Chiang Mai’s dining scene is an eclectic blend of traditional northern Thai cuisine, regional Thai flavours and a wide range of multi-cultural offerings. Besides street-side eateries, many dining establishments also offer a cultural experience, whether through the ambience, interior décor, entertainment, history or food.
Tucked in a quiet soi (lane) just off the Nimmanhaemin artist strip, this open-air restaurant is one of the best places to sample tasty northern Thai cuisine in a pleasantly laid-back atmosphere. The must-try dishes include kaeng hang le (northern Thai style curry), larb kua (fried minced park salad), deep-fried chicken wings and nam prik (chilli dips).
- Opening Hours: 11:00 - midnight
- Location: Nimmanhemin Soi 13
- Tel: +66 53 22 2207
This fine dining establishment is truly a unique place that combines the beauty of art and crafts with the art of cooking. Unmistakable, the neon-lit sign that sits outside immediately draws you in from the street to what appears to be a treasure trove of goods. Try one of the curries on the menu, spiced up to your taste, the fish also comes highly recommended too.
- Opening Hours: 12:00 - midnight
- Address: 25-27-29 Charoenrat Rd.
- Tel: +66 53 24 8601-2
This long-time favourite restaurant has been serving up mouthwatering northern Thai fare for more than four decades. It serves one of the best khao sois in Chiang Mai, along with a range of northern Thai fare prepared according to the family recipe. The non-descript open-air section is open for lunch, whereas dinner is served in an atmospheric dining room.
- Opening Hours: 08:30 - 16:00 and 17:00 - 22:00
- Location: Rachamanka Rd., inside the Old City wall
- Tel: +66 53 81 4548
Well-known for its celebrity owner and folk singer Soontaree Vechanont, Huen Suntari is an ideal place to immerse yourself in an authentic Lanna experience, through its cuisine, music and ambience. The setting is by the River Ping, in a two-storey wooden house decked out in a lovely northern Thai style. The menu features both classic and specialty northern Thai fare.
- Opening Hours: 16:00 - midnight
- Location: 208 Patan Rd. (north of city centre)
- Tel: +66 53 87 2707-8
Khan Toke Dinner at Old Chiang Mai Cultural Center
While not a must-do, you might want to try a khan toke dinner at least once when in Chiang Mai. At the Old Chiang Mai Cultural Center, the setup is highly elaborate – from the elegant teakwood room decked out in ethnic Lanna style to the round teak tray containing nine side dishes to the sitting arrangement on the floor – all designed to re-enact the original khan toke experience.
- Opening Hours: 18:45 - 21:30
- Location: Wualai Road
- Tel: +66 53 20 2993-5
The Good View
This riverside resto-bar is an institution in Chiang Mai, due to a stunning riverfront location, quality live band entertainment every night and a fantastic menu of Thai, Japanese and international fare at reasonable prices. The wooded interiors give the place a warm, cosy, living room feel. There’s also an al fresco garden terrace overlooking the idyllic Ping River.
- Opening Hours: 10:00 - 01:30
- Address: 13 Charoenrat Rd.
- Tel: +66 53 30 2764, +66 53 24 1866
Charcoa Bakery & Restaurant
A gorgeous restaurant that will charm your socks off, both in setting and menu choices. The Thai dishes are delicious and spiced up to your preference, while the pad Thai has been labeled as one of the best in Chiang Mai by customers. The courtyard-cum-garden setting is romantic and nicely secluded. Breakfast comes highly recommended as does the B&B hotel to which it is attached.
- Opening Hours: 07:30 - 21:30
- Location: Soi Sripoom 1 (inside Old City)
- Tel: +66 53 21 2681
If you feel like splashing out when in Chiang Mai then this is definitely a place you should think about going. World class in terms of design, service and food, it is a stunning restaurant experience. The overriding antique vibe is enhanced by the eclectic combination of textures, colour and hand-painted Chinese antique furniture.
- Opening Hours: 18:00 - 22:30
- Address: 199 Moon Muang Road (inside Old City)
- Tel: +66 53 41 9014
A riverside setting, atmospheric interiors and tasty Thai dishes are what keep diners coming back to Antique House. Overlooking the Ping River, the al fresco dining terrace offers a casual, relaxing feel. The first branch in the city centre is housed inside an old teakwood house, offering the classic northern Thai ambience.
- Opening Hours: 10:00 - midnight
- Location: Charoen-Prathet Road (1st branch), Chiang Mai-Lamphun Highway (2nd branch)
- Tel: +66 53 27 6810 (1st branch), +66 53 24 0270 (2nd branch)
Set in a traditional Thai-style wooden house amid landscaped tropical gardens, this Thai-Indian restaurant offers a memorable dining experience. The menu features healthy dishes, including a large vegetarian section, each immaculately presented. Whole Earth has been around more than 30 years and is truly a delightful place to indulge in a fine meal.
- Opening Hours: Lunch 11:00-14:00 and Dinner 17:00-22:00
- Address: 88 Sridonchai Road
- Tel: +66 53 28 2463