Where to eat in Ao Nang

Dining out in Ao Nang tends to be a fairly average affair: neither particularly cheap nor expensive; nor particularly good or bad. This is actually good news for visitors – as there is a huge choice of restaurants here, the odds of having a terrible meal, or feeling ripped off are fairly low. On the whole, you will eat reasonably well, at a reasonable price for a tourist area, wherever you go. You’ll find most restaurants offer a generic menu of Thai, international and often Indian favourites, which should please most palates.
Of course there are also gems to be found and, if your food expectations are set high, we are here to tell you about them!

International food in Ao Nang

Ao Nang has the best selection of western and international dining on mainland Krabi, and is particularly strong in Italian food, though the only remaining Italian-owned restaurant on the beachfront road is Azzurra, which has been running for close to 20 years, and is particularly strong on home made pasta. For more real Italian taste, you will need to venture up the hill on the Klong Haeng Road to the fabulous Umberto’s, run by an Italian chef of the same name. He serves up excellent filled pasta; melting risottos; regional specialties and a selection of high quality meats, including Wagyu beef.

Most of the other pizzerias you will find at the beachfront are more basic affairs, owned and run by south Asians – which is great if you are looking for Halal Italian food.

Red meat eaters with a big appetite should head straight for Carnivore, also on the Klong Haeng Rd opposite Thai Village Resort. Here, the name of the game is quality and consistency – lacking in so many other restaurants. Carnivore can always be depended on to serve elegant, perfectly cooked steaks, with hearty accompaniments, as well as a range of classic European cuisine for those with smaller appetites. They have a good wine list, plus a large selection of European beers.

Another must-try fine dining restaurant is Jenna’s Bistro & Wine, located next to Starbucks, which offers probably the most interesting menu in Ao Nang. It is best described as upmarket bistro food, combining good primary ingredients with international flavours in a relaxed ambience. Service is above average.

Jenna’s sister restaurant, Café 8.98 is another good choice for lighter fare. Located a few doors down (next to Subway), it’s a cool urban-style eaterie with a great all-day vibe from breakfast to cocktail hour. Particularly good value are the tapas nights, held every second Friday.

If you – or your children – are yearning for a taste of home, you are sure to find it in a corner of Ao Nang. Scandi natives can head to A-ning on the beachfront, which also has live music at the weekends; Swiss people will find their rösti and schnitzel in Wanna’s Place (which is also the place to try a Thai massaman curry); and Germans can get a hearty meat and potato fix in Divers’ Inn.

Crazy Gringos in the “Walking street” on the corner of Phra Nang Inn, offers decent Tex-Mex food, as does the sports bar and grill, TJ’s, next door to Starbucks. TJ’s also does great burgers, and has regular BBQ buffet nights, where you can catch a game on the big screen.

For western food on a budget, try the popular Spaghetti House, next to Siam Commercial Bank. Portions are large and wallet-friendly, though don’t expect haute cuisine.

If you’re staying on Nopparat Thara Beach (or even if you are not!), A-One Restaurant is a safe bet for tasty Thai and western food at reasonable prices. The “4 Sis” Pizzeria in the open air shopping plaza next to Holiday Inn, and The Beach restaurant overlooking the waterfront are also recommended, both doing justice to their chosen repetoires.

For those who are staying further out from the beach, or have their own transport, there are some good neighbourhood restaurants to try: the Ao Nang Beer Garden (opposite Ao Nang Phu Petra Resort) is a favourite with German expats, with its all you can eat BBQ buffet every Saturday night; Pooky’s Place (opposite Tesco) does a mean roast dinner; Tipico (also opposite Tesco) is both deli and pizzeria; while 4034 Burger (on the road to Krabi just after the Soi Nathai exit) serves up budget burgers and pasta to rave reviews.

Fast food and chain restaurant fans are catered for with franchises of McDonald’s and Burger King, as well as a Subway and Starbucks, all located along the main beach road.

Seafood in Ao Nang

Seafood is the obvious choice when holidaying by the sea. Most people head straight for the restaurants on the hill with the big marketing budgets (more on those below) but the strip known as ‘seafood street’ should not be ignored. Accessed via a footpath at the corner of the beach opposite The L Resort, this is a boardwalk along the waterfront housing five independent restaurants. All serve similar fare, so walk along and see which “catch of the day” and decor take your fancy. The range goes from basic wooden tables to the frou-frou lace and chandeliers of The Longtail Boat. As the restaurants are located over the water and offer spectacular sea views, the best tables fill up early – around sunset – so go early if this is important to you.

