Luckily the food scene in Pattani is not nearly as bleak as the accommodation. Aside from the excellent night market there is also a pleasant riverside restaurant and a solitary bar, all within easy walking distance of the Palace Hotel.
The main night market is on the same soi as the Palace Hotel—a small but tasty affair. There is loads to choose from with a not surprising seafood angle to many dishes. There is also one stall that specialises in pre-prepared fresh salads—a refreshing option for a night market. There is also the usual sweet stalls to fill up on.
Chan Phen Restaurant, on the river side of Pattani Pirom Rd, has an airy interior that looks out onto a new boardwalk and then the Pattani River. They specialise in seafood but do all the typical Thai standards. They have an English menu which is quite a revolutionary breakthrough for Pattani. Very friendly staff. If you’re in Pattani for more than a day you’ll find yourself eating here more than once.
At the beginning of the riverside strip over the bridge that runs off Kalapau Rd stands the impossible to miss three floor, lime green building which reads Shelly Garden Restaurant. Next door is the two floor River Restaurant which does incredibly spicy and very good Thai food. They have an English menu.
Towards the western end of town, over the bridge that runs off Kalapau Rd there is a small boardwalk area where a collection of stalls lay out rattan mats for a dinner by the river. Further on past the rattan mats there’s also a solitary bamboo bar setup that is worth checking out for the night-owls.
Conveniently located nextdoor to the Chan Phen, Sometime Bar and Restaurant is a typical Thai bar with tunes, cold drinks and limited bar snackies. This is a good place to roll over to for a nightcap after a filling meal at Chan Phen.
Stuart McDonald co-founded Travelfish.org with Samantha Brown in 2004. He has lived in Thailand, Cambodia and Indonesia, where he worked as an under-paid, under-skilled language teacher, an embassy staffer, a newspaper web-site developer, freelancing and various other stuff. His favourite read is The Art of Travel by Alain de Botton.