Life often revolves solely around food in Thailand, with work and duty merely filling the time in between. Thai cuisine has a worldwide fashion-food appeal these days, and in Pattaya there are a huge selection of vendors and restaurants which allow you to try everything the country’s street stalls and kitchens have to offer. Pattaya’s international popularity is reflected in its vast selection of international restaurants, serving food from all around the globe at prices to suit all palates.
In Pattaya, restaurants and food vendors are everywhere. Local cuisine is catered for at a range of budgets and restaurants serving French, Japanese, Italian, German, Scandinavian, and Korean food are commonplace. There are also a large amount of hamburger joints, steakhouses, and curry parlours, while in the centre of town there is a whole street serving Arabic cuisine. Visitors from the UK won’t be disappointed as there are also a few ‘chippies’ serving a host of deep-fried delights.
There are also a number of delis and coffee shops serving food in Pattaya, while most guesthouses will have their own restaurant, as do hotels. What all this amounts to is something of a dining extravaganza, which is one of the main attractions of visiting Pattaya.
Tom Yum Goong seems to win the tussle with Somtam (green papaya spicy salad) to be the Thai signature dish. This delicious hot and sour soup is a fragrant blend of spices, herbs, mushrooms, lemongrass, lime leaves and galangal (a sweet-sour, salty and bitter blended soup curry), usually served with prawn (goong) but also available with your choice of meat, or cooked vegetarian. A good phrase to learn for willing foreigners not too keen on spicy food is mai pet which means not spicy. Most Thai people deem Westerners somewhat allergic to chillies anyhow, but if you feel daring, reverse the phrase and just say pet. There is an enormous variety of Thai dishes and ingredients and we have dedicated a whole section to this…complete guide to Thai food
Street vendors in Thailand operate under cramped, but pretty hygienic, conditions and this is where you’ll find the cheapest food. Grilled and fried chicken, corn-on-the-cob, and kebabs are among the favourites.
It would be almost impossible to list all the restaurants in Pattaya for there are so many, but below, you’ll find a selection of recommendations.
Recommended Restaurants in Pattaya
Queen Victoria Inn: Authentic traditional English pub, with excellent international menu and a good selection of imported beers on tap. Live music and carvery on Sundays. Open 09:00 to midnight (daily); 437/137-8, Soi Yodsak (Soi 6), tel: (038) 425 418, fax: (038) 424 941, email, website.
Sugar Hut Restaurant: Attached to the upmarket hotel of the same name and set in topical gardens, this place is expensive but worth the money. Open: 07:00 to midnight; 391/18 Moo 10, Thappraya Road, tel: (038) 364 186, website.
Bruno’s Restaurant & Bar: Renowned restaurant serving classy, reasonably-expensive, French cuisine with over 150 wines available. Open: 12:00-14:30 and 18:00 to late; 306/63 Chateau Dale Plaza, Thappraya Road, tel: (038) 364 600-1, email, website.
Lobster Pot: Huge seafood restaurant, with signature specialities including lobster and tiger prawns. Open daily: 12:00-01:00; 228 Walking Street (opposite Pattaya Soi 14), South Pattaya, tel: (038) 426 083, email, website.
La Villa Bali: Great Indonesian dishes such as Nasi Goreng Special, Chicken Kare and sate skewers are served here by the expert chef and friendly staff. 106/16 Moo 12, Soi 8, Thepprasit Road, tel: 087 019 9935.
The Rice Mill: Popular Cantonese restaurant, offering an all-you-can-eat buffet on weekends for 490 baht. Open: 10:00 to 22:00, Ground Floor of Marriott Hotel & Spa, tel: (038) 412 120.
Pook Swan House: With seats for 50 guests, a section of top quality beers and live sports on the TV, this is the perfect Pattaya restaurant to sit down with some new friends and enjoy home-cooked Thai and international dishes. 210/31-32, Soi Buakhaw, tel: (038) 720 858-9.
Royal Cliff Beach Hotel: Huge complex containing 10 restaurants, including the often raved about Maharani Indian restaurant. 353 Pratamnak Road, tel: (038) 250 421, fax: (038) 250 511, email, website.
Vientiane Restaurant: Laotian influenced cuisine serving Southeast Asian food from Indonesia and Thailand. Open: 11.00-23.00; 68 Moo 10, South Pattaya Road, tel: (038) 423 041-2.
Pig and Whistle: British pub grub served in ample portions by well-trained staff. Open: 08:30 to midnight; Soi 7, Central Pattaya, tel: (038) 361 315, fax: (038) 361 272, website.
Ali Baba Tandoori & Curry Restaurant: Good quality Indian restaurant with a fine selection of authentic dishes. Open: 11:00 to 22:30; 1/13-14, Pattaya Central Road, tel: (038) 361 620.
Alt Heidelberg: Variety of German sausages and imported sauerkraut dominate the menu. Has a good location. Open 09:00-23:00; 591 Moo 10, Pattaya Beach Road, South Pattaya, tel: (038) 421 258.