Koh Mak restaurants now offer everything from seafood to familiar western menus and from bakeries to cheap no frills Thai eateries.
Most places are concentrated in the strip behind Ao Kao Beach where you can stroll about and see what takes your fancy, but you’ll also find more options on the back road behind Makathanee Resort and along the road to Ao Nid Pier.
You can jump straight to each category:-
Thai – Koh Mak Restaurants
On the road running parallel with Ao Kao Beach and diagonally opposite from Rayang Nature Resort, Kon Gin Sen ranks as one of Koh Mak’s best diners. It serves an extensive menu of all the usual favourites but specialises in Issan food – look out for spicy somtam, grilled chicken, catfish laab (minced salad with mint) and of course sticky rice. Next door, another long-standing island favourite, Food Garden, covers all the BBQ options in its own pretty setting.
Back at the Makathanee end of this same Ao Kao road, Clay Pot serves up both cook-at-your-table BBQ as well as classic Thai dishes. Nuchzabmaks, just after the turning towards Ao Suan Yai, is another Koh Mak restaurant which concentrates on Issan food but it does also knock up a wide selection of alternatives off the menu. A few doors down, the long established Chillout has a loyal following for its Thai classics – noodles, Pad Thai and all the curries.
Along that connecting road immediately behind Makathanee, Pim Jai on the left is a cheap and cheerful Thai diner, very popular with the local workers. Further along on the same side, Mam Seafood, is another realiable choice for quick and easy one choice over rice dishes or a fuller seafood menu.
Still on the Ao Kao road but back towards Ao Nid, the friendly Q Bar, which sits opposite Dara Villa, is another popular BBQ choice, with a cheeky sideline in cocktails.
Turning down to Ao Nid at the crossroads, you’ll find two more no-frills spots at Peaw and Om as well as a good noodle shop (also does Mokka coffee). Nearer to the pier, Dum Noodles cooks up an excellent broth as well as one dish style food.
Ao Suan Yai
Tucked away down a side road which links the road from the back of Seavana Resort with the road that runs from the Ao Talong junction to the back of Ao Suan Yai Pier, Koh Mak Organic Farm has sprung up in the old Wild at Heart spot. They combine dishes and drinks prepared from fruit and veg grown in their own garden with more traditional meat and seafood cuisine.
To the North and North East Coasts
A few other cheap restaurants have sprung up along the main road near to The Mak, good for an easy stop when out exploring. In that same area, Green View too has opened up a seafood restaurant on the the turning down to its actual resort.
Meanwhile, continuing all the way to the north east tip of Koh Mak, there’s a very decent somtam shack at Laem Son. It has just a couple of shaded wooden tables but the food and Koh Kradat views are both excellent.
Western and Other Cuisines – Koh Mak Restaurants
The tiny M.A. Bistro over at the back of Makathanee Resort serves a fusion menu with daily specials (cerviche, lomo saltado, beef ragu) as well as pasta dishes, fillet steak (fish or beef), steak sandwiches and banh mi.
For Italian cuisine, Riverside, inland over the little bridge in the centre of Ao Kao Beach, makes all its own pasta for lasgane, tortellini and other dishes. Meanwhile, at the top of the access road to Ao Kao Resort, Little Red Oven is known for baking the best thin crusts on the island.
Roadside on the hill above Seavana, 12 Bars gives Koh Mak a Japanese twist with sushi, sashimi, gyoza and cocktails. It opens late afternoon.
Chic and Chill on the Ao Nid road which offers a French menu with presentation to match, is currently closed.
Seafood – Koh Mak Restaurants
For seafood, look no further than the aptly named Koh Mak Seafood built out over the water down near the pier in Ao Nid. They offer a full reasonably priced menu of all the usual standards – steamed whole fish, a delicious house special jungle curry (with or without coconut milk), squid, prawns, oysters and much more besides. When you’re sated, you can brush up on your island history at the Koh Mak Museum next door.
Kon Gin Sen and Mam Seafood, as mentioned above, give you two more options.
Coffee Shops – Koh Mak Restaurants
Next door to Little Red Oven at the southern end of Ao Kao, Food Art Hut is a very reliable cafe come diner offering everything from coffee to smoothies, sandwiches and Thai food.
Ball Cafe opposite Baan Koh Mak about 1/2 way along the strip in Ao Kao Beach, has been a fixture on Koh Mak for many years and also now has rooms. Meanwhile, Sweetcake By Moo serves breakfasts and the full range of coffees on its little terrace with views out over Ao Nid.
Pineapple Cafe, just back from the sand by the Koh Mak Resort pier is the choice on that coast – coffee, sandwiches and delicious desserts.
Resort Dining – Koh Mak Restaurants
Over on Ao Soun Yai, Day Beds at Seavana is perhaps the most popular resort restaurant – lovely design, good food and right on the beach. I Talay at Koh Mak Resort Pier also has a terrific location by the sea.
On Ao Kao Beach, I Talay at Baan Koh Mak and Ao Kao Resort’s in-house diner in its pretty location on a raised terrace by the sea, are another couple of stylish spots to wile away the hours.
If out and about, you could stop in for lunch at Villa Allure in Ao Daeng, where they offer well presented food (and good coffee) in a stylish brushed concrete restaurant by the beach.
Finally, the in-house restaurant at The Mak over on the north coast is open to outsiders. With its sea views, infinity pool and ultra stylish villas, it’s the Instagram place on the island so definitely worth a stop – food’s very acceptable too. Next door and down on the beach, Little Moon Villa is much more subdued but it too makes a great spot for lunch.
Our Recommendations – Koh Mak Restaurants
Pricing Code/Per person in Baht (B) excluding drinks:B= under 100; BB= under 500; BBB= over 500;
They are not in a ratings order!