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Thailand Restaurants

Baan Klung Jinda Restaurant
158 Yaowarat Road
Phuket Town
Muang
Phuket Town , Phuket
Thailand
Tel: 66 76 221 777
www.baanklung.com

This venerable building, an imposing 1907 mansion sitting behind a stately lawn, once served as the residence of the provincial treasurer. Today it's the place to go if you want to dress up for dinner. There are two opulent dining areas plus a smattering of private rooms, a jazz pianist plays in the main lounge, and the wine cellar is prodigious (never mind that it's on the second floor). The kitchen claims to serve recipes reproduced from antiquity, but who's to say? Dishes such as deep-fried shrimp wrapped in yellow egg noodles are certainly interesting, but almost besides the point. It's just a good excuse to check out the building. Closed Sundays.

Bannrai Yarmyen Restaurant
14 Moo 3 Faham Road
Chiang Mai
Thailand
Tel: 66 53 247 999

Tucked away on a quiet lane in the burbs about one and a half miles northeast of the old city, downhome Baanrai Yarmyen (the name means "country house at sunset'') lies far beyond the orbit of most tourists. But for 50 years, its authentic Chiang Mai food and bucolic garden have drawn locals and in-the-know expats. The unpretentious fare includes kaeng jin gai hoom, a mild, northern Thai–style chicken curry with Kaffir lime, as well as a variety of insect dishes, like rod duan, crunchy, deep-fried bamboo worms, which are definitely an acquired taste. An excellent acoustic band knocks out Thai classics as well as American country tunes. Not to be confused with Baan Rai Steak House, near the Ping River on Charoenrat Road.

Open daily 11 am to midnight.

Bed Supperclub
26 Sukhumvit Road
Soi 11
Klong Toey Nua
Wattana
Bangkok
Thailand 10110
Tel: 66 2 651 3537
www.bedsupperclub.com

Celebrated chef Paul Hutt inherited a sexy display kitchen better known as an afterthought at Bangkok's perennially hot nightspot Bed Supperclub. The talented New Zealander quickly turned the popular lounging areas—yes, they actually are beds—into the city's most coveted dinner reservations. Ascend the funky pod's staircase then recline to dine on a prix fixe menu of dishes like roasted duck breast with sweet chestnut pies and asparagus in a blood orange reduction, and wok-seared lobster with green mango salad and lime bubbles. The high-decibel house music helps ensure that the crowd skews young and chatty. Across the pod, DJs keep the groove going until Bangkok's strict 2 am curfew.

Open daily 7:30 pm to 2 am.

Breeze
1055 Silom Road
Bangrak
Bangkok
Thailand 10500
Tel: 66 2 624 9555
www.breezebkk.com

The breathtaking panoramic views from the 52nd floor of this Chao Phraya riverside tower are outdone only by the sky-high menu prices. That has not stopped gourmet-minded travelers from zipping up the express elevator to indulge on edible extravagances like the Kobe beef wok-fried with black pepper. Malaysian-born executive chef Ho Chee Boon flies in fresh seafood like South Australian cold-water lobster to be tossed with chile-marinated cabbage and jellyfish julienne. Even less exotic appetizers like the deep-fried soft-shell crab with garlic and curry leaf or crispy fried shrimp tossed with wasabi cream show off his talents. Finish with Breeze on Ice, a generous assortment of fruit and chocolate treats worth savoring as you watch Bangkok's free light show.

Open daily noon to 2:30 pm and 6 pm to 1 am.

