Lazy Cats Cafe Ubud

Stairs with 'lazy cats' painted on at lazy cats vegetarian cafe

Lazy Cats Cafe, Ubud:

  • Green Smoothie Bowl, Avocado Hummus Pita, Scrambled Eggs and Tempeh BBQ Wrap
  • Price: 50k + 45k + 50k + 60k  (tax and service charges included)
  • Score: 7/10
  • February 1st, 2017

One of the coolest cafes in Ubud, hands down. Lazy Cats Vegetarian Cafe is laid-back, sophisticated, and immensely charming.

More of a cafe than a full blown restaurant, Lazy Cats has a humble yet mouth-watering menu. From smoothie bowls to soups, salads and wraps, this is an excellent example of a smaller, more thoughtful menu. Every item sounds so good.

I’ve eaten here on a couple of occasions already, and plan to come back again!

First was a brunch date with a friend. I chose the Green Smoothie Bowl and he had ‘Eggs, any style’.

smoothie bowl with fruit, and scrambled eggs on toast with avocado, spinach and sundried tomatoes
Scrambled eggs with toast, avocado, sun dried tomatoes and dip and a Green smoothie bowl with seasonal fruit and cacao

My smoothie bowl was made with homemade cashew coco-milk, seasonal fruits, seeds, coconut and cacao nibs. It was everything you would want a smoothie bowl to be. There was definitely a much more generous serving of fruit in this smoothie bowl than other places i’ve been here. Always a welcome bonus.

Scott had his eggs scrambled and I was really impressed with his dish. A large hunk of toast, spinach, sundried tomatoes, avocado and a dip of his choosing – tahini lemon parsley. The other dips are cashew cheese or salsa de mango.

Brunch is most definitely the best option here! They even have a breakfast smoothie with an espresso shot, banana, peanut butter, dates, cinnamon and soy milk. I just need to come back early enough in the day so I can have coffee and give this a try. They also have soy and cashew milk for an extra 5k making it the perfect vegan coffee shop!

A few days later I came back for lunch with another friend. This time I went for the Avocado Hummus Pita, and she chose the Tempeh BBQ wrap.

Pita bread with avocado hummus mushroom and tomato
Avocado Hummus Pita with raw mushroom, sun dried tomato, salad and chia vinaigrette

Definitely more of a light snack than a filling meal but the Avo Hummus was delicious. The salad had a nice balsamic chia seed dressing with raw mushrooms and sun dried tomatoes. This meal was slightly cheaper at 45k but not nearly as filling as the others.

The most expensive meals on the menu are 60k. One of those being the Tempeh BBQ Wrap.

Vegetarian wrap with vegetables and BBQ sauce, with a side of carrot and sauce
Tempeh BBQ Wrap: Tempeh, greens, peppers and carrots

This was the most hearty meal out of all and very tasty if you’re a fan of BBQ sauce. It seemed like one of the less healthy options but still pretty good with tempeh, greens, peppers and carrots.

Prices here are really reasonable. They are also one of the few places where the government tax and service charge is included in the price you see, which makes it even more affordable and slightly cheaper than other places of a similar standard.

Easily the most ‘home-away-from-home’ cafe I’ve been to in Ubud and I’ve fallen a little in love with the pink, mismatched chairs and decor.

Chairs, sofas, small tables and lights inside Lazy Cats Vegetarian Cafe
Mismatched pink decor to fall in love with

As far as the wifi’s concerned, the first time it was great. The second was a little slow with images on webpages taking a little longer to load. I did still manage to watch a few YouTube videos with only a few instances of buffering. That said it had also been raining non-stop for a couple of days and even the wifi at our house (really fast, strong fiber internet) had been having issues so it’s a little unfair to judge Lazy Cats on this instance.

In terms of atmosphere and ambience, you should probably schedule in a few hours for this place. You may not want to leave those comfy sofas. With an open window and veranda terrace this place is a must-visit.

