The Best Restaurants & Bars for Expats in Hua Hin

When it comes to places to eat and drink in Hua Hin, you’ll be spoiled for choice. No matter what your taste or budget you’re sure to find something to suit your palate and your wallet among the options on offer in this vibrant royal resort town.

Here’s just a taste of what’s on offer…

An ‘Eat Street’ very popular with expats and visitors is Soi (street) 94. A three-minute drive or 20-minute walk from Market Village Shopping Centre, Soi 94 stretches for several kilometres. My wife Vivien and I love this spot because there are so many choices including our favourite Vietnamese, Café Mekong; a great Issan (northern Thai) restaurant E-saan Station, with tables set under large Frangipani trees. Sakura is a great pick if you’re in the mood for Japanese or take a side street off Soi 94 and follow your nose to West 94th Street Pub, a bar and grill that dishes up excellent American-style ribs. With well over a dozen eateries and restaurants along this eat street you can’t go far wrong come dinner time…and you certainly won’t go hungry.

Once a quiet fishing village, it won’t surprise you to hear that seafood and Hua Hin go hand in hand, so a visit to the finger wharves in the old town is a must. Long timber wharves or piers that in times past served a more industrial purpose are now home to restaurants specialising in fresh, local seafood. Chaolay Seafood and Chom Kluen (located on the neighbouring pier) are both firm favourites.

It’s an idyllic setting, sitting in the open air, sea breeze cooling the evening and the sound of the waves lapping at the timber pylons of the piers while plates of whole snapper cooked in ginger and soy, local prawns in a Penang curry sauce, sauteed Morning Glory with garlic and local squid in tamarind and chilli are dished up alongside heaving plates of steamed rice. None of these plates will run you more than $8 and many are even less.

Another option for seafood is Hua Hin Night Market. Each evening, Soi 72, in the heart of town, closes off to traffic to make way for a vibrant, bustling market. You’ll find all the usual stalls selling everything from souvenirs to sunglasses as well as a healthy serving of food stalls stacked high with fresh seafood on ice, on display and waiting for your selection. Prawns, squid, fish, lobster, giant scampi… Choose what you desire and it will be cooked and served on your street-side table in a matter of minutes.

And when it comes to local cuisine the options are seemingly endless and spots offering dishes for as little as $2 a plate can be found all across town. When we want a quality Thai meal severed in a comfortable environment by well-trained staff, we head to Orchids in the old town. Always reliable and exceptionally tasty, with main meals costing no more than $10, how can we go wrong?

If you want to go more upmarket there’s plenty of restaurants catering more for the expat and tourist crowd. You’ll pay less than you would at home for the same standard but it’s still at the upper end of what we are now used to paying. Andreas restaurant offers excellent quality Italian in their air-conditioned dining room or savour your meal on their covered, yet open-air rooftop dining space.

Beef and lamb are imported into Thailand and priced accordingly. So, if you’re on a tighter budget, these won’t be everyday indulgences. But when the craving for a quality steak takes you, Prime Steak House in the middle of town, just opposite the Hilton hotel is the place to head.

When looking for a quality dining option in a picturesque setting, we head to Anantasila Resort at the southern end of Hua Hin. This low-rise boutique resort faces Khao Takiab beach and the open-air dining area and separate bar offer stunning ocean views. Choose from beautifully presented Thai or European dishes for a real taste treat. Time your visit well and you’ll be entertained by the full moon climbing over the ocean changing the character of the beach and night sky as it rises.

The bar scene is thriving here too.  Head for Easts Roof Top Bar & Lounge for cocktails and long cold drinks in the open air looking down on Hua Hin. One of my personal favourites is the White Lotus Sky Bar at the Hilton. Grab your friends and settle in on the large comfortable lounge chairs in clusters as the house band do their thing. They’re happy to take requests and the attentive staff will ensure your glasses remain full. From here the view takes in the northern side of Hua Hin, the beach stretched out before you, the city lights twinkling away some 17 floors below.

Just a few streets from the Hilton in the old town, the interconnecting streets Bintabaht, Selakem and Poon Suk are lined with bars and small restaurants, popular with visitors, expats and locals alike. You’ll find low-cost drinks, pool tables, the odd dartboard and music from every genres and era, depending on the bar. Pick one to suit your mood and party the night away Hua Hin style.

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