When you visit Thailand, the best way to experience life is to eat like the locals and have the street food that is on offer in many parts of the country. In Phuket, the best place for street food is the Old Town region. It is also known as Phuket Old Town and Old Town of Phuket Island. Here, there are family-run eateries in run-down shacks or their home itself, stalls directly on the street, and food court areas where hawkers offer food at varying prices. Many of us think immediately of the street stalls when we think of street food in Thailand. This comes from what we see on TV and in other media.
To find authentic street food, you need to visit the little barrows and stalls on the roadside and the family-run eateries. These stalls may have been in one family for generations and serve up food from their traditional country home, be it China, Singapore, Malaysia, or India. Many of the Thai people are originally from other parts of Asia, which is why you will see versions of other Asian favourites.
Dim Sum and Kanom Jeen
For excellent choices and a good variety of dim sum street food at sit-down establishments, go to Chana Charoen Road or Boonrat 1 behind the fresh produce market on Bangkok Road. These stalls go back around 100 years in the same family and serve traditional foods. For kanom jeen selections, you need to visit Po Lamai, which is at the intersection of Dibuk Road and Satun Road or Mae Ting, which is just down the road with the intersection of Satun and Maeluang Road.
Some favourites to be on the lookout for include Mee Hokkien, a stir-fried noodle dish, bue tord, deep fried battered shrimp, and Hokkien noodles. In the early mornings, breakfast is found on the street from 6 to 8 AM and is usually dim sum or kanom jeen.
Dim sum includes little steamed buns and fried snacks served with chili sauce. The buns tend to be sweeter than other Asian offerings. Rice congee is on offer and is a rice dish also called joek.
The kanom jeen is a dish of cold noodles made from fermented rice and covered in rich and creamy curry sauces and coconut curries. They are accompanied by fresh seasonal greens and iced coffee.
If you want to visit little barrows and the oldest street food stalls, you need to go to Soi Soon Uthit, which is a narrow lane extending from Yaowarat Road down from Lok Tien. These carts are not all open at the same time and you may need to go there at different times to sample all of the food.
For the best Malaysian influenced a-pong, the thin crepe like pancake made from rice flour, visit A-Pong Mae Sunee. This stall is over 30 years old and is open for mid-morning and mid-afternoon snacks. You can get a sweet or a savoury crepe. This dish is available at many street stalls but many locals will tell you to go here. The crepes are smoky and tasty.
Nearby at Oh Tao,there is an omelette with baby oysters that has been influenced by the Fujian province in China.
Noodles and Soups
Opposite Po Lamai is Pehteow Noodle that began operating in 1949 and serving starts around 11 AM and finishes when the food runs out between 3 and 4 PM. You will find lovely soft noodles served in a clear broth of pork and a selection of wantons all made onsite.
Mee Ton Poh professes to be the best and the oldest Hokkien noodle house in Phuket Old Town and has been run by three generations of a family originally from the Fujian province of China. The soft, thick yellow noodles are served with seafood or pork and a variety of seasonal Asian greens topped with fried shallots and pork crackling. You can also have a soft fried egg on top if you wish.
Lok Tien Food Court
This is definitely worth a visit for the great variety of dishes available located at the intersection of Yaowarat Road and Dibuk Road. Here you will find ten or so food stalls under the one roof with tables, chairs, and lots of locals and tourists.
Here you can try fresh spring rolls, deep fried snacks of seafood and pork, Hokkien noodle dishes, and shaved ice desserts with sweet sauces. The popular banana jelly sweet is loved by the locals but is definitely an acquired taste for foreigners.
Check out our article “Tips for Getting the Most Out of your Phuket Street Food Experience” to make your trip to Phuket easier and more enjoyable.