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Top 12 Thai Dishes You Must Try in Chiang Mai

Top 12 Thai Dishes You Must Try in Chiang Mai

Thailand is renowned for its beautiful beaches and impressive temples—you’re probably visiting the country because of these tourist spots. However, the country also has something else to offer: popular and tasty local dishes straight from Chiang Mai!

Chiang Mai is a city chock full of temples and beautiful mountain sceneries but its cuisine is something you shouldn’t miss. Let’s go ahead and look at some of the top Thai dishes from Chiang Mai and see if any of them turn out to be your favourite!

Khao Soi

If you’re craving some unique noodle dish, then try Chiang Mai’s curry noodle cuisine called khao soi. Its soup is made from coconut milk mixed with some yellow curry all combined with some crispy fried noodles that will surely make your tastebuds sing.

It’s the ideal dish to feast on during rainy or cold weather as it will give you that warm and comforting feeling of thick broth with that bit of curry spice.

Try It Here: Khao Soi Arak

Address:  Khao Soi Arak, QXPJ+H8R, Arak 7 Alley, Tambon Si Phum, Mueang Chiang Mai District, Chiang Mai 50200, Thailand

Contact details:  N/A 

Operating hours:  

  • Monday to Thursday, 10:30 AM to 4:00 PM
  • Friday and Saturday, 11:30 AM to 4:00 PM
  • Closed on Sunday

Talk about being a master of one! Khao Soi Arak only serves khao soi as its main dish but it’s all the restaurant needs to serve to make customers come back for more.

You can order your khao soi just the way you like and have meat toppings such as pork, beef, or chicken. It’s not all noodles and meat though, since they’ll also give you some sides such as chopped red onions,  pickled celery, and slices of lime.

Look for this restaurant when you’re in Old Chiang Mai. We guarantee that you won’t regret visiting this establishment for the unique and unforgettable khao soi they serve!

Khanom Krok

Chiang Mai has its own pancake and you might be surprised at how unique and different it is compared to our Western idea of this food item. It’s called khanom krok, small bite-sized pancakes made from coconuts and rice that you should try out.

They’re perfect for snacking or as a dessert item especially while you’re travelling around Chiang Mai to take in the sights. 

You can also share your khanom krok with your loved ones and friends as they aren’t super sweet and will usually be crowd-pleasers wherever they are offered!

Try It Here: Khanom Krok Shell Chuan Chim Khun Noi Ban Mo

Address: Ban Mo, Wang Burapha Phirom, Phra Nakhon, Bangkok 10200, Thailand 

Contact details: +66 84 222 6200   

Operating hours:  

  • Monday to Sunday, 5:30 to 10:30 PM


Khanom Krok Shell Chuan Chim Khun Noi Ban Mo sells its khanom krok from a humble food stall located in Bangkok. Don’t let its unassuming facade fool you though as locals go crazy about the khanom krok sold here.

You see, instead of using modern vegetable oil to cook their Thai pancakes, they use the sap from the rubber tree (also called “chan”) to prepare their khanom krok. They also grill their pancakes, giving you that smoky taste with each bite.

Aside from their traditional style of cooking, you can also drop by Khanom Krok Shell Chuan Chim Khun Noi Ban Mo just to watch how khanom krok is prepared. 

A fair bit of warning though– watching them prepare this dessert may result in you eating more than you should!

Khao kha moo

Carnivores rejoice as khao kha moo is here to make your culinary adventure to Chiang Mai a memorable one! Khao kha moo is stewed pork served with egg and some rice– a staple side dish for most Thai food items.

It’s also usually served with some veggies that you can mix in to balance out the taste. These include pickled mustard greens topped with some garlic chilli sauce – simply perfect if you want to add a bit of spicy kick to your meal! 

If you have guests visiting you in your hotel or if a fellow traveller doesn’t know which food to eat, you really can’t go wrong if you offer them some khao kha moo. It’s an iconic dish that people just universally like here in Thailand!

Try It Here: Khao Kha Mu Trok Sung

Address:  23 ซอย ราชดำริ1 Lumpini, Pathum Wan, Bangkok 10330, Thailand

Contact details: N/A   

Operating hours: 

  • Monday to Saturday, 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM
  • Closed on Sunday


Khao Kha Mu Trok Sung offers a street food style experience but their khao kha moo is something you shouldn’t miss. 

