Planning a trip to Thailand and looking for a beach destination that caters to vegan and vegetarian diets? Aonang in Krabi has your back! Located on the southern coast of Thailand, Aonang attracts a mixed crowd of backpackers, solo travellers, families, and couples, with the promise of firey red and pink sunsets, limestone cliffs, relaxed evenings and island adventures. It’s also home to a plethora of vegan and vegetarian-friendly restaurants, making it a comfortable destination for plant-based foodies.
Why Aonang is a haven for plant-based eaters?
Thailand is known for its flavourful cuisine, but it can be challenging to find vegan and vegetarian options in some areas. Unless you’re comfortable with the language, it can be difficult to get your hands on traditional Thai food that’s free from oyster or fish sauce (whilst the concept of veganism is clear when it comes to solid meats, fishy sauces often slip under the radar).
Here are some of the best vegan and vegetarian-friendly restaurants in Aonang (tried and tested by yours truly) that you should add to your list of food spots to check out during your visit.
Best Vegan and Vegetarian-Friendly Restaurants in Aonang
Post-Covid, Aonang has really sunk its teeth into the demand for leafy hipster cafes, serving fruity acai breakfasts in polished coconut-shell bowls, washed down with tall iced coffees topped with coconut and going by names like ‘The Cloud’.
Whilst I may have just listed off Tan’s offering with (what sounds like) an air of hostility, I actually really like it here. Unlike a lot of the other cafes in the area, Tan has multiple plug points that allow remote workers a few hours of public laptop tapping and their floor-to-ceiling windows and open doors make for relaxed, bright feels. Staff are super friendly and (despite prices being on the higher side for Thailand) portion sizes are generous and the food (and coffee) is tasty.
Must try: Any of the fruit-topped breakfast bowls and (of course) the cloud coffee – a theatrical experience in itself.
The Brightside Bistro
Whilst I encourage EVERYONE to step away from their usual home comforts and enjoy the local cuisine while they can, after 4 solid weeks, I was hankering for a slice of something familiar. And that’s when I found The Brightside Bistro. Conveniently located across from one of my favourite Aonang bars (Tribe), they’ve got an incredible range of vegan cheese toastie options, alongside a couple of extra dishes (such as pasta) that can be tailored to a vegan diet.
What’s more, they brought my cheese toastie over to Tribe whilst I was sipping on happy-hour daiquiris and watching the sun go down across the beach.
Shatterbox Coffee Ao Nang
While most of the eateries in this blog are located at the east end of Aonang, Shatterbox sits at the opposite end, closer to the growing number of new mid-range hotels. It was acquired by new management in 2022, and they have put a significant focus on vegan-friendly menu options, served against a floor-to-ceiling bright and breezy window backdrop. Alongside their plentiful plant-based offering, they also serve up some of the nicest coffee in Aonang; I went back for multiple creamy oat milk iced lattes served in chunky mason jars.
Sometimes you just want a change (and a good curry!)! There are tons of Indian restaurants in Aonang, so choosing one can be quite overwhelming. Ali Baba is one of the furthest (on this list) from the beach, but the walk is worth it. Whilst the service here is pretty abysmal, the vegan curries are perhaps my favourite in Krabi. Alongside the tasty pots of spicy goodness, Ali Baba serves up large naans that can be made without butter.
One of the better-known vegan-friendly restaurants in town, I hear a lot of people hyping up Cafe 8.98. I have to confess, it’s not my personal favourite, but it’s clear to see why it’s a popular choice. Alongside 50% off early morning coffees (I’m talking to you 7 am starters), they also provide an all-day build-your-own Buddha bowl menu. These bowls are generous in size and allow visitors to pick and choose options from multiple sections, e.g. Protein, Carb, etc. On the protein list for vegans and veggies is the Beyond Meat Burger.
One of the newest kids on the block, to date, Plant-erian is the only restaurant in Ao Nang that is 100% vegan. For those who have already tried and tested Bangkok’s well-loved Veganerie chain, this gives the same vibes.
