This is a question that we are often asked and one of the most common questions asked by divers and student divers around Crystal Dive.
Koh Tao offers an abundance of food options with cuisine from all 4 corners of the globe.
Whether you’re looking to dine in style or just looking for some tasty Thai street food the island‘s many kitchens cater to everyone’s taste and budget.
Unfortunately, with so many great restaurants it’s a little daunting and not always easy to make a decision on where to eat and it’s even harder when you don’t know the area so well.
Here are some options if you’re feeling hungry and need to refuel between your scuba diving adventures.
Good Food on Koh Tao – Mae Haad Village
Let’s break things down a little and focus on good eats in and around the dive centre in Mae Haad, one of the three main ‘villages’ on Koh Tao.
Mae Haad (where the main pier is) main traffic system consists of two one way streets. One with the traffic travelling upwards away from the ocean, the other where the traffic travels downwards towards the ocean.
These two roads are simply referred to as the ‘up road’ and ‘down road’. Both roads join Koh Tao’s main road, which connects the whole Island from north to south.
Crystal Dive is located at the walking street (also called the yellow brick road – even though it’s not yellow!) that starts at the down road and goes all the way to central Sairee Village.
So lets’ start with Thai food. Where can you find a good Pad Thai or tasty Massaman curry.
Pranee’s Kitchen is located next to Crystal Dive. It’s a cozy and friendly place that features a dining area, as well as a thai style ‘sala’. The sala features comfortable triangular floor cushions, which are great to relax and chill out on. You can eat your food on the low tables.
Pranees Kitchen is a traditional Thai restaurant with a great Thai menu. Over time their menu has evolved and they also do good burgers as well as feature other ‘western’ food items.
Location: Walking street next to Crystal Dive
Favourite Meal: Massaman Curry – An all-time classic very well executed at this place with a nice balance of mild coconut and spices.
Also try: their Pad Thai!
Café Del Sol
Open since 1999, Café del Sol was the first French restaurant on Koh Tao and has an International menu dominated by French and Italian cuisine . Offering a full range of tasty Pizza’s, as well as a varied sandwich menu with crunchy freshly baked baguettes.
You can find all your favourite pasta dishes on this large menu as well as classics such as croque madame, steak tartare and bavette a l’echalote
Café Del Sol boasts an asthetically pleasing and comfortable interior and is located on the corner of the ‘down road’ and ‘the yellow brick road’, close to Pranees Kitchen.
Make sure you grab a table that is not too close to the down road as it can be a bit noisy.
Location: On the corner between down road and walking street.
Favourite Meal: Spaghetti Bolognese with Parmesan – almost as good as in Italy. If eating here in the evening pair this with a glass of red wine which makes for a romantic dinner.
Also try: Café del Sol has always cooked a good steak! Try their Rib-Eye
Located in a new modern street stall, Da has quite a reputation on Koh Tao. Specializing in big, tasty sandwiches that easily feed you for a full afternoon of diving. Da’s Sandwiches is a favourite option when you don’t have much time between catching diving boats.
Location: Walk across the pier, and through Mae Haad market, past Lomprayah office. Located on right hand side just before Songserm road.
Delivers to Crystal Dive if ordered before 11am.
Favourite sandwich: Chicken, cheese & bacon sandwich
Large restaurant Thai restaurant with big heavy wooden tables and chairs Yang’s restaurant has been around for 20 years and is popular with the hungry backpacker travelling on a budget.
Well known for their super-sized portions at relatively cheap prices, Yang’s features a large Thai menu, with international options and offer’s one of the best portions of chips on Koh Tao.
Location: On the main road towards Chalok Ban Khao . Walk up the ‘up road’, turn right, walk approximately 100 metres and Yang’s is there on the right hand side of the road.
Favourite Meal: Chicken Cordon Bleau – Cheese wrapped with ham, chicken and crumbs. Deep fried and served with nice big chips.
*Not recommended if you need to get anything done afterwards as it usually puts you in a food coma.
Reef Sports Bar & Restaurant
Mae Haad’s most popular Sports Bar, Reef Bar shows all the major sporting events and if they are not advertising your favorite game then ask! I’m sure they will be able to show it. They have an excellent pool table too!
With a relaxed ‘pub style’ atmosphere Reef Bar offers a contemporary western menu with lots of tasty comfort food. You must try their Pulled Pork burger, and their mac ‘n’ cheese with Smokey bacon is absolutely delicious.
Reef’s ‘signature dish’ is their BBQ ribs, that fall succulently off the bone. They also do a tasty Chicken tikka masala which is served with roti, mango chutney and raita.
If you fancy a snack then the nacho’s or buffalo wings are guaranteed to satisfy
Location: Walk 50m up the ‘down road’ and Reef Bar is on the right hand side, opposite Island Travel Koh Tao.
