Koh Phangan's extensive dining options surprise and delight the visitor. There are plenty of cheap little Thai eateries scattered around the island, and almost every resort has a kitchen serving a range of dishes, but it is also possible to take a global gastronomical tour without ever leaving the island. Eating out is an integral part of a good holiday and a reason to linger on. Here are a few island favourites:
The editor's Choice
Japanese Bar Kaito (077374253) Tongsala: Tasty, authentic Japanese food, plus sake and Ashai draft beer.
The Masons Arms (0864708204) Thongsala: A Mock-Tudor British pub that's amazingly authentic, serving good pub grub with the added bonus of a pool table, sports on TV.
Handsome Sandwich in Tong Nai Pan Noi: a small stall in the village behind the beach that's a local legend. Superbly tasty burgers with all the extras and smiley Mr Handsome, who has extended his empire to include 'handsome gasoline' (make your bike go faster) and 'handsome laundry' (help you pull), a unique island experience.
Sheesha Bar & Restaurant (077374161) in Chaloklum: Attached to the new stylish Hotel Mandalai, this lounge bar and restaurant serves stylish Asian and Western cuisine while the terrace affords splendid views over the bay.
Som Tum Inter (077377334) Ban Tai: This homely restaurant serves delicious authentic Northeastern Thai dishes including the famous papaya salad, larp, wonderful grilled chicken and sticky rice.
Boat Ahoy (077377224) on Tongsala-Ban Tai road: a quirky theme restaurant with a huge menu, including Thai, European and Chinese favourites. The boat-shaped dining room is fun, and there is even a barber shop and karaoke room for between courses.
Baan Pong on Tong Nai Pan Noi: attached to Flip-Flop Bar & Pharmacy, in the middle of this castaway beach, this gem of a restaurant has a surprisingly cosmopolitan menu, with Burmese curries, Blini with smoked salmon, and a special hangover-cure breakfast - unbeatable.
Me'n'u (08 9289133) on Hin Kong has become firmly established as one of the island's premier gourmet restaurants, using top class, fresh ingredients and techniques to produce modern European cuisine. The fine location, superb wine list and relaxed ambience combine to create a memorable dining experience.
Fellini Italian in Srithanu: a stylish Italian restaurant serving wonderful stone oven-cooked pizzas, a wide choice of pastas, steaks, seafood, salads plus a good choice of wine.
Ando Loco: Thongsala's favourite Mexican restaurant serving authentic Latin cuisine, using imported ingredients and spiced just right. Also has a good range of tequilla and infamous Margarita's.
Ohm Ganesh in Had Rin: a favourite curry-house with locals and tourists alike, particularly recommended the chicken tandoori.
Phangan Homemade Ice Cream, 2 km away from Thong Sala Ferry Pier (077)238 681. Serves authentic Thai Food and the famous homemade ice cream with 20 plus flavors. “It's all back to nature concept with some flavors are only available at certain time of the year as per seasonal fruits. Option to enjoy your meal at individual balcony over the river, by the water fall, or inside the cool breeze gazebo or take away.