Located in the Gulf of Thailand is a tropical island named Koh Samui. At just an hour’s flight away from Bangkok, this island is an ideal getaway for relaxing on the golden beach, some intense Muay Thai training, or simply pampering yourself with spa treatments.
If you’re anything like me, food is a big part of travel. You might think I’m vegan or vegetarian based on this list, but the truth is my body craves plant-based food. And I feel my best when I eat a plant-based diet. Don’t get me wrong, I still eat meat and you’ll see some of the recommended dishes on this list include meat and seafood.
To balance all the amazing food I was eating in Koh Samui, I also did a lot of training at Lamai Fitness. And by training, a mean a crazy fun bootcamp that I endured for 3 weeks! Details coming soon!!!
Since this was my 3rd trip back to Koh Samui, I already had a few places in mind that I knew I wanted to eat at. But I was just as excited to give some new places a shot. There’s definitely no shortage of incredible spots to eat on the island, but if you’re like me, you’ll be searching for things on the healthy side.
In no particular order, here are my top 5 healthy eats for Koh Samui. Enjoy, lovelies.
1. Vikasa Life Café
Vikasa Life Café has one of the best views in Koh Samui. Located on the cliffs in between Lamai Beach and Chaweng Beach, this charming place rewards diners with incredible views that stretch over the rainforest below and out across the glistening blue ocean, creating the perfect backdrop any time of day.
The menu here is based upon the notion that all our bodies are different and we all need different nutrition, which is something I’m all for. Here you’ll find an almost never-ending choice of creative vegan, raw, dairy-free, gluten-free and omnivore dishes made with local organic ingredients and no msg in sight. Whichever type of diet you’re following and whatever type of cuisine you’re into, you’ll find loads on the menu you’ll want to try.
I loved coming here for breakfast, lunch, and dinner - it was wonderful to see how the view changed throughout the day. Thanks to the great variety of people and welcoming atmosphere, you could easily treat this place as casual or dressy. Although the top level of the restaurant, with its super comfy bean bags, definitely had more of a chill vibe.
My favorite dishes
● Signature Burrito: one of the best burritos I’ve ever had, made with vegan bolognese rice, lettuce, herbs, and creamy veggie nacho sauce, all wrapped up in a flour tortilla and served with a red pepper sauce.
● Chicken Burger: a tasty chicken patty, stacked with sautéed mushrooms, fresh veggies, raw vegan aioli, sprouts, and tomatoes nestled inside a whole grain bun, served with sweet potato fries.
● Raw Pizza: pizza like you’ve never seen it before, with a homemade cauliflower and sunflower seed crust, topped with hummus, tomato sauce, veggies, arugula, coconut, onions, and a vegan parmesan cheese.
● Smashed Avocado: another new take on an old classic, this dish is made up of fresh avocado, cherry tomatoes, slow-cooked mushrooms, crumbled feta cheese, and arugula on dark, hearty bread served with a sprout salad.
● Garden Hold Up: a beautifully nourishing green juice filled with kale, spinach, cucumber, apple, pineapple, and lime.
● BioFizz: A local soft drink made in Koh Samui. The fizz is naturally created by living probiotics and sweetened with coconut nectar. It comes in all kinds of different flavors, including lemongrass + lime, tamarind + ginger, roselle, and kombucha. I absolutely love how they put BioFizz in a wine glass!!!
No exaggeration - the desserts are to-die-for! If you don’t have room in your tummy for a sweet treat (I know I didn’t!) be sure to grab some goodies to takeaway. My favorite dessert was the tiramisu. But the chocolate energy balls, bursting with almonds, sesame seeds, cacao powder, maca, coconut sugar syrup, buckwheat, dates, coconut oil, tahini, vanilla, and Himalayan salt were also incredible.
Not only can you treat yourself to a gourmet meal at Vikasa Life Café, but you can also stay there. The place is well known for their fantastic yoga retreats which are held in the resort set below the restaurant. It’s made up of gorgeous bungalows, a yoga studio, and swimming pools lining the coast.
