Saturday, May 28, 2016

Koh Samui restaurant reviews - for vegetarian travelers

Posted by Amanda Villaruel | |
Traveling as a vegetarian in Thailand is not a problem in the tourist hubs Bangkok and Chiang Mai. In these cities you'll find an established vegetarian cuisine, including vegetarian cooking classes :-)

The challenge is when you travel to remote places where they might not understand English. In these cases it would be wise to learn local phrases for "no meat" and "no fish sauce". Because trust me, the majority of dishes in Thailand are based on fish sauce, and the Thais have a love for pork and chicken.
Review of vegetarian food in Koh Samui island, Thailand
Review of vegetarian food in Koh Samui island, Thailand

So, where are the vegetarian-friendly places in Koh Samui? :-)

The restaurants are scattered around the island, mostly in the east (Chaweng and Bophut), south (Lamai) and north (Maenam).

Koh Samui was a practical decision when I went on a business trip to Myanmar. When I found out that Samui might have around 35 vegetarian-friendly restaurants (according to Happy Cow), the choice was easy. Unfortunately, my bad stomach allowed me to try only a few restaurants, mostly in the Chaweng area where I stayed for four nights.

All links below are non-commercial.

Chaweng center - Yogi Cafe

Yogi Cafe was one of the first places I wanted to try, because of the close proximity to the guesthouse (stayed at Rattana guesthouse which I recommend by the way :).
Yogi Cafe in Chaweng center, Koh Samui
Yogi Cafe in Chaweng center, Koh Samui

They had inviting menus covering veggie burgers, different quinoa dishes, lovely hummus plates and falafel, and make-your-own salads with vegan cheese or vegan mayo. I chose a really satisfying salad with stomach-friendly ingredients, and a banana shake which I wanted more of! :-) The vegan mayo was ridiculously good!

You can order a shake/juice based on coconut water, add herbs or spices. Super fresh!
Salad, wholegrain pita bread and banana shake at Yogi Cafe in Chaweng
Salad, wholegrain pita bread and banana shake at Yogi Cafe in Chaweng

Yogi Cafe has proved that healthy food can be delicious and exciting. Also their food is a nice break from Asian food in general. You ought to get tired of rice and noodles after a while :)

It took a bit while to get my food. I waited maybe for 20 minutes, but I could see that every thing on the plate was thought through (even if it was 'just' a salad). I paid around 400-500 THB for the salad and shake. Pricey, but well worth the money considering the health condition I was in. I actually ate here twice (the same dish).

Where: outside the main entrance of CentralFestival in center of Chaweng, next to Starbucks.

Chaweng Noi - Veggie Bean

Koh Samui restaurant vegetarian: The Veggie Bean
Koh Samui restaurant vegetarian: The Veggie Bean
At Veggie Bean I ordered a sandwich - the vegan turmeric spaghetti with scrambled tofu, avocado and cilantro. I loved the flavors altogether, but there was too much turmeric for my tasting. As you can see it was a huge sandwich, which I didn't manage to finish.
Vegan sandwich: spaghetti turmeric with scrambled tofu, avocado and cilantro at Veggie Bean
Vegan sandwich: spaghetti turmeric with scrambled tofu, avocado and cilantro at Veggie Bean 

The restaurant owners were friendly and accommodated my needs when I told them that I had a faulty stomach. The restaurant was temporarily closed when I arrived, but there was a sign on the door saying that they would return soon. The neighbor restaurant called them and after about 10 minutes they arrived.

I didn't mind the waiting though. The shop owners arrived on their scooter and were smiling saying: "Ah, we've got fresh ingredients!" :-)

Where: close to Chaweng Noi beach next to New Star Beach resort.

Read reviews of Veggie Bean at Tripadvisor.

Choeng Mon - The Love Kitchen

Food at the Love Kitchen in Koh Samui. Photo courtesy of Absolute Sanctuary.
Koh Samui restaurant.
Photo courtesy of Absolute Sanctuary.
A place I heard about from fellow travelers during my stay in Samui, but didn't have time to visit, was the Love Kitchen restaurant at the Absolute Sanctuary Detox and Yoga Resort.

"Expensive, but worth the visit" was their opinion.

The Love Kitchen uses organic ingredients whenever possible. On the menu you can find vegetarian food, but also fish and meat.

Check out their menu here.

On their extensive menu, you'll find Thai, Japanese, Moroccan and Mediterranean food including nori hand rolls, tofu skewers, burrito with cashew cheese, various salads, detox dishes and "super juices".

Read reviews of the Love Kitchen at Tripadvisor.

Where: Choeng Mon area, north of Chaweng.

Other vegetarian-friendly restaurants worth checking out in Koh Samui:

  • June's Art Cafe (Bophut and Nathon) - serves tofu patties, vegetarian burritos, and "vegetarian fusion food" (fried or steamed vegetables). 

  • Lamai Veggie (Lamai beach) - small cafe that serves vegan food including rice dishes, soups and vegan sausages. 

  • Radiance restaurant (Lamai beach) - vegetarian and vegan Thai food, also vegetable lasagna, nori rolls and much more.

Continue to read:
General travel information on Koh Samui including how to get there.

Review of Ock Pop Tok weaving class in Luang Prabang, Laos.

Have your say about what you just read :)

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