The Best Waterside Restaurants in Phuket
Head to one of these restaurants in Phuket for incredible sea views as you dine | © Arco / K. Kreder / Imagebroker / Alamy Stock Photo
Somewhat evolved from its early reputation as a backpacker’s paradise, Phuket is now a Unesco-recognised Creative City of Gastronomy. Over 600km (373mi) south of Bangkok, it’s the largest Thai island, awash with gorgeous beaches backed by sleek hotels, verdant natural parks and gardens, and a dynamic dining scene. There are street-food stalls, Michelin-starred restaurants and cafes with views of the Andaman Sea. If you’re sailing and need a bite, these are the best waterside restaurants in Phuket.
Restaurant, Seafood, $$$
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Overlooking Kata Beach, this perennial winner of the Wine Spectator Award of Excellence combines crowd-pleasing dishes with ocean views. Eat under the stars or inside to watch the chefs at work in the open kitchen, creating à la carte and tasting menus – with whole grilled sea bass and charred lemon, or beef cheek with yellow curry and crispy noodles – which rotate every week. The ample wine cellar means multiple pairing options, perfect for toasting the sun setting over the Andaman Sea.
Courtesy of The Nai Harn / Booking.com
This open-air spot by Nai Harn Beach has a custom-built wood-fired oven where chefs create dishes like piri piri chicken and Andaman sea bass steak. In addition to the delectable wood-fired options, seasonal, organic produce and freshly sourced local products figure prominently on the menu, such as the bouillabaisse of local Rawai seafood and pasta with pea pesto. The wine list is curated by the aptly named wine critic James Suckling, including a bevy of Thai rosés.
Hovering over a dreamy lagoon, this sweet, secluded spot can only be reached by a hand-pulled barge. Settle in to sample the all-Thai sharing and à la carte menus surrounded by traditional-style wood-walled halls and fire-lit lanterns. Don’t miss the chef’s specialties such as phanaeng curry and crispy prawns with battered cha plu leaves, drizzled with sweet chilli sauce. Be sure to save room for the bua loy mar praow orn – sticky rice flour dumplings served with creamy coconut milk.
Restaurant, Thai, $$$
If you are looking for top-notch Italian food with equally good views of Patong Bay, this is the place. This contemporary hotspot dishes mouthwatering sea bass with fennel seeds, white wine and lemon butter sauce, Australian lamb chops with green peppercorn sauce, and a selection of hand-tossed pizzas and pasta. From comfy booths and tables, soak up grand views of ships porting and craggy shores as you sip prosecco and spoon tiramisu, watching the pastel sunset light up the sky.
Casuarina Shores Restaurant
Courtesy of Dusit Thani Laguna Phuket / Expedia
Wiggle your toes in the sand at this Bangtao Beach spot inside the Dusit Thani Laguna Phuket – but if you dine inside, you can still admire the scenery through floor-to-ceiling windows that frame the Andaman Sea view. Expect an international menu brimming with local ingredients to create show-stopping dishes, such as fresh-caught barbecued seafood platters, served under the stars. Catch live music in the evenings, and be sure to save room for their crème brûlée and a signature after-dinner drink.
Sea Salt Lounge and Grill
The crowds at nearby Patong Beach don’t interrupt this idyllic spot with photogenic views of Patong Bay. You’ll be spoiled for choice with a mix of destinations on the menu, from Thai beef massaman curry to Italian lamb ragu. Be sure to try the cocktail menu, which features classics like black Russians and negronis. The atmosphere is laid-back at lunch and romantic at dinner, with soft ocean breezes and cotton candy sunsets on full display.
With views of the Andaman Sea, this sleek, ocean-inspired venue sits right on Kamala Beach. Regional specialties like pla tod kamin (deep-fried fish with turmeric) sit on the menu alongside classics like Australian rump steak with French fries, burgers and pizza. At night a DJ plays while waves crash against the shore. Grab a rum and ginger-infused Thai Thai cocktail to toast the sun setting over the crystal clear water.
The Beach Cuisine
Restaurant, Thai, $$$
© Kevin Hellon (HKT) / Alamy Stock Photo
Amble over from Bangtao Beach to this casual open-air restaurant owned and run by French and Thai chefs. Don’t let the rustic atmosphere fool you – the bouillabaisse is full of fresh seafood, and the lamb shank cooked in a tagine is succulent. Naturally, the home-made crème brûlée is an indulgent finish, especially when served against the backdrop of turquoise water with bobbing sailboats moored up for sunset.
Steps from the beach and surrounded by the gardens of the Trisara hotel, fragrant with lily pads and lotus flowers, this farm-to-table concept operates on the mission of plant, raise, understand. The menu features inventive dishes such as black crab and lemongrass or aged duck with velvet tamarind, prepared from ingredients native to Thailand and the restaurant’s organic farm. The menu comes in three prix-fixe tiers with wine pairings.