Kao Soi is the must-eat noodle dish in Chiang Mai! You cannot visit Chiang Mai and not have Khao Soi. So, of course, the streets are filled with Khao Soi restaurants and stalls. How do you know which are the best to eat this hot dish when in Chiang Mai?
What is Kao Soi? Khao soi is a Burmese-influenced noodle dish served widely in northern Laos and northern Thailand. Its main ingredient includes hand-cut rice or egg noodles, coconut milk, and curry soup base. However, you can find dry Khao Soi these days too!
Lucky for you! As a
glutton foodie traveler, I have tried almost every Kao Soi in town in my last 6 months in Chiang Mai. Here are my top 5 picks for Kao Soi in Chiang Mai:
1. Khao Soi Khun Yai
Hurry! This Khao Soi restaurant is only 4 hours a day at 10 am – 2 pm daily except Sundays. Go as early as you can to avoid the peak hour which usually starts at 11.30 am. Despite being hidden away in between two temples, its deliciousness has attracted many tourists and hungry
ghosts foodies, like me.
Each bowl of Khao Soi is made to perfection and costs 35 baht per bowl. The only downside to it is the small portion. Hey, it’s only 35 baht for a medium bowl. Order a second or third bowl with different types of meat in it to try it all!
Sri Poom 8 Alley, Sri Phom Rd
Located in Chiang Mai Old City, in the alleyway opposite PTT Gas Station near the north gate. It is also in between the temples of Wat Monthian and Wat Kuan Kama.
2. Khao Soi Specialist
Slightly spicier than the usual Khao Soi soup base, Khao Soi Specialist offers you the most authentic local taste bud kind of Khao Soi. Despite what the name suggests, this restaurant charges just 40 baht a bowl!
Other than Khao Soi, you can try out their recommended Chinese style steamed chicken served with brown sauce or better known as chicken rice in Malaysia and Singapore. It is a must-have in the restaurant if you are missing an almost authentic chicken rice experience!
Jhaban Rd, Thesaban Nakhon Chiang Mai
Located right in the middle of Chiang Mai Old City near the 3 Kings Monument.
3. Thai Noodle House
This Khao Soi place is hidden away from everyone! It is my little secret food hideout but since I will be leaving Chiang Mai soon, I am sharing this place with the rest of you.
Located in a moo ban (Thai village/residential area) in Suthep area, you will barely see any farangs (foreigners) here. Prices start from 35 baht a bowl for a spicy bowl of fresh Khao Soi. Order some side dishes such as their crispy tofu that comes with a bowl of special sauce and a plate of fried spring rolls to go along with your khao soi. Every single dish that is sold here is simple yet, delicious.
Recommended dish: EVERYTHING ON THE MENU!
But… This restaurant home is only opened on Saturdays, Sundays and Mondays from 9 am – 3 pm.
Soi Mu Ban Suthephalai 4, Tambon Su Thep
Located about 15 minutes away from Nimmanheiman Road by the Canal Road (Chonprathan Road). It is the corner lot house in the third alley once you turn right.
4. Khao Soi Stall @ Mae Hia Foodcourt
Look for the lady with blond hair and blue (contact lens) eyes selling Khao Soi here!
This Khao Soi lady is one fashionable Thai lady with awesome cooking skills. Get the large bowl of yummy chicken khao soi at 50 baht to get 2 pieces of chicken thighs. If this is not value for money, I don’t know what is!
Add some chili paste but just a little bit to spice things up. The original bowl of Khao Soi is not spicy at all to accommodate the taste buds of farangs. However, her chili paste is not to be taken as a joke at all.
The stall is open every day from 10 am – 4 pm.
Mae Hia Food Court, Mae Hia
The food court is located in between Rimping and the Mae Hia Fresh Market. It is the third stall on your left if you are coming from Rimping.
5. Khao Soi Mae Sai
No, it’s not in Mae Sai. But, the stall owner originates from Mae Sai. So, that you don’t have to travel to Mae Sai just to have this special bowl of Khao Soi.
Unlike all the other Khao Soi on this list, Khao Soi Mae Sai includes pig’s blood as one of its ingredients. This extra ingredient makes the soup taste extra tasty but also very different from the normal soup base. Good for a food explorer’s taste buds.
It is open at 8 am – 4 pm daily except Sundays.