It’s one of the best in the area and you best savour each flavourful bite of this dish as the sauces and sides perfectly compliment the stewed pork. 

To complete your dining experience, pair their best-selling khao kha moo with some of their bitter gourd pork rib soup. The combination of these two dishes is just divine and you can just thank us later for sharing this delicious tip with you.

Sai Oua

Undoubtedly one of the best finger foods if you’re drinking some alcoholic drinks, Chiang Mai’s sai oua will give you that perfect balance of meatiness and flavour that can make you order a second serving. 

Just enjoy and savour this pork sausage prepared with various herbs and spices 

to experience what it feels like to eat sausages like a true local. Pair it with an ice-cold beer and you’re good to go! 

It’s one of the best snack foods you can eat while in the country and understandably so. Sai Oua is delicious, meaty, and convenient – something that you can easily pick up and eat during a lazy afternoon and you’re craving a midday snack!

Try It Here: Royal Osha

Address:  99 Royal Residence Park Lumpini, Pathum Wan, Bangkok 10330, Thailand

Contact details: +66 2 256 6551

Operating hours: 

  • Tuesday to Sunday, 11:30 AM to 10:00 PM


Here at the Royal Osha, you can enjoy your sai oua in style as the restaurant is an upscale one that aims to please you not just with its food but also its overall ambiance and presentation.

We recommend that you go for their tasting menu as it can give you the most variety in terms of their offered food items (including their Sai Oua, of course). If you order this menu, you’ll also be treated to some cool theatrics thanks to that dry ice effect!

You can also try out their wagyu beef and grouper as both best-sellers were flavourful, tender, and perfectly prepared. Order some white or red jasmine rice to complete your local dining experience and know what it’s like to live the good life in Chiang Mai.

Miang Kham

Are you the type of person who likes to create your own snack? Then you and the miang kham of Chiang Mai might just be a match made in heaven!

Miang kham is a type of finger food that you can mix and match yourself depending on your preference. The dish will commonly have roasted coconuts, dried shrimp, lime, garlic, chillies, shallots, and some betel leaves with some sweet syrup on the side.

You eat this by using the betel leaf like a spring roll wrapper where you put your desired ingredients in before topping it off with some sweet syrup. We’re certain that just the thought of your own unique combination is enough to make you crave some of this!

If you’re inviting some friends over (to your hotel or a restaurant), you can have some Miang Kham served to them. It’s the perfect all-around appetiser that they will surely appreciate thanks to its variety and unique flavours.

Try It Here: Thon Krueng Restaurant

Address:  211 3 Sukhum Vit 49, Khlong Tan Nuea, Watthana, Bangkok 10110, Thailand 

Contact details: +6621853072  

Operating hours:  

  • Monday to Sunday, 11:00 AM to 10:30 PM


We can’t recommend Thon Krueng Restaurant enough– dining at this establishment is like going on a culinary tour of the different regions of Thailand. Of course, they feature one of Chiang Mai’s finest dishes which is the miang kham.

In fact, aside from the variety offered by the ingredients of the Miang Kham itself, you’d be forced to read the menu of this restaurant just to keep track of all the dishes they serve here.

We highly recommend that you also try their stir-fry items and their spicy curries as these are some of the most authentic tasting local dishes offered here in Bangkok

Cap your meal off with some of their coconut-based desserts to balance out the strong spices you may encounter in some of their curries.

Larb kua  

You’ve probably heard of larb before but this variant comes straight from the northern region of Thailand and is packed with more spices than its northeastern counterpart. 

You can have this with your meat of choice (beef, pork, or chicken) cooked with some herbs, spices, generous amounts of blood cubes, larb curry, and chillies (depending on how spicy you want it).  Eat this with some sticky rice to get to larb heaven!

Larb kua is one dish you should consider as part of your main course (just like the locals here). It’s a great food item for lunch with enough kick to keep you energised and alert throughout the rest of the day!

Try It Here: Laab Ubon Kontrakan

Address: 251 6 S Sathorn Rd, Yan Nawa, Sathon, Bangkok 10120, Thailand  

Contact details: +66 85 981 5041  

Operating hours:  

  • Monday to Sunday, 4:00 PM to 3:00 AM


Laab Ubon Kontrakan is as local as they come here in Bangkok with its open-air dining area coupled with those classic plastic chairs and tables that give off that street food vibe! Their larb kua here is to die for and is something that you should definitely order.

