The vast majority of eateries in Krabi, even down to food stalls in the street, are child-friendly. Many foreign restaurants have high chairs and dedicated children’s menus with standard kids’ fare; most others will be happy to make smaller portions of their regular menu for your child, or prepare simple things to order, such as fried egg and french fries. There is pretty much nowhere where it is considered off-limits to take your kids and, as most restaurants offer a mixed menu of Thai and western food, there is usually enough choice to satisfy all the family in one place.
Thai food is not all spicy!
Instead of sticking to chicken nuggets, however, take the opportunity to introduce some Thai food into your children’s diet. Non-spicy Thai food that even fussy eaters might like include:
– fried or barbecued chicken from roadside stands
– fried rice, which can be made with chicken, prawns, vegetables or beef and with or without veggies
– Thai-style omelette (golden and crispy, seasoned with soy sauce)
– tempura prawns or vegetables
– prawn cakes (note: these are never never spicy – but fish cakes always are)
– chicken satay sticks
– sweet or plain sticky rice
– Chinese-style dishes such as stir-fried chicken or beef with ginger or oyster sauce
– pad thai noodles
– noodle soup (most kids love slurping up the slippery noodles from the broth)
– spring rolls.
Thai food also has the advantage of being prepared very quickly, so waiting time is kept to a minimum. For pudding, banana fritters and ice-cream never fails to go down a treat, or try a sweet roti pancake from a roadside stand, with fruit and / or chocolate topping. Do note that street food in Thailand is very safe to eat: hygiene is generally good and no tap water is ever used to prepare food. Trust your eyes and nose: if it looks clean, it likely is.
Dine al fresco
In terms of actual restaurants, if you want a relaxed meal where the kids can play or roam around in a safe space away from the road, look to one of the many garden restaurants around the area. Try Ruen Mai in Klong Jilad (on the road between the beach and Krabi Town), De’Fish (next to Tesco Ao Nang) or Suan Kluay Mai / Orchid Garden on Klong Son-Nateen Road.
Seating is outdoor or in covered pavilions for shade and there are paths around the gardens to explore, often with a pond or river. All serve Thai food, seafood, and a few international dishes – De’Fish in particular has cheap and good child-friendly pasta.
Beach restaurants, another place for children to run around, are another obvious and easily-found option. Try the nightly barbecue at The Last Fisherman in Ao Nang, or any number of places along the Klong Muang Beach Road.
Dedicated kids menus and wifi
If pizza, burgers and wifi are the only thing that will work with your children, however, you still have plenty of choice in both beach and town areas. TJs in Ao Nang offers mild Tex-Mex and diner-style food with a kids’ menu in family-friendly seating booths. Large screens show sports and there is free wifi.
Just two doors down the street, Jenna’s offers unpretentious upmarket dining also with a proper kids’ menu and free wifi – try the mini steaks!
If things are getting desperate, it may also be useful to know Ao Nang has two branches of McDonald’s and one Burger King, all with wifi.
Pizzas meanwhile can be found in pretty much every second restaurant along the beachfronts; the few places that do not have pizza will always have french fries or sandwiches. In Krabi Town, both Viva and Uno are kid-friendly pizzerias with fabulous food and reasonable prices. For those who prefer the American style thick crust or stuffed crust versions, they can be found in the air conditioned Pizza Company inside Vogue department store (which also houses a KFC if required).
The best restaurant for kids in Krabi
But our hands-down favourite family restaurant in Krabi has to be Sabai Ba-Bar in the Jungle. If you are looking for a long lunch, where the kids can be occupied without screens, this is the place to come. A sprawling garden restaurant with a “Treehouse Kitchen”, this multi-level eatery has plenty of paths and corners to explore. It serves good and authentic Thai food, plus plenty of child-friendly dishes such as chicken wings, plain fried rice, french fries, fresh fruit shakes and ice cream, in both covered, open air and riverside areas.
The genius idea, however, is to have a swimming pool right in the middle, for the use of all guests, and at no extra charge. Tables are available poolside or within sight if your children require constant supervision; otherwise staff are around to make sure no one is getting into mischief. So order another iced tea – or join them in the water! – the ambience is very relaxed and you can easily spend a couple of hours there. It also open in the evening, but the pool closes around 8pm.
The restaurant is located mid way between Ao Nang and Klong Muang, next to the Catfish Farm. Don’t forget your swimsuit!