Looking for the best restaurants in Koh Lanta? You have come to the right place. One of the joys of travelling is eating well and during our three days in Koh Lanta we ate our way through a mountain of food. We chose a variety of restaurants with a good mix of local Thai cuisine and western favourites. Most of what we ate was really good, but we did have one disappointing experience. These 9 amazing Koh Lanta restaurants are sure to inspire your gastronomic journey through one of Thailand’s most spectacular islands. Read on for all the details…
Restaurants In Koh Lanta Overview
Koh Lanta (or Ko Lanta) is a little slice of paradise in Krabi Province Thailand. Less visited than nearby Phuket, Koh Phi Phi and Koh Samui, Lanta is the perfect place to relax. The roads are quiet, the beaches are beautiful and the locals are uber friendly. This was my fourth trip to Thailand, but my first time in Koh Lanta. As soon as we arrived I wondered why it had taken us so long to add Lanta to our list. Koh Lanta does not have an airport and is a little trickier to get to than some of it’s more famous neighbours. Our flight from Sydney to Phuket with Jetstar International arrived late at night and we caught the ferry from Phuket to Koh Lanta early the next morning. We stayed overnight at the Me Room Hotel in Phuket Town on that first night to make getting to Rassada Pier quicker and easier the next morning. According to TripAdvisor there are 406 restaurants in Koh Lanta. We spent 10 days island hopping through Thailand, but we only had three nights in Koh Lanta before catching the ferry to Ao Nang so we had to chose where to dine wisely. Life is too short to waste on a bad meal! The Hubs and I love Thai Food, but we didn’t want to eat Thai for every meal so we decided we would eat at local restaurants for lunch and try something different at dinner. Local restaurants in Koh Lanta offer the best value and are budget friendly even with a poor exchange rate. Expect to pay a little more for Western style fare, a prime location or the fame that comes from those lucky few deemed the best restaurants in Koh Lanta.
1. Thai Cat Restaurant Koh Lanta
We stayed at the Lanta Sand Resort and Spa while we were in Koh Lanta. We arrived at about 1.30pm and were starving so we wanted something close by. Our resort was right on the beach and when we wandered out to the pure white sand of Phra-Ae Beach, Thai Cat was the very first restaurant we came across. It’s not normally how we pick a restaurant. We normally do a tonne of research. But we were hungry. And lazy. So we grabbed a table on the sand, kicked off our shoes, admired the most amazing water views and hoped for the best. We decided to start with a garlic bread to quell the worst of the hunger pains. That was a mistake. It was cut way too thin and ended up dry and crunchy. Luckily things got better as our Chicken Pad Thai (฿120), Pad See Ew (฿120), Singa (฿70) and a frozen watermelon margarita (฿180) arrived. I forgot to say no egg with my Pad Thai so I spent longer that I would have liked having to pick it out. It was a little oily for my liking and a healthy squeeze of lime cut through the sweetness and improved the flavour 10 fold. The Hubs enjoyed his Pad See Ew. The chicken was tender, the veges were crisp and the light soy based sauce was perfect during the blisteringly hot day. I’m so glad we took a chance. We loved Thai Cat so much we came back for lunch on our last day in town. My Green Chicken Curry came with a generous dollop of coconut cream which made the dish. I ordered it medium, but wished I had ordered it hot. Next time 🙂 The Hubs had the fried broccoli with shrimp. I don’t eat seafood, but he tells me it was delicious. It must have been OK because he ate every bite.
2. Malina’s Kitchen Koh Lanta
It was another blistering day when we visited Malina’s Kitchen. Malina has recently opened a second restaurant in Koh Lanta near Saladan Pier, but we visited the original which was about a 10 minute ride away from the Lanta Sand. The dining room is open air and we positioned ourselves right in front of one of the many fans. We must have looked hot, because our server brought us a second fan. I love a Penang Curry and I couldn’t resist when I saw it on the menu (฿120). It was a little more orange in colour than I am used to and visible oil bubbles sat in a thin layer on top of the sauce. The veges were crisp and fresh and the serving was generous. The Hubs oped for fried Noodles With Curried Chicken (฿90). I envisioned thick chewy udon like noodles, but it was served with thin slices of almost pasta like noodles. The chicken was perfectly cooked and the sauce was very mild. As we were waiting for the bill to arrive our server presented us with two deliciously frosty complimentary watermelon shakes. It was a very unexpected treat and very much appreciated.
