Fern Forest Cafe is located on a small residential street in Chiang Mai’s old town. It is not immediately obvious as you walk past, with the sign hidden amongst foliage, which makes you feel like you have stumbled upon a well-kept secret. The cafe tends to be quiet on weekdays and a Thai favourite in the early evenings and at weekends, but it always retains its relaxed vibe.
The cafe serves a delicious variety of cakes displayed in the three fridges at the front of the cafe, some simple sandwiches and breakfast dishes are available, as well as delicious local coffee. Open from 08:30 to 20:30, Fern Forest Cafe can be found on 2/2 Singharak Soi 4. From the north end of Singharak Road, walk straight and before you reach Ratwithi Road there is a sign to Fern Forest Cafe on the left hand side.
At first glance Fern Forest Cafe looks more like a leafy garden and family house than a cafe, until you catch a glimpse of the delicious cakes and small bar that used to be the building’s garage. To your left is a small covered terrace surrounded by plants with a handful of tables, but the best seats are to the right on the stone veranda, in amongst the ferns that give this cafe its name. The plants provide plenty of shade for the low tables and chairs, and the natural theme of the garden is enhanced by the colourful Lanna cushions. This is easily somewhere you could spend longer than you had planned. Free Wi-Fi is available; just ask the friendly staff but bear in mind that their English is fairly basic. There is also a stack of decent books and magazines.
People come here for the great coffee and delicious cakes as well as the pretty garden. With three fridges full of dessert options it can be hard to make a choice. Visitors rave about the carrot cake but we are fans of the simple yet delicious banana and walnut bread (80 baht) and chunky cinnamon toast served with ice-cream. You can see the care and attention put into the banoffee pie (85 baht) with its carefully aligned bananas on a thin crunchy base, topped with an impressive layer of toffee and cream. It manages to balance lightness and sweetness very well. For something dark and delicious try the dark chocolate and raspberry cake; the slightly tart fruit takes the edge off the rich flavours and suits a fragrant Earl Gray tea.
Although the cakes are a highlight there is a decent selection of sandwiches if you fancy something savoury. The drinks menu is also full of sweet treats: fruity ice-teas, hot chocolates and fresh juices. But what they are most proud of is their coffee. The beans are grown by the owner in Doi Saket and have a smooth, rich taste. One thing to bear in mind if you sit amongst the plants is you may also get the unwelcome company of insects. Fern Forest Cafe is one of those places that transports you away from the busy town and leaves you feeling refreshed and relaxed. Add delicious cakes and drinks to the mix and you have a winning combination – it’s a surprise more visitors haven’t been recommended this cafe.
Fern Forest Cafe
- Opening Hours: 08:30 to 20:30 every day
- Address: Singharat Rd., Soi 4, Si Phum Sub-district, Mueang District, Chiang Mai
- Tel: +66 (0)53 416 204