Looking for the best local Thai restaurants in Chiang Mai? This popular destination is known its Northern Thai Cuisine, where you can find the tastiest Khao Soi in the country. But there are so many more options to choose from. This article will help you easily find the most recommended local Thai restaurants and highly recommend authentic Thai dishes.
Khao Soy Mae Sai
The Northern region of Thailand and Chiang Mai, in particular, is famous for its Northern-Style Curry named Khao Soi. This non-spicy curry is incredibly creamy, full of flavours and herbs, packed with soft and crispy-fried noodle and served usually with either a chicken drumstick or stewed beef. You can find this regional specialty in almost every restaurant in Chiang Mai, but the insanely local Thai restaurant Khao Soy Mae Sai serves one the best Khao Soy (40 THB) in the city.
There are other tasty alternative options on the menu as well, which are four different spicy and non-spicy noodle soups, however, the main attraction is the Khao Soi. The most recommended alternatives are the Goy Teaw Tam Gniao (30 THB) and the Kanom Jean Nam Ngiao (40 THB). You can order the Khao Soi with either a chicken drumstick, beef or pork or you can choose the vegetarian option as well. Opening times of Khao Soy Mae Sai are 08:00 - 16:00 (Mon-Sat), but we highly recommend you to be on time and avoid rush hours to guarantee you can try this heavenly dish.
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One of Chiang Mai's best Khao Soi at Khao Soi Mae Sai (40 THB)
Goy Teaw Tam Gniao (30 THB)
Kanom Jean Nam Ngiao (40 THB)
SP Chicken is a small local Thai restaurant that is well known for its - and you guessed it correctly… chicken. The restaurant is easily recognizable with the rotisserie in front of the restaurant. In there, the chickens get roasted until perfection and these perfect tasting birds are hugely popular among locals. The roasted chicken itself is a bit small, so I would recommend ordering the large portion (170 THB) instead of the small (90 THB). The restaurant serves next to their famous roasted chicken, also roasted beef and pork, which are all served with spicy JAEW sauce. Next to the roasted meats, SP Chicken offers all sorts of Isaan options as well, including Som Tam (40 THB), Stir-Fried Water Morning Glory (60 THB) and Fried Mixed Vegetables (60 THB), which all go perfectly together with the grilled meats. But also an ice cold Chang beer goes perfect together with the roasted chicken. The restaurant is open every day from 10:00 until 17:00.
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Grilled to perfection at SP Chicken in Chiang Mai
The easy to recognize rotiserie in front of SP Chicken - where the magic happens
Chopped and ready to go
Grilled Chicken (90 - 170 THB)
Local Thai restaurant Pakorn’s Kitchen is located on the southeast of Chiang Mai, right behind the city wall. It’s that type of small local restaurant that after your visit, you will keep thinking of it for the rest of your holiday. What makes Pakorn’s Kitchen so special is their insanely delicious curries. Although the menu is quite large and has plenty of other options, the tastiest dishes at Pakorn’s Kitchen are the Chicken Massaman Curry (150 THB), the Creamy Tom Yum Kung with Noodle (120 THB) and the Khao Soi Beef (80 THB). Their signature Massaman Curry has the deepest orange colour you can imagine is packed with flavour and even the fragrant star anise is in your bowl to give the curry as much flavour as possible. Yes, it is a bit pricy compared to other curries in town, but if you are looking for something extraordinary, go try this Massaman Curry out!
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Signature Massaman Curry with Chicken (150 THB)
Like the Massaman Curry, the Tom Yum Goong (120 THB) is incredibly creamy!
Creamy rich Khao Soi with tender stewed beef (80 THB)
Grilled Chicken (90 - 170 THB)
AUM Vegetarian Restaurant
Chiang Mai is packed with great vegetarian restaurants, making it one of the top vegetarian destinations in Thailand. It’s easy to write a complete article about these restaurants, however, in this article, the focus is on local Thai restaurants in Chiang Mai only and many of the vegetarian restaurants in Chiang Mai offer an international orientated menu. With that being said, the most popular local Thai and vegetarian restaurant in Chiang Mai is AUM Vegetarian Restaurant. This cozy restaurant offers both vegetarian as vegan options and serves all the Thai classics you can imagine. The most popular dishes at AUM Vegetarian Restaurant are the Vegetarian Khao Soi (80 THB), Crispy Potato with Blue Sticky Rice (120 THB), Penang Curry with Tofu and Coconut Cream (80 THB) and the beautifully presented Mango Sticky Rice (70 THB). The opening times of AUM Vegetarian Restaurant are 10:30 - 20:30.
