10 Northern Thai Dishes You Won’t Find Back Home

10 Northern Thai Dishes You Won’t Find Back Home – and how to order!


Chiang Mai cuisine is different from other areas of Thailand. The Thai food that you know from Thai restaurants in the west is Central Thai cuisine and there is a good chance that you haven’t sampled Northern Thai food yet. Yes, Pad Thai can be amazing, and somehow it has turned into a 20 dollar delicacy at Thai restaurants in the west. But the truth is that Thai food is so much more than Pad Thai and Massaman Curry.
Fresh markets are all over the city. In the morning you will often find chili pastes, fried meats, soups, special desserts and fruit. In the evening all of the different vendors will break out their stalls filled with stir fries, noodle soups, and more. Here are some of our favorite dishes to introduce you to Northern Thai cuisine.
Khao Soi (Pronounced kow – soy)khao_soi
An outstanding northern Thai curry noodle dish available throughout the city. Just stop someone on the street and ask them where to find some. Order this spicy red curry soup with chicken (gai) or pork (muu). 
Naam Prik Noom  (naam-preek-noom) IMG_0754
An outstanding chili made from green Thai chilies and eggplant meant to be eaten with fresh vegetables or pork rinds. Makes a great appetizer or side dish.  
nam-prik-ongNaam Prik Ong (naam-preek-on- ng)

A red chili made with ground pork and tomatoes eaten with fresh vegetables.



Sai Krawg (sy-krawg)

Isaan style sausage stuffed with rice and spices eaten with fresh ginger, chilies and cabbage.

sai_ouaSai Ooa (sy-UU-ah)

A northern style spicy sausage eaten with sticky rice.


Naem (Rhymes with lamb)

A spicy and sour sausage eaten with sticky rice and fresh veggies


Rot Duan – Express Train(rote-doo-on)rot-dua

A special northern delicacy of fried bamboo worms.


Khao Mun – Khao Neow san Khaya (kow-moon)
Tasty and sweet sticky rice with egg custard wrapped in a leaf.


kuay-teawGuay Teow (koy-tee-ow)

A Thai classic. Noodle soup. There are so many different kinds to try. Try our favorite, guay teow tom yam! Check our eating noodles tutorial for pointers.


som-tamSom Tam (sohm-tam)
Does this really need an introduction? Papaya salad is made in so many ways. Try Tam Lao (Laos style) or even Tam Mamuang (Mango salad).
For more information about Thai Culture visit our guide to Chiang Mai!
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