This post is a continuation of my blog post Chiang Mai: Historical City. How could I not talk about food when in Thailand? In contrast, Chiang Mai’s food choices are distinctively different in comparison to their southern province neighbors. Interestingly, we found that Northern food tend to be less spicy. Having said that, there are also less choices for seafood because it is quite landlocked. Despite that, it hasn’t stopped Chiang Mai’s food scene to have evolved in their own unique way. Here are some must-try food of Chiang Mai!

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AUTHOR

Wally

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Travel to Thailand, Asia

POSTED ON

Sept 19, 2020

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wandering.wally

1. Khao Soi and Boat Noodles

Khao Soi Khun Yai in Chiang Mai Old City

The first dish I want to feature is the Khao Soi. Having said that, it is effectively Chiang Mai’s “national” dish and really delicious. Adding on to that, Khao Soi are noodles in yellow curry broth and can come with chicken or beef, topped with crispy khao soi noodles. Truly, the curry broth is tasty and the best one we had was at Khao Soi Khun Yai. Unsurprisingly, this little store was touted to be Chiang Mai’s best and for very good reason.

Chiang Mai Khao Soi

Rim Ping Boat Noodles outside Chiang Mai Old City

Other places where you can find khao soi are typically in boat noodles store as well. Having said that, we stumbled onto Rim Ping Boat Noodles. The restaurant is near Anantara. Adjacent to the riverside, we really enjoyed having our lunch by there. Adding on to that, what we loved about this place are the low prices and its small portions. As a result, we could try nearly every combination of boat noodles there are in the restaurant!

Chiang Mai Riverside

The restaurant oversees the Mae Ping River and adds on to our good experience of lunch. For this reason, we really love this restaurant.

Chiang Mai Boat Noodle

Our bowl of Boat Noodle. Interestingly, it came with Pork Blood. Contrary to what you think, if you can get past the ick factor, this is a great bowl of noodle, pork blood included.

Chiang Mai Boat Noodles 2

This is a great bowl Crispy Pork Lard & Nam Tok (Fermented Pork). We found it to be tasty and really fragrant.

Chiang Mai Pork Boat Noodle

There were two versions of the Pork Boat Noodle. Despite the simplicity of this dish, there is a lot of complex flavours in the broth.

Chiang Mai Sliced Pork Boat Noodle

Alternate version of the Pork boat noodle is the sliced pork version.

Chiang Mai Traditional Khao Soi

A traditional Khao Soi served here. However, it is still not as good as Khao Soi Khun Yai’s.

Chiang Mai Khao Soi with Chicken & Crispy Pork Skin

Another version of Khao Soi with Chicken & Crispy Pork Skin.

2. Khao Kha Moo

The Khao Kha Moo of Chang Phueak is another icon of Chiang Mai. Specifically, we came here for the best ever khao kha moo (braised pork trotter rice). Before this, we tried a couple of versions but they don’t come close to how good this version is. The restaurant also has a store in the night market, which was visited by the late Anthony Bourdain himself. Having come here to try it for ourselves, we finally understand what the fuss is all about. In addition, the pork was juicy and tender and the sauce was delicious. I would want to come again definitely.

3. Beef Noodle

We got this recommendation online. So it was no surprise that the beef noodles at Rote Yiam beef noodles restaurant is a hit for me. On top of that, the store doesn’t look like much and the staff barely speaks English but we still managed. Despite the restaurant’s outlook, don’t let it fool you! In contrast, the beef noodles here really packs a flavourful punch! In my opinion, I think the restaurant deserved to be known as the best in Chiang Mai! Come and try it for yourself!

Chiang Mai Beef Noodles RestaurantChiang Mai Beef Noodles 2Chiang Mai Beef Noodles

4. Fresh Water Prawns

In comparison to Bangkok, Chiang Mai is a landlocked region. As a result, seafood can be expensive and not easy to come by. Therefore, Chiang Mai isn’t the best place to find seafood. Instead, the local cuisine has evolved towards freshwater. Hence, freshwater prawns are easier to get and really fresh. For this, look no further than Paak Dang, a riverside restaurant, said to have some of the freshest picks! We ordered some of the featured dishes of the restaurant and we did not regret. Though the food here can be pricier than elsewhere, it is well worth it.

