Everybody knows that food in Thailand is very cheap and ubiquitous. It’s very hard to find a place in Thailand which doesn’t have even at least a small stall with some kind of Thai food. Chiang Mai is not an exception. Here in Chiang Mai, only a very lazy person wouldn’t find food for his taste and budget: numerous restaurants, food courts, markets – everything around welcomes you to eat!
We ate food from the streets and night markets, we’ve tried various restaurants and cafes, cheap, average, expensive, highly rated on Tripadvisor and unknown. We then formed this list of the best restaurants for us in Chiang Mai (with average price for a dish from 0.75 to 8 euro). We’ve visited some of them more than four times, others we tried only once, but we are definately going to go back again!
1. The Duke’s
American food in Thailand? What?? 🙂 We come to this restaurant very often. It’s really really good! We were very impressed by the quality of food Duke’s serves, not to mention the portion sizes! Pizza, burgers, appetizers, specialities, ribs – everything is amazing! The food here is incredibly delicious! Pizza is HUGE! They have a delivery service as well! Highly recommended!
2. Pun Pun / ImmAim
Pun Pun and ImmAim are vegetarian restaurants of the same owner. We tried both of them and they are both great! However we prefer Pun Pun. It’s a place where we come every two-three days for lunch. Located just behind the Monk Chat of Wat Suan Dok, it’s a very simple looking place surrounding a big tree. The food is excellent! Fresh, healthy, organic Thai food. The menu is very varied and unusual. You will find here delicious curry, rice, soups, and very tasty drinks at really cheap prices! We never paid more than 300 baht (7.5 euro) here for 4 dishes and 2 drinks! It’s definitely one of the best places where you can try authentic Thai Food!
3. Casa Antonio / Giorgio’s
Again two different restaurants by the same owner (Italian man and his Thai wife). We’ve tried many italian restaurants in Chiang Mai and only these 2 were really Italian as we know them. Big delicious portions, big tasty thin pizza with crispy crust, great ambiance, service and prices! If you miss a pizza or a plate of good pasta with some delicious sauce in Chiang Mai, Casa Antonio or Giorgio’s are places you should head to!
4. Loco Elvis’
It was our first week in Chiang Mai when we found this restaurant. We passed by and it was full of drunk people singing karaoke, smoke and loud music. We didn’t enter but decided to try it out later on when it won’t be so crowded and it wasn’t a mistake! Loco Elvis’ serves very delicious (and spicy!) Mexican food! The service is good, portions are big and prices are very affordable! If you like to sing, the karaoke service is open every Friday after 21:00.
5. Tiger Kingdom in Town
I think you won’t find a person in Chiang Mai who doesn’t know about Tiger Kingdom in Town. It’s a very nice place, with live good quality Thai music and Thai food. Come here for a drink or for a dinner – you won’t be disappointed. The food they serve is tasty, prices are like in any average Thai restaurant in Chiang Mai – very affordable!
6. OISHI Japanese Buffet
There are many places around Chiang Mai offering Japanese food, but OISHI Buffet at “Airport Central Plaza” was the best we tried so far. I can’t say if OISHI serve an authentic Japanese food, if it’s the way it should be, as I have never been to Japan and didn’t have an opportunity to try real Japanese food, but we liked what we found in OISHI. The food was fresh, nice looking and tasty. The variety is big. For 499 baht (12.5 euro) you will get an abundance of dishes, fruit, dessert and drinks. I am sure you won’t be able to try everything during the 1 hour and 45 mins time limit, because you will be very full! Note that you have to pay a fine if you leave a lot of uneaten food on your plate :). Though drinks and ice cream in there need some improvement, we really liked this place and we’re going to come back to it again!
Babylon is located on the second floor of an unremarkable building right across from the Night Bazaar. When we entered the restaurant it was completely empty, but we decided to stay anyway. The restaurant is open air with a roof. Right infront of it there is a Blues Bar, so it was really cool to have dinner in a quiet atmosphere listening to Thai blues! Babylon offers Thai and Arabic food. We tried the Arabic one (Set 2 and Set 3) and were really impressed by the taste and quality of food. The prices are a bit high compared to other places in Chiang Mai, but the food justifies them!
8. Lunch Buffet in Grandview Hotel
Chiang Mai is very generous when it comes to cheap and nice places for eating, but this one is really incredible! We got to know about this place from John Bardos and his wife. Many thanks to them :). For only 159 baht (4 euro) you get some really good quality food: a mixture of Thai and European food, delicious deserts, various fruit and drinks! We couldn’t believe our eyes! We tried several lunch buffets at different hotels for the same price but it was never as good as this one!
What is your favourite place to eat in Chiang Mai? Share your experience with us, leave a comment below!