Best restaurants and places to eat in Patong and around Phuket

Phuket is not only a place to party, it’s a place to live the ultimate lifestyle – even if just for a week or weekend. This busy beach town is so heavy on tourism and you can’t ignore the abundance of restaurants – there’s everything from $2 meals to $200 meals. Some of the nicest ones I’ve come across so far are Joe’s Downstairs (Aussie/Western), Da Maurizio (Italian), White Box (International/Mediterranean), Acqua (seems sort of European), or Baan Rim Paa (Local Thai/Seafood). Here are my reviews on the best places to eat in Phuket, and some of the above-mentioned spots.

Quite honestly, I ate at Baan Rim Paa and felt it was rather over-rated and over-priced, but my tourist friends liked this restaurant most. Not sure who was handing out awards, but it is evidently award-winning and the rustic beachside ambience of this restaurant makes it a popular pick for clients, tourists, or dates.

Personally, if it were up to me, I would rather eat Thai food in the streets – if I wanted to eat local, I would go local.

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See if you can recognize the typical Thai dishes – mango salad, pineapple rice, green curry chicken, fresh fish with lime, sticky rice with mango, and more.

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All these dishes for 3 people. Gluttons, we are.

We had Italian at Da Maurizio, and the food was on an international standard but you definitely pay for what you get. I’m also very biased in favour of Italian food, so I was pretty happy with this meal.

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My favourite dinner in Phuket was at JOE’S DOWNSTAIRS – the lofty white furniture was a joy to sit on while dinner-watching the swirls of the waves. This restaurant is said to serve “new world cuisine” (what does that even mean?!), but I felt it akin to the fine dining that I used to have in Australian restaurants.

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If you’re hungry but don’t want to spend a fortune of food, there are plenty of restaurants in Patong that will fill you up with good things for much, much less. I’ve eaten at so many places around Phuket and in Patong that I can hardly remember, but if you find a hole-in-the-wall Mexican joint, please try it out and send me the address. I had some of the best Mexican food ever in such a place in Phuket, but it was down some random back alleys and I wish I could find my way back there.

Generally, the seafood restaurants fronting the main strip of Patong is over-crowded with lazy tourists and over-priced, so walk down the parallel streets and you’re bound to find equally good seafood for much cheaper. Another area I like to eat at is Karon Beach – it’s only about 15 minutes from Patong and although there is less culinary selection compared to Patong, it can give you a much quieter, relaxing dinner. The Russian restaurant there is quite well-liked.

(Thumbs up if you’d like to see an upcoming post on fun things to do + best places to party in Phuket!)

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