Dada Kafe in Chiang Mai is a favourite amongst visitors and it’s not just because they have a list of fresh fruit smoothies as long as your arm. They also serve delicious Thai and international dishes that err on the right side of healthy. Except for the desserts of course, which are slices of creamy, chocolaty heaven. The cafe is located only a short walk from Tha Pae Gate, on Ratmakka Road, next to a second hand bookshop. It’s impossible to miss, the flowers from the hanging baskets seem to burst out onto the road, and in the evening, a row of colourful lights welcome you in. Dada Kafe is open every day from 09:00 until 21:00, but closes early on Sundays (16:00). Staff speak excellent English and some French and German, as well as Thai.
Despite it being the kind of place that lends itself to lounging about, especially thanks to the free wi-fi, there is usually a table free on the small pebble-dash terrace or inside the brightly coloured dining room. There’s no air-conditioning but the fans ensure a cooling breeze throughout the restaurant. It would be rude to come here and not try one of the excellent smoothies and juices that are on offer. Displayed on a large blackboard, they promise to cure everything from sore heads to over-thinking. We’re not totally convinced, but they taste good and we feel a little perkier afterwards. The fresh apple and ginger juice has a real zing to it, whilst for the ultimate comfort go for the peanut butter smoothie. Of course, Dada also serves the ultimate health-kick in juice form: wheatgrass shots.
When it comes to food, there’s so much choice that you’ll probably be planning your return visit before you’ve even ordered. The breakfast menu includes large bowls of porridge made with either milk or water and topped with delicious fresh fruits like watermelon and mango. Another great start to the day is the avocado and tomato on rye toast with a squeeze of lime. Alongside the smoothies, Dada also serves a range of teas and coffees. Pancakes and egg breakfasts also make an appearance. Although the menu isn’t entirely vegetarian, this isn’t the place to come for a meat feast, but that’s no bad thing. It’s healthy in the best possible sense, you leave feeling satisfied and full, knowing that you’ve not been eating trash.
If you come for lunch and dinner then you can really make the most of the expansive menu. Thai dishes we recommend include the rich and spicy massaman curry served with brown rice, or if you prefer to keep it simple, the hearty soups with chicken, veggies and noodles. The sandwiches are a rainbow of vegetables and meats with fillings that include bacon, beet, salad and cheese. The veggie burger wasn’t the most exciting choice on the menu, but the breaded chicken burger with a side of sour cream and cucumber salad is worth returning to Chiang Mai for. Leave room for dessert though, as one of the owners is German in origin, and there’s a fluffy cheesecake and decadent tiramisu on offer, as well as handmade chocolates in a dozen varieties.
Dada Kafe Chiang Mai
- Opening Hours: From 9:00 till 21:00 except on Sundays, where they close at 16:00
- Address: Ratmakka Rd, Phra Sing, Chiang Mai 50200
- Tel: +66 53 449 718