The best way to enjoy a holiday is to experience the new place with all five of your senses. In the case of Thailand, the sense of taste is a particularly good one to use. The wonders of Thai cuisine are world-famous and are best explored in the country of their origin. If you want to try the finest food, you need to eat where the locals go.
Probably the most popular sources of food for the Thai people of Pattaya are small street vendors and market stalls. However, the lack of a menu makes these a challenge for visitors who cannot speak Thai. Fortunately, we have composed this list of the 10 Best Local Restaurants in Pattaya – places which serve top-notch Thai food at generally low prices and which have the popularity among the local communities to prove that they are as genuinely Thai as you are likely to find.
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The Glass House is generally agreed to be one of the best restaurants in Pattaya, let alone one of the best local places. It is slightly more costly than the average price, which makes it more of a special occasion place for many, but it remains consistently busy night after night – booking in advance is an absolute must! Assuming you get a seat, it will be either on the deck by the eponymous glass house or right on the beach. You’ll also find a menu with sublime Thai seafood as well as some international dishes and homemade cakes. The average price per dish is about 200 – 500 baht, making it still impressively affordable by international standards.
- Opening Hours: 11:00 – 24:00
- Location: 5/22 Moo 2 (opposite Alangkarn Theatre), Na Jomtien
- Tel: +66 (0)3 825 5922
- Cuisine: Thai, Seafood, International
Located a little way to the north of town, Moom Aroi is right in the midst of the fishing communities which provide the fresh seafood on the menu. Well-known among the Thais and Thai food-loving expatriates of Pattaya, it has an unbeatable beachfront location, with about 100 tables enjoying the cool sea breeze down on the sand or in the open-sided simple building. There’s even a live band, which starts up at about 20:00 every night. The food on offer is of an extremely high quality while still being reasonably priced. Read More...
- Opening Hours: 11:00 – 23:00
- Location: 83/4 Soi4, Naklua Road, Naklua
- Tel: +66 (0)3 841 4802
- Cuisine: Thai, Seafood
The second in a small local seafood franchise (the flagship outlet being in Laem Chabang, to the north of Pattaya), Suttangrak has won national awards for being the best tourist restaurant for several years running. It is also very popular with the locals for its high quality fresh Thai seafood. The best-known dishes include their signature fried cabbage with fish sauce, steamed blue crabs with dipping sauce, and steamed whole seabass in lime chilli broth, all for impressively low prices. The comfortable, air-conditioned restaurant is right on Beach Road and the outdoor seating, surrounded by greenery, offer good views across the Gulf of Thailand.
- Opening Hours: Mon – Thu 12:00 – 24:00, Fri – Sun 12:00 – 01:00
- Location: 99 Moo 1, Jomtien Beach Road, Na Jomtien
- Tel: +66 (0)3 823 2222, +66 (0)85 066 6600
- Cuisine: Thai, Seafood
A popular seafood eatery for over 30 years, Lungsawai is very easy to find – just keep going along Jomtien Beach Road until you run out of road. There you will find a rustic-styled Thai restaurant which enjoys a cool sea breeze and a fabulous reputation. The unmissable offering is the signature Kan Chiang Pu Neung (steamed sea crab sculls dipped in a unique sauce), while other favourites include stir-fried sea crab with curry powder and Thai orange curry with Rieow Sieow fish eggs. As with most popular Thai restaurants, these exotic flavours are all available at excellent prices.
- Opening Hours: 10:00 – 22:00
- Location: 31/1 Moo 1, Jomtien Beach Road, Na Jomtien
- Tel: +66 (0)3 823 1398, +66 (0)81 623 4234
- Cuisine: Thai, Seafood
Ruen Thai looks like it should be a fine dining restaurant or a tourist-oriented eatery yet, as refined as the food and décor are, the prices are surprisingly good, which is a big part of its appeal for locals. Named after the traditional style of architecture it exhibits, there are nightly Thai music and dance performances to accompany great Thai cuisine. Top choices includes spicy duck curry, roast chicken with vegetable tips, and crumbled shrimp and port rolled and deep-fried.
- Opening Hours: 12:00 – 24:00
- Location: 485/3 Pattaya 2nd Road, South Pattaya
- Tel: +66 (0)3 842 5911
From its location right on Wong Amat Beach, Rim Talay serves up a remarkably varied menu, including Thai, Japanese, Chinese, Russian and western dishes. Naturally, the main ingredient in most of them is seafood, as can be seen from the living larders by the upper level of the restaurant. Such dishes are best enjoyed in the tranquil surroundings of the cool and laid-back lower level or, better yet, with your toes in the sand. The portions are very generous and the prices are great, making this a popular dining spot for locals, expatriates and visitors alike. Read More...
- Opening Hours: 10:00 - late
- Location: Soi 18, Pattaya-Naklua Road, Naklua
- Tel: +66 (0)3 842 6375
- Cuisine: Thai, International
Rimpa Lapin enjoys one of the finest views of any Thai restaurant in Pattaya. Precariously perched on a cliff-top, diners can enjoy great local cuisine with a refreshing sea breeze and an unrivalled view along the Jomtien coastline. The owners are an international couple with lots of experience with Thai and fusion food, providing popular signature fishes like stir-fried rock lobster with salted egg, shrimps baked with cheese and Rimpa chicken stir-fried with onions, butter and cream sauce.
- Opening Hours: Mon – Fri 17:00 – 24:00, Sat – Sun 15:00 – 24:00
- Location: Na Jomtien Soi 36, Sukhumvit Road, Na Jomtien
- Tel: +66 (0)3 823 5515
- Cuisine: Thai
Despite the fact that local diners tend to favour Thai cuisine, Leng Kee’s tasty, rapidly served Chinese dishes are a big hit. It can’t be denied that being one of the few restaurants in Pattaya open throughout the day and night has helped in its success, but the fact that there is almost always someone sitting down to a budget meal here and that extra seats have to be set out on the side street alongside the restaurant at dinner time is proof of its popularity. The setting is surprisingly comfortable for the low prices, including very comfortable seating. Read More...
- Opening Hours: All day
- Location: 341/3-6 Moo 9, Central Pattaya Road, South Pattaya
- Tel: +66 (0)3 842 6291
- Cuisine: Chinese, Seafood, Thai
There is no doubt that Phak Boong Loy Fa has seen plenty of tourists visiting just to find out what the name “flying vegetables” is all about. Somewhat disappointingly, it is actually just another name for the signature dish – stir-fried Morning Glory. This open-sided eatery on Pattaya Klang serves up a broad range of Thai food from its open kitchen at impressively low prices. The set-up in the kitchen is almost street-vendor-esque as, indeed, is most of the rest of the restaurant. This includes the metal tables with plastic chairs, available both out by the street and in the air-conditioned room, as well as the food which is very typically Thai. The menu offers pictures and English translations for each dish, making it tourist-friendly. Read More...
- Opening Hours: 17:00 - 04:00
- Location: Pattaya Central Road, North Pattaya
- Tel: +66 (0)3 837 0115
- Cuisine: Thai
There are a few of these food-court-like restaurants in Pattaya, serving up an international range of good food for a very good price. Boat Bakery is considered the best of them, with its selection of tasty Thai dishes being a favourite of many locals and expatriates alike. A popular place for a simple breakfast and lunch (and, as the name suggests, pastries and desserts, too), it is a little unusual for its early closing time, shutting up shop at 21:00.
- Opening Hours: 07:00 – 21:00
- Location: 194/11–14 Moo 10, Pattaya 2nd Road, South Pattaya
- Tel: +66 (0)3 842 8673
- Cuisine: Thai, International, Bakery