23 Eateries And Restaurants In Chiang Mai To Try: Foodie Guide

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When it comes to food, you will find a fair share of delicious dishes served up by the diverse restaurants in Chiang Mai. From the roadside stalls to air conditioned eateries, you will find plenty of options regardless of your budget. 

Eating in Chiang Mai is not just enjoyable but also really affordable. While I typically cook my own meals, I don’t think I made more than 3 meals in my whole month in Chiang Mai.

Here are some of my favorite restaurants in Chiang Mai to try!

Budget Thai Restaurants In Chiang Mai

Moo Ping Khun Por


This small local eatery can be easy to miss, but it would be your loss to overlook it. I really love their Pork Skewers (Moo Ping). They are juicy and so well flavoured that you don’t need any dips to go with it. 

In addition, they offer a variety of grilled meat dishes that is cooked over charcoal. You can enjoy them with sticky rice to add some carbs to your meal. It is nothing super fancy, but so delicious and great for a quick meal.

Note that they open early in the morning and close by around 1pm. So it’s not a dinner place; but those skewers will go really well with some beer. 

They do not take card payment; and their prompt pay QR code is a personal account. So cash payment will be best there.

Payment Options: Prompt Pay (Personal), Cash, Credit Card

Northland Restaurant


Undoubtedly the most value for money place if you’re on a budget. This quaint restaurant that looks plain and normal is actually a hidden gem.

It’s ran single-handedly by an old lady; I guess that’s the definition of home-cooked food. Prices here are cheap with bigger than normal portion. And you will find many common Thai dishes here.

Know that she is the only one serving, cooking, and taking orders, so be patient especially if there are many customers. Or come during non-peak hours and I think you’ll be doing both yourself and her a favor 🙂

In any case, she doesn’t just leave you waiting. After taking my order, she came out with a bunch of complimentary stuff – a bottle of iced water, followed by passion fruits and her home-made coconut jelly (I loved these). Then she went back to cooking. 

Now, it’s not like the food here tasted incredibly superior to other restaurants, but it’s satisfying much like a home-cooked meal. And it’s great value for money with a nice local owner.

The Pad Thai I ordered left me incredibly full, and just based on my taste buds, I don’t think she used any MSG on it. There’s also condiments on the table if you want to adjust the saltiness, spiciness etc. 

I can foresee being a regular customer if I stayed around the area. And many of you might, because it is in the Old Town.

Payment Options: Cash Only

Uncle Pan Thai Food

This is a popular local eatery in Nimman ran by a friendly couple. It can get busy during meal hours. 

The menu is not very big but it clearly doesn’t need to be. Most popular option here during lunch are the rice dishes where you get fried egg (with oozing yolk), and your choice of meat.

While they don’t speak good English, you can take the menu and point at whatever you want. 

I tried the crispy pork rice and it was delish. I like that they serve green veggies with it making this a well balanced meal. The flavor was just nice and the pork was the right texture (crispy skin, juicy meat). 

They also have self service broth soup and drinking water that you can help yourself to. 

I was pleasantly surprised that I could pay with Prompt Pay here. 

Payment Options: Prompt Pay (Business), Cash

Nong Bee’s Burmese Restaurant


Just a few stalls away from Uncle Pan, you will find Nong Bee’s Burmese Restaurant. The girls running it are very friendly as well.

Yes, I know this is not Thai food, but I decided to put it up here for more convenient reference since they are also of similar price point.

The restaurant do serve Thai food, but I’ve never tried them because well, I’m here for the Burmese dishes. And judging from the taste, I don’t think their Thai food will be any lesser in standard.

I love the curry chicken, it is simple yet thick and full of flavor. And the iconic Burmese tea leaves salad is just a great complimentary side. Best of all, they are really cheap too.

Payment Options: Prompt Pay (Personal), Cash

Mid Range Thai Restaurants In Chang Mai

Although I’m grouping them as midrange, most of them have dishes under THB100 (~US$3) which makes a proper meal. They can easily fall into the same budget range as above depending on what you order.

Jeab Cafe & Thai Food


This corner cafe/restaurant might not catch your immediate attention but it’s a great and value for money spot for various Thai dishes. It is both a cafe and restaurant, which means they also serves coffee, toasts and ice cream. 

For the quality of the food and environment, prices here are cheaper than I would expect. It is air-conditioned, clean and comfortable but almost street level prices. Coffee prices are cheaper than your modern cafes.  

