Ten Good Places To Eat In Hat Yai
Elsewhere on this site I have listed nine pages of restaurant options. The list below simply distills this information to 10 places that I believe are worthy of being recommended.
Comments: The owners of The Basil used to live in Phuket and because of all the foreigners in Phuket they understand Western food. They have attempted to offer a more upmarket dining experience in Hat Yai.
The food and desserts are very good and they also offer pizzas and a wine list.
More Information: The Basil
Comments: Bill, the owner/chef at Billin, used to be a chef at the world famous Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Bangkok, one of the finest hotels in the world.
When he opened his own cafe/restaurant in Hat Yai he brought the same high standards from his former workplace. If you want to eat at one of Hat Yai's more upmarket restaurants, this is a really nice place.
It's a little way from the central tourist district around Lee Gardens Plaza, but worth taking the effort to find.
More Information: Billin Cafe Bistro
Comments: The Thai food at Bon Khao is fine, but I am including it here more for its location. It is located on the hill behind the municipal park where you can find the Hat Yai observatory and various temples.
Hat Yai town centre is very crowded and nosiy and I find it claustrophobic and overwhelming at times. It is a great relief to escape the city and eating at Bon Khao makes for a great escape. The restaurant is quite high up on the hill and offers great views over Hat Yai and the surrounding area.
More Information: Bon Khao Restaurant
Comments: My father belongs to the generation of English people that treats foreign food with much suspicion and the most 'exotic' dish he will consider eating is spaghetti bolognese.
When he visits Thailand it is a real problem finding food that he will eat because he will only eat the kind of food he is familiar with at home.
The fact that he enjoys eating at De Van Cuisine thus says a lot about the food. The owner, I believe, lived in New Zealand for a while and understands how to prepare Western food. The restaurants serves foreign steaks and they also serve a selection of pizzas. In addition, there is quite a reasonable wine list.
More Information: De Van Cuisine
Comments: The Donya is located just off the airport road, quite a long way from central Hat Yai. It is hidden away from tourists, but it gets a lot of trade from local Thais. This is always a good sign in Thailand because Thais are very fussy about their food and will only eat at places that serve good value tasty food.
There are some 'open' eating areas and also several private function rooms if you go to eat there in a large group and want some privacy.
The wait staff are from Thailand, Burma and Laos, but they speak Thai and are very helpful and attentive. I really like the food there, the prices aren't too expensive, and the service is excellent.
More Information: The Donya
Comments: In recent years there has been a massive craze in Hat Yai for Japanese food. A lot of the new places are OK, but nothing special. There seems to be more emphasis on keeping prices low, rather than serving excellent food.
Fuji was one of the original places before the craze took off and it is still the best. The prices are a bit higher, but the food is excellent and the hygiene standards impeccable.
Fuji is a large chain and its restaurants can be found all over Thailand. In Hat Yai, alone, there are several branches.
More Information: Fuji
Comments: Lots of Thai restaurants in Hat Yai attempt to serve Western food, but most aren't particularly good and the portion sizes in Thai steak restaurants tends to be quite small.
Gäp's Garten is an aunthentic German restaurant run by Jan, an authentic German, and it serves authentic German food. The food is excellent and the portion sizes won't leave you hungry. The restaurant also stocks a good selection of foreign beers.
More Information: Gäp's Garten
Comments: This is the best Thai food dining experience in Hat Yai. The culture in southern Thailand is quite different to that in the central and northern regions, yet Krua Reurn Thai is the kind of restaurant that you might expect to find in the central or northern regions.
The inside of the restaurant, which doesn't seat many people, is just like being inside a traditional Thai teak house. The service is good and the food is excellent.
If I have guests visiting me in Hat Yai this is one place I definitely like to take them.
More Information: Krua Reurn Thai
Comments: This place used to be located on the road behind the university, but it relocated to a brand new building on the airport road.
The building is large, bright, airy and attractive, and the food is very tasty. It's a marked step up in quality over most restaurants in Hat Yai and it's not that expensive.
More Information: Sabannga
Comments: The food at all big hotels should be good, but unfortunately that isn't always the case in Hat Yai. A notable exception is at Saneha, one of the in-house restaurants at the Centara Hotel.
The 'à la carte' menu is very good with a selection of both Thai and Western food. However, what I really like is the buffet. Some other big hotels in Hat Yai offer a buffet, but the food is quite poor.
At Saneha it is excellent. There is a wide choice of food, it is all fresh, and it is really good.
More Information: Saneha Restaurant
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Listed opposite are some of my personal recommendations for hotels in Hat Yai based on budget. I have lived permanently in Hat Yai since 2003 and my recommendations are based on a lot of local knowledge.
Each link will take you to the relevant page on the Agoda website where you can see photos, read reviews, and book on-line. I use Agoda to book all of my own hotels in Thailand and the Southeast Asia region. Every time I research hotel prices the Agoda price is always the lowest and I have received good customer service, therefore I am happy to recommend the company to other people.
If you don't wish to pay for your hotel at the time of booking, Booking.com normally allows you to pay when you check in at the hotel. Some people prefer this method, but I have always found Booking.com to be more expensive than Agoda.
If you want to compare prices between different on-line travel agents (OTAs) for a specific hotel, you can use a company such as HotelsCombined. However, you will normally find that Agoda is the cheapest and therefore you can save yourself time and money by just booking through Agoda in the first place.
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