Banana Pancakes from Angel's Secrets cafe in Chiang Mai, Thailand

Favourite Chiang Mai Restaurants in the Old City

One of the things we love most about Chiang Mai is all the delicious food that’s on offer. There are literally thousands of restaurants in Chiang Mai as well as cafes, pubs and bakeries. That’s not to mention the night markets and street food. What’s more, the city caters to all kinds of diets with restaurants specialising in vegetarian, vegan, raw or gluten-free food. Here are our top picks of Chiang Mai restaurants in the Old City area.

Banana Pancakes from Angel's Secrets cafe in Chiang Mai, Thailand

Our Top Chiang Mai Restaurants

As a vegetarian, I eat incredibly well now that we’re living in Chiang Mai. We’re lucky enough to have a full kitchen in our amazing Chiang Mai apartment and tons of excellent eateries in our local area, Nimman (check out our top restaurant picks in Nimman here). However, some of our favourite Chiang Mai restaurants are in the Old City, here are our top picks.

*All prices are correct as at 08/12/2016

Taste from Heaven

This highly-rated restaurant is quite literally heaven for vegetarians and vegans in Chiang Mai. We go there at least once a week to devour the tasty samosas, Pad Thai, spring rolls and curries. Taste from Heaven serves the most delicious vegan chocolate brownies we’ve ever tasted, which go perfectly with their home-made coconut ice cream. When we’re feeling lazy, we order Taste From Heaven’s bean burger with chips to be delivered straight to our apartment through Food Panda. This costs us just 105 Thai Baht (THB), which is £2.33, each. A Pad Thai costs 75 THB (£1.67). Sheer heaven!

Vegetable spring rolls from Taste From Heaven restaurant in Chiang Mai

Where is Taste from Heaven? 34/1 Ratmakka Road.

Da’s Bakery

If you’re looking for healthy food in Chiang Mai, this is the place to have breakfast. You can start the day in Chiang Mai at Da’s with their amazing home-made muesli and yoghurt with fresh fruit. For just 70THB (£1.55) you get a huge bowl of mango, banana, watermelon, pineapple, melon and papaya served with creamy, thick yogurt sprinkled with delicious flap-jack like muesli and dried banana pieces. We usually buy a 40THB (90p) fruit shake to accompany our nutritious brekkie and occasionally take away some home-baked bread for later. Da’s also does a great range of sandwiches and egg dishes and sells baked goodies; cookies, croissants and cakes.

Muesli, Fruit & Yoghurt from Da's Bakery, Chiang Mai

Where is Da’s Bakery?  11/4 Soi6 Moon Muang Road.

Cooking Love

Cooking Love is one of our favourite restaurants for Thai food in the Old City. It’s located down a leafy side street and is always busy with Thai people and tourists. You can order a range of cheap Thai meals such as curries, rice or noodle dishes. We also loved the spring rolls from Cooking Love and found they had plenty of vegetarian options on their menu. Cooking Love also run an extremely popular Thai cooking class. To give you an idea of prices, spring rolls, vegetable fried rice and Pad Thai, plus drinks, comes to 300 THB (£6.66).

A plate of Pad Thai from Cooking Love restaurant in Chiang Mai

Where is Cooking Love? 18/7 Rachadamnoen Road

Free Bird Café

When you eat at Free Bird Café, all the profits go the Thai Freedom House, a charity that runs a language and arts centre for Burmese refugees. The café serves a range of Thai, Burmese and western meals, including salads, curries, hummus plates and rice dishes. We love Free Bird Café for its breakfast and brunch options; the fruit and muesli bowls, omelettes and fresh fruit shakes. There’s also a charity shop in the café where you can buy second hand books for just 40 THB (90p) and clothes for as little as 50 THB (£1.12). Food is a bit pricier than average; the spread of food and drinks pictured below came to 520 THB (£11.55) but your cash goes towards a good cause.

Brunch at Free Bird Cafe in Chiang Mai, Thailand

Where is Free Bird Café? 116 Maneenopparat Road.

