The Durian Tree House Cafe in Chanthaburi
Chanthaburi is the biggest producer of durian in the entire world. People travel from all over the world and from all over Thailand to eat durian here.
There’s even an annual Durian World Festival here.
But it wasn’t until 2019 that Chanthaburi got its first durian-themed cafe.
Here, you can sip a Durian Coffee (hot or frappe’ed) or a Durian Chocolate Shake, eat durian on toast or as ice cream, munch durian cakes and other desserts, or go for something more traditional like Durian Sticky Rice.
They also have fresh Monthong durian available in refrigerated boxes if you want the real deal with your coffee.
And that was how it started…creating a safe space where tourists could enjoy the fresh durian they had traveled all the way to Chanthaburi to eat.
The Cafe was definitely designed with an Instagrammable Bangkok aesthetic – a combination of minimalist industrial and plenty of greenery – for the domestic tourists traveling to Chanthaburi.
Because while it’s popular with locals, the cafe was started with the idea that durian tourists coming to Chanthaburi needed a comfortable place to eat durian.
If you’re a durian lover traveling in Thailand, you have a problem. Unlike in Malaysia, most durian stalls in Thailand have no tables and chairs. There is no street-side durian-eating.
You’re supposed to buy your durian, have it opened, peeled and packed on a styro tray, and then take it home to eat with your family in the comfort of your own home.
But what do you do if you’re staying in a hotel, where durian is banned?
Come to a durian cafe!
Durian Coffee Frappe (Vegan)
Our group started with the Durian Drinks menu – the highlight of a durian cafe!
The Frappe was perfectly smooth whipped ice with an ornamental chunk of real Monthong durian and a sprig of mint on the top. The mint totally doesn’t go with the flavor, but it looks nice.
The drink was really good, and my favorite item on the menu! It was like a really delicious mocha milkshake with a milky-sweet durian flavor. Coffee and durian are just a match made in heaven!
Durian Iced Chocolate (Vegan)
The chocolate drink was very chocolatey, but seemed to have been made with durian powder instead of fresh durian meat, and the powder had all gotten stuck to the bottom of the cup. After stirring a bit we got some of the durian flavor mixed with the chocolate.
Again, I love durian and chocolate together (great combo) but I think this would have been better if it was frappe’ed and used real durian meat like the Durian Coffee Drink.
Durian Cheesecake (Not Vegan)
The next-up to arrive to our table was the Durian Cheesecake. To make it look fancier, it had a blob of fresh Durian meat on the top with a sprig of rosemary and some gold foil.
Our friends said it had a nice durian flavor, but was a little dry and crumbly for a cheesecake – more like a durian pound cake. But they still ate it up.
Durian Pizza (Not Vegan)
Of course, the highlight of the Durian Menu is the Durian Pizza, and our group couldn’t pass it up!
Our friends said this was surprisingly good.
The crust is a fluffy white bread that is sweet and cakey, with a layer of cheese and slices of roasted unripe durian that taste sort of like sweet potatoes, but durian. They suggested leaving off the sprinkles of oregano and parsley, since it was such a sweet pizza pie.
But overall the pizza got thumbs up from a tough customer, and was snacked up with a few sips of Durian Coffee.
Durian Sticky Rice (Vegan)
Not much can go wrong with this Thai classic, but there’s a lot that can go right to make it super good.
Compared to what you can buy street-side in styrofoam, this is an excellent version. It’s served warm, with the sweet and salty coconut milk cooked to thick gooey perfection with the durian meat, sopping into the sticky rice below and leaving an even layer of durian over the top of the rice.
This, and the Durian Coffee Frappe, are must tries if you visit the Durian Tree House.
How to get to the Durian Tree House Cafe
Durianism Tree House Cafe is located about 5km south of Chanthaburi City Center on Yan Wirot Road, a busy 2-way street that runs from Chanthaburi City to the durian-gardens of Pliew District.
You can check their opening hours on Google Map or on their Facebook Page.