One of the many great things about Koh Samui is the wide variety of incredible restaurants and dining options that are available to visitors of this wonderful island. To co-inside with the islands relatively recent tourism boom, Samui is home to many different restaurants serving just about every type you can think of.
There are definitely enough dining options on the island to suit all tastes and budgets and one thing for certain is that you certainly won’t be going hungry during your stay on Koh Samui!
It is well known that food plays an important role in Thai culture and society and this is no different on Koh Samui, even though the island is predominantly a tourist destination. The truth is that no matter where you happen to be on Koh Samui you are never that far away from a good restaurant.
It’s not just about the sheer number of restaurants and eateries that are available on the island either; the choice of different food that is available is quite staggering. The restaurants on Koh Samui serve everything from traditional Thai cuisine to international favourites such as pasta, pizza, burgers and seafood.
Koh Samui is also awash with fine dining eateries and top class restaurants. One statististic that Tourism Authority of Thailand often likes to remind people of is that Koh Samui now boasts more 3 star Michelin Chefs and 5 star restaurants all in one place, than anywhere else in the world! It was once the case that many of the world’s finest chefs would head over to the Middle East or Europe to ply their trade, whereas today, some of the most prestigious and award winning chefs are literally queuing up to come and work on the island, such is Koh Samui’s reputation within the culinary world.
Great Food, Reasonably Priced
Generally, food prices in Thailand are very reasonable and whilst this is still true for Koh Samui the prices charged by some restaurants can be a little bit more expensive than in other destinations in Thailand. Having said that, the vast majority of the restaurants on the island will nearly always be cheaper than what you would pay back home and it is certainly not the case that you will ever have to be worrying about the cost of the bill!
The only exception to the relatively reasonable prices when it comes to dining on Koh Samui is the disproportionally expensive cost of wine, although this tends to be the case throughout all of Thailand.
The other nice thing about dining on Koh Samui is that a large number of restaurants on the island are open air, alfresco affairs and at some places you can even dine right on the beach.
Where to Eat on Koh Samui
Probably the biggest concentration of restaurants on Koh Samui is located in the central areas of Chaweng and Lamai and right along the beachfront. However, there are great restaurants dotted all over the island and depending on where you are staying, the likelihood is, there will a fine dining restaurant in your resort.
Probably the most difficult thing when it comes to eating on Koh Samui is deciding on what it is you want to eat; such is the great choice that is available to you. To try and make things a bit easier, here is little sample of the different types of cuisine and restaurants you can expect to find on the island.
No trip to Koh Samui would be complete without sampling a bit of Thai cuisine and whilst the island has an abundance of restaurants serving a wide range of international food, you will not be surprised to hear that Thai food is readily available all over the island. No matter if you want to try a bit of the traditional street food or dine in 5 star luxury, there are plenty of choices when it comes to eating some of very best in Thai cuisine.
It is true that you can eat some of the best Thai food, very reasonably at many different places throughout the island and the easiest way of finding kinds of restaurants is to look around and see where the locals are eating. Look out for plastic chairs and restaurant packed with Thai faces and you won’t go far wrong. Make sure you visit our pages on Thai food for more information.
However, if you want to take you Thai eating experience to a whole new level then there are a number of excellent Thai fine dining restaurants that can be found on the island. One in particular that is worth mentioning is Tom Yam Thai that not only serves absolutely amazing food but the decor is superb and the service from the staff is excellent. Located at the north end of Chaweng Beach, Tom Yam Thai succeeds in serving delicious, authentic Thai food, in a modern and contemporary setting.
Arguably Chaweng’s finest beachside restaurant, Le Cafe des Arts serves French, Thai and International cuisine. This tropical French bistro has a unique relaxed atmosphere in an incredible beachside setting. This is French fine dining at its very best and once you have eaten here it will be easy to see why this is one of the most popular restaurants on the whole island.
Another popular French restaurant that can be found on Koh Snapper is Red Snapper, which is also located in Chaweng. Look out for the amazing sizzling platters and Asian salads. If you are looking to try something new then you could give the crocodile tenderloins a try!
If you are in the mood for an all out meat feast within a wonderful carnival atmosphere then head over to Zico’s in south Chaweng. This Brazilian barbecue restaurant is one of the busiest on the island and is popular amongst families, couples and large groups. Zico’s can also be a good choice if you have something to celebrate or if you are looking for somewhere exciting to eat, which offers good food at a price that won’t break the bank.
Travel anywhere in the world and you won’t have to look too hard to find a good Indian restaurant. This is certainly the case on Koh Samui. Located in central Chaweng, Noori India has established itself as the number one Indian restaurant on the island. Its dazzling menu contains all of the most popular and delicious Indian dishes, such as Shami Kebabs, Chicken Tikka Masala and Lamb Rogan Josh. They even serve Kingfisher beer and also provide a free delivery service for the Chaweng area.
If you are looking for some traditional pub grub then look no further than The Islander, which is located close to Soi Green Mango in Central Chaweng. It’s also the place to go if you are looking for a traditional English breakfast, which is the perfect way to start anyday! For lunch, there is a wide range of tortilla wraps, burgers and baguettes, which should set you up nicely for a full lamb or chicken roast dinner in the evening! Pool tables a plenty and the beer is always flowing! The Islander also has a great range of pizzas, pastas, curries and Thai food too.
Gringos Cantina is the place to go for Mexican food on Koh Samui, especially if you are looking for a relaxed atmosphere, with little fuss and generous portions. The menu is packed full of traditional Mexican fare such as nacho’s, tex-mex lasagne, tacos, burritos and seafood enchiladas, which come highly recommended. The friendly and welcoming staff help to create an authentic taste of Mexico within the island of Samui.
You can probably find more Italian restaurants on Koh Samui bar any other type of cuisine (apart from Thai). Opened in 2005, Rice is certainly one of the most popular Italian restaurants on the island. Situated right opposite the Soi Green Mango, Rice has a laid back kind of atmosphere, whilst still being chic and sophisticated. Oh, and the food is excellent too!
If you are looking for Italian food with a difference make sure you visit Dr Frogs where you will find a wonderful Italian-Thai fusion cooking that isn’t offered anywhere else on the island. Eating at Dr Frogs offers stunning views of Chaweng Bay which provides the perfect setting when tucking into the restaurants incredible food. Particular favourites are the roasted duck breast with green tagliatelle and the Royal Thai massaman curry. For desert you must try the mango crème brulee.