Forget the bathing suit – bring what Joey Tribbiani calls his “turkey pants”. Koh Samui holidays are about eating – morning, noon, night and every hour between. While high-end restaurants offer fantastic choice for splurging and special occasions, you can’t beat a casual Koh Samui beach place. Our favourite Koh Samui restaurants aren’t fancy, but they universally delight. Believe us when we say “we’ve done the research”.
Best beach lunch: Had Bang Po Restaurant – Here we are giving away all the local secrets. (At least, it was a locals’ secret until Travel+Leisure Magazine smacked it on their list of World’s Best Beach Restaurants. Now, we guess, it’s rather official). Finding Had bang Po requires a car and a sharp eye, as you need to know this restaurant is there. This gorgeous spot sits along the ring road outside of Maenam, perched so close to the beach that you might dine ankle-deep at hide tide. Food is sensational, presentation is gorgeous and the ambiance? Imagine paradise swallowing you whole.
Best pineapple fried rice: Smile House in Fisherman’s Village/Bophut Beach – It’s just unequalled – end of story. Smile House is extremely family-friendly and pineapple fried rice is a great dish for children to get hooked on Thai food.
Best view: The Jungle Club – While this would be category with dozens of prize-winners, we’re giving it to the Jungle Club simply for the experience of getting there. ou know the view will be good when the establishment offers to pick you up in their own 4X4s. Yes, this meal is a ‘head to the hills’ experience – and you’ll want to bring both gaping jaw and panoramic camera. Enjoy your meal in a sala suspended from a rock face, overlooking the length of Chaweng Beach.
Best beach breakfast: Choeng Mon Bungalows – Why? Because you could actually turn up in pyjamas and the service would be just as sweet. Eggs and bacon breakfast – check. Yoghurt and muesli – check. Fruit smoothies – check. Coconut rice pudding pancakes – pure genius. Stroll lazily down the beach for a four-part breakfast to last half the morning. (We love their coconut shakes as well).
Best way to eat up the entire island? Use The Koh Samui Guide to find out where to lunch, snack, wine, dine and generally inhale the very best of Samui’s food. With over 70 recommendations (all of which we’ve tried personally), you’re certain to know where to go for every taste, budget and special occasion. Enjoy!