From the tastiest pad thai to the heavenly mango sticky rice – Chiang Mai has it all. Click here to find out where.
Chiang Mai is literally food heaven. You are spoilt for choice, from exceptional Thai food to great international foods in the trendiest of cafes and restaurants. There’s something for everyone, including vegetarians and vegans, so absolutely no one will go hungry here.
Here’s some of our favourite places to eat in Chiang Mai. Many of the places are located around Nimman which is just outside of the Old Town, a ten minute tuktuk ride away. This was by far our favourite spot in Chiang Mai, it’s got everything from the best restaurants and bars to boutique shops and a lovely night market.
- Esan Café
This small modern restaurant in the heart of Nimman Road has got to be my favourite in Chiang Mai and a must for all lovers of spice. The food is exceptional, fresh ingredients, really flavourful and its great value for money too! I ordered a spicy mango salad with fried fish which was crisp and delicious, I couldn’t believe how well the flavours worked together.
The tom yum soup is also amazing here and very authentic. If you’re not into spice, the grilled salmon with rice is also very good.
Address: Nimmanhaemin Road Lane 11
- Hong Tauw Restaurant
If you’re looking for authentic Thai food then Hong Tauw is a good option in Nimman. There’s lots of choice, from curries to stir fries, salads, amazing desserts and its great value too. Our favourites were the papaya salad, thai green curry with prawns and the pad thai.
The atmosphere at this restaurant is really friendly and relaxed, it’s always full of locals which is a good sign.
Address: 95/17-18 Nimmanhemin Rd., Su Thep, Muang
Opening Hours: 11am – 10pm
- Oh Ka Ju
A Thai friend we made recommended this place which has an unbelievable selection of organic foods on offer. The restaurant is away from the main town centre, very close to Chiang Mai airport next to a small shopping complex. The restaurant is absolutely buzzing with locals, we had to wait for half an hour for a table but it was so worth it!
There’s so much choice in the menu from grilled meats, salads, fish to vegetarian and vegan options. It’s great for kids too as there’s lots of non-spicy food.
Ru ordered fish and chips which came with an amazing tartar sauce. I had the fried fish with a mango salad (my favourite!) which had sour shredded mango, sultanas, salad leaves, carrots and so many other flavours that worked so well together. The portions sizes are great too, I had real trouble finishing mine.
The smoothies are a must try, the kiwi and mango was my favourite!
Address: Nim City Daily, 197, 199/8 Mahidol Road
- Musashi Sushi Bar
If you’re craving sushi, there’s lots of great sushi restaurants in Chiang Mai. Musashi has a great selection of sushi platters, sashimi and noodles. The sushi was fresh, there’s a great selection of rolls and the wasabi is really good too. Love the atmosphere here, it’s very cool and hip and there’s a small terrace to dine outside too.
Address: 13 Nimmanheamin Road Soi 13, Chiang Mai
- Rustic and Blue
This hipster café offers the best breakfast in Chiang Mai in such a serene setting. There’s lots of creative options on the menu if you’re feeling adventurous from yummy breakfast yoghurt bowls, salads, eggs, croissants, amazing bread and the best coffee. It’s pricier than other café’s locally, but the place prides itself in artisan food that is all locally sourced.
Families will love this place, there’s a lovely garden at the back with a small slide, a few toys and hammock too if you really want to sit back, relax and watch the kids play.
Address: Nimman Soi 7, Chiang Mai
- Thai Cooking Course – Asia Scenic Cooking School
A trip to Thailand is not complete without doing a Thai cooking course. It’s a fun day learning how to make all your favourite Thai dishes and getting to eat it all!
I did a full day course with Asia Scenic cooking school which began with a trip to the local food market in the morning to learn about the ingredients used in Thai cooking, a tour around the school’s own herb garden followed by cooking 5 amazing Thai dishes of your choice.
I went for all my favourites; pad thai, tom yum soup, green curry, papaya salad and mango sticky rice. It was definitely one of the highlights of our trip to Chiang Mai.
- The Salad Concept
If you’re looking for healthy food options, lots of veggies, grilled meats and fish, the best quinoa salads, wraps and detox smoothies, this is the place. You can also create your own salad too and there’s tonnes of dressings to choose from. There’s great options for vegetarians and vegans, also those missing home comforts like pasta with pesto and grilled salmon, this was amazing!
The restaurant is modern and stylish, always buzzing with people which means it can be a bit noisy but the food is well worth it and the portion sizes are huge!
I loved the smoothies here, the mixed berries is very yummy but be warned it’s also absolutely massive.
Address: Nimmarnhemin Road Soi 13,, Mueang Chiang Mai District,
Opening Hours: 11am – 10pm
- Hot Chilli
This is a great place to come after visiting the nearby temples in the Old Town of Chiang Mai. The atmosphere is relaxed and the décor is beautiful with lots of hanging lanterns and swing seats, it’s a real fun place for a pit stop. We didn’t have a meal here, but did try their smoothies which are great and the mango sticky rice is just amazing.
Address: Rachadamnoen Rd, Tambon Si Phum, Amphoe Mueang Chiang Mai
Opening Hours: 10am – 11:30pm
- Ice Creamery
We discovered this place on an evening walk around Nimman, it was nestled away in a quiet street behind another restaurant and Starbucks. A great dessert place with an interesting twist on ice cream. We ordered the chocolate fondue which came with a selection of fruits and a mountain of what can only be described as ice cream snow. It was so light and fluffy and the perfect combination with the fruits and the warm dark chocolate.
Address: Su Thep, Mueang Chiang Mai District, Chiang Mai
Opening Hours: 11am – 10pm
- Night markets
Chiang Mai has lots of fantastic nights markets dotted around the city with great shopping and really good street food. My favourite was the Sunday walking market in the heart of the Old Town. You can pick up great BBQ food, noodles, an array of different fruits to snack on, fruit juices, and the list just goes on. A great place to spend an evening buying souvenirs and grazing on street food.
Address: Various markets around the city.