Cabbages & Condoms
10 Sukhumvit Soi 12
Khlong Toei
Bangkok
Thailand 10110
Tel: 66 2 229 4610
www.pda.or.th/restaurant/default.asp

Don't let the name fool you into thinking that this is a hot spot in the red-light district. Cabbages & Condoms is in fact a quirky, tasty restaurant in the fish market district run by a wholly respectable Thai charity, the Population and Community Development Association, devoted to helping the country's rural poor. In other words, you get to support a worthy cause while you tuck into your marinated chicken satay. Follow the little path under the Cabbages & Condoms sign, duck under a passageway through a modern building, and enter the restaurant's huge courtyard, with shade trees dripping with white holiday lights, and a sheet of water cascading quietly down a longstone wall. The food is traditional Thai with a few unexpected touches. Take a friend and share the massive mieng khum, an ancient Thai appetizer consisting of a dozen tiny nests of ingredients (lemon, dried shrimp, peanuts, ginger, deep-fried coconut, chilis, and shallots), each piled onto an herbal leaf to be wrapped up like a present and dipped into the hot, sweet sauce. For presents to take home, there's a fantastic little gift shop that sells inexpensive crafts from villages across Thailand.

Hotel Photo
Catch Beach Club
106/46 Moo 3, Surin Beach Road
Cherngtalay , Phuket
Thailand 83110
Tel: 66 76 316 500
www.twinpalms-phuket.com/restaurant/restaurant_beach_club.htm

Seafood barbecues dot beaches throughout Phuket each night. To find the best one, follow the Friday-night procession of expats down the lantern-lit path to the Catch Beach Club on Surin Beach, an extension of the Twin Palms resort. Sail-like awnings arch over tables in the sand; bands play till late in the night; and you can fill your plate with a mix of Thai seafood dishes and Western specialties. Or just get cocktails and mingle around the beach bonfire. The weeknights bring mellower crowds eating high-end Thai seafood dishes like fried rock lobster in red curry sauce and Andaman tiger prawns. And during the day, beachgoers stop in for crispy brick-oven pizzas and burgers.

Open daily 11 am to 5:30 pm and 6:30 to 11 pm.

Celadon
13/3 South Sathorn Road
Sathorn
Bangkok
Thailand 10120
Tel: 66 2 344 8888
www.sukhothaihotel.com/celadon.php

The Sukhothai hotel's signature restaurant offers a calming ambience of teak, ceramics, and Thai silk in a room that appears to float over a pool of lotus blossoms. Acclaimed for its unique blend of traditional and modern Thai cuisine, the restaurant takes its name from the green ceramic glaze (meant to resemble jade) for which Thailand is known. The delicately steamed white snapper with lime juice and only a hint of chile is proof that Thai food need not be spicy to taste special. Grilled Phuket lobster is a succulent (and surprisingly healthy) option, while the green chicken curry makes for an excellent indulgence. End the meal with pumpkin custard and mango with sticky rice with fresh lemongrass tea (to aid digestion in traditional Thai style). Well-informed English-speaking waitstaff provide spot-on recommendations, and the chef is happy to make adjustments for those with less-fiery palates.

Open daily 11:30 am to 2:30 pm and 6:30 to 10:30 pm.

China Inn Café
20 Thalang Road
Muang
Phuket Town , Phuket
Thailand
Tel: 66 76 356 239

Thalang Road is a thriving area with charming vestiges of Sino-Portuguese architecture. China Inn Café is a good place to escape the noise, with a Burmese antique shop in front and a restaurant in the back garden. The mostly Thai menu isn't ambitious, which is a good thing: Noodles, rice, and seafood dishes are simple and elegant. If you like it hot, let 'em know—otherwise; the kitchen will render your dish bland in a misguided sop to the delicate farang palate.

Dalaabaa Bar & Restaurant
113 Bamrungraj Road
Chiang Mai
Thailand 50000
Tel: 66 53 242 491
www.dalaabaa.com

Set in a sleek, glass-sided house that looks like it was lifted from an L.A. canyon, the former Indian consulate was reincarnated in 2004 as one of Chiang Mai's hippest eateries. Mind your way negotiating the entrance of stepping stones laid out in a reflecting pool, and settle down at a candlelit table. Low lighting and a ruby-red color scheme conjure romance, though the mood is slightly marred by the neon glow of Heineken and Jim Beam signs. However, the kitchen's take on contemporary Thai cuisine is innovative—order the crab-filled spring rolls, which are shaped like breadsticks and deep-fried. Reservations are suggested in the high season.

Open daily 6 pm to midnight.