I’ve never stayed at the Vikasa Yoga Retreat, but from what I could see, it would be an incredibly serene and rejuvenating experience to do so. However, you’ve got to climb hundreds of stairs to get to and from the bungalows. Great for the booty, but a definite workout!
2. Samui Health Shop by Lamphu
This cozy health food shop is situated in Lamai. It’s nowhere near the beach where most of the restaurants are. So if you’re driving along this area looking for it, you can easily miss it. Although I’d heard loads about it on my previous trips, this was my first time actually visiting the Samui Health Shop and I fell in love with the space and food.
It’s a family-run food shop-café that offers a tiny inside seating area with just 3 tables. But step outside onto the back patio with its beautiful pond and lush greens plants and you’ll find plenty of extra seating. The surroundings here are so tranquil and peaceful - it’s a wonderful place to really enjoy your food without any distractions.
Samui Health Shop offers a fabulous selection of healthy organic foods, natural body care products, jewelry, and some household items. It’s a great place for anyone who likes knowing exactly what they put into and onto their bodies without worrying about hidden nasties. I picked up a bottle of their coconut shampoo and it’s absolutely amazing! My mind instantly gets transported back to Koh Samui every time I use it.
The mantra for the café is ‘Being healthy and fit isn’t a fad or trend. Instead, it’s a lifestyle’ which I think is something we all need to get on board with. To support this, their menu is made up of wholesome and delicious salads, soups, fresh juices, rice bowls and outstanding desserts. They use locally-grown and raised ingredients as much as possible, which really comes across in the food.
My favorite dishes
● Kimchi Bowl: a hearty nourishing bowl filled with kimchi, fresh veggies, and tofu sprinkled with seeds.
● Soup: the soups change depending on which veggies are freshest that day - but they all taste amazing!
● Salad with Noodles: a bowl loaded with crisp lettuce leaves and brightly-colored fresh veggies topped with thin rice noodles.
● Fresh Green Juice: filled with all kinds of nourishing fruits and veggies, designed to leave you feeling full of energy and raring to go.
● Gorilla Smoothie: a thick and creamy blend of banana, coconut milk, cacao powder, and tahini topped with crunchy granola, bee pollen and goji berries.
Be sure to save room for dessert. I love the Vegan Cookie Dough and the Yogurt Cheese Pie.
3. Wild Tribe Superfood Café
Set in the magnificent Lamai Beach, Wild Tribe Superfood Café provides super healthy plant-based dishes made almost entirely from locally-sourced and organic ingredients. They’ve got really friendly staff and the food always comes out really quickly, making it a wonderful, healthy alternative to fast food.
I genuinely feel amazing every time I eat here and to be honest, it’s no wonder why. The woman behind the menu is a certified nutritionist who uses the most nutrient-dense foods available. Every ingredient is included for a reason and she combines her culinary inspiration with science to make every dish just as tasty as it is good for you.
Everything is made from scratch and from the freshest ingredients sourced from small organic farms on Koh Samui. Better still, they swear by never diluting their juices and promise that they’re truly green, with zero to little fruit sugar, resulting in them tasting way better than the juices you can buy in stores.
Their menu is mostly plant-based, with a handful of options for their “omnivore friends”. On it you’ll find cold-pressed juices, health shots, smoothies, smoothie bowls, salads, soups, rolls, burgers, and wraps - all the good stuff. Most dishes are inspired by the local Thai cuisine, making it a great place if you want to try the local food and eat healthily at the same time.
My favorite dishes
● Wild Blueberry Power Smoothie Bowl: frosty wild blueberries blended with raw protein and fresh coconut milk, topped with almond butter, banana, goji berries, fresh coconut, and homemade granola.
● Fiesta Salsa Tacos: loaded up with raw purple cabbage, mango pineapple salsa, grilled oyster mushrooms, avocado, fresh herbs, and chutney.
