Our Guide To The Best Places To Eat In Chiang Mai
If you’re a foodie then you’re going to think you’ve been dropped into heaven when you visit Chiang Mai.
There are so many options for eating and these are just our opinions on the best-places-to-eat-in-Chiang-Mai.
Whether you’re after simple and affordable street food or something a bit more upmarket, Chiang Mai has it all.
So here goes with our top tips.
Chiang Mai Street Food
Chiang Mai Gate Night Market
You won’t struggle to find good street food in Chiang Mai.
It’s plentiful and very inexpensive, and above all really tasty.
We regularly eat for under £1 each from stalls.
A lot of people worry that they’ll get ill eating street food, but as long as the food is fresh and hot you should be fine.
Obviously, eat from somewhere that’s busy and not from a stall that no-one else seems to be buying from.
We’ve never been ill from eating street food ( touch wood ).
Take a look at the oil a stall may be using to see if it looks OK.
We passed a stall in the mornings that looked like the oil had never been changed.
Take a walk around the Old City, especially in the evening and you’ll see food stalls popping up all over the place.
But the one place we really liked going was the Chiang Mai Gate Night Market where lots of stalls set up in the large square by the gate.
Located on the South side of the Old City the night market has stalls selling all sorts of yummy delights.
Our favourite may sound a bit boring but it was simple chicken and rice and a bag of broth.
We always got it from the same lady and when she wasn’t there one night we tried another chicken stall and it wasn’t nearly as good.
You can take the food away or there are seating areas for particular stalls if there are any spare.
Another favourite at the night market was the Mango and sticky rice stall.
You’ll find all sorts of delicacies at the market from Pad Thai to sweet treats, curry to vegetarian dishes.
It’s a place to experiment and be adventurous with your food choices.
Our Favourite Chicken And Rice Stall At Chiang Mai Gate Night Market
Street Food At Chiang Mai Gate Night Market
Saturday Night Market On Soi Wua Lai
The Saturday night market is opposite Chiang Mai Gate and runs the length of Soi Wua Lai.
At various points along the market, you’ll find food stall areas to sit and eat.
We found a lady that sold Pad Thai to die for and we definitely made sure we paid her several visits.
She cooked on a huge hot surface, mixing all the wonderful ingredients together to make the tasty dish.
Our Favourite Pad Thai Stall At The Saturday Night Market
Aroy Dee was a regular place for us to eat.
It’s located at 157 Thanon Moonmuang on the Eastern perimeter road of the Old City just North of Tha Phae Gate.
When we were in Chiang Mai we met up with a few other families and it was funny that we’d go to Aroy Dee, and chances are that one or more of the families would be eating there too.
It’s a really good, inexpensive Thai food that’s very fresh.
In fact, you can see everything being cooked at the front of the restaurant with bowls of ingredients lined up.
The staff are all really friendly and helpful.
There aren’t many tables in the place, so sometimes we had to wait a bit, but the staff made sure they did their best to get us in.
Their menu is great as it has photos of the dishes which is really helpful if you don’t know what the food names, mean.
Aroy Dee isn’t open on Sundays unfortunately.
Aroy Dee Restaurant
The Open Kitchen At Aroy Dee
A Lovely Bowl Of Khao Soi At Aroy Dee
The Lanna Food Court At Maya Shopping Mall
This may sound like an odd place to eat but we spent quite a lot of time in the Maya mall, either working at the co-working space, called CAMP, or going to the movies at the SFX Cinema.
The food court is quite small but has plenty of choices.
The main food outlets have a low counter surrounding them with small stools to sit at while you eat.
It’s very affordable with the prices much the same as street food costs.
Again it’s fresh and you can see it being cooked right there in front of you so you know its good.
Around every outlet, there are accompaniments such as sauces and garnishes for your meals.
There are some other outlets around the outside of the food court but they are more expensive, sit in type restaurants.
The Lanna Food Court At The Maya Mall
Cafe de Thaan Aoan
Located right in the heart of the Old City at 154/5 Prapokklao Road.
