Hat Yai Best Food Guide – 15 Eateries You Must Not Miss!

April 05, 2018


Hat Yai, a city in Thailand’s far south, is known for its Buddha statues, markets, parks and observatories. The city is also home to a slew of shopping, entertainment and dining options.

I was planning for a weekend getaway with my friends and we wanted to look for a destination in Thailand that is less crowded than Bangkok, but still has good food to offer. Hat Yai came to our mind immediately. We quickly booked our tickets and jetted away to the border of Thailand!

Travel info

Of course I am not going to tell you to drive 12 hours from Singapore all the way to Hat Yai. Good news, Jetstar flies from Singapore to Hat Yai four times a week on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays. Each flight takes about 1 hour and 40 minutes, and the route will be operated by the 180-seat A320.


After checking into our hotel, we headed straight for supper near Santisuk market. The fish maw soup here is rich and thick, yet not overpowering. Coupled with some bamboo shoots, pig’s blood and quail eggs, this is simply perfect. Add some vinegar for an extra oomph. Each bowl of fish maw soup costs THB 150.



Address: 54 ถนนเสน่หานุสรณ์ หาดใหญ่ Chang Wat Songkhla 90110, Thailand

Opening Hours: 4pm to 11pm daily

Chokdee Dim Sum

Start your day with a hearty breakfast at Chok Dee Dim Sum. Chok Dee is very popular among the tourists. You can often see a long queue, and you need to take a number first before you can get a seat. Once they call out your number, they will give you two slips of paper with your number on them, and point you to your table. When we got there at around 10am, most of the dim sum was already sold out.

The dim sum here is very cheap — each basket starts from THB 20. They will steam the dim sum upon order. In addition, Chokdee also serves pork ribs soup (bak kut teh). Their version is similar to the herbal bak kut teh you can find in Malaysia. Our breakfast cost THB 260 (approx. SGD 11) in total.


Chokdee Dim Sum

Address: 58 25, Soi Lamai Songkraw 1, Tambon Hat Yai, Amphoe Hat Yai, Chang Wat Songkhla 90110, Thailand

Phone: +66 74 234 253

Opening Hours: 6am to 12pm; 5 to 10pm daily

Sujinda Seafood (สุจินดา ซีฟู๊ด)

We hired a private car to drive us to Songkhla, which is less than 30 minutes from Hat Yai. At the Laem Samila beach, there is a golden mermaid statue which was created in 1966. It’s a tribute to the epic Phra Aphai Mani, written by royal poet Sunthorn Phu. The poem is about a mermaid combing her hair beneath the starry sky when a passing fisherman scared her away, and she left her comb behind. Struck by her beauty, the fisherman waited for her to return, but she never did.

After taking photos with the mermaid, you can walk to Sujinda Seafood which serves a good variety of seafood. You can pick your own seafood and choose how you want them to be cooked. We really enjoyed our tom yam river prawns, which had distinct hot and sour flavours, and the fresh steamed fish.


Sujinda Seafood (สุจินดา ซีฟู๊ด)

Address: 13 ราชดำเนิน, Tambon Bo Yang, Amphoe Mueang Songkhla, Chang Wat Songkhla 90000, Thailand

Phone: +66 74 322 744

Opening Hours: 9am to 9pm daily

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SujindaSeafood/


We were feeling very tired after a long day. Thankfully, I found this new café, Dham-má-daa, at Songkhla. Owned by a doctor, the café serves very good coffee. Besides the usual latte and cappuccino, they have a Straits 7 (THB 120) which consists of 7 unique components — coffee, condensed milk, brown sugar, warm milk, salt and pepper.



Address: Hat Yai, Hat Yai District, Songkhla 90110, Thailand

Phone: +66 83 184 4940

Opening Hours: 7am to 5 pm daily

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/dhammadaacoffee/

Kan Eng Restaurant (甘英餐室)

Kan Eng Restaurant is really popular, and it’s not hard to see why. The place was packed with both locals and tourists. The service was fast and efficient, but most importantly, the food was delicious and affordable. The deep fried sand fish is one of the signatures of Kan Eng. You need to have the courage to eat the whole fish, if not it will be difficult for you to pick out the tiny bones. The steamed crab cakes are similar to otah. Another must-try here is the braised pork trotters. It’s tender and fatty. Try to be there early to avoid having to queue.