 

Matae Vegetarian Chiang Mai

Yellow and red sign with Thai and English writing that says เจ (vegan)
Jeh/Vegan/Vegetarian sign outside Maetae (มาแต) restaurant

Matae Vegetarian, Santitham Chiang Mai:

  • Rice + 2 toppings
  • Price: 30 baht
  • Score: 5/10
  • December 6th, 2016

Being lazy and not really wanting to drive far for lunch, I decided to check out the local Jeh / vegan restaurant. I’ve passed this place a few times but usually when it’s been closed of an evening. Most of these Jeh places close early, around 5pm at the latest.

Nobody here spoke English so I simply gestured at the most appealing looking options.  I ended up with rice and two toppings that looked like this:

Bowl of rice with two toppings of green eggplant and vegetables in an orange sauce
Bowl or rice with two vegan toppings

I’m pretty sure the darker stuff is eggplant. As for the other topping, I have no idea. It tasted like there was some coconut milk and chili involved. I was glad that they used brown rice instead of white.

The eggplant dish was a little oily and a little soggy but didn’t taste all that bad. The other one was actually pretty tasty. Or that may have just been the chili. It was edible and curbed my hunger. There were a few more options I could have gone for so I think I will go back and try some others on days where I can’t be bothered to go much further. It’s a convenient choice for cheap, vegan Thai food.

Food canteen counter with eight different vegan curries available
Canteen counter with 8 different vegan options to choose from

There were quite a lot of options on the day I went, and they seemed fresh too. I have been once before when there were only two options available. I guess it was later in the day and they’d ran out of the others.

My Thai isn’t the best so I gestured at the food, but I have also seen people eating some sort of noodle soup there too. I’m just not sure where that comes from. From what I gathered, rice + 1 topping is 25 baht. Rice + 2 toppings is 30 baht. I’m sure you could have as many toppings as you wanted.

Vegan snacks including pizza, deep fried mushroom and vegan chips
Vegan Snacks

There are also plenty of vegan snacks sold here too. I think I had deep fried mushroom. Whatever it was, it was very tasty but probably not the healthiest!

The restaurant itself is just a small, simple place with a few seats inside.

Tables and stools inside jeh restaurant with red and yellow vegan signs hanging from the ceiling and walls
Seating area inside the jeh restaurant

It’s hard not to miss. Just off the roundabout on Santitham Road. There are plenty of Jeh signs outside.

Restaurant exterior with food on display and vegan banners all around
The restaurant exterior

Warung Sopa Ubud

Image of Warung Sopa sign outside the restaurant in ubud

Warung Sopa Ubud:

  • Nasi Campur ( rice + a number of veggie toppings)
  • Price: 43k
  • Score: 9/10
  • February 2nd, 2017

Warung Sopa is a completely vegetarian cafe in the centre of Ubud. I’d heard this was the best place to try the traditional Nasi Campur dish, and I was excited to do so!

Food

There are a number of menu options, from soups and salads to Japanese influenced dishes, but I couldn’t have anything other than the Nasi Campur.

Nasi Campur varies from place to place, and I’m not sure there’s any ‘correct’ way of doing it. But Warung Sopa has to be one of the best. Here you get a plate of rice (7000 rph) and add as many toppings as you wish (9000 rph each).

The toppings are all showcased in a counter display, whatever they have available at that time or day.

Image of vegetarian food toppings in display counter at Warung Sopa
Nasi Campur toppings at Warung Sopa
Image of vegetarian toppings for nasi campur at warung sopa
Banana flower, green veggies in kinako sauce, ratatouille, sambal (at the back)
Image of vegetarian toppings for nasi campur at warung sopa
Tempeh, spanish potato omelette, cripsy tofu miso cubes, crispy zucchini miso

When I arrived they were still making some of the options, such as the egg plant curry, as they’d ran out earlier in the day. Still, there was plenty to choose from. It also meant the toppings are fresh, as they’re made in small batches and re-made throughout the day.

Out of all the choices I managed to whittle it down to 4; tempeh, veggies in the Bali curry of the day, kimchee spring roll, and green veggies in kinako sauce.

This was all served with two sides of Sambal – incredibly spicy sauce to set your food on fire. If you can handle spice, you will love this.

Image of nasi campur with rice, tempeh, kimchee roll and green vegetables with samba
My choice for Nasi Campur. Rice with tempeh, kimchee roll, greens with kinako sauce, curry of the day and two sides of sambal

All of it was simply incredible. If I had to pick I would say the kimchee roll was my least favourite. It’s a tough choice between the other three for my most favourite. The tempeh was crunchy and delicious, and a large serving of it too.