We spent a lot of time in Cafe de Thaan Aoan.
We’d actually spend all day there quite often, working online as their wifi was as good as their food.
For a nice little comfortable cafe with great amenities, the food wasn’t too expensive.
It’s not street food prices by any means but it wasn’t astronomical by any means either.
We loved their sweet and sour chicken, fried rice, noodle dishes and breakfasts.
They also sold some lovely deserts with our favourite being lemon meringue pie and chocolate rum balls.
The staff are lovely and we got to know them well and became friends.
On Annabel’s birthday, they gave her free ice cream and rum balls and when it came time for us to leave Chiang Mai they presented us with a card signed by the staff, a lovely journal and a free meal with deserts.
Delicious Lemon Meringue Pie At Cafe de Thaan Aoan
The Lovely Staff At Cafe de Thaan Aoan
Vieng Mantra Hotel/Cooking Love
For something a little more upmarket but not too expensive try the Vieng Mantra Hotel at 9 Soi Ratchadamnoen 1, near Tha Phae Gate.
It’s a hotel with a small cosy restaurant and eating either inside or outside.
The food is prepared by Cooking Love which is another eatery just down the road a few steps.
Cooking Love has its own premises, that you can eat in, that is much simpler than Vieng Mantra and always seems to be packed out.
We went to Vieng Mantra for a few special occasions, like our birthdays or other celebrations.
The prices aren’t astronomical as we don’t spend huge amounts on food but it is more expensive than all the places on this list so far.
Their food is really good and you can tell they use nice healthy ingredients.
We particularly like their curries which weren’t too spicy but delicious.
Dinner At The Vieng Mantra Restaurant
Fantastic Banana Curry At The Vieng Mantra Restaurant
Tacos Bell Food Cart
Outside the Zoe In Yellow, nightlife spot on Soi Ratvithi, you’ll find the Tacos Bell food cart and its owner selling wonderful tacos.
You have to be around late to grab one of the tacos as he doesn’t get there until very late in the evening for the nightclub crowd.
I only discovered it through some friends after we went to watch a Thai Boxing match that ended late and they suggested hitting the tacos stand afterwards.
If you want something a little different then perhaps this is the place.
It’s cheap and very tasty, but it does get very busy there especially with the club goers, when they come out of Zoe In Yellow.
Burritos At Tacos Bell Mexican Food Cart
Butter Is Better
Outside of the Old City at 183/8 Thanon Changklan
If you’re craving a change from Thai food then this American diner should do the trick.
Annabel and Sue took me here for my birthday, to eat something a little different.
As you can guess it’s not exactly budget-friendly, but was a great evening out.
To be honest, after being in Chiang Mai for nearly four months by this point it was quite nice to have food with a different taste although I wouldn’t say we would rush back in a hurry.
But if you’re craving some carbs then all the American favourites may be right up your street.
The interior is a typical American diner style with booths and a 1950’s vibe going on.
American Dining At Butter Is Better
Pulled Pork And All The Trimmings
Le Meridien Hotel
Located to the East of the Old City at 108 Chang Klan Road.
Not somewhere we’d typically eat but they were offering dinner on Christmas day that we thought we’d try.
So their normal Christmas celebration dinner is on Christmas Eve and is very expensive as most upmarket hotels are but they were offering a much cheaper buffet dinner on Christmas day.
So later on Christmas day, we arrived at this very swanky hotel.
Their restaurant ( called The Last Recipe ) is lovely, and not what we’re used to at all.
The buffet was great with cooked meats including turkey and pork, vegetables, salads, bread and a lovely desert counter which we raided a few times.
We loved it so much we returned on New Year’s day for our celebration dinner.
So it’s a good option for a special occasion or if you don’t mind splashing out on food.
Le Meridien Hotel
Christmas Dinner At Le Meridien
Le Meridien Hotel Buffet
Lots Of Yummy Deserts At Le Meridien