6 Ao Nang Restaurants for the Food Lover’s Soul

The 6 Best Restaurants in Ao Nang / Krabi

The Hilltop Restaurant & Bar

At the Hilltop, you come for the food and stay for the view. Situated on top of a hill (shocking—we know), it offers breathtaking panoramas of the Ao Nang and Noppharat Thara beaches. They serve traditional Thai dishes and local seafood that’s sure to make your mouth water. The food at Hilltop is all locally sourced—from the herbs they season with to their squid. Enjoying food that came from just a kilometer away really adds to the local Ao Nang experience.

Whether you’re visiting Ao Nang with your fiancé or traveling with a group of friends, the Hilltop is the perfect setting to start your night out. No one in Krabi should miss out on its amazing sunset view. Just remember to make a reservation because people flock to the restaurant as soon as the sun is going down.

Our Recommendations: Poo Ma Pow (grilled crab), Choo Chee Goong (red curry), & Pla Neung Manow (steamed sea bass)

Jenna’s Bistro & Wine

Jenna’s is right next to the Starbucks in Ao Nang, and boasts one of the most unique menus in all of Krabi. It’s the perfect mix of Thai cuisine and the comforts of home. Jenna’s Bistro expertly combines both traditional and modern flavors, making it unlike any other restaurant in Ao Nang. And aside from their food, they make a mean mojito!

If you’re not in the mood for a proper sit-down dinner, you can also head a few doors down to Café 8.98. It’s Jenna’s sister restaurant, and our favorite place in Ao Nang for a quick coffee or meal. You can order anything from a healthy, Western breakfast to the best pasta Krabi has to offer. Set up like your neighborhood coffee shop, you’re sure to feel at home when the smell of coffee starts drifting by. And the best part? Being a guest at Slumber Party gets you a free coffee!

Our Recommendations: Wagyu Beef Cheek Massaman Curry & Slow Cooked Belly of Pork

Amp & Aing Restaurant

Amp & Aing Restaurant is an amazing, locally owned business. We’ve yet to find better Thai food in Ao Nang, and we know we’ll never find someone as amazing as the cook, Dow. Slumber Party’s staff is constantly eating breakfast / brunch / lunch / dinner / late-night-snacks there. If you ever see us walking around upset and confused, it probably means that Dow closed early and we don’t know what to do with ourselves. Just be sure to say if you like spicy food, because “burn-a-hole-through-your-mouth” is the default.

Our Recommendations: Green Curry, Fried Morning Glory, & Fried Yellow Noodle with Squid

U & P Bakery

Lovingly referred to by our staff as “The Sandwich Shop”, U & P Bakery is the best place in all of Ao Nang—and maybe even all of Thailand—to grab lunch. You can choose between a sandwich and a whole loaf of bread, and all of it is made on site. The menu is set up in a build-your-own sandwich system, so you can choose your bread, meat, toppings, and sauce. But head over to U & P before 4pm, because they do close early.

Our Recommendations: The Classic & The Caprese

Ayam Boy Halal Food

Ayam Boy Food Truck in Ao Nang, Krabi Thailand

No list of great places to eat would be complete without a food truck. Luckily, the Ayam Boy food truck is Ao Nang’s main source for fried chicken. You just can’t go wrong with their quick, affordable options. If you sit around long enough, you’re sure to bump into some of our staff. Keep your eye out for the black truck near the Ao Nang Mosque!

Our Recommendations: Chicken Burger Meal w/ Fries

All the Street Food You Can Find

If you’re anything like us, you’ll end up having a few too many drunken nights in Ao Nang. Whether you’re looking for an affordable meal or a late night snack, Krabi’s street food is among the best in Thailand. You can find anything from pad thai to papaya salad and coconut ice cream. Vendors make your food to order, and you can watch how it’s made. During the afternoon, your best bet will be heading to the road that leaves Ao Nang beach towards Nopparat Thara Beach (close to the Krabi Resort). The Ao Nang and Klong Hang villages are about a kilometer away from the beach, but also offer a lot of street food. And if you’re willing to venture into Krabi Town, its night market is one of the best places to try all of the Thai food you can find.

