A feast for the senses: Find the best Thai food in Soi Bangla

If you’re partying at Phuket’s hottest nightlife hub, you’ll need to stop and grab a bite at some point. Read on to find out where to get the best Thai food in Soi Bangla Road.

If you’re looking for the best Thai food in Soi Bangla Road, I know just where you should go. It is true that this stretch of nightclubs is known more for its no-holds barred reckless fun and its throbbing nightlife than for its food. But for a night of partying, there must be some pit stops along the way to refuel, before you hit the bars and discos again. And you won’t be disappointed. From narrow, seedy lanes lined with stalls that sell freshly cooked Thai fare to upscale restaurants that specialise in fusion and also serve up European fare – there is something for everyone here. Some of the most popular haunts for the food lovers are – Mengrai Seafood, Climax, Rico’s, Soi Piadina, The Islander, and Eurasia.

The bay area
The bay area

Mengrai Seafood

Tucked away in an obscure corner of SoiTun –which is a narrow lane right off Soi Bangla Road – this food joint is a favorite with locals and expats alike. If you want to tighten your purse strings to save money for the rest of your travels, this is the just the place to go. The best thing is that the low prices don’t involve a compromise for your taste buds. This place sells arguably the tastiest Thai food in Soi Bangla.

You can gorge on flawless preparations of mussel, prawn and some delectable varieties of fish. The produce is always fresh and has that just out of the sea’ feel to it. This is absolutely a no-frills, hold-in-the-wall kind of place, where the food is the focus of your experience. So if you obsess about hygiene and presentation give this lane a miss and head to the costlier eateries, of which there are many. If you can overlook the seediness and manage to place your order, you will soon be transported to a different world – a world of enticing flavors and aromas. Grab a seat and tuck in.

The staff is friendly and service is prompt. Don’t forget to order their prawns in red curry, perhaps the best in Phuket. The heady, irresistible aroma will tell you why. Try their steamed fish with ginger and scallions, or the steamed shrimp with garlic. Some of their pork delicacies will also leave you lusting for more. We also love their clams in chilli basil or garlic sauces and their Grilled tiger prawns in lemon and garlic for appetizers.

Thai curry and other delicacies
Thai curry and other delicacies

Climax

If your definition for the best Thai food in Soi Bangla includes factors like presentation and ambience, head to Climax restaurant atop the posh Absolute Bangla suites in Soi Rico. This fifth floor rooftop poolside restaurant is just the place to spend a leisurely laid back evening completed by good food, alcohol, soft lounge music, and a great view to go with. The ambiance is quiet, calm, and comfortable – cut off from the revelry of the streets below, you can take a breather here. Don’t miss the 4.30 pm to 6.30 pm happy hours here, which accompany the beautiful sunset that you can enjoy from the terrace.

Climax has been run by some British folks since its opening in 2009, and as such it is a great place to treat your taste buds to some fusion Thai cuisine that brings you the best of both worlds – the one you are away from and the one you wish to explore. The raw tuna and salsa appetizer is a great example of this. They also serve up a mean calamari. For those who insist of presentation and setup, this is just the place.


Rico’s

Rico’s is also a popular haunt for food lovers in Soi Bangla Road. You will find it opposite Soi Lion. The USP of this joint is that it serves up European cuisine as well. But few know that it is also one of the places that serve the best Thai food in Soi Bangla. So you can sample the local Thai delicacies and also savor something that reminds you of home. Besides authentic Thai, they serve steaks, pizza and even Scandinavian fare.


Lip smacking delicaies
Lip smacking delicaies

Piadina

A slender lane just off Soi Bangla is Soi Piadina, which is a wonder word for those who want to go on a gastronomic adventure. Your nose won't miss this, thanks to the fragrant aroma of fresh seafood that is cooked in the stalls lining this road. Locals will vouch for the fact that this is the spot for the best Thai food in Soi Bangla, and after a few bites you won't disagree. a word of caution, though: this is fro those of you who don't mind slumming out a bit - the focus is not on fine dining, presentation or extra amnesties, but on authentic, fresh and of course delicious fare. The prices are also easy on the pocket. If you want to take the road less traveled, head into this little known lane and sample a different world of flavors.

The Islander

This is just off Soi Bangla, nestled in the Soi Patong Resort just beyond Tiger bar. Their USP, Of course, is the scrumptious all day British breakfast that they serve for those who might be feeling a bit homesick. But you can also walk in here for some delicious and the best Thai food in Soi Bangla, which is cooked to perfection. this is quite the perfect destination for tourists who are worried about poor Heine standards in the street stalls and want to dine in a clean, sanitized atmosphere that is a touch anglicized. while it may not be the best Thai food in Soi Bangla, it definitely comes close.


Eurasia

Though the name may have you believe otherwise, this is a great place to enjoy a Thai meal when you foray into Soi Bangla Road. The prices are reasonable, and you have the option of ordering European cuisine as well. So you can sample the best Thai food in Soi Bangla, as well the most satisfying Western cuisine here. Say goodbye to your hunger pangs.

Summary

Soi Bangla Road does not just stand for all things wild and debauched in Phuket. there is a world waiting out there for the gourmand as well - to smell, see, taste, and then devour. You can find the best Thai food in Soi Bangla itself, if you are willing to walk and explore a bit. This busy bustling stretch that has a life of its own after sundown is also a culinary adventure waiting to happen, so dig in.

Note

There is a beach resort (practically unknown to the tourist world) in a hamlet, close to Kolkata. If you like the sea, but hate the crowds then Mandarmani is the place to head to. You'll have to travel to India though.

© 2013 Juana Aman

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