The restaurant also offers some superb food items that go great with the larb kua. You should definitely try out their grilled pork neck and seafood soup as these taste even more fantastic when eaten with mouthfuls of that delicious larb!

How do we know this restaurant is one of the best local restaurants here? Well, it’s off the beaten path but locals are still drawn to it quite regularly – proof that they’re doing something phenomenal with their food!

Gaeng hoh

Leftovers never sounded appealing, that is until you’ve tried this Chiang Mai dish known as gaeng hoh. Its name literally means all mixed up and it’s traditionally a combination of kitchen leftovers from a typical Thai home.

The gaeng noh you get in restaurants uses fresh ingredients but it’s still essentially a dry curry dish made with some veggies, noodles, and thick curry paste composed of kae curry paste, hang lay curry paste, red curry paste, and bamboo shoots.

This dish is one you can order if you have family or friends with different tastes. You can all sit down, and tell stories while feasting on the different ingredients of your gaeng hoh– truly a great dish to bond over.

Try It Here: The House of Smooth Curry

Address: 61 Wireless Rd, Lumphini, Pathum Wan, Bangkok 10330, Thailand  

Contact details: +66 2 650 8800    

Operating hours:  

  • Monday to Sunday, 11:30 AM to 2:30 PM, 6:00 PM to 10:00 PM 


The gaeng hoh served at this restaurant is perfect if you want something subtle and not too overpowering. It’s something we’d recommend if you’re still testing out the waters in terms of how strong or spicy your curry should be.

We also recommend trying out some of their other local dishes such as their massaman curry and mango sticky rice as the ingredients all tasted fresh and perfectly cooked. 

You should also grab yourself some of their coconut ice cream with some fried bananas. It’s a dessert item that’s perfect for ending your meal here on a sweet note.

Mango sticky rice

Who hasn’t heard of mango sticky rice here in Thailand? It’s probably the most popular Thai dish of all and we’re not surprised why. It’s simple, straightforward and the combination of mango and rice is just heavenly.

You’d be hard-pressed not to encounter this sweet treat when in Chiang Mai. As its name implies, it’s made from fresh mango, some sticky rice, and some coconut sauce.

Most of the mango sticky rice sold here can be taken to go and you can enjoy it anywhere you are in the country. This sweet treat is something you can share with anyone on your travels but just make sure they leave some for you!

Try It Here: My favourite mango sticky rice

Address:  Khaosan Rd, Talat Yot, Phra Nakhon, Bangkok 10200, Thailand

Contact details: +66 98 857 3498   

Operating hours:  

  • Monday to Sunday, 9:30 AM to 4:00 AM

Hor mok

Here’s another unique Thai dish famous in Chiang Mai – hor mok or steamed fish custard. It’s not the custard filling you’re familiar with in the West though, as this one is made from ingredients that aren’t found in the said creamy filling.

Hor mok is actually made using some fish, coconut milk, and some curry paste before being poured into small banana leaf cups and steamed. The result? Perfectly cooked custard fish cakes destined to become one of the most iconic street food items here.

This is another dish that’s perfect if you’re hanging out and drinking with friends. It’s an easy pick-me-up snack that perfectly combines with any beverage you pair it with, alcoholic or not. 

Try It Here: Fish Ho Mok

 Address:  1428, 1244 Srinakarin Rd, Suan Luang, Bangkok 10250, Thailand

Contact details:   +66 89 686 9791

Operating hours:  9:00 AM to 6:00 PM

Fish ho mok doesn’t look much in terms of dining ambiance but the food it offers is local and truly authentic – something that we think you should really try out to be able to tell your friends that you’ve tried the best food Chiang Mai has to offer.

Their hor mok here is a little bit different though (in a good way) as instead of using banana leaf cups, they use the said leaves as a wrapper to seal in the flavour. With this, you get some of the tastiest and most flavour-packed hor mok this side of Thailand!

You don’t have to eat here too as you can simply just stop by, order, and grab your food to go. As we mentioned earlier, ho mok is one of the most iconic street food items here, so why not enjoy it while taking in the sights and walking the streets of Chiang Mai?

