Hua Hin has a wide array of restaurants to choose from that range from upmarket fine dining facilities to basic food stalls. If you are in the mood for the freshest seafood imaginable, head to Chatchai market. This area has a number of quality seafood eateries that are extremely popular and relatively inexpensive when compared to Western prices. Another great spot for seafood is Chomsin, near the large fishing pier.
For those interested in sampling traditional Thai cuisine, there are a large number of restaurants sprinkled throughout the town. The Damnoen Kasem area has a large concentration of eateries and food stalls servicing spicy local favourites. If you need to find more familiar dishes, one of the best areas for international cuisine is near Jed Pee Nong. Here you can find a quality selection of restaurants catering to international palates, most of which also serve Thai dishes, although these are typically not as spicy as locals are accustomed to.
The beach area also has a number of dining establishments to choose from including restaurants serving both Thai and international gastronomy. Needless to say, there are also a large number of seafood restaurants along the beach although prices are naturally higher than the markets. Also represented in this area are Japanese, Chinese, Indian and Italian cuisines.
Recommended Hua Hin restaurants
Tourist restaurants can be found along Damnoen Kasem, Phunsuk and Naretdamri Roads and on many of the side streets nearby. Fresh seafood is available at virtually every restaurant along the waterfront.
Pasta Factory (Italian): for a romantic dining experience, this restaurant offers sumptuous Italian favourites in a stunning setting. Besides marvellous food, the décor is gorgeous and the classical music played in the background adds a touch of elegance. Soi 73, 129/5 Petchkasem road, tel: 089 918 1827.
Hagi Restaurant (Japanese): for lovers of Japanese fare, Hagi Restaurant serves traditional Japanese favourites and also features live music performances. Hagi’s specialties include delectable sushi prepared to perfection and the freshest seafood in the area. Damnernkasem Road, tel: (032) 512 021.
Kim’s Thalutchanan Kitchen (Thai & International): serving up both European and Thai favourites in an informal setting, this establishment specialises in local curries. Cheap beer, too. Railway Road (near Hua Hin Station), tel: 081 011 8058.
Coco 51 (Thai & International): this well-established and popular seaside restaurant is a hotspot for visiting couples, families as well as the trendy set. Here you can dine al fresco near the water in a romantic setting, with international chefs providing reliably good European dishes, plus authentic Thai food is also on hand. Live jazz music nightly by way of resident international musicians Uri and Marayas. Early booking advised Friday, Saturday and long weekends. Soi 51, Hua Hin (by the sea, 5min by tuk-tuk from the central tourist area), tel: (032) 515 597.
La Mer (Seafood): enjoy excellent views over the bay while dining at this top-notch seafood restaurant. Perfect for couples, this place is always busy and service is prompt. 111/2 Nong Kae, Khao Takiab, tel: (032) 536 205.
Hua Hin Night Market: eat like the locals and sample authentic Thai cuisine. Using only the freshest ingredients, dining at one of the stalls here is a lively experience. Central Hua Hin.
Palm Seafood Pavillion: this exclusive seafood restaurant in Hua Hin is set in the luxurious Sofitel hotel along the waterfront. Expect first rate service and food in this wonderful setting. Open: 19:00-22:30; Sofitel Restaurant, 1 Damnernkasem Road, tel: (032) 520 238.
Buffalo Bills (Thai & International): is perfect for visitors who hanker for a nice juicy Aussie steak, messy ribs, beef burgers, F&C’s or big English breakfasts, plus they do tasty fusion Thai food to boot. Buffalo’s also features luxury rooftop apartments with fine views. Visit their site for a 10 per cent discount voucher. 8 Naresdamri Road (corner of Chomsin/Naresdamri roads), tel: (032) 530 087, mobile: 080 727 4710, 085 291 8685,
Bars and nightlife in Hua Hin
The small resort town has a vibrant nightlife scene. There is a nice choice of nightspots to choose from including dance clubs, pubs and live music venues. But visitors shouldn’t expect the glitzy go-go bars and trendy hotspots that are prominent in Bangkok, Pattaya and Phuket. The club scene here is more family-oriented and caters to visitors who just want to dance, have a drink and listen to some good music. As far as music goes, there is something for everyone with nightspot venues on the rise.
A well-liked area for expats is a spot along Selakam Road. The Jungle Juice Bar (Open: 10:00-02:00) and Johnnie Walkers (Open: 09:00-02:00) pub and restaurant are two of the more visited establishments. Octopussy Bar is also in this area and is a popular spot that’s known for its extensive selection of beer. The annual Hua Hin Jazz Festival in June is a good time to visit.
Gay scene in Hua Hin
Hua Hin also has a vibrant gay scene with a number of clubs and gay-friendly restaurants on offer. One of the hottest clubs is the Red Indian Bar (4/34 Naresdamri Rd., tel: (032) 535 676) in the Hua Hin Bazaar. The club is frequented by both expats and local Thai men. If you want to see a cabaret show, Willy’s Station is in the same area and has some of the most realistic looking ‘ladyboys’ performing.
There is also a popular venue called Guys, which offers gay sauna and massage. Located on Naresdamri Road, Guys has massage rooms, a VIP room as well as a bar. Visitors can be treated to herbal steam treatments and massages for men by men.