8 Thai Dishes to Try in Ao Nang / Krabi

Pad Thai

If you’ve ever been within a mile of a Thai restaurant, you’ve probably tried Pad Thai. But there’s something special about trying it in Thailand prepared by a Thai chef. For such a simple Thai dish, it seems to always taste better here. It was invented in the 1930s by a half Thai half Chinese chef. Its main ingredients are egg, tofu, rice noodles and dried chili. Most people eat it with chicken, but we recommend venturing out and trying Ao Nang’s seafood with your Pad Thai.

Tom Yam

Tom Yam is a sweet and sour Thai soup. The most popular version is Tom Yam Kung, which is Tom Yam with shrimp. The mix of Ao Nang’s delicious local prawns and a sweet-sour soup sounds bizarre, but it’s one of our favorites.

Laap

Just like most countries in the world, Thailand is split into several diverse regions. To get a taste of the northeastern corner of the country, you have to try Laap (sometimes called larb/larp). It’s a minced meat dish with rice powder, lime, fish sauce, and herbs. If you want to look like a local, eat it with sticky rice!

Khao Soi

Another great dish from northern Thailand is Khao Soi. It’s a curry-based noodle soup, and usually comes with either chicken or beef. Some chefs will add in shallots and pickled vegetables, which pair perfectly with the egg noodles that form the base of the dish. And if you don’t think you’re ready for something as complicated Khao Soi, you can start with a green curry with coconut milk and jasmine rice. It’s the perfect stepping stone towards Khao Soi.

PS: We wrote a full guide to eating Khao Soi in Chiang Mai you might want to read!

Som tam

Although this dish originated in northeastern Thailand, nowadays you can find it all over the country. It consists of pieces of crunchy papaya mixed with tomato, beans, chili, limes, and fish sauce. It goes best with sticky rice, but you can ditch the rice for a quick snack.

Phat kaphrao

This street food staple combines meat flash-fried with holy basil (the eponymous kaphrao) and a generous helping of fresh chilli and garlic. Served over rice and often crowned with a fried egg, it’s the epitome of the Thai-style one dish meal

Yam

Yam is great as either an appetizer or a late night snack. It’s a Thai take on salad that is a combination of pork, seafood, herbs, and a spicy salad dressing. It comes in a variety of forms, and each is worth a try. We recommend trying Yam Wun Sen first, which is glass noodles with minced pork and shrimp. You also have the option of trying Yam Naem Khao Thot, which is most often sold as street food and comes in the form of a rice ball. The most popular version of Yam is definitely Yam Naem Sot which is made with sour pork sausage and lemon grass.

Khao Phat

Fried rice is the Thai version of comfort food. There are countless options, and every restaurant will make the dish a bit differently. There’s no way to go wrong with Khao Phat, and it’s the perfect drunk (and hangover) food. Next time you’re out, test out as many as you can. Just be careful, because fried rice at home will never taste as good again.

The History Behind Thai Food

It’s no surprise that people around the world love Thai food. In fact, you would be hard-pressed to find a more unique and diverse cuisine in any other country. While it primarily draws influence from Chinese and Indian cuisine, Thais have mixed international flavors in with their traditional approaches. The end result is a menu that pays homage to every corner of the world, all while remaining undeniably unique.

Between the sixth and thirteenth centuries, there was a mass migration from Southwest China to what is now Thailand. These migrants—the ancestors of modern Thais—brought Chinese cooking techniques to their new home. Over time, their techniques evolved and foreigners continued to change the face of Thai cuisine. Persian and Arabian merchants would cross through Thailand, bringing muslim influences along. Then in the seventeenth century, the Portuguese introduced their sweets to the Thai king, and monks went on to introduce Indian curry in the eighteenth century. These types of exchanges went on for the centuries to come.

And aside from history, the face of Thai cuisine continues to change. This is especially true in Thailand’s more diverse and tourist-focused cities like Ao Nang. Chefs strive to press forward while still respecting and practicing traditional approaches to food. In addition, the modern age has also allowed ingredients from around the world to arrive in Thailand. Current immigration also plays a major role in shaping today’s Thai cuisine.

 

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