15 Chiang Mai restaurants that are locals’ favourites

PHOTO: Meena Rice Based Cuisine

In the intriguing cityscape of Chiang Mai, you will discover an exclusive culinary culture that draws its unique zest from Myanmar and China. Delightful Northern dishes such as khao soi (think, coconut curry noodle soup), sai ouer (essentially, Northern Thai sausage), and gaeng hanglay (a duet of salty and sweet curry usually teamed up with pork belly) can indeed be spotted throughout the country. Yet, nothing speaks authenticity louder than savouring these native dishes in the very place they were first cooked up. To experience this culinary journey, we’ve gathered a list of 15 restaurants in Chiang Mai that are the locals’ favourites. After all, no one knows a town’s food treasures better than its residents, right?

So, get your cutlery ready and prepare to embark on a gastronomical tour de force of Thai cuisine, right in the heart of Chiang Mai.

Top 15 Restaurants to try in Chiang Mai

1. Ginger Farm Kitchen

Chiang Mai Restaurants
PHOTO: Ginger Farm Kitchen

Opening hour: Daily, 11:00 – 22:00
Address: One Nimman, Nimmanahaeminda Road, Suthep, Mueang Chiang Mai District, Chiang Mai 50200, Thailand
Click here to Google Maps

Looking for delicious organic Thai food in a cosy atmosphere? If you answered yes, you must visit Ginger Farm Kitchen, where each dish has its own distinct flavour and taste. This is because the restaurant creates a farm-to-table concept by using organic and seasonal vegetables, as well as free-range eggs and meats from its own farm and local artisans. You can expect expertly prepared traditional northern Thai cuisine, from flavorful salads to aromatic northern Thai curry soups. Locals reviews that the grilled organic aubergine salad is a must.

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This restaurant has large windows and is rustically furnished, with plants strewn throughout. It’s very popular among locals and visitors, so make reservations ahead of time because parking and tables fill up quickly.

2. Han Teung Chiang Mai

15 Chiang Mai restaurants that are locals' favourites | News by Thaiger
PHOTO: Han Teung Chiang Mai

Opening hour: Daily, 09:00 – 20:30
Address: Suthep, Mueang Chiang Mai District, Chiang Mai 50200, Thailand
Click here to Google Maps

Han Teung Chiang Mai is a famous restaurant for both foreigners and locals. Food comes in small portions at Han Tueng Restaurant which is a great thing because you get the opportunity to explore many different kinds of Northern Thai food. Local reviews that the pork dishes, fried sausages and chilli soups will impress you at the first bite!

Because it is housed in a converted home with a typical triangular roof, this restaurant has a quiet and laid-back atmosphere. The meal, on the other hand, has a high level of spice, so expect a bit of a kick. This restaurant has an 8.5 out of 10 rating and numerous positive reviews.

3. Huen Muan Jai

Chiang Mai Restaurants
PHOTO: Huen Muan Jai

Opening hour: Thursday – Tuesday, 11:00 – 15:00 and 17:00 – 21:00
Address: 24 Ratchaphuek Alley, Tambon Chang Phueak, Mueang Chiang Mai District, Chiang Mai 50300, Thailand
Click here to Google Maps

Huen Muan Jai is a Lanna-style restaurant where an experienced chef dishes up unspoiled delicacies. Guests can dine on northern Thai cuisine in a relaxing setting. Charred eggplant, fried bamboo shoots packed with aromatic pork, and chicken coconut soup with egg noodles are among the highlights, which are all topped with lime, shallots, and chillies.

After a long day at work, you may unwind in this spot’s pleasant ambience. A number of reviewers mention how kind the staff is and the restaurant’s speedy service. There might be a queue or you might have to wait in line to get a table, but it’s said that the wait is worth it!

4. Kuakai Nimman

15 Chiang Mai restaurants that are locals' favourites | News by Thaiger
PHOTO: Kuakai Nimman

Opening hour: Daily, 09:00 – 20:30
Address: 9 Sai Nam Phueng Alley, Tambon Su Thep, Mueang Chiang Mai District, Chiang Mai 50200, Thailand
Click here to Google Maps

Kuakai Nimman is one of the most delightful restaurants in Chiang Mai. It is very easy to spot this restaurant out when you are driving by as you will be able to spot a young lady holding a plate of Khua Gai (Chicken fried noodle). Naturally, Khua Gai is the must-try speciality, but other dishes, like Tom Yam Kung and chargrilled pork neck, are equally packed with flavour. The restaurants offer generous portion sizes and are reasonably priced.

5. Meena Rice Based Cuisine

Chiang Mai Restaurants
PHOTO: Meena Rice Based Cuisine

Opening hour: Daily, 10:00 – 17:00
Address: 13/5 Mu 2, San Klang, Chiang Mai, 50130, Thailand
Click here to Google Maps

You can have a pleasant dining experience at Meena rice-based cuisine restaurant. This restaurant is very much loved by those who enjoy healthy food. This alfresco restaurant specializes in rice, as well as creative twists on Thai classics, as its name suggests. Fruits and edible flowers adorn the majority of them, adding a splash of colour. Northern-style hot minced fish salad goes well with the five-colour rice balls. Vegans will appreciate the variety of alternatives, which include spicy stir-fried eryngii mushrooms.

