As you might know that Chiang Mai University back gate (ประตูวิศวะ) is only a stone throw away from our place. A food market starts here at around 4-5PM daily. This is a cheap eats for undergrads. The market has wide range of food from many stalls along two sides of Suthep road. I guarantee you will have lots of fun experimenting on Thai street food during your stay.
This guide mainly focus on small restaurants selling food at an economic price nearby that dotted along Suthep rd. It also included my favorite shops and cafes that I would recommended to any friends that been to the area.
For a clearer view, click here for a link to the map below;
Most pictures in this blog are from Sathapana Kittikul, the foodie father in Chiang Mai.
B: Galae Restaurant
Only 10 minutes away on foot. A good proper northern Thai restaurant on a small hill overlooking the pond.
C: The food market starts here.
Take good care of your belongings. There’re good and not too good people out there. Prepare small notes to pay for the food. Also, prepare your empty stomach for a food adventure here too!
D: The nearest 7-11.
just in case you need something.
E: Tee Noi Boat Noodle (ก๋วยเตี๋ยวเรือตี๋น้อย)
What makes boat Noodle differs from other noodles is, they add a dash of fresh pork blood into the piping hot soup before serving. Don’t worry it’s not that ‘yuk’ as you may think it is. Even the taste is a bit unique. If you think pork blood is too adventurous for you tum tum, order a dry version.
How to order is just tell them the choice of 1.noodle 2.meat 3.dry or soup 4. Spicy or not. Boat noodle is one of my favorite noodle which goes very well with pork skin crackers (แคบหมู) or a small bowl of deep fried lard (กากหมู). Usually they already added dried chilies, sugar and vinegar so you just mixed them together and yum! Be aware that noodle here is very spicy.
F: Phuket Lai Kram (ภูเก็ตลายคราม)
Phuket is a beach holiday destination in the south of Thailand. That’s why the restaurant serves southern Thai food together with the noodle.
The place is our most favorite tom yam noodle in Chiangmai! Oh, it’s not the usual Tom Yam that you may familiar with but trust me, it’s good! My usual menu is ‘เกาเหลาต้มยำ’ (tom yam soup with everything but noodle) to go with ‘Kai Pa Lo’ on top of rice (ไข่พะโล้ราดข้าว) They also have ‘chicken with sweet basil on top of jasmine rice’ (กะเพราไก่ไข่ดาวราดข้าว) made fresh to order.
G: Doi Kham (ดอยคำ คาเฟ่)
Doi Kam founded by our past king before I was born. Long time ago our king traveled around the country to meet up and listen to his people’s problems. He found that many hill tribes in the northern part of Thailand invaded and turned the lush forest into an opium field, so he guided them to grow something else and assigned a group of people to help them sell the products.
After that there’s long story. Now Doi Kham products are sold in many modern supermarkets in Thailand i.e. juice, dried fruits and etc. Here they also serve coffee. http://www.doikham.co.th/list-category.php
Fruits & Veggie Stall (แผงผัก-ผลไม้)
Every first Thursday and Friday of the month. There’s fruits & veggie stalls market call “Kad Kong Khong” (meaning: market that you have to bend down to look at the stuff) It located next to Doi Kham. (8.00-18.00)
What’s on sell is not only veggie and fruits. Some stalls sell northern Thai cooked food. Some are hard to find these days. Just browse and see what you feel like pecking. I can say some are exotic even to myself.
H: Ruen-A-Rom (รื่นอารมย์)
A small café owned by a lovely couple who loves cycling. They have rooms for both short and long stay. I usually stay here when my own place is not available (That’s why I know how good their toast is!). They have crispy butter toast and carbonara toast to go with good coffee for breakfast. If you bike there, you’ll get a discount too! (Call K.May the night before, to check what time they open 081-633-8300)
I: Baan Khang Wad (บ้านข้างวัด)
The place looks just like a small village with little wooden houses which remind us of old times. There’re 2 cafes. One with fancy drinks (Mahasamut) and one with a very good cuppa (The old café). The rest are shops and a couple of local cuisine restaurants. Now it’s one of the top places to visit in Chiangmai for local Thais.
J: Weung Malai (เวิ้งมาลัย)
A lovely space consist of 3 shops and a café. It’s our favorite place to have a glass of iced coffee and chit chat in the afternoon when we’re free. The owners are friends for a very long time. Communista sells colorful handmade cushion, hanging mobile, key chain and etc (one of our cushions is from Communista). Jyntata has various selection of small bags and handmade tote. Hand room sells handmade kid’s clothes, shoes and toys. Paper spoon is a café with good iced coffee and scone. One corner of the café selling handmade stuffs from friends. My lovely London book is also available here. : )
K: U Mong Temple (วัดอุโมงค์)
Biggest temple in the area and (in my opinion) the most beautiful temple in Chiangmai. I first visited this temple 10 years ago, now it still looks almost the same. U Mong means cave in Thai and that’s what makes this temple differ from the others. Buddha statue is positioned in the center of the cave. There’s ancient painting (which is quite faded now) on the wall of the cave too.
