UPDATED for 2019-20 Season
Bang Bao restaurants are principally known for their seafood, with three large establishments located side by side off the central walking pier, right in the heart of the fishing village.
Each restaurant follows the same style of a coverted wooden fisherman’s house high up on stilts over the water, its tempting tanks of fish and other shellfish bubbling away at the entrances, tables and chairs laid out towards the water’s edge. Their menus are typical too for Thai seafood, pages and pages long, with choices from whole fish to raw prawns, squid to shellfish, each cooked in a myriad of sauces or styles, with two prices according to portion size.
As there is so much choice, it can be actually be difficult to know where to start, so our tip is to follow the Thai way; order up a whole fish as the centerpiece and then each member of the group choose a dish to go with it, whether clams in curry paste or whole tamarind prawns, soft shell crab in black pepper or a spicy Thai squid salad, a Tom Yam soup or even a plate of French Fries, whatever takes your fancy. Add in a big pot of rice to share and you’ll have plenty to go round, something for everyone to try and a very sociable, fun and tasty meal.
Of the three Bang Bao seafood restaurants, Ruan Thai and Chow Lay are the longest established and each tends to go up and down in quality and recommendations. In both, food can be a little too adapted to a tourist palate, so you need to be firm when ordering if you prefer your flavours with that bit more zing and spice. Fish is the new kid on the block, with a menu changing according to its daily catch and a nice lounge bar. Expect to pay about 250bt to 300bt a head upwards with drinks.
Elsewhere on the pier, Buddha View offers a nicely presented fusion menu and you can get authentic Greek cooking at El Greco opposite those seafood restaurants. Chill House, just a few doors further down, is another nice choice out over the water, with Barracuda a sweet spot on the other side. Both of them serve the standard Thai menus of curries, noodle dishes and stir fries – keenly priced, tasty enough.
There are few cheap and cheerful Thai places, serving up one dish over rice, somtam, grilled chicken, that sort of thing on the road running down to the 7/11 at the start of the pier and on it, theres’s a tiny local noodle soup too. Up on the main road, the diner opposite Alysia Springs is also worth a stop.
Bang Bao Delight is the place to head for coffee, bakery and pastries. Chow Lay does now have a small cafe oppsite its restaurant and there is also another coffee shop, Arabica by the 7/11 at the start of the pier.
Our Favourites – Bang Bao Restaurants
Pricing Code/Per person in Baht (B) excluding drinks:
B= under 100; BB= under 500; BBB= over 500;
Please click on an image to enlarge
Ruan Thai Seafood
Per Person: BB-BBB
First of the three Thai seafood restaurants on the pier, maybe the best, with good strong flavours and spices. Usual choices abound from raw prawns with spicy dip to clams in roasted chilli paste and Sea Bass in tamarind sauce.
Chow Lay Seafood
Per Person: BB-BBB
Long established seafood restaurant on the pier with choices of fish and crab in the tanks at the front. Extensive menu, busy and bustling atmosphere. Fish ball noodle soup diner and small cafe opposite.
Per Person: B-BBB
Down a walkway off the pier opposite Nok Noi Seafood, Greek restaurant and lounge bar set on the terrace over the water. Feta salads, souvlaki, kalamari, homemade pitta, cocktails, cushions, music.
Per Person: B-BB
Down another offshoot jetty, a restaurant and bar with a beach vibe offering simple but good Thai food with some western choices, shakes, cold beers and artwork for sale. Nice views out over the water.
Per Person: B-BBB
Stylish restaurant and bar, with extensive menu offering more of a fusion Thai flavour than the seafood eateries elsewhere on the pier. Full array of drinks and cocktails, perfect for an early evening drink too. Grab one of the glass tables looking through the floorboards. Guesthouse rooms.
Bang Bao Nightlife
We have now moved the nightlife section across to this page for the simple but overwhelming reason that there is isn’t any.
For sundowners, try the cocktails at Buddha View or Nirvana has a sunset terrace. El Greco also has a Thai house band from time to time.
Rasta View, just past Tranquillity Bay at the far southern end of Bang Bao has terrific views out over the bay, cold beers, shakes and all round louche vibe.
Alternatively, why not simply DIY at the end of the pier by the lighthouse, really lovely with the changing light on the bay.
Return to Koh Chang Restaurants