1 July 2021 marks the reopening of the Andaman Pearl, Phuket, to the world. Planning your trip for a dip in the crystal clear ocean in a tropical paradise that appeals both to frugal travellers — ultra-affordable hotels and restaurants abound?
Here are the best street foods of Phuket that our inspectors don’t want you to miss.
Khao Tom Thanon Di Buk (MICHELIN Plate, MICHELIN Guide Thailand 2021)
Occupying two shophouses, this family-run breakfast shop opens early with a welcoming smile from grandma. Go for the brown soup made with their secret stock and Chinese spices; weekend highlights include Khao Na Gai Tao Jiao (braised chicken with fermented soy bean and rice).
Address: 185/11 Phang-Nga Road, Phuket
Mee Ton Poe (Wong Wian Ho Nalika) (MICHELIN Plate, MICHELIN Guide Thailand 2021)
This simple shop was originally founded 70 years ago by the owner’s grandfather, who cooked his famous stir-fried noodles over a charcoal stove. Since then it has been through 3 generations. Though the noodles are still a highlight, do try their tasty Phuketian-style appetisers, such as fish cake and spicy fish curry paste with betel leaf.
Address: 214/7-8 Phuket Road, Phuket
Jongjit Kitchen (MICHELIN Plate, MICHELIN Guide Thailand 2021)
Authentic southern recipes, affordable prices and down-to-earth hospitality are the draw here, with a mother-son duo on the pans. The Phuketian stir-fried pork rump with salt is recommended – its tender meat balances the bouncy pork skin well. Try to avoid the lunch and dinner rushes.
Address: 9/1 Mu 4, Wichit Songkhram Road, Phuket
Go Song (MICHELIN Plate, MICHELIN Guide Thailand 2021)
Hidden down an alley in Phuket City, this shop has been in business since 1982, when the owner left his job as a hotel chef to open it. Now, he offers an extensive menu that he displays in photos on the wall. The tasty stir-fried minced pork with salted fish is recommended.
Address: 111/9 Ranong Road, Phuket
Kha Mu Boran (Kathu) (MICHELIN Plate, MICHELIN Guide Thailand 2021)
Rice with pork legs, braised until falling off the bones, with Thai kale and pickled mustard greens, may be common, but the version found at this 3-decade-old shop is head and shoulders above the average. Sipping broth comes with meaty bones to be gnawed on. Fans of innards will rejoice over the options.
Address: 17/11 Mu 6, Wichit Songkhram Road, Phuket
Hong Khao Tom Pla (Bib Gourmand, MICHELIN Guide Thailand 2021)
Named after its signature fish porridge, this place feels like something between a snack bar and restaurant. Its only cook is the chef-owner. Be sure to try his other specialities like Tom Yam Khai Pla (sour, spicy soup with seafood and roe) and Pu Phat Phong Ka Ri (crab curry).
Address: 5 Kra Road, Phuket
Khun Jeed Yodpak (MICHELIN Plate, MICHELIN Guide Thailand 2021)
The savoury noodles in gravy have made this place beloved by locals for over 30 years. The dish is a must-try and tastes even better with toppings, which include a variety of eggs, meats and fish, as well as dumplings. Appetisers, including pork and chicken satay, are also available.
Address: 69 Phang-Nga Road, Phuket
Jadjan (MICHELIN Plate, MICHELIN Guide Thailand 2021)
Chef Suthee, a former 5-star hotel chef, runs this small shophouse. The name means ‘intensely flavoured’ and he uses his technical expertise to produce simple yet delicious southern Thai dishes. We recommend the crab meat curry with betel leaves.
Address: 4/27 Sakdidet Road, Phuket
Roti Chaofa (MICHELIN Plate, MICHELIN Guide Thailand 2021)
Phuketians have been flocking to Roti Chaofa for decades for its delicious Thai-Muslim breakfasts. Serving roti, as well as curry dishes and Thai-style chicken biryani, the shop goes through more than 10kg of roti dough every day. The roti with chicken curry is highly recommended.
Address: 44 Chaofa Road, Phuket
Chuan Chim (Bib Gourmand, MICHELIN Guide Thailand 2021)
At one of the oldest food shops in Phuket, now run by the second generation, all the seafood is fresh and everything is prepared à la minute. The results, including the stir-fried noodles and the stir-fried seafood with curry powder, are impressive and worth the wait.
Address: 37/3 Montri Road, Phuket
Mu Krop (Chi Hong) (MICHELIN Plate, MICHELIN Guide Thailand 2021)
Rice with roast pork belly is the best among an array of offerings at this shop. The pork comes in generous slices – its skin impossibly crisp and its meat lean and seasoned just right thanks to an old family recipe. An abundance of fresh side vegetables and a bowl of sipping broth come with it gratis.
Address: 66/6 Wichit Songkhram Road, Phuket
Loba Bang Niao (MICHELIN Plate, MICHELIN Guide Thailand 2021)
Passed down through the generations, Loba has evolved from a simple food stall to a shop and is named after a savoury snack made with pork offal. The mixed loba and 4 deep-fried dishes are recommended, especially ‘Kien’ which goes well with sweet chili and crushed peanut sauce.
Address: 18/61 Mae Luan Road, Phuket
O Tao Bang Niao (MICHELIN Plate, MICHELIN Guide Thailand 2021)
Found only in Phuket, O Tao is a unique stir-fried dish made with seafood and battered taro. Cooked over a charcoal flame, the textures and flavours are well-balanced and the smoky aroma very pleasing. Prepare to arrive early, as crowds gather nightly. Fried oysters are also available.
Address: Phuket Road, Phuket
O Cha Rot (MICHELIN Plate, MICHELIN Guide Thailand 2021)
The original chef has been serving the same beef noodle dish for over 30 years at this legendary shop in Old Phuket Town. The bouncy, homemade beef balls are packed with flavour; the beef slices are tender; the bone broth soups are aromatic; and the soft noodles are perfectly cooked.
Address: 72/1 Yaowarat Road, Phuket
Go La (MICHELIN Plate, MICHELIN Guide Thailand 2021)
One of the best places for Hokkien-style fried noodles. Owner Go La, after cooking for decades, has now handed over the baton to his heir. Pick from 2 types of noodles, with authentic yellow Hokkien our first choice; the extra egg with runny yolk creates a mild and creamy texture.
Address: 11 Kra Road, Phuket
Go Benz (Bib Gourmand, MICHELIN Guide Thailand 2021)
Go Benz has been serving its speciality pork with peppery broth and rolled rice noodles for over 20 years. Popular dishes at this favourite spot of many often sell out. Try the fragrant dry-broiled rice with crispy pork, tender pork offal and aromatic soup.
Address: 163 Krabi Road, Phuket
Roti Taew Nam (Bib Gourmand, MICHELIN Guide Thailand 2021)
Created as a communal breakfast spot, all roti here comes from one huge charcoal flat pan, and one guy shapes, fries, taps and cuts faster than the eye can see. Order code numbers stand for the number of roti to eggs. Don't miss the tender beef curry, which is also good.
Address: 6 Thep Krasatti Road, Phuket