The Deck
36–38 Soi Pratoo Nok Yoong
Maharat Road
Rattanakosin Island
Bangkok
Thailand 10200
Tel: 66 2 221 9158
www.arunresidence.com/dining.htm

Savvy diners who can find the barely marked, shrine-filled alley across from Wat Pho will be gastronomically and visually rewarded at this waterfront café (follow the signs for the Arun Residence across from the main entrance to Wat Pho). Watch the pale-pink sunset against the spires of the Temple of the Dawn while sipping the signature Arun Surprise cocktail (vodka with fresh lychee and citrus juices). The cardiologist owners converted this 80-year-old house into a funky five-room guesthouse, and the restaurant keeps patrons' health in mind with dishes like red snapper grilled with dill sauce. But they also indulge diners with Australian sirloin, spicy Thai curries, and desserts like lavender crème brulée and homemade ice cream.

Open Mondays through Thursdays 11 am to 10 pm, Fridays through Sundays 11 am to 11 pm.

Diavolo
Paresa
49 Moo 6, Layi-Nakalay Road
Kamala Beach , Phuket
Thailand 83150
Tel: 66 76 302 000
www.paresaresorts.com

The fare at this restaurant at the Paresa resort is a little heavier than the catch-of-the-day spots that line the beach. Diavolo's menu (as the name suggests) features Italian classics with a local twist, including prawn-and-scallop risotto with candied garlic, as well as ribbon pasta with a ragù of beef and pork. Located on Millionaires' Mile, the low-lit, crimson-accented dining room has a romantic vibe, but nearly everyone opts to dine outside for the Andaman Sea views.—Cynthia Rosenfeld

Gallery
25.29 Charoenrat Road
Chiang Mai
Thailand 50000
Tel: 66 53 248 601
www.thegallery-restaurant.com

Location and atmosphere, history and food mix happily in this relaxed restaurant and art gallery inside an 1892 teakwood building along the Ping River. Descendants of the original owner converted the family store to a restaurant in 1989, and the architectural conservation awards, glowing food reviews, and VIP clients (including a 1996 visit by Hillary Clinton) have rolled in ever since. Ask for a waterfront table beneath the vaulting tamarind tree, and order Chiang Mai specialties such as kaeng ung lay, a coconut milk–free pork curry slow-cooked with ginger, garlic, chili, and tamarind and served with sticky rice. A Western menu is also available, but in such a quintessentially Thai setting, pork fondue seems a sacrilege. Stop in between 7 and 9 pm to hear live jazz at a small adjacent bar.

Open daily noon to midnight.

Gallery Café
86–100 Soi Captain Bush
Charoen Krung
Soi 30
Bangkok
Thailand 10500
Tel: 66 2 639 5580

Owned by one of Asia's top antique dealers, this naturally lit, well-located restaurant near the Oriental Hotel is generously decorated with indigenous treasures and hip fashion finds from the boutique at the entrance. Load up on sparkly handbags and silky frocks while waiting for your table. Then settle in for appetizers like crispy shrimp cakes, Thai tuna salad tossed with slivers of powerful chiles, and succulent chicken wrapped in pandanus leaves. Thai curries on this extensive menu range from a mild green chicken curry to the fiery red Malaysian beef variety, all equally delicious and available vegetarian-style as well. Stir-fry chicken with cashew nuts over fragrant rice is a recommended dish for those avoiding Thai spice, though all menu items can be made mild upon request.

Open daily 10:30 am to 10:30 pm.

Hotel Photo
House Restaurant, Wine and Tapas Bar
199 Moonmuang Road
Chiang Mai
Thailand 50200
Tel: 66 53 419 011

In 2003, Danish-born businessman Hans Christensen rehabbed this prewar house a few hundred yards north of Thapae Gate into a swank dining room. The fusion and international fare served was nice enough, but the most interesting dining option is the adjacent tapas bar that he added two years later, a breezy terrace outfitted with Middle Eastern ottomans and local rattan chairs. The city's considerable expat community dines on familiar dishes with a Thai twist, like grilled shrimp with roasted chili or chicken satay on fragrant lemongrass skewers. And since each plate comes in at $4 or less, you'll have plenty of cash left over for the on-site boutique, Ginger.

