Phu Quoc Island: Where lớn eat và drink

When it comes to lớn food, Phu Quoc has something for everyone and though the number of restaurants are still relatively modest (it is a small island after all), options will only grow along with tourism here. If you think you have to lớn eat expensive resort food, think again.

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Long Beach and Duong Dong TownDuong Dong town is chock-full of cheap local eats, including noodle soup for breakfast and com tam — “broken rice” with veg và meat — at lunch, all for no more than 30,000 dong a plate. Look for banh canh, thick noodle soup with pork or fish, or Saigon style pho. Try banh xeo, large yellow savoury crepes stuffed with sprouts, spring onions and meat or seafood served with a diluted sweet-sour fish sauce. Wash it all down with a glass of nuoc mia, sugarcane juice, or a fresh coconut.


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Island = seafood.


However, there is nothing quite lượt thích digging into grub while digging your feet into the sand just inches from the water. Beachfront restaurants & bars, some linked lớn guesthouses/hotels, line the length of Long Beach. The busiest hub is at Long Beach village, a popular, central beach access lane lined with guesthouses và restaurants. Alley 118 leads from Tran Hung Dao Street & deposits you right at Phuong Binh House’s restaurant The Sunset Grill. It’s a relaxed joint with inexpensive drinks and tasty Vietnamese food such as stir-fries & curries with fresh seafood, starting at 90,000 dong. Try the prawn with coconut milk, served with steamed rice, for 105,000 dong.


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Dig your feet into the sand at Rory’s.


To give you an idea of how diverse Long Beach is, a couple of spots down is Rory’s Bar, which attracts backpackers like flies to lớn honey. The restaurant’s colourful low plastic seats are lined up like it’s a theatre lớn watch sunset. You can expect burgers, pizzas and panini sandwiches along with the usual pan-Asian menu.

By contrast, its neighbour is La Veranda’s swish bar và fine dining restaurant, The Pepper Tree. Here you can get your foie gras on in a tropical French colonial setting. Fresh local seafood is given a fancy French twist, while Vietnamese fare comes with the trắng tablecloth treatment. Mains start at 285,000 dong. If you have someone you want to lớn impress, they do candlelit dinners và upscale barbecues in the sand. Don’t forget your wallet.


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The sand seems finer here?


Seafood of course is the star of the island. The kết thúc of the day not only brings Phu Quoc’s signature sunset, it’s the time when beach restaurants start laying out fresh seafood on ice & fire up the grill. It’s just a matter of taking a stroll khổng lồ see what tickles your fancy, be it a whole fresh fish, squid, clams or crabs, prepared the way you like. Ask what the price by weight is and they’ll weigh it out in front of you. These joints are catering khổng lồ tourists so yes, it is overpriced, but it’s something a happy holiday-er can excuse for the great location.


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A huge selection at the night market — tanks not necessarily better.


The night market in Duong Dong is jam-packed with tourists chowing down on seafood. On the street running from Tran Hung Dao to the marina at Bach Dang, there are live tanks và displays piled high on ice: grouper, crab, squid, prawns, lobster, clams, urchins, scallops, just khổng lồ name a few. It’s prepared however you like, with a choice of sauces. Before you automatically assume the live tank is the best & freshest choice, one local told us that the seafood in tanks at the night market are given drugs lớn keep them alive unusually long. We obviously can’t verify this claim, but you know what, we wouldn’t be surprised if it were true. Mind you, hundreds of people enjoy the food every night without a problem.


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Tempting night market grill.


Another local we spoke to tried to lớn dissuade us from going to the night market and instead recommended we go to lớn a proper (though still local) restaurant for better quality. We thoroughly enjoyed the delicious seafood at Song Xanh. It’s a popular spot for both locals and domestic tourists. A large breezy covered terrace on a great spot overlooking the Duong Dong river, it’s a tidy place with brisk service & someone always close by to lớn refill your beer.


It’s still a pay-by-weight seafood joint, with all the available live critters on display in tanks, but when we ate there the restaurant was so busy that it was all moving quickly. Deciphering the “English” menu with comical translations is half the fun. Standouts are the whole steamed fish with soy sauce (130,000 dong) & seafood hot pot. It’s definitely better tackling the big meal with some friends. Our plate of stir-fried morning glory, rice, a couple of beers & heaping plate of prawns cost us only 200,000 dong. Don’t confuse it for tuy nhiên Xanh 2, located just across the street.

Formerly known as tuy vậy Bien 123, Com Bac is a xinh tươi covered restaurant in town with a range of tasty Vietnamese dishes eaten with steamed rice and ideal for sharing: braised fish or crab in clay pot (125,000 dong), seafood fried rice (90,000 dong) & steamed chicken with ginger & spring onions (100,000 dong). The chickens out back are a testament khổng lồ how fresh the food is. It’s a clean, comfortable spot with wooden chairs that will fit Western backsides – no flimsy plastic stools here. There’s a thực đơn in English but it only lists the boring, generic Western dishes they can make. It’s best to look and point at what others are having, or find the extremely humble owner/manager who speaks excellent English và is so pleased khổng lồ welcome foreigners.


