7 places to eat in Chiang Mai

This time last year I was getting excited about my family holiday to Chiang Mai, a stunning city in Northern Thailand.  We explored the local bazaar, strolled around Maya Lifestyle Shopping Center, played with Tara in Maya Fantasia, visited the famous Saturday Night Market, went to the Art in Paradise Museum, saw some beautiful temples and our most special experience of all was visiting The Elephant Nature Park.

Of course, all this exploring required us to experience two more things.  The first being spa treatments for rebooting our systems and the second and by far the most important -food!!!  Here’s 7 restaurants we tried out during our stay:

1. Lemongrass

The very fact that people queue to eat here, despite the street being full of restaurants is enough said.  Well actually, it’s not…the restaurant itself is very simple and a great experience of local food at a very reasonable price.  A quirky touch that makes this place stand out is the walls, they are free to be doodled on by visitors, we decided to make our mark whilst waiting for our food.

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2. Hideout

This really is a hideout – a pure hidden gem.  It’s super small and very basic looking place but don’t judge it’s appearance.  The food is all fresh, they make their own probiotic yoghurt and they do the most amazing coffee.  Be it a fresh smoothie, a healthy sandwich or a naughty french toast.  They do it all and they do it well.  I highly recommend visiting for breakfast.

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3.  Dash!  Restaurant and Bar

With live entertainment, cool staff and a smart casual vibe, I’d call this a trendy hangout.  The restaurant has indoor and plenty of outdoor seating and food is just divine.  It’s not a cheap eat (and by no means expensive either) but totally worth every penny.  I remember having the steamed shrimp rolls and tom yum soup – both delicious and two of my golden favourites choices too.

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4. Butter is Better Bakery

I wasn’t bowled over by this place.  The food was nothing special, the service was lapse and if I’m being super honest, I was annoyed that I’d missed out on trying somewhere better.  We had pancakes for breakfast which were served with blueberries that were still frozen!

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5. Ginger & Kafe / The House 

Essentially this is the same restaurant split into 3 buildings, all within one area.  The decor of each place is just beautiful, artistic and super chic.  Both the ambience and the customers highlight this place is definitely high end.  It’s always a good sign to know it’s a favourite of the locals too.  We first attended this place for dinner and everything was just amazing.  The food I’d say is Thai fusion, I had the fried sea bass for my mains and it was just something else, I still crave it to this day.  The bartender took his time making our drinks but they were definitely worth the wait.

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We loved this place so much that we came back for breakfast the very next day.  It was here that I had my first ever salad for breakfast.  Across our overall holiday this has got to be one of my favourite moments.  We sat chatting, whilst Tara played away happily for hours.

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6.  Tanita Coffee House

This place is located in the more upmarket area of Chiang Mai, you must visit at least this area if not this place.  The winding roads and no pavements do mean you have to be careful  especially with kids.  The place is famous for iced coffee and it’s part of an antiques yard, definitely worth taking a look around the place.

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7.  Woo Cafe and Art Gallery

Hmmmmm so this place has mixed emotions for me.  The art gallery was simple but nice, the lifestyle shop was just lovely.  The restaurant is stunningly decorated, they have the most amazing flowers just flooding the place in the most beautiful way.  The food is Thai but with their stamp on it and not the best I’d eaten – I felt like it was more style over substance and I was quite sad to come to that conclusion.  The service was also quite poor and for a place like this, I expected better.

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