Discover the Best Places to Eat in Chiang Mai Old Town
Indulge in Authentic Thai Cuisine at These Top Restaurants
Chiang Mai Old Town is known for its rich historical and cultural heritage, but it’s also a food lover’s paradise. From street food stalls to upscale restaurants, there’s no shortage of places to indulge in authentic Thai cuisine. Whether you’re a first-time visitor or a seasoned traveler, these top picks are sure to satisfy your taste buds and leave you craving for more.
1. Khao Soi Lamduan 😋
One of the most popular dishes in Chiang Mai is khao soi, a rich and creamy curry noodle soup. Khao Soi Lamduan is widely regarded as the best place to try this northern Thai specialty. Their version is made with tender chicken and crispy noodles, and the aromatic broth is infused with a blend of spices and herbs.
2. Huen Phen 😋
For a taste of traditional Lanna cuisine, head to Huen Phen. This family-owned restaurant has been around for over 50 years and is known for its khao soi, as well as other classic dishes like gaeng hung lay (a pork curry) and nam ngiao (a spicy noodle soup). The rustic wooden decor and friendly staff add to the cozy atmosphere.
3. SP Chicken 😋
If you’re a fan of grilled chicken, SP Chicken is a must-visit spot. The succulent chicken is marinated in a secret blend of spices and grilled to perfection. It’s served with sticky rice, dipping sauces, and a side of pickled vegetables. The restaurant is located in a charming courtyard, which adds to the overall ambiance.
4. Aroon Rai 😋
Aroon Rai is a hidden gem that’s beloved by locals. The restaurant specializes in northern Thai cuisine and serves up dishes like gaeng om (a herb-infused soup with pork and vegetables) and sai ua (a spicy pork sausage). The outdoor seating area is surrounded by lush greenery, making it a great spot to relax and enjoy your meal.
5. Chang Phuak Gate Market 😋
If you’re looking for a more casual dining experience, head to Chang Phuak Gate Market. This bustling market is filled with food stalls selling everything from fresh fruit to grilled meats. Some of the must-try dishes include khao kha moo (braised pork leg with rice) and kanom jeen nam ngiao (rice noodles with a spicy pork broth).
6. Dash! Restaurant and Bar 😋
If you’re in the mood for something a little more upscale, Dash! Restaurant and Bar is a great choice. The menu features a mix of Thai and international cuisine, and the dishes are beautifully presented. The restaurant has a chic and modern vibe, and there’s an outdoor seating area that’s perfect for people-watching.
7. Cat House 😋
For a quirky dining experience, check out Cat House. This cat-themed cafe has a playful menu that includes dishes like cat paw toast and meow meow salad. Of course, there are also plenty of feline friends to keep you company while you eat. The cafe also hosts adoption events, so you might even end up taking a new furry friend home with you.
8. Samsen Villa 😋
Samsen Villa is a cozy restaurant that specializes in Thai comfort food. The menu features dishes like pad kra pao (stir-fried basil chicken) and tom yum goong (spicy shrimp soup). The restaurant has a laid-back vibe and is a great spot to unwind after a day of exploring the city.
9. Riverside Bar & Restaurant 😋
If you’re looking for a great view to go with your meal, head to Riverside Bar & Restaurant. This eatery overlooks the Ping River and offers a stunning sunset vista. The menu includes both Thai and Western dishes, and there’s a wide selection of cocktails and beers to choose from as well.
10. Woo Cafe & Art Gallery 😋
Woo Cafe & Art Gallery is a charming cafe that serves up delicious food and great art. The menu features a mix of Thai and Western dishes, and everything is made with fresh, locally sourced ingredients. The cafe also has an art gallery that showcases the work of local artists.
11. Khao Tom Hua Chang 😋
Khao Tom Hua Chang is a humble little restaurant that’s famous for its rice soup. The dish is simple but flavorful, and it’s topped with your choice of meat and an assortment of herbs and spices. The restaurant is popular with both locals and tourists, so be prepared to wait in line.
12. Fai Sor Kam 😋
Fai Sor Kam is a cozy cafe that specializes in northern Thai snacks and desserts. The menu includes treats like sai aua (spicy pork sausage), kanom jeen nam ngeow (rice noodles with pork broth), and khao niao mamuang (mango sticky rice). The cafe also has a cute outdoor seating area that’s perfect for people-watching.
13. Suan Buak Had Public Park 😋
Last but not least, if you’re looking for a picnic spot, head to Suan Buak Had Public Park. The park is located in the heart of Chiang Mai Old Town and has plenty of shady spots to set up camp. There are also plenty of food vendors selling snacks like grilled meats and fresh fruit.
1. What is Chiang Mai Old Town?
Chiang Mai Old Town is the historic center of Chiang Mai, a city in northern Thailand. It’s surrounded by a moat and ancient walls and is home to many temples, markets, and restaurants.
2. What are the must-try dishes in Chiang Mai Old Town?
Some of the must-try dishes in Chiang Mai Old Town include khao soi (curry noodle soup), gaeng hung lay (pork curry), and sai ua (spicy pork sausage).
3. How do I get to Chiang Mai Old Town?
Chiang Mai Old Town is located in the center of Chiang Mai and can be easily accessed by walking, biking, or taking a tuk-tuk or taxi.
4. What is Lanna cuisine?
Lanna cuisine refers to the traditional food of the Lanna Kingdom, which was an ancient kingdom in northern Thailand. It’s characterized by its use of herbs and spices and its focus on simple, wholesome ingredients.
5. Is street food safe to eat in Chiang Mai Old Town?
Yes, street food is generally safe to eat in Chiang Mai Old Town as long as you choose stalls that look clean and hygienic. It’s also a good idea to stick to cooked foods and avoid raw or undercooked meats and seafood.
6. What is the best time of day to visit Chiang Mai Old Town?
The best time of day to visit Chiang Mai Old Town is early in the morning or late in the afternoon. This is when the weather is cooler, and there are fewer crowds.
7. Are there any vegetarian or vegan restaurants in Chiang Mai Old Town?
Yes, there are many vegetarian and vegan restaurants in Chiang Mai Old Town, including May Kaidee and Imm Aim Vegetarian & Bike Cafe.
8. What should I wear when visiting Chiang Mai Old Town?
When visiting Chiang Mai Old Town, it’s best to dress modestly and respectfully, especially when visiting temples and other sacred sites. This means covering your shoulders and knees and avoiding tight or revealing clothing.
9. What are some other things to do in Chiang Mai Old Town?
Other things to do in Chiang Mai Old Town include visiting temples like Wat Phra Singh and Wat Chedi Luang, shopping at the Night Bazaar, and taking a cooking class to learn how to make traditional Thai dishes.
10. How much should I expect to spend on a meal in Chiang Mai Old Town?
The cost of a meal in Chiang Mai Old Town can vary widely depending on where you go. Street food stalls and local restaurants are generally very affordable, while upscale restaurants and cafes may be more expensive.
11. Is it customary to tip at restaurants in Chiang Mai Old Town?
Tipping is not expected in Thailand, but it’s becoming more common in tourist areas. If you receive good service, it’s a nice gesture to leave a small tip.
12. What is the best way to explore Chiang Mai Old Town?
The best way to explore Chiang Mai Old Town is on foot or by bicycle. This allows you to take your time and explore the many narrow streets and alleys that are not accessible by car.
13. Where can I find more information about Chiang Mai