Winston’s Burgers và Beer has, you guessed it, burgers & beer. The thực đơn is specialised for one thing only so don’t expect anything but the best burger on Phu Quoc with a side of heavenly waffle fries. Choosing a burger feels lượt thích taking a personality test & embarking on an adventure. Which is right for you? “Basic Training” (110,000 dong) is for novices. On the other kết thúc of the spectrum is worryingly named The Terminator (365,000 dong). Và once in a while, someone will saunter in & take on the chilli-packed The Devil’s Own. Vegetarians can eat… french fries.

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Located on Tran Hung Dao at the roundabout, at the entrance to lớn the night market beside Rainbow Divers, La Caffe Deli is a cosy nook with creative upcycled flair. Old chairs are adorned with new cushions, sewing tables have been repurposed into coffee tables while Willie Nelson CDs & an odd assortment of garage sale finds adorn the wall. It’s a lovely, friendly spot lớn watch Phu Quoc putter by while enjoying a fruit shake (20,000-40,000 dong) or something stronger – a shot of rum can be added to lớn any juice for 30,000 dong. The food menu has Western mains such as pasta & burgers, for around 95,000 dong. The chalkboard sign says it’s mở cửa 24/7. We didn’t get a chance to chạy thử that out! (Heading lớn lao Dao? They have a brother restaurant there, Caffe Infiniti.)


It wouldn’t be a sun holiday without ice cream & you can get scoops of New Zealand Natural at Buddy Ice Cream và Info Cafe. You can enjoy typical comfort food cafe fare such as sandwiches, salads & burgers, as well as a proper flat white. The front terrace overlooks the marina but it can be noisy with all the traffic whizzing by. Inside is a pleasant hang out spot & the helpful advice is free. The cafe also produces a handy map of the island that shows routes & road conditions khổng lồ the beaches.

Outside Duong DongIf you’re staying on some of the more isolated và remote beaches, dining options outside your own hotel/resort are limited. Luckily there are a few standouts.


Several Phu Quoc residents told us, nay, commanded us lớn dine at Mango bay Resort và they did not steer us wrong. The quality, freshness và flavour of the food is worthy of the spectacular view from their wooden deck on Ong Lang beach. Starters, salads and Vietnamese dishes such as crab rolls or grilled beef in la lot leaves hover around 160,000 dong, while fresh seafood dishes such as Phu Quoc mackerel poached in sweet soy bean và shitake broth, served with bok choy, cost 230,000 dong. It’s reasonably priced and if you’re staying elsewhere, well worth the journey.


Sakura Restaurant is also at Ong Lang beach & it’s a cheerful spot with great Vietnamese food delivered with very sweet service. Enjoy chicken, pork or beef stir-fry for 90,000 dong or with seafood for 150,000 dong. Our fresh prawns with coconut milk sauce was a generous portion & delicious. Sakura is located on the same beach access road khổng lồ Mango cất cánh Resort & Mia B&B.

On the east coast, Bai Sao beach is popular with daytrippers và if you’re one of them, The Beach House, located beside My Lan Resort, will satisfy cravings for German, Italian and other Western fare. There’s an extensive pizza thực đơn with plenty of topping options, và a medium starts at 95,000 dong. Và if you lượt thích meat and potatoes, there’s Frankfurters, bratwurst, curry wurst, schnitzel & a few other hearty dishes that will send you into a coma on your sun lounger. For something a bit lighter, five different fresh salads are on offer for 95,000 dong. Bai Sao has a few restaurants that cater khổng lồ domestic tourists & large groups – we found the service khổng lồ be poor, the food overpriced và the ambience was either dead or pure chaos. If you’ve got a hankering for Vietnamese food on Bai Sao, you’ll find them.

Serious seafood-foodies, we have a tip for you. Ham Ninh is famed for giant crabs. One local told us to lớn buy them there straight from the boat or at the market, then any restaurant can cook them for you any way you like for a small fee.

The Beach House: Bai Sao beach, beside My Lan Resort; T: (077) 397 2123; thebeachhouse.phuquoc
gmail.comBuddy Ice Cream & Info Cafe: 6 Bach Dang Street, opposite the Marina, Duong Dong town; T: (077) 3994 181; buddyicecream
hotmail.com; open daily 08:00-22:00.Com Bac: So 77 Duong 30/4 Street, Duong Dong town; T: (0943) 670 798; phuquochoan
gmail.com; xuất hiện daily 09:00-22:00.La Caffe Deli: Tran Hung Dao và Vo Thi Sau, beside Rainbow Divers, Duong Dong town; xuất hiện daily.Mango cất cánh Resort: Ong Lang beach; T: (077) 3981 693; reservations
mangobayphuquoc.com; http://www.mangobayphuquoc.com.The Pepper Tree Restaurant: La Veranda Resort, Tran Hung Dao, Long Beach, Duong Dong; T: (0297) 398 2988; contact
laverandaresorts.com; https://laverandaresorts.com/.Phuong Binh House/The Sunset Grill: Alley 118, Tran Hung Dao, Long Beach, Duong Dong; T: (077) 3994 101; bichnt1512
gmail.com; http://www.phuongbinhhouse.com; open daily 07:30-22:30.Sakura Restaurant: Ong Lang village; T: (077) 6294 856; xuất hiện daily 07:00-22:00.Song Xanh: Duong 30/4, Ward KP1, Duong Dong; T: 077) 370 2929.Winston’s Burgers & Beer: 121/1Tran Hung Dao, KP7, Duong Dong; T: (0126) 390 1093; open daily 13:00-21:00.