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Penang Curry with Tofu and Creamy Coconut (80 THB)
Crispy Potatoes with Blue Sticky Rice (80 THB)
Vegetarian Khao Soi (80 THB)
Mango Sticky Rice (70 THB)
Huen Muhen Jai
Huen Muhen Jai is an insanely popular restaurant, famous for its authentic Northern Thai cuisine. It offers a wide range of local specialties from Sai Aua (Northern Thai Sausage) to Gang Hang Lay (Northern-Style Pork Curry). One of the highlights of their menu and the most recommended dish is the Or Dep Muang (220 THB), a sharing appetizer platter that is filled with crispy baked pork, green chili dip, fried pork, Chiang Mai sausage, Gang Hang Lay and veggies to dip with. Other tasty and authentic options at this local Thai restaurant are Gaeng Aom Moo (80 THB), Khua Khae Gai (95 THB) and Khua Hor (80 THB). If you want to explore the Northern Thai Cuisine, Huen Muan Jai is a perfect place to visit. Keep in mind due to popularity, it’s always extremely busy during the rush hours. We recommend visiting this restaurant between 14:30 - 17:30. The restaurant is open from 11:00 - 21:00 daily.
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Most recommended dish at Huen Muhen Jai: Or Dep Muang (220 THB)
Khua Hor (80 THB)
Khua Khae Gai (95 THB)
Gaeng Aom Moo (80 THB)
The House By Ginger
The House By Ginger is not your typical local Thai restaurant where you sit at aluminum tables and on plastic chairs. The House By Ginger is, in fact, a beautifully decorated and spacious restaurant with a price range of 135 - 550 per dish, making it a bit pricy for Chiang Mai standards. But The House By Ginger is such a popular restaurant and well-known in Chiang Mai, that has to be listed in this article. One of the must-order dishes is the Ginger & Kafe Mixed Appetizer Platter (310 THB). This easy-to-share-with-two platter has five different appetizers which include Crispy Prawn Spring Rolls, Meang Kham, Marinated Chicken, Pak Bung Grob and Hot & Sour Chicken. For the mains, check out their phenomenal Tom Yum Gung (295 THB), the Seared Scallops in Coconut-Chili Dressing (450 THB) and the Slow-Braised Beef in Lime-Coconut Dressing (280 THB). As you can imagine: If you are looking for a nice and local dinner with amazing service, The House By Ginger is your place to go! The opening times of The House By Ginger are 10:00 - 23:00 daily.
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Popular appetizer platter, easy shareable for two (310 THB)
Tom Yum Goong (295 THB)
Slow-Braised Beef in Lime-Coconut Dressing (280 THB)
Stunning and unique dishes at this popular local restaurant.
Kuay Jub Nan Kon
Simply put it this way, Kuay Jub Nan Kon serves Chiang Mai’s most delicious crispy pork. The restaurant is located in the middle of Chiang Mai, close to the Three King’s Monument. Both the restaurant and the menu of the restaurant are small. Between 07:30 and 15:00, the restaurant is packed with locals enjoying one of the three options Kuay Jub Nan Kon serves: Crispy Pork (70 - 100 THB), Crispy Pork with Rice (60 - 80 THB) or Crispy Pork Noodle Soup (70 - 80 THB). All of these three options are available in both small or large versions. My personal favourite is the Crispy Pork with Rice as the pork stays incredibly crispy compared to the soup version and both the rice as the crispy pork are covered in a delicious thickened soy sauce.
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Crispy Fried Pork with Rice (60 - 80 THB), covered in a sweet delicious soy sauce
Crispy Pork Noodle Soup (70-80 THB)
Crispy Pork with Sweet Soy Sauce (70 - 100 THB)
That godly thickened sweet soy sauce - I simply love it!
This is your typical local Thai restaurant in Chiang Mai with those plastic chairs and wooden or aluminum tables as mentioned before in this article. It’s hugely popular among locals as the restaurant has great food, fast service and is most definitely affordable. One of the highlights of this restaurant and the most ordered dish is the Grilled Red Tilapia with Salt (140 THB), which is served with both a sweet as a spicy dipping sauce. But Lert Ros has many other tasty options to choose from, including the Pork Curry in Banana Leaves (40 THB), Grilled Beef with Spicy Dipping Sauce (70 THB) and the always-fresh Papaya Salad (30 THB). For a fair-priced and delicious local Thai meal, Lert Ros is highly recommended! The opening times of Lert Ros are 12:00 - 21:00 daily.
