Chiang Mai Digest

Dining, Travel and Living in Chiang Mai & Northern Thailand

Food in Chiang Mai and Northern Thailand

Food, Glorious Food! We write songs about it. Without it, we couldn't survive as a species. Chiang Mai has arguably the best selection of restaurants and dining options per capita in Thailand. Thai food is world renowned for its spicy, savory and exotic flavors.
Dining Aa fresco, Thai Style
Fruit and Kanom Thai; khao tom mat (sticky rice wrapped banana steamed in banana leaves) and thong Yip, tong yot, foi tong (dumplings made with wheat flour, egg yolk & sugar)
In Thailand, food is everywhere. There is no need to plan for a meal along the way. with a few Baht in your packet you will be sure to find something delicious and cheap along any back-road. Noodles are the staple and when I am on the road exploring they seem to always hit the spot. Any self-respecting noodle stand will have fish sauce, ground dried chilies and usually a pot of fresh peppers soaking in vinegar to add to your bowl of savory pork, chicken or beef noodles. Standard price; 20 Baht.
Only slightly less ubiquitous are small "Arhan Tam Saang" stands, food cooked to order. Chicken roasted over an open fire, usually with a sweet chili sauce or, my favorite, "naam jim jeaw" a savory, spicy sauce made from tamarind chilies and a few other ingredients. Naam Jim Jeaw is typically served with "Kaw Moo Yang" roast pork jowls. delicious.
Barbecue Chicken - Thai Style
Barbecue Chicken - Thai Style. Savory and juicy, With sticky rice a cold beer or soda and a couple dipping sauces. Might set you back 70 -80 Baht

You can have it "Your Way"

Chiang Mai is host to a Burger King, several KFCs, McDonalds, a couple Sub Ways and countless small proprietorships selling burgers, Mexican, Deli Sandwiches and other "Fast foods." There are also destination restaurants serving Italian, German, English, French and any number of other national dishes.
Not all western food is what you may be used to, no matter what part of hte western world you are from. Some thia restaurants make and attempt at burgers and fries of steak and potatoes or pasta and sauce but just don;t quite hit the mark. Not to say some of the renditions are not enjoyable in their own right, but if you're out on the hunt for a some good ol' comfort food you may be disappointed.
"American Breakfast" is a good one. Usually boiled ham luncheon meat type slices, or mini cocktail weenies split and steamed boiled or deep fried, eggs and toast, the toast is typically an overly sweet white bread. if you're hungry it's not bad and many Thai relish this "Farang Food." Many nice Thai hotels offer this type of breakfast buffet style. Combined with a hot pot of Jok and a typically large fruit platter it can make for a filling and enjoyable breakfast.
There are even small noodle shop-type operations catering to those "special" farang tastes.

German Sauasage, Anyone?

Germain Sausage Stall in Chiang Mai
German Sausage Stand in Chiang Mai. In this market stall, just outside Chiang Mai University gate, an enterprising Chiang Mai University student sells Sausages and mashed potatoes to the other students wandering around.
IF you enjoy food, You you will enjoy what Chiang Mai has to offer. I've started to write, "If you don't enjoy food, don't worry, you will enjoy what as to offer as well." To imagine there is someone that doesn't enjoy food is difficult.
Chiang Mai has much to satisfy the epicurean in us all.
Thai Appetier platter
Order Nam Prik Ong for a taste treat. Fried pork rind, Sai ooua (Chiang Mai sausage), Naem (fermented pork sausage) with fresh and steamed vegetables. "Naam Prik" usually means Chili sauce, this one is mild with ground pork and tomoato.