Kan Eng Restaurant (甘英餐室)

Address: 50/3 Kimpradij Road, Hat Yai 90110, Thailand

Phone: +66 74 246 138

Opening Hours: 10.30am - 2pm; 5pm - 9.30pm daily

Chen Loong (成龙面条, ก๋วยเตี๋ยวเรือเฉินหลง)

Chen Loong is another popular breakfast spot. Sorry to disappoint, but it is not an eatery opened by Hong Kong actor, Jackie Chan. Instead, it is owned by Mr Chen Long and his wife. They serve braised beef or pork boat noodle. They have 4 different types of noodles (displayed in a bowl), and 3 different variations — tomyam, soup or dry. The noodles are soaked in a silk rich broth, and served with tender beef slices and vegetables. We couldn’t resist the fried pork skin too! Such goodness for just THB 45 per bowl? I’m sold.


Chen Loong (成龙面条, ก๋วยเตี๋ยวเรือเฉินหลง)

Address: 167 ถนน แสงจันทร์ ตำบล หาดใหญ่ Hat Yai District, Songkhla 90110, Thailand

Phone: +66 86 507 0213

Opening Hours: 7.30am to 3.30pm daily

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ChenLongBoatNoodle/

Nai Roo Restaurant

Nai Roo is one of the oldest Chinese restaurants in Hat Yai and it is also my favourite restaurant here. Located in an alley near Kim Yong Market, this restaurant is off the beaten track. The restaurant serves Thai-Chinese food, which is freshly cooked upon order. I liked the deep-fried pork neck and chilli fish, which were sweet and spicy. The tasty spring rolls are wrapped with either savoury white turnip or sweet yam paste. We arrived before the stall was opened but the friendly owners warmly welcomed us to take a seat while they prepare. Great hospitality!


Nai Roo Restaurant

Address: ข้างตลาดกิมหยง Hat Yai District, Songkhla, Thailand

Phone: +66 74 237 680

Opening Hours: 11am to 8pm daily

Betong Chicken (อร่อยที่สุดในโลก)

Being Singaporeans, we were missing our chicken rice and I was so glad to find chicken rice in Hat Yai! Betong chicken is the best chicken for chicken rice here. The owner is really smart to name his shop after the breed of chicken! When you eat chicken rice in Thailand, you need to set your expectations right. The chicken rice is not as flavourful and oily as the ones we have back home. Betong’s rice still has a mild fragrance and the chicken is decent. The boss concocts his own sauce made of fermented bean sauce, green chilli and garlic to go with the chicken rice.


Betong Chicken (อร่อยที่สุดในโลก)

Address: 30, Kimpradit Rd, Hat Yai, Hat Yai District, Songkhla 90110, Thailand

Phone: +66 84 266 6368

Opening Hours: 9am to 2pm daily

The Containers

The young and pretty cafe owner of The Containers used to study and work in Singapore before returning to Hat Yai two years ago to set up her own cafe. This industrial-chic café is such a great place to chill out at. There are some unique drinks, including the dark chocolate volcano frappe.


The Containers

Address: 145 ถนนทวีวรรณ์ ตำบลหาดใหญ่ Amphoe Hat Yai, Songkhla 90110, Thailand

Phone: +66 95 954 4424

Opening Hours: 11am to 11pm daily

Jae Lek (เจ๊เล็ก ร้านอาหารไทย (สาย2)

While most tourists spend a large portion of their time around Central Department Store, Lee Garden Plaza, and Odeon Department Store, we will really suggest that you walk out of the touristy area, to find the hidden gems.

Jae Lek is one of them. Recommended by the Tourism Authority of Thailand, Jae Lek is located in a quiet corner of town. The menu is written in Thai and English, so you don’t have to worry about not knowing how to place an order. We had the Hor Mog (stir-fried red curry with seafood served in coconut), stir-fried Chiangmai veg with oyster sauce, green curry with chicken, cha-om omelette, chendol and red ruby. It’s quite a nice place to enjoy a good meal, and relax with great company.