Open daily 6 to 10:30 pm.

Huen Phen
112 Rachamankha Road
Chiang Mai
Thailand 50200
Tel: 66 53 277 103

Don't be put off by the garage-sale look of Poomjai Burusapat's cozy eatery in the heart of the old city, where the 15 small tables seem buried beneath salvaged temple carvings, Chinese lanterns, and Dalí prints. Despite the surrealism, the tropical northern Thai specialties—chicken wings grilled with sliced, aromatic lemongrass; a tart, fiery salad of grapefruit-like pomelo and wafer-thin slices of green chili—are deliciously simple, not to mention inexpensive (plates run about $2 to $3 apiece).

Open daily 5 to 10 pm.

Just Khao Soy
108/2 Charoenprathet Road
Chiang Mai
Thailand 50100
Tel: 66 53 818 641
www.track-of-the-tiger.com/html/Just%20Khaosoy%20Tours.htm

Khao soy, a curry noodle soup served with meat and a range of condiments, is Chiang Mai's signature street food. For travelers who can't stomach the thought—or the questionable hygiene—of a sidewalk meal, Shane and Sriphan Beary offer a clean, air-conditioned restaurant just 100 yards north of the Chedi. The price (about $3 or $4, depending on meat selection) is right, and the presentation is eye-catching, with the soup bowl served on an artist's palette surrounded by condiments (pickled cabbage, limes, chili paste, sugar, fish sauce), so customers can season to suit their personal tastes.

Open daily 11 am to 11 pm.

Kai Thod Jai Kee
137 Soi Polo
Wittayu Road
Phatumwan
Bangkok
Thailand 10330
Tel: 66 2 251 2772

It may just be a basic storefront down a dusty alley off one of Bangkok's main arteries, but the owner of Kai Thod Jai Kee has sold enough finger-licking chicken, shredded papaya salad (available extra spicy upon request), and bamboo baskets of sticky rice to send his many children to overseas universities, build family homes around Thailand, and amass a collection of Benzes. Nearly everyone who takes a seat at the metal dining tables orders the addictively juicy, tender fried chicken topped with deep-fried shaved Thai garlic, and the eye-openingly spicy papaya salad. (In fact, that's all they serve.) Eyes open even wider at the shockingly reasonable prices.

Open daily 7 am to 10 pm.

Koi
26 Sukhumvit Road
Soi 20
Klong Toey Nua
Wattana
Bangkok
Thailand 10110
Tel: 66 2 258 1590
www.koirestaurantbkk.com/index2.htm

Models eat for free at this sexy, low-lit sibling of the original Koi in Los Angeles. That explains the appealing eye candy lounging on crimson couches by the swank bar. In the sexy dining room, candles flicker against the dark wood walls and tables, and plush pillows encourage you to settle in with your dining companions for healthy California-Japanese fare. More than 20 sushi and sashimi items complement a selection of handcut classic and innovative signature rolls. Good Western-style salads are a rarity in this town, which makes the rock lobster and avocado tossed with mizuna and shiitake mushroom all the more memorable. Among the main dishes, the Chilean sea bass with delicately julienned ginger is the obvious choice for those on model diets, but the rich molten chocolate cake sprinkled with wild frozen berries is worth the calories.

Open Tuesdays through Saturdays 6 pm to midnight.

Krating Bar and Restaurant
Baan Krating Khao Lak Resort
28 Moo 7
Khuk Khak , Phang Nga
Thailand
Tel: 66 76 423 091
www.baankrating.com/khaolak/facilities.html

Krating Restaurant is on the road to Phuket and seems to appear just when you're desperate to get out of the car. You're still not quite there: You have to climb down seven flights of stairs to get to the restaurant, built on stilts on a cliff facing Khao Lak Bay. It feels like a tree house with wild vines draping over the rooftops (don't be tempted to swing à la Tarzan—it's quite a drop). The food here is straightforward Thai, not dumbed down for the foreign palate. Go wild: It's inexpensive enough that if you get something you don't like, it's no big loss.

