We would be staying in Chiang Mai for over three weeks and wanted a room with a small kitchen to do some cooking ourselves. We booked a serviced apartment at The Bliss for one month. A few times we went out for lunch or dinner, but most of the time we cooked our own food. In this blogpost we share with you our experience of where (not) to eat in Chiang Mai.
Each morning we had cornflakes for breakfast and almost every lunch we ate bread with cheese, some kind of ham, or chocolate. Most of the time we did our grocery shopping at Rimping Supermarket in Maya Shopping Centre, within walking distance of The Bliss. Sometimes we took our bicycle to Tops Market in Kad Suan Kaew Shopping Mall, which was slightly cheaper. A box of Kelloggs Frosties is for example ฿10 cheaper here.
anIn the lobby from The Bliss we found some folders advertising a 30% discount for every new customer of Foodpanda, the (mostly) Asian online food ordering marketplace. It’s similar to Just Eat, an online takeaway ordering service we’ve used on quite a few occasions back home in Belgium. We ordered a delivery from McDonalds and tried the pizza from Da Stefano as well, which was very nice! Those were by far the most expensive meals though, as you can see in our expense report for Chiang Mai.
Almost every shopping mall in Asia we’ve visited, has a food court. In Chiang Mai, we lunched at the Tops Market Food Court in Kad Suan Kaew Shopping Mall. It’s very cheap and the food is not bad. We had an OK pad thai with pork for ฿40 and a quite good pan fried noodles with chicken. Plenty of other choices, so you should be able to find something you’ll like.
In Warorot Market there was a food court as well, where we had a cheap lunch among locals during shopping. Here’s where we tried Chiang Mai’s signature dish khao soi for only ฿30 a bowl. We really liked this slightly spicy coconut chicken curry with both soft an crispy yellow noodles. It’s served with a plate of red onion, pickled cabbage and a slice of lime to add to your liking.
We indulged in some Thai snacking on the Saturday Walking Street Market and the Sunday Walking Street Market. You can read up about our favourite snacks in the blogpost about what to do in Chiang Mai.
We only ate four times at a real restaurant. One of them was Cafe de Nimman, not that far from The Bliss. It looks really nice and cozy, the staff is friendly, but we were a bit disappointed by our choices of food. After loving the khao soi from the food court at Warorot Market, I excitedly ordered it here as well (฿110). Unfortunately it was way too spicy (for me) and the spiciness lingered for a long time. I still have to learn to ask EVERY TIME if the dish is spicy before I order it. Brecht chose fried chicken cashew nuts (฿150), one of our favourite Thai dishes. He didn’t like the texture of the chicken, which was literally fried, not just stir fried. I liked it, although I could have sworn it was spicy as well.
After our visit to Wat Phrathat Doi Suthep, we were in the old town and ate at Funky Dog Cafe. It’s a cosy little hippie cafe where you have to take your shoes off before you enter. There were no other people there, so we were a bit reluctant to go in. After a moment of doubt we sat down and Brecht really liked his yellow curry with chicken (฿70), which was a bit too spicy for my liking. I had fried pumpkin sweet basil which was OK.
The burgers we had at Beast Burger were literally one of the best burgers we ever had! The burgers were so full of flavour and the beast sauce was just yum. The fries were delicious as well, definitely a must try when you’re in Chiang Mai. Beast Burger is a gourmet food truck parked at the same spot every day, selling two kinds of burgers with fries: the Beast burger (฿140) and the Double burger (฿200). They’re open from 18h30 till they’re sold out. Don’t know how much stock they hold, but it’s busy all the time, so better not wait too long!
Update: Beast Burger is now a modern burger joint instead of a little yellow food truck. How do we know? We visited again to check if they were still one of the best burgers we ever had! Read all about it here.
On our last night in Chiang Mai, after a refreshing swim at the Grand Canyon, we ate at Kanjana Restaurant. It’s a little Thai restaurant in one of the small streets in the old town. Brecht had pumpkin curry with chicken, I tried the Indian curry with chicken (each ฿75). Both of our dishes were nice, but unfortunately way too spicy, even though I had asked and they told me “a little spicy”. It’s always a gamble when they say it’s “a little spicy”, as this often means “very spicy” for my tastebuds.
In Chiang Mai we cooked our own dinner most of the time. It wasn’t cheaper than eating out, but it was nice to eat something from home and Brecht, my personal chef, was glad he could cook again. The best Thai dishes we’ve had in Chiang Mai were actually the ones we made ourselves during a cooking class at the Thai Farm Cooking School, but Funky Dog Cafe wasn’t bad either. Please promise me you’ll try Beast Burger if you’re ever in Chiang Mai. Honestly, I’m not exaggerating when I say those were some of the best burgers we’ve ever had!