Where to Eat in Chiang Mai

Where to Eat in Chiang Mai

In a country already known for its delicious food, Chiang Mai, is a heaven of heavens for foodies. Delicious and cheap Thai food can be found on every street and corner, while you also find a wide variety of other cuisines, something almost anywhere else besides Bangkok lacks. From $1 street stalls to “expensive” $10 luxury dinners, here are the can’t miss places to eat in Chiang Mai, Thailand.

Authentic Thai

Thais keep it simple: food carts on the side of the road and street vendors at night markets… which there a lot of. Whether it’s the Saturday night market on Wualai Road, the Sunday night market in the middle of the Old City, or the Night Bazaar east of the Old City on Chang Khlan Road, you can find vendors selling all kinds of Thai noodle and rice dishes, meat on a stick, spring rolls, smoothies, sticky rice, and so much more. Food from street vendors is safe and always cheap. Never should a meal here cost you more than $2 USD.

If you walk around the city around 4pm, you’ll find all the school kids flocking around food carts buying everything from smoothies to chicken satay and french fries. As a general rule of thumb when traveling, follow the locals. For an authentic Thai experience, eat where the locals eat, and these food carts are where they go.


Nimmanhaemin Road (simply called Nimman to most) is an extremely developed, Westernized area of Chiang Mai. Here you will find a shocking amount of organic and health-conscious restaurants, the kind you would expect to see in New York City.

Mexican Food

One of the hardest things to find in Asia, Chiang Mai actually has a decent array of Mexican food. Loco Elvis is hands down the most popular Mexican restaurant in Chiang Mai. Located on the east wall of the Old City, they have live music most nights in addition to a huge menu with everything bean and cheese-lovers are craving. Other options are El Diablo just across the street or Salsa Kitchen on Huay Kaew Road.

Best Italian

Pizza generally falls into two categories: Italian-style and American-style. You can find great quality options of both in Chiang Mai. The best American-style pizza is not Pizza Hut (although they have those), it’s Duke’s. On the same street at the Night Bazaar, this popular Western haunt is famous for it’s pizza. Heading back to the Old City, La Fontana is the place to go for the more Italian-style pizza. Of course, it’s not just like Italy, but it’s close enough for Southeast Asia.

Best Japanese

Chiang Mai also has great Japanese food, including sushi. If there’s one thing you might want to avoid from food carts, it’s sushi. Instead go to Matsu by the North Gate of the Old City. They have the best sushi in Chiang Mai.

There are so many places to eat in this foodie’s heaven. Indian food is also extremely popular here as are brunch hotspots. You could spend all day, every day eating your way through Chiang Mai and not regret a single moment.

Photo Credit: ol’pete

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