Angel’s Secrets

Angel’s Secrets serves delicious, highly-rated breakfasts and lunches as well as a range of cakes. They serve the best pancakes we’ve had in Chiang Mai, as well as delicious egg-based brunch dishes, French toast, curries and desserts. We love the  carrot cake, which is beautifully decorated and extremely tasty but a bit pricey at 125THB (£2.78). A brunch of omelette, toast, jam, pancake and drinks comes to 355 THB (£7.88).

Carrot Cake from Angel's Secrets in Chiang Mai, Thailand

Where is Angel’s Secrets27 Moonmueang Soi 5.

The Cat House

The Cat House is another great-value eatery that offers delicious dishes from around the world. We’ve tried the Burmese curries and Mexican quesadillas for around 100 THB (£2.22) each. Andrew always goes for a peanut-butter and banana smoothie when we visit the Cat House and we’ve also tried the chocolate brownie and ice cream, which is delicious.

Massaman Curry in Chiang Mai, Thailand

Where is the Cat House? 8 Chaiyapoom Lane 1 Si Phum.

The U.N Irish Pub

We love a slice of familiarity every now and again and the U.N Irish pub reminds us of home. While Andrew watches the football on TV and has a pint I read the paper and we order one of the pub meals. This place does comforting pub food really well; fish and chips, burgers, sandwiches, cooked breakfasts and pies. I always go for the spinach pie and mash while Andrew likes to tuck in to a chicken burger; we also occasionally buy bread from the pub’s Crusty Loaf Bakery next door. It might be slightly more pricey, at around 180 THB (£4) per meal, but good for an occasional treat.

Burger & Pie from the U.N Irish Pub in Chiang Mai

Where is the U.N Irish Pub? 24-24/1, Ratwithi Road.

The Sunday Walking Street Market

Every Sunday that we’re in Chiang Mai we excitedly head to the Walking Market for our evening meal. We tend to check out all the stalls first and then choose a few different dishes and snacks; spring rolls and samosas, potato twists, rice salad, quail eggs, mango sticky rice and fruit smoothies. We usually spend around 250THB (£5.55) here and are absolutely stuffed afterwards so we take a stroll around the rest of the market which is full of souvenirs, clothes and handicrafts.

Dinner at the Sunday Night Market in Chiang Mai, Thailand

Where is the Sunday Walking Street Market? Rachadamnoen Road (near Tha Pae Gate).

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24 Comments
  • Chris Donnington
    Posted at 10:26h, 02 July Reply

    Which apartment do you stay in Chiengmai
    Thanks

    • Amy
      Posted at 12:28h, 03 July Reply

      We stayed at the Jigsaw Condo in Chiang Mai; you can easily find it through Google.

  • Steph (@ 20 Years Hence)
    Posted at 18:03h, 02 July Reply

    Generally our goal in Thailand is to eat as much Thai food as possible, but after a while I do admit that I start to crave a bit of diversity. Chiang Mai is actually a great city for eating non-Thai food as there are a lot of international restaurants. I can’t remember the name of it, but I do know that we had a pretty decent Mexican meal somewhere near the old city during one of our stays! Of course, now that we’re in Mexico, I have to say that the Bamboo Bee with its veggie Thai food looks amazing! 😛

    • Amy
      Posted at 12:27h, 03 July Reply

      Yep, Chiang Mai is the best place for non-Thai food I think. The Pad Thai I had at Bamboo Bee was one of the best I’ve ever had in Thailand though, so I’m glad we checked that out.

  • Patti
    Posted at 19:54h, 02 July Reply

    As you know, this part of the world is not on our radar – at this time – but oh man that food could change my mind! I love sticky mango rice and those potato swirls are so good. But give me that chocolate cookie any day and Abi loves carrot cake! 🙂

    • Amy
      Posted at 12:25h, 03 July Reply

      The mango sticky rice is one dish I will miss from Asia but I think I will eat a lot better now we’re going to be in the UK and America for the rest of the year!

  • Louisa Klimentos
    Posted at 07:43h, 03 July Reply

    Yum ,the food looked yummy.i want to catch a plane now,so i can eat all that lovelly food

    • Amy
      Posted at 12:18h, 03 July Reply

      It was lovely 🙂

  • Stefan Arestis
    Posted at 03:57h, 04 July Reply

    No no NO! Absolutely terrible post: you made me so hungry reading it 🙁

    He he he. But adapting back to UK prices now must be hard after some of the prizes you’ve been used to in Asia for so little eh?

