Whether you’re a travelling vegetarian or just looking for a wholesome bite between scuba dive sessions, Koh Tao has a huge number of options for great food catering to any palate or diet. While nearly every restaurant on the island has plenty of veggie options – or will offer easy substitutes to its dishes – these are the vegetarian joints that stand out from the pack.
This colourful veggie shack in the heart of the island is the stuff of vegan dreams. Its trademark salad, soba noodle, and rice bowls pack flavourful punches, and are surprisingly nourishing as well. Or cater to your comfort food side with their pan-fried quesadilla and daily freshly baked vegan cookies the size of your hand.
Breakfast food reaches a whole new echelon at this beachside café. Built entirely of wood and bamboo, Coconut Monkey oozes with cosiness and character, with cushions and benches strewn about alongside its open-air beachfront. Then there’s the menu. While also catering to meat eaters, Coconut Monkey aims to provide the best quality in all its food by sourcing exclusively organic ingredients and making as much in-house as possible, like their many flavours of home-brewed kombucha. Try the full vegan breakfast or pesto tofu scramble, one of their overnight oats choices or the sesame mushroom jerky Buddha bowl if you’re feeling a bit lighter. Can’t pull yourself from the ocean view? Grab some of the amazeballs and other vegan goodies stashed in their cooler to complement the panorama.
Tucked away in the middle of the island, this new joint doubles as a hip multi-purpose space, which rotates through workshops, classes, co-working events, and its weekly all-night Sunday Session, which is more or less a mini music festival itself. By morning, however, the hangout brews some of the strongest coffee on the island and serves up a heavily plant-based, all-day brunch menu packed with creative smoothie bowls and breakfast staples.
The kitchen of the eponymous Koh Tao Gym and Fitness, Fitness Café prioritizes healthy but filling meals packed with goodness to keep you going all day long. Though catering to all diets, there is a wide variety of sweet and savoury choice for veggie-lovers, specially prepped to maximize nutrition and energy, such as veggie bean patty salad or protein-packed lumberjack pancakes.
A steady option for fresh, vegan Thai food on Koh Tao, this French-owned kitchen uses absolutely no animal-based products across its diverse and creative Asian menu, meaning vegetarians can easily enjoy any Thai dish without wondering if fish sauce or bits of meat made their way into the meal. La Carotte offers non-meat options like soy-based proteins or ‘mock meats’, as well as curries built around hearty mushrooms or tofu.
This low-key cafe boasts a monster menu – vegan wraps, sandwiches, Thai dishes, even cheesecake – all with creative flavours and at the right price. There’s also plenty of meat-based options for your omnivore friends, and enough coffee, juice, smoothie, and kombucha options to satisfy anyone.
What started as Koh Tao’s premier juice joint has evolved into a healthy brunch destination of its own. From its new beachside location, enjoy one of their incredible smoothie bowls, like the Great Berrier Reef or Cococabana bowls, or pick up a sampling of snacks including homemade hummus platter or raw chocolate peanut butter cups to enjoy with one of their signature, nutrient-packed juices. You can even amp up your energy levels naturally by adding in any one of their superfood powders.
Burger and pizza lovers – Koh Tao has your back, too. This laid-back restaurant in the South of the island re-energized the fight for the title of Koh Tao’s best pizza and burger, and launched that race even further when it began expanding its menu to include even more vegan options – it’s one of the only spots on Koh Tao that uses vegan cheese. South Beach also cooks up one of the best breakfasts on the island and has the coffee and juice options to match.
As the name suggests, this long-term restaurant has an enormous a-la-carte menu of salads for vegetarians and meat-eaters alike, but is also the only local spot that lets you build-you-own from an extensive add-on menu. There are also a variety of comfort meals such as vegetarian lasagna and burgers.
This well-established local favourite has long been known for its incredible surf-and-turf options, but has recently stepped up its game to include many more vegetarian and vegan options to its quality menu. There’s the huge Mediterranean platter, which can be downsized to a snack, and nowhere else on Koh Tao offers its signature vegan cheese plate – cashew parmesan, sun-dried tomato feta, cheddar cream cheese, and black pepper and garlic cheese, all entirely plant-based and served with mango chutney, onion relish, apple, walnuts, sesame crackers and bread.