Koh Kood restaurants have steadily increased in number over the last few years and with that expansion, your choices for a meal out are now much more wide reaching. Indeed, everything from seafood to Italian, cheap Thai dishes to French cuisine, coffee shops to bakeries are now available.
That said, down the south west coast and up in the far north west of the island, where the beaches sit a long way from the main road itself, you’ll find little outside the resorts themselves. If staying in these areas, it’s a real boon if you have your own transport in order to seek out some alternative spots.
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Thai Food – Koh Kood Restaurants
Scattered around Koh Kood, there are plenty of cheap Thai diners, where you can eat all the classics including one dish over rice, somtam and sticky rice (Issan) or Kra Ta (BBQ at your table).
Klong Chao Beach and Central Area
In Klong Chao, just around the corner from the central concrete bridge, Ma Der Tum offers hotpot style at your table alongside classics such as pad kapow. Next door, Rimtang Kitchen (standard Thai) is mainly take-out though it does have a couple of tables. A hundred metres further on, the tiny I Yar is another option on this stretch.
In the central area just along from BB Divers, Sea Dog has more of a Bangkok feel and recently expanded, specialises in cocktails to compliment its long menu of Thai and western dishes.
On the river, Mangrove Bungalows is open to allcomers at its well reviewed Zone restaurant. Continue past there, you can also grab something light to eat at the night market (not open every day).
Central Area at Hin Dam (Ao Tapao Beach)
Heading north from Klong Chao towards the centre of the island and a kilometre or so after the turning to Ao Noi Resort, you reach the tiny and cheap Leo, with another no name diner opposite offering both breakfast and noodles. Talking of noodles, our favourite is a few metres further on again, the brushed concrete building up the steps, with Pizza and Pasta (see below) on the other side.
Continue along here, Esan Family, complete with its dusty hard mud floor and rough wooden tables, is a terrific Issan diner – expect sticky rice, somtam, grilled chicken, pork and catfish. Little Bird completes the set along here. It specialises in pork, beef and seafood Ka Ta sets – cook at your table in the pot. They do serve some curries and Thai salads as well, but note the service can be slow.
Shortly after Little Bird, by taking the shortcut road by the electricity station and wending your way through the trees, you’ll arrive at The Fisherman Hut. A popular spot, it offers a full menu as well as a seafood BBQ, wide range of cocktails and live music.
Pangya Kitchen, a small food court, sits across the road from the town hall and its huge Koh Kood sign. In the same area, opposite the hospital, 108 is nothing to look at from the outside but head inside to one of its basic tables for some very good Issan food.
Towards Ao Salad
Heading out on the main road towards Ao Salad, look out for the the lovely wooden house set back from the road. It’s a Guay Jab Noodle shop, a fabulous dish comprising crispy pork with a hard boiled egg, bean sprouts and tofu atop a rich broth bulked out with wide rice noodles.
Klong Yai Kee and Klong Han
If you are up in Klong Yai Kee, you can also call in at the boutique resort, Bann Makok in its lovely setting on the canal. They serve a good range of well presented and delicately flavoured Thai food at very reasonable prices.
Nearby, another hidden gem is Soneva Kiri’s Krua Mae Tuk, a beautifully designed wooden stilt house over the water. You’ll find it deep in the mangroves near to Captain Hook Resort’s wooden jetty, which is itself located before the concrete bridge. Open on Wednesday and Sunday evenings only, the restaurant is principally used by Soneva’s guests but you can book it via their website. Prices for a set 3 course dinner are from 3,250bt per head.
On the now (sadly) developing Secret Beach at Klong Rahan, the cafe restaurant MuEi sits on the lagoon at the southern end. You can get a good range of classic one Thai food (rice and noodles) as well as coffee, smoothies and cold beers. The actual resort, Moana, is scheduled to open in 2024.
South from Klong Chao
Heading south from Klong Chao, Chillout Cafe, is roadside shortly after the hill – Thai dishes mainly, either with one dish over rice or rice served separately to the main. They also have a pool table. Next door on one side, it’s Issan fare once more at Tum Korat or on the other, Chaiyo, once of Ngamkho Beach, serves up all the Thai staples. Do factor in a long wait at Chaiyo as the one woman kitchen prepares everything fresh – it’s excellent when it does arrive so hang on in there.
Dropping down the hill to Ngamkho Beach and then around the corner, you reach the tiny Black Bananas (former home of Chaiyo above). Their ramshackle wooden diner combines cafe style with a full menu.
Just before Bang Bao Beach, Chiang Mai serves food from Northern Thailand with Khao Soi a speciality (not always available). Bang Bao Home, opposite the turning to Siam Beach Resort, is an under the radar restaurant worth seeking out – a wide selection of Thai dishes, seafood in particular, all very tasty.
Ao Takian and Ao Phrao
In Ao Takian, home to the backpacker bungalows of Eve House and Wooden Hut, Im-Yung has been around for a couple of years, serving up the normal range of Thai staples – cheap and tasty.
Much further down the island, Relax (Monday Thursday and Saturday only) garners lots of positive reviews in Tripadvisor, with good well cooked dishes, nothing too fancy but the curries especially are well spiced. You do need to book in advance.
Western Food – Koh Kood Restaurants
Koh Kood boasts a couple of excellent Italian restaurants, with authentic chefs cooking up their home country’s dishes to the highest of standards.
For many years now, Pizza and Pasta has been providing those two very dishes, homemade to their own recipes, in a friendly setting at its roadside location between Klong Chao and the main administration area of Hin Dam.
