Best/Top/Popular/Good Restaurants/Food of Cox's Bazar
Cox’s bazar is one of the most, if not THE most popular tourism spot of Bangladesh for both locals and foreigners. Almost everyone loves the sea has been to Cox’s Bazar at one time in their life or other, for enjoying the ocean, the mild weather, the beach and last but not the least, the local food of the area.
I myself have been to Cox’s Bazar on numerous occasions and I have thoroughly enjoyed my stays there. However, every time I have been there, there’s always been confusion for me as to where to EAT! For me personally, eating on vacation is a big part of the vacation experience and its always disappointing if you return from a vacation not totally satisfied with the food experience of the locality because you DID NOT KNOW where to eat!
During my recent visit to cox’s Bazar, once again I did not really know where to eat or where to go for a nice eating experience and environment because I could not really find any information on the internet! I am quite sure that whenever any of us go on vacation or to an unknown place, the internet is our best friend for finding helpful information and tips. Thus, I decided that I would definitely write a blog about my eating experiences in Cox’s Bazar and the best/popular restaurants of Cox’s Bazar so that it may be helpful for others visiting Cox’s Bazar.
Location Convenience: 3/5
Jhaubon Restaurant, Hotel Sayeman Road, Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh
Jhaubon Restaurant is by far the most well-known local restaurant of Cox’s Bazar. This is not some posh or chic type of restaurant. Rather, Jhaubon Restaurant’s décor or outlook is best comparable to the local restaura or hotel (local eating place called hotel – I KNOW it’s confusing!) of Dhaka such as STAR KABAB or RAZZAK (of Old Town, Dhaka) or any other roadside restaurants (“hotels”) most commonly seen around Dhaka. The food menu is also quite similar to those of Dhaka restaurants and includes the usual range of local foods such as rice, polau, beef, mutton, chicken, dal, bhorta’s, etc. However, a wide range of seafood at reasonable prices is available here as well. The deep fried or curry of Pomfret fish (locally called “Rupchada”) is very popular at the restaurant. The Vhetki fish fry is also quite in demand. Shrimp lovers will also find the local shrimp curry “doupiaza” available here. A typical lunch/dinner for two comprising of rice, 1 pomfret, 1 vetki fry and some bhorta’s and soft drinks will cost around BDT 700-800. It’s definitely not the most inexpensive but it’s okay. Personally I wasn’t too happy with the food quality this time around. I found the food to be bland and quite tasteless and definitely not up to the mark. However, in their defense, it may have been an off-day for them or since we went there quite late at lunch time, maybe the food had gone cold. I don’t quite know what, but it’s definitely a place worth checking out if you are in Cox’s Bazar. Jhauban Restaurant is located on the farther edge of Sayeman Road, only 15 minutes Rickshaw ride from New Beach Road, Hotel-Motel Zone, where most of the popular hotels are located. However, it would be a bit difficult to find on your own but fortunately all the rickshaw pullers or auto-rickshaw drivers know the place. Overall, it’s an ordinary restaurant serving ordinary food and was quite a disappointment for me considering the fact that there is so much hype and talk surrounding this restaurant.
Location Convenience: 3/5
Poushee, Hotel Sayeman Road, Cox's Bazar, Chittagong Division, Bangladesh
Poushee Restaurant is one of the up-and-coming restaurants of Cox’s Bazar. It’s a type of restaurant similar to that of Jhaubon Restaurant but my personal experience here was much better. The food menu at the Poushee Restaurant is quite similar to that of Jhaubon but I found the overall ambience and environment more relaxed and cleaner and fresher compared to Jhauban. The food that we had was also reasonably better, especially their famous “bhuna” beef! Unfortunately, the Pomfret curry we had was quite ordinary – may be the deep fry version would be better? Their desert, caramel pudding, was also good. Overall, I found Poushee a much better place for eating than Jhaubon, considering the fact that they are almost identically priced. The Restaurant is definitely worth a try but it would be wrong to say that it’s a heaven of Bangladeshi cuisine!!!
Location Convenience: 4/5
Sugandha Beach | Kolatoli, Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh
Mermaid Café is probably one of the best chilling-out places in Cox’s Bazar serving the BEST food currently. Their overall décor is quite excellent and reminiscent of Goa-style beachside eateries. The ambience of the place is great in a carefree Bob-Marley kinda way. The music is always great, with a mixture of different genres of music, shifting from one great mood to another. The waiters are helpful and very friendly. The sitting arrangements are also great: you can choose between sitting in individual small huts and sitting in cross-legged style OR in a more traditional way of sitting on rough-hewn wooden benches under a larger shade. The overall place is quite large and spacious ensuring that you will not feel that the over customers are too close to you. A lot of thought has gone behind the making of the restaurant and it’s evident from all the little things, such as the branded cutlery, to the uniquely styled menus and the lighting. Since it’s an open place, smoking is allowed here as well. The food we had was remarkably good. The “Shrimp in lime” and BBQ Red Snapper were particularly good. It must be noted that it’s a tad on the more expensive side and a good meal for two will take out 2.5-3k out of your wallet. However, the overall quality of the food and ambience is so good that I would dare say that the money will be well spent!
