Written by Delia Rivers
If you’ve decided to visit Thailand on your next holiday, you should try to include Chiang Mai in your travel plans.
The biggest city in the north of the country, Chiang Mai is a great place to explore, and its laid back atmosphere is very popular with locals and tourists alike.
Close to the highest mountains of Thailand, the city is famous for its scenery as well as for its rich history – from temples and waterfalls to mountains and old architecture, Chiang Mai has a variety of great views to offer.
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19 Unique Cafes and Restaurants in Chiang Mai you never knew existed
There are plenty of restaurants with an array of dishes waiting to be sampled in some incredible locations, from the riverside to landscaped gardens, or houses that will take you back in time.
Whether you’re looking for an amazing restaurant for a romantic dinner or a place to spend a relaxed evening with friends, these are 18 great places we’ve put together for you to explore.
1. Wander through Peter Pan’s Mermaid Lagoon – Chom Cafe & Restaurant
What was your favourite Disney movie as a kid? The Little Mermaid? Lion King? Or perhaps…. Peter Pan?
This cafe in Chiang Mai lets us revisit childhood memories with its close resemblance to the mermaid lagoon in Peter Pan!
Straight out of a fairytale with its utterly dreamy ambiance, take a stroll around the garden grounds and you’ll feel transported into paradise. Gorgeous sights of the waterfall, the pond and the swimming koi, mossy rocks, fern glades and floating mist.
Serving up a variety of Thai, Western and Seafood delights, you’ll find dishes like garden green salad, grilled seafood, freshly fried crisp fish, pasta, chicken wings and more.
Remember to leave room for dessert! From shakes to smoothies, strawberry tarts and a variety of cakes – the desserts and drinks will leave your sweet tooth fully satisfied.
At the end of the day, with the stunning scenery, varied menu (and with the right company)… Chom Cafe will be a fantastic place for everything from brunch (breakfast and lunch) to dinner.
PS: If you’re looking for a good drink, beers are available here too!
2. Excellent food in an incredible location with a view of Mae Rim Valley – Sala Mae Rim, Four Seasons Resort Chiang Mai
Let yourself be pampered at this resort with an incredible view of the Mae Rim Valley.
Nestled among the lush vegetation, the restaurant is perfect for a romantic dinner or a relaxing high tea overlooking the mountains and rice fields.
Here you can indulge in exquisite dishes from Thai and international cuisine, fine wines and cocktails.
The staff is attentive and helpful and will make sure you have an unforgettable experience.
Sala Mae Rim, Four Seasons Resort Chiang Mai
Price: From USD $10 / approx. 350 Baht; USD $49 / approx. 1,650 Baht (Afternoon Tea for 2) Website
Address: 502 Mae Rim-Samoeng Old Road | Mae Rim, Chiang Mai 50180, Thailand
Contact: +66 53 298 181/
Opening hours: Daily from 7am to 10pm
3. It feels like a picnic in a field of flowers – Galae (Hillside) Restaurant Chiang Mai
At Galae Restaurant you can have lunch in a garden surrounded by a bounty of colorful flowers.
With picnic tables, colourful umbrellas and scores of blooms surrounding you, it’s a feast for the senses.
Indulge in delicious Thai dishes like spicy fishcakes, soups and curries while you admire the view from the side of the lake nearby Doi Suthep Mountain.
If you’re wondering what’s a must-try dish here – feel free to order Gai Galae, Galae’s signature Baked Whole Chicken served in foil. The chicken is tender and well marinated with the gravy, a secret tomato and cashew nut sauce that balances sweet and savoury very well indeed.
This is a great place to enjoy a relaxed lunch followed by a stroll through the beautiful garden.
Galae (Hillside) Restaurant Chiang Mai
Price: From USD $4.40-30 / approx. 150-1012 Baht
Address: 65 Suthep Rd, Muang, Chiang Mai, 50200
Contact: +66 53 328 455/
Opening hours: Daily from 10am to 10pm
4. Dine in a waterfall cafe that truly takes its inspiration from nature – Khaomao-Khaofang Restaurant
A waterfall, a lake, a small jungle, this is a luxuriant environment where you can combine your love for nature with the love for food.
