Chiang Mai Eats

Let’s be honest, the climbing isn’t the only thing that brought us to Thailand.

The food in Chiang Mai and the rest of Thailand is outstanding and affordable. As a hungry climber, you will find no shortage of tasty treats to fill you up at the end of a hard day of cranking. Thailand has many regions and as such there are many different flavors.

The cuisine in Chiang Mai 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.

We are not going to tell you where to eat here. Instead we suggest you try a different place every night. Look for restaurants or stalls that are filled with Thai people, and if you’ve never seen it before, give it a try.

Think of it like climbing. Push your limits.

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.

Northern Thai Favorites

Khao Soi

An outstanding northern Thai curry noodle dish available throughout the city. Just stop someone on the street and ask thh3 where to find some.

Naam Prik Noom

An outstanding chili made from green Thai chilies and eggplant meant to be eaten with fresh vegetables.

Naam Prik Ong

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


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

Sai Ooa

A northern style spicy sausage eaten with sticky rice.

Sai Krawg

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

Rot Duan (Express train)

A special northern delicacy of fried bamboo worms.

Khao Mun (Khao Neow san Khaya)

Tasty and sweet sticky rice with egg custard wrapped in a leaf.

Guay Teow

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 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).