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Phuket restaurants

Restaurants in Phuket are as likely to serve burgers as they are spicy curries, thanks to the nearly equal measure of European and Asian tourists who come here. That diversity also yields a panoply of international restaurants serving everything from Mexican to French, with varying results. You'd be remiss if you stuck to familiar fare in Phuket, however: Thai cuisine, which balances such flavors as fragrant lemongrass and tangy lime against pungent ginger and fiery chiles, is among the freshest and most subtle in the world.

Southern Thai curries are creamier than their northern counterparts, with coconut milk and touches of Malaysian flavors like cumin and anise. Fish plays a starring role, whether fried whole with sweet-and-sour chile sauce, stir-fried with noodles, or added to soups. For dessert, be sure to try the fried sweet bread, roti, topped with sweetened condensed milk or chocolate and bananas. Bigger restaurants tend to dumb down the spices for farang (foreigners). This isn't always a bad thing—few Western palates can stand up to the firestorm of a true Thai-style curry. In smaller, family-run restaurants, you can ask for your food "mai ped" for "not spicy" or "ped nit noi" for "a little spicy." Or you can stick to milder dishes like pad thai and fried rice (which many Thai eat for breakfast). The best way to explore the cuisine is to visit the night markets, where a mere $5 will buy you several dishes along with cold Singha beers to wash them down.

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Baan Klung Jinda Restaurant, Phuket Town

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...more

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Hotel Photo
Catch Beach Club, Surin Beach

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...more

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China Inn Café, Phuket Town

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...more

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Diavolo, Kamala Beach

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)...more

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Krating Bar and Restaurant, Khuk Khak

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...more

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Mon Tri's Boathouse Wine & Grill, Kata Beach

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...more

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Naoki, Pansea Beach

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...more

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Night Markets, Phuket Town

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...more

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On the Rock, Karon Beach

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...more

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Hotel Photo
Oriental Spoon, Surin Beach

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...more

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

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