The Best Food In Chiang Mai, Thailand
The cuisine in Chiang Mai is delightfully different from other regions in Thailand. Here you’ll find Lanna fare, which is fresh, light, and healthy. It features homemade recipes honed through generations of cooking. Luscious spices and local produce are the keynotes of Lanna cuisine.
WHERE TO FIND THE BEST FOOD IN CHIANG MAI.
KHAO SOI KHUN YAI
Address – Sri Poom Road, Soi 8, Mueang, Chiang Mai
Hours – 10am-2pm Daily, except Sunday
Khao Soi Khun Yai is translated as “Grandma’s Chiang Mai Noodle.” Khao soi is renowned throughout northern Thailand. This soup consists of golden egg noodles bathed in a coconut curry. Vegetables and meat round out the dish. Crispy noodles are the crowning glory. Khao soi can be prepared with chicken, pork, or beef. It’s typically a lunchtime meal. At Khao Soi Khun Yai, it comes with a side of pickled cabbage, onions, chili flakes, and lime. This café serves the best khao soi in Chiang Mai. The broth is bright and pleasantly spiced. Prices are inexpensive.
This breezy nook is just down the street from Wat Kuan Kama. Follow the orange sign to a sheltered, open-air café on the left. A turquoise drape hanging from the roof further identifies this eatery. Grandma’s khao soi is sublime!
BLUE DIAMOND BREAKFAST CLUB
Address – 35/1 Moon Muang Road, Soi 9, Chiang Mai
Telephone – +66 053-217-120
Hours – 7am-8:30pm, Monday through Saturday
The Blue Diamond Breakfast Club is a gem for those seeking healthy Thai food. Those on gluten-free or vegan diets will be pleased with the extensive menu options. The restaurant serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Wow-worthy plates are fluffy pancakes, scrambled eggs, cinnamon rolls, and hash browned potatoes. Smoothies and salads are sensational. Coffee is hearty. Blue Diamond portions are very generous. Also available for purchase is fresh organic produce. Indoor seating is cozy and quaint. The garden area is an enchanting oasis. Free WiFi is available. Service is prompt, and prices are reasonable.
TONG TEM TOH
Address – 11 Nimman Road, Soi 13, Mueang, Chiang Mai
Telephone – +66 053-854-701
Hours – 11am–11pm Daily
Tong Tem Toh is a trendy Thai restaurant. Diners can enjoy alfresco fare at wooden tables, shaded by large umbrellas. Guests savour food to the background sound of lively tunes. Indoor seating has a tropical feel, with cooling fans and vibrant plants. Dishes tend to be quite spicy, so ask about the degree of spice in advance. Service is friendly and efficient. The menu features meat, seafood, curries, and soup. Highly recommended is the nam prik noom, a green chili and vegetable chutney. Another tasty favourite is kaeng hang lay, a pork curry. Prices are reasonable. This spicy restaurant is perfectly suited to lively Nimman Road.
DK DAVID’S KITCHEN AT 909
Address – 90/9 Moo 3, Sanpisuur Road, Chiang Mai
Telephone – +66 53-110-732
Hours – 10am-11pm, Wednesday through Monday; closed Tuesday.
This elegant restaurant features a lovely dining room, candlelit terrace, and spacious garden. Cuisine is world-class French, Italian, and Thai. The staff is warm and welcoming. The two owners, David and Tim, are especially personable. Lunch features a fixed-price menu, offering a choice from 10 entrées, ice-cream or sorbet, and coffee or tea. Complimentary drinks set the stage for a lovely dinner meal. Must-try dishes include Pumpkin Soup, Caesar Salad, Steamed Snow Fish, and French Beef Stew. Desserts are dazzling, especially the Sticky Toffee Pudding With Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream. Outdoor romance is further enhanced by fountains and river views. Live piano music lends relaxing ambiance. Prices are reasonable, given the stellar service, food, and atmosphere. Follow-up e-mails from the staff are a unique cap to the DK experience. This is fine dining at its finest.
Address – Old Chiang Mai Cultural Centre, 185/3 Wua Lai Road
Hours – 8am-10pm
Khun Churn is a charming all-you-can-eat vegetarian restaurant. Food is fresh, delicious, and inexpensive. A buffet is served from 11am-2:30pm. One price gives access to a variety of salads, soups, entrées, desserts, tea, and juice. Ala carte fare bursts with flavour. Tempura-battered crispy vegetables top the list of favourites. Another delight is the Hoy Tod omelet with mushroom and gravy. You can create your own salad or soup from the vast variety of veggies, grains, noodles, and curries. Fresh fruit and dessert perfectly finish a meal. The menu changes regularly, featuring new creations. Service is welcoming and attentive. Khun Churn is conveniently located just a short walk from the Saturday Evening Market.
BEST CHIANG MAI COFFEE
Chiang Mai boasts the best coffee in Thailand, courtesy of lovingly-tended local plantations. Freshly picked coffee beans make the perfect cup of Joe. Chiang Mai’s cafés are also noteworthy for an array of tasty breakfast fare. Following is one of the best coffee shops in Chiang Mai.