The Khao Soi was extremely flavorful; as much as I was tempted to try the condiments, I really couldn’t find a reason to. They even asked for my desired spice level so it will suit both locals and tourists who maybe cannot handle as much heat. 


The peaflower butter toast is quite pretty good; thick with a crispy texture. Staff here are friendly and attentive which always make for a good experience. 

For digital nomads: Although this is not a cafe where you regularly find people on their laptops, it can definitely serve the purpose. Comfy chairs with high speed wifi, and a more-than-affordable cafe menu. I did some work here while waiting out the rain. 

Payment Options: Prompt Pay (Personal), Cash, Credit Card

For other cafes

So Good Thai


Similarly, this restaurant doesn’t appear visually striking, but it’s comfortable with both indoor aircon and outdoor seats.

The staff is friendly and professional. They have an extensive menu of both Northern Thai and common Thai dishes. The roasted delights like crispy pork belly and roasted chicken are some of their specialty. 

I tried the Gaeng Hung Lay and loved the amount of flavor in it. Perfect to go with a bowl of rice for a really satisfying meal. It’s a casual no frills place for some delicious Thai food. 

As per most Thai restaurants, it is best if you come with more people to share and try the various dishes. But there’s always options for a solo diner. 

Payment Options: Prompt Pay (Personal), Cash

Cherng Doi Roast Chicken


Recommended by the Michelin guide, this place is most known for their roast chicken. 

Juicy, succulent meat with crispy skin. They get crowded during meal times, particularly at night. But this might just be one place you want to come during high turnover times. 

This is because there is a higher turnover of food, and the chicken will likely be freshly roasted. That is important for a dish like this. 

The portion is not very big, definitely good for one. The price to portion ratio can be considered slightly on the expensive side for this type of restaurant. 

Nevertheless, the chicken quality is good and worth trying. The tamarind sauce is a nice touch, but you don’t really even need it.

They also serve other traditional Thai dishes which seem to be good. I have not tried them but the crispy papaya salad and pork with basil is popular as well. 



If you are searching specifically for a taste of Northern Thai cuisine, not just general Thai food, CHUM is the place to be.

Despite being a rather fancy boutique-looking restaurant, the prices here are surprisingly affordable. The place is very cozy and there are limited seats. So I recommend making a reservation if you are visiting during the weekend or even during peak dining hours.

They have a rather extensive and colourful menu. You get lots of visuals so you will have an idea what the dishes look like. 

There’s plenty of interesting dishes and some exotic stuff like grilled bee larve (I mainly remembered this coz I tried it).

I also like the jackfruit with pork which is incredibly flavourful. You will likely need rice or Roti to go with most of the food here. 

Ideally, it is a place to come in pairs or groups so you can try several dishes. But no one is stopping me (or you) from visiting alone.

Note that there is a 7% GST but the price to quality ratio here is still immense. 

Payment Options: Credit Card, PromptPay, Cash

Galea Restaurant


This is one place to visit if it purely just for the ambience and surrounding. Galea is sort of a garden restaurant peppered with colourful flowers all around the compound. It is big and spacious, with the lower terrace right next to a lake. 

Similar to many Asian cuisine, the restaurant is best enjoyed in group by ordering multiple dishes and sharing them with rice. Although there are also dishes like Pad Thai, Red/Green curries that are still perfect if you are just dining alone.

I tried the pineapple fried rice and enjoyed it. They have both common Thai dishes, as well as those specific to Northern Thai cuisine.


In any case, there is both a cafe and restaurant here; so you don’t necessarily need to visit for a proper meal. I like it best in the morning when it just opened without much crowd. You can really see enjoy the tranquility; and they play mellow piano music which  complements the ambience.

Despite the surrounding, prices here are not expensive (likely because the location is comparatively remote). In fact, the drinks are cheaper than many cafes in the city center. I also tried the Banoffee Pie which is pretty tasty.

While it is not impossible to walk in, getting a cab (or Grab) in is the simplest way; and it’s rather quick (about 10mins) from Nimman area. 

Aroy Dee

This is a popular restaurant among tourists at the edge of old town, and it can get pretty busy at night. They serve general Thai cuisine, and the good thing here is that there are many dishes that are suitable for just a single diner.

The wok stuff seems to be most popular and you can see the chef at work right in front of the store. I tried the Tom Yam fried rice; it was flavorful and satisfying. They did put herbs like lemongrass, chilli etc, rather than just a paste. 

