My favourite Restaurants in Chiang Mai
When I left Bangkok headed for the popular northern destination that is Chiang Mai, I was expecting to arrive in a hillside mid-sized town with a rural feel. I am not sure why or how I developed such a misconception, but my vision of Chiang Mai was not very accurate at all.
Chiang Mai is in fact the second largest city in Thailand and a hub for tourists and backpackers alike. One aspect I really enjoyed, is that although the city is large, it is divided into the 'Old' and 'New' town, by a series of walls. The area in the Old Town, where we stayed and mainly explored, still feels cosy.
There is a wide and varied range of places to eat in Chiang Mai, but let me share with you 4 of my favourites, which all happen to be within th walls of the Old Town. I promise you won't be disappointed if you choose to pay these places a visit!
My 4 must visit restaurants in Chiang Mai
In my opinion the strongest selling point of this particular place is the atmosphere. It is by far one of the prettiest dining venues with a very romantic feel, especially in the evening.
There are is a large outdoor seating area with candle lit tables as well as the indoor area, with a bar and live musicians (who were very talented).
The menu includes both Thai and Western options, both times we visited we opted for Thai dishes. I have tried the tempura Vegetables (pictured below) as well as the chicken satay skewers for starters, and they were both delicious.
We also tried the Chicken in Tamarind sauce as a main and were blown away, I worried the chicken might be dry under the crust it is incased in, but it was tender and although I hate the word "succulent". We ordered steamed rice and a prawn curry and shared everything between two people (it was more than enough).
I was on the hunt for a nice healthy restaurant that served fresh food, especially for breakfast and lunch. This is where Dada Kafe comes in. It was everything I wanted and more..
I don't know about you but in the last couple of years I have developed a borderline unhealthy addiction to avocado.
You can therefore imagine my delight when I found that the menu at Dada Kafe included sandwiches with avocado, eggs with avocado, avocado on toast and avocado salads! I was a happy girl.
We visited this place for breakfast and lunch on a number of occasions, some of the things we tried were the tuna sandwiches (top left) the set menu option which comes with OJ and tea/coffee (top right), the veggie burger (bottom) and the chicken sandwich (featured in the video).
All of the dishes were fresh, tasty and reasonably priced. Average of $10 for 2 people. They also have a great selection of juices and smoothies.
We stumbled upon this place by chance during a morning of exploration and ended up coming back just so I could take pictures of the food (what a great excuse ay!).
Both times the restaurant was extremely busy with people being turned away, it is indeed very popular and rightly so. There is a pretty courtyard surrounded by plants and french looking garden furniture, the breakfast options are out of this world and the coffee is GOOOOOD! They also have a lot of imported european produce and you can find typical cured meats and cheeses from places like Italy and Germany.
The second time we visited, the owner gave us free donuts (pictured above) to apologise for the long wait, a really thoughtful touch and great sign of excellent customer service.
I ordered the greek omelette with feta cheese and roasted vegetables (above) and fruit salad with yogurt (below).
My boyfriend ordered the scrambles eggs with shrimp (below). Everything was unbelievably tasty and fresh.
This place is ALL about the food. The restaurant itself and the customer service is pretty average and nothing to rave about, but the food, oh where do I start....
The pictures I took don't do the dishes ANY justice, the lighting was bad and I was so impatient to eat that I didn't even care about the perfect picture (sorry, not sorry).
The ingredients are fresh and all I can say is that the cooks in this place really know what they are doing, everything tastes A-mazing. There aren't enough culinary words in my vocabulary to express what I want to say when describing this food, all I can humbly suggest is that if you ever find this place in Chiang Mai, you go and eat here.
Be prepared to queue up, because there is always a line and be prepared to eat a lot, because the portions are very generous and you will not want to leave any food on your plate.
Stirfried Pumkin - who knew PUMPKIN could taste so good! (above)
Sweet and Sour Chicken (above)
Chicken in Cashew Nut Sauce (above)
For more information on these restaurants you can also check out my 'What I eat in a day - Chiang Mai Edition' video, which features these 4 amazing places.
Where to eat in Chiang Mai?
I am well aware that the enjoyment of food (like many things in life) is a subjective experience and one that will greatly depend on what type of diet you follow (At this point in time, I eat everything including meat) therefore I can only offer you guys my humble opinion, however, I am confident in recommending each one of these places to you, as I would to any of my dear friends.
- All of these places also had great vegetarian options and vegan options.
- All of these places were very reasonably prices (all under $20 for 2 people)
- Not all of the restaurants have a website, I have linked the ones that do. For the others, a quick search online will be enough to give you info such as the address and reviews.
Please let me know if you visit any of these restaurants yourselves and what you thought of them!
Speak to you next time