The greens in kinako sauce were smooth and creamy. Tasty okara in miso sauce. I highly recommend this one. The curry of the day was also delicious. It all tasted incredibly healthy, and I’m sure it is.

The sambal was perhaps the best part. I am a huge lover of spicy food and I threw it all over my plate. Definitely not for the faint-hearted.

Drinks

Warung Sopa have a large range of healthy hot and cold drinks. I chose a tumeric tea, for 15k rph. I quite enjoyed it, but it really is just turmeric and hot water. My friend tried it and basically choked it down.

Image of pot of turmeric tea, brown sugar and glass at warung sopa
Turmeric tea with brown sugar at Warung Sopa

Cakes

Warung Sopa has a full fridge of vegan cakes. More than I’ve seen in other places, which are usually a mix of vegan and non-vegan options. Some of the options here were snakefruit apple pie and vegan mango cheesecake. All for a great price too – between 17k – 19k rph. (The raw cakes were slightly more expensive).

Image of fridge full of vegan cakes at warung sopa
Vegan Cakes: Vegan snake skin fruit pie, vegan lime pie, vegan coconut pie, vegan chocolate coconut pie and raw chocolate cakes too

Atmosphere + Wifi

Warung Sopa is a relaxed, laid-back cafe. It has an open store-front, plenty of seating options, and even a ‘kids corner’ for the little ones.

The wifi was reliable whilst I was here and I was also surprised to find a plug underneath my table. I was able to sit here and work into the evening, in an environment that was perfect for me.

Image of indoor seating, tables and chairs at Warung Sopa
Plenty of places to sit and enjoy a meal, or hang out with friends.

Final Thoughts

Far less pretentious than some of the other vegetarian/vegan cafes around Ubud, the food at Warung Sopa is cheaper and the quality is higher. Definitely a must-visit.

 

Alchemy Raw Vegan Cafe & Salad Bar Ubud

Image of Alchemy Restaurant Sign, Ubud
Alchemy, Ubud

Alchemy Raw Vegan Cafe & Salad Bar, Ubud:

  • Make your own Salad + Cocobiotic
  • Price: 65k + 50k (+10% tax + 6% service charge)
  • Score: 5/10
  • January 16th, 2017

I just arrived to Ubud, Bali for the first time. I happen to be travelling with a friend who, unlike me, does her research before arriving. This means she’s compiled a list of the ‘best’ restaurants to check out here in Ubud. First on this list was Alchemy. 

Image of Alchemy restaurant from outside with Alchemy sign
Alchemy Raw Vegan Cafe and Salad Bar

Alchemy has a huge raw vegan salad bar. There are countless toppings to choose from to make your own salad. They also have a set menu with monthly specials such as raw spinach and mushroom pizza, raw mexican burgers and a few other innovative dishes.

The Salad Bar option costs 65k for a large bed of leafy greens, 4 toppings and a dressing. You can add extra toppings for 10k a piece. For my salad toppings I went with raw pad thai, cauliflower tabbouleh, fennel and sweet and spicy cashew nuts with a basil pesto dressing.

Image of salad bowl with raw pad thai, cauliflower tabbouleh, fennel and cashew nuts
My Salad: Raw Pad Thai, Cauliflower Tabbouleh, Fennel and Sweet and Spicy Cashew Nuts on a bed of leafy greens with a Basil Pesto Dressing

 

Image of two salad bowls with raw vegan toppings at Alchemy Cafe
Both the salad bowls my friend and I ordered from the salad bar

I enjoyed the salad but I do think they could have a better system. The topping choices just don’t seem ‘equal’. I certainly wouldn’t choose beansprouts as one of my 4 toppings, or some seeds, when I could have raw pad thai.

My favourite was by far the raw pad thai but everything else was okay too. I personally thought the portion sizes were a little on the stingy side! There is a lot of leafy greens and it’s served in a huge bowl which at least gives the impression it’s filling. I think that’s the way it is with super healthy restaurants here though – very nutritious, high quality food, but not a lot of it!

