Home to a luscious, romantic landscape, beautiful turquoise seas and amazing food – Thailand is the ultimate travel experience. Every year, millions of tourists flock to this tropical paradise to enjoy the country’s vibrant nightlife and stunning scenery, but for those who want to stay trim and healthy on their travels, Thailand can prove a challenge.
Luckily, we asked Hazel from The Food Medic to put together a Clean Eating guide to Thailand. Having just returned from her latest adventure, she’s found the best Clean Eating restaurants and cafés for you to try.
Healthy wraps on offer at The Salad Concept
Situated in Chiang Mai, The Salad Concept is famous amongst locals and tourists alike. Founded by two sisters, Poy and Pye, the restaurant believes in the power of healthy eating and bases its food philosophy around the saying “you are what you eat”. On the menu you can find an array of salads, wraps, juices and sugar-free cakes.
Guests can also enjoy the novelty of creating their salad or wrap from scratch with a selection of tasty ingredients. Build your own salad with a base, which may be a type of salad leaf, five toppings of your choice including vegetables, meat, nuts and a homemade dressing – the pumpkin salad dressing was my favourite!
The Salad Concept will even prepare you a salad to go, which is a great option for those heading out on a day trip or to the airport!
Delicious Chicken and Almond Salad by Fresh&Wraps
Fresh&Wraps is a new healthy eatery based in the old city of Chiang Mai, not far from the Thapae Gate. This new western-style restobar offers Mexican-inspired wraps, salads and fresh juices made from good-quality organic ingredients. The modern interior is very stylish with wooden floors and panelling and there’s even a chalk board painted with healthy tips and quotes.
I ordered the chicken and almond salad with a detox juice all for a very reasonable price of 250 Baht. I would recommend this cute little café for breakfast, lunch or for simply grabbing a fresh juice while exploring this beautiful city!
Rustic and Blue’s tasty goat’s cheese, chorizo and tomato salad
This little artisan restaurant is a cute haven away from the hustle and bustle of the streets of Chiang Mai. The rustic décor and chilled indie vibe make it the perfect place for a lazy brunch for any health-conscious foodie. The fresh, organic and home-grown ingredients add immense flavour to the delicious dishes on the menu. With options such as Chia seed cashew pudding with homemade granola and American style pancakes you’ll be torn on what to order! I’d recommend trying the homemade goat’s cheese, chorizo and tomato salad – fresh, flavourful and moreish is the only way to describe this dish!
Delicious Seafood options at Sustaina
Sustaina is an organic restaurant and farm shop located in the trendy area of Sukhumvit in Bangkok. The restaurant offers Japanese and Thai-inspired vegetarian and seafood dishes made from locally sourced ingredients from the Harmony Life Organic Farm in Pak Chong.
The quality, taste and presentation of the meals at Sustaina cannot be faulted but do expect to pay a little extra in comparison with surrounding restaurants. Before you leave, browse the farm shop downstairs which is filled with fresh fruit, vegetables, grains, cereals and homemade soaps. Make sure to make room for dessert and try their Matcha cheesecake.
Fresh seafood platter at Barracuda
Located right on Sairee Beach, Barracuda is considered one of the best restaurants on the island. This Thai-style seafood restaurant prides itself on serving the freshest, local fish and seafood produce. While dining here I opted to share the renowned seafood platter which was filled with fresh snapper, barracuda, prawns, muscles and calamari. At 495 Baht for one person this was a bargain and would have easily fed three people!
Barracuda is one of the most popular restaurants on the island, so much so it’s has opened a second location only one street over – but don’t expect to get a table without a reservation!
The Fitness Cafe offers a wide range of protein-packed salads
Fitness Café is the one place you can guarantee to find any health nut or bodybuilder chowing down on protein pancakes and superfood smoothies. The café is located beside one of the islands most popular gyms, Gym & Fitness and also just up the road from Crossfit Koh Tao. Although the café décor itself isn’t exactly impressive, the menu and food speaks for itself with a great selection of healthy breakfast and lunch options such as homemade granola and protein packed salads.
