Intrepid travellers seeking the best local restaurants in Kanchanaburi will find a smorgasbord of authentic establishments. While the small settlement is best known for its morbid wartime past, it’s also a top spot to immerse yourself in traditional Thai culture, including the food.

    From scenic rural restaurants to sleek riverfront venues and buzzing local markets, we’re covering the best places to eat in Kanchanaburi. Forget the tourist traps and 5-star resorts. These fantastic restaurants serve lip-smacking Thai cuisine at a reasonable price. So get ready to devour authentic gastronomy as you rub shoulders with the local set.


    JJ Night Market Kanchanaburi

    A bustling night market with scores of different food stalls

    • Food
    • Shoppers
    • Nightlife
    • Budget

    JJ Night Market is the obvious option when you want an authentic yet cheap Thai feast in Kanchanaburi. Strategically located opposite the central train station, this bustling night market attracts locals from all over town. While some come to shop for cut-price clothes or imported Chinese electronics, most are here to tuck into the freshly cooked food.

    You’ll find a mind-boggling ensemble of street food hawkers peppered throughout the market, selling all sorts of traditional Thai cuisine. From green curries to grilled meats and a decadent selection of sweets, there’s a takeaway dish for every taste. Keen for something new? Try the tapioca balls stuffed with pork and peanuts.

    Location: Ban Tai, Kanchanaburi 71000, Thailand

    Open: Daily from 6 pm to 10 pm


    Zab Zab

    A cheap and cheerful Thai joint

    Zab Zab is a top spot for trying top Kanchanaburi cuisine for a reasonable price. The no-frills venue serves a great selection of delicious regional dishes, making it a popular option among locals and travellers in the know. Crowd favourites include papaya salad, spring rolls, and fried chicken wings.

    While this good-value venue is far from flash, you’ll score top-quality dishes at rock-bottom prices. Wash down your meal with one of their freshly squeezed smoothies. Pro tip: the mango smoothie is especially effective at counter-balancing a spicy, chilli-laden meal.

    Location: Ban Tai, Kanchanaburi, Thailand

    Open: Friday–Wednesday from 11.30 am to 10 pm (closed on Thursdays)

    Phone: +66 (0)89 545 4575


    Floating Raft Restaurant

    A scenic on-river restaurant serving Thai delights

    Floating Raft Restaurant delivers on its namesake – it’s a restaurant in Kanchanaburi that floats on a raft. The buoyant thatched-roof contraption bobs in the calm waters of the River Kwai, guaranteeing every diner gets the best waterfront views. Pick your seat right and you’ll even enjoy sweeping vistas of the famous River Kwai Bridge.

    At lunchtime, the all-you-can-eat buffet offers an array of traditional Thai dishes, many featuring fish plucked fresh from the river that day. Menu items like fried noodles, shell crab, and papaya salad keep the dinner crowd satiated. Although the service is slow and it’s pricier than other spots in town, you can’t complain about the view.

    Location: 425 River Kwai Rd, Tha Ma Kham, Mueang Kanchanaburi District, Kanchanaburi 71000, Thailand

    Open: Daily from 8.30 am to 10 pm

    Phone: +66 (0)34 512 595


    Ban Lung Chuan

    A good-value local Thai eatery outside the city centre

    • Food
    • Families
    • Budget
    • Group

    Ban Lung Chuan does heaping plates of spicy Thai dishes in a rustic thatched-roofed home in Kanchanaburi. The secluded restaurant is surrounded by lush greenery, making it a peaceful place to dine. While you’ll need transport to get there, bargain-basement prices (and excellent dishes) make the trip worthwhile.

    Signature dishes include the Thai-style omelette, the green curry, and the kaffir lime leaf salad. Most traditional culinary creations come served with a generous dose of chilli. Go easy on the nam phrik (chilli-shrimp paste) to avoid bawling your eyes out while you eat.

    Location: 199, 5 Sangchuto Rd, Tha Ma Kham, Mueang Kanchanaburi District, Kanchanaburi 71000, Thailand

    Open: Thursday–Monday from 10 am to 8 pm, Tuesday–Wednesday from 10 am to 9 pm

    Phone: +66 (0)98 898 5214


    Krua Khun Paen

    A waterfront establishment with Thai-style on-ground dining

    • Food
    • Families
    • Couples
    • Group

    Krua Khun Paen is a romantic riverfront restaurant in Kanchanaburi where guests eat on padded seats on the ground. The floating raft-like dining deck features rows of underlit tables dug into the wooden floor. It’s a unique setting offering uninterrupted river views – though it’s a washout when it rains.

