Kaewjai Bakery and Restaurant (Phuket Town)
It's not always 100% true, but I reckon that if you want good local Thai food, then you have to eat where the locals eat. We have been checking out some restaurants in Phuket town recently, helped by my wifes sister who works at a bank in town and has been giving us hints for the best lunch spots. If a restaurant is full of local people it must be good local food.. and most of the time quite a bit cheaper than Thai food at beachside restaurants. It's up to you - as a visitor to Phuket maybe you prefer to eat by the sea, make the most of your holiday - I also like eating by the sea, but I am not on holiday so have to find good Thai food without tourist prices! Thus a lot of the restaurants on this blog are more local style with prices to match. We like to eat out and if you find the right restaurants in Phuket, eating out is very cheap. Yesterday we spent 240 Baht on lunch for the family...
The Kaewjai (แก้วใจ) Bakery and Restaurant close to the Phuket Town bus terminal has been a popular local eatery for years. The menu says something about "since 1961". The area is busy with banks, businesses, the bus station etc.. so you get plenty of office workers and such taking lunch there, or just local folks popping in for a coffee and a cake. You can tell its not a tourist restaurant, as I can hardly find any mention of it (apart from this blog) on Google unless I search in Thai! We stopped in for lunch yesterday with the kids. It's on the south side of Phang Nga road, just west of the bus station, very close to the Royal Phuket City hotel.
Note : This blog post was written in 2009, updated 2013 - the prices at Kaewjai have hardly gone up. Just ate there recently (January 2013) and my main dish was 65 Baht.
It's not a huge place, could maybe seat 30 people max. Aircon inside, and there are a few outside tables too. The coffee and cakes are easy to find, and without seeing a menu you might think that was all they had. The cakes and snacks are right inside the door at the counter.
And behind the counter just coffee and drinks. The kitchen is out the back out of sight.
The menu is simple, basic Thai food, all the lunchtime favourites. Our kids love chicken fried with garlic (gai tod kratiem), I had a tasty fish with black pepper, my wife had a fried rice made with tom yum seafood. Plus drinks. As I said, 240 Baht. That's why you see so many Thais eating out! At that price you hardly save by cooking at home!
So now we have another restaurant for lunch in Phuket Town. I have aimed over the years (with the blog in mind) to try lots of new places to eat, partly to add to this blog and partly to stop me being lazy. My wife and I do like to play it safe sometimes and have a tendency to go to the same places where we know the food is good. Hopefully some more new restaurants coming soon!
More places to eat in Phuket Town:
• Uptown Noodles
• Dairy Hut
• More Phuket restaurants
Kaewjai Restaurant - Location Map
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