Image of salad bar at Alchemy with marinated vegetables, cultured veggies, pickled beetroot, beansprouts and kimchi
Some of the many raw vegan salad topping options at the Alchemy Salad Bar
Image of the raw vegan salad bar at Alchemy with
A few more raw vegan salad bar options at Alchemy

Just some of the many other salad bar options there are to choose from: bean sprouts, cultured veggies, kimchi, beets & jicama salad, ‘grandma’s coleslaw’, marinated vegetables and curry vegan parmesan.  

Alchemy have such an extensive range of drinks too. From smoothies, healthy juices, kombucha, turmeric drinks and kefir. My friend and I had heard great things about the ‘Cocobiotics’ (fermented coconut kefir) and it didn’t disappoint. The taste is a little tangy as fermented drinks usually are but felt full of goodness. As seems to be the case in most places here, Alchemy uses non-plastic, natural straws, which I loved!

The drinks were definitely more on the expensive side, but pretty standard for Ubud it seems. A bottle of Cocobiotics was 50k, which is more than a meal in some places but again, pretty standard for the popular restaurants. As many restaurants do here, a government tax of 10% is usually charged for food, plus a service charge. Alchemy charges just 6% service charge.

Overall I found Alchemy a little pretentious. It certainly serves healthy food but I’m not sure I would go back.

Image of mason jar with bamboo straw and fermented coconut kefir at Alchemy
Cocobiotics – fermented coconut kefir

The service at Alchemy was great. The staff were incredibly friendly and attentive. The food was well presented and the staff made sure everything was ok. The restaurant is very white-washed though and comes with a lack of character. It’s not a place my friend and I will go back to often. They certainly have healthy salad but there’s a bit of a cold feeling to the place in my opinion. The wifi wasn’t great. 

When we arrived the upstairs was closed so I’m not sure if there is additional seating or not. Alchemy is a pretty large restaurant so there were no shortage of seats downstairs. There are mostly tables and chairs inside, with a few sofa/benches at the front. 

Image of tables and chairs at Alchemy, ubud
Downstairs Seating Area at Alchemy

As well as their Smoothies and Salads, Alchemy are well-known for their array of raw desserts. I opted for their Bounty Bar, which was very similar to an actual bounty bar but far healthier! That was pretty tasty. My friend went for the carrot cake which she devoured but I found it to be a little too sweet.

Image of raw desserts inside counter at Alchemy
Counter display full of raw treats

Alchemy also have a shop selling all sorts of natural and healthy goodies. It is located in the middle of the restaurant though so can ruin the atmosphere a little if people are hovering around you shopping whilst you eat.

Image of shop inside Alchemy, Ubud
Store inside Alchemy

 

Amrita Garden Chiang Mai

Image of Amrita Garden Restaurant logo
Amrita Garden logo

Amrita Garden, Chiang Mai:

  • No1 Vegan Burger with Mini Green Salad + Soba Noodle Salad with Sesame Sauce
  • Price: 150b + 99b
  • Score: 10/10
  • January 13th, 2017

For my last night in Chiang Mai I went for dinner with a friend at Amrita Garden, mostly because it was nearby to where I had to return my scooter. I am so glad we did. The food and setting absolutely blew me away. In fact, I really regret leaving it until my last night because I would have gone there all the time!

The menu at Amrita Garden is really incredible. Not only do they have a very cute menu with lots of great photos, there is a whole load of variety. Vegan burger, vegan lasagna, salads, macrobiotic lunch sets, detox soup, soba noodles, quinoa and so much more. The menu is based on macrobiotic foods and is super healthy. They also have plenty of vegan sweet treats too.

Image of Amrita Garden Menu

Making a choice can be pretty difficult. Eventually my friend and I decided to go for the Vegan Burger Salad Set. This came with a mini green salad. Plus the sesame soba noodles dish. They were both some of the best food I’ve had in Chiang Mai.

Image of vegan burger, soba noodle salad and green salad at Amrita Garden, Chiang Mai
Vegan Burger, Mini Green Salad and Soba Noodle salad in Sesame Sauce

I loved the burger because it wasn’t a tofu burger. Amrita have their own vegetable patty recipe which is made mostly from vegetables and nuts. This made it really dense and filling. It was a substantial burger.