GOOD MORNING CHIANG MAI
Address – 29/5 Rachamankha, Soi 6
Hours – 7:30am-5pm
Good Morning Chiang Mai is more like a resort than a coffee shop. During the day, it’s a serene oasis with an on-site pool. At night, it turns into a bistro with a live band. The coffee is fabulous, and the service is first-rate. Both breakfast and lunch are served. Fruit pancakes and French toast are favourites. Hefty home fries and egg dishes are highly rated. There is a wide variety of seating options. You can relax by the pool, curl up on a couch, or park yourself at the coffee bar. Tables are available on each of two floors. There’s also a garden terrace, complete with palm trees. The combination of warm wood and bright walls confers a homey atmosphere. Retro lamps and wall posters add charming decor. Free WiFi and plug points are offered. Prices are inexpensive.
THE BEST STREET FOOD IN CHIANG MAI
Word on the street has it that the best food in Chiang Mai is street food. It’s also the least expensive. The ideal means to healthy street food is a city tour. Following is a highly rated food tour operator in Chiang Mai.
CHIANG MAI STREET FOOD TOURS
Address – 126/43 Rong Reu Kham, Soi 7, Pa Dad, Chiang Mai
Telephone – 66+ 850-338-161
Morning and evening tours are offered by this operator. You’ll learn about popular local specialties at markets, stalls, and small restaurants. Groups are nicely-sized, with a maximum of eight people. You can state your food preference in terms of fish, meat, or vegetarian. An experienced tour guide will demystify food preparation and ingredients. You’ll learn how to order food using Thai language. Best of all, you’ll get to enjoy delicious street food worry-free.
Address – akyra Manor Chiang Mai Hotel: 22/2 Nimmana Haeminda Road Soi 9
Website – www.theakyra.com/chiang-mai/akyra-manor-italics
Hours – 8am-11pm Daily
talics is the ultimate in fine Italian dining. With a focus on local quality ingredients, Italics puts a flamboyant spin on European favourites. We offer an eclectic range of cuisine, including:
Deli Lunch Menu – Begin a delicious deli lunch with fresh bread, olive oil, and herbs. Then select from five entrées, including Mussels, Fish and Chips, Grilled Beef, Herb Chicken Picatta, and Mushroom Calzone. Cap your meal with Tiramisu, Gelato, or Lemon Cello and Biscotti Mousse.
Sandwiches and Sides – You’ll savour our sandwiches, customized with your choice of bread and dressing. Compliment your meal with garlic popcorn or ciabatta chips. Sandwiches can be paired with soup, salad, or coffee. Select from the BLT Italic, Thai Spicy Italian Meatball, Pesto and Lemon Prawn, Calzone, Steak, and Pizza Margarita. The Swave Dog is our signature sandwich, featuring Italian sausage, onion, saffron mayonnaise, and crispy tomato caviar.
Main Menu – Choose from enticing entrées, including Chicken Saltimbocca, Carbonara, Osso Buco, Chianti Braised Beef, Sea Bass Puttanesca, Spicy Meatball Bolognese, Fish Risotto, and Garden Lasagna.
Pasta – Pasta pops with Italics pizzazz. Choose from Chili and Garlic Spaghetti, Spinach and Veal Penne, Prawn and Arugula Taglatelli, Oxtail Tortellini, and Pasta Alfredo.
Dessert – End the perfect meal with a delectable dessert. Take your pick of Tiramisu Marble Cake, Panettone Fruit Trifle, Banana Ricotta Cheesecake, Chocolate Waffle, Pineapple Zabaglione, Pistachio Cannoli, and Gelato.
OUT AND ABOUT IN CHIANG MAI
Here are some tips for streamlining your dining in Chiang Mai.
Ordering Street Food
The way to order and pay for food depends on the type of eatery. At a street stall, you’ll order standing up. Then you’ll either wait for your food or sit nearby, and the vendor will bring the food to you.
For a made-to-order meat dish, request the dish by name, and then state the type of meat you’d like, whether beef, pork, chicken, shrimp, or mixed seafood. If you’re vegetarian, you can ask for the dish without meat by saying “mai sai neua.”
When you’re done eating, go back to the stall to pay. Average prices are 30-40 baht per dish. Anything over 50 baht is pricey.
Tipping – When eating at a street stall, it isn’t mandatory to tip. However, most people, including native Thai, will leave the loose change from a bill as a small tip. At restaurants, it’s customary to leave a 10% tip. If you travel by taxi, tuk-tuk, or songtaew, tipping is an option.
Water – Use only bottled water for drinking. Ingesting tap water is not recommended unless it is boiled. However, it is safe for washing and brushing your teeth. Ice and washed produce are typically fine to consume.
Cash – Try to have small denominations of cash on hand. Retailers and transporters often don’t have enough change for large notes. You can withdraw money at ATMs with a debit or credit card. The service fee is 2%. Thai banks are also legally allowed to levy a transaction fee of 150 baht. Money exchange bureaus are attached to many banks in the central Tha Phae Gate area, along Tha Phae Road, and at the Night Bazaar. Using them involves showing proof of ID and paying a service fee of 3%. Following are currency equivalents:
1 USD = 32 baht
1 Euro = 40 baht
1 British pound = 50 baht
A TRUE TASTE OF THAI IN CHIANG MAI
Try the above venues, and you’ll enjoy some of the tastiest fare in Chiang Mai. Enjoy a food tour, a trendy café, an elegant restaurant, and a quaint coffee shop. Best of all, treat your palate to a meal at Italics at the Luxury Hotel, akyra Chiang Mai