Koh Samet restaurants are generally known amongst Thais and Westerners alike as evening BBQ’s on the beach, with many of the bars and restaurants sprawling out on to the beach from where you can order a feast of BBQ delights and that hard-earned beverage you have been waiting for. There are 2 main dining areas on the island, the main road, which tends to have a wider variety and cheaper prices, and Saikeaw Beach, where you will find the BBQ seafood restaurants.
Restaurants on the main road
In order as if you were walking up to Saikeaw beach from Nadan Pier
Nong Ning Seafood – 12:00 – 21:00
A small family-run restaurant, the restaurant itself is very basic but the seafood is the freshest of all Koh Samet restaurants; it is genuinely straight from fishing boats. They have one of the largest selections of sea food and shellfish in Samet and supply many of the smaller restaurants around the island. Top tip try the fresh crabs; (or the prawns), a little bit of special seafood chilli sauce, wonderful, though a little bit spicy.
Bilbo’s Cafe – 9:00 – 21:00
Located in the village, this little cafe has a unique and excellent quality selection of food and drinks. Free WiFi for customers and the best fresh fruit smoothies on the island make this place a real gem, they also have very good coffee.
Duo Chef – International Cuisine – 9:00 – 23:00
On the main road, they are open from breakfast until late, it serves international cuisine with Thai and Italian food the main dishes. Cakes and and bakery items look particularly good if you fancy spoiling yourself.
Red Ginger – 12:00 – 22:00
Red Ginger is best known for it’s signature dish of ribs with mashed potato, but the whole menu is full of high quality Thai and Western food. A little more expensive than most restaurants on the main road but the unique food and good quality are worth it.
Banana Bar – 09:00 – 24:00
Mama’s little restaurant is a family-run business in the village, with views of the island Temple and lake. Her cooking is a big hit with the locals. She doesn’t make a wide range of dishes, but she offers Thai soups made with a western hint, making them all the more pleasing to the western palate. Top Tip: try a Chicken Massaman curry and the home made French fries. It’s one of the best value restaurants on the island, with curries at 100b.
Chilli’s Restaurant – 08:00 – 22:00
A popular restaurant on the main road, although with fairly poor prices and food it’s not one we would recommend. At Chilli’s they serve a wide range of Thai food including papaya salad and BBQ chicken hot off the grill.
Sausage Factory – 09:00 – 22:00
The Sausage factory has Thai décor with televisions often showing BBC world news to help you catch up. The English menu here can be a welcome change from local fare, with a pie selection and English style sausages you will walk out of there well fed.
Funky Monkey – 9:00 – 23:00
Located at the end of the main road next to the National Park entrance you will find Funky Monkey, good music and a wide variety of Western and Thai food on the menu make this a popular spot both day and night.
Restaurants on Saikeaw Beach
(Starting from the North end)
Na San Restaurant (all signs are written in thai, just look for the logo) 12.00 – 22.00
Na San restaurant is nestled in the far Northern end of the beach and specialises in Seafood BBQ dinners. In the evening on the weekends they often have live music at the bar attached to the restaurant called Talay Bar.
The Zea Restaurant at Saikaew Beach Resort (07:00 – 22:00 last orders)
Probably the best of all Koh Samet restaurants. Offering an array of international cuisine and top quality local Thai fare in the wonderful modern-style restaurant and bar. With a huge dining area and roof terrace there are beautiful views of Saikaew beach. Especially tranquil at night when you can sit back and relax, either in the restaurant or down on the beach with an unbeatable Seafood BBQ (Thurs, Fri and Sat evenings 18:00 – 21:30). Other nights of the week they serve a menu featuring Thai and Western cuisine, all of the best quality. We love the burgers and fish & chips.
The Mango at Saikaew Beach Resort (09:00 – 22:00) The Mango is Saikaew Beach Resort’s very own international Café and Bakery, with treats from home available by the beach. This beautiful Café restaurant building is a perfect little haven for a cake and a coffee when the sun is too hot or after a hard day on the beach. With air conditioning and an internet café you can get all your business done in one place whilst enjoying some true delights from the Bakery. Top Tip: In the early evening they have a happy hour, where all cakes are buy one get one free.