My favourite was the Soba noodles though. I’m a big fan of Kombucha (the weird healthy fermented drink) and the soba noodles are made from homemade kombucha! They were even more tasty in the sesame sauce, and full of probiotics.

I thought the prices were really reasonable for such fresh, healthy food. Most dishes are around 100b. The vegan lasagna is a little more, as are most of the dishes with vegan cheese.

Amrita Garden is an Organic Vegan cafe in the heart of the old city in Chiang Mai. The cafe is set in a quaint little house with a garden. There is indoor and outdoor seating; tables, sofas and bean bags. It’s a beautifully relaxing atmosphere, perfect for idling away some hours during the day.

It’s a place I would personally go to read, write and relax, not necessarily to work. But thanks to the mixture of seating there, you could definitely do some work – as long as the big table is free. Otherwise, the low seats and comfy chairs may not be best to work at. The wifi is fairly reliable but that’s not the main draw. 

Since I was last there almost two years ago, I was surprised to find out that Amrita Garden was open late. They now open until 10pm. We went for dinner at around 7pm. When we arrived to Amrita Garden, we were directed just across the street to ‘Amrita Garden and Mellow Bar’. It seems that the Garden cafe is open during the day, and Mellow Bar is open during the evening.

The atmosphere and setting in Mellow Bar (Amrita Garden) was also really lovely. It is a bit different to the garden. It has an indoor seating area, or some high benches on the upstairs veranda to sit at. The place was softly lit and had a relaxing ambience. Mellow Bar definitely describes the place well.

Image of Amrita Garden Mellow Bar at night
Amrita Garden Mellow Bar at night
Image of Amrita Garden Mellow Bar indoor seating
Amrita Garden Mellow Bar indoor seating area

 

Clear Cafe Ubud

Image of Clear Cafe restaurant sign Ubud
Clear Cafe

Clear Cafe Ubud:

  • Miso Soup + Falafel Pita + Green Hornet Cooler
  • Price: 35k + 55k + 35k ( + government tax and service charge)
  • Total: 145k
  • Score: 6/10
  • January 18th, 2017

Clear Cafe is another highly recommended vegan and vegetarian cafe in Ubud. We made the rainy walk from Penestanan to Ubud one evening to eat here.

Despite the large amount of tables and seating areas, the restaurant was full when we arrived. It wasn’t a problem as we were able to sit and wait on one of the comfy sofas. Actually, I was glad for the extra time to peruse the menu. There are a lot of options!

Look out for the ‘VO’ for Vegan dishes and ‘V’ for Vegetarian as they also serve fresh fish here.

Image of the lunch and dinner menu options at Clear Cafe
The first page of Lunch & Dinner menu options at Clear Cafe

Clear Cafe has a big range of options from Salads to Mexican food, Soups, Sandwiches, Raw and Macrobiotic. Their drinks menu is also really extensive.

My friend opted for a big bottle of Kombucha, which we’d heard was the best in town.  I chose the ‘Green Hornet Cooler’ as I wanted something really chocolate-y. It was made from raw cacao, coconut, cashew mylk, spirulina and mint. I was pretty disappointed with my drink.  It tasted more like spirulina, and not at all like cacao which isn’t the greatest. I wouldn’t order it again. The Kombucha was OK.

For starters my friend opted for a Clear Kale salad and I chose the Miso Soup.

Image of spirulina drink and kombucha with kale salad at clear cafe
Green Hornet Cooler with Clear Kale Salad and a large bottle of Kombucha
Image of Miso Soup with tofu, shiitake mushrooms and seaweed at Clear Cafe
Miso Soup with organic miso, tofu, seaweed, scallions & shiitake mushrooms

I really enjoyed the soup. It was homemade organic miso with seaweed, tofu, scallions and shiitake mushrooms. My friend described her salad as nutritional but non-descript. I guess it was just a salad.

Recovering from a lack of sleep and travelling to Ubud, I was craving comfort food and lots of it. I’d had a really healthy salad the day before but it did nothing to satiate my cravings. So today salads were off the list. That left me with a choice between raw lasagna, mexican burritos, or falafel and pita. Falafel Pita was the winner. My friend chose the raw lasagna.

