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Phuket Food on a Budget

22 October 2014
People often ask us where local Phuket people eat, where all the good places are that the tourists don't know about. Indeed, there's a lot of our customers who are traveling through Phuket on a budget, so we thought we would give you a brief list of some really great restaurants and food places that won't burn a hole in your pocket!

Most Asians love to eat and seem to spend a large part of their day either talking about food or eating food, from early morning to late into the evening. Eating out is part of their culture, as very few tend to cook at home. Why bother, when you are spoilt with so many choices of delicious, inexpensive restaurants and street food stalls on your doorstep. As a major tourist destination, Phuket has some of the best known restaurants in Thailand serving some of the finest cuisine with an expensive price tag. However, Phuket has also some of the cheapest restaurants and food stalls to suit people on a budget.

Din Sum Restaurant in Kathu
A few kilometers outside Phuket Town, a small dim sum restaurant opened in 2013. The restaurant itself does not have a name, but it says what it does on the outside-it sells steamed dim sum, kanom jeen and khao yam. Din sum is mostly eaten for breakfast, so it’s good to get there early morning, although there seems to be a lot of choices right up until it closes its doors at 11.30am. Very popular with local Chinese and Thais, delicious din sum at very cheap prices. Located on Vichitsongran Road opposite the new Kathu Museum (soon to be opened)

Fresh Seafood Market at Rawai Pier
Rawai Pier is situated in the south of Phuket Island, approximately a 30 minute drive from Phuket Town, depending on traffic. It’s a quiet spot away from other main tourist areas and the hustle and bustle of this tropical island. Apart from the long tail boat rental and the ability to purchase pearls, Rawai Pier also features its very own fresh seafood market, where you will find locals and foreigners, who have been living on the island for a long time buying fish that comes straight from the Andaman Sea.

Some of you might like to cook it yourself, should you be so lucky to have a well-equipped kitchen or an outdoor BBQ area. But why bother, when you can pop across the road to one of the local restaurants and they will happily cook it the way you like it….for a fee of course(50 baht a kilo), but it’s well worth it. The fish itself at the local market can be bought quite cheaply.

Natural Restaurant in Phuket Town
Natural Restaurant (Thai name Thamachat) is a tropical oasis in the heart of Phuket Town. What makes Natural Restaurant so good, is the way it is decorated. The three floors are full of plants and trees plus an enormous and ever expanding collection of antiques and artefacts. Upstairs is an open area for those who want a bit of sun and fresh air and there are separate rooms for those who want privacy and seclusion. It is located on Soi Puthorn, the road that runs from Ranong Road passing in front of Jui Shrine to Bangkok Road.

If you come from Puket Town via Bangkok Road, then Soi Phutorn is the last soi on your right. The road is one way, so you cannot turn right.

For more than 20 years Natural Restaurant has served Thai and international dishes, and at reasonable prices. They prepare their Thai food without MSG. They have more than 200 dishes, mostly between 60 to 200 Baht. For example:
  • Deep Fried Soft Skin Crab to 65 Baht/per 100 gr.
  • Fresh oysters from only 45 Baht
  • Tom Yam Kung for only 150 Baht.

Naka Night Market-Phuket Local Market
This has got to be on your "things to do in Phuket" list! The Phuket Weekend Market (Phuket Night Market) is located just outside Phuket City off Chao Fa West Road, near Naka Temple. It opens on Saturdays and Sundays starting late afternoon, up to around 10pm. Along the same road is also a fresh market (called the Talad Sot Mai - "New Fresh Market"). The weekend market is not really for buying fresh food, but there are stalls selling fruit and there are loads of snack stalls for buying deserts, corn, drinks, spicy snacks, noodles and of course fried insects. To the right of the main entrance is the food part. Here, you can gorge on delicious boiled buttered corn on the cob, spicy sausages, grilled chicken, fishcakes, exotic fruit and even deep-fried insects. And of course you can wash your snack down with an ice-cold beer. You will see mostly Thais sitting around, gossiping and eating. If you are on a budget and want to taste local Thai food, then a visit to Phuket Weekend Market is a must visit to taste Phuket’s local food.

Street Food
Phuket Island might be famous for its beaches, but to experience the real heart of Phuket it is essential to try local street food. There is no shame is eating cheaply in Phuket. Indeed, you will find a lot of businesses men sitting around a table on the side of the street tucking into a bowl of noodles, while talking business. One of the easiest ways to taste good, cheap food is to visit a local festival, of which there are many in Phuket throughout the year. Otherwise, keep an eye out for where locals eat in and around Phuket Town. If it’s packed with local Thais, then you know it’s got to be good and usually very cheap. More importantly, these food street stalls are clean and the food is safe to eat.

Fruit Vendors
Freshly cut fruit is also sold by street vendors who either have a permanent fruit stall or who walk the streets looking for customers. The fruit is freshly cut and packed in ice to keep it fresh. The vendor will cut the fruit into bite size pieces before giving it to you in a plastic bag together with a skewer as your eating utensil. You are normally offered a small bag of sugar and salt/chilli mix-the Thais like to dip their fresh fruit into this to give it an extra kick. Always very cheap and clean.

Don't forget, you can book your ferry tickets to and from Phuket, Phi Phi, and many more destinations with Phuket Ferry!

Please note that this information is subject to change. If you have any doubts or concerns; contact our customer service team via the email, phone, or live chat.


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