Khanom bua loi

Floating lotus may sound like a yoga pose to you but it actually is the English translation of “bua loi”. This name comes from the physical appearance of the khanom bua loi, which is a pond of white cream with some floating marbles on top. 

If ever you’re in Chiang Mai, this dessert item is one that you should definitely order. It’s a warm dessert with some chewy rice balls (the marbles) on a coconut milk base that will give you a sweet and delicious explosion of goodness with just one spoonful!

Most locals here will snack on some Khanom bua loi with some hot or even cold coffee. Its warm and creamy taste will elevate the taste of your beverage and might even make this local dessert one of your favourite sweet treats!

Try It Here: Sra Bua by Kiin Kiin

Address: Siam Kempinski Hotel, 991/9 Rama I Rd, Khwaeng Pathum Wan, Pathum Wan, Bangkok 10330, Thailand 

Contact details: +66 2 162 9000   

Operating hours: 

  • Monday to Sunday, 12:00 PM to 3:00 PM and  6:00 PM to 12:00 AM


Sra Bua by Kiin Kiin is a modern Thai restaurant that serves local dishes with style and elegance. If you’re going to dine here, we suggest that you go for their 6-course dinner– we guarantee that you’ll fall in love with the taste and the presentation of the food!

Toward the end of this set dinner, you’ll be served their famous khanom bua loi. Take pictures of it before savouring it as its delicate taste is something that you will probably like to remember for the rest of your life!

The restaurant is a bit pricey but it’s still usually crowded – a testament as to how in demand Sra Bua by Kiin Kiin is. We recommend that you call in advance to book a reservation just to make sure that you and your family get seats when you get here.

Gaeng-hang lay

Gaeng-hang lay is a pork dish from Northern Thailand composed of fatty cuts of pork cooked in some ginger curry. If you want to eat something filling, flavourful, and packed with protein, then this dish is for you!

The best part about ordering gaeng-hang lay is that it can be paired with a ton of options such as kanom jeen noodles, sticky rice, or jasmine rice. You really can’t go wrong here as the pork and the noodle or rice combo is a match made in heaven.

This dish is another food item most locals eat during main courses. You can have this during lunch or even dinner if you want to feast on something heavy and delicious!

Try It Here: Krua Jiang Mai

Address: 125 24 Thonglor Rd, Khlong Tan Nuea, Watthana, Bangkok 10110, Thailand    

Contact details: +66 99 196 2464  

Operating hours:  

  • Monday to Sunday, 9:30 AM to 9:00 PM

Another Bangkok restaurant that you should check out, Krua Jiang Mai serves some of the most tender and flavourful gaeng-hang lay. You can order sides to go with this pork dish or you can order a completely different dish if you so choose.

They have pork sausages, khao soi gai, spicy beef, and Hokkien wings, among others. You can also have some seafood here such as their salted fish – it’s delicately flavoured and fits perfectly if you want to eat it with some noodles or rice as well.

Nam prik ong

Nam prik ong is a very versatile dish that is quite popular in Chiang Mai. You can eat this with some rice or you can enjoy it as a dip for different veggies such as long beans, eggplant, cauliflower, okra, or cabbage.

Its meaty pork flavour and savoury tomato chilli base can also be enjoyed with some boiled eggs, pork cracklings, and sausages. The options here are basically limitless and it’s up to you and your preferences on what you want to dip in your nam prik ong!

Look around sports bars and restaurants here during a big game and you’ll see a lot of locals with this dish. You can do the same while watching your favourite sports team or binge-watching your favourite series – grab some veggies or chips and dip as you please!

Try It Here: Ongtong Khao Soi Ari Branch

Address: 31 Phahonyothin Soi 7, แขวงพญาไท Phaya Thai, Bangkok 10400, Thailand  

Contact details: +66 2 003 5254   

Operating hours:  

  • Monday to Sunday, 9:00 AM to 8:30 PM

Ongtong Khao Soi Ari Branch serves some delicious (albeit spicy) local foods here. You can enjoy their spicier version of nam prik ong and use it as a dip for more neutral-tasting food such as fresh vegetables and unseasoned meats and eggs. 

They serve other fantastic food options as well such as their pork sausage with rice and khao soi. Order their nam prik ong with some of the restaurant’s other dishes and use this dip like gravy, which is ideal if you want some more spice in your meals!

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