This restaurant is located out of the city but you can easily get there by Grab. Don’t be alarmed if you drive through a rice field on your way here; this hidden gem is well worth the effort. Visitors have said that there are long queues even on weekends but at the same time also said that it’s worth the effort.

6. The House by Ginger

Chiang Mai Restaurants
PHOTO: The House by Ginger

Opening hour: Daily, 11:00 – 22:00
Address: 199 Mun Mueang Rd, Tambon Si Phum, Mueang Chiang Mai District, Chiang Mai 50200, Thailand
Click here to Google Maps

If you want to try authentic Nothern Thai food in a stylish atmosphere then The House by Ginger is a must-try! The restaurant has a “homey,” “cosy,” and “quirky.” concept. All the dishes served in The House by Ginger is made from scratch. This is because the restaurant places heavy emphasis on cooking Thai cruising the traditional way.

The House by Ginger is a famous restaurant that has been opened for decades and is located on the edge of the old city. Some of the authentic Northern Thai classics you must try here are the Khao Soi and Nam Prik Ong. The dishes served here are made with a special twist to enhance the taste of the food. The best part about this restaurant is also that all their products are organic and MSG-free.

Seared scallops with mangosteen and coconut-chilli sauce, as well as Massaman with sea bass, are standouts. You can also continue to the House Lounge next door to extend your evening with one of their many delicious cocktails.

7. SP Chicken

PHOTO: SP Chicken
PHOTO: SP Chicken

Opening hour: Daily, 10:00 – 17:00
Address: 9/1 Sam Lan Road, Soi 1 Phra Sing, Mueang Chiang Mai District, Chiang Mai 50200, Thailand
Click here to Google Maps

SP Chicken is one of Chiang Mai’s most well-known local eateries. SP Chicken, as the name suggests, specializes in chicken. To be more specific, they serve what is arguably Chiang Mai’s best-roasted chicken. Though there are other Isan favourites on the menu, the aromatic and unbelievably delicious rotisserie chicken is the star. The chicken here is cooked to perfection and are served with three different sauces where one is spicy and the other two are sweet. The so-called jaew sauce, which is a typical Isaan (Northeast Thai) sauce. Local has reviewed this restaurant saying that the chicken is to die for.

The rest of the menu consists mostly of salads that will pair well with one of their roasted proteins. The famous Som Tam (Papaya Salad), which costs only 40 THB goes well with the chicken.

SP Chicken is located near Suan Dok Gate on Samlan Soi 1 on the west side of the old city. The restaurant is tiny, with roughly ten small tables and the typical characteristics of a neighbourhood eatery.

8. San Pa Khoi Khanom Jeen

PHOTO: Sanpakoi Kanomjeen via Michelin Guide
PHOTO: Sanpakoi Kanomjeen via Michelin Guide

Opening hour: Monday – Saturday, 11:00 – 23:00
Address: Thongkam Market, 11/1 Tasatoi Alley, Mueang Chiang Mai District, Chiang Mai 50000, Thailand
Click here to Google Maps

This Kanomjeen (rice vermicelli noodles) restaurant will satisfy both your taste buds and your wallet. It has been serving rice noodles since 1977 and offers five curries to go with them: red curry with pork, spicy pork, original fish, red curry with beef, and flavorful green with chicken. Prices start at 20 THB, including unlimited side vegetables. This restaurant may be hidden in a local market but this tiny shop is always busy.

9. Rot Chun Yiam Beef Noodle

Chiang Mai Restaurants
PHOTO: Rot Chun Yiam Beef Noodle

Opening hour: Daily, 08:00 – 21:00
Address: 164, 48 Changklan Rd, Tambon Chang Khlan, Mueang Chiang Mai District, Chiang Mai 50100, Thailand
Click here to Google Maps

This shop has been providing some of the greatest beef noodles in the city for over 30 years, with an incredibly flavorful broth packed with Chinese herbs and bouncy beef balls prepared in-house. Beef yellow curry on rice is an option for non-noodle eaters. In any case, don’t forget to top it up with some homemade coconut ice cream.

10. Krua Ya (Grandma’s Kitchen)

Chiang Mai Restaurants
PHOTO: Krua Ya (Grandma’s Kitchen)

Opening hour: Sunday, 09:00 – 15:30
Address: Asama Coffee & Roastery, 122 128 Mu Ban Chiang Mai Lake Land Alley, Tambon Su Thep, Mueang Chiang Mai District, Chiang Mai 50200, Thailand
Click here to Google Maps

Krua Ya is a Northern Thai restaurant located by the river, surrounded by nature. Chef Aon is in charge of the kitchen, ensuring that his grandmother’s recipes, which include meals from all over the world, are executed flawlessly. Rice noodles with shrimp balls, Massaman curry, and the typical combination of coconut rice, papaya salad, and beef or pork are the main highlights. Also, don’t forget to try their amazing coffee from the adjacent coffee bar.

