See how 6 Canadians took our cuisine abroad

Homegrown grub & culture in Bali, Thailand & the USA.

Rasta Baby

Rasta Baby web

Reggae is a thing in Southeast Asia and you might as well embrace it. Reggae makes sense on a Thai island, in a beach bar made of odds and ends, than in Montreal’s -25°C weather.

That pretty much sums up Rasta Baby, owned by Québécois expat Nina Avril and her Thai boyfriend Wit. Nina travelled to Thailand to teach English and, like many others, never left. She joined forces with Wit eight years ago at his bar on the island of Koh Lanta and it has since expanded with a restaurant, handmade art shop and guesthouse.

This fast-changing area, dependent on tourism to survive, is characterized by an increasing number of expensive resorts and chic restaurants. This establishment stands out and has managed to retain the low-key, laidback vibe that so many went there searching for in the first place.

Rasta Baby is all about DIY, from the popular hand-stitched leather wallets they sell in the shop to their bean bag chairs stuffed with pieces of foam that have washed up on the beach.

This place throws good old beach parties two or three times a season, the kind Quebec has never seen. They also showcase live music every Friday night and, sporadically, a few other nights a week. If you find yourself wandering through the myriad Thai islands and are searching for something that might be an anchor in a blur of beaches and sunburns, this spot covered in seashells and driftwood and filled with friendly faces might do the trick.