Depending on every individual’s tastes, the opinions regarding how delectable, delicious, and tasty Vietnamese, Khmer, Lao, and even Burmese dishes vary – not everyone appreciates their meals yet a good handful of people do, however, when it comes to traditional Thai dishes, it is rare to hear any negative comments about their delicacies and these are comments coming from tourists who simply visit the country. An additional bonus when it comes to these Thai dishes is that they incorporate strong, traditional and regional elements which include coconut and also rich tasting curries.
If you are in the northernmost region of Thailand for a spiritual getaway, you can also take some time to indulge in the delicious offerings of Chiang Mai food that will surely whet your appetite. This northernmost region of Thailand is considered as the country’s cultural goldmine, plus it is also one of the favorite tourist destinations of backpackers who wish to experience the culture and beauty of the area.
The region has an abundance of age-old temples, notable accommodations, breathtaking sceneries, as well as beautiful and friendly locals who will greet everyone who visits Chiang Mai with warm smiles and open arms. Aside from these, there is also a myriad of cooking schools where one can partake in since learning how to whip up a wide array of delectable dishes have become a favorite activity among the tourists and locals alike. But of course, if you have come to the region to relax and immerse in the culture and tradition of Chiang Mai, you must not miss out on exploring the delicious cuisines that are available in the best restaurants in Chiang Mai.Food is among the most notable aspects that Thailand has to offer and there are endless choices of excellent Chiang Mai restaurants that are available for you to check out; some of their top food places rival the ones that can be located in Bangkok but with just half the price, you definitely know where to head out and dine.
The dining scene in the region is a highly diverse fusion of regional Thai flavors together with deliciously traditional Thai dishes, plus a vast selection of multi-cultural offerings that will make it difficult for anyone to choose from. Aside from the favorite street-side eating areas, there are a lot of establishments that are considered as best restaurants in Chiang Mai, all these offering you a traditional and cultural Thai experience whether it is the interior, decors, entertainment, or ambiance to that accompanies the delicious food being served.
Once you are set to explore the region to find your own favorite Chiang Mai restaurant, first take a look at the best restaurants that you can visit then try to select which one has the best dishes to offer.
The Top Ten Best Restaurants in Chiang Mai
The Good View Restaurant
If you are up for an expansive, noisy, yet very famous Chiang Mai restaurant, The Good View Restaurant is one place for you to visit so you can also listen to live bands performing while indulging in the restaurant’s delicious meals and drinks. While delighting in a handsome offering of scrumptious and tasty meals, you will have a charming view of the region’s surroundings because of its riverside location. The restaurant is known to be a very popular dining spot in Chiang Mai and it definitely lives up to its name since it exhibits a lovely and breathtaking view of the region’s surroundings; the Ping River can be easily viewed from The Good View Restaurant since it is only a few meters away from the establishment.
Because of the restaurant’s fairly expansive area, it has an indoor setting – although not really great for viewing the lush and alluring surroundings of Chiang Mai – as well as an outdoor terrace plus additional seats along the riverbanks so people can enjoy the scenery before them.
The restaurant is open daily from ten in the morning until one-thirty in the afternoon; it is highly suggested that you come early since a lot of the riverside tables easily get taken up once the sun sets. If you plan to come later, you may want to contact the restaurant and make a reservation so once you arrive at the Good View Restaurant, even if you come later, you will still have a seat despite the long waiting crowd. Finding the Good View Restaurant is easy since the property is located opposite the Warorot Market, and is actually just a short walk away from both the famous Night Market and Tha Phae Road.
Another one of the best restaurants in Chiang Mai is The Riverside – where two live bands will perform classic and catchy tunes while you enjoy their appetizing meals that will be served perfectly just for you. Not only that, but the indoor and outdoor seating areas exhibit a romantic setting which makes for an amorously charming dinner along the Ping River where you can have a whole night of dancing, drinking, and dining.
