At night there is a charming night market close to the promenade next to the piers. Food is good and cheap, with Muslim influences. From time to time the town organizes shows on a small stage next to the market.
An even better market can be found on Maharat Soi 10 (Lane) in the centre of town. This market has plenty of fresh fruit and lots of authentic cooked food. Only a few places have menus, otherwise point and enjoy. This market does not sell alcohol.
Not to be missed is the covered morning market (the biggest in South Thailand) on Maharat Soi 7 (behind the Shell station). For early birds only. After 8am all the action is subsiding. Exactly at that time you can watch a show of national pride: the national anthem is playing and almost everyone comes to a standstill for a minute.
The best place to get all kinds of fresh fruit and vegetable, khao njao (sticky rice), PatongKhoo, ChaThai (sweetened Thai-Tea) or fresh hot soymilk. The section of fresh fish and meat sellers is for hardened stomachs only.
There are several Italian restaurants of varying degrees of authenticity. Viva has Italian management and probably the best food.
You can get the best breakfast in town (and maybe even coffee) at Relax Coffee near the pier.
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