The Italian chef at Heaven Sense, situated at the bottom of the little hill just after Bang Bao Beach, offers a wide array of pizzas, mains and desserts, again with freshly prepared doughs and sauces. They are closed for rainy season.
Down the access road to Koh Kood Resort, Cicci Thai Cooking School is also a dab hand at Swedish baking, open from 08.00 to 20.00 – fresh bread, cakes, desserts, sandwiches and even some Swedish bistro dishes.
At the start of Ngamkho Beach, the tiny Pornthip Pizza sits opposite Paradise Divers. It’s takeaway mainly but there are a couple of tables too if you want to eat in. The equally compact, Mandala, vegan and vegetarian, is next door – burgers, wraps, fries, smoothies.
Outside Dusita Resort, the urban looking Kood Vibes combines bistro dishes such as burgers, steak and fries with sandwiches, bagels and a wide range of coffees, smoothies and cakes. They are also cannabis specialists.
Along from Eve House and Wooden House on the road past Ao Takian, Kuba Lounge has built a decent reputation among the Koh Kood restaurants for its wide array of western dishes including Sunday lunches. They also do plenty of classic Thai dishes. Bistro Koh Kood, the French restaurant, moved to Chaing Mai in late 2023.
Seafood – Koh Kood Restaurants
For two of the island’s best seafood restaurants – Noochy and Chonthicha – you need to head to the fishing village of Ao Yai in the south east of the island.
A few years back, a sudden rush of restaurants opened up at the southern end, all housed in the traditional stilt houses built out over the water. Of these, only Noochy Seafood, always the best of them anyway, has stayed the course. See the Sun still does have signs out but has actually moved over to Far East Resort in Ao Ngamkho.
At the other end of the village, Chonthicha, the original seafood restaurant in Ao Yai, serves up fresh fish from nets underfoot to its customers seated at hefty wooden tables in their charming sala.
In the north east of the island at Ao Salad, Captain Nhong Seafood makes a great choice for lunch, with some very well judged dishes, nicely presented and wonderful views over the bay from its vantage point above the village. There are also a couple of other small local Koh restaurants down on the pier, with Jack Seafood and Red Seafood more than passable.
Seafood in Other Areas
Klong Chao is home to Nuch Leuang Seafood, a bustling open air restaurant on the hill at the southern end. With its wide range of classic choices, you’ll find it always busy, particularly with Thai tourists.
Klong Mad too now has a small seafood restaurant, King, next door to Rabieng Talay Homestay on the other side of the sea inlet.
If you are staying in the area near Klong Chao Waterfall at places like PD, Mata, Coco Camping, you can find a cute seafood restaurant, Ploy Mook, just round the corner (in the waterfall direction) from the central crossroads.
Cafes – Koh Kood Restaurants
Found on the narrow road that runs towards Tolani Resort on Klong Chao Beach, Viewpoint Cafe is a converted fisherman’s houses on stilts over the water, great for sunsets.
After completing its move from Hin Dam, Mermaid has now re-opened roadside at Koh Kood Garden View opposite Sea Dog (see above). It’s a western style cafe offering breakfasts, croissants, freshly baked bread, sandwiches, avocado plates , smoothie bowls, coffees in all styles, juices, teas and more besides. There’s also a clothes and souvenir store attached – hippie chic.
At the far southern end of the beach, Good View, with both coffee and a full menu, can be accessed from steep steps up the rocks from the sand or via a sharp turning off the road on the hill. Its vantage point high above the sea is one of the best on Koh Kood.
Back on the main road, Chic Chom Phu, offers a bakery, smoothies and coffee whilst a kilometre or so further on, Million Beach Cafe within S Beach Resort on Ngamkho Beach has a lovely setting by the sea.
Inland on the way to Khao Ruerab (Battleship Mountain), Pink Kangaroo (former owners from Viewpoint) remain as reliable as ever for their unique Vietnamese coffee, lassis and food, all excellent. There is also a quaint wooden cafe, Nomkhon Station tucked away near the beach opposite Paradise Divers main shop.
Continuing south, Baan Suan Homestay at the turning to Siam Beach Resort grinds the beans for Bang Bao Beach. 518 Cafe is on the parallel street leading to Koh Kood Resort.
Koh Kood Cafe at Neverland Resort sits by the sea, another wonderful location to relax and enjoy the peace and quiet of the island’s beaches.
And finally, just along from Rest Sea Resort at the northern end of Ao Phrao, See Thru Cafe gives you a nice beach option in this area with its tasty one dish food, snacks and drinks.
Ao Tapao and Klong Mad
Going north up the island, head to Little 9 Cafe on the approach road to Seafar and Meedee for coffee, cakes and when we visited, oodles of cats (tiny, medium and large).
Continue past the above turning and the hospital, you’ll spot Darat Smoothies (and good ones at that) just before the crossroads. Take a left at those same crossroads and after the temple, down the little lane, Mateoasis makes proper homemade ice cream to compliment the coffee and its full menu.
Meanwhile, on the hill above Ao Tapao beach, follow the signs in Shantaa to its charming Gathi Cafe down by the sea – one dish meals, coffee and smoothies. Incidentally, their in-house restaurant, also open to non-residents, has a much larger menu with plenty of vegetarian options – fabulous ocean views an added bonus.
Finally, the excellent Suanya Coffee has an air conditioned cafe down by the sea at Klong Mad, a great stop when out and about exploring.
Our Recommended Koh Kood Restaurants
Pricing Code/Per person in Baht (B) excluding drinks:B= under 100; BB= under 500; BBB= over 500;
Listed in location order, central Hin Dam, moving south down to Klong Chao, then all the way down the island, east coast last. They are not in a ratings order!