This Chiang Mai restaurant has been open since the year 1984, and has also been a long time entertainment spot for Chiang Mai’s live musical performances; it is a well-lit area that is decorated adequately with wooden furniture to keep the area’s ambiance relaxing and cozy. There are no other distractions in the property since your focus would only be on the music, the lovely scenery, plus the delectable meals that they prepare specially for their guests. If you are visiting the region with a large group, dining in this restaurant will be a smart idea since they have big servings of a wide and extensive collection of Thai favorites, grilled meat, seafood, plus a large selection of menu dishes for kids who tagged along the tour. Aside from Thai dishes, the restaurant also serves a long list of international dishes such as Japanese, Mexican, barbecued steak, fish and other seafood available.
If you are someone who enjoys and interests themselves in an artistic and culinary adventure, The Gallery is indeed a perfect place to visit so you can immerse in both interests all at the same time. The property offers its guests a relaxing and tranquil environment for dining which also exhibits a beautiful and intimate gallery that displays a number of carefully selected artworks created by artists from the local scene. These artworks include various sculptures, paintings, and even carvings which are extremely pleasing to the eyes.
If you visit The Gallery for a memorable time of dining and art, you can choose to sit out in the open and enjoy the beautiful and charming sceneries of the riverside, or simply choose to stay indoors in the restaurant’s handsomely designed dining room that displays nothing but classic Thai elegance, as well as notable sophistication and style. You will not miss this place since its neon-lit restaurant name can be seen immediately, as it draws you in and piques your interest, charming you into this beautiful home of treasures and goods.
The Gallery can be found in one of the oldest wooden establishments that can be found in Chiang Mai, and is known to have been established around the late 1800’s. Yet despite the rustic and ancient structure, the restaurant has been turned into a lovely and interestingly unique place for art and food lovers alike to meet and enjoy – delighting in alluring artworks and genuinely delicious food which will make for an extremely memorable experience during their stay in Chiang Mai. The Gallery serves a selection of fine dishes which includes Thai signature cuisines such as the all-time favorite Phad Thai, and tasty and flavor-filled varieties of their delectable and spicy Tom Yam Soup. If you love eating rice, you will definitely enjoy the restaurant’s Kao Phad Rice which is prepared based on the restaurant’s own recipe, with a few secret ingredients to make the dish even more delectable. Of course, The Gallery serves curries that are spiced up adequately for everyone’s tastes, plus fish dishes that are highly recommended by a lot of the tourists and locals as well.
You can find the Anchan Restaurant right at the end of the cozy and secluded spot of the Wooded Soi Lane that is just off of the Nimmanhaemin Road, west of the trendy and entertaining shopping area of Chiang Mai’s Old City.
The Anchan Vegetarian Restaurant proudly displays their sign that tells everyone what the restaurant offers since they serve a wide variety of delicious and tasty vegetarian cuisines which is something that everyone, even those who are not vegetarians, should try and delight in. They ensure that the meals they create are just like the usual non-vegetarian dishes so you will not have to miss the taste of meat since they have created dishes that offer similar and deliciously tasting meals. Moreover, since Anchan can be found on the second floor of a certain establishment in Chiang Mai, you will easily spot their sign so might as well pay them a visit and have a taste of what they have to offer.
This Chiang Mai restaurant is one of those places where you can watch the chef create your meals while you can also have a nice view right at the restaurant’s balcony that looks out over the Soi; furthermore, the vegetarian restaurant provides you with a wide selection of fifty-five menu items which includes a variety of soup, curries, salad, pasta, omelets and a lot more. Additionally, the restaurant also offers a list of delicious fruit smoothies and other specials which are constantly updated based on the fruit that is available in season.
All of the ingredients used in the meals served at Anchan are organically produced from local farms which make their dishes extremely healthy while also being tasteful. They also avoid utilizing MSG, shrimp pastes, and even fish sauce because they want to create dishes using all natural flavors and spices.
Khao Soi Khun Yai
Khao Soi Khun Yai or Grandmother’s Khao Soi – it can be a little difficult to search for this restaurant since they do not have a sign in English and the establishment where the restaurant is, looks just like a regular private home. Chiang Mai’s most popular offering to Thai dishes and cuisines is the Khao Soi (soy) Noodle Soup which has become a huge favorite among locals and tourists alike.