Hotel Photo
Le Grand Lanna
Mandarin Oriental Dhara Dhevi, Chiang Mai
51/4 Chiang Mai-Sankampaeng Road Moo 1
Chiang Mai
Thailand 50000
Tel: 66 53 888 888
www.mandarinoriental.com/hotel/555000039.asp

The Mandarin Oriental has several of the city's most well-regarded food establishments, including Fujian (contemporary Chinese) and Farang Ses (French). But the pick of the litter is Le Grand Lanna, a Thai restaurant set in a group of raised, antique-filled buildings shaded by enormous raintrees and cooled by mist-spraying fans. Chef Noppakorn uses the freshest ingredients possible to prepare popular Thai and Chiang Mai entrées, including kaeng hang-lay moo, a spicy northern curry with pork and pickled garlic, and yam som-o, a salad of pomelo, peanuts, and roasted red onion. Evening reservations are advisable for non–resort customers.

Open daily 11:30 am to 2:30 pm and 6:30 to 10:30 pm.

Le Normandie
Oriental Bangkok Hotel
48 Oriental Avenue
Bangkok
Thailand 10500
Tel: 66 2 659 9000
www.mandarinoriental.com/bangkok/dining/Restaurants/Le_Normandie/default.aspx

The Thai royal family has been known to spend an evening at Le Normandie at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel and not just for the sweeping views of the Chao Phraya River. Over the years, the French kitchen has been overseen by some to the world's most renowned chefs, like Guy Martin of Le Grand Véfour in Paris and visiting chef Thomas Keller of French Laundry and Per Se. The menu offers classic recipes reimagined by a Michelin-starred mind: Handmade goose liver ravioli is smothered with truffle sauce and garnished with diced truffles; a fillet of sole is poached in white wine and vermouth, topped with osetra caviar cream sauce and clams. Lunch is smart casual, even in these plush, elegant surroundings, complete with gilded chairs, crisp white tablecloths, and fresh cut flowers with panoramic river views. But for dinner, men must break out the jacket and tie.

Le Spice
31 Charoenprathet Road, Soi 6
Chiang Mai
Thailand
Tel: 66 53 234 962
www.le-spice.com

Vichaya Pitsuwan hails from Koh Lanta, an island east of Phuket, but her family's roots are in Pakistan, as evidenced by the photos of rural South Asian life hanging from the ocher-colored walls of this airy bistro. Her north Indian and Thai seafood dishes reflect both legacies. The friendly restaurant's halal kitchen serves juicy, piping-hot chicken tandoori to a largely expat clientele, as well as tourists taking a dinner break from the Night Bazaar, located just 50 yards to the west.

Mango Tree
37 Soi Anumarn Rachthon off Suriwong
Bangrak
Bangkok
Thailand 10500
Tel: 66 2 236 2820
www.coca.com/mangotree/index.php

When Bangkok locals want to celebrate a big occasion, they book a table at this elegant Thai restaurant—either in the entry courtyard, where live traditional music and (Thursday through Saturday) Thai dance accompanies dinner, or in a fancy, quieter wooden booth inside. Cross the faded Oriental carpet and lower yourself into a booth or pad across a raised dais to recline against cushions around a shin-high table. The classic Thai food is exquisitely presented, well prepared, and doesn't cater to farang (foreign) palates by lowering the chili pepper quotient. The recipes here, like shrimp stir-fried in Choo Chee curry sauce, can be five-alarm hot. You've been warned.