While I did not get their coconut shake since I arrived from having several cups of coffee, I see it was quite a big jar and I’ve heard its good.

The interior looks more colorful than your regular roadside restaurant but there is no aircon. If you want a more peaceful setting, come in the day. If you want to feel the bustling ambience, which can sometimes get chaotic with orders, go in the evening. 

Payment Options: Prompt Pay (Personal), Cash, Credit Card

Pricier Thai Restaurant

Due to the amount of cheap and tasty Thai food options around, I do struggle going for higher end restaurants when traveling/dining alone. Anything above a certain price range really need to be an “experience” (over just food), and this is probably where I would make the cut.

Note that the following is not even considered a high end place, as I know of experimental restaurants that can go to 1000THB. 

Ginger Farm Kitchen


Having been in the michelin guide since 2019, this restaurant clearly has done something right. They are known for sourcing local, organic ingredients and not using MSG in their cooking. 

Prices here are on the expensive end for local standards. I was a tad hesitant to try it just because there are many Thai food options that are incredibly tasty and cheap. 

And as an Asian, I have a (not always logical) bias towards street food. Regardless how delicious the food might taste, it’s probably difficult to justify that price gap if it’s a pure taste consideration. 

Nevertheless, I had to at least give it a shot. I decided not to go with a super traditional Thai dish but rather something they are known for yet not commonly found outside – the Crab and Bacon pasta. 


This dish was thick and very umami. They also serve some carb roe on the side so you know you are getting a fair share of crab. The bacon is a tad crispier than I like but overall a pretty satisfying dish.

And I probably would need to pay more for something like that in many other countries. So this is still a pretty good deal despite being more expensive in local context.

The butterfly pea tea is light, but goes well with the honey.

If you’re big on organic food, Ginger Farm House definitely cater to that. They also serve vegetarian and vegan options. 

One thing to note, places like these typically have a lighter taste platte because they don’t use MSG and has a bit more of healthy considerations. So don’t expect as strong flavors as what you get on the streets. 

It is ideal if you’re with a group, so you can order/try multiple dishes. The restaurant interior is beautiful so that adds to the overall dining experience.

Payment Options: Credit Card, Prompt Pay, Cash

Buffet Restaurants In Chiang Mai

There are several all-you-can-eat buffet places in Chiang Mai that are just absolute value for money, so I had to try some of them. For me, they are good when I want to load up on protein and fiber (aka meat and veg).

The most worthwhile and popular ones are basically 1) Thai Mookata and 2) Hotpot Shabu Shabu.

Hmu Song Chan


This is my favorite Mookata restaurant in Chiang Mai for almost one single reason – that it has air conditioning and thus opens from noon onwards.

Most Mookata places will only open in the evenings because they are open air. You can imagine it is too hot to be having grill in the afternoon with the Thai climate.

I try to avoid having buffet style meals for dinner because there is not enough time to digest and I go to sleep feeling bloated.

In addition, as they are in an enclosed space with aircon, the whole place feels more hygienic without flies hovering over the food.

Hmu Song Chan’s operating hours works best for me. I go right after an intensive gym session.

The place is not only vey cheap, but there are also many tables. That said, I’ve heard you usually need to queue when visiting during dinner time. Many locals dine here due to the affordable pricing. There is also no time limit.

The food selection is almost the same as many buffet places, but I do find the ice cream here to be of better quality.

The staff don’t speak much English but I don’t think much communication is really needed.

Payment Options: Prompt Pay (Personal), Cash, Credit Card

The nine Shabu


Rather hidden on a 2-level building in Nimman, nine Shabu is the most value for money Shabu Shabu place I found, especially if you are dining alone.

It is the cheapest I have seen at 199THB (~US$5), the base price also include drinks and dessert. I do believe you get to choose two base soups even if you are dining alone, because they served me a split pot.

Most shabu shabu places will only allow you one soup base (serve in a regular non-split pot) when dining alone.

However, the staff here are not particularly proficient when it comes to English or service (slightly lesser than the regular Thai standard). Thus I only chose one soup base assuming that’s the norm.

The place is small so there are not many tables, but it is usually not crowded in the afternoon.

Payment Options: Prompt Pay (Personal), Cash, Credit Card

International Cuisine In Chiang Mai

While Thai food is delicious, I don’t expect you want to eat it for every single meal especially if you are staying for quite a while.