Image of Falafel and Pita bread with sweet potato fries
Falafel and Pita with sweet potato fries

I think I made the best choice out of all. The Falafel and Pita was tasty and also really filling. The dish came with falafel, clear zucchini hummus, tabouli, sauerkraut, diced tomato and cucumber with tzatziki, inside a warm pita. It was heaven! Even better, it came with a choice of fries, salad, sweet potato fries or onion rings. Naturally I went for sweet potato fries.

Image of Falafel and Pita dish with sweet potato fries

Again, my friend felt full after the raw lasagna but I don’t think it was the most flavoursome dish ever. She didn’t look very happy whilst eating it.

I didn’t manage to take a photo of both dishes as rather annoyingly, our dishes were brought out at separate times. My friend had almost finished her meal before mine even came out. It wasn’t the best to be eating at separate times but I guess service like that is to be expected in Bali. On the whole service was slow and not very welcoming but the food was good.

In terms of price I think Clear Cafe charges pretty standard prices for the healthy, tourist cafes in Ubud. Which means not so great value for money. Do watch out for the government tax and service charges which are added on at the end. The government tax on food seems to be 10% and at Clear Cafe, the service charge was another 10%.

The restaurant itself was very pleasant. There are a lot of tables both upstairs and downstairs, as well as benches to sit at or some floor seating around large tables too. It’s a cool design for a restaurant.    

Image of downstairs seating area with tables and chairs at Clear Cafe
Downstairs seating at Clear Cafe
Image of upstairs seating area at Clear Cafe
Upstairs seating area at Clear Cafe

 

Cat House Chiang Mai

Image of the restaurant sign outside the Cat House, Chiang Mai
Cat House Restaurant Sign

Cat House Chiang Mai:

  • Burmese Tea Leaf Salad,
  • Price: 90 baht
  • Score: 8/10
  • January 4th, 2017

Cat House is a great restaurant on the East of the Moat that offers really great food.

The Cat House menu is a fusion of Thai and Western foods. As well as traditional curries you can get things like a Laab Sandwich or Wrap. They have great quesadillas and burritos too, as well as breakfast foods like pancakes or muesli. They also have sweet potato, pumpkin or zucchini fries! Everything can be made vegetarian or vegan but they also serve meat for any non-vegan friends. Don’t forget to check out their cake selection too. They have vegan cookies, vegan brownies and also homemade bread. Their smoothies and lassi’s are good, as well as Kombucha and herbal iced tea’s. 

Although not a Burmese restaurant, Cat House does an incredible Burmese tea leaf salad.

Image of Burmese Tea Leaf Salad, brown rice, cucumber and cutlery at the Cat House Chiang Mai
Burmese Tea Leaf Salad at the Cat House, Chiang Mai

It’s always a difficult choice for me between the Tea Leaf Salad and their Hummus and Falafel dish, which is also a favourite there, usually found on their specials board.

The Tea Leaf Salad is made from fermented tea leaves, toasted nuts, beans, fresh cabbage, carrots and tomatoes. Thanks to the fermented tea leaves it has a tangy kick to it and is really tasty. The salad itself is pretty filling but combined with Cat House’s dense black rice it’s a hearty dish.

That being said, this time that I went, the black rice portion was a little smaller and seemed to have a little coconut milk mixed in. Another reason for a slightly lower rating this time was because my friend and I did find the salad pretty greasy on this particular day. I’ve never had that before though. It definitely wasn’t as good as usual but I am willing to put that down to one bad day as I’ve been there plenty of times before and absolutely loved it.

The Tea Leaf Salad cost 90 baht. At a Burmese street stall you may pay around 30 baht but this is usually for a smaller portion of tea leaf salad and no extras. For such a filling meal this is a really good price. In fact, most of the prices on the menu are really reasonable, more so than other popular cafe’s around Chiang Mai.

The Cat House is open all day, from 7am – 10pm, which makes it a great place to go in the evenings. I wouldn’t say Cat House is the best environment to work in, it’s definitely designed to be more of a restaurant to socialise with friends in than a work spot, but there are power outlets and decent tables.