Mon Tri's Boathouse Wine & Grill
182 Koktanode Road
Kata Beach , Phuket
Thailand
Tel: 66 76 330 015
www.boathousephuket.com

The Boathouse is like the Thai version of Tavern on the Green—"fancy" in a dated sort of way—but it's still full of local color and character. It occupies a prime spot on Kata Beach, the waves nearly lapping the dining patio. Head chef Tammanoon Punchan, Thailand's answer to Emeril, has his fusion moments, like the lobster done three ways, with green curry, Armagnac, and thermidor-style. Simple dishes also shine: Try the spicy sea bass soup and the green curry with beef. Punchan teaches an interactive two-day cooking class every weekend—if you can follow his heavily accented rapid-fire directives, you can replicate the basics back home. There are two other Mon Tri restaurants in Phuket, one specializing in organic cuisine, the other in Thai-Japanese fusion.

Hotel Photo
Moxie
D2 Hotel Chiang Mai
100 Changklan Road
Chiang Mai
Thailand 50100
Tel: 66 53 999 999
www.d2hotels.com

The D2 hotel's in-house restaurant strives to be every bit as au courant as the hotel, down to the brushed-aluminum menus. Modern international cuisine is the message, with interesting Thai-fusion matchups like lemongrass- and ginger-infused martinis and spaghetti sai-ua, which turns out to be penne pasta tossed with savory Chiang Mai sausage, chilies, and Chinese basil. A mellow outdoor beer garden shaded by café umbrellas makes for a balmy break from the full-tilt Night Bazaar just a few steps away. However, the garden is only open during the winter.

Open daily 6:30 to 1 am.

Naoki
Amanpuri
Pansea Beach , Phuket
Thailand 83000
Tel: 66 76 324 333
www.amanpuri.com/amanpuri/details.aspx

With set menus priced between $190 and $250 (not including wine, tax, or tip), Naoki would be a costly restaurant in New York. In Thailand, it's a king's ransom, even among those with baht to spare. Is it worth it? Well, that depends on what you expect out of a meal. The simple open-air restaurant sits between an inky-black lake and the ocean at the sumptuous Amanpuri resort, but your focus will be on the open kitchen. There are only 21 seats, all arranged around the black granite bar, and chefs (one for every three diners) serve everything but drinks directly to you. Executive chef Naoki Okumura hails from Kyoto but trained in France, so his Japanese cuisine has European touches: Fresh fish and pomelo salad has a yuzu vinaigrette; sea urchin and crab come together in a custard. The ingredients are rich (think Wagyu sirloin) but Okumura maintains a light touch, in deference to the beach location. For foodies, the balletic preparation and procession of dishes will be fascinating. For those relatively new to Japanese food, it can be intimidating, and the language barrier makes explanations of unfamiliar dishes (and what you're expected to do with them) difficult. The bottom line? If your main focus is on the food, it'll be worth every dollar. If you're looking for the whole experience, opt for the more cozy ambience of Amanpuri's Italian or Thai restaurants.

Night Markets
Ong Sim Phai Road
Phuket Town , Phuket
Thailand

Any traveler who comes all the way to Thailand without visiting the food-centric night markets has missed an essential part of the Thai experience. Phuket Town's night market is a block-sized collection of food vendors serving up the freshest (and cheapest) fare you're likely to see on the island. Two people can gorge to excess, with beers, for under ten bucks. Things start stirring around six in the evening and usually peter out toward midnight.

On the Rock
Marina Phuket Resort
47 Karon Road
Karon Beach , Phuket
Thailand
Tel: 66 76 330 625
www.marinaphuket.com/restaurants.html

A grottolike seafood-and-barbecue restaurant carved into the southernmost rocks of Karon Beach (it's part of the Marina Phuket Resort), On the Rock has both an exemplary menu and a spectacular ocean view. It puts out the full spread of standard Thai dishes plus some delectable combinations like baked mussels served in a hot pot and rock lobster baked in an oven and topped with cheese. But what makes the uphill climb worth it are the seafood satays: all manner of marine creatures impaled on sticks and grilled over a flame. The place is no secret, so call ahead to secure a table.

