Thai food is universally known as delicious, healthy, and usually spicy. Beyond that, Southern Thai food is much better and also spicier than anywhere else in Thailand, with perhaps the exception of Northeastern Thailand. If you don’t like spicy food, your options will be somewhat limited. If you like food then you are coming to the right place. Having said that, I don’t eat very spicy food and I do just fine. In fact, the best food I have had in Thailand has consistently been here in Surat. At most restaurants, spiciness can be altered to suit your taste. I eat mildly spicy food and have never felt limited. We have had people show up, though, having never tried Thai food and did not like spicy for to begin with. These people did not get the to experience the large variety of food here in Surat and missed out on a major part of the cultural experience.
Surat Thani is known as the seafood center of the South. The very best seafood can be gotten here There is also lots of chicken, pork, vegetables and tofu. There is not a lot of beef or western cuisine available. There are a few places where standard western food is served, such as burgers, pizza, and sandwiches. Very few places, if any, serve quality beef in Surat. Fortunately we are only a few hours drive away from vestiges of western culture, like Phuket or Samui, where you can get almost any kind of food you want. However, for Tuesday night dinner you’ll probably be eating Thai food.
People who are strict vegetarians (no meat of any kind) have a tougher time than others finding variety, but people who eat fish have no problems. We have serval teachers whose only meat is fish. We also have one vegetarian.
Surat has fantastic food. The city is famous among Thais for just that reason. Those who come with a willingness to try new things with an open mind and pallet always enjoy themselves.