Taking the local food tours to explore Phuket

Food Tours Thailand

Words: TBT Team
Photos: Phuwadol Jankhum
Published: June 1, 2018

Throughout its colourful history Phuket has welcomed different peoples from different places who brought with them aspects of their own culture and traditions, and over the centuries these have merged into the fascinating melting pot we see today.

None more so than the Chinese and European, with their influence clearly evident in Phuket’s amazing food scene that is so distinctive from the rest of Thailand and in its Sino-Portuguese mix of East and West architecture.

Indicative of Phuket’s world-class culinary standing, UNESCO in 2015 named the destination as one of just 18 ‘Gastronomy Cities’ around the world and the first one in ASEAN.

Here are some recommended eateries for visitors touring Phuket’s local food scenes.

Roti Taew Nam

Roti Taew Nam or Roti Bang Dol eatery

Open now for 70 years, Roti Taew Nam – also called Roti Bang Dol or Bang Dol restaurant – draws locals with its breakfast fare. This includes roti topped with fried egg and various flavours of curry like chicken, beef and fish, and egg-topped pancake with sweetened condensed milk. Hot and iced drinks include Thai tea or coffee, cocoa, soymilk, coffee and black tea. Prices start at 15 to 25 baht for drinks, 10 baht for roti and 50 baht for curry. Open daily from 7 am to 12 noon.

137-179 Talang Road, Talat Yai, Mueang, Phuket 83000.

Kookhawn

Kookhawn eatery Phuket
Kookhawn eatery Phuket, Dumpling

Another popular breakfast eatery, Kookhwan serves dishes created from secret recipes that use hand prepared ingredients. Opened 30 years ago, its variety of Chinese food includes such items as steamed pork dumpling, steamed fish tofu, Bak kut teh (pork rib cooked in broth) and Misua (noodles). Drinks include Chinese tea, Thai tea, Thai coffee, black tea and cocoa. Prices start from 20 baht for food, 15 baht for drinks. Open daily from 6 am to 12 noon.

Phuket Road, Mueang, Phuket 83000.

Keng Tin

Keng Tin local bakery shop Phuket

Phuket’s first and only local bakery shop, Keng Tin has been cooking up delicious pastries for 100 years now. Bakery items include individually handmade desserts created from original recipes, some found nowhere else. Desserts include Black pepper cookies, Tau Sar Piah, Pung Pia and Bee Pang. Prices start from 20 baht. Open Monday to Saturday from 7.30 am to 6.30 pm.

344 Phuket Road, Mueang, Phuket 83000.

Kanom Jeen Mae Ting

Kanom Jeen Mae Ting Phuket, Kanom Jeen with Curry
Kanom Jeen Mae Ting Phuket

Mostly local clientele visits this 80-year old establishment for the Kanom Jeen (rice noodles) served with various southern Thai and Phuket traditional curry sauces, such as Kaeng Tai Pla, and crab, chicken and fish flavours. The menu here also features fried chicken, Thai fish cakes, boiled eggs and side dishes like Thai eggplant. Prices start from 20 baht for food, 15 baht for drinks. Open daily from 6 am to 1 pm.

65 Satun Road, North Market, Mueang, Phuket 83000

Yao Yen Ta Fo

Yao Yen Ta Fo Phuket, noodle varieties
Yao Yen Ta Fo Phuket
Yao Yen Ta Fo Phuket, Oh Tao

A noodle restaurant of 40 years, Yao Yen Ta Fo serves a range of noodles and soups – Yen Ta Fo (pink sour noodle soup), Tom Yum (spicy and sour soup) and dry soup. The soups here are special as they are made with shrimp shells rather than pork spare ribs. There’s egg, glass, wide rice and instant flavoured noodles, Mee Hokkien and Mee Hoon Phuket-style noodles, rice vermicelli, and also pork satay and spring rolls, as well as Oh Tao (fried small oysters mixed with taro, shrimp, pork crackling and spring onions). Prices average around 50 baht. Open daily from 12 noon to midnight.

Soi Kanit Hongsyok, Talat Yai, Mueang, Phuket 83000

Jee Jai-Bang Neow

Jee Jai Bang Neow Phuket, Mee Hoon Ba Chang
Jee Jai Bang Neow Phuket, O-Aew
Jee Jai Bang Neow Phuket

This local eatery is famous around Phuket and has been featured on Thai TV. Its signature menu is Mee Hoon Ba Chang (thin Hokkien noodles) served with pork spare rib soup and the local dessert O-Aew (shaved ice with sweet toppings and jelly). Other menu items include spring rolls and pork satay, while hot and iced drinks include Thai coffee, Thai tea, coffee and black tea. Prices average around 40 baht. Open daily from 2 pm to 8 pm.

Soi Takua Thung, Talat Yai, Mueang, Phuket 83000

Torry’s Ice Cream

Torry's Ice Cream

Popular with tourists, Torry’s Ice Cream proudly claims to offer the ‘taste of Phuket’ and its menu features some unique selections found only here. These include Bi Co Moi (glutinous sticky rice and coconut milk ice cream), A-Pong (Phuket-style crepes and ice cream) and the dessert O-Aew. Prices range from 59 baht to 195 baht. Open Tuesday to Thursday from 11 am to 6pm, to 9.30 on Friday to Sunday.

Soi Rommani, Talat Yai, Phuket, Phuket 83000

Tunk-Ka Café

Lovely for dinner thanks to its location next to Khao Rang Hill viewpoint offering a panoramic view of night time Phuket city. The fare here is Phuket and southern-style with ‘real taste’. The drinks selection includes wine, beer, coconut and other beverages. Prices start from 60 baht for food, 25 baht for drinks. Open daily from 11 am to 10 pm.

Khosimbi Road, Ratsada, Mueang Phuket, Phuket 83000

A tour of Phuket’s local food delights is best complete with a visit to the island’s intriguing sights: Mae Ya Nang Shrine on Patipat Road built in 1853 by Chinese immigrants, where it’s believed a spirit of goddess ‘Ma Jor Poh’ or ‘Mae Ya Nang’ lives and where nowadays people go to wish for safe travels, to pay homage and do away with bad luck and danger; Soi Rommanee with its Colonial architecture, cafes and guesthouses; and Chinpracha House at 98 Krabi, an elegant example of Sino-colonial architecture built in 1903.