Breakfast, Thai, street food, wraps, pancakes, desserts…? I know where to take you!
This comes from the fact that I may have spent a total of approximately 3 months in this town in my life. I have visited 3 years in a row now, including this year 2017. No need to say how much I love this city, I think you got the idea.
When I travel, i generally try to avoid the most touristy areas (unless they’re absolutely fantastic) and try to go for more authentic and local experiences. If you happen to stop by Chiang Mai, there are a couple of food spot you really must try though, you will not regret it.
- Aroy Dee – for Thai food
The number of times I have eaten here is countless as I went literally every single day during 2 out of my 3 trips to Chiang Mai. If you are looking for some authentic Thai meals, this is the place.
– Just for the anecdote –
3 years ago, at this same place used to be 2 separate restaurants: Aroy Dee + an Italian where you could eat the usual Italian favourites. My boyfriend and I were dieing for some pizza. As we approached to look at the menu, a man seated to our right and eating at “Aroy Dee” (which we did not know at the time) said: “You really must come and eat here, it’s delicious!”. He said it so insistently (and in front of the owner) that, being the good people we are, we had to have a look at their menu to be polite. We felt helpless and stuck. We just couldn’t say no and go next door. So there we were being seated and being given a Thai menu when all we wanted was some pizza. We ordered, got served, ate our meals and at the end, we both thought the same thing: “That was one damn good Thai meal we just ate, actually, the best!”
After that day, we came back so often that the owner started to recognise and greet us every time we came (which was very very often). Ever since, we have eaten there on a daily basis during all our trips to CM and the owner has become a friend.
Last year, to our pleasant surprise, we arrived and found that Aroy Dee had bought over the Italian restaurant next door and expanded its business. Busy but never full house.
This year, we had the even nicer surprise to find it completely buzzing and full of customers, every single evening! In 3 years, Aroy Dee has become an increasingly popular food spot for authentic Thai dishes.
Inside, you will find fans to keep customers cool, nicely set out wooden tables and artisanal paintings on the walls. Menus are very easy to understand, in English, always offering the choice between chicken, tofu, pork or prawns (or nothing).
Meals are well displayed, quickly served and portions are generous considering their price! I have never had any stomach or digestion problems eating there, which is also important.
All of their food (meat, veg, fruit, rice…) is pre-prepared and separated into plastic containers kept in the fridge. That way no insects, rats or heat can get to them.
Some of my favourites include fried noodles with pork, green curry (w or w/o rice), fried veg or veg and prawns in curry sauce. #AROY DEE
- Chiang Mai Breakfast World – for breakfast or brunch
Same story for this one, we have eaten here several times on each visit. Chiang Mai Breakfast World offers a large choice for breakfast, brunch, German food and even Thai.
If you’re in the mood for a nice brunch or even something light like fruit and yoghurt, i definitely recommend it. Their food is of great quality and always fresh, however, prices will be a little higher.
Their Thai food is equally as nice, although I do think you can find the same thing elsewhere at much more reasonable prices with just as a good a taste and quality.
Their garden style terrace is very quiet and relaxing, offering an enjoyable and peaceful start to the day. #Chiang Mai Breakfast World
- Street food in Chiang Mai – my favourites
Street food in Thailand is very well known and popular. You can find it more or less everywhere you go and the choice is varied! Here are my favourites, even if they’re not Thai! Of course, there is plenty more to try, especially at the Sat/Sunday night markets.
– Chicken Kebab (halal) –
Not quite the kebabs we know in Europe, their kebab is more like our wrap but it’s delicious! I’m quite a big fan of these as they’re just the right size and offer just the right flavours. However, I noticed that finding them can sometimes be problematic. One seller I know of has a food stand so she’s always at the same place, but others have their food trucks and can move around in the square to occupy different spots.
This one can be found by one of the street food areas on the bottom side of the square, by the gate. I’m afraid I don’t have the name.
– Coconut ice cream –
This ice cream is just to die for. It’s the cheapest you’ll find and one of the tastiest in my opinion. Icecream can actually be quite expensive in Thailand and you may end up paying European prices. Same problem though: finding them! During our last 2 trips to Chiang Mai, we woud sort of ride around the inside of the square hoping we’d bump into one, but it wasn’t always the case. This year I did my research!
You’ll have more chance finding one during daytime rather than at night, as by then they’ve sold everything they had. And in daytime, go to the park! That’s their hiding place! I found like 3 of them there once. Paradise!
Toppings may include peanuts, chocolate or strawberry sauce and creamy milk. You can also have them in a cone or bread! Portions are generous!
Believe it or not, when it comes to desserts, I recommend you having a look at the Maya Shopping mall supermarket, Rimping Supermarket. Desserts and cakes are hard to find in Thailand, it’s not really part of their culture.
The best i’ve found were at the Maya. Bottom floor, lots of food stalls can be found offering all types of cuisine but if you go into the Rimping supermarket, you’ll be able to find a bit of everything, including cereal, biscuits, cake, fresh fruit, meat, cheese, sandwiches, salads, patisseries etc.
My favourite was the apple crumble with caramel sauce, banoffee and carrot cake. The fresh fruit there was also very refreshing and cheap! #Maya Lifestyle Shopping Center
- Fresh&Wrap’s Restobar – wraps, sandwiches and pancakes
This place is great for healthy, fresh juices, wraps, sandwiches and pancake desserts. It’s really good to know of these places for when you want a break from Thai food. Prices will be little higher than for your local pad thai but it’s really worth it. #Fresh&Wraps
Don’t hesitate to share your favourite spots in Chiang Mai!