Finding places to eat in Chiang Mai is not difficult. Buying skewers of barbeque pork and a strawberry lime smoothie at Chiang Mai gate are always high on my foodie list. So good. So cheap.
The chicken biryani at the gate is pretty good too (a yummy recommendation by Jodi of Legal Nomads).
If you like street food, go to Chiang Mai Gate. If you want to dine on flavourful Thai, Indian, Japanese and Burmese food, keep reading!
Seriously, I feel as though I am starving every time I think of my favourite places to eat in Chiang Mai.
MUSASHI SUSHI BAR
This may be a little bit of hyperbole, but Musashi serves up some of the best sushi on the planet. Which is one of the reasons why it’s one of my favourite places to eat in Chiang Mai –his adorable cats are the other reason.
Always fresh and delicious, Musashi is popular with just about everyone who loves sushi. Try the Tokyo Drift rolls (above, right) or Dragon rolls (above, left). Actually, try anything on the menu, they are all pretty damn good.
I usually spend around 250 THB | $10 CAD | $8 USD (I almost always order two different rolls).
Tip: if you’re celiac, ask for the gluten-free soy sauce. He usually has some behind the counter.
Location: Nimmanhaemin Rd Soi 13
CHERNG DOI (A.K.A. CRISPY CHICKEN)
Musashi and the crispy chicken place are tied in terms of my favourite places to eat in Chiang Mai. I spent stupid amounts of money in each of these restaurants and I don’t regret it!
Cherng Doi was on heavy rotation during my last trip to Chiang Mai, and while their menu is quite large, I usually ate two dishes: Gai Yang (roasted chicken) and Kor moo ra pha krob (crispy pork with fried basil leaves, chili and garlic). The deep-fried som tam was good too, but the crispy chicken and crispy pork are what I crave whenever I think of Chiang Mai.
I typically spent around 160 THB | $6.50 CAD | $5 USD.
Location: Suk Kasame Rd (between soi 4 and soi 2)
TAM JAGUNG RESTAURANT – CLOSED I had the pleasure of eating at Tam Jagung (a tiny restaurant near Kad Suan Kaew Mall) with Jodi shortly after my trip to Myanmar. The restaurant tucked away on a quiet street, away from most of the digital nomads and travel bloggers in Chiang Mai’s Nimmanhaeminda neighbourhood. Try the tomato salad or my personal favourite, tea leaf salad (OMG, it is SO yummy). Then try some of the other Burmese dishes on the menu. I typically spend around 150 THB | $6 CAD | $5 USD. Location: Sermsuk Rd (Walk down Huay Kaew Rd, past Salsa Kitchen and turn left on to Saijai Rd, then right on to Sermsuk Rd).
I’m not sure of the actual name of this restaurant, all I know is that it’s on Nimmanhaemin soi 11 near Siri Mangkalajarn Rd.
Gai Yang / Kai Yang (roasted chicken) is an Isan food staple in Northern Thailand, and this place is one of my favourites in Chiang Mai. Pull up a plastic stool and order a half chicken or whole chicken, along with some sticky rice and dig in sans utensils. The chicken is always moist, the skin is flavourful and the gai yang sauce (a tamarind based dipping sauce) is heavenly.
I typically spend around 150 THB | $6 CAD | $4.75 USD.
Location: Nimmanhaemin soi 11
Located close to the Old City, SP Chicken is famous for being the inspiration behind Andy Ricker’s Pokpok restaurant in Portland.
I know, there are three chicken places in this post, but I love moist roasted chicken is dipping sauce that packs a flavour punch – which is probably why I have a post called Chiang Mai’s chicken trifecta. More famous with locals than tourists and expats, SP Chicken has several tables and chairs if you want to dine in, but grabbing some to go is my personal preference.
I typically spend around 150 THB | $6 CAD | $4.75 USD.
Location: Samlan Rd soi 1
ACCHA FUSION INDIAN
I’m a sucker for good Indian food, so imagine my surprise when I discovered the deliciousness of Accha Fusion’s butter chicken. Oh, so good.
I walked past Accha several times before trying their food, and when I finally tried it, I cursed myself for waiting so long. The butter chicken is smooth and packed with flavour and the buttered naan is quite good as well. The downside? It’s a little expensive in comparison to the other places to eat in Chaing Mai.
I typically spend around 310 THB | $13 CAD | $10 USD.
Location: Nimmanhaemin soi 9, in front of Starbucks
RUSTIC & BLUE CAFE
Rustic & Blue is a hipster’s dream restaurant; hand-grown ingredients on a farm just outside the city, beautiful artisanal food, and farm-to-table dining events (at the farm!).
I love going to Rustic & Blue to enjoy a pot of tea and a book, brunch or a salad at lunch. The staff are always friendly and the food is fresh and somewhat healthy. I eat here (easily) every other week when I’m in Chiang Mai.
I typically spend around 200 THB | $8 CAD | $6.25 USD.
Location: Nimmanhaemin soi 7
Honestly, there are so many restaurants in Chaing Mai serving incredible food. While I eat most often at the places listed above, the following are also quite good!
- Beast Burger -once a food truck, now a brick and mortar restaurants. Amazing burgers.
- Anchan – yummy vegetarian food. The pumpkin curry (when available) is to die for!
- RAWtruckr – a food truck behind 9-1 Coffee selling Korean crispy chicken wings. So messy.
- Dada Cafe – yummy smoothies and really good bruschetta in the old city near Tha Pae Gate.
- UN Irish Pub – I have a love for their warm chicken salad sandwich (which has roasted garlic and crispy bacon!).
- Salsa Kitchen – good Mexican food near Kad Suan Kaew mall.
- Lemontree – my go-to for Panang curry. Located next to Salsa Kitchen.
- Miguel’s – delicious Mexican food just outside the old city walls. Be ready for a food coma afterwards!