L: Nandakwang (นันทขว้าง)
What they sell is a Loose-weave cotton ‘homespun creations’, ranging from napkins to cushion covers to bedspreads to made-up clothing. We love that they put a touch of girlie design to the products. That why our hand towels and fridge cover are from here. This is a good place to buy souvenirs for your girlfriends as it’s unique and not pricey at all. (close at 6PM)
In the area, there’s café called Fabb Coffee Roasters They imported coffee beans from around the world and roasted them here in Chiangmai. That’s why they have various kind of single origin available at the café. Barista got some sort of award too. (8.00 – 20.00)
PS. Nandakwang and Krua Ya is too far to walk from our place. Please make sure that you have some sort of vehicles before deciding to go. Cycling there is possible but you need to be very very careful.
M: Krua Ya and Asama Café (ครัวย่า และ อสมา คาเฟ่)
A restaurant and café attached together situated by a small pond in a quiet village. Good thing is they have pictures menu, so you can see what you like and order by pictures. Everything here is good including desserts.
What attracted us most is Asama Café. They do great coffee. On top of latte, Americano and etc., they have ‘Gravity’ which is very strong and very addictive! (9.00-15.00, close every 1st and 16th of the month)
N: Ton Pa Yom congee (โจ๊กต้นพยอม)
Thai congee has its own character and taste. This is a famous one and our family favourite. Please notice that there’re 2 congee restaurants in the same area, go to the red one, not green (I tried both and the red one is far better!).
Thais usually eat congee for breakfast to warm our tummy before going to school or work. Classic menu is congee with soft boiled egg, mince pork ball and pork liver (โจ๊กหมู ไข่ ตับ) Best way to eat is with dough fritters (ปำทอ่งโก๋). They also have ‘Tom Lued Moo’ (ต้มเลือดหมูทุกอย่าง) which is one of the classics and hard to find good one. It’s a mixed of pig organs in clear soup. (open 6.00 – early afternoon)
O: Ton Pa Yom Market (กาดต้นพยอม)
Kaad Ton Pa Yom Kaad means market in Northern Thai language. Only a stone throw away from Joke Ton Pa Yom is a market. Where you can find ingredients for local cuisine.
P: Kasem Store (เกษมสโตร์)
They opened their door since 1966 in another location. They sell various kind of good bread, quiche, homemade jam and western groceries. I usually stock up their rolls, bagels and multi-grain bread in the fridge for breakfast. (open 8.00 – 18.00)
Q: CMU Art Museum:
Keetee suggested this place as one of the Chiangmai Univeristy Alumni. Temporary exhibition from various artists exhibit here all year round. There’s a coffee hut built from clay that serves vegetarian cuisine where you can sip a cuppa and chillaxing after a long walk. Keetee’s favorite is a pot of pudding. http://www.cmumuseum.org
R: Sen-sitive (เส้นซิทีฟ)
Another boat noodle place. This restaurant offers noodles that replace noodles with ‘mushroom legs’ (ก๋วยเตี๋ยวขาเห็ด). Even I find it’s quite unique and it tastes good!
S: Jam Fa (แจ่มฟ้า)
Local supermarket where you can find loads of everyday’s stuffs. Some are very local even us find it’s exciting.
T: Tueng Chiangmai (ถึงเชียงใหม่)
A proper northern Thai cuisine not far for from our place. This restaurant may not took part in any international guide books but it’s a good one, very authentic and very cheap. Northern food is quite unique that you may have an acquired taste to like it. My hubby first bite of them was when he was 29! As now you’re here, try it once!
If you have no idea what to order, try their platter or mince pork with red chilies (น้ำพริกอ่อง), steam beef with chili paste (จิ้นนึ่งน้ำพริกข่า), mince pork marinated in spice stuffed in pork intestine, then roast – my fav!! (ไส้อั่ว), Northern green chili paste (น้ำพริกหนุ่ม), stir fried mince pork in northern spice (ลาบคั่ว), local veggie soup (แกงผัก). Don’t forget to order sticky rice (ข้าวเหนียว) to eat with them. These are popular menus. Or you can ask for their recommendations. (9.00-22.00)
U: Pong Noi Temple (วัดโป่งน้อย)
or Wat Pong Noi One of the oldest temples in Chiangmai. During WWII, Japan took over the temple for a short period of time and made it a base camp. Don’t miss the chance to visit the Buddha statue which is almost 400 years old.
Every Monday and Saturday at 4-8 PM, there’s pop-up market here. Locals selling veggie from their backyard. Merchants selling toys, clothes and etc. Some stalls selling cooked food. It’s one of the markets that I recommended if you want to see how local lives.
V: Ram Pueng Temple (วัดร่ำเปิง)
or Wat Ram Pueng One of the oldest temples in chiangmai. Main Buddha statue is 700-800 years old.