    You’ll find your usual selection of Thai classics on the menu, the best of which is the deep-fried river fish (the chicken curry comes a close second). Smallish portions and mid-range prices mean you won’t get the best value in town. But like other riverfront restaurants in Kanchanaburi, you’re paying a (modest) premium for the location.

    Location: Krua Ton Mae Klong, Ban Tai, Kanchanaburi 71000, Thailand

    Open: Daily from 10 am to 9 pm

    Phone: +66 (0)81 815 0230


    Kanburi Restaurant

    A low-cost venue with excellent Thai and western food

    • Food
    • Families
    • Budget
    • Group

    Cheap and cheerful Kanburi Restaurant serves exquisite Thai dishes at an affordable price. You won’t get an elegant ambience or a romantic vibe here. Instead, the no-frills establishment (think plastic tables and chairs) does excellent dishes that won’t break the bank.

    While the stir-fried pork is the star of the show, you’ll find a broad selection of other traditional dishes on the menu. And for the homesick diners, the pizza and calzone are pretty good. Speedy service with a smile adds even more value to your meal.

    Location: 339/1 River Kwai Rd, Tambon Thamakham, Mueang Kanchanaburi District, Kanchanaburi 71000, Thailand

    Open: Thursday–Tuesday from 11 am to 10 pm (closed on Wednesdays)

    Phone: +66 (0)81 989 5664


    Boat Noodles at Kanchanaburi

    Thai-style noodle dishes at their best

    Boat Noodles at Kanchanaburi is a local eatery where you can dig into a noodle-based pot filled to the brim with meat, vegetables and lots of spices. The restaurant itself is located on a hillslope, with an elevated dining area overlooking the River Kwai and its surrounding mountainous landscapes.

    Boat Noodles at Kanchanaburi is a great place to visit during a boat trip along the River Kwai. If you’re looking for things to do nearby, we recommend heading to the Tiger Cave Temple or the infamous ‘Death Railway’.

    Location: Nong Ya, Kanchanaburi 71000, Thailand

    Open: Daily from 9 am to 5 pm

    Phone: +66 (0)98 974 5994


    Jim Isan Food

    Kanchanaburi’s top spot for Northern Thai cuisine

    Jim Isan Food offers a taste of Northern Thailand in Kanchanaburi. Dishes like grilled chicken, papaya salads, pickled fish and soups attract hungry diners in their masses. You can also sample dishes that you might struggle to find elsewhere, such as burned fish, steamed snakehead, and spicy soup with cartilage.

    Jim Isan Food is busy most days at lunchtime, and some menu items can run out in the afternoon, making the morning the best time to visit. We recommend arriving by 11 am in time for the restaurant opening.

    Location: Nong Ya, Kanchanaburi 71000, Thailand

    Open: Tuesday–Sunday from 11 am to 3 pm (closed on Mondays)

    Phone: +66 (0)86 051 3307


    Soon Heng Restaurant

    The local go-to eatery for delicious Pad Thai

    Soon Heng Restaurant is a traditional Thai restaurant that serves a wide variety of noodle and rice-based dishes, but its menu favourites are its range of pad thai (stir-fried noodles) varieties. If you don’t fancy a signature dish such as pad thai rai sen (stir-fried vermicelli pasta), we recommend the pla kang (river fish) curry with spices and herbs.

    Soon Heng Restaurant is especially popular with the locals over lunchtime, so if you want to avoid jostling with crowds, we recommend arriving either before noon or at around 2.30 pm. After lunch, you can head over to the nearby Shinto Park by the River Kwai.

    Location: 348/2 Lat Ya, Mueang Kanchanaburi District, Kanchanaburi 71190, Thailand

    Open: Daily from 10.30 am to 4 pm

    Phone: +66 (0)92 959 3994


    Pum Pa Restaurant

    A no-frills Thai restaurant with delicious spicy treats

    As far as interior décor goes, Pum Pa Restaurant is a no-frills diner with plastic seats and white stone tables under a metal roof shelter. But while this restaurant may not be a designer’s hangout, its food is mouth-wateringly delicious. We recommend the spicy tender beef or the chicken curry.

    Pum Pa Restaurant is one of Kanchanaburi’s top-rated budget dining spots. You’ll find this eatery on the west of the River Kwai on a road called Tambon Lat Ya. Arrive here for a late lunch if you want to avoid any waiting.

    Location: Lat Ya, Kanchanaburi 71190, Thailand

    Open: Daily from 10 am to 9 pm

    Phone: +66 (0)89 208 3979

    Harry Stewart | Contributing Writer

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