The Best Coffee Shops and Cafes in Ko Phangan, Thailand

If thiw
If thiw
Photo of Kyle Hulme
20 January 2018

It might be best known for its world-famous Full Moon Party, but the island of Ko Phangan has far more to offer than just partying on the beach. On this sunny, party paradise, there’s a thriving coffee culture that’s not only essential for those suffering the morning after, but also perfect for those who come to the island for a serene getaway. Here’s the best of the bunch.

The World's End Cafe

Cafe, Thai, European, Coffee, Tea , $$$
Map View
If this is the world's end, count us in
If this is the world's end, count us in | ChristianEnengl/Pixabay

If the world really was ending, then the World’s End Cafe wouldn’t be a bad place to spend those last few moments on Earth. With a large and eclectic breakfast and lunch menu, it’s bound to produce a familiar taste of home regardless of whichever country you’re actually from — and probably in much better surroundings. As well as plenty of food options, there’s a wide drinks menu too, including smoothies that are ideal for re-hydrating and the usual espresso-based coffee drinks that are perfect to start your day with.

The Canteen

Cafe, Restaurant, Thai, European, Healthy
Map View
Pad Thai or Full English?
Pad Thai or Full English? | sharonang/Pixabay

From healthy fruit drinks to greasy full English breakfast, Thai mains to toasties, The Canteen’s impressive and ever-expanding menu ensures that none who visit will leave feeling anything other than satisfied. While the food looks and tastes delicious, what’s equally impressive is the venue; the shopfront looks out onto the invitingly-blue sea, as the interior of the cafe is authentically rustic and Thai. Close to Thong Sala pier, it’s perfect for those who are feeling peckish after a hop across the sea — or for those who want to enjoy their last meal in paradise with the perfect view of it.

Pura Vida

Cafe, Thai, European, North American, Coffee, Tea
Map View
Perfect pancakes
Perfect pancakes | Free-Photos/Pixabay

With its impressive pancakes, appetising fresh fruit and yoghurt bowls, and freshly baked bread-based dishes served on wooden boards, Pura Vida has to be one of the best brunch spots on the island. Its mish-mash of styles inside match the variety and choice on the menus, and creates a laid-back, quirky environment. With ample seating to gossip about the previous night’s antics, it’s easy to forget why you came here in the first place and stay for hours on end — and once you’ve tasted the delicious dishes on offer, you just might not want to leave.

Karma Kafe

Cafe, Thai, North American, European, Gluten-free, Vegan, Vegetarian, $$$
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Vegan Tacos | © dolvita108/Pixabay

Bold is the perfect way to describe Karma Kafe. Bold colours and bold choices are present in both the menu and its contents, and for Karma it’s certainly paid off. As a plant-based, cruelty- and gluten-free cafe serving no meat, many might assume that this would alienate many visitors to the island. Yet all it takes is a bite of their food to prove that’s not the case. The masterful combination of daring flavours, fresh produce and bold menu choices proves that meat isn’t necessary for a great meal, and that such dishes can more than hit the spot. One of the real must-visit cafes on the island.

Bake Sense

Cafe, Thai, European, North American, Coffee, Tea , $$$
Map View
Mangrove forest
Mangrove forest | dslr99/Pixabay

For a peaceful and tranquil cuppa before starting the day, it doesn’t get much better than Bake Sense. Here, the thumping bass and neon-lights of the Full Moon Party feel miles away, as you sit and drink in a humble coffee shop perfectly situated among enchanting mangrove trees. As well as freshly roasted coffee, there’s a handy food menu, too, giving you an excuse to enjoy this blissful environment even longer.

The Fat Cat Coffee & More

Cafe, Thai, European, North American, $$$
Map View
Perfect for planning
Perfect for planning | Engin_Akyurt/Pixabay

A tight squeeze that’s often full to the brim, you’d be lucky to find a free table come high season and glad you waited if you didn’t find one. Its white walls and re-purposed wooden pallet shelving are perhaps more Shoreditch than Thailand, yet either way they provide a perfectly Instagrammable aesthetic. With pancakes and fruit as readily available as burgers and salads, it’s the perfect choice for breakfast — and you may even find yourself coming back for lunch.

Bubba's Coffee Bar

Cafe, European, North American, $$$
Map View
Get the good stuff at Bubba's
Get the good stuff at Bubba's | Free-Photos/Pixabay

If brunch is the question, than Bubba’s is definitely the answer. Not only does it stock a tonne of fresh produce, it’s also got the best avocado toast for miles — which is still quite the accolade, even if you are on an island in the middle of the sea. It’s not just about the delicious dishes here though; they’re perfectly presented, too. From the latte art to the perfectly garnished plates and colourful ingredients, the dishes here are as much art as they are food. With a range of both brewed and espresso-based coffee options, as well as a range of different blends, Bubba’s goes beyond what’s expected of an island coffee bar — and its proud reputation is testament to that fact.

Dots Coffee

Cafe, Coffee Shop, European, North American, Thai, Coffee, Tea , $$$
Map View
The daily ritual
The daily ritual | freestocks-photos/Pixabay

Much like Bubba’s, Dots is another specialist coffee shop in town that really focuses on quality and perfecting its craft. Coffee here holds its own with the best that Bangkok has to offer — and if that praise seems too lofty, all it takes is a sip to realise it’s not hyperbole. As well as hot coffee such as flat whites and pour-overs, there are plenty of cold options for those struggling with Thailand’s muggy climate. Or, if you’re not feeling coffee, there’s a range of refreshing smoothies available, too, as well as delicious matcha green tea. With cakes and croissants a perfect accompaniment, you can do much worse than coming to spend an hour or two at Dots.

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