Chiang Mai Riverside Restaurant PrawnsChiang Mai Riverside Restaurant Grilled PrawnsChiang Mai Tom YumChiang Mai Riverside Restaurant Grilled SquidChiang Mai Riverside Restaurant

5. Markets

Warorot Chinatown Market in Chiang Mai Old City

Just like any other Thai cities, markets are available in a lot of places within the city. Having said that, there is even a Chinatown in Chiang Mai. If it is Chinese herbs or foodstuff you are looking for, then Warorot Chinatown Market is the place to go. For other types of shopping, you can find them mostly in the Saturday and Sunday walking markets within the old city.

Chiang Mai Chinatown Market

Ploen Ruedee Night Market outside Chiang Mai Old City

The Ploen Ruedee Night Market was the nearest night market to where we stayed in Anantara. Only a 5 minutes walk away, we find this market way better than the touristy ones in the old city. In addition, we find this a fantastic night market for the variety of delicious food and cheap shopping.

Chiang Mai Night Market Pad Thai

A delicious plate of Pad Thai at the market. In spite of how simple it looks, this dish is really delicious!

Chiang Mai Night Market Food

Grilled chicken and a surprisingly delicious Japanese Gyoza from the night market! Unexpectedly, Japanese food can taste good also in Thailand.

6. Michelin Featured Food in Chiang Mai

We discovered this while exploring the One Nimman mall, located in the northwestern section outside of Chiang Mai’s old city. Indeed, finding Kiew Kai Ka is a surprise for us. On top of that, we were also happy to discover that this is a Michelin plated restaurant. Having said that, we ordered some of the featured favourites and find the dishes worthy of a Michelin-featured restaurant. Although it may be a little out of the way from the usual areas of Chiang Mai but we assure you, it is well worth the time and effort to get here.

Chiang Mai Michelin Food 3

The Prawns are really fresh in this fern salad. On top of that, we love the sourish, savoury flavour of the Thai dressing.

Chiang Mai Michelin Food 2

This Crab curry with wild betel leaves is thick and creamy. However, the creaminess did not overpower the flavour of the curry.

Chiang Mai Michelin Food

We loved this fluffy fried omelette with crab meat was awesome. Especially the generous portions of crab meat on top.

7. Other Interesting Food Experience in Chiang Mai

Bagel House Café & Bakery in the old city

If you don’t feel like Thai for the day, we found this great bagel café. This little breakfast and brunch cafe has a great selection of bagels. To illustrate this, there will be enough variety of bagels for you to have everyday for breakfast for a number of days!

Chiang Mai Bagel Cafe

Anantara Resort’s Coffee House

We also loved the setting of where we had our resort’s breakfast, which is by the riverside. Hence, this makes Anantara’s resort cafe’s surrounding settings just makes you feel relaxed. Despite it being outdoors, the weather is still pretty cooling in the afternoon and if you are hungry, try out their afternoon tea set!

Anantara Chiang Mai Riverside BreakfastAnantara Chiang Mai Riverside FoodAnantara Chiang Mai RiversideAnantara Chiang Mai Cafe

Quaint Chiang Mai!

Overall, Chiang Mai has been an interesting place to visit. Adding on to that, the city is not very big and very easy to get around. In particular, public transport is very readily available or you can go around pretty easily with rented bicycles. As for shopping, food and even massage parlours, there are plenty of choices within Chiang Mai’s markets. For me, I would say I enjoyed Chiang Mai’s food the most. However, there are still places we can go in Chiang Mai.

In conclusion, we will definitely plan another trip back here and take a stab at travelling even further outside of the old city. On the other hand, if you want to read about some of Chiang Mai’s landmarks, please do take a look at my other post here: https://wanderingwally.com/2020/09/19/chiang-mai-historical-city-part-1/

If you’re keen on other parts of Thailand, check out my other posts too: