If all this talk of Northern Thai cuisine has inspired a culinary holiday, then don’t leave home without this food lover’s guide to Chiang Mai.
At Sorn Chai restaurant (Si Phum, outside the Tha Phae Gate). Run by two sisters, this tiny eatery has just four tables, but it’s regarded as having some of the best pork larb and nam phrik ong in town.
At Khao Soi Islam (Charoenprathet Rd, Soi 1) or Khao Soi Khun Yai (Sri Poom Road, next to Wat Kuan Kama, Old City, North Moat). No trip to Northern Thailand is complete without indulging in a bowl of khao soi, a rich coconut and turmeric soup served with chicken and egg noodles. You’ll find top-notch versions at Khao Soi Islam, near the night bazaar, and Khao Soi Khun Yai, a rustic street stall sandwiched between two temples.
At Warorot Market (90 Wichayanon Rd). Located just a stone’s throw from the more touristy night bazaar, the Warorot Market offers an authentic Chiang Mai experience. Join the locals stocking up on essential Northern Thailand ingredients including fresh fruits, vegetables and spices, and handmade curries and soups. For a snack while you shop, follow the scent of sweet grilled meats to the barbecues chargrilling pork skewers and sausages to order.
At Tong Tem Toh (Nimman Haeminda Rd, Soi 13). Dine on Northern Thai specialties such as hang lay curry and nam phrik ong in this charming old teak house with shaded courtyard.
At Huen Phen (112 Ratchamanka Rd), a no-frills eatery within the old city walls, where the khao ngiaw (sticky rice) comes seasoned with pig’s blood and spices.
At Dash! (Moon Muang Rd, Soi 1). You’ll find all the flavours of Northern Thailand here, served in a contemporary style in a gorgeous old teak house. Standouts include the larb and tamarind pork curry.
With Chiang Mai Food Tours. Get the lowdown on the best street hawkers, markets and must-eat delicacies with a guided tour of Chiang Mai. Explore on foot, via local truck, or on the back of a motorbike.
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