Where we’re at: I’m recapping my travels in 2020, including this trip to Koh Phangan in February 2020.
When I arrived in Koh Phangan to complete my aerial yoga teacher training, I was thrilled. Srithanu is the kind of place where, linger long enough, and you’re sure to overhear someone discussing charging crystals by the full moon or using the contents of their menstrual cup to water their organic herb garden. It’s scattered with vegan restaurants, yoga schools, detox centers, and vague promises of holistic and spiritual wellness.
While I’d been to Koh Phangan many times before, I hadn’t really thoroughly explored this area. I couldn’t think of anywhere better to immerse myself in a training.
Of course, a week of movement and study requires some major mind and body fuel. Having decided to forgo the food packages offered at the yoga school to better explore the area, I spent the week exploring the best healthy eats of Koh Phangan, mostly centered in the Srithanu area. Here were my favorite finds.
Pure Vegan Heaven
I’m starting this list with Pure Vegan Heaven because I think it’s the quintessential Srithanu cafe: it’s proudly vegan, it’s low waste, it’s largely constructed of bamboo smattered with posters for tantric workshops and ecstatic dance sessions. Founded by a young Thai woman, the restaurant has now become a small franchise with locations in Phuket, Chiang Mai, and Koh Samui, too.
I’d been eyeing up the sweet toasts at Eat.Co for days before I finally came in to enjoy the mango, banana and homemade cashew butter creation. Like Pure, this place does an incredible job creating vegan versions of foods we know and love: deep fried broccoli falafel and mushroom kebabs, tempeh teriyaki, beetroot burgers, and beyond.
I love the cozy cushions for getting comfy with a cup of tea! They also have a new location in Thongsala.
When I first drove by Karma Kafe, I thought, dang — that place looks familiar. Turns out, it was the one cafe in the area I’d been to before on a weekend trip to Koh Phangan years before. It has gotten a serious glow-up in the interim, and was so hip I almost didn’t recognize it.
Today I think it’s probably the slickest eatery in Srithanu and would be just as at-home in Canggu, Bali! Avocado toast (free range eggs are available!), smoothie bowls, raw sushi, karma bowls and a great drink selection are the highlights of the menu for me. Don’t miss the Thai iced tea latte made with coconut or almond milk — first time I’ve ever seen that before!
They also offer an incredible lineup of community events from documentary film nights to writing workshops to beach cleanup brunches. Check their social media for details when you’re on the island!
As much as I love all the plant powered restaurants in Sri Thanu, some mornings after hours and hours of physical practice, my body was really craving its typical protein source of eggs. And the absolutely excellent Taboon — I’ll never come to this island without eating there again — served them in my favorite form, shakshuka!
Sabich, pitas, kebabs, Israeli salads, Moroccan stews, they have it all! This Middle Eastern restaurant is one of the few in the area that serves meat, too, for my carnivores (though fear not, herbivore friends — over half the menu is indeed vegan and vegetarian). Their fruit salad, with pomegranates, grapes, soaked almonds and more was my go-to snack pretty much every day. Don’t miss this place, for any meal!
Good Time Thai Restaurant
Of course, you can’t skip a simple Thai food meal on Koh Phangan. I ended up at Good Time Thai one night for my typical Thailand return feast of spring rolls, chicken cashew nut, and mango sticky rice. The service was charming and sweet, the wifi was good, the bill was cheap, and the sticky rice was purple — what more could a girl ask for?
After days of peering out at this mysterious structure jutting out into the sea, I simply had to investigate. One day, two of my fellow yogis joined me on this mission, and we stumbled on Koh Raham.
It turns out this sprawling driftwood bar and restaurant is part of Haad Son Resort, and is full of hidden hammocks, seaside cushion-strewn tables, and sculptures made from old coconuts. It’s the kind of place you hope to stumble across in Thailand!
Of course, this is an oceanfront resort — the food is very expensive for the area, and you are paying for the location and setting rather than any discernible improvement in quality or service. Still, it’s a gorgeous spot to dream away an afternoon.
Seed to Feed
Have any favorites I need to check out next time I’m in Koh Phangan? Hit me up in the comments, below!