For those with a sweet tooth – like me – they even have homemade guilt-free goodies such as protein peanut butter cups and Goji berry bars. I picked up a few of these after lunch and took them to the beach with me to snack on throughout the day.
The refreshing Good Morning Koh Tao smoothie
Nestled beside Crossfit Koh Tao, this hidden gem offers superfood juices, smoothies, protein shakes and healthy snacks such as raw chocolate and banana bread. Although there are many juice vendors in Thailand, Living Juices offers a huge selection of superfoods to include in your morning smoothie such as Spirulina, Chia seeds and Goji berries.
I stopped by here for a pre-workout smoothie and choose the Good Morning Koh Tao which consisted of vanilla, Chia seeds, Gojis, banana, oats and coconut milk. Not only did the smoothie fuel me for my workout and taste amazing, it certainly wasn’t pricey at 150 Baht.
Freshly-prepared rice rolls
Green Leaf Café is a family-run vegan and vegetarian restaurant run by Kom and his wife Jenny. The restaurant offers a buffet style all-you-can-eat service twice a day during breakfast and dinner. All dishes are prepared fresh using local and organic ingredients where available.
In addition to the buffet, they also have a juice and dessert menu with such goodies as vegan brownies and coconut ice-cream. My favourites from the buffet include the Massaman curry and vegan chocolate mousse! In addition to a feast of delicious veggie food, the candle-lit interior, friendly service and chilled music really make the whole experience.
Hearthy buckwheat pancakes which are sure to fill you up
The Radiance Restaurant is situated within The Spa Resorts overlooking Lamai beach in Koh Samui. The restaurant was listed as one of the Top 50 Restaurants in the World and it is no surprise then that there’s a range gourmet options available, even for raw foodists, vegans, vegetarians and for those following the Candida diet.
The vast menu offers fish and meat dishes for carnivores who simply can’t do without. Prices are extremely reasonable, here a plate of buckwheat pancakes with fresh fruit will set you back 170 Baht. Raw food cooking classes and detox programmes are also available.
141/190 Moo 6, Bophut, Koh Samui, Suratthani 84320
Succulent beef tenderloin steak served at 9 Gems
Although 9 Gems doesn’t traditionally fall under the ‘healthy’ category, this restaurant is a must-visit for any foodie staying on the island. Often compared to a modern art gallery, this contemporary-styled restaurant is in a league of its own combining world-class dining and panoramic views of Chaweng Bay. Owner and head chef, Sathit Muangprom draws inspiration from his time spent training in Switzerland to create his unique and artistic dishes.
The restaurant has several tasting menus on offer – why not try mouth-watering seven course tasting menu where you can sample such delights as Black Angus tenderloin with chocolate and red wine sauce. 9 Gems is quite expensive, which reflects the quality of the whole experience, so save a night out here for a special occasion.
The 9 Seasons Restaurant is located within Tamarind Springs Spa Resort near Lamai Beach in Koh Samui. The restaurant mirrors the same ambience as the spa and is truly a tranquil place to dine. The food itself is largely based on vegetarian Thai cuisine, which is guaranteed free of MSG and other taste enhancing agents.
I chose the Pad-ka Prao mushrooms, a classic Thai dish served with Jasmine rice and a fried egg on top. The meal was beautifully presented and tasted wonderful – but you will have to take my word for it as the resort’s peaceful nature is maintained by banning the use of phones or cameras.
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About the author
My name is Hazel Wallace, I’m a final year medical student and the girl behind The Food Medic!
I started my blog as an extension of my Instagram, it was somewhere I could share my recipes and blog about subjects I’m passionate about such as health, fitness and travel. I promote a balanced lifestyle and my aim is to show people that living a healthy lifestyle is possible even with a busy schedule, a hectic social life and family life.