In general, Southern Thai food is renowned for its spiciness. Much of the cuisine has its origins in Malay, Indonesian and Indian food. Favourite dishes from the south include Indian-style Muslim curry (massaman), rice noodles in fish curry sauce (khanom jeen) and chicken birayani.
As for Ko Lanta, reasonably priced and tasty seafood is obviously what most tourists long for when visiting a coastal province like Krabi. In this connection, the wing shell (หอยชักตีน) is Krabi's famous cuisine. It is eaten with a spicy dip. In addition, stir fried spotted babylon (หอยหวาน), which is found in mangrove forests, with chilies and basil is also famous. This cuisine is common in Ko Lanta's restaurants. The Ko Lanta beach areas have several restaurants with the "catch of the day" displayed on ice outside. One can find all kinds of fish: juicy crabs and langoustines; shellfish, including giant oysters; as well as squid and lobsters.
Abdul's Pancakes is a crêpe stall run from a motorcycle sidecar. You can most often find him in Moo 1, Saladan, opposite Lanta Diver when the dive boats come back (around 15:00). His chocolate and banana crêpe and his chicken crêpe are especially tasty.
Baan Laanta Bay View Restaurant (in Kantiang Bay) serves great fresh seafood BBQ. Enormous tiger prawns, fresh squid, snappers galore. All fish & seafood is caught fresh, locally each day, and cooked in any style you like, served with baked potatoes and a free salad bar (with the best dressings you can imagine). The regular menu is also good, with stir frys and curries at 100 baht, only a little more than the 70-80 baht you'd pay on the road. The juices are small, though. The view out over Kantiang Bay is beautiful and you can request a table on the beach if you like. Aqua Bar, the in-house cocktail bar, serves what may be the freshest and most adventurous cocktails on the island, including mango daiquiris and fresh lime margaritas.
Cook Kai is just across the street from Klong Nin Beach. Wholly built of wood and beautifully decorated, it offers a spacious open dining area and bar. The restaurant, run by the cook and his brothers and sisters, serves bland Thai food at 140 baht for curries and soups.
Drunken Sailors Coffee Shop116 Moo 5, Kantiang Bay, Ko Lanta Yai, Krabi 81150Phone: +66 75 665076Hours: 8:30-21:00Aspires to be nothing more than a laid-back caf, but the rave reviews just keep coming. Serving a diverse menu of Western classics such as pasta and burgers as well as Thai dishes and unique fusion creations, this jazzy octagonal pad has become the centre of social life in Kantiang Bay. Locals and tourists alike spend all day chilling in the cafs beanbags and hammocks. Add to the mix the huge selection of real ground espresso drinks and fresh fruit shakes and you can see why it's so popular. Kampong80 Moo 5, Kantiang Bay, Ko Lanta YaiPhone: +66 89 9085977Hours: 09:00-21:00Southern Thai restaurant with the best "juices" in town, for size, taste and price. "Juices" are always actually blended, but Kampong gives you a good amount of fruit. 40 baht for most juices, 60 baht for the Kampong juice (nice combo). Breakfast. Also has a travel agent and some simple rooms (300 baht in off season).
Mary Ann's Bar & RestaurantMoo 1 SaladanFun place to start the evening. Good food and a lively place in the evening (make sure you get a chat with Aiden, if you want to know more about nightlife on Ko Lanta)
Rio's KitchenEmail: RiosKitchenKohLanta@gmail.comPhone: +66 90 6611880Serving up burritos and quesadillas made with homemade tortillas. Has great daily specials as well as delicious grilled and fresh whole wheat sandwiches using imported cheeses. Vegan and vegetarian friendly, everything is made fresh from scratch. Rio's Kitchen only delivers. Free delivery to Kantiang Bay, delivery available to other locations for a fee. Ring for delivery, the menu is available by emailing.
River Restaurant is a friendly family operation located on the beach just south of Narima Resort. They have a delicious menu: lots of Thai dishes and a few Western ones as well. The pad Thai is excellent. It is very popular with families and the owner's children often play with tourist kids.
Spices and HerbsMoo 5, Kantiang Bay, Ko Lanta YaiHours: 09:00-21:00Excellent food at a modest price (80 baht for a standard dish). Includes Western options like hamburgers, pizza and pasta. Also offers cooking classes, or 100 baht extra to help cook your meal.
Sunset Restaurant is a very small restaurant on Klong Dao beach close to D.R. Lanta Resort beside Mooks bar. The Thai food is arguably the best on Klong Dao Beach and cheap too. Real Thai-style eating with the tables directly on the sand and no decorations at all but a nice view and cool breeze from the sea.
Thai Cuisine is a long-established favourite. It is in Phra Ae just south of the Opium night club. The menu features a wide selection of wonderful Thai dishes and Chinese as well. The "special" spring roll is excellent. There is bar service and a small artisan boutique. Say hello to the chef/owner, Somkuan. He's a great guy.
Time for Lime Restaurant, Bar, BungalowsEmail: email@example.comHours: open all yearPrice: Bungalows from 750 bahtWell-known professional Thai and fusion cooking school, it also has a beach and tree-top restaurant where you can relish the sunset and breeze while peeking at what the cooking students are creating down below. More and more people are checking out the great food, atmosphere and mojitos. They offer a filling 6-course tasting menu for 495 baht, year-round. Personal and friendly place with 8 cosy fan-cooled bungalows. Free Wi-Fi. You will love the food and you must love dogs also, as the Norwegian owner is the organiser of Lanta Animal Welfare.