The Riverside Bar & Restaurant, sitting idyllically next to the River Ping in Chiang Mai, is an absolute tourist magnet – but for all the right reasons. Firstly, if you’re lucky enough to get a table close to the water, the views are excellent. We also rate the live music and friendly service, while the long food menu is pretty tasty too (but not the best you’ll find in town).
The long-running restaurant (open since 1984) is easy to reach if you are staying near the riverside, and not too far away from the Night Bazaar or Old City either (although you might need a tuk-tuk or taxi to find it quicker). It's located on the eastern banks of the river, with the closest bridge crossing at Kaeo Nawarat Road.
Just like its equally popular neighbour (The Good View Restaurant) grabbing a romantic table by the river can be a challenge - particular at the weekend – so it’s always best to book in advance or arrive early (before sunset) to secure your spot.
That said, if you’re not sat next to the water, The Riverside Bar & Restaurant has plenty more reasons to visit. We really like the retro interior that decks out the original wooden house, still standing despite being flooded countless times, while the live rock/indie band perform decent English cover versions of all the classics every night from 19.45. The band keep going until late too, so after you’ve finished your dinner outside, you and your party can move indoors and soak up the more social atmosphere and friendly vibes along with the band.
The menu here can take the best part of an evening to scroll through; they serve every Thai dish you’ve ever heard of, plus Thai-Chinese food, western comfort food, seafood, whole fish, snacks and desserts. Prices are inflated for the tourist crowd, with starters costing about 150 baht and mains around 300-400 baht (speciality dishes can be a little more). Same goes for drinks too; you have all the standard beers, spirits and cocktails to choose from, with the drink of choice for most locals being a good old bottle of Thai whisky or rum mixed with ice and soda… refreshing and cheap!
The Riverside bar & Restaurant Chiang Mai have also started doing their very own river cruises. Lasting around 75 minutes, their boat departs the restaurant’s pier at 20:00 every night, with dinner served on board. The sights along the Ping River aren’t anything in comparison with Bangkok’s mighty Chao Phraya, but it’s still a relaxing journey past some cool bridges and waterside villages. Book in advance – as well as your table at the restaurant – using the number or website link provided below!
The Riverside Bar & Restaurant Chiang Mai
- Opening Hours: 12:00 - 01:30
- Location: 9-11 Charoenrat Road, Riverside
- Tel: +66 (0)53 243 239
- Website: http://www.theriversidechiangmai.com/