This study was focused on the role of two types of diametrically different carbon sources, n-alkanes represented by a mixture of dodecane–hexadecane, and phenol on modification of the cell surface hydrophobicity. Capabilities of using either solely hydrocarbons or hydrocarbons in the mixture with phenol as well as phenol itself by yeast species Candida maltosa, Yarrowia lipolytica and Pichia guilliermondii were investigated. Studies were complemented by cell biomass formation measurements. The corresponding cell surface hydrophobicity was assessed by microbial adhesion to the hydrocarbon test (MATH). Degradation of phenol was examined using GC-SPE technique, whereas hydrocarbons were extracted prior to gravimetric determination. Results obtained indicated that the hydrophobic or hydrophilic nature of the carbon source had significant influence on the cell surface hydrophobicity. Although the results differed for some individual yeast strains, the generalization can be made that there is the correlation between the best hydrocarbon and phenol degradation and corresponding cell wall properties of the yeast examined.