Chiang Mai also has many restaurants serving tasty international cuisine that are of good standards. Here are some of my favorites. 

Beast Burger


If you want a break from Thai food and craving a nice, juicy burger – Beast Burger will satisfy your craving. (And no, this is not Mr Beast’s Beast Burger, it just has the same name.) 

Nevertheless, the burgers here are great. The bun is crispy and the patty is not too dry. The menu has a right amount of options and not overly extensive. If you want to be a bit more healthy, they even offer sweet potato fries.

Without surprise, prices here are more expensive than your typical street Thai food, but a really good deal for a nice burger. 

They also have a 2nd level open patio which is great for the night when it’s not that hot. But the indoor space on the ground floor is pretty bright with huge open windows that overlooks the street. 

Payment Options: Prompt Pay (Business), Cash, Credit Card

Na-Nua Suan Dok Gate


For some nice steak, this is my go-to place in Old Town. I’m not really talking like western restaurants serving a huge slab of steak, but rather steak meat with rice.

The place is small, but it is popular! Particularly among expats. Most of their meat come from New Zealand or Australia so the quality is there. You can also choose different cuts of meat from Ribeye to Sirloin etc. 

Prices here are more expensive than your typical local Thai meals, but can be considered quite a deal considering the food/ingredient involved. 

Today Curry Bar


This is a nice, chill bar in Nimman for dinner or supper. They have a semi-open rooftop area which is cooling at night; so it is great for drinks while looking at the street below.

The curry rice is what I came here for, and it didn’t disappoint. It’s not authentic to any specific cuisine but just tasty. They also serve fried chicken, ramen and bar food – so a bit of Korean/Japanese mix if I have to put a finger to it. 

On certain nights, they even have live music. 

Payment Options: Credit Card, Prompt Pay, Cash

Salad Concept

If you are tired of street food, and want something really healthy, this is a popular place to go – even for locals. 

Despite the name, they don’t only serve salad. And frankly, they also don’t just serve healthy options. You can still find burgers and fries here. But they have a huge menu, and much of it are healthy choices. 

From salads to wraps and breakfast plates, there are a ton of dishes here to choose from. You can even customise your own salad or wrap!

That said, they also span a wide range in terms of pricing. E.g. if you have a salmon dish, you can expect a higher cost. Overall, it’s great if you are looking for healthy options because there is so much to choose from. 

There’s a couple of outlet, one in Nimman and another near old town. I’ve never visited the old town one, but the Nimman branch is also a good spot for working as mentioned in our guide to cafes in Chiang Mai. 

Payment Options (Nimman Branch): Prompt Pay, Cash, Credit Card



For some nice Korean fried chicken, RAWR is one of my favourite choices. They have an outlet, and a food truck stand in Nimman which is the one I go to. It’s a nice indulgence while getting in my protein intake after working out.

There’s really just three simple things to Korean Fried Chicken for me. Crispy exterior, juicy interior and finger licking good sauce. RAWR meets them all, so it has become an easy choice.

I have also tried their Jajangmyeon, which is different from the traditional Korean one, but still tasty nevertheless.

Sweets And Desserts

Guu Fusion Roti & Tea

Located right at the busy stretch of Nimman Road, this is quite a popular place during the day and night. They have quite an extensive menu but I visit specifically for their Crispy Roti with Thai Sweet and Whipped Cream. 

The portion is not only huge, but it is not too sweet, and the cream tastes pretty light. In fact, I was surprised to be able to finish a whole plate by myself. Nevertheless, it is good for sharing, particularly if you are ordering other dishes as well. 

Payment Options: Prompt Pay (Business), Cash, Credit Card

Mont Nomsod


If you have been to Thailand, you might have heard of Mont Nomsod. It is one of the oldest toast brands in the country since 1964. And you can find a branch in Chiang Mai. 

So if you have not tried Mont Nomsod before, definitely give it a shot. It is a local favourite after all. 

One interesting thing here though is people see it almost like a dessert/after-meal snack rather than a breakfast food. In fact, the Nimman branch doesn’t open until 2pm in the afternoon. And they open till past midnight. 

It gets crowded in the evening. So if you prefer not to wait, go in the afternoon like I did. 

I personally prefer more crispiness to the toast texture, but it is still relatively nice overall. And they give a generous slap of topping on it. I tried the Taro and Pandan Custard. 

