Where Should I Eat Today..??
This is a question that I often ask myself, and I’m also asked quite a lot by guests and student divers around Crystal Dive. Unfortunately, even when you know your options it’s 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 peckish and need to refuel between your scuba diving adventures.
Good Food in Mae Haad
First let’s talk a little bit about how to locate things on Koh Tao. In Mae Haad (where the main pier is) we have 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.
Newly reopened and completely rebuilt this is nice and definitely your closest option when diving with Crystal Dive. It features a nice sea view and you can sit and watch our dive boats depart and return. This restaurant is ideal if you are diving all day and only have limited time to grab some lunch in between our morning and afternoon dive trips.
Location: Crystal Dive
Favourite Meal: Pad Thai Chicken – all time Thai classic and well executed at this place.
Another nice creation that we like is Penang curry with chicken but instead of eating this popular dish with rice, order french fries instead and mix them together!
Pranee’s Kitchen is located next door to Crystal Dive. Featuring a dining area, with traditional dining tables and chairs as well as a ‘Sala’ fitted on the side. The Sala features comfortable Thai triangle floor cushions to sit on and chill out whilst watching movies, and/or eating your food on the low tables.
I would call Pranees Kitchen a traditional Thai restaurant and although the menu features predominately Thai dishes they also do good burgers as well.
Location: Walking street next to Crystal Dive
Favourite Meal: Massaman Curry – Another all-time classic very well executed at this place with a nice balance of mild coconut and spices.
Café Del Sol
Open since 1999, Café del Sol is the first French restaurant on Koh Tao and specializes in western (French & Italian) food. It has a nice interior and is really close by as well. 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 romantic dinner.
More of a street stall than a restaurant but this lady, Da, has quite a reputation on Koh Tao. Specializing in tasty sandwich that easily feed you for a full afternoon of diving. She’s one of our favourite options if you don’t have much time between catching boats.
Location: On the walking street after the pier on a corner to the next road leading up. Delivers to crystal if ordered before 11am.
Favourite Meal: Chicken, Cheese, Bacon Sandwich
Quite big restaurant with massive, heavy wooden tables and chairs but still the typical Thai flair. They are perfect for the hungry traveller on a budget as, well known for big portions and relatively cheap prices. Yang’s features a large menu of Thai dishes but they also offer probably the best chips on the island.
Location: On the main road towards Chalok Ban Khao . Walk up the ‘up road’, turn right and 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.
Very little stand featuring two small tables outside and four inside. Run by a very friendly person cooking some great Thai food. The menu is a little smaller than usual but all the dishes are very well prepared and as a result this is my all-time favourite place for Thai food.
The fruit shakes here are amazing too!
Location: Around 200m up the ‘up road’, left hand side.
Favourite Meal: Spring Rolls and Fried chilli & basil leaves with pork – ‘Pad Kraw Pow Moo’ in Thai.
Mae Haad’s most popular Sports Bar, Reef Bar shows pretty much every major sporting event and they also have an excellent pool table. With a relaxed ‘pub style’ atmosphere Reef Bar offers a contempory western menu and have some tasty stuff on their menu such as Pulled Pork burgers, mac ‘n’ cheese and their ‘signature dish’, rotisserie chicken that comes in either half or a whole chicken served with wedges and coleslaw.
Location: Walk 100m up the ‘up road’ and Reef Bar is on the right hand side.
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.
Author: Crystal Dive