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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’ – accessed via a walkway at the far corner of the beach directly behind “Ao Nang Seafood”. All serve similar fare, so walk along and see which ‘catch of the day’ takes your fancy. The recently opened The Crab Company is a favourite or, for a more frou-frou setting, try 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.

Why are Lae Lay Grill and The Hilltop 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, for a meal with a “wow” factor, these two rival restaurants on the vertiginous slope behind Ao Nang are the places to go. The menus offer the usual Thai and seafood, but the setting is spectacular, especially early evening around sundown. 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.

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 has been running for at least 17 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 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 simple, perfect steaks, with hearty accompaniments, as well as a range of classic European cuisine for those with smaller appetites. Good wine list.

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 has also recently opened a few doors down (next to Subway). This cool urban-style eaterie has a great all-day vibe, with excellent food, all fait maison. 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); Germans can get a meat and potato fix in Divers’ Inn or Ao Nang Beer Garden (opposite Ao Nang Phu Petra Resort in the village).

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 to Starbuck. They also do good burgers, and have regular BBQ buffet nights, where you can catch a game on the big screen.

If you’re staying on Nopparat Thara Beach (or even if you are not!), A-One Restaurant is a must for tasty Thai and western food at reasonable prices. The “4 Sis” Pizzeria, and Flame Burger Boutique in the open air shopping plaza next to Holiday Inn are also highly recommended, the latter more than doing justice to its chosen repetoire.

There has been a recent spate of openings of Indian restaurants along the beachfront – there are now possibly more than 20 places where you can eat a chicken korma in Ao Nang. These tend to be stronger in tandoori (clay pot) dishes and vegetarian options – meat dishes are often bland and overpriced. Many are also Halal. The best of the lot, according to local expats, seem to be Taj Palace and Tandoori Nights, opposite the Ao Nang Police Station.

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, Chaba Kitchen, A-One 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, and E-San Seafood, opposite Krabi Resort, are favourites.

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 remote 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: January 6, 2017