Bang Bao restaurants are principally known for their seafood, with two large establishments located side by side off the central walking pier, right in the heart of the fishing village.
Beyond the seafood, there are just a few other options on the pier, by the road and on the northern side of the bay.
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Seafood in Bang Bao
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.
How to Order
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.
With the closure of Fish, Ruan Thai and Chow Lay are now the only two seafood restaurants still running. They both fluctuate in quality and service but our main criticism is the food tends towards that tourist palate blandness, which – though well intentioned – ultimately satisfies no-one. To counter it, be firm when ordering if you prefer your flavours with that bit more zing and spice.
Other Options – Bang Bao Restaurants
In the vicinity of the seafood restaurants, Chill House and Koi Sea House, sits out over the water, Both serve the standard Thai menus of curries, noodle dishes and stir fries – keenly priced, tasty enough. Barracuda, that sweet bohemian spot, has closed.
At the far end, Buddha View (currently closed) continues to impress with its stylishly presented fusion and relaxed atmosphere. El Greco, naturally enough a Greek restaurant, has moved to Klong Prao.
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 the best of the bunch.
Over on the north side of the bay looking out on the cove behind, Cliff Cottage changed hands in late 2020, with BB Divers the new owners. With its new look of a double height thatch roof and lots of chill-out spaces, the restaurant serves Thai and western dishes, making a great spot for lunch.
Over on the southern side, from its fabulous vantage point high above the bay, Rasta View offers all the standard Thai dishes as well as drinks.
Bang Bao Delight is the place to head for coffee, bakery and pastries. Arabica by the 7/11 at the start of the pier has closed and does not look like returning.
Recommended – Bang Bao Restaurants
Ruan Thai Seafood
Per Person: BB – BBB
First of the 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: BB – BBB
Currently Closed 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.
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