Eating out in Chiang Mai: My top 5!

Stir fried chicken with Basil at Hotel M

Last Updated on February 3, 2021 by Natasha Amar

Food is, quite rightly, one of the things to indulge in when in Chiang Mai. The cuisine in this part of Thailand has considerable influences from Vietnam, Burma, Cambodia and Laos with a wide variety of chicken and pork specialties. In my opinion, the food is even tastier than in Bangkok and is available at a fraction of the price. Isaan cuisine from the northern regions of Thailand is widely available in Chiang Mai and is one of my favorites. The best part is that you can get a delicious freshly prepared meal for as low as 30-40 Baht and in less than 20 minutes. It is very hard to pick favorite places to eat in Chiang Mai, as the city is dotted with numerous street stalls, cafes and restaurants and most of them are great value for money. This is a list of my favorite jaunts and most memorable meals in the city.

1. Yummy Isan (Th Ratchadamnoen):
Best ever Sticky rice with stir fried Chicken and Basil topped with a Fried egg. Also worth trying- Stir fried chicken wrapped in rice rolls.

Eating out in Chiang Mai
Sticky rice with Stir fried chicken and basil with a fried egg

2. Mr. Ka’s Pad Thai Noodles (Walk along Th Ratchaphakinai towards Pratu Chiang Mai, this place is on the street on the left hand side of the road, adjacent to a Travel agent):
Everything here is a treat, so it’s hard to pick a favorite. But the flat glass noodles are amazing!

3. Safe House Court (178 Th Ratchaphakhinai)
This restaurant is part of a family owned, totally value for money guest house. This, as I experienced, is great because it’s really pleasant to have a wonderful place to eat just downstairs when you’re too tired to go elsewhere. The staff is very friendly and kind and they serve refreshingly light curries. My favorite- the Jungle curry, a spicy curry of chicken (or any meat), mushrooms, vegetables (and pumpkin I think) that I did not find anywhere else. Enjoy this with a portion of steamed rice and endless glasses of Chrysanthemum juice.

Eating out in Chiang Mai
Jungle Curry at Safe House Court

4. Hotel M Chiang Mai (2-6 Th Ratchadamnoen)
This place is fancy by Chiang Mai standards, but is great for the ambience, especially if you sit outdoors by the fascinating (yes that’s what I think they are) lamps, listening to the earnest singer belt out classics such as ‘Lady in Red’. He does a pretty mean version of ‘Happy Birthday’ too! Good for Pad Thai, curries and a few extra points for great service.

Eating out in Chiang Mai
Stir fried chicken with Basil at Hotel M
Eating out in Chiang Mai
Fascinating lamps!

5. Be Beez Guesthouse (136/5 Ratchaphakinai Rd.)
The Khow Soi here is the best I had in all of my days in Thailand. Simply perfect. They also do rich and wholesome curries.

Eating out in Chiang Mai
Khow Soi at Be Beez

Have you been to Chiang Mai? Share your favorite places to eat in the city and let’s see if we can get to a list of top 20 favorite eateries in Chiang Mai, or check out my favourite desserts in Chiang Mai. For more posts about Thailand, visit the Thailand travel blog.

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  1. says: PattayaTV

    People say Happy Green is the best place to go in Chiang Mai. Vegan/vegetarian all you can eat buffet that is reasonably priced. Really looking forward to going there when I go to Chiang Mai early next year.

  2. says: MonkeyAbroad

    The stir fried chicken with basil is called “Kha prow gai” and it’s definitely my favorite Thai dish. If it comes with an egg it’s called “Kha prow gai sai kai.” The best.