    • Amy
      Posted at 09:24h, 04 July Reply

      Ha! True, it is pretty pricey here for food, luckily my generous parents have a well-stocked fridge 🙂

  • Miriam of Adventurous Miriam
    Posted at 13:01h, 04 July Reply

    We’re heading to Chiang Mai in November so this post comes at a perfect time! I’m definitely going to Bamboo Bee for pad thai.

    • Amy
      Posted at 20:59h, 06 July Reply

      Good news, make sure you do visit Bamboo Bee 🙂

  • Pingback:Where to Eat in Barcelona: La Boqueria Market - Our Big Fat Travel Adventure
    Posted at 12:26h, 12 April Reply

    […] visited some really great food markets around the world, including the Sunday night market in Chiang Mai, Shillin Market in Taipei, Borough Market in London and Reading Terminal Market in Philadelphia. […]

  • Pingback:Visiting Florence for £50 - Our Big Fat Travel Adventure
    Posted at 09:38h, 28 July Reply

    […] include La Boqueria in Barcelona, London’s Borough Market and the Sunday night market in Chiang Mai, Thailand. We often find that food markets are a great place to pick up a cheap lunch and we have […]

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    Posted at 08:51h, 26 August Reply

    […] week we’ve been slowly reacquainting ourselves with Chiang Mai, revisiting our favourite restaurants from past visits and seeking out new ones. This is probably the most vegetarian-friendly city I’ve ever been to […]

  • Steven Martin
    Posted at 12:00h, 10 December Reply

    The best restaurant we visited while staying in Chiang Mai was Dash (https://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/Restaurant_Review-g293917-d2437001-Reviews-Dash_Restaurant_and_Bar-Chiang_Mai.html) – fantastic pad see ew, grilled fish and the best (mango) cheesecake I’ve ever had!

    • Amy
      Posted at 03:33h, 11 December Reply

      Thanks for the recommendation, we’ll check it out. The cheesecake sounds great!

  • Kate Green
    Posted at 14:21h, 10 December Reply

    We love Asian food but after a few days of the worst food poisoning when we first got to Chiang Mai, we discovered The Dukes — 2 locations in Chiang Mai. My kids love this place and still talk about how good the pizza and BBQ were:) We needed a change and that did it. They tried to get me to go across Bangkok when they found out there was a location there too!

    • Amy
      Posted at 03:34h, 11 December Reply

      Oh no, sorry about the food poisoning, I guess it happens to everyone at some point in Asia 🙁 We haven’t tried Dukes yet but have heard good things about it!

  • Rhonda
    Posted at 17:55h, 10 December Reply

    Well now you’ve just made me starving for Thai food!!! I do miss the super cheap and amazing food of Thailand.. thanks for sharing your favorites (I’ve only been to 2 of them. Something to add to the list for next time)

    • Amy
      Posted at 03:35h, 11 December Reply

      Sorry Rhonda! We’ve just returned from a trip to Bangkok where it was no where near as easy to find tasty, delicious vegetarian food. Chiang Mai is just the best for veggies!

  • Patti
    Posted at 20:30h, 13 December Reply

    You’re right – I have some serious food envy! I love spring rolls, and lo mein type noodle dishes and fresh veggies. I think I could eat very well in Chiang Mai.

    Your videos are getting better and better, well-done you two!

    • Amy
      Posted at 03:32h, 14 December Reply

      Thanks Patti! The videos are mostly Andrew’s work, he’s enjoying making them these days! I think you’d eat well here too, I’d definitely recommend Chiang Mai/Thailand as a place to visit, it’s a very gentle intro to Southeast Asia, if you’re ever keen 🙂

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    Posted at 06:35h, 15 December Reply

    […] £5 meals – I never cease to be amazed by Chiang Mai’s stunning array of vegetarian-friendly restaurants where I can eat an amazing meal whenever I like for less than […]

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