Given its over-supply of beautiful beaches, dining with a view in Phuket is desirable and eminently practical. In recent years, government crackdowns have seen a lot of al fresco beach restaurants and bars forcibly closed, but you can still eat well within sight of the sea as well as inland.
1. Mom Tri’s Kitchen at Villa Royale
A Phuket institution overlooking Kata Noi beach. This is fusion food at its best, with Thai and western dishes co-habiting happily. The restaurant is known also for its impressive 700-label wine cellar. On the pricey side.
2. Kopitiam by Wilai
Terrific Thai and Peranakan food in the heart of old Phuket Town, with an emphasis on home-style cooking. While the building is relatively new, the style and decor recalls Phuket Town’s Chinese heritage, with photos of old Phuket adorning the walls.
3. Tunk-ka Cafe
Rang Hill overlooks Phuket Town, 140m above the city, and the views are as good as the food. Mostly traditional Thai, with curries, pad thai, steamed sea bass and chicken with cashew nuts among the recommended dishes.
4. Lock Tien Food Court
You can find great street food all over Phuket, but this small hawker-style place in Phuket Town makes it easy. There are about a dozen food carts to choose from, with hokkien noodles the go-to dish. Open11am-6.30pm only.
5. Sea Hag
A Patong institution – especially among the gay community, but welcoming of everyone – Sea Hag’s Thai food, in particular its seafood, is among the best you’ll find in touristy Patong. There are Italian and international dishes on the menu too.
6. Sam’s Steaks & Grill
Located at Patong’s Holiday Inn Resort, this is an expat favourite. There is an open-air section as well as an air-conditioned lounge. Steaks are the highlight, with other grills including rack of lamb on the extensive menu.
7. Trisara Seafood
Even if you’re not staying at the resort, Seafood is worth a visit. As the name suggests, the focus is on quality seafood, with dining on an outdoor terrace by the beach or in an air-conditioned indoor section.
Situated right on the sands of Kata Beach, the Boathouse is perennially named as among Phuket's finest restaurants. There is a mixture of classical Thai and French cuisine, while the cellar houses about 6500 bottles of wine.
9. Blue Elephant
The setting here, in the colonial grandeur of the 100-year-old former governor's mansion, matches the splendour of the food. Royal Thai cuisine is the focus, with such dishes as black chicken green curry and fresh lime sea bass. Also home to a renowned cooking school.
10. Natural Restaurant Thammachat
Trees, vines, small waterfalls, tables made from slices of tree trunk – and some of the best-value food in Phuket. Thammachat in Phuket Town serves good, unpretentious Thai food, with main courses generally less than $5. It spreads over four levels and is good fun.