Favourite Meal: Smoking Tom’s BBQ Burger – This burger comes with a nice savoury and smoky flavour and is served with onion rings. Don’t forget to ask for mayo if you want it for your fries.
Breeze Koh Tao
Mae Haad’s premier beachside restaurant and one of our favourite spots for watching the sunset, enjoying a tasty happy hour Mojito whilst kicking back and relaxing on one of their bean bags.
Breeze Koh Tao is one of Mae Haad’s newest restaurants and offers an International menu, with classic dishes from all over the world, including vegetarian and vegan option.
Traditional dishes such as Fritto misto mare, Fish n Chips, Imam Bayildi & Beef Stroganoff feature on their menu alongside popular fusion dishes such as Soft shell crab Spaghetti, some great homemade Angus beef burgers and a variety of different sharing boards.
If you want a sunset beer, a snack or a three course meal with a sea view, Breeze Koh Tao is the place to visit.
Open from 07.30 till late their Smashed Avocado with poached eggs is this writers favourite breakfast on the island.
Location: right on the beach between Crystal Dive & the Safety Stop
Favourite Meal: Seven spiced fresh fish with smashed avocado, mango salsa, sunflower sprouts and teriyaki
Also try: their superfood salad.
Koh Tao’s hippest coffee shop, Coconut Monkey’s rustic appearance, cosy atmosphere and comfortable feel makes it the place to hang for breakfast or brunch, or for anyone who appreciates great coffee.
Healthy food, tasty desserts, freshy made fruits smoothies and some great wraps, Coconut Monkey advertises that they use ‘organic and locally sourced ingredients where possible’ on their menu and offer an extensive vegetarian and vegan menu.
Try their popular Falafal wrap, tasty with lots of flavor. It’s also nice and filling, great value for money.
For those with a sweet tooth their homemade cheesecake is delicious whether you choose the lemon or the salted caramel. Its super creamy and is a great compliment to an afternoon coffee.
Location: the south end of Mae Haad after the Songserm pier
Favourite Meal: Veggie Quesadilla with the cashew pesto sauce, homemade salsa and the cheese!
Also try: their amazeballs
The ‘Nam Tok’ shop
If you like fresh, spicy grilled meat salads then this little gem is definitely the place to go. One of the few places in Mae Haad that specializes in northern Thai (Issaan) food.
Great for Papaya salad, which they also do with fresh crab.They also serve all the other classic stir fry’s and Thai curry’s and is great value for money.
Their signature dish is ‘Nam Tok Moo’ a grilled pork salad, which basically translates to ‘Pork water fall’. It is made with ground dried chilli’s, fish sauce, lime juice, shallots and mint leaves, served with sticky rice and comes with raw vegetables, normally cabbage and long beans.
Location: on the down road, opposite Reef bar, 30 metres from Café del Sol
Favourite Meal: Nam Tok Moo’ – grilled pork salad,
Also try: ‘Tom Saab’ – Spicy sour soup with tender pork ribs
La Carotte Qui Rit
La Carotte Qui Rit is a great Vegan Thai restaurant that serves the best fruit shakes and offers great value for money.
The food is excellent, fresh, and full of flavor, yet not over spicy. The actual place is kinda cute and the staff very friendly.
The menu is packed with Thai classics ; Penang, green & red curries, Pad Thai, mango sticky rice, and they are all free of any animal products.
They have a good selection of tea’s and their ‘Haw Mak’, a thick red curry with coconut milk, stuffed with cauliflower, broccoli and carrots, is delicious, although they don’t always have it on the menu during the lower seasons.
Location: half way up the up road on the left hand side
Favourite Meal: Massaman curry
Also try: their fresh spring rolls – lettuce, carrot, basil, cashew nut, sesame & peanut sauce
Zest bakery & coffee house
The original breakfast place and the place to go if you want to eat, early!
They brew tasty coffee and offer an extensive breakfast menu including a full cooked English, eggs benedict, fruit, yoghurt and muesli and pancakes.
Opens from 6am, service is quick, staff are great and Zest Bakery offer probably the most efficient delivery service on Koh Tao!
And their most popular delivery items are their sandwiches. Offering a variety of breads; ciabatta, white/brown, multigrain, baguette with all your favourite fillings including several different cheeses and hams.
For those with a sweet tooth, zest has some lovely blueberry muffins and tasty chocolate croissants, as well as brownies, cheesecakes and cinnamon rolls to list a few.
And if you’re thinking more healthy they also have a great range of salads with my personal favourite being the Mediterranean salad; grilled vegetables, grilled capsicum, and feta in olive oil with pine nut, egg and olives.
Favourite meal: Full Set.
Also try: Blueberry muffin