Rawai has been well known by the locals as a place to dine cheaply. Day and night, for years and years, the local people have been celebrating birthdays and other special days by dining at one of the many beach-side restaurants that serve BBQ chicken and seafood. Most of these restaurants specialise in food from the Esan (Northeast) region of Thailand.
Further down the beach in the Chao Leh (Sea Gypsey) Village is a seafood market well known as a place to buy fresh fish and seafood. Just recently several restaurants have opened next to the market offering a cooking service as well as an standard menu. Just choose your fish or seafood at one of the stalls and they will charge a small fee for cooking it.