Chiangmai, the Northern Rose of Thailand, attracts tourists by its pleasant climate, ancient temples with unique architecture and impressive festivals. But tourists coming to Chiangmai not only fall in love with its peaceful beauty, but they are also certainly impressed by its cuisine. To find where to eat in Chiangmai, although tourists can look for trendy eateries or European-style cafés, it is apparent that Chiangmai cuisine remains true to its Thai food taste.
Seemingly, Chiangmai food forged a special place in visitors’ hearts. It is not difficult to find Chiangmai food places Tourists can come to night markets and restaurants all around Chiangmai.
NIGHT MARKETS IN CHIANGMAI:
To answer the question where to enjoy food in Chiangmai, the first thing needs to be mentioned is extremely exciting and diverse night market. It would be a great omission to mention Chiangmai without mentioning the colorful night markets. You can find a variety of goods including clothes, handbags, handicrafts, souvenirs, and delicious dishes.
Food in each of Chiangmai night markets brings special impressions to visitors. So, where are those night markets and which food do they have? In my opinion, the top 5 best night markets in Chiangmai are Chiangmai Night Bazaar, Chiangmai Sunday Market, Kad Na Mor (Student Night Market), The Chang Puak food market and Sompet Market.
1. Chiangmai Night Bazaar:
Opening hours: 6 p.m to 10:30 p.m
Chiangmai Night Bazaar, located on Chang Khlan Road, is probably the most famous market in Chiangmai, Thai people are proud to call it “Mother of the flea market”. Every evening, the center of this market fills the area for tourists who come and experience this well-known destination spot. Outside the market, there are many street vendors selling Thai food and many famous fast food chains in the world such as Burger King, McDonalds, and Starbucks. It would be wise if tourists bargain anything they want to buy.
2. Chiangmai Sunday Market:
It is true that Chiangmai Sunday Market is one of the most prominent markets in Chiangmai. Sunday Market at the intersection of Rachadamnoen road and Ratpakinai Road, is an ideal place for tourists to shop while traveling in Thailand. Local people call this market “Tanoon Kundon”- meaning “Walking Street”. There are multiple areas for a lot of food stalls. Visitors can enjoy a variety of different Thai foods at cheap prices. For instance, it is easy to get three samosas for 0.75$ and coconut ice cream for 1.00$. Even if tourists want something adventurous to eat, trying some fried insects seems not to be bad.
3. Student Night Market (Kad Na Mor):
Another exciting night market is Kad Na Mor or Student Night Market. Kad Na Mor is front of Chiangmai University, open every day from sunset. As its name “Student Night Market”, the prices in this market are quite cheap. You can buy smoothies and bubble mike tea drinks when walking around the market. After that, you can have dinner at one of many restaurants. The back of Kad Na Mor is not only a Thai food court but there are also larger open-air restaurants serving hot pot, Japanese or Korean food. In addition, this market has a lot of desert stalls such as ice cream, mango, sticky rice, etc.
4. Chang Puak food market:
The Chang Puak food market on Manee Nopparat Road is an ideal place to taste Thai dishes. The market comes to life after sunset and quickly fills up with many food stalls. The Chang Puak food market offers a great amount of street food with incredibly cheap prices. Visitors can taste delicious Thai dishes, fresh fruit juices, noodle soup, and fried rises dishes from food stalls.
5. Sompet Market:
Sompet Market is a food market which mainly sells fresh fruits and vegetables. It is near Chiangmai Gate, open every day from 4 p.m to 12 a.m. Besides fruits and vegetables, a variety of stalls sell hot dishes, tasty snacks, and healthy smoothies. Visitors can taste the traditional Northern Lanna cuisine at Sompet Market. Additionally, visitors can buy food as well as other products at Sompet Market with reasonable prices while others at some markets have more expensive prices.