● Poached Eggs on Toast: whole grain toast topped with poached eggs, grilled tomatoes, mushrooms, peppers, and onions.
● Daikon Rolls: freshly fermented daikon with homemade pesto sauce, betel leaves, cucumber, and sprouts.
● Stay Cool Smoothie: blended watermelon, strawberry, basil, lime, and ice, designed to lower inflammation, cleanse the kidneys, and reduce water retention.
Just like at the Vikasa Yoga Resort, you can also stay at Wild Tribe Super Café’s resort. Visit Natural Detox Resort promotes a holistic approach to lasting change. They offer fun, challenging programs designed to suit your specific lifestyle that include daily cardio, jungle and beach hikes, conditioning and strength training, yoga classes, daily workouts, ice baths, sauna sessions and healthy meal plans. It’s a wonderful place to visit to help cleanse both your mind and body.
4. Sweet Sisters Café
The Sweet Sisters Café is located off-the-beaten-track but it’s 100% worth the effort of finding it. It’s in the quieter side of town and there’s not much going on in the area. So if you’re looking for a place with a lively atmosphere, hustling and bustling with tourists and shops, this isn’t the place for you. But if you’re searching for a peaceful location out the way where you can just relax with a good book, the Sweet Sisters Café is perfect. I loved hopping on my scooter and heading south to this secret spot on a late Sunday morning for brunch.
This adorable café serves a variety of local, organic, vegan, and gluten-free dishes inspired by cultures from all around the world. Their huge menu includes fresh juices, smoothies, soups, salads, Thai, and western dishes. There are even meat and fish options, so no one feels left out. Plus, if you see something you like on the menu but it’s not quite right for you (like if you see a vegetarian dish that sounds incredible, but you’re vegan) they’ll happily make changes so you can enjoy what you like the look of.
Absolutely everything they serve is of the highest possible quality. All their seafood is fresh from the ocean, their chicken is free-range, they bake their bread and desserts in-house, they use organic cashews, and (here’s the best bit) they serve breakfast ALL day! After dining here, make sure you pop next door to the lovely shop filled with snacks, supplements, body care products, beautiful items for your home, and souvenirs.
My favorite dishes
● Virgin Mojito Cooler: a frosty mocktail, made with mint, coconut flower syrup, lime, and soda.
● Pancakes: packed with goodness and served with forest honey or homemade organic jam.
● Green Eggs and Cheese: local greens topped with eggs and feta cheese. There’s even a special vegan cheese for anyone avoiding dairy.
● Fishcakes with Tamarind Sauce: light and crispy cakes made with fresh-from-the-ocean fish, drizzled in a delicious sauce.
● Fresh Spring Rolls: loads of fresh veggies and crisp leaves rolled up inside rice wrappers and presented beautifully.
● Green Omelets: a light and fluffy omelet given a major health boost with the addition of green leafy veggies.
Bonus Spot: Fabfe Café
After stopping at the Sweet Sisters Café, make sure you stop by Fabfe Café and soak up the amazing views. Set on top of a hill, this café enjoys sprawling vistas which stretch out across Koh Samui’s lush, green countryside to its beautiful mountains. Compared to the other places on this list, the menu is fairly small, but there is a decent selection of coffee, tea, smoothies, and juices, with a small choice of eats - waffles, pancakes, honey toast, cakes, and ice cream.
When my bestie and I were there, we’re lucky enough to see a storm rolling in over in the distance. It was quite a sight and reminded me of how truly dazzling nature is. Fabfe Café was the perfect spot for both of us to do our journaling and goal setting. I’m a huge believer in taking time to write out your intentions and this sweet cafe provided amazing views that really inspired me to make some incredible goals and to everything I can to achieve them.
5. Greenlight Café
Located in Fisherman’s Village is the Greenlight Café, part of the Elysia Boutique Resort. This place offers a really chilled out experience, with some comfy bean bag chairs that are wonderful for melting into after a long day of exploring. The café attracts a great mix of locals and travelers, making it a fantastic place to meet new friends and share stories.
