Chiang Mai

Chiang Mai on the Thai New Year is probably the happiest place on earth. Sounds kind of weird, but it's true. Overnight, the city goes from the average small city to a full fledged water gun fight...seriously! The locals laugh gleefully as they dump buckets of water onto unsuspecting friends, family members, strangers, and tourists. Every shop sells a variety of water guns to purchase and every person, young or old, gets involved in the soaking wet fun. Chiang Mai's enthusiastic New Year celebrations made me fall in love with the city, but it was their booming vegan scene that attracted me to go there in the first place. We didn't spend long in Chiang Mai, but the restaurants we did have a chance to visit were awesome.

 

Taste From Heaven

We returned to Taste From Heaven on multiple occasions since we just couldn't get enough of their fully vegetarian menu! Their version of a BLT came with tasty vegan bacon, thick tomatoes, lettuce, egg-free mayo, and toasted sourdough bread. It was the perfect break from the multitude of Thai noodles and curries I'd been eating throughout my trek through Thailand. Friendly staff, a diverse menu, and tons of vegan options make Taste From Heaven truly a taste from heaven :)

34/1 Ratmakka road (opposite soi 1) Prasing Muang Chiang Mai 50200, Thailand

 

The Juicery

There's nothing more satisfying that fruity ice cream and mango on a hot (and I mean HOT) day in Chiang Mai. The Juicery has got you covered! We popped in here on the day of the Thai New Year to get a break from the endless waterfall from water guns and hoses and fill our tummies with something cool and sweet. I decided to order their mangosteen sorbet (to die for!) and a traditional Thai dessert of sticky rice with mango. The mango was super fresh and ripe, and the rice had a hint of sweetness and, interestingly enough, a distinct hint of saltiness! It all paired so well together and was such a delicious snack. 

8-10 Samlarn Rd, Chiang Mai, Thailand

Koh Tao

The tiny island of Koh Tao is bursting from end to end with backpackers and expats, which makes for an interesting mix of Thai culture and Western influences. Koh Tao isn't the place to go for a truly Thai experience, but if you're interested in hiking up the mountains of a teeny tiny island and getting a taste of the partying lifestyle of young backpackers, then add Koh Tao to your list of destinations. Its large expat population and constant stream of tourists keeps the island's culinary scene up to date and modern. You'll find sleek sushi spots, juice bars, and Irish pubs overflowing with joyful travelers. My friends and I snuck away from the main restaurants that line Saree Beach, and stopped at two unforgettable eateries.

Babaloo

When there's only one vegetarian restaurant on an entire island, you can bet your ass I'll be eating there. Babaloo is a ways away from the main town of Koh Tao, but the trek is super worth it! This beautiful restaurant is completely outdoors and is covered by a cabana style roof. Its twinkling lights and reggae music set the mood for a relaxed, delicious dinner. I ordered the Pad See Ew with no egg, which was super yummy, and the Panang Curry. Both were extremely tasty! Babaloo is off the beaten path but it's certainly worth a visit, especially for vegetarian and vegan travelers. 

Chalok Baan Kao Beach, Koh Tao 84280, Thailand

Shalimar Indian Cuisine

I love good Indian food. It's flavorful, aromatic, and super filling--it doesn't get much better than that! Whenever my friends and I stumbled across Indian eateries during our travels, we almost always stopped in for a bite. Shalimar Indian cuisine is a beautiful, quiet restaurant with a variety of curries and masalas, many of which could be made vegan. The waitress spoke English really well and took my requests for no dairy and no butter quite seriously. I ordered the Aloo Gobhi, rice, and a side of chapati with no butter. It was SO good! Tons of flavor, huge chunks of potato, just the way I like it. It was such a filling and affordable meal. 

Ban Ko Tao, Chumphon, Thailand

Koh Samui

Greenlight Cafe & Bar

We were in Koh Samui for less than twelve hours but managed to find a nearby restaurant known for having good vegan options. The interior of this cafe looked like a spa! It was clean and relaxing with a pool outside...so cool! There were tons of vegan options on the menu. I opted for a falafel wrap with tahini. It was pretty good but the portion was small for the price.  For a wrap and a soy flat white, I ended up spending $11 USD, which is a far cry from the $4 USD meals I'm used to eating in Asia. If you're in a pinch and need something tasty and vegan, Greenlight Cafe is a good option.

@diningwithdevyn

@diningwithdevyn

 

 

Koh Phangan

Orion Healing Center

I met up with my friends Libby and Marcel (of @eat_away) for breakfast at Orion Healing Center. This restaurant isn't entirely vegan as they sometimes use honey, but the majority of their menu is happily plant-based. We loved our food from Orion so much that we went back a second time! Both times I ordered the vegan breakfast burrito (tofu scramble, lettuce, cashew cheese, and homemade chunky ketchup on a chapati wrap).  It was so good, filling, and flavorful! I also tried their Raspberry Lassi (unreal) and the Orion smoothie (fruity and delicious). Orion is a must try for vegans visiting Koh Phangan!

Karma Kafe

My family friend, Matt Schotz, owns and runs Karma Kafe, an all-vegan eatery on the north end of Koh Phangan. The menu has everything you could possibly want--veggie burgers, raw sushi, tacos, burritos, and desserts! My friends and I split the cashew cheese quesadillas (really really yummy) and I tried the Beetroot Veggie Burger on a gluten free bun (full of flavor). We also each ordered an espresso shake that's not offered on the menu yet. It came with coconut ice cream and vegan caramel sauce, aka my dream come true. Karma Kafe delivered one of my favorite meals I've had while traveling.

Other notable eateries:

-Namaste (an Indian restaurant that happily made me a curry with coconut milk instead of cream. Super cheap prices and really delicious food)

-Mama Thai (a quaint Thai restaurant that made me Pad Thai with no shrimp paste, fish sauce, or oyster sauce. Very reasonable prices and quick service.)