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The most popular dish at Lert Ros: Grilled Red Tilapia with Salt (140 THB)
Grilled Beef with Spicy Dipping Sauce (70 THB)
Papaya Salad that goes perfect together with the grilled beef (30 THB)
Pork Curry in Banana Leaves (40 THB)
Paak Dang Riverside
Looking for some delicious seafood, with a nice riverside view with excellent service? Paak Dang Riverside is the place to be. Although a bit pricy compared to most restaurants in Chiang Mai, this restaurant is well worth the visit as it serves one of the tastiest seafood in town. The restaurant does serve curries, poultry and meat options, but it’s highly recommended to stick to the delicious seafood options. Recommended dishes are the Soft Shell Crab Curry (450 THB), Tom Yum Seafood (350 THB), Thai Pineapple Fried Rice with Assorted Seafood (250 THB), Crispy Prawn Cakes with Pomelo Salad (180 THB) and the Freshly Grilled Squid (250 THB). The opening times of Paak Dan Riverside are 17:00 - 23:00 daily.
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Tom Yum Seafood (350 THB)
Soft Shell Crab Curry (450 THB)
Freshly Grilled Squid (250 THB)
Pineapple Fried Rice with Assorted Seafood (250 THB)
Khao Soi Nimman
Khao Soi Nimman is a well-known Thai restaurant in Chiang Mai for its Khao Soi, but also other Northern Thai specialties. People can argue forever where to find the best Khao Soi in Chiang Mai, and this applies to all the Khao Soi restaurants that are listed in this article but one thing is undeniable: the Khao Soi at Khao Soi Nimman is delicious and it's popular among locals. There are different versions of Khao Soi and the basic version starts from 79 THB. If you are looking for something more special, check out the Khao Soi Super Bowl (169 THB) which has grilled pork, chicken drumstick, Northern-Thai sausage and a mix of seafood in it. Other tasty options at this restaurant are the Hors d’Oeuvre Muang (259 THB) and the Nam Ngeaw (79 THB). The opening times of Khao Soi Nimman are 11:00 - 22:00 daily.
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Signature Khao Soy Chicken (79 THB)
Hors d’Oeuvre Muang (259 THB)
Nam Ngeaw (79 THB)
Khao Soy Super Bowl (169 THB)
Although Thajene Chomchan does not have that riverside view likePaak Dang, the food and service are as good as its competitor. The four absolute highlights of this restaurant are the Deep-Fried Seabass with Fish Sauce (390 THB), the Grilled Scallops (250 THB), the Giant Grilled River Prawns (based on weight, but 800+ THB) and the Stir-Fried Sea Crab in Curry Powder (also based on weight, but 500+ THB). The prices of this seafood restaurant, which is similar to Paak Dang Riverside, are a bit high, but we are talking about fresh seafood in large portions packed with flavours. If you are looking for a special dinner, do yourself a favor and visit one of these amazing seafood restaurants!
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Giant Grilled River Prawns (based on weight, but 800+ THB)
Grilled Scallops (250 THB)
Deep-Fried Seabass with Fish Sauce (390 THB)
Stir-Fried Sea Crab in Curry Powder (also based on weight, but 500+ THB)
Cherng Doi Roast Chicken
People can argue forever who serves the best grilled chicken in Chiang Mai: Cherng Doi Roast Chicken or SP Chicken. Fact is that Cherng Doi Roast Chicken is a hugely popular restaurant serving delicious Isaan food as well with the famous Grilled Chicken (Kai Yang 85 THB) as their signature dish. Next to the grilled chicken, the grilled pork is hugely popular as well. The food is a bit cheaper than SP Chicken but comes in smaller portions. Two other highly recommended dishes are the Som Tam Thai (40 THB) and the Kaduk-On Tom Makan (75 THB). Did you visit both restaurants? We are very curious about which of the two restaurant serves the best grilled chicken (Cherng Doi Roast Chicken or SP Chicken).
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Signature Slow Grilled Chicken (75 THB)
Som Tam Thai (40 THB)
Kaduk-On Tom Makan (75 THB)
So, that’s the round-up of our favourite places, what do you think is the best local Thai restaurant in Chiang Mai? All these restaurants with all their recommended dishes can be found in the TopTravelFoods app:
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