Jump Coffee – 08:30 – 21:00
On the way between the main National Park entrance and Saikeaw beach you’ll find Jump coffee. Jump offers some great quality coffees and desserts. It’s well designed interior features a small selection of gift items, and you can enjoy your drink in comfort with air conditioning. Open from early morning until night time, it’s a lovely place to watch the people walking to and from the beach.
Buddy Bar and Grill – 08:30 – 23:00
Just at the end of the main entrance to Saikaew beach, Buddy Bar and Grill offers snacks throughout the day with food to satisfy Thai and Western appetites. Buddy’s has BBQ food in the evening, served on a small terrace next to the beach and also with beach seating laid out in front of the terrace.
Ploy Talay Restaurant – 18:00 – 22:00
The most famous of all Koh Samet restaurants and bars, Ploy has a big BBQ selection. While you eat you are treated to a live Filipino band (20:00) and a spectacular fire show (20:30). The fire show is performed by no less than 10 of the servers and barmen and they are always coming up with new tricks, it’s definitely one not to miss! Service can be a little on the slow side as it is the place to be on a Friday and Saturday night, so it can be crowded. The pork ribs and BBQ squid are a good treat. Top Tip: try steamed fish with lemon and garlic hot plate. After you have eaten and relaxed then they sometimes have games on the beach while inside is Koh Samet’s most lively night club.
Tok’s Little Hut –
One of the cheapest restaurants on the beach, Tok’s can be found just after the Mermaid Statue at the end of Saikeaw Beach. They offer a wide range of food, with European and Thai food to suit all tastes. Top tip for Tok’s little bar are the steaming hot plates with chicken, pork, beef or seafood, they will arrive at the table hissing.
Jep’s Bungalow –
Just next door to Tok’s, Jep’s also offers European and Thai food to suit all tastes. The restaurant sprawls out onto the beach at night with Seafood BBQ, Chicken (tandoori, tikka etc), pork and beef kebabs, and the kebabs are big. Service can be poor especially on busy evenings. Top tip for Jep’s, the ribs, be sure to order the New Orleans style ribs from the menu, not just the ones on the BBQ.
Restaurants in other parts of the island
The “O” Restaurant –
The “O” restaurant is located at the Le Vimarn Cottages and Spa on Ao Prao Beach. This beautiful restaurant specialises in Italian cuisine but still has the usual traditional Thai and European dishes. The pizzas here are a real treat, they are rolled freshly by the chef whilst the Clay oven billows heat behind him, ready to cook your Italian style pizza to perfection.
The Breeze Restaurant Ao Prao Resort –
The Breeze has a beautiful open decking nestled up against the shore line, with waves breaking in the background and a huge tree appearing from under the decking, providing leafy cover from above. The menu consists of traditional Thai fare and European dishes to suit all tastes. All dishes are freshly prepared by an excellent team of international chefs. The staff here and at all the restaurants on this beach are phenomenal, always smiling, always ready to help and if you have children they will be entertaining them from the moment you arrive. At night the walkway is lit up like a wonderland and the whole experience lives up to that impression. They also have Seafood BBQ every night where you can personally select your seafood and the chef will start cooking it right there and then on the BBQ.
The Buzz Ao Prao –
This chic Bangkok style lounge bar and restaurant is a beautiful setting for a sunset cocktail or a dinner with friends and loved ones. The Buzz offers Isaan style Thai food such as the famous papaya salad, sticky rice and spicy meat salads. This selection of food known as Esarn food, originally comes from the diverse Eastern region of Northern Thailand, bordering with Cambodia and Laos, where the flavours of all three countries have blended into one great selection of food.
Baywatch Bar – 16:00 – 23:00
At Baywatch bar the idea is very much to relax and chill out, with big bean bags laid out on the beach, sea slowly caressing the shoreline and music in the background it is a great place to meet people. At Baywatch Bar they offer an extensive menu including Thai, Italian (pasta and pizza), Mexican, barbecue, but Rob the owner suggests trying one of his many beef steaks. All produce is guaranteed fresh, hand selected by the man himself from butchers in Pattaya.
Sea Horse – 18:00 – 23:00
Sea Horse offers the largest and freshest variety of seafood on Ao Vong Duern for the nightly BBQ with more choice than most restaurants on the island. With the nice relaxed location Sea Horse is another good choice for enjoying a chilled out dinner. The menu consists of Thai and Western fare but at night Sea Horse is very much geared towards the extensive collection of seafood chilling on ice waiting for you to come and make your choice.