With the option to dine by the lake, or beneath the falls in a stunning rainforest – it’s no wonder this restaurant is one of the top rated in the city based on ambiance alone.
This is a great place to enjoy tasty Thai and Asian-inspired dishes like pineapple fried rice, fish cakes, and fried snapper – served in a soothing environment designed to make you feel comfortable and relaxed.
Even the bathrooms have been decked out in rainforest foliage and waterfalls!
Price: Mains from USD $3 / approx. 100 Baht Website
Address: 181 Moo 7, Ratchaphruek Road | Hangdong, Chiang Mai 50230, Thailand
Contact: +66 53 838 444
Opening hours: Daily from 11am to 3pm (lunch), 5pm to 10pm (dinner)
5. Enjoy Japanese Shabu Shabu/Sukiyaki by the river (and go kayaking too!) – Nimmo House Shabu & Grill
Nimmo House is a super chill and casual Japanese restaurant by the river, that serves up some great Shabu Shabu and Sukiyaki set menus.
They have an extensive menu that provides addon dishes like Garlic Rice, Australian Beef Brisket and New Zealand Lamb Rack, and more to choose from – to satisfy whatever you’re craving, as well as a Yakiniku menu. (Don’t forget to order dessert too!)
The beautiful riverside settings coupled with low picnic tables, chairs and beanbag chairs combine to provide a relaxing environment to indulge in.
If you’re looking for something fun to do here, you can even go kayaking!
PS: This place is really gorgeous at night. 😀
Nimmo House Shabu & Grill
Price: From USD $8.70 / 289 Baht (for Shabu Shabu & Sukiyaki Set Menu) Website
Address: 119 Santi Su soi 5 Mae Faek Mai San Sai Mae Faek, Amphoe San Sai, Chang Wat Chiang Mai 50290, Thailand
Contact: +66 92 380 3000
Opening hours: Mon-Fri, 5pm to 11pm; Sat-Sun, 4pm to 11pm
6. Eat, drink and mingle IN the river – Sepsil Glin Cafe Bannok
This is simplicity at its finest – this back to basics café operates on the bare minimum, but still manages to pull off a super cool image.
The center of the café is an actual river that cuts a path through the lavish jungle in a rugged outdoor setting.
The café’s concept is literally to eat, drink and mingle IN the river.
The plastic tables and chairs are set up in several centimeters of water from a happily bubbling stream.
Soak your toes in the cool water while enjoying a hot drink or a cold beer, along with simple Thai food with your pals!
Sepsil Glin Cafe Bannok
Address: Tambon Nong Kwai, Amphoe Hang Dong, Chang Wat Chiang Mai 50230, Thailand. Coordinate here
Contact: +66 88 251 7387
Opening hours: Daily from 10am to 11pm
Price: From USD $1.70 / approx. 60 Baht
7. For coffee lovers only! – Asama Cafe
Situated beside a lovely pond and with views of Doi Suthep Mountain, Asama Cafe serves up views and ambiance as good as its coffee.
One for coffee enthusiasts, Asama Cafe is owned by Mook, one of the judges for Thailand’s national barista championships.
She uses her cafe to practice the art of coffee through serving quality coffee from a curated blend of imported beans. What this means is that you can truly expect to find some good coffee here.
Some interesting examples of what’s on the coffee menu:
Market Lane’s Seasonal Espresso
Ona’s Rwanda Remera Peaberry (filter)
Square Mile’s Ethiopia Shakisso (decaf)
Apart from coffee and other refreshing drinks, you’ll also be able to find treats like freshly baked bacon scones and strawberry cakes too.
Mmmmm, sounds like a delicious day waiting to be had!
Price: From USD $ / 60 Baht (for a Cappuccino) Website
Address: 泰國, Mu Ban Chiang Mai Lake Land Alley, Mueang Chiang Mai District, Chiang Mai 50200, Thailand
Contact: +66 81 530 5388
Opening hours: Daily from 8am to 4pm
8. Enjoy incredible panoramic views of the canyon – Tuang Thong Canyon View Restaurant
At Tuang Thong Canyon View Restaurant,food is not the only thing to look forward to.