3. Moo Uan (The Fat Pig) Restaurant Koh Lanta
Moo Uan (The Fat Pig) is located only a few minutes walk from Saladan Pier, but the street is narrow and parking is limited. The restaurant is located behind a small bar called Ling Uan (The Fat Monkey). Walk all the way to the rear and grab one of the tables on the deck over the water. The resident dog Ely was lazing under the two prime tables and our server offered to move him, but we are dog lovers and were happy to share. Our late lunch at 3pm meant we had the deck to ourselves. It was another scorching day in Koh Lanta and the sublime pineapple daiquiri and the odd waft of breeze off the water made it just about bearable. We weren’t super hungry and decided to order a few small plates to share and give the mains a miss. The vegetable spring rolls, garlic bread, Chicken Satay Sticks and Chili Salt & Pepper Squid all arrived quickly and hit the spot. The Chicken Satay sticks which were served upright in a large chunk of pineapple were my favourite, but The Hubs preferred the squid. I’m not a big seafood eater and this one was a little too fishy for my liking. The tiny flash fried squid pieces were mixed with capsicum, onion and carrot. The Hubs was in heaven and I was happy to let him eat my share. The spring rolls were super crunchy just the way I like them and the sweet chilli sauce sure packed a punch. The garlic bread was great and the herby butter and crunchy bread went down a treat. The service at Moo Uan was fast and efficient and it wasn’t hard to tempt me to order a second daiquiri …
4. Diamond Cliff Restaurant Koh Lanta
The whole time we were in Koh Lanta we struggled with the time difference and we found ourselves waking early. We decided to ride 20 minutes to the Diamond Cliff restaurant one morning for brunch with a view. Diamond Cliff Restaurant overlooks the almost deserted Nui beach and the stairs down from the parking lot are steep. It was a little too early to hit the hard stuff so we settled on a chocolate milshake and a watermelon fruit shake. The Hubs ordered his usual scrambled eggs and I chose the pancakes. I was expecting the pancakes to be crepe style, but they were more like pikelets. I skipped the butter they were served with and asked our server to bring me some limes (they didn’t have lemons) and sugar. The fruit shake filled me up more than I expected and I was only able to manage a few bites of the very generous serve. Both dishes were well presented and The Hubs enjoyed his creamy eggs. The Diamond Cliff Restaurant was one of the few Koh Lanta restaurants we visited that accepted credit cards, but as luck would have it just as we were settling the bill, a blackout struck and all the terminals went down. The Diamond Cliff Bar Restaurant Koh Lanta offers in house massages and while we didn’t manage a second visit in the evening, I hear the sunsets are spectacular.
5. Chilli’s Restaurant Koh Lanta
The Hubs found Chillis Koh Lanta on TripAdvisor’s list of best restaurants in Koh Lanta. We read through the reviews together and headed over on our first night. It was a little tricky to spot from the back of the bike in the dark because half the neon sign was out, but we got it on our second slow pass. There was only one other table occupied and we could immediately tell that the owner (Chilli) knew the other group of diners. I snuck a bite of The Hubs’ BCB Burger and it was amazing. I don’t think I have ever tasted bacon quite so crispy and the house made sauce was the hero of the dish. My Fajita Chicken Wrap was equally as good. Both came with wedges which were actually more like thick cut chips given the lack of seasoning. The atmosphere was super chill and the background music was perfect for an 80’s tragic like me. We got to talking to Chilli and one delicious Mojito lead to another. The metal straw appealed to the inner Eco-warrior in me. Chillis is the kind of place that feels like home and stopping in for a quite bite can easily make way to spending hours enjoying the hospitality and fantastic cocktails well after the plates have been cleared. We were hoping to squeeze in another dinner at Chillis Koh Lanta, but the restaurant was closed for the remainder of our stay.
6. Apsara Restaurant Koh Lanta Old Town
On our second day in Koh Lanta we decided to head over to the other side of the island to Lanta Old Town. We rarely eat breakfast, but both of us were peckish so we decided to stop into Apsara for a quick bite. Apsara doesn’t look like much from the front, but the back deck was delightful. It was low tide when we visited, but it would have been even more impressive at high tide, especially the table all the way down at the end on a platform all by itself. Despite the early hour, the sun still packed a punch so despite being the only diners and having our pick of the tables we forwent the platform and chose to sit on the main deck in the shade. We ordered a couple of watermelon shakes (฿70) and contemplated the quirky wall art while we perused the extensive menu. Not being much of a breakfast eater, I settled on some toast (฿30), while the ever more adventurous Hubs opted for Rice Soup with Shrimp (฿170) which was served piping hot. The well seasoned generous serve of light and salty broth laced with 5 perfectly cooked prawns was a winner and The Hubs slurped down every last bit. Apsara is rustic and authentic. Stop in while you are in Old Town, you wont regret it.
