While Phuket isn’t famous for the world’s best coffee shops, Thailand’s largest island bristles with top-notch cafes, not just in the tourist hotspots. Some of the best cafes in Phuket town hide in quiet cul-de-sacs; others sit in inventive locations like streams, small, man-made lakes, or on top of hills. Whichever place you choose for your best coffee in Phuket, you’ll get your money’s worth at these seven quality cafes.
1. Mah Doo Bua Cafe
Walk through the imposing portico entrance with a pointed, Thai-temple-reminiscent roof, and you set foot on a place that has no rival. While this is not a beach café, Mah Doo Bua’s appeal is in its artificial, Thai hut-framed pond covered with giant Victoria Amazonica water lilies solid enough for 80kg-humans to stand on.
Spread out on the net with cushions above the water, sip on a sweet iced coffee, and get ready for that drone shot of you lying in a wooden Thai boat or standing on a floating leaf. This setting that gives the impression of a rural local Thai village is truly unique.
Address: 310/51 Moo 1, Baandon-Cherngtalay Road, Thalang District, Phuket
Opening hours: Daily from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Price range: $$$
2. The River Coffee
Off the main drag of Patong, the River Coffee sits in a quiet corner on the way to Kathu Waterfall, just after the British International School Phuket. Wading barefoot in the water with your pants rolled up, you’re wondering if you’ve just been whisked away to some green Chiang Mai hideaway, such is the laid-back atmosphere.
You can sit in the sunshine or shade and dip your feet in the gently babbling brook while sipping on a cup of joe. The terrace and air-conditioned indoor space also make for excellent chill-time with a cake or light meal.
Address: W9V6+33G, Ko Kaeo, Mueang Phuket District, Phuket 83000
Opening hours: Daily from 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Price range: $$$
3. KOPI de Phuket Café
Blending well with its Sino-Portuguese surroundings, KOPI is a pretty little café in Phuket Old Town, steps from Hotel Sino Imperial and the Clock Tower. White brickwork and round Chinese paper lanterns introduce the cozy vibe palpable at the outdoor seating area and inside, where old furniture, a chandelier, and wooden accents create a retro charm.
Take a seat at one of the fewer than ten tables, order a milk-ice tea made with KOPI’s secret recipe, and enjoy the treat that comes with both tea and coffee.
Address: 61 Phuket Road, Talad Yai, Phuket Town, Phuket 83000
Opening hours: Monday to Saturday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Price range: $$$
4. MONGNI CAFE
Conveniently located on Phuket Town’s Suthat Road, this neighborhood café Phuket combines contemporariness with a bygone era. MONGNI CAFE’s rustic-chic design stands out with modern chairs, fancy lamps, and wood tones.
Is a sugar-ball bubble drink your cup of tea? If so, try the Boba Lava Purple Sweet Potato Milk, and you’re in for a treat. You can also slurp Premium Chocoleta Hokkaido Milk Pudding.
While this café offers coffee or milk and fruit teas like the Old School Super Fruits Tea, MONGNI with its house specials is all about bubble drinks. We approve!
Address: 1 54 Suthat Road, Talat Yai, Mueang Phuket District, Phuket 83000
Opening hours: Daily from 10 a.m. to 8:30 p.m., and on Tuesdays from 9:30 a.m.
Price range for bubble drinks: $$$
Price range for meals: $$$
5. Margaret Coffee Shop Rawai
If you can’t travel from Koh Yao Noi to Phuket or Railay Beach to Phuket, then Margaret Coffee Shop Rawai provides some solace, as its forest outlooks and sea views with the island of Koh Bon nearby are spectacular. Aside from the vistas, this non-smoking café’s bucolic setting with ligneous furnishings, wood and rattan chairs invites you to linger.
You can enjoy yummy cookies, happy birthday cakes, or irresistible ice cream along with freshly brewed coffee, tea, or a fruit smoothie, with the peace only interrupted by wind chimes. Plus, the creaking sounds of well-trod timber flooring lends this place near Laem Phrom Thep Cape a unique charm.
Address: 101/5 Moo 6, Soi Laem Phromthep 1, Rawai, Phuket 83130
Opening hours: Wednesdays to Sundays from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Price range: $$$
6. Tunk-Ka Cafe
From the natural setting amid greenery to splendid city views and alfresco dining, Tunk-Ka offers romance by the bucketful. The café is snuggled into the top of Rang Hill 140 meters above sea level and kitted out with cushioned wrought-iron and bamboo chairs, wood floorings, wind chimes, and tables galore.
Try Kaeng Som for a local flavor, a Phuket-style spicy and sour fish curry with clear vegetable soup and herbs. You can also opt for an international dish and order a tasty apple pie shake. Plus, Khao Rang hilltop viewpoint with a terrace is just next door – perfect for rounding off a chilled-out evening.
Address: Top of Rang Hill, Khosimbi Road, Ratsada Road, Mueang, Phuket 83000
Opening hours: Monday to Friday from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., and Saturdays and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Price range: Price range: $$$
7. PiKGo Café
Sandwiched between Saphan Hin Lake and its namesake park, planted next to Saphan Hin Mining Monument, the cafe’s blue art deco exterior introduces PiKGo’s fancy design. As if to clamor for attention – the area is a hotspot during the Loy Krathong and Vegetarian Festival with the rectangular lake and Chinese shrine nearby – this cool café stands out all year with distressed brick and wood walls, plants dangling from lamps and the counter’s ceiling, plus kitchen décor.
Whether you sit in the garden or indoors, the fresh coffee, tasty smoothies, scrumptious pastries and sponge cakes are a delight.
Address: Phuket Road, Talat Yai, Mueang Phuket District, Phuket 83000
Opening hours: Daily from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Price range: $$$
Getting to Phuket Town and Rawai is a breeze (if you know how)
If you’re traveling on a shoestring from Bangkok to Phuket, Krabi to Phuket, or perhaps Koh Phangan to Phuket, you can ignore the taxi touts and the already cheap minivan offers at Phuket’s airport and hop on the Smart Bus. There used to be two coaches for a fare of 170 baht ($5.00), one of which rode along the beaten track passing through Patong, Karon, Kata, and down to Rawai, and another one to Phuket town.
The latter doesn’t seem to operate anymore. Either way, you can ride the Smart Bus to Rawai and then wait for a songthaew to Phuket Town, a pick-up truck with two benches in the back. If you’re pressed for time, rent a scooter and give the Phuket cabs a miss – they charge astronomically high prices.