You can go for a swim in the lake or hike around the area, and then satisfy your appetite with the delicious Thai-style dishes – like steamed fish, tamarind prawns or shrimp soup prepared at this restaurant in the middle of nature!
Only 30 minutes away from the city, the district of Hangdong in the south-west of Chiang Mai city is popular for outdoor activities, and it’s best to visit during daytime to enjoy the amazing views.
Tuang Thong Canyon View Restaurant
Price: From USD $1.80 / approx. 60 Baht (Do note that you’ll have to pay the entrance fee to Chiang Mai Grand Canyon at USD $1.50 / approx. 50 Baht) Website
Address: 216 Moo 3 | Nam Phrae, 50230, Thailand
Contact: +66 81 960 4087, 053 106 086, 081-0202167
Opening hours: Daily from 11am to 10pm
9. Deep in the valley… have your coffee with feet in the river – The Valley Coffee by Lanna Resort
You’ll find suspended birds’ nest swings and picnic tables atop rolling green hills at The Vallu Coffee.
It’s the very definition of easygoing, situated next to a babbling brook and tucked within a dense forest. Settle into a sweet, wooden gazebo or grab a table by the water.
You’ll find this is one fabulous place to come for an unbeatable atmosphere and delicate cup of coffee or tea. On the menu are snacks, cakes, coffees and other drinks to complement your valley daydreams.
The grounds are quite expansive and provides a relaxing environment for a stroll around after your coffee break.
The Valley Coffee by Lanna Resort
Address: Ban Pong, Hang Dong District, Chiang Mai 50230, Thailand Website
Contact: +66 93 161 8886
Opening hours: Daily from 10am to 6pm
Price: Drinks from USD $1.40 / approx. 50 Baht
10. Dine in style with a stunning river view – The Deck 1
A classy restaurant with a great view of the River Ping, The Deck 1 is a great place to go to for a special occasion.
This restaurant has different settings you can choose from depending on your mood – admire the sunset as you sip a cocktail on the oversized cushions on the deck, or lounge on a Thai style mattress and look at the stars.
For dinner you can choose from a selection of gourmet dishes like grilled salmon or roast lamb which you can pair with a wine or cocktail.
For jazz lovers, this is the place to be – on Friday and Saturday from 8m to 10pm, listen to Chiang Mai’s popular jazz band for a truly unique experience!
The Deck 1
Price: Breakfast buffet from 7am to 10am starts from USD $10 / approx. 350 Baht per person; Lunch menu starts from USD $3 / approx. 100 Baht Website
Address: 1, 14 Chareonraj Rd., T. Wat Kate, A. Muang, Chiang Mai, Thailand
Contact: +66 (0)53 302788
11. Dine in a tree, in “birds’ nests” suspended over the jungle – The Giant Treehouse Chiang Mai
A long, winding drive through the hills of Chiang Mai yields a great reward.
In the region of Mae On, you will stumble upon The Giant; a café/restaurant that is a tree house at its absolute finest.
Huddled within a dense jungle, a massive, sprawling tree is literally the root and support of the “tree house.” Two suspended bridges cross the wilderness, and connect to a large, lofted platform constructed around the ancient looking tree.
The surrounding rainforest casts a cool shade over the entire café and the views of the rolling hills, jungle and greenery are incredible. The bar, tables and chairs are all made from some form of wood; woven twigs, branches, planks, or tree trunks.
Sit on the roomy deck or settle into one of the many “bird’s nest” tables suspended over the jungle.
Tuck into a decadent dessert, designer coffee, or tea, served in fashionable glasses. The food menu is limited, but does the trick if you’re looking for a quick fix.
This café is all about the atmosphere, so come ready to experience nature at its best.
The Giant Treehouse Chiang Mai
Address: Baan Pok village, Huaykaew, Mae On, Chiang Mai province, 50130 Ban Pok Nai Website
Contact: 053-317677 / 086-7762946
Opening hours: Daily from 9am to 5pm (We recommend calling ahead to book first!)
Price: Drinks from USD $1.80 / approx. 65 Baht
12. Witness a beautiful sunset at this mountaintop cafe – Baan Mon Muan
High above the city is Baan Mon Muan, a mountaintop resort with a rustic restaurant set in the rolling hills of Chiang Mai.
