Restaurants and dining in Ko Phi Phi

Thai food, Japanese buffets, bakeries, ice cream shops, endless pizzerias, steak houses, French cuisine and, of course, seafood: for a small island, Phi Phi has a huge choice of restaurants and places to eat.

Most of it, however, with a few notable exceptions, is fairly standard fare - not bad at all, but unlikely to win any food awards. This seems to be due to the fact that there is such a high turnover of visitors to the island. If return customers are not a priority, then neither is premium quality food.

But don't let this put you off the search for a good meal in Phi Phi: there are some decent restaurants around!

Let's start with the cream of the crop. For good quality, well-presented western food you can do no better than Le Grand Bleu (French & Thai menu, excellent moules marinières and crême brulée!), Ciao Bella's pizza and Italian offerings, or H.C. Andersen's hearty steaks. The first is close by the pier, on the main street; the second on Loh Dalum Bay; and the third is in the little labyrinth between the two - as with everything in Phi Phi, ask and ye shall find.

For Thai food that can easily be adapted to chilli-shy palates, try the aptly named Thai Restaurant (on the main street to the pier), Le Grand Bleu again, or the delightful Pum (in the new-ish "plaza" area). The latter will teach to you cook whatever you eat for a small supplement so you can recreate the dish at home. Although not a true cookery school, we know people who have returned night after night and gone through the entire menu!

For more authentic - and cheaper! - Thai fare, head to the warren of streets around the market (Loh Dalum Bay side). Here you will find the usual Thai street food - noodles, fried chicken, rice and curry as well as basic one dish meals. Local residents also swear by the spicy salads in Papaya Restaurant, opposite the all-you-can-eat Japanese sushi buffet of Hibachi.

Lighter western meals and breakfasts can be had at Little Britain Cafe (open late at night as well); the ever-popular Patcharee Bakery and Top Ten Burger (the name says it all!). Decent burgers can also be had at the new McPluto Burger and Ice cream - their new sideline following the success of their gelateria. If ice cream doesn't grab you, you will find several bakeries, as well as the roti (fried pancake) stalls that are ubiquitous in southern Thailand.

Finally, seafood and barbecues are also a Phi Phi staple. Hippie's, on the way out of town does a good seafood BBQ, as does Ton Sai Restaurant. Check the prices before you order (they must weigh the fish first) to avoid nasty surprises. For non-seafood grills, a nice little restaurant, just past Don Chukit Resort on the way to Hippie's, is called Rim Chon. The BBQ half chicken and fries is a bargain and the tables enjoy a lovely breeze right next to the sea.

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