The Greenlight Café menu features a variety of hearty choices for anyone who prefers a healthier option. They pride themselves on only serving wholesome, natural and delicious food, which is a winning combo in my book!
Here you’ll find vegetarian, vegan, raw and gluten-free meals, along with fish and free-range chicken dishes, so there’s something for everyone. Their original fresh juices and smoothies are also extremely popular, as is their homemade kombucha. They cook with only the healthiest oils and never use any preservatives, MSG, sugar or artificial ingredients. And the menu was put together with love by a qualified chef and nutritionist, so you just know you’re eating the best stuff.
Almost all the ingredients used at this cafe are locally sourced and organic. Many of them come straight from the café’s very own garden! If you want a sneak peek behind-the-scenes, the staff will happily give you a garden tour so you can see exactly where the ingredients come from.
My favorite dishes
● Grilled Salmon Salad: grilled salmon served with a creamy herb and tahini dressing, fresh greens, sprouts, celery, and juicy tomatoes.
● Watermelon Splash: a refreshing and hydrating watermelon juice with mint and lemon.
The Best of the Rest
There are too many amazing healthy restaurants in Koh Samui to limit my choice to just 5. So here are 3 more places that are also definitely worth visiting, but just missed the final cut.
Part of the Spa Resorts, Radiance is a contemporary outdoor restaurant located overlooking Lamai Bay with gorgeous sea views and a very peaceful, serene ambiance.
Their creative menu is absolutely huge and caters really well for anyone who is detoxing or on a special diet. There’s a bright and colorful selection of dishes for vegetarians and vegans, as well as raw food lovers.
You’ll find plenty of enticing healthy twists on popular Mexican, Italian and Thai classics, along with smoothies, juices and raw versions of desserts which are just as yummy as they are good for you. For breakfast, I had the tropical veggie juice and poached eggs with green veggies. It was very light, fresh and exactly what I needed.
Even if you’re not staying at Spa Resorts, you still get to enjoy the spa, including the steam room. It’s a great way to detox and rest on recovery day!
The new kid on the island, just a hop, skip, and jump from Lamai Beach, WeGreen has a little bit of growing up to do but it’s still one of my favorite places for healthy eats in Koh Samui. Half vegetable farm and half healthy restaurant, this winning combo has a large open-air space where you can truly relax as you enjoy your meal, surrounded by nature. Their huge dining area with many long tables makes WeGreen ideal if you’re eating with a large group and they’ve got an even bigger event space if you’re dining with a huge party.
The menu here is made up of soups, salads, traditional Thai dishes, steaks, pastas, infused waters, and desserts. When we visited, it almost felt like they were still going through their soft opening phase - they didn’t have some of the items on their menu, others were missing some key ingredients and the service could have been a little better. But I think after they get into the swing of things, WeGreen will be an amazing place to eat.
For dinner, we ordered the vegetable mixed grill, which was made up of onions, bell peppers, pumpkin, carrot, zucchini, and eggplant. Although it sounded incredible, this dish definitely didn’t live up to expectations. There was way too much sauce which overpowered the natural taste of the veggies. But the water we ordered, infused with cucumber and lemongrass, was delightful and almost made up for the main.
This one might not be a restaurant, but it still deserves a place on the list! The fruit stands in Koh Samui are incredible and they’re a total must-visit. Here you’ll find everything from mangoes, pineapples, coconuts, and lychees to mangosteens, rambutans, longans, pitayas, and papayas.
Shopping at these stalls is an excellent way of getting your hands on super affordable and really fresh fruits while supporting local growers at the same time. It also gives you the chance to mix with the locals and actually meet the people who produce these wonderful ingredients.
Lovelies I would love to know....
1.Have you ever been to Koh Samui, Thailand?
2. Have you ever eaten at one of these spots? If yes, which place?
3. Which healthy restaurant would you love to try?