Chiang Mai is one of the most visited city in Thailand. Many visitors tarry to stay for days, weeks or months here. From food perspective Chiang Mai is a vegans paradise. You don’t even need to search the internet to find restaurants that serve plant-based food. Due to great food and other reasons many nomads tend to choose this city as their base. Nethertheless Chiang Mai is called nomads capital in Thailand. So if the Northern Thailand wasn’t the part of your journey plan, it is time to rethink it!
Personally for me Chiang May is the place where you can eat to the fullest and still want to sneak for a dessert like chocolate brownie with coconut ice-cream. This place has food for the most gourmet taste, not like many vegan restaurants elsewhere in Thailand which offer standard ‘Jay’ food and it’s the only option for you.
We stayed for a 2 weeks in Chiang Mai and could happily have stayed longer because vegan food options were on every corner! This is what makes it a vegans paradise. But if you planed to visit it for a few days, you should be worried you won’t be able to try all the great food. Here are the places we visited, in order from our most to our least favorite.
First place we highly recommend is a restaurant Taste from Heaven which deserves it’s name. It’s located in the ‘square’ or in other words in old city. You can come here for lunch, dinner and absolutely amazing desserts (we even packed some when we left Chiang Mai). We haven’t captured the food, because it was way too good to wait and take the pictures. No matter how many times we’ve been there, we couldn’t help ourselves by not eating our meals. Trust me, you will come back to this place many times after your first visit!
This place has the best burgers in town! They make the food from organic veggies and grow the seed sprouts by themselves.
The veggie burgers patty were made from pumpkin, carrots, chickpeas and the flavour is 10 out of 10. It is served with fresh greens and a special sauce. But the burgers weren’t the only thing that fascinated us. They serve grilled mushrooms and tofu which is a great option for light lunch.
You can also enjoy fresh vegetables juice here without any ice cubes in it, which is pretty uncommon in Thailand and you have to ask not to serve it that way if you love non-diluted juice.
In Dada Kafe you can find a big variety of vegan Thai dishes and all fried meals options. It also has burgers, they are good, but not as delightfully good as ones I have mentioned in Bubbles Live. It also use a lot of onion, so warn the chef before they prepare your meals.
Green Tiger House
Green Tiger house is a beautiful hotel and a restaurant with an extra chill atmosphere. Without food you can also find here a big and friendly cat accompanied with a tiny dog. Both are living at the hotel and enjoy peaceful sleep on one of the restaurant’s chairs. Restaurant has many vegan options and incredibly delicious smoothies!
This place stopped our cravings for European food after traveling for two months in Thailand. It has true Italian who bakes pizza and focaccia bread. The latter one is greatly used for your day long travels, while there is no regular bread in Thailand as we Westerners are used to, and it fits perfectly with huge avocados from the market! It also has hummus and curries which are also nice.
Khum Kae’s Juice Bar
Justinas found this place and we both are fans of juice bars. It’s small and cozy (not as small as the one we found in Bangkok), and serves all types of vegetable juices and smoothies. We used to come here to chill and surf the internet!
While there are so many great restaurants in Chiang Mai you won’t be really interested in street food. But the great tip is to drink as many as you can freshly squeezed mini oranges or passion fruit juice (ask it without ice!!) from street stalls. We even figured out a sustainable solution for it. We carried our own glass bottle to fill it with juices instead of buying it in plastic glass. These fruits juices are full of vitamins, healthy and incredibly cheap! In few places you can also find my favorite drink – kombucha. A healthy alternative to solf drinks.
If you want to know more about plant-based options in Thailand capital head to our post about it. You can also read what you can find in markets and more about ‘Jay’ food that you can found all over Thailand.
All words by Eisve Treciakauskaite and all images by Justinas Lekavicius, unless otherwise noted.