Location Convenience: 4.5/5
Fu-Wang Dominous Resort Ltd, Labonee Point, Beach Road, Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh (on map below Koyla is located on the extreme north-west end of beach road)
Most Dhaka people are possibly familiar with the Koyla restaurant of Dhaka located besides Fu-Wang Club on Industrial Road close to Gulshan 1. When we first saw Koyla at Cox’s Bazar, we didn’t know anything about it and were quite apprehensive about how it would turn out but I am happy to say that it was quite a pleasant experience overall. The restaurant is divided in to two areas. One area comprises of the actual restaurant building and dining takes place both on the ground and first floor of the two storied individual building. The other area is situated on a green field beside the restaurant building on a lawn and comprises of about 8-10 individual huts quite similar to that of Mermaid Café. The overall décor and ambience was good but not as good as that of Mermaid Café. One very interesting and unique feature of the restaurant, especially for the people sitting in the huts, was the presence of a very large out-door projector showing a popular hindi movie (The Three Idiots). There were a lot of rows of chairs in front of the screen but no one was sitting there. However, I found the presence of the screen and the rows of chairs quite interesting! The food was quite good but not exceptional. We especially found the BBQ lobster very very delicious. However, the lobster is also extremely expensive because the dish is charged on the basis of weight. Koyla specializes on BBQ styled dishes served with Parathas and Nans. One extremely disturbing thing about the huts in which we were sitting was that the bamboos on the hut’s roof were under attack from termites (possibly) and fine dust was continuously falling from the roof onto our foods! We had to be really careful while eating (we had all out dishes covered under tissue papers). This was a disappointing side of the restaurant since it was evident that a lot of money and energy had been invested into making the restaurant successful.
Location Convenience: 3/5
Hotel Sayeman, Hotel Sayeman Road, Cox's Bazar, Chittagong Division, Bangladesh
+88 01829 44 00 44
Sayeman Restaurant is located in the Sayeman Hotel on the Sayeman Road :D The Sayeman Hotel is probably one of the early hotels established in Cox’s Bazar since the entire road is named after the Hotel! The Sayeman Restaurant is on the 1st floor of the hotel. The hotel appears to have been created in the colonial style theme somewhat. The interior of the restaurant was quite nice, made almost entirely of varnished light brown wood and mirrors. The interior had a nice warn feel to it and had lots of windows on one side and green plants on the outside. I was happy with the ambience and environment. Their fried shrimps with French fries dish were reasonably good but the sweet and sour chicken dish we tried was way too sweet. The fried rice was quite ordinary. However, overall, the meal wasn’t too bad. Lunch cost us around BDT 1300 for two.
Ocean Paradise Hotel’s Skybar Rooftop Restaurant
Location Convenience: 4.5/5
28-29 Hotel Motel Zone, Kolatoli Road, Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh
Phone:+88 0341 52370
88 0341 52370
We heard about Ocean Paradise Hotel’s Skybar Rooftop Restaurant from one of our friends who had stayed at the hotel on her honeymoon a few days ago. She told us that their squid dish was particularly good. Since the Skybar Rooftop Restaurant is only open from evening we decided to go there for our dinner. The Hotel is conveniently located on one of the main roads near the main beach area and it wasn’t difficult to find at all as it’s a very well-known five star hotel. We had high expectations regarding the restaurant and its food as it was part of a five star hotel. Once we entered into the roof area, we were quite disappointed with the overall décor of the place. The restaurant was decorated and set out in extremely poor taste. First of all, almost zero effort had been made in terms of decoration/theme/ambience. The Restaurant covered the entire roof of the hotel with some parts and tables set out under the open sky. However, the lighting of the place was appalling! Naked, un-shaded energy bulbs of different colors (light green, blue and light red) were haphazardly strewn all over the place. Moreover, we couldn’t really see anything much from the roof other than the lights of cars down on the road and the neon lights of other hotels. Although the ocean was quite close and we had a clear view of it from the roof, we couldn’t really enjoy the view as it was too dark to see the ocean at night. We were of a mind to get out of the place but as it was already quite late, we decided that what the hell, we’d give it a try. We were not really impressed with the menu, as there only a very few limited items on the menu (all of them BBQ and grill based dishes). We finally decided to take the set menu items priced at approximately 400 per person (with drinks). My wife tried out the squid based set menu dinner while I tried out a grilled red snapper (whole) based set menu dinner. Unfortunately, we had to wait an inordinate amount of time for our dinners to materialize and this only added to our bad experience of the overall dinner. When the dishes were finally served, fortunately, the squid based set menu dinner wasn’t too bad. However, I didn’t really enjoy the red snapper as it was quite bland and tasteless. Furthermore, the quantity of the food provided wasn’t that much either and I was still quite hungry when we finally got out of the Restaurant. Overall, I was pretty disappointed with my experience at the Skybar Restaurant as I personally thought that they could do much better, both in terms of the ambience and décor as well as the quality of the food and lighting of the place
In conclusion I must say that compared to the sea food delicacies available in other countries on the coastline, I was quite disappointed with the overall seafood dishes on offer at Cox’s Bazar. I personally think that there is a lot of scope for development in this area and Cox’s Bazar really needs to step up and learn from successful tourism spots of other countries. The entire article is based on my personal experiences and of course I haven’t visited ALL the restaurants of Cox’s Bazar and I’m sure that I may have missed some great restaurants of Cox’s Bazar! Be sure to leave your comments and let me know if you have visited any great restaurants of Cox’s Bazar that tourists will love to visit and I will definitely try to check out such places on my future visits to Cox’s Bazar and update this Blog accordingly!