Bushy shrubs, ferns and flowers fill the garden, and tall trees cast shade on those dining below.
The outdoor deck with wraparound couches has been built over the jungle and offers beautiful, uninterrupted views of the hillside and farmland.
Seafood, fried fish, traditional Thai side dishes, and cute little Thai dessert cakes and coffee is what you can expect to find on the menu.
If you visit in the late afternoon, you’ll witness a beautiful sunset over the mountains. An excellent place to come, to enjoy the sounds and refreshing scent of nature in a private setting.
Baan Mon Muan
Address: 175 Moo 2, T. Pongyaeng, A. Mae Rim, Chiang Mai Website
Contact: 083 318 6444, 083 318 6555
Opening hours: Daily from 7.30am to 7.30pm
Price: Mains from USD $4.20 / approx. 150 Baht
13. Enjoy sparkling river views and live music with your dinner – The Riverside Bar & Restaurant
Located right by Mae Pim River, with a romantic ambiance thanks to lamps and the river view, this restaurant by the river is a great place to enjoy a good mix of Thai and Western cuisine.
From Thai classics to seafood and grilled meats, you can also enjoy an array of dishes from sandwiches and pizza to traditional Thai food.
They have craft beers and exotic cocktails, as well as live music performed by local bands you can listen to from 7.45pm until after midnight.
If you prefer a more intimate setting, the tables by the river are an excellent choice for a romantic dinner…
Or you may even choose to go for the unique river cruise dinner that leaves at 8pm daily and must be booked in advance!
The Riverside Bar & Restaurant
Price: Mains from USD $4-15 / approx. 110-511 Baht Website
Address: 9-11 Charoenrat Road, Chiangmai 50000, Thailand
Contact: +66 5324 3239, +66 5324 6323/ Fax: +66 5324 2511
Opening hours: Daily from 10am to 1am
14. A delightful afternoon by Ping River – Vieng Joom On Teahouse
If you want to spend a relaxing afternoon having tea near the river, Vieng Joom On Teahouse might be the perfect place.
Located on the banks of the Ping River, this teahouse will delight your taste buds with amazing cakes, savoury rolled crepes or dishes like this amazing-looking taro salad.
A perfect choice for vegetarians, the eggplant steak is delightful, as is the impressive tea list where you can choose from blends like Morrocco Mint, Oriental Route and Madame Butterfly!
Vieng Joom On Teahouse
Price: From USD $3-10 / approx. 102-341 Baht Website
Address: 53 Charoenraj Road | Tambon Watgate, Amphur Muang, Chiang Mai 50000, Thailand
Contact: +66 53 303 113, Fax: 053-247592, 081-9510213, 091-0794563
Opening hours: Daily from 10am to 7pm
15. Time travel back to the 1920s, or dine by the river – The Service 1921 Restaurant and Bar, The Restaurant (Anantara Chiang Mai)
Anantara Chiang Mai houses not one, but two beautiful restaurants with lovely views.
15-a. This is where you time travel back to the 1920s! – The Service 1921 Restaurant and Bar
This colonial house on the grounds of the Anantara Chiang Mai resort has been converted into a restaurant where the view is impressive both inside (a reimagined colonial experience) and out (looking out to a beautifully lit lake at night).
Dining here is a truly unique experience, perfect for a special occasion.
You can choose to have dinner in one of the stylishly appointed rooms with equally impressive dressed waiters and amazing decors, or the outside dining area where you can relax in the cool breeze with a drink worthy of a spy from the 1920’s.
There’s a range of carefully prepared dishes at your disposal like the not-to-be-missed Khao Soi Gay (famous Northern-style Thai soup), and an extensive cocktail list.
Don’t forget to finish your evening with a tour of the house. It’s really worth it!
The Service 1921 Restaurant and Bar
Price: Mains from USD $5-19 / approx. 160-628 Baht; Drinks from USD $4-17 / approx. 140 – 573 Baht Website
Address: 123-123/1 Charoen Prathet Road, Changklan, Muang, Chiang Mai, 50100, Thailand
Contact: +66 53 253 333 (for reservations call +66 2 365 9110)
Opening hours: 12pm to 2.30 pm (lunch); 5.30pm to 10pm (dinner); 12pm to 12.30am (Asian Light Bites)
15-b. Make it a whole day’s worth of dining experiences by the river! – The Restaurant
A meal at this restaurant is a special treat.
