Photo: Squid Yum.

Eat and meet



Whether you enjoy exploring the local food at markets and hole-in-the-wall shops, or go for the comfort of a traveller-oriented cafe or bar, Satun has got you covered.

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At Satun’s central night market you’ll find finger foods like fried chicken, springs rolls and satay to go with several shops slinging noodle soup and khao gaeng (curry with rice) with a few tables to sit and eat. Chilli pastes join turmeric-touched grilled fish and authentic Southern curries like gaeng neua (beef curry), gaeng tai pla (fish stomach curry) and kua kling (minced meat in dry curry paste). You might also poke around for bu-nga pudak, a traditional Malay dessert made from the dok lamchiak flower, among other sweets.

Plenty of delicious options at Satun's night market.

Plenty of delicious options at Satun's night market. Photo: David Luekens

Just south of the clock tower on nearby Burivanich Road, a larger market materialises every Saturday night and is the "thing to do" for many Satunians. The festive vibe comes with its share of deep-fried wontons, pad Thai, grilled squid and meats-on-sticks to go with second-hand clothes and smartphone cases. Sitting alongside the river at the far western end of Tirasathat Road, the Municipal Market is also worth a wander to check out the area’s veggies and seafood.

All over town, you’ll find hole-in-the-wall shops churning out steaming plates of khao man gai (Thai-style Hainanese chicken rice) and khao mok gai (biryani rice with roasted chicken). Both of these dishes are well known throughout Thailand but you’ll often find superior versions in Satun and other Southern Thai cities. To find both, look for huge pots of steaming yellow turmeric rice and whole steamed chickens hanging in streetside displays.

... and then there's the Saturday night market.

... and then there's the Saturday night market. Photo: David Luekens

Satun has many spots serving kodu, a locally grown Robusta coffee that’s dark-roasted and quite bitter until you add a little sweetened condensed milk. It’s available at street cafes all over town, especially at night, and is always served with a pot of jasmine tea. A vendor usually sets up nearby to fry up flaky (and fattening) roti. Blended from herbal ingredients before being shaken vigorously with sweetened condensed milk, chaa yen (Thai iced tea) is also ubiquitous and delicious in Satun.

For a comfier coffee shop that’s worthy of an hour with a laptop, Prik Thai serves espresso along with steaks, Thai rice plates and baked goods to a spacious air-con seating area and an outdoor terrace. Next door to that is Time Restaurant, a rather fancy spot with air-con, attentive staff and some Southern Thai specialties in the voluminous menu with English names and photos. Dishes run from 50 to 200 baht, and they serve beer, which is not all that common in these parts.

Kua Kling at On's.

Kua Kling at On's. Photo: David Luekens

Home of the same-named Living Room, On’s Kitchen remains a go-to choice for many travellers and expats. The menu is stacked with Western options like baguette sandwiches, burgers, pizza, full English breakfasts and baked potatoes drenched in cheese and bacon. Though the spice gets toned down for Western tastes, we’ve found that the gaeng luang (sour yellow curry with fish), slow-roasted massaman curry with beef and kua kling with pork were all flavourful and worth the 100-baht (or more) price tags. Across the road, On also runs a small but lively bar with more streetside seating.

Though we didn’t get to try it, Tii Baan caught our eye as another option for Western food in relaxing surrounds. At this Thai/French-run restaurant, several wines are served along with burgers, roasted pork tarragon and steak with blue cheese sauce, to name a few. It’s not cheap, with most dishes costing 175 to 400 baht, but the menu made our mouth water.

If you need a Western food fix,Tii Baan has a mouth-watering menu.

If you need a Western food fix,Tii Baan has a mouth-watering menu. Photo: David Luekens


Map of eating options for Satun

Legend
(1) Night market (2) On’s Kitchen and Bar (3) Prik Thai (4) Tii Baan (5) Time Restaurant

Night market Satunthanee Soi 3 (just north of Satun Tanee Hotel); Mo–Su: 17:00–21:00.
On’s Kitchen and Bar Burivanich Rd (at On’s Living Room); Mo-Su: Breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Prik Thai Satunthanee Rd (next to Bandahara Boutique Guest Hotel); T: (074) 723 777; Mo–Su: 10:30–22:00.
Tii Baan Soi Tirasuthit (just west of Burivanich Rd); Mo–Su: 11:00–14:30 & 18:00–22:00.
Time Restaurant Satunthanee Rd (next to Bandahara Boutique Guest Hotel); Mo–Su: Lunch & dinner.

Night market
Satunthanee Soi 3 (just north of Satun Tanee Hotel); Satun, Southern Thailand
Almost free - most dishes under 50B
On’s Kitchen and Bar
Burivanich Rd (at On’s Living Room); Satun, Southern Thailand
Almost free - most dishes under 50B
Prik Thai
Satunthanee Rd (next to Bandahara Boutique Guest Hotel); Satun, Southern Thailand
T: (074) 723 777; Almost free - most dishes under 50B
Tii Baan
Soi Tirasuthit (just west of Burivanich Rd); Satun, Southern Thailand
Almost free - most dishes under 50B
Time Restaurant
Satunthanee Rd (next to Bandahara Boutique Guest Hotel); Satun, Southern Thailand
Almost free - most dishes under 50B
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Where to next?

Where are you planning on heading to after Satun? Here are some spots commonly visited from here, or click here to see a full destination list for Thailand.


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