The Best Waterside Restaurants in Thailand

If the coast of Thailand isn't appetising enough, its waterside restaurants will be
If the coast of Thailand isn't appetising enough, its waterside restaurants will be | © Katja Kreder / imageBROKER / Alamy Stock Photo
Photo of Jo Fernandez-Corugedo
3 December 2021

With gilded temples, glittering beaches and relaxing hotels and resorts, Thailand beautifully blends the ancient with the modern. It’s also as loved for its fragrant cuisine as its scenery and sights, with many restaurants offering views alongside colourful dishes packed with fresh local ingredients.

Dip into some of Thailand’s best coastal restaurants on a yacht charter with SamBoat. Alternatively, book a multi-day charter with Dream Yacht Charter.

Khrua Nong, Khao Lak

Restaurant, Thai, $$$
Stir-fried soft crab with garlic on a white dish on a wooden table
© Peeradon Warithkorasuth / Alamy Stock Photo

This laid-back spot in the middle of Takua Pa, a small town in the southern Phang Nga province, is as colourful as the dishes cooked up by husband and wife Ae and Nok. Sit down on a red chair beside the bright green walls and savour an affordable plate of seafood, chicken or pork – sourced daily. The soft-shell crab with spicy sauce is a big favourite, and they’ll even pack you a takeaway.

Memories Beach Bar, Khao Lak

Bar, Restaurant, Thai
A pier beyond palm trees at Pakarang Resort, Koh Wai
© Paul Quayle / Alamy Stock Photo

This laid-back bar and restaurant, south of Pakarang beach, offers all things to everyone with a combo of burgers, sandwiches and Thai food. Don’t ignore the cocktails either – especially when accompanied by the sun dipping down the horizon. Fancy trying your hand at surfing? The Pakarang Surf Shop next door is part of the bar, so you can book a lesson in seconds. A reward for going in high season is the fire show on the beach at night.

Family Tree Restaurant, Krabi

Restaurant, Fusion
The interior of Family Tree Restaurant, Krabi, with various wooden seating options
Courtesy of Family Tree Hotel /
On the ground floor of the contemporary Family Tree Hotel, a couple of streets from Krabi waterfront in southern Thailand, this homely cafe keeps your cup filled to the brim with coffee from around the world. Your plate is also piled high with irresistible international pastries, from black forest gâteau to crème brûlée – although it’s not all a dentist’s nightmare. Experimental Thai fusion and traditional dishes are also on the menu.

Poo Dam, Krabi

Bar, Restaurant, Thai, Seafood, $$$

One of those places adored by locals and travellers alike, this low-key restaurant’s location opposite the crab statue on the riverside hints at the menu. If you like seafood, you’ll love the freshly caught grilled prawns, fried squid, sea bass and crab – poo dam means “black crab”. Wash it all down with lime juice or a cool beer. The open-side set-up isn’t fancy, but you’ll welcome the breeze on a balmy night.

Samchong Seafood, Phang Nga

Restaurant, Thai, $$$

In coastal Thailand, you expect to spend time on the water, and at this restaurant it’s guaranteed. Samchong Seafood floats over the waves, accessed by a stilted walkway near Kalai village, between Phuket and Phang Nga town. With views of the Phang Nga limestone formations to feast your eyes on, feed your stomach satisfying salads laced with dried smoked prawns, or share a whole snapper with punchy lime and garlic.

Koh Panyee Village Restaurant, Koh Panyee

Restaurant, Thai, $$$
Many buildings in Koh Panyee floating village in the Andaman Sea
© Anthony Pugh / Alamy Stock Photo

Head across to nearby Koh Panyee, a stilted fishing village in the middle of the Andaman Sea that sways with the waves created by passing boats. The vast Koh Panyee Village Restaurant serves tantalisingly fresh oysters, lobster, fishcakes and prawn tempura. When your food has digested, there’s even a floating football pitch next to the jetty for a post-lunch kickabout.

The Good View Restaurant, Koh Yao Noi

Restaurant, Thai, $$$

In those glowing green waters of Phang Nga Bay, halfway between Phuket and Krabi, Koh Yao Noi naturally offers sublime seafood restaurants, including this one built on a large wooden deck over the beach. Under the shade of ridiculously high palms, savour crab with a tamarind and coriander sauce – or, for vegetarians, crispy vegetable tempura. Watching the sunset over the water is the real lure, and unsurprisingly, the reason for the restaurant’s name.

Anna's Restaurant, Phi Phi Islands

Restaurant, Fusion, $$$

Next to the Moskito Diving shop on Koh Phi Phi, this popular Tongsai venue specialises in European and Thai food, meaning you can tuck into vegetable spring rolls followed by chicken schnitzel. Always busy, its diners spill out onto the tables outside. Some sit under the palm-fringed frontage, while others keep cool inside, as the air conditioning blasts the whitewashed walls.

Tour some of Thailand’s best waterside restaurants by chartering a vessel through SamBoat. Another option is embarking on a multi-day voyage with Dream Yacht Charter.

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