7. Di Farina Pizza Bar By The Sea Koh Lanta Old Town
We spotted Di Farina when we were exploring Koh Lanta Old Town earlier and decided to return for dinner. I was not expecting to have to ride through a million bugs en route! Di Farina is accessed by a narrow walkway and we were seated on cushions around a tiny table on the wooden deck. I have never been to an Italian restaurant and sat on the floor before, but there is a first time for everything. It must have been a really quite period in Koh Lanta because once again we were virtually the only diners in the place. Pizza is what we came for so despite the tempting pasta menu we concentrated on choosing between the ‘red’, ‘white’ and ‘special’ pizzas while we sipped our Mojito (฿180) and beer (฿80). In the end we opted for one of each. I had the ‘white’ Primivera (฿280) and The Hubs had the ‘special’ Prosciutto Di Parma (฿480). I swapped the tomato for capsicum on the Primivera pizza and The Hubs added onions to his Prosciutto. Our server didn’t bat an eyelid. I’m a big fan of a change up and in some places it’s more hassle than it needs to be. I’m always pleasantly surprised when it goes off without a hitch. Especially where there is a language barrier. Di Farina has an open kitchen in the middle of the bar area with a huge wood fired oven and I popped in to take a peek at our pizzas being made. When they arrived, I noted that both pizzas were generously topped. The only criticism I had was that my Primivera was a little oily and the toppings had not crisped off as much as I would like while The Hubs’ Prosciutto was not as hot as it should have been. Di Farina is pricier that most Koh Lanta restaurants, but keep in mind that we did order pizzas with premium imported ingredients which most certainly would have added to the cost. If you are craving a traditional wood fired pizza while in Koh Lanta, Di Farina is the place for you.
8. MaMas Nok Style Restaurant Koh Lanta
I found one of my favourite restaurants in Koh Lanta across the street from Khlong Nin Beach. MaMas Nok Style Restaurant is an unassuming little shack in the middle of a stretch of shiny, new restaurants. Like the name suggests, MaMas is run by a local woman who serves delicious Thai food. She is a very friendly lady who loves to talk to tourists. The setting is informal and you can often catch her watching her Thai soaps on the old TV when she is not cooking. The food is outstanding at MaMas Nok Style. The menu may appear simple, but the food that comes out of MaMas kitchen is anything but. “Yellow Noodles” is a complex dish comprising a rich broth, lots of colourful veggies and plenty of heat. The seafood at MaMas Nok Style is fresh and cheaper than the fancier neighbours. If great food, low prices, and friendly services appeals, MaMas Nok Style is for you.
By John Paul @ The Hangry Backpacker
9. Same Same But Different Restaurant Koh Lanta
Same Same But Different was one of the most memorable Koh Lanta Restaurants we visited. Not only is the food really good, but the Kantiang bay setting is amazing. This lovely restaurant / bar is right on the beach and has no floor or walls so that you can enjoy your meal right on the sand with a fabulous view of the beach. The papaya salad was the best we had in Thailand. The prices are higher than some of the other restaurants in Koh Lanta we tried, but we found it was worth it for the quality and location. The food at Same Same But Different was so good I included it in my list of amazing things to do in Koh Lanta .
By Dave @ Dave’s Travel Pages
Irish Embassy Koh Lanta
The Hubs read a bunch of Trip Advisor reviews raving about the food at the The Irish Embassy Koh Lanta. In keeping with our plan to eat something other than Thai food for dinner, we headed to the Irish Embassy on a Wednesday evening. I had a hankering for Yorkshire Pudding with lashings of gravy, but unfortunately for me the roast is only served on a Sunday. Our three days in Koh Lanta fell mid week so returning on the weekend was not an option. We ordered a Singapore Sling (฿180) and a Singha (฿90) while we contemplated our options. I loved the fact that my cocktail came served with a metal straw and was garnished with a cute Shamrock cut from watermelon skin. The Hubs decided on the homemade cheesy potato pie which came with a choice of potato (chips, mash or jacket), veges (peas or beans) and sauce (gravy or curry) (฿260). I went with a simple jacket potato with sour cream (฿100) and added cheese (฿40). We decided to sit on the bench seats at the front of the courtyard given there were a few smokers in the bar area we wanted to avoid while eating. Our meals arrived promptly, but neither quite hit the mark. The Hubs’ was expecting a meat pie topped with cheesy potato, but he received a pie with a cheese and potato filling. No meat. That was clearly our fault for not reading the menu properly and he tried to make the best of it. The filling was similar to potato bake, but it was no where as good as the one that I make at home and the crunchy biscuit like pastry was incongruous with the savoury filling. The mash, onion gravy and peas were much more pleasant. As soon as my jacket potato hit the table I mashed the soft potato flesh with the generous serve of cheese and sour cream. I ate a few bites, but I didn’t care for the cheese and I couldn’t undo the thorough mashing. Luckily The Hubs’ let me share his potato, gravy and peas, which was much more to my liking. Our dinner at The Irish Embassy Koh Lanta was hit and miss. Maybe we caught them on a bad night? Maybe our expectations were too high? Maybe we should have visited on a Sunday and enjoyed the roast which gets rave reviews? Maybe it just wasn’t for us? Either way, we chalked it up to experience and we didn’t make a return visit.
Have you visited any of the Koh Lanta restaurants on my list? Do you have your own favoruite restaurant in Koh Lanta? I’d love to hear about it in the comments below …
Until Next Time …
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Disclosure Statement: This article is not sponsored. I paid for all my meals in Koh Lanta in full. The information in this article is based on my own personal experiences and has not been influenced in any way by the brand(s) featured. This article contains information supplied by other contributors in line with Flights to Fancy’s terms and conditions. All prices are correct at the time of publication and are subject to change. This article may contain affiliate links which if clicked may earn me a small commission on purchases at no extra cost to you.