The restaurant specializes in this delectable dish where the classic version fuses a variety of two types of noodles which include deep-fried crispy noodles and flat wheat noodles that are combined with a mix of chicken curry and spicy coconut. Though it will be a little tricky to find this place, it can be located in the Mueang district of Chiang Mai and once you are able to set foot here, you can delight in their delicious Khao Soi that is hearty, healthy, and filling.
Khum Kaew Palace Khantoke
If you are staying at the Vista Hotel in Chiang Mai or if you want to just dine in a place that has the ambiance of royalty, you should not look elsewhere and head straight for the Khum Kaew Palace Khantoke that can be located in a palace established in 1897 by the 9th king of Chiang Mai during that time. The restaurant serves its guests a fine selection of traditional Lanna dishes which include sticky rice, traditional chicken and mushroom soup, crispy fried pork skin together with fried vegetables, and other culinary delicacies that will surely make your mouth water. Additionally, dining in the area will be very entertaining since you will be enchanted by traditional Lanna dances together with their music that will charm you away.
The River Market
This is one of the most recommended areas to dine in and it can easily be accessed since it situates along the riverbanks of the Ping River. Here, they serve its guests lunch and dinner but you must try their delicious and scrumptious classic Thai meals that fuse perfectly with the ambiance and environment of the restaurant’s Colonial-inspired Thai-Burmese establishment.
You would think that the prices here are expensive but surprisingly, the dishes served have reasonable prices despite having large servings which will surely fill and satisfy your appetite, as well as your culinary adventures.
Their menu consists of favorites and Thai classics such as Pad Thai, Tom Yum Kung, papaya salad, and their green curry; and although their menus will not really be reinvented anytime soon, they have done a great job in whipping up all these delectable meals for their guests, also, they have a happy hour where they offer double drinks for one person and also a serving of sushi for half the price
Comedara Restaurant & Art Gallery
The Comedara – set in an old yet beautiful colonial home where you will find appetizing and mouthwatering food, excellent services, picturesque sceneries, and of course, relaxing and catchy tunes at all times. The Comedara Restaurant and Art Gallery is open daily from eleven in the morning to eleven in the evening, where a huge selection of meal choices are available – a hundred and seventy deliciously mouthwatering dishes that you can choose from before sinking your teeth in any of the appetizing meals that they have to offer. They focus on northern Thai dishes but they have an assortment of other meals such as vegetarian dishes, Thai meals, and also single dishes that are all beautifully plated and served to their guests. They also have a variety of cocktails, wine, tea and coffee selections, and various juice flavors to satisfy everyone’s tastes.
If you want to relax while eating gourmet dishes that are cheap but delicious, together with fresh juices or Arabica coffee while taking advantage of free WiFi internet in a place with an ambiance that exhibits a homey and cozy feel, you should head for the Angel’s Secrets restaurant which is actually a haven for any traveler who is on a budget. The daytime dining spot focuses on baked, homemade delicious treats and is popular for their stunning and delicious cakes that you would surely want to indulge in once you set foot in the area.
Angel’s Secrets captures the charming and sweet side of northern Thailand’s culture where they are able to serve perfectly prepared snacks together with refreshing juices that will surely satisfy and indulge your sweet tooth. Baked fresh every day, you will see that all their cakes are delicately designed to display an irresistible treat that one would have difficulties avoiding since their desserts are really appetizingly delicious. They also serve spicy vegetable dishes together with succulent salmon that will make you want to have more of their meals, and if you actually do, you can try their dazzling selection of seafood and vegetarian options.
There is no better way to experience Chiang Mai than heading out in the evening to see the enticing views of the riverside area while indulging in a delicious variety of fusion dishes as well as Traditional Thai meals that will surely make you enjoy as you take every bite. Deck 1 is one of the modern dining that is located close to the Mae Ping River where you will be given a chance to immerse in the surrounding’s beauty while also indulging in the delicious meals that they serve.
Because of its popularity, it is highly recommended that you reserve seats before you go to Deck 1 since a lot of people flock the restaurant, especially during weekends when everyone can go around places in Chiang Mai. The restaurant can be located along the eastern bank of the Mae Ping River, and it can be reached by foot when you take a slow stroll across the iron bridge from the highly popular area of the Night Market.