It is interesting fact that visiting Chiang Mai, visitors may not be able to find a restaurant or store which is opened after 10 pm and also, having a breakfast before 10 am may be a difficult thing to do.
Therefore, one thing you will wish to know before starting to explore Chiang Mai local food is that each shop has its own opening hours, closings and holidays. If you do not want to go to a restaurant to see a closed door, you must search and check their opening hours in advance.
Located close to the border, traditional cuisine of Chiang Mai is heavily influenced by Myanmar and Laos, giving people a distinctly different taste than other parts of Thailand.
If you come to Chiang Mai, here is a Chiang Mai food tour with 6 must-try dishes below:
1. Khao Soi (Chiang Mai Curry Noodles)
No one visiting Chiang Mai did not try Khao Soi because his is the most typical dish for the cuisine of this city. In Chiang Mai, you will find Khao Soi everywhere, from the 5-star hotel restaurants to the small food vendors.
In Thai, Khao Soi literally means “cut noodles”. The main ingredient of this dish is half-fried egg noodles and half of which is mixed with curry flavored sauce. A traditional Khao Soy sauce is usually served with chicken or pork, onion, sour cabbage, and lemon leaves.
Khao Soi has spicy taste because Chiang Mai people enjoy the spicy cuisine. If you cannot eat spicy food, you can pre-order less spicy or no spicy.
- 30 – 40 THB for a small food vendor
- 60 – 80 THB for a luxury restaurant
- Where to eat:
– Khao Soi Lamduon Fahrm:
Address: 352/22 Charoen Rat Road
– Khao Soi Khun Yai:
Address: Sripoom Road, directly after Sripoom soi 8
Opening hours: 10:00 – 14:00 (closed Sundays)
– Khao Soi Islam:
Address: 22-24 Soi 1, Charoenprathet Road, Changklan
Opening hours: 8:00 – 17:00
– Khao Soi Wulai:
Address: Wulai Road, Chiang Mai.
Opening hours: 9:00 – 15:00
– Huen Phen Restaurant:
Address: 112 Rachamankha Road, inside the Old City wall
Opening hours: 08:30 – 16:00 and 17:00 – 22:00
2. Sai Ua (Chiang Mai Herbed Sausage)
A special sausage of Chiang Mai with a blending of so many spicy ingredients like pepper, chili, and lemon. Usually, Sai Ua will be sliced with other dishes or grilled.
- 40 THB for a cooked or grilled Sai Ua
- 120 – 150 THB for a half-weight vacuum package with a 6-month expiryPrice:
- Where to buy:
– Warorot Market (the biggest market in Chiang Mai)
– Ton Payom Market:
Address: behind Chiang Mai University, Tambon Suthep, Chiang Mai
Open hours: 8 am – 5 pm daily
3. Naem (Chiang Mai pork sour sausage)
Naem is a fermented food made from pork which is available in Southeast Asia countries, however, Naem in Northern Thailand has its unique flavor with 2 types: sweet and sour one. After 2-day fermentation process occurred from a balanced mixture of minced meat and seasonings, Naem will be ready to eat.
- Price: 20 THB for big naem stick and 5 THB for smaller bites of naem
- Where to buy: It’s available in almost small street food vendors.
4. Yum Moo Yor (Northern Thai Sausage Spicy Salad)
The salad is well-known in every restaurant of Chiang Mai which consists of Yum Moo steamed pork, onions, herbs, limes, peppers blending with spices. It normally will be wrapped in a green banana leaf as a package to wait for enjoyment.
- Price: 30 THB for a packageWhere to buy: Easily find in roadside vendors.
- Where to buy: Easily find in roadside vendors.
5. Khanom Jeen Nam Ngeow (Northern Thai Spicy Noodles Soup)
Mixed together between fresh rice noodles (Khanom Jeen) and traditional spicy tomato sauce (Nam Ngeow) brings a special flavor for a spicy Noodles Soup which is especially hard to forget. Normally it will be served with limes, bean sprouts, cherry tomatoes, raw vegetables, and crispy fried pork skin.
6. Kaeng Hang Lei (Northern Thai Style Curry)
One of north Thailand indigenous dishes needs to be mentioned is Kaeng Hang Lei – or Burmese curry (a common name among Chiang Mai’s restaurants which can be translated into “heavy curry”). This special dish consists of two parts (belly pork with sour ingredients) originates from Myanmar but Thailand version included tamarind. The main component is belly pork but sometimes it can be changed to beef, chicken or even fish. To make it tastier, the sauce is a blend of more than ten spices such as sugar, dried chili, ginger, garlic, and peanut.
Where to eat:
‘Aroon Rai’ near Thapae Gate, Chiang Mai
Hopefully this quick Chiang Mai food tour is helpful for your itinerary also gives you an initial imagination about this distinctive cuisine with its deep flavors and liberal use of chili peppers.
Besides the unique food, Chiang Mai is also famous for The Sky Lantern Festival where the night sky is brightened up with more than 4,000 lanterns . You will definitely add it to your bucket list. Let’s check out this detailed guideline for the upcoming Chiang Mai Sky Lantern Festival 2018.