6 Aesthetic Locations to Eat Vegan Food in Koh Samui, Thailand
You can expect to find vegan food in most local Thai restaurants by simply asking for a modified version of their usual dishes (i.e. without meat or eggs). But aside from that, there are also many other ways to enjoy food that is catered towards vegan/vegetarian diets—several of which also happen to boast beautiful views. This post covers six places I visited and loved while on my trip to Koh Samui.
VIKASA LIFE CAFE
I’m not exaggerating when I say that this is probably the best vegan restaurant I have ever tried. From burgers to cakes to smoothie bowls to noodles, you can expect to find all the tastiest vegan items here—both sweet and savoury. Luckily, I woke up late enough to skip breakfast, because this meant that when I visited Vikasa, my friends and I could order enough dishes to cover both breakfast and lunch (and maybe even dinner). Between the eight of us, we were able to taste most of the recommended dishes, and there’s not one that I didn’t enjoy. Keep in mind that not everything on the menu is vegan (although most are), but that makes it even better for taking those who may be hesitant to eat only vegan food. Moreover, this restaurant doubles as a yoga retreat, so you can expect the food you’re eating to be both healthy and fulfilling. I personally loved the tiramisu, and many of my (non-vegan) friends would recommend the Asian Bowl. In the end, this meal amounted to $4000 baht, which cost around $150 HKD per person. Considering how much we ate, this was super reasonable; the same meal in Hong Kong would probably amount to over $500 HKD! So if you only have time to try one of the restaurants on this list, I would recommend Vikasa Life Cafe.
As a vegan entering Greenlife Cafe, I was spoilt with options. Again, not everything on the menu is vegan, but a large portion of it is. The first time I visited, I was torn between the many brunch-style dishes, but I ended up settling for the banana pancakes with fresh fruit (mango and papaya). The portion wasn’t huge, which meant I could also have a taste of the citrus lime cake—which tasted incredible. Not too sweet, not too sour, and the perfect level of creaminess (without any actual cream!). This restaurant also comes with an outdoor swimming pool (crazy), and on Sundays, this area transforms into a green market which sells a variety of food items including bread, banana chips, and vegan cake. This place is a dream for anyone like me who loves healthy, green living—with a bonus view as well.
THE JUNGLE CLUB
Overlooking the island, The Jungle Club is a boutique resort and restaurant that boasts some of the best views in Koh Samui. Expect to be surprised when you walk in to see several platforms covered with bright red bean bags and a tropical seating arrangement. This place prides itself in being eco-friendly, with compostable straws that have “I am made of plants” written on them and the entire restaurant being made with traditional materials such as bamboo and wood. The food here is undeniably pricier than local restaurants, but the portion of mango sticky rice was enough to fill the stomachs of at least four. This place is not particularly vegan-friendly, but it is easy to request for vegan alternatives. I simply ordered the avocado pomelo salad, which tasted extremely refreshing. The ice cream on the plate of dessert above is not vegan, and while my friend ate it, you can always ask for it without.
CHI BEACH CLUB
This place is mostly special because of it’s location and ambience, but that is not to say their food wasn’t amazing as well. Their vegetable fried rice comes with a dish of chilli sauce which pairs perfectly with the hint of lime scattered on the dish. Members get a 20% discount, but the food on its own is still decently priced—considering you get to swim for free swim at the most beautiful pool and the beach which it overlooks. In this infinity pool, you can float on the inflatable flamingoes, lounge on the water couch, or sit by the water bar while enjoying a drink. If you prefer the shade, you can also order food or a drink and lay on the poolside beds and soak in the beauty of everything that surrounds you.
Another restaurant with stunning views and a vibrant ambience is Coco Tam’s. Situated on Bophut beach in Fisherman’s village, this is the perfect place to dry off after a long morning or afternoon of water sports and other outdoor activities. At 1 pm everyday, this place transforms into a beach club with blasting music and overhanging nets doubling as beach beds. The food is mostly western (pizza and pasta), but there’s definitely something for everyone. During the night on Friday’s, this area also converts into the entryway of the night market, which will be covered below.
FISHERMAN’S VILLAGE NIGHT MARKET
(Friday night only)
This night market is perfect for those who prefer a more authentic, adventurous food experience. While you can find crocodile meat and crickets on a stick, I went for rice cakes, potato balls, and vegetable pad thai. This is a great option if you’re trying to save money—my bowl of pad thai cost $40 baht ($10 HKD), and one rice cake cost approximately $2.5 HKD. As with most street food, it is safer to stick to items that are cooked and haven’t been placed on display for hours. Eating at the market can also conjure a lot of waste, so remember to bring your own container!