BEA Wander

Eat in Chiang Mai: My Top 18 Places

12 min read

I favourited all my go-to food places, so I’ll remember to hit them up when I’m back in town!

My friend, Rohan, has an even MORE impressive list of places that he’s eaten at and reviewed on Google. Yup, he’s a ‘local guide‘.

In no particular order, here is my list of top 15 places to eat in Chiang Mai!


What do I get? Chicken & Rice

Price? 35 baht = $1.5 CAD

Location? Santitham, across from Nana Bakery

Why do I go? You get a delicious chicken & rice with soup. I always ask for another bowl of soup – it’s that good! There’s normal chicken and crispy chicken.

Portion size not big enough for you?

Get another one – it’s so cheap!

This one is literally one of the places to eat in Chiang Mai that I go to almost every other day.

Oct 2019 Update:

Okay, it might be just me but I feel like their portion size has gotten smaller…

Also, I finally had the menu deciphered…kind of – I can be way off – but I discovered that you can get crispy chicken or half/half in various sizes.

Now I go for #6 on the menu. I know it says 60 baht but he only charged me 40!

Item 1 = Small common gai (boiled chicken) = 35 baht

Item 2 = Medium boiled chicken = 40 baht

Item 3 = Medium fried chicken = 40 baht

Item 4 = Jumbo boiled chicken = 50 baht

Itsm 5 = Jumbo fried chicken = 50 baht

Item 6 = Small split chicken = 60 baht

Item 7 = Medium split chicken = 80 baht

Item 8 = Large chopped chicken = 100 baht

Item 9 = Rice = 10 baht

Oct 2019 Update: Everytime I pass by, it’s not opened 🙁 

What do I get?
 I just pick and choose what I want like a buffet with no refills. I always ask for no spicy.

Price? 35 baht for 1 dish and rice/noodle & 40 baht for 2 dishes. A bowl of dessert is only 10 baht.

Free soup if she made it that day. 

Location? Santitham

Why do I go? It’s SO close to my place (30-second walk) and it’s homecooked-style.

P’Phet goes to the morning market at 4:30 am every morning to buy the ingredients, then cooks it for her customers.

She’s my Thai mom, because we all need one of those.

Her English is pretty good too.

With my Korean neighbour, Sook Sook, we pay P’Phet a visit every other day. Sometimes twice a day. Another one of our favourite places to eat at in Chiang Mai.

What do I get? smoothie bowl by Kiki! So, this is not a restaurant, she delivers to your place in Nimman or Santitham with no extra charge. I asked her to pick the fruit combinations for me twice and both times were good!

Price? 89 baht, delivered to your door

Location? Santitham / Nimman

Why do I go? It’s awesome breakfast – I think the earliest she delivers is at 10am. Always remember to put in an order the day before – it’s probably harder for her to do same day delivers. 

I don’t think it’s a full-time gig for her just yet, so some times she’s unavailable. meaning I’d message her the night before, she doesn’t get back to me until the morning and can’t deliver because she’s out of town. Only happened 2x, so it’s alright.

The only thing I’d complain about is that the smoothie is delivered is plastic containers. 


What do I get? I usually get one of their smoothies, a healthy breakfast or tomato spaghetti for lunch – all yummy! They also make their own organic chocolate bar!

Price? $ – depends on what you get

Location? Santitham

Why do I go? I actually go there to eat and stay to co-work!

What do I get? Freshly baked butter croissant

Price? 13 baht for a mini one

Location? Santitham (Across from Por Jed Chicken Rice No. 7), but they have 2 other locations

Why do I go? I’d ONLY go in the morning for their just-out-of-the-oven baked goods. In the afternoon, it’s not hot anymore and can be a bit stale.

Baked goods are my kryptonite! I should not but I can’t help it. 

I’ve only been here a handful of times because I was resisting HARD.

A farang-favourite spot to eat in Chiang Mai, for sure.


What do I get? All the fruit – watermelon, papaya, pineapple, banana, mango, avocado…soup, omelete, whatever they have!


Location? Santitham

Why do I go? I usually come here to buy fruit for my breakfast smoothies.

Just before the market, there are two smaller, individual fruit stands that sell SOME of the fruit for much cheaper.

I go to the first one for fresh coconut (20 baht!) and bananas (as little as 5 baht for a big bunch!)

Tikky Cafe

What do I get? Their awesome smoothies and comfort food – like a pad thai or curry rice

Price? starting at 60 baht for a main dish , 60-80 baht for a smoothie

Location? Santitham, close to the highway

Why do I go? My friend introduced me to it – it’s really really good! You see a lot of foreigners go there.