For a seafood meal with a “wow” factor, the two rival restaurants on the vertiginous slope behind Ao Nang – Lae Lay Grill and The Hilltop – are the places to go. Why are they located high up on the hill? Because their prices are so steep! (boom-boom). There’s no doubt you can find cheaper and better food elsewhere, but the setting is spectacular, especially early evening around sundown. Both restaurants’ menus offer a good range of Thai food and seafood. Lae Lay probably has the edge on food, whereas The Hilltop’s large grounds win on location. Both are good choices for a special occasion meal and both offer free round trip hotel transfers within the local area – another plus. The Hilltop also has a nice bar area if you want to go just for a sunset cocktail. Reservations are recommended during high season as The Hilltop in particular is very popular with tour groups.

For a more “local” seafood meal, head for either Wang Sai Seafood or Krua Thara – both located on Nopparat Thara beach. Wang Sai is at the Ao Nang end, just over the bridge, whereas Krua Thara is at the opposite end, in the National Park car park. The emphasis here is on the food – decor, ambience and service are secondary concerns. You’ll find plenty of Thai people tucking in to the excellent seafood, including (in Krua Thara) a good choice of shellfish.

Indian food in Ao Nang

In recent years, Indian restaurants have been opening at an exponential rate along the beachfront – there are now more than two dozen places to eat a chicken korma in Ao Nang! These tend to be stronger in tandoori (clay pot) dishes and vegetarian options – meat curries often taste very similar, and can be bland. So if you like your curries hot, you need to ask them to add extra chilli.

The best of the bunch, according to our local expats, are Taj Palace and Tandoori Nights, opposite the Ao Nang Police Station. We can vouch that both of these do really tasty curries, tandoori dishes and naan breads – this word again! – consistently.

Many of the Indian restaurants in Ao Nang are also Halal, and all can cater for vegetarians with dahl, paneer etc. For vegan food, or what Indians call “pure veg”, there is a new restaurant, Govinda’s on the Klong Haeng Road, that serves both Indian and international vegan dishes – recommended if your diet is both non-meat and non-dairy. If you’re staying at the opposite side of the beach, try Temple Flower, which also has a good range of vegan and vegetarian food – next to The Cliff Resort.

Thai food in Ao Nang

Authentic Thai food is – surprisingly – quite hard to come by in the Ao Nang beach area, as it is usually adapted to tourists’ tastes, with milder flavours and lots of sauce. If your taste buds can’t cope with chilli, Tanta’s, A-One or A-ning restaurants serve probably the best modified versions of Thai food we have tasted (Tanta’s will also do excellent authentic food if you tell them you want it).

If you can take the heat, there are a few places that serve something approximating the real thing – The Massaman, next to Siam Commercial Bank, and Bussaba Thai, on the Klong Haeng Road, are favourites for restaurant-style food, or try the wide variety of street food at Boat Noodle, opposite Krung Sri Bank.

For more choice, you will have to head out from the beach: De’Fish and Krua Rom Yen are two tasty Halal Thai food options for a nice, sit down meal with good service. Both offer a wide ranging and authentic menu, with southern Thai specialties. Ton Mayom, in Leela Valley, is another place offering good, well-presented Thai food (though certainly not amazing enough to explain its TripAdvisor rating). Cheaper options include the equally highly rated Jungle Kitchen, which serves northern Thai specialities, near the post office, and Bryde, a cheap and cheerful local restaurant in Klong Haeng village (main road, a little before the Supercheap supermarket).

The other, cheap option for decent Thai food in the beach area itself is the street food. You can try all sorts of Thai dishes such as pad thai, noodle soup, and papaya salad, as well as food made to order, such as chicken with basil leaves, or spicy curries. At lunchtime until early evening, head for the stretch of road just past Sala Talay restaurant (next to the entrance to Holiday Inn Express) on Nopparat Thara Beach, where you will find the biggest selection of stalls. Ao Nang or Klong Haeng villages, around 1km inland, also offer a lot of street food choices, both during the day and evening. If you’re not staying in these areas, take a tuk-tuk from the beach.

Find more restaurant ideas and detailed food reviews below:

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