You can start your day with a breakfast buffet and for lunch or dinner enjoy a variety of Indian and Peruvian dishes and a cocktail or a glass of wine.
From gourmet salads to meat dishes, pasta and seafood, you’ll have a great selection to choose from to satisfy your appetite.
If you have a sweet tooth, the high tea is a truly decadent experience.
Afterwards you can explore the walking trails around the resort and finish the day with a scrumptious dinner.
A great place for a celebration or a quiet evening with your loved one, come and be spoiled at this luxurious restaurant by the River Ping.
Price: From USD $4-44 / approx. 140-1,500 Baht Website
Address: 123-123/1 Charoen Prathet Road, Changklan, Muang, Chiang Mai, 50100, Thailand
Contact: +66 53 253 333
Opening hours: 6.30am to 10.30am (breakfast); 12noon to 3pm (lunch); 6.30pm to 10.30pm (dinner)
16. Enjoy an amazing array of Italian delights by Ping River! – Italia Restaurant
Craving Italian food? We’ve got you covered.
This restaurant by the Ping River is just perfect for enjoying a quiet evening with your loved one.
Seafood dishes, homemade pesto, spareribs and pizza are just some of the culinary delights on the menu.
As for dessert, the lava cake and tiramisu are not to be missed.
Price: From USD $6-30 / approx. 200-1012 Baht Website
Address: 37, 49 Charoenrat Road | Sala Lanna Chiang Mai Hotel, Wat Gate, Chiang Mai 50000, Thailand
Contact: +66 53 242 588
Opening hours: Daily from 7am to 10pm
17. It’s a seafood bounty by Ping River (plus celebrate Loy Kratong here!) – Paak Dang
Created by a Singaporean brother and sister team, Paak Dang is located in a classical Lanna Style teakwood house by Ping River.
This restaurant aims to provide a culinary experience of the best qualities, mixing culture, food and great views into one superb package.
Thai dishes available include Massaman Curry, Paak Dang Duck Curry, Crispy Catfish with Green Mango Salad – as well as an assortment of seafood plates and vegetarian options.
This is also a great place to celebrate Loy Kratong by watching people release sky-lanterns at night.
PS: Paak Dang has a mission to give back to society by providing employment to the less privileged from the neighbouring villages and hill tribes. Read more about it here!
Price: Mains from USD $6-12 / approx. 200 to 400 Baht Website
Address: 46/1 Wang Sing Kham Road, Chiang Mai, Thailand, 50300
Contact: +66 (0)94-629-1319; +66 (0)53-232-356
Opening hours: Open daily for dinner from 5pm to 10.30pm (last order at 10pm); Closed every last Sunday of the month
18. Delight your taste buds with French-style treats in a French-style garden by the river – Nakara Jardin
Overlooking the Ping River, this delightful tropical garden resembles a small paradise complete with a stunning view and great menu.
Most famous for desserts like tiramisu, macaroons and mousse, the kitchen also serves dishes inspired by the French cuisine of Provence and Burgundy.
Perfect for an afternoon tea surrounded by nature.
Price: Dessert starts from USD $5.20 / approx. 175 Baht; Salads & Mains from USD $6-26 / approx. 200-890 Baht; Afternoon tea set for 2 from USD $32 / approx. 1,070 Baht Website
Address: 11 Soi 9 Charoenprathet Road., T. Changklan, A. Muang, Chiang Mai 50100, Thailand
Contact: +66 5381 8977, Mobile: +66 61 370 6466
Opening hours: Daily (except Wednesdays) from 11am to 7pm
With so many wonderful choices, Chiang Mai is undoubtedly a great city to satisfy the hungry travellers who like to enjoy their meal in unique locations.
Come and experience what this amazing city has to offer and let us know which place you loved the most!
PLEASE NOTE: All the above information is correct at the date of publication. If you come across any changes or updates, please let us know and we will update the information accordingly. Thank you!
|PLEASE NOTE: All the above information is correct at the date of publication. If you come across any changes or updates, please let us know and we will update the information accordingly. Thank you! |