Chiang Mai is the greatest small city in the world. Whether you choose to laze your days away reading a book on the Ping River, exploring 700 year old or sample some of the fine mountain coffee at a cute Wi-fi cafe, Chiang Mai is adventurous, artsy and independent. We love its entrepreneurial spirit and commitment to local artisans and locally made products. CM is home to some of the greatest food the North of Thailand has to offer. This will be the first installment of some of the best kept (open) secrets in the city. Dishing on the best dishes from an insiders perspective.
Baan Din translate to mud house in Thai. A mix of Indian fusion decor, salsa and reggae music lures travelers with its great global music collection (unlike many other Thai cafes that tend to play the same soft acoustic CD over and over) and dishes make it a worthwhile and eclectic place to hang out and work on a lazy afternoon, or just kick back and blog with a friend.
Khun Bent and her family launched this restaurant with a unique vision. “The mud exterior built from scratch, is meant to be a place of sustainable beauty where Chiang Mai-ers can escape cement and concrete in a peaceful, natural environment.
Baan Din offers a large range of Thai dishes and snacks ranging from 30 to 50 baht. Cocktails are reasonably priced at 100-120 baht. We are huge fans of Baan’ Dins Pho Gai, which includes rice noodles imported from Ubon Rachatanee and cannot be found anywhere else in Chiang Mai.
Baan Din is located at 16/2 Nimmanhaemin Soi 13, Chiang Mai, Thailand 50200 behind Banoffee Coffee
Din Dee, the other mudhouse, is a Chiang Mai favorite. Much older then Baan Din, it sits right next the Chiang Mai Arts and culture center. Dindee offers Japanese and Indian style curries, as well as Thai favorites. We love the Avacado and bannana frappe (DinDee is right on Nimmenhamien Road, off of Suthep, next to the Chiang Mai Arts and Culture Center.)
Milk Garden 1 & 2
Milk Garden is a playful version of Toy Story, tattered well-loved stuffed animals are used to keep track of tables. This cafe is primarly known for its milk toast( bread with condensed milk) among the University students. It is kitschy colorful and a perfect place to spend the afternoon. Part antique shop, part art gallery, as if your grandmothers attic exploded in Chiang Mai. Recently Milk Garden was featured in the Thai movie “Suck-Seed” but is rarely over run. They also offer Thai sized pork and beef burgers for 60 baht, but beware of any burgers that say “Olean” sauce. You will know why after you try.
Milk Garden 2 is located off of Nimmenhamien Soi 6, past the Bake and Bite, and The Giant Erawan. Milk Garden 1 is located off of Huay Kaew Road right across from Chiang Mai University.
Sumo Sushi is hands down the best sushi in Chiang Mai. Touting traditional vegetable rolls, sashimi, and a number of fusion Japanese fare. The chef worked at a Chicago sushi bar for eight years, and uses the freshest ingredients imported from Japan. He is not only an amazing sushi chef, but an incredible photographer. All of the pictures inside the restaurant are taken during his time in the US, and celebrate the seasons of the American landscape. The greatest delight about Sumo Sushi is the Cheesy maki and the spicy Cheesy maki. It sounds so wrong, but is so right. The mix of blow torched cheese on a California roll is simply not to be missed.
Located between Nimmenhamein Soi 11 and Soi 13.
Khun Pang Noodle
A small garden noodle shop of the Canal road that is utterly addictive. For 25 baht, the best Thai noodle soup and giant chicken leg is delivered. It’s a family run business. Whatever they put in the soup is a mystery but we are hooked.
Located on Canal Road Across from the Phucome Hotel.
Pan Yan Yai
This coffee shop is part backyard garden, part keystone neighboorhood cafe. The warm and relaxed atmosphere make it popular with Thais and foreigners alike, and the drinks are traditional Thai, Coffees, and juices. The staff will always remember your name and your drink of choice, treating customers with warmth and friendliness. One can stay here for hours and relax with a Cha-Yen, and is a great environment for work or play. They also offer home baked cheese cake. Hello Kitty Pillow Optional.
Located on Between Nimmenhamien Soi 13 and 15.