Eating out in Chiang Mai and Thailand itself, is much easier and cheaper than cooking at home. There’s so much choice, why would you want to stay in and cook? Having lived in Chiang Mai for 6 months now, I’ve found a lot of amazing places to eat that aren’t always catering to the tourist population, although there are some that are very worthy of a place on the list! Here’s my favourite’s!
Situated behind Coffee Club at Thapae gate, this small restaurant serves some delicious Thai food. I once spent a whole week just eating here for dinner. Their menu is big, loads of choice and the portion sizes are great! Prices are low too. They do a delicious young coconut curry and a mango curry too and their morning glory is just perfect! Definitely worth checking out if you’re in the area, it won’t disappoint!
Located just up from Thapae gate, Aroon Rai opened in 1967 and serves up some incredible Thai food. Try their Pad Kra Pao (stir fried chicken with holy basil) it’s delicious and cheap too! They even have home made brownies and ice-cream if you’re feeling tempted!
Situated across from Thapae gate in Chiang Mai’s most popular area, Ugo restaurant does some incredibly delicious Thai food. They have increased their prices recently but still reasonable considering the area it’s located in. Their Massaman curry is one of the best I’ve had in Thailand!
Spoon De Best
Located in a quieter area of Chiang Mai’s old town, Spoon De best is another delicious eatery. Due to its location, it’s fairly quiet and you’ll often find you’re the only ones dining there at the time. Despite this, their food is incredible and reasonably priced. And their deserts are a must! Double crème brulee or a heart-warming chocolate fondant cooked to perfection!
Hands down, the best Khao Soi I have tasted in Chiang Mai! Very authentic and rich in flavour, with fresh deep fried noodles for added texture, A must try dish in Northern Thailand! Try their Wanton’s too with delicious plum sauce, and all for a very good price. Located at the Harbour, on Huay Kaew Road!
Little Japanese restaurant on Huay Kaew road opposite Chiang Mai University. Delicious dishes including freshly rolled Sushi in front of your eyes. My recommendation would be their rich Curry Ramen full of spices and only 89bht!
If you like Katsu, you’ll love this place. Located on Nimmanhaeman opposite Salad Concept, down a small back road just before Soi 8. Specialising in Japanese Katsu, their Katsu chicken with rice is creamy and rich in flavour; you can even have it in a sub if you want! Just bear in mind it closes at 19:30pm every day, it’s worth an early dinner!
Being a Brit, there’s nothing like a few home comforts once in a while. Searching for the best Sunday Roast was hard but I think I’ve finally found it, complete with all the condiments you could want! Here’s a few of my favourite British classic eats here in Chiang Mai:
The famous Sunday roast! Archers is exactly like a British pub, and their Sunday roast is incredible! A little pricey compared to Thai food but so worth it. Yorkshire puds, pork crackling, mountains of roast potatoes, pumpkin mash (nice addition) and tons of gravy! You can’t beat it!
Dee’s Fish ‘N’ Chips
Fancy a hearty British take away? Find Dee with his little motorbike stall driving around Chiang Mai’s old town. His main location is outside Loco Elvis although he has a timetable for where he is at what time. Delicious deep fried fish and chips, complete with home made tartar sauce and malt vinegar, you can’t go wrong!
UN Irish Pub
Looking for good old British food, you’ll probably find it in the UN Irish pub. Pie and mash, Cornish pasties, Full English breakfast, the lot! Check it out, you won’t be disappointed, again a little pricey but that’s western food I guess!
Burgers and Satay
My Steak House
The best priced burgers I’ve had in Chiang Mai. Chicken burger with home made sauce – 39bht!! Fries with a choice of size (max 50bht) and seasoning including delicious BBQ or paprika! Situated in Jed Yod, just off the Super highway near Maya, this place is not to be missed! You can even play a game of connect 4 while you wait!
Rock Me Burger and bar
OK so this is one of the more touristy restaurants on the list but very worthy of a place. If you haven’t been to Rock Me Burger, you have no idea what you’re missing! A bit more expensive than the burgers in Jed Yod, but these burgers are huge so you get what you pay for! Try the barbecue aloha, a great beef burger with BBQ sauce and a slice of pineapple on top. It comes with home made potato wedges and the most satisfying onion rings I’ve ever had! Located on the road leading to the night bazaar, from Thapae gate!
If you like satay, or even if you don’t (like me) you have to try Cowboy Satay. Situated within the night bazaar, it’s a small stall near the back; you’ll smell it before you see it! Order half a rack of ribs for 150bht with an incredible satay sauce to accompany it. Or a mix of chicken and pork grills smothered with satay sauce, oh and a freshly barbecued corn on the cob to go with it, all for just 180bht. You won’t leave this place hungry let me tell you!
I love Mexican food, so I have been on the hunt for the last 6 months to find the best Mexican restaurant in Chiang Mai. There aren’t too many to choose from, but I still have 3 places, which are all worthy of the top spot!
Near Thapae gate, Loco Elvis is great! Treat yourself to a Mexican there one night, order their beef nachos, you will not be disappointed! Their burritos are huge; one is enough to share for two people. I haven’t quite yet found a place that tops their nachos, cheesy sauce, sour cream, salsa, Jalapeños, the works!
Talk about competition, this Mexican specialises in Burritos and is literally opposite Loco Elvis. Free tortilla chips when you arrive with an array of salsa’s to choose from! And as you may expect, their Burritos are incredibly tasty! The veggie burrito is great and they have other more extravagant options like chorizo and egg, which again is very delicious!
Hidden amongst the various eateries in Star Avenue, opposite Central Festival, Sunrise tacos is great! Their nachos are on par with Loco Elvis, and their free salsa selection is divine! Jalapeno salsa, guacamole, Pico de Gallo, thick and chunky, green tomato, hot and spicy, there’s loads to choose from! If you’re wandering through Star Avenue around lunch time, you may even be given a 100bht voucher to use with no clauses attached! Perfect!
Hinlay Curry House
Last on my list, away from the tourism and situated by the Ping river, Hinlay curry house is very satisfying, with great prices too! Now I know I’ve listed it as an Indian restaurant but their speciality pork Hinlay curry is deliciously rich and tender. They have a large selection of Indian dishes from huge veg samosas with a tamarind dip, incredible curries and sides of naan bread, Prather, raita and mango chutney. Don’t miss their pumpkin curry too!