Their menu is extensive and covers all the Thai classics, alongside a sturdy list of Western favourites: pancakes, milkshakes, burgers, etc. As with the Veganerie, be prepared to pay a more Western price point at around the 200-300 baht mark.
Aonang Weekday Market (next to Macro)
A bit of a trek if your accommodation is near the beach, but one of my favourite things to do in Aonang. The weekday market runs from 3 pm on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday and is located on the road between Aonang and Ao Namao (you’ll find it just next to Makro).
If walking in the intense heat is a struggle, it’s only a short taxi or songtaew ride. Alternatively, there are plenty of places to hire a scooter and incorporate the Market into a day of exploring. Find my recommended scooter hire shop and a list of the best things to do in Aonang on my blog: Aonang, Krabi Travel Guide: Travel tips and FAQs Answered
This place has all the feels of the old Thai markets I used to go to 15 years ago, with lines of stalls selling everything from drinks, finger food snacks, full sit-down meals and even second-hand clothes.
Make sure to try the freshly made spring rolls, the bubble tea with roselle, and the made-to-order coconut milk taro bags (you can switch taro for matcha).
Ok, hear me out! For decades, the non-veggies have been celebrating the joys of the 7-Eleven microwave toasties and hotdog cart. But there’s a real hidden gem for the vegans too, tucked away in the freezer section for a mere 32 baht! Keep an eye out for the Thai ‘jay’ symbol on the little frozen food boxes. You’ll usually only be able to find one option – the vegetarian meat with rice box, but this range expands during September when a lot of the Thais celebrate the annual Vegetarian festival. Just take your frozen box to the counter and the cashier will heat it up for you – the perfect budget-friendly tummy filler.
The Govindas chain is run by bubbly go-getter Laila, whose restaurants serve delicious Indian cuisine. Alongside the all-you-can-eat buffet, their larger 2nd-floor restaurant offers delicious vegetarian and vegan Indian dishes like chana masala and dal makhani.
Making sure they have all their bases covered, the little sister restaurant to Govindas is located at the opposite end of Aonang’s main beach strip. You’ll find it tucked away in a mini walking street that cuts out the end corner and loops visitors through one of the late-night bars.
While its larger counterpart puts a large focus on Indian Cuisine, Little Govindas serves up pre-drinking/post-drinking quick eats like pizza, wraps, vegan hotdogs and light bites.
Whilst I found the service here pretty miserable, Buzz Cafe is still a convenient spot if you’re looking for organic AND vegan food. They offer breakfast and lunch dishes, including pitas, wraps, and salads. When we paid a visit, we also picked up iced coffees and fruit shakes.
Their pitta plate is probably one of their best value-for-money dishes.
Aonang street food stands
There are two key street food stands along Aonang’s main road, both on the same part of the road as Starbucks. Both serve up fast food favourites like sandwiches, wraps and burgers. The first can be found in the small food open-air court opposite Subway. The second can be found slightly closer to the beach, right outside Phranang Green Natural Resort.
Joy Beach Bar
Technically not Aonang, but just along the road and a quiet place to enjoy some food and watch the sunset. Just past the pier in Ao Nam Mao, Joy Beach bar is located down a sandy road and is tucked neatly into the curve in the beach, offering up pretty sunset views across the mountains of Railay. Here, you can expect to find reggae vibes and rickey tables perfect for snacking and sipping beers. Ask for the tofu Thai larb dish (pictured below). It’s not on the menu, but they are happy to sub out the usual meat and fish sauce if you explain you’d like a vegan version.
If you’re looking to venture further afield whilst staying in Aonang, you’ll enjoy a visit to Khaothong Hill restaurant and viewpoint. The journey is about 30 minutes by car from the centre of Aonang and is a lesser-known Krabu gem that serves up a tasty menu, alongside purple sunset skies across the Andaman Sea. See photos and menu information on my blog: Khaothong Hill Restaurant – Aonang’s best hidden gem