Image of the restaurant seating area, tables and chairs at Cat House, Chiang Mai
Indoor Seating area with tables and chairs inside Cat House

The staff at Cat House cafe do have a little reputation for not being the most friendly or welcoming. The owner Jacky is very bubbly but it’s rare that she is there. Jacky takes on staff from Burma and helps them learn Thai and English, as well as teaching them management skills, cooking and mentorship. Even if a smile is lacking, it’s still a great place to spend your money, and with great food.

As a final side note, a friend of mine made the mistake of ordering the ‘Brown Rice Porridge with coconut milk, raisins, banana or mango’ thinking that it would be sweet. It’s actually salty! Aside from that it’s a pretty yummy, warming bowl of rice porridge but definitely doesn’t satisfy a sweet tooth!

Food 4 Thought

Image of a coffee cup and the writing bay's cafe
Food 4 Thought is also known as Bay’s Cafe

Food 4 Thought, Chiang Mai:

  • Hummus Wrap
  • Price: 139 baht
  • Score: 9/10
  • December 3rd 2016

2nd Round: 

  • Chickpea Salad
  • Price 89 baht
  • Score: 7/10
  • Feb 3rd, 2017

Food 4 Thought has a really good reputation in Chiang Mai, for healthy, tasty food, great coffee and a lovely relaxed garden setting. It’s a little out of the old city but well worth a visit.

I’ve been to Food 4 Thought so many times, and I struggle to order anything other than their signature wraps. I know I should try more of their menu as it all sounds really good, but their wraps and salads are the greatest standouts for me.

I ordered a Hummus wrap, and my friend had the Burmese Tea Leaf Salad wrap (These are my usual top picks).

Image of two plates with a Hummus wrap and Burmese Tea Leaf salad wrap with a side of sauerkraut
Incredible wraps at F4T – Hummus and Burmese Tea Leaf salad wrap with a side of sauerkraut

As you can see, the wraps are stuffed with ingredients and are really hearty and satisfying. The hummus wrap comes with an additional side of hummus and sauerkraut. The wrap itself is stuffed with grilled veggies. The veggies often change depending on what’s available but it always tastes amazing. I do like that the veggies are still warm inside the wrap.

Image of a wrap filled with grilled vegetables and hummus with an extra side pot of hummus and sauerkraut
Wrap stuffed with grilled veggies and hummus with an extra side of hummus and sauerkraut

The Burmese Tea leaf salad wrap is also a great option. Again, the wrap is packed with great tasting food. They’re probably the most filling options on the menu (in my opinion). Though a little more expensive than other restaurants, the food is high quality and money well spent. 

As the menu states, all of the food can be adapted for vegans, vegetarians or gluten-free, just ask your server. Most of the menu options you can also sub cheese for vegan cheese (at additional cost). 

Food 4 Thought is also known as Bay’s cafe. The owner, Bay is a friendly guy who has great taste in coffee. I’ve had the single origin coffee there and it was one of the best I’ve had in Chiang Mai. There’s also usually some great vegan cakes and brownies in the display counter (not on the menu) so don’t forget to check these out! (Though if you have a wrap you might struggle to find room for dessert).

The garden is a lovely place to relax, meet with friends for a lunch date, or bring along a laptop to work. The internet is one of the more reliable in Chiang Mai and there are plenty of plug sockets and fans around. There’s also some indoor seating too if you prefer that.

 

Image of large tables and chairs inside Food 4 Thought garden. Greenery and trees.
Relaxing environment at Food 4 Thought with plenty of seating and large tables outside and inside.

The chickpea salad is priced like a starter, but it was super filling.  Basically, a huge can of lightly cooked chickpeas with onion and various seasonings.  It was a very mild taste which I like.  It came with garlic and a couple chilli peppers on the side.  I was a little surprised to have to mash up the garlic myself, but it was no big deal.

chickpea salad at food 4 thought in chiang mai
The chickpea salad at Food 4 Thought was very filling.

