The 10 best local Thai restaurants in Pattaya Beach are perfect if you are looking to enjoy simple, tasty dishes on a tight budget. These aren’t the touristy places which charge well over the odds for dishes which have been toned down to suit foreign taste buds, but the places where the locals go to enjoy great Thai food cooked how Thais like it. Take that as a warning – prepare yourself for spiciness!
Thai cuisine is popular around the world, but nowhere does it better than a place which mostly caters to local Thai diners. With so many choices available, a restaurant has to offer consistently great preparations at affordable rates to be able to routinely draw in the big crowds. We’ve checked out all of these kinds of places and picked the ones which do it best for this list.
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This restaurant was previously located in town and enjoyed a great popularity among locals. Despite moving to an inconvenient location out by the side of an exit ramp near the start of the Chonburi-Bangkok Highway, that popularity doesn’t appear to have waned and it seems to be packed at any time of the day. You will often see the car park filled to capacity, with more vehicles stopped on the hard shoulder. It has a food court layout, with stalls selling Thai dishes, snacks, sweets and drinks, with prices starting from around 50 baht and rarely going much higher than 150 baht.
- Opening Hours: Breakfast and Lunch
- Location: By Highway 7, East Pattaya
Quite a lot of the cuisine at Leng Kee Restaurant is actually Chinese, but there is enough Thai on the menu that it still qualifies for a place on the 10 best local Thai restaurants in Pattaya Beach. The all-day restaurant on Central Road is a comfortable setting for quick yet remarkably tasty meals, with very low prices. The place is so popular with locals, expats and tourists that it regularly spills out onto extra tables set on the streets around it, particularly around dinnertime. Our favourite dishes include roasted duck in gravy sauce (from 150 baht) and steamed sea crab in Chinese soy casserole (charged by weight). Read More...
- Opening Hours: All day
- Location: 341/3-6 Moo 9, Central Pattaya Road, Central Pattaya
- Tel: +66 (0)3 842 6291
- Website: https://www.facebook.com/lengkeepattaya
While the restaurant is said to have a special show featuring airborne greens, it is a show which is less and less frequently performed. The name is actually just one of the dishes available – a quite tasty leafy dish which is also known as morning glory. The simple restaurant serves a huge selection of Thai dishes at great prices, making it particularly popular with locals and clued-in expats. The signature dish itself costs just 70 baht, with prices rarely going higher than about 200 baht for the more exotic choices. Read More...
- Opening Hours: 17:00 - 04:00
- Location: Pattaya Central Road, North Pattaya
- Tel: +66 (0)3 837 0115
One of the simple restaurants catering to both locals and visitors, with a fair selection of reasonable Thai and international dishes, Boat Bakery is probably the most popular for Thais. The name relates to the pastries and desserts prepared and sold in the small shop next to the main restaurant, but it is the likes of beef noodle soup (60 baht) and sweet and sour chicken (58 baht) which keeps this place packed at mealtimes. They even have a few of their own signature twists on common Thai dishes, which are worth trying.
- Opening Hours: 07:00 – 21:00
- Location: 194/11–14 Moo 10, Pattaya 2nd Road, South Pattaya
- Tel: +66 (0)3 842 8673
Sompoi Restaurant has a beautiful quiet and peaceful setting, despite being only a couple of hundred metres from Sukhumvit Road, though the fact that it doubles as a karaoke venue does sort of diminish the effect. It is set around a large pond with a fountain and trees giving it a natural feel, which the teak wood restaurant complements nicely. It is, however, the food which makes this a popular local Thai restaurant in Pattaya, attracting locals and clued-in expats with its great traditional flavours at excellent low prices. The top dish is the ever-popular somtam, in a variety of different styles, which costs a mere 50 baht for the most basic version.
- Opening Hours: 11:00 – 24:00
- Location: 151/18 Moo 9, Soi Sukhumvit 49, South Pattaya
- Tel: +66 (0)3 837 4643, +66 (0)81 802 7663
Ruen Thai Restaurant
Despite looking exactly like the sort of touristy restaurant that no self-respecting local would be seen dead in, Ruen Thai’s affordable good-quality cuisine makes it remarkably popular. It has a very traditional style, from the architectural style which gives the place its name to the nightly music and dance performances. Notable favourites from the menu include roast chicken with vegetable tips and spicy duck curry, with most dishes costing no more than about 250 baht.
- Opening Hours: 12:00 – 24:00
- Location: 485/3 Pattaya 2nd Road, South Pattaya
- Tel: +66 (0)3 842 5911
- Website: https://www.facebook.com/ruenthaipattaya
Ninja BBQ Buffet Pattaya
A very striking and colourful restaurant on Pattaya 3rd Road, Ninja BBQ Buffet is packed pretty much every night, with just as many locals as tourists filling the large number of available seats. The speciality of the house is seafood, with the slightly grizzly option of cooking live shrimp yourself on the Thai-style barbecue (which looks a little like an upturned dustbin lid, with a gutter around the edge for boiling up soup while you cook the meat in the middle). For an added 20 baht, on top of the 400 baht cost for 90 minutes of access to the buffet, the staff will grill them for you.
- Opening Hours: 16:00 – 24:00
- Location: 3/246 Pattaya 3rd Road, North Pattaya
- Tel: +66 (0)3 848 8360
- Website: https://www.facebook.com/NinjaBBQBuffet
Pak Bung Loy Fah Seafood
Pak Bung Loy Fah Seafood is a food court-like dining option, consisting of a collection of stands under a metal roof in a small triangle of spare space by the side of Pattaya 2nd Road. The limited number of tables quickly fill each night as the place is popular with tourists and locals alike for its low-cost local cuisine. Its name translates as “flying vegetables”, which is another name for morning glory. This obviously features on the menu alongside seafood and a range of other Thai dishes. Prices per plate are around 100 to 150 baht. While there are other restaurants around the city to carry this name, this outlet is not associated with any of them.
- Location: 325/63-65 Pattaya 2nd Road, South Pattaya
- Tel: +66 (0)3 841 0316
Khao Tom Prajanban
Built under a simple metal roof by the side of Central Pattaya Road, Khao Tom Prajanban serves up tasty low-cost Thai food, making it particularly popular with locals and even some of the tourists and expats who shop at the supermarket across the road. Their menu features all of the common favourites, including somtam (from 50 baht), green curry (100 baht) and stir-fried chicken with cashew nuts (80 baht). There are also one or two more unusual choices, such as fish egg in spicy sour soup (120 baht).
- Location: Opposite Foodland, Central Pattaya Road, Central Pattaya
- Tel: +66 (0)81 736 3122
Chokanand has a rather unusual location right by the side of Sukhumvit Road. It has a spacious courtyard set with tables, formed by an L-shaped arrangement of buildings housing the kitchens. Being a long way from the beach, the vast majority of the customers are Thai, but we found the staff to be welcoming and friendly for all. The fact that the place is busy well into the night most evenings is testament to the quality of the very affordable food, which includes green curry (80 baht), crispy deep-fried morning glory (100 baht) and baked pork spare ribs with honey (120 baht).
- Opening Hours: Dinner
- Location: Sukhumvit Road, just after Soi 46, South Pattaya
- Tel: +66 (0)89 803 9992