Hotel Photo
Oriental Spoon
106/46 Moo 3, Surin Beach Road
Surin Beach , Phuket
Thailand
Tel: 66 76 316 500
www.twinpalms-phuket.com/oriental_spoon.htm

The look here—all white leather paired with dark woods and chrome—is familiar to anyone who's been inside a W hotel, but it's an anomaly in Thailand, where loud neon colors are the rule. Oriental Spoon is part of the Twin Palms Resort on the west coast's Surin Beach. Despite touches like a martini bar, the food is surprisingly authentic, serving complicated and deeply spiced "country" dishes: grilled duck with red curry and coconut milk, fried blue river prawns with tamarind sauce. The presentations are traditional, too: Squeamish types who don't like to work for their food should avoid the whole shrimp, whole crabs, and whole lobsters. If you're ready to temporarily abandon the relentless tropical heat, ask to sit in the temperature-controlled wine vault, which doubles as a private dining room.

Hotel Photo
Sala Mae Rim
Four Seasons Resort
Mae Rim-Samoeng Old Road
Mae Rim
Thailand 50180
Tel: 66 53 298 181
www.fourseasons.com/chiangmai

The view from the Four Seasons ' 70-seat Thai restaurant—think verdant rice paddies—is so stunning that you'll swear it's been Photoshopped. The enchanting setting and high-end cuisine make it more than worth the half-hour drive north of Chiang Mai. Pop by the adjacent Elephant Bar for a Rice Field cocktail (gin, crème de banana, mango, pineapple, lime, and grapefruit juice topped with blue curaçao), then order such Thai classics as yum hua plee (banana-blossom salad). Hotel guests can request a special five-course set menu, limited to one couple per evening, served at an old barn. Evening reservations are recommended for non–resort customers.

Open daily 7 to 10 am, noon to 2:30 pm, and 6 to 10 pm.

Sea.Fire.Salt
Anantara Phuket
888 Moo 3, Tumbon
Mai Khao Beach , Phuket
Thailand 83110
Tel: 66 76 336 100
phuket.anantara.com

Mai Khao Beach makes an ideal setting for this laid-back eatery. Couples and families gather on the sprawling deck during the day. The indoor dining room is mainly for rainy days and after dark, when tiny lights twinkle from the ceiling and the panoramic windows frame the ocean dotted with fishing boats. Those boats are the source for the extensive menu, including fresh catch served with the signature lemongrass, coriander, and lime sauce, as well as sesame-prawn toast. After dinner take a walk down one of Phuket's longest stretches of sand.—Cynthia Rosenfeld

Tacada
Zeavola Resort
11 Moo 8
Laem Tong , Ko Phi Phi Don
Thailand
Tel: 66 75 627 000
www.zeavola.com

Opened in 2005 on the northeast tip of Koh Phi Phi Don, Zeavola is a boutique hotel whose suites have walls that slide, roll up, or otherwise disappear, mimicking the open setting of a rural Thai village. This concept of "outside" living is carried over to the restaurant. While Tacada has an actual dining room—very pleasant, with mint-green and daffodil-yellow plastic mats cleverly used as ceiling cover—the spicy seafood kebabs and fresh fruit cocktails are more enjoyable on lounge chairs or tables on the sand. Lobster, squid, and beef filets are wrapped in bamboo and leaves and put into a charcoal fire in the sand—producing tasty Thai-style barbecue. The chic atmosphere is supplemented by the chill-out lounge music you'd expect to hear at the Hôtel Costes in Paris. Wear your best bikini, though—the trust-fund kids who stay here are watching.

White Box
247/5 Prabaramee Road
Kalim Beach , Phuket
Thailand 83150
Tel: 66 76 346 271
www.whiteboxphuket.com

This minimalist beach house turned Thai-Mediterranean restaurant and lounge is worth a night's escape from any of the island's fine resorts. White Box is located right on Kalim Beach, north of Patong (they offer complimentary pickup), which means you can watch spectacular sunsets on the Andaman Sea from the rooftop deck while a jazz band swings. Fresh seafood dishes blend Eastern and Western flavors, like Phuket lobster ravioli and goong sayong prawns wrapped in crispy yellow noodles. Follow those with mango sticky rice or chocolate soufflé, then work it off to house and techno tunes on the dance floor.—Cynthia Rosenfeld

Information may have changed since the date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.