Many locals and tourists enjoy it, so try it and see if it appeals to you. 

Payment Options: Prompt Pay (Business), Cash, Credit Card

Volcano Cafe

On the topic of toast for desserts – if that is your jam, check out Japanese themed Volcano Cafe which serves up these incredibly delicious  pocket cheese toast. There are tons of flavours available from Pandan to ice cream and all kinds of fruits.

The signature here is the stretchy cheese that just pulls and pulls. So I will say, just choose the “with cheese” option even though you might not think it fits with flavours like melon. I had the Pandan custard with cheese and loved it.

The toast tastes best when served hot. So while I think they are available on food delivery apps, it might not be the same when you get it fresh.

There is a branch at ONE Nimman, but I visited the outlet opposite Chiang Mai University(CMU)

At this outlet, there’s also restaurant under the same brand for proper meals. This is like a small Korean and Japan corner. There’s a small district here that is rather bustling, particularly among students. 

The second level is rather quiet and decent for working/studying. There’s even power sockets at some tables. However, the internet is only for 1 hour and has rather slow speed for Chiang Mai standards.

Tip: Some services in the CMY area tend to be cheaper than touristic/expat zones like Nimman. For example, a haircut here costs around 150-200, while barber shops in Nimman usually charge 300THB and up. That’s like almost 50% difference.

Charin Pie


A popular spot that specialises in delicious homemade pies. I tried their signature coconut pie which consists of a fluffy merengue topping, custard and coconut pieces. But there are many options that sounds really tempting.

Prices here are decent, and coffee might even be on the heater end depending on what you are ordering.

I like that you can choose the roast for the coffee since I tend to like darker roast with stronger flavor. You can even get a latte art of your face on it for free!

They have a nice garden that is well sheltered by trees. The indoor sitting isn’t actually anything fancy, but there’s aircon if it gets too warm outdoors. 

Payment Options: Prompt Pay (Business), Cash, Credit Card

7 Senses Gelato


I know Asia isn’t really the place for Gelato, but if you’re really craving some, this is the best place to get it. The founder is Italian himself which explains the commitment to quality. 

Prices are not cheap here, especially for Thailand. That’s because they import most of the ingredients from overseas apart from the fruits and diary which is local.

They have many flavors here which you can try before taking your pick. Some of them can be seasonal so if you see something exotic that you want to try, probably grab it while you can. 

BONUS: Fruits


Much of South East Asia is blessed with a variety of sweet, juicy fruits around due to the tropical climate. Thailand is no different. In fact, you can find plenty of vendors selling fruits around.

If you are staying in Nimman, my favourite place to get my dose of natural healthy vitamins though is this smal Fruit Stand at 53 Siri Mangkalajarn Rd. The owners are friendly and they are one of the cheapest around. 

As per last visit, each bag of cut fruit only costs THB15, which is at least 20-30% cheaper than many other places. You get a good variety of options from watermelon to pineapples, honeydews and more. 

They also have the more expensive options like mangos and jackfruits, which are still pretty affordable. 

Eating In Chiang Mai

As you can see, you can eat really well regardless of your budget. There’s plenty of restaurants in Chiang Mai serving tasty food at very affordable prices. 

Here is another budget tip, food delivery apps usually have discounts particularly for new customers. I use them often in Thailand which also allows me to try restaurants that might be further away. Grab and Food Panda are two of the most common ones at the time of writing.


Book Your Flight

I usually use a combination of 2-3 of the following search engines to find cheap flights: Skyscanner, Momondo, Google Flights

Find Your Accommodation

Booking.com is my usual platform for finding accommodation options as they have one of the largest selections. Hostelworld is great for booking hostels. For more private or long term accommodation, Airbnb is my go-to platform.

Travel Insurance

Travel insurance is important for to protect yourself against unforeseen circumstances. I usually look at a few insurance companies depending on my travel needs.
  • SafetyWings for Travel Health Insurance
  • IMG Global for added Insurance when doing activities outside of usual coverage
Packing for your trip? Check out the packing list for ideas on what to bring

For more travel resources, check out my resources page for best platforms and companies to use when you travel.

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Welcome To NomadsUnveiled
This is Rax. For over a decade, I have traveled to over 60 countries - from a budget backpacker to a business traveler, expat and then a digital nomad. You can find insights and perspectives from myself and other world travelers that will inspire your journey of discovery.


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