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Chiang Mai has a major foodie scene — and it’s one of the reasons we love it so much. Here, you’ll get everything from modern, fine dining to tasty street carts.
After spending a few months living here while working remotely (wooot!), we’ve created this list of our must-tries in this awesome Thai city. Let’s get to it!
MOST POPULAR AREAS IN CHIANG MAI
Before we jump right into the tasting, here’s a quick breakdown to the two major areas of Chiang Mai for some reference:
The trendiest part of Chiang Mai, the modern, artsy “Nimman” area is filled with cool cafes, boutiques, bars, cafes, boutique hotels and high-rise serviced apartments. It’s our preferred area to live when we’re in Chiang Mai so we’re in the middle of all the action, with everything we need right outside our doorstep!
The center of Chiang Mai is referred to as the “Old City” and is surrounded by a moat. Compared to Nimman, it’s a much more old world Thai area with many traditional shops and little cafes. We love exploring and getting lost down the narrow roads in the Old City!
THE ULTIMATE BB GUIDE TO CHIANG MAI
Oh btw, if you’re new around here, welcome chica! This blog post is just one part of our Ultimate Bucketlist Bombshells Guide to Chiang Mai, Thailand. Be sure to also check out:
ENJOY A VARIETY OF CUISINE
You’ll find a large variety of international cuisine: like Indian, Western, Italian etc. in addition to some of the most amazing Thai food you’ve ever tasted.
Here’s a list of some of our fave local eats; some of which are specific to Northern Thailand:
Khao Soi: the most famous noodle dish in Chiang Mai which is made of a rich, spicy coconut milk and serviced with chicken or beef and two types of noodles #YUM
Massaman Curry: this is hearty curry made with coconut cream, potatoes, meat and rish
Tom Yum Gai: a hot, spicy and sour coconut soup with chicken
COST OF EATING OUT
In general, here’s our average for what it costs per meal to dine at:
- Local Thai Food: approx. $1-3 USD
- Western-style restaurant: approx $5-15 USD
BEST GROCERY STORE
This international grocery store, Rimping Supermarket, is located on the bottom floor of Maya Mall and is filled with everything you would need. Since the cost of eating out here is so incredibly inexpensive, we only purchased a handful of simple breakfast food items to make at our apartment.
BEST FOOD DELIVERY SERVICE
MEALS ON WHEELS 4U
Craving a night in and food delivery from your fave restaurant in Chiang Mai? Meals On Wheels 4U is a super simple meal delivery service — simply find the restaurant and menu online, make your payment online and wait for your food to be delivered to your doorstep.
BEST BREAKFAST SPOTS
FOOD 4 THOUGHT
My go-to brekkie and lunch spot in Chiang Mai, Food 4 Thought is a cute open-air restaurant that serves up delicious (and healthy) dishes. The food always tastes super fresh and flavorful. Plus, they’re also laptop-friendly, if you need to plug in and get a hit of that wifi while you eat.
photo by @p_proudy
You didn’t think I’d forget our vegetarian friends did ya? Anchan is a small, down-to-earth restaurant that serves tasty vegetarian Thai dishes like vegetarian curries. They have a small but mighty menu — and their desserts are also on point.
ANGEL’S SECRET CAFE
Tucked away in the Old City, Angel’s Secret Cafe is a quaint, quirky and peaceful little cafe serving up some delicious breakfasts. Their service isn’t incredibly quick — but we recommend coming here to have a slow, chilled morning.
photo by @ooops_jam
RUSTIC & BLUE
Rustic and Blue is the Insta-worthy farm-to-table brekkie cafe. Compared to restaurants in Chiang Mai, it’s pricey — but their food is beautifully presented and their decor is so on point. It’s located in the trendy Nimman area, and it’s a great spot to meet a friend for a nice lunch!
photo by @anabulanovphoto
BEST LUNCH & DINNER SPOTS:
One of our favorite dinner spots in Chiang Mai, Dash is a large, open-style traditional wooden teak house that serves up the best Khao Soi in town! The staff is incredibly friendly and the ambience (yes for candlelit tables!) is absolute perfection. Be sure to make reservations as they get quite filled in the evenings for dinner.
photo by @geminiris41521
WHY NOT? ITALIAN RESTAURANT & WINE BAR
Who doesn’t love an authentic italian restaurant…and wine bar? Located in Nimman, Why Not is a popular spot for an evening with friends or a date night — and perfect for all your Italian cravings. They have a large outside patio, some indoor seating and a great wine cellar.
For consistently great salads, wraps and fresh juices, Salad Concept is the healthy go-to place in Nimman. Grab a seat in their cute, indoor and air-conditioned restaurant and chow down.
Beast Burger will satisfy all your burger cravings in one bite! What started out as a little yellow food truck that became a major success, Beast Burger now has its own roof which serves up the most delicious gourmet burgers. The space is just as cool as the burgers, with large family style wooden-tables for you to dine out with friends.
photo by @dailypursuitblog
If you’re craving curries, biryani and naan bread, look no further than Accha Indian. You can’t miss the brightly painted building and large outdoor courtyard for dining on floor pillows under the twinkle lights. You’ll leave here happy and so well-fed!
Craving tapas style, Spanish fare for dinner? Bar Fry is a tiny restaurant dishing out oh so tasty tapas. It’s the perfect spot to nibble on some dishes and catch up with a friend in the Nimman area.
Rosy Cheeks is a hidden gem in Chiang Mai — and when you dine here, you’ll feel like you’re in your grandma’s kitchen (if your grandma is also a top chef! ;)) The food is so down to earth, incredibly tasty, and made with so much heart and soul. Dine here one, and you’ll keep coming back for more.
photo by @vutanun.w