What do I get? Smoothie bowl, smoothie & kombucha

Price? 89 baht for smoothie bowl, 59 for smoothie and 50 for kombuchua – very affordable!

Location? Santitham, close to Ombra

Why do I go? My friend introduced me to it, since I’m such a huge smoothie bowl person. A normal smoothie bowl in Nimman would cost 180-250+ baht!


Cherng Doi Roasted Chicken

What do I get? Their famous slow-roasted chicken with noodles

Price? 75 baht = $3 CAD

Location? Nimman area

Why do I go? Super high ratings and glowing reviews – it’s actually VERY good!

Wow, no words can describe this yummy chicken (or ‘Gai’ in thai – learn more thai here.)

Another to-go place to eat at in Chiang Mai. I’m craving it right now actually…

Pern's Bistro - Lamb Shank

What do I get? Their monthly specials – Fall-off-the-bone Lamb Shank, meatloaf, I’m waiting for their Thanksgiving special – pumpkin pie, anyone?

Price? It’s not the cheapest, but I only come here once in a while. They accept credit card! 

Location? Nimman area

Why do I go? It’s western comfort food that I haven’t found anywhere else.

Matae Veg Restaurant

What do I get? No-refill buffet style, you pick what toppings you want with purple rice.

Price? 35 baht for 2 toppings – she gives you big servings too

Location? Nimman/Santitham Border

Why do I go? It’s CHEAP, good and relatively healthy.

What do I get? Pork leg rice with a veggie dish

Price? 50 Baht = $2 CAD

Location? North Gate Night Market

Why do I go? You can’t miss her – she wears a cowboy hat. I heard that she’s been on Anthony Bourdain’s show!

Tha Pae Gate


What do I get? They make just about everything – all very delish! 

Price? $ – depends on what you get

Location? Tha Pae Gate

Why do I go? When I was in town last year, this was my favourite place (because I was staying in Tha Pae Gate area) and I still go there now. Just a bit further out for me.

Tip 1: Avoid rush hour because you’ll have to wait AKA go at odd times.

Tip 2: Remember to go to the one ACROSS (not inside!) the hotel


What do I get? Smoothie & Smoothie Bowl

Price? 90 baht = $3.6 CAD

Location? Tha Pae Gate

Why do I go? The Best Smoothie place in town as per my personal trainer’s – Coach K –  recommendation – I purposefully come all the way out here to get their smoothies

What do I get? Western-style breakfast

Price? $

Location? Tha Pae Gate area

Why do I go? Only when I craved Avocado Toast


What do I get? Drunken Noodle

Price? $$

Location? Tha Pae Gate

Why do I go? Same with Cooking Love, this was one of my go-tos when I was staying in Tha Pae Gate area, still is!  

South Gate

aum vegetarian restaurant

What do I get? Only been there once so not sure what to recommend, though everything looks delicious and healthy!

Price? $

Location? South Gate

Why do I go? Also recommended by my PT, Coach K – this is the best veggie place I’ve eaten at!

What do I get?  Same as above – only been there once so not sure what to recommend, though everything looks delicious and healthy!

Price? $ – like you cannot believe! They are non-profit and most of the people who work there are volunteers. You’re supporting a worthy cause (whatvever it is!). Oh, and you wash your own dishes at the end.

  • 1 rice + 1 topping = free
  • 1 rice + 2 topping = 10 baht
  • 1 rice + 3 toppings = 15 baht
  • 1 cup of juice = 5 baht

Location? By the airport, swing by here when you get your visa extended!

Why do I go? Also recommended by my PT, Coach K – this place is great value, organic, healthy and everything else you would want in a good wholesome meal.

Old City


What do I get? Chicken and one of their healthy soups

Price? 140 baht for a whole chicken – you might need a whole one because they’re kind of small

Location? Inside Old City

Why do I go? A friend who lives closeby took me there. It’s good but I wouldn’t come here if I wasn’t already in the area.

What do I get? Bird’s Nest – duh! There’s also shark fish soup too. 

Price? Depends on what kind you get, but ranges from 200-2000 baht, I’ve tried the 200 and 500 baht ones – can’t tell the difference lol  

Location? Near West Gate

Why do I go? Because…it’s bird’s nest (an Asian delicacy) and I can afford it here!

They eat it strange here though.

I’ve never had it with an egg, honey or lotus seeds before. I didn’t mind mixing the egg in but thought it was unnecessary.

To each their own!

There you have it – my top 15 places to eat at!

I’m sure there are other gems in Chiang Mai that I haven’t tried yet,

so feel free to share with me!

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