Jae Lek (เจ๊เล็ก ร้านอาหารไทย (สาย2)

Address: 190/3 Nipatuthit 2 Rd, ตำบล หาดใหญ่ Amphoe Hat Yai, Chang Wat Songkhla 90110, Thailand

Phone: +66 74 246 710

Opening Hours: 10am to 10pm daily

Pa Ae Fresh Milk (ร้านนมสดป้าแอ๊ะ)

What will make you sleep better? Milk! A reader recommended Pa Ae Fresh Milk as a supper spot. This is interesting as I have never visited a milk shop for supper. The menu isn’t extensive — just some drinks and steamed bread with kaya. However, the combination is good because the steamed bread, which comes with rich and creamy kaya, is so soft and pillowy. I paired it with a warm cup of milk, and was all ready for a good night’s sleep!


Pa Ae Fresh Milk (ร้านนมสดป้าแอ๊ะ)

Address: Chee Uthit Rd, Tambon Hat Yai, Amphoe Hat Yai, Chang Wat Songkhla 90110, Thailand

Opening Hours: 6pm to 10pm daily

Thanatsri Hatyai

If you’re looking for the best beef ball noodles soup, you need to visit Thanatsri Hat Yai for breakfast. The eatery’s wall is covered with photographs of celebrities who have visited the restaurant, including the ex-PM of Thailand. To order, just select the noodles and the type of soup and toppings that you want. They also wrap their own popiah (spring roll) which is drizzled with a sweet chilli sauce.


Thanatsri Hatyai

Address: 68 ถนนธรรมนุญวิถี หาดใหญ่ Songkhla 90110, Thailand

Phone: +66 74 231 283

Opening Hours: 8am to 6pm daily

Decha Fried Chicken Restaurant

Located near a canal, this Muslim restaurant has very good food at very reasonable prices. We tried the famous Fried Chicken that is served with sticky rice. When it’s hot, the skin of the chicken, which is fried to golden-brown perfection, is absolutely crispy and additive. Take a bigger bite and you’ll be rewarded with super juicy, and moist meat.

IMG_3022 3-110

Decha Fried Chicken Restaurant

Address: 93 Sheutit ตำบล หาดใหญ่ Amphoe Hat Yai, Chang Wat Songkhla 90110, Thailand

Phone: +66 81 098 3751

Opening Hours: 10.30am to 9.30pm daily

Pranee Thai Cuisine

You don’t have to queue for Michelin-starred crab omelette in Bangkok because you can also enjoy pretty good crab omelette in Hat Yai! Serving Southern Thai dishes in a contemporary setting, Pranee Thai Cuisine is a popular restaurant among locals and tourists. The crab omelette is thick and consists of generous lumps of crab meat. The dry jungle curry with chicken and eggplant is spicy but is amazing with rice!


Pranee Thai Cuisine

Address: 35-37 ซอย 2 ถ.ศุภสารรังสรรค์, Hat Yai District, Songkhla 90110, Thailand

Phone: +66 74 892 689

Opening Hours: 11am to 9pm daily

Burapha Bird’s Nest (บูรพารังนก-หูฉลาม)

We ended our Hat Yai trip on a high note by indulging in bird’s nest from Burapha! Located just across the street from Lee Garden, the bird’s nest here is as cheap as THB 200! We went for the 2nd grade red bird’s nest(THB 500) which have thicker strands. The bird’s nest also boasts a stronger aroma when cooked.


Burapha Bird's Nest (บูรพารังนก-หูฉลาม)

Address: ถนนตรอกสุคนธหงษ์ Tambon Hat Yai, Amphoe Hat Yai, Chang Wat Songkhla 90110, Thailand

Phone: +66 74 232 415

Opening Hours: 8am to 12am daily

Hat Yai is quite a foodie haven, isn’t it? If you’re thinking of a short escapade, you might want to consider this beautiful town. You can fly to Hat Yai on Jetstar, from just $42!