 

Vegan Heaven

Image of restaurant sign that reads Vegan Heaven, by Taste from Heaven
Vegan Heaven Restaurant Sign

Vegan Heaven, Chiang Mai:

  • Vegan BLT + Fresh Spring Rolls
  • Price: 105 baht + 75 baht
  • Score: 3/10
  • December 9th, 2016

Vegan Heaven had just opened on the day I went for dinner. There was quite a hype about it within the vegan community so a few friends and I thought we’d check it out. Unfortunately, it didn’t impress us very much.

Everything on the menu is vegan. They offer vegan Thai dishes and Western dishes such as the BLT which use vegan chicken, vegan bacon, and vegan cheese.

The menu looks pretty good, and my friends were especially excited about the Western food options. The BLT had been recommended to us so that’s what I went for. I paid extra for an avocado side. 

Image of plate with Vegan BLT sandwich and a side of avocado
Vegan BLT with Avocado at Vegan Heaven

As you can probably see from the picture, it was a lot of bread. In fact, it was mostly just bread and salad. I’m not sure what the vegan bacon was made from. It was a little salty and flavoursome but all in all, pretty disappointing. The fresh spring rolls were better, but it’s hard to go wrong with those.

Plate of six fresh spring rolls with dipping sauce and side salad
Fresh Spring Rolls at Vegan Heaven

I don’t usually like ‘‘fake meat’ so I wondered if I’d just made the wrong choice. However, my friend who has recently just become vegan, and still misses the taste of meat, ordered a chicken wrap. When it came it was small and expensive (around 140b).   

The hummus and salad wrap was better received but at 85b was also mostly salad with a little bit of hummus inside. We ordered some sushi rolls as a side dish and these were also small. A small piece of carrot and cucumber wrapped in a nori roll, with 2 pieces of pickled ginger, soy sauce and wasabi (75b).

I did wonder if perhaps just the Western food was disappointing and we should have stuck to Thai cuisine. But another friend left a plate of mushroom laab mostly uneaten. I tried some and it was very oily and bland.

It turns out that Vegan Heaven is an extension of another restaurant, Taste from Heaven, located in the old city. Had I have known this I may have reconsidered. Even though Taste from Heaven has a good rating on Trip Advisor and seems to be very popular, I was never very impressed and consider it to be an over-rated tourist trap.

Image of indoor and outdoor tables and chairs at Vegan Heaven
Indoor and Outdoor seating at Vegan Heaven

Anchan Vegetarian Restaurant

Image of the restaurant sign outside Anchan Vegetarian Restaurant in Chiang Mai
Anchan Vegetarian Restaurant Sign

Anchan Vegetarian Restaurant, Chiang Mai:

  • Cashew Nut Vegetable Stir Fry
  • Price: 120 baht
  • Score: 9/10
  • November 3rd, 2016

I made a dinner date with a friend of mine for Anchan Restaurant. She’d heard great things about it and it’s also one of few vegetarian restaurants open late around the Nimman area of Chiang Mai.

So yes, everything on their menu is vegetarian. It’s also organic and locally-sourced. The menu changes each week depending on which veggies they have available but the food is always incredible.

After a good workout at the gym, I was starving! I wanted something substantial so ordered the cashew nut veggie stir fry.

Image of the vegan cashew nut stirfry from Anchan Restaurant in Chiang Mai
Cashew Nut Veggie Stir-fry with a plate of Brown Rice and Iced Ginger Tea

I used to think Anchan’s portion sizes were a little on the smaller side, but this definitely wasn’t. The stir fry was a mix of carrots, corn, green beans, tomato, bell pepper, spring onion, tofu, onion and garlic, and the best part was – there was tonnes of cashew nuts. More often than not in Chiang Mai I’ve had a cashew nut stir fry that comes with just a few cashews sprinkled on top. This meal probably had the most I’ve had in one dish.

I also thought there was a really good range of vegetables. Again, a lot of places tend to do a vegetable stir fry with just the same type of veg over and over. It was especially nice to have both red and yellow sweet bell pepper.  The main downside of this place is the prices are very high for Chiang Mai.  

I had a ginger and cinnamon iced too to go with my meal which had a really had a good kick to it! Lots of ginger.

Image of the seating area inside Anchan Restaurant, Chiang Mai with a chalk board on the wall showing weekly menu
Restaurant tables and chairs inside Anchan Vegetarian Restaurant. Chalk board with weekly menu written on.