Next to Chiangmai night markets, there is a lot of restaurants tourists should take a visit when traveling in Chiangmai. Chiangmai restaurants are not only places of food, but they also represent a range of cultures and cuisine. Whether you want to try Thai dishes or international dishes, Chiangmai’s eateries will not make you disappointed. In my view, there are five best restaurants in Chiangmai, they are Huen Phen Restaurant, Tong Restaurant and Bar, David’s kitchen, The Good View, Pink House Garden.
1. Huen Phen Restaurant:
Huen Phen Restaurant, located on Rachamankha Road, is especially known for its khao soi noodles, which is a specialty of Chiangmai and is the main dish that Huen Phen Restaurant serves. However, this restaurant also has a lot of other traditional snacks and Northern dishes such as sticky rice, jackfruit salad, etc. Because in the daytime, Huen Phen is crowded with tourists and local people, it is a busy spot during lunch times. In the evenings, Huen Phen becomes a romantic restaurant with a wider choice of dishes. Visitors coming here can enjoy the convenient atmosphere as well as get a taste to tasty noodle soup.
- Open hours: 8:30 – 16:00 and 17:00 – 22:00
- Address: 112 Rachamankha Road, inside the Old City wall
2. Tong Restaurant and Bar:
The second restaurant that visitors should not miss is Tong Restaurant and Bar, which is located on Nimmanhaemin Road. This is an outdoor restaurant filling with wooden tables and chairs to sit at. Opening hour is from 5 p.m to 11 p.m. Tong Restaurant and Bar is one of the famous restaurants in the Ninman area, highly rated thanks to an enticing barbeque grill outside the entrance. Hence, there is a great number of customers in this restaurant every day from opening time until late. One delicious dish visitors should try when coming to Tong is Nam Prig Ong, a Chiangmai special chili dip.
- Open hours: 11:00 – midnight
- Address: Nimmanhemin Soi 13
3. David’s Kitchen:
Besides Huen Phen and Tong Restaurant, which serve traditional Thai dishes, David’s Kitchen is a combination of French, European, Thai and fusion food. This is one of the finest restaurants in Chiangmai. Its location is on Bamrungrad Road. It opens from Monday to Saturday after dark. David’s Kitchen serves food and wine with reasonable price considering the quality and excellent service. If you are on a honeymoon, choosing David’s Kitchen for your dinner is a good idea.
- Open hours: Monday – Saturday 17:00 – 22:00
- Address: 113 Bamrungrad Road, Wat Kate, Riverside, Chiangmai
4. The Good View:
It is great to eat delicious food and enjoy the beautiful view at The Good View, well known for its tranquil views. The Good View is a restaurant sitting on the bank of River Ping. The menu is mainly classic Thai dishes, seafood. Visitors can have some snacks like deep fried shrimps, grilled pork neck and chicken legs and the main dishes like spicy salads, tom yam soup and curries. Furthermore, live music is performed every night, which makes the atmosphere is warm and homely.
- Open hours: 10:00 – 1:30
- Address: 13 Charoenrat Road
5. Pink House Garden:
An ideal restaurant in Chiangmai for vegans, vegetarians is Pink House Garden at 19 Wua Lai 2 Alley. Its main menu is Thai fare although you can also find some Western dishes. Visitors can taste tofu salad, pumpkin red curry, veggie massaman curry, mushroom coconut soup and homemade tempeh. The food of Pink House Garden has fresh and flavorful tastes. Furthermore, there is a leafy garden at this restaurant that makes people feel more relax and comfortable.
- Open hours: Monday – Saturday 12:00 – 22:00
- Address: 19 Wua Lai Road, Tambon Hai Ya, Amphoe Mueang Chiangmai
In general, there are many places for tourists to explore Chiangmai cuisine. In this Northern Thai food paradise, finding out about night markets and restaurants before taking a trip to Chiangmai would be a good idea which helps you to avoid confusion when selecting where to eat in Chiangmai and makes you have an unforgettable experience about Chiangmai food.
If you also consider to visit Bangkok city and try to decide some nice food places, read more in our articles: 10 Must-eat places in Bangkok