much more than a little shop-house establishment, it is located around the corner past the majority of the bars and clubs, at the more dimly-lit extremes of the street. Despite being right next to such a tourist-oriented location, the prices are what you would expect of a local Thai restaurant, with pad kra pao for 70 baht and fried clams with chilli sauce for 120 baht.
- Opening Hours: Lunch and dinner
- Location: Soi Green Mango, Chaweng