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Where to eat in Ao Nang

Tables with a view on Seafood Street, Ao Nang
The only waterside restaurants are along “Seafood Street”

Seafood is the obvious choice when holidaying by the sea and most people head straight for the main ‘seafood street’ – a small walkway at the far corner of the beach (near The L Resort) lined with seafood restaurants. All serve similar fare, so walk along and see which ‘catch of the day’ takes your fancy. The locally owned Ban Lay Thai Kitchen is a favourite or, for a fancier setting, try The Longtail Boat. As the restaurants are located over the water, tables fill up early – around sunset – and remain very busy until around 9.30pm, so you may have to wait for a table.

For a more upmarket meal (with a price tag to match), try Lae Lay Grill or The Hilltop up on the steep slope behind Ao Nang. The menu is the usual Thai and seafood, but the setting is spectacular, especially early evening. Both are good choices for a special occasion meal; The Hilltop also has a nice bar area if you want to go just for a sunset cocktail. Reservations are recommended during high season.

Ao Nang also has the best selection of western and international dining on mainland Krabi, and is particularly strong in Italian food, though the only remaining authentic Italian restaurant on the beachfront road is Azzurra, which is strong on home made pasta. For more real Italian taste, you will need to venture up the hill on the Klong Haeng Road to Umberto’s, run by an Italian chef, who serves up excellent filled pasta, melting risottos and simple grilled meats. Most of the other pizzerias you will find at the beachfront are actually owned and run by south Asians – which is great if you are looking for Halal Italian food.

The dining room at popular steak house Carnivore in Krabi
Carnivore fills up quickly during high season

Red meat eaters should head straight for Carnivore, also on the Klong Haeng Rd opposite Thai Village Resort, which serves simply perfect steaks, with hearty accompaniments, as well as a range of classic European cuisine for those with smaller appetites. Good wine list.

Another 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.

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 Blue Mango opposite Krabi Resort, which serves a small Swedish menu including pytt i panna meatballs and plank steak, as well as good Swedish-style pizza (super thin crust); or Jeanette’s, another Swedish restaurant on the beachfront; Swiss people will find their rösti and schnitzel in Wanna’s Place (which is also the place to try a Thai massaman curry); Germans can get a meat and potato fix in Divers’ Inn; while French tourists should visit the excellent Foodies Restaurant & Deli near the Tesco intersection (5 mins by tuk-tuk from the beach) for seasonal delicacies, as well as staples with a Gallic twist – the ratatouille pizza is a favourite.

Gringos in the new “Walking street” on the corner of Phra Nang Inn, offers decent Tex-Mex food and is run by the same Finnish – Thai team as the always crowded international beach front restaurant, A-ning – the weekend live music at this latter spot is the best in town. The sports bar and grill, TJ’s, next to Starbucks, is another spot to grab a decent bite and catch a game on the big screen.

There has also been a recent spate of openings of Indian restaurants along the beachfront. These tend to be stronger in tandoori (clay pot) dishes and vegetarian options – meat dishes are often bland and overpriced. The best of the lot are Navrang Mahal (behind the seafood street mentioned above) and Tandoori Nights, diagonally opposite McDonald’s.

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.

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.

Authentic Thai food is – surprisingly – quite hard to come by in the Ao Nang beach area, as it is usually adapted to (what Thai people think are) tourists’ tastes. If your taste buds can’t cope with chilli, Ban Lay Seafood, Blue Mango or A-ning restaurants serve probably the best modified versions of Thai food we have tasted. If you can take the heat, there are also a few places that serve something close to the real thing – The Massaman, next to Siam Commercial Bank is a favourite.

For more choice, you will have to head out from the beach: the popular Ton Sai and the new Khow Soy, which serves northern Thai specialities, are both located opposite the U&P Bakery. Ton Mayom, in Leela Valley, is another place offering good, well-presented Thai food (though certainly not amazing enough to explain its TripAdvisor rating). Note that, despite their location, Khow Soy and Ton Mayom are on the upper end of the price scale (beach prices).

The other, cheaper option for decent Thai food in Ao Nang 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 heading out of Ao Nang towards Nopparat Thara Beach, just past Krabi Resort. 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.

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Last updated: September 14, 2015