This place is located inside a Chiangmai Lake Land village and it’s great to visit with family and friends, where you will love the vibes of the restaurant as it offers a very homely atmosphere.

11. Huan Soontaree

Chiang Mai Restaurants
PHOTO: Huan Soontaree

Opening hour: Monday – Saturday, 16:30 – 23:00
Address: 208 Pa Tan Alley Road, Tambon San Phi Suea, Mueang Chiang Mai District, Chiang Mai 50300, Thailand
Click here to Google Maps

Enjoy a great meal along with your choice of cocktail by the river while listening to a live performance. Huan Soontaree is known for its grilled snakehead fish (Channidae freshwater fish) packed with garlic, egg, and pepper, in addition to the aforementioned pork curry. Another one of Muangwon’s creations is chicken packed with crab meat and egg and topped with mayonnaise and lemon sauce.

The restaurant, which is set on the Ping River in an open-air Lanna-style building with more tables outdoors, can seat up to 350 people. For those trying out new menus, the mixed platter is a wonderful start.

12. Khao Soi Mae Manee

15 Chiang Mai restaurants that are locals' favourites | News by Thaiger
PHOTO: Khao Soi Mae Manee

Opening hour: Daily, 09:00 – 15:30
Address: 18 Chotana Rd, Chang Phueak, Mueang Chiang Mai District, Chiang Mai 50300, Thailand
Click here to Google Maps

Khao Soi Mae Manee, a small cafe north of the Old City, stands out among Chiang Mai’s many khao soi options for its unique take on the traditional dish. On the menu are beef, poultry, and fish, as well as some offal dishes for the brave! The friendly proprietors have been in business for over 50 years, and it’s a running joke that diners order the same dish over and over again.

The shop first opened its doors in 1984, offering a wide range of noodle dishes. The renowned northern Thai Khao Soi, which consists of egg noodles with chicken in a thick broth, topped with crispy deep-fried noodles and served with plenty of pickled mustard greens, shallots, and limes, has, over time, surpassed the others.

13. Na Chantra

15 Chiang Mai restaurants that are locals' favourites | News by Thaiger
PHOTO: Na Chantra

Opening hour: Daily, 06:30 – 22:00
Address: Chantra Khiri Hotel, 49 Mu 3, Ban Pong, Chiang Mai, 50230, Thailand
Click here to Google Maps

Na Chantra is a restaurant overlooking Chantra Khiri resort’s organic gardens and the rolling hills of Doi Suthep-Pui. Even though you’re only 30 minutes from Chiang Mai’s city centre, you don’t feel like you’re in the city. Enjoy the truly wonderful and traditional Thai cuisine provided by unobtrusive staff with an immaculate presentation.

Everything is cooked from scratch, including the savoury northern sausage with chilli paste, which comes from their farm. The minced pork with fresh vegetables and spicy sauce, as well as the deep-fried sea bass with sweet and sour sauce, are not to be missed. Lychees fresh picked from the garden also make a fantastic finish.

14. Kai Yang Cherng Doi

15 Chiang Mai restaurants that are locals' favourites | News by Thaiger
PHOTO: Kai Yang Cherng Doi

Opening hour: Tuesday – Sunday, 11:00 – 20:00
Address: 2, 8 Suk Kasame Rd, Tambon Su Thep, Mueang Chiang Mai District, Chiang Mai 50200, Thailand
Click here to Google Maps

People can debate for hours over which restaurant in Chiang Mai provides the best-grilled chicken: Cherng Doi Roast Chicken or SP Chicken. Cherng Doi Roast Chicken is a well-known restaurant that serves delectable Isaan cuisine, including their signature dish, the famous Grilled Chicken (Kai Yang 85 THB). Aside from grilled chicken, grilled pork is also very popular. The meal is a little less expensive than SP Chicken, but the portions are a bit smaller. The Som Tam and the Kaduk-On (pulled pork) are both highly recommended.

15. Baan Landai

15 Chiang Mai restaurants that are locals' favourites | News by Thaiger
PHOTO: Baan Landai

Opening hour: Tuesday – Sunday, 11:00 – 15:00 and 17:00 – 22:00
Address: 252/13-14 Prapokklao Rd ถนน ศรีภูมิ Mueang Chiang Mai District, Chiang Mai 50200, Thailand
Click here to Google Maps

Baan Landai is a culinary hotspot in central Chiang Mai. Here, Chef Landai weaves together the flavours of Thailand he learned from his mother into an impressive menu. The restaurant’s unique ambiance sits comfortably between cozy and chic, with the charming mix of eclectic adornments and understated elegance fostering an intimate, welcoming environment to which the highly trained staff only adds more warmth. Mouth-watering pan-Thai recipes such as mouth-tingling pork ribs with red wine sauce nestle next to an array of vegetarian delights, showcasing the establishment’s versatility. Throw in signature touches like the complimentary watermelon appetizer garnished with airy pork floss, and dishes like the flavourful Miang Kham and classic Khao Soi, you’re in for a true treat.

That concludes our list of Chiang Mai’s greatest Thai eateries. So, when you’re in Chiang Mai, you’ll never have to find out what’s good and what’s not. To read out top restaurants in Chiang Rai click HERE.


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