Staying in Chiang Mai, Thailand for the last 6 months has taught me to appreciate Thai food, Lanna food, Isan cuisine more than ever. Here are some of my best mid-priced restaurants to eat when you are visiting Chiang Mai.
Chiang Mai is a place full of delicacies. It is so easy to find delicious food whether it is Lanna, Isan, Western, Chinese or Thai cuisine. Frankly speaking, I was so spoilt for food staying in Chiang Mai. However, there are a few favorites that I would like to share.
All of the below restaurants are suitable for big groups of foodies including the young and old. I have also narrowed down the restaurants to be all mid-priced to save you from burning a hole out of your wallet! Without a doubt, these restaurants have great environments and awesome service.
Price range per person: 220-270 baht
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My #1 one go-to restaurant for Isan food in Chiang Mai.
Tuck away from the hustle and bustle of the city, is an old Isan food restaurant by the Ping River. The must order food here is their crispy pork belly, crispy catfish, and BBQ chicken. Remember to try out their Tom Yam Goong, som tam (papaya salad—very spicy!), yam nua (spicy beef salad), and krapow moo saap (fried basil with pork) too!
It is slightly far from the city center. Takes about 20 minutes from Maya Mall in Nimman road but it is worth the travel! The only problem you will face here is that the servers mostly do not speak English. So, look for the lady boss to make your order if you don’t speak Thai.
The best Thai style steam fish! Period.
Every dish here is so well-flavored that it tingles your taste buds. Personal favorites are the Thai style steam fish, the below appetizer plate, and Gang Huay Lay (northern pork curry).
It is located 3 minutes away from the Chiang Mai exhibition center basically behind Nong Fook Restaurant. Click the name of the restaurant here to obtain the directions from Google Maps.
Not exactly a Thai restaurant but it is a Cantonese-Thai restaurant located in Ched Yod, about 5 minutes drive from Maya Mall. It is definitely the best Chinese Thai restaurant in town that has been around for the last 40 years.
Every dish here is mouthwatering and authentic to South East Asian Chinese style cooking. The restaurant is clean and the service here is great. A plus point is that they serve vegan meals too thus, there are two menus.
The must-order dish is the yam basket with nuts and chicken, and hot plate crispy egg with oyster. However, every other dish is equally delicious!
Recommended vegan dishes by the restaurant (as per the image below):
Stir-fried yellow noodle, boiled gingerbread, spring rolls, roasted northern mixed vegetables, taro balls, som tam, seaweed wrap tofu curl, duck (made of soy) Thai salad and steamed buns.
Facebook: Ekathip Chokedee
It took us three visits before we could have a seat to eat in this restaurant that is located in Santitham. It is crazy popular — for a very good reason.
Huen Muan Jai is probably the best Lanna restaurant that one can find. Despite the menu looking rather boring, the taste of the food says otherwise. The food here tastes heavenly!
The must-have dishes are the gang hang lay pork, gaeng keow wan kai (Green Chicken Curry), and Chiang Mai sausage.
Facebook: Huen Muan Jai
Tip: Check Google Maps for its peak time to avoid not having a seat to eat here!
By Takeaway (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
Crazy Noodle is an exception to this list. This restaurant’s menu consists of mostly noodles. Their most popular dish here will be their Tom Yum soup with mixed seafood. It is super delicious but ultra spicy!
All other foods on the menu are worth trying too. Prices here are way cheaper than all the other restaurants above but still higher than the average noodle stalls. They have the full list of dishes shown on their Facebook page with enticing images that looks exactly the way they are served in real-life.
Facebook: Crazy Noodle