Before relocating to Ko Samui, I wondered about how easily accessible vegan food would be. So, I researched and was pleasantly surprised to learn that vegan & gluten-free friendly restaurants actually abound in Ko Samui, Thailand.
In fact, the area where I was moving to was filled with options! After personally sampling a variety of dishes from various restaurants around Lamai, Ko Samui, I can confidently recommend these five favourites!
Regardless of if you’re a traveller passing through or a local living on the island, visiting any of these five vegan & gluten-free friendly restaurants in Lamai will be a delicious experience:
Annie Sweetery & Eatery
Annie Sweetery & Eatery is a personal favourite – mainly because I have a major sweet tooth and all desserts are gluten-free! Most of the desserts on offer are sugar-free, too, as coconut sugar is used in most items instead of refined sugar – a selection is pictured above. If you don’t have a sweet tooth then fret not as the main meals are scrumptious, too! I would recommend the Buddha Bowl as it’s the most bang for your back. For just 199 THB, you get served a massive bowl of plant based goodness. For those curious: my go-to creation typically includes berry rice, seaweed, cashew cream cheese, & vegan feta.
Recommendation: Buddha Bowl (GF)
Location: 124, Lamai Beach, Maret, Ko Samui
Pure Vegan Heaven
Before visiting Pure Vegan Heaven, I recommend checking the opening hours just in case as the restaurant closes earlier than most. Pure Vegan Heaven is actually a chain, brought to Ko Samui from Ko Phangan. The menu includes a range of items, such as breakfast go-tos (like smoothie bowls) and traditional Thai options (like Som Tum). Personally, I’m obsessed with the Sweet Potato Gnocchi and the turmeric shot!
Recommendation: Sweet Potato Gnocchi (GF)
Location: 131/1, Had Lamai Rd, Maret, Ko Samui
Yes, Tropicana is an Italian restaurant owned by an Italian yet serves gluten-free options! Don’t get too excited, though, because the gluten-free options are limited only to the pasta part of the menu; which is honestly a delectable part of the menu! As for vegan options, vegan pasta & pizza is available. As I visited during a ‘cheat day’, I devoured a vegan pizza with olives & artichokes – totally worth the gluten.
Recommendation: Make Your Own Pizza
Location: 124/62 Had Lamai Rd, Maret, Ko Samui
Live India Restaurant
As a Malaysian that appreciates Indian food and a bargain, I was over the moon when I realised that Live India was not only authentic but affordable as well! The extensive menu (for real, the pages go on & on) includes crowd favourites like butter chicken but more importantly, vegan favourites like chana masala. While thosai is not on the menu, the pilaf rice makes up for the lack of gluten free options.
Recommendation: Chana Masala with Pilaf Rice (GF)
Location: 175, Had Lamai Rd, Maret, Ko Samui
Cabezas Muertas (also known as Deadheads)
Mexican food is not exactly synonymous with plant-based food which is why Cabezas Muertas is an experience to have. The plant-based meat is prepared perfectly, so much so that you might question what you’re eating – yes, it really is plant-based! Be mindful when finalising your order, though, as only one sauce is 100% vegan but the chef would be more than happy to customise a sauce for you if that’s what you need.
Recommendation: Plant-based Taquitos (GF)
Location: 146/66, Maret, Ko Samui (before The Lamai Hotel)
Bonus: Bang Rak Mini Mart (BM) in Lamai
Even if you’re a tourist, visit Bang Rak Mini Mart if you’re a foodie! The amount of knick knacks available will reel you in just as much as a tourist sight around the island. Seriously, there’s food from around the world like from America, England, Germany, Russia, & more. There’s all types of vegan fare available, too, like vegan coconut yoghurt, vegan parmesan, vegan ready-to-eat meals, and more. You can thank me later!
“I love shopping, especially food shopping.” Emma Bunton