Palau, tiny Micronesian country in the middle of nowhere seems to be quite difficult destination for vegans. But it’s actually not, you just have to know where to head for your lunch or dinner. Dive Dreams’ TOP 3:
1. Jasmine Thai *****
Located in the central Koror Jasmine Thai was absolutely our favourite. Lovely owner Kat makes amazing Panang curry with tofu and her vegan pad thai, home made spring rolls and raw papaya salad are absolutely mouthwatering-delicious. And spicy if you like it! And she’s not shy with tofu and nuts so this is maybe your best option for protein. Atmosphere in the restaurant is very local, and actually this restaurant is not for tourists at all, most of her customers are locals and people working in Palau. Jasmine Thai is very cheap and it has excellent value. Don’t forget to try Thai lemon ice tea, best in the island!
Jasmine Thai opposite of Berry Bean Coffee in central Koror, all dishes USD 6-10.
2. The Taj ****
Indian never fails. Many vegan and vegetarian options, just remember to ask your naan bread and the rest without ghee or yoghurt! A bit pricy restaurant but delicious and authentic atmosphere. Plenty of lentils and beans so many protein sources available. Everyone in our group was telling how they loved their dinner, even a friend who took mangrove crab. With marked price per 100g was little surprised when the bill showed 80 dollar for that one dish only!
The Taj in central Koror, free pick ups from hotels. Vegetarian curries with rice and naan together about USD 18.
3. Katey’s Healing Garden ***
We had very high hopes for this place since it’s the only totally vegan restaurant in the country. It’s a bit further away but definitely worth the hike! Everything in the wide menu is vegan and almost all their ingredients come from the amazing organic garden next to the restaurant. Healing garden offers one of the best vegan burger we have ever tasted and they have vegan sausage, fresh herbs, cashew cheese and other goodies on the menu.
There just was few things that were always a bit off with this place: I had to send my lasagna back to the kitchen twice because it was totally cold. And in the end I just ate it cold, despite of the efforts to make it hot, since we’ve been to the restaurant already almost 1,5 hours and I was starving – Al had finished his lunch long time ago. They told they had some problems with the oven, but that’s not really my problem since I ordered what the waitress actually recommended to me. Second time we ordered a pizza which was again good but a bit cold (if your oven is broken, tell the customers before they order!). And I felt little cheated that my pizza had tinned mushrooms, I would have expected fresh ones with the price of USD 20. All in all, great concept, beautiful restaurant and some tasty dishes, but unfortunately some big problems too. We were the only ones in the restaurant every time. Take away bread and cinnamon rolls were super!
Katey’s Healing Garden, north of Koror, dishes between USD 10-25.
+ BONUS Best bar to hang out: Kramer’s
Great hang out place with cold beer and refreshing wind from the sea guarantee a great night after the dives! Everyone loved the food and the drinks but we were not so satisfied with vegan options. Many times there was cheese, sour cream or even chicken on our plate even though we mentioned many times that we don’t eat them.
+ DIVE BOAT BONUS
In diving boats almost all operators offer Japanese bento boxes. The menus don’t have anything for vegans but we got very nice lunch boxes when we just asked for vegan options. Delicious noodles, rice, tofu, fresh mushrooms, salad, veggies, pickled cabbage… Very tasty, thank you Palau Dive Adventures!