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Aug 28, 2009 02:58 AM

Chiang Mai Recommendations


Am heading of to Chiang Mai for a couple of days and would appreciate some recommendations for restaurants - food being the priority and perhaps ambience next as it is going to be with my girlfriend. I guess if no restaurants with a romantic setting are good foodwise then we can always do the romantic places for drinks before or after.

There seems to be a lot on Bangkok, which I am familiar with but not Chiang Mai.

Thanks so much

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    these two urls focus on food of CM the Kow Soi is unique...a spicy curry (indian and thai) dish that you might want to google look for the BEST Kow Soi place it is on the outskirts of the city so need a taxi or cycle to get to but a MUST. you will discover lots of coffee/pastry thai places all over so do the research with google aid...cannot go wrong

    1. i just posted this -

      all are good in different ways, some definitely right for a romantic dinner!

      1. kow soi is the unique dish in cm and there is the best place for it just outside of cm
        look up he item and chiang mai on google. Austen Bush also wrote new stull in the new ed ot fraveland leisure southeast asia and also in the 13th ed of lonely planet thainad out now but be sure to ask when you get there there is one place to the north of the night market but the best is northeast of the old city and any dirver knows the place will look for the url for it

        1. Ginger Kafe. seriously, to die for food, and a charming, kind of shabby chic meets Asia vibe. We had dinner there twice in three nights.

          1 Reply
          1. re: lulubelle

            and one of the food too... a sort of pork parcel of goodness.

            1. re: surgeon

              Hi guys

              Thanks for the replies so far.

              Surgeon - I think this place is called Lamduan - it's been recommended by many.

              Lulubelle - Ginger Kafe is the one that is in the same compound as House which is more upscale right?

              Justintime - thks I'll check out your list.

              The other ones I have been recommended are:

              Huen Phen
              restaurant at The Ratchamanka hotel
              Piccolo Roma - Italian opp The Chedi
              Thanawm Pochanaa Restaurant
              restaurant at The Chedi
              Mitmai Yunnanese restaurant

              Thoughts on any of these appreciated.

              Thanks again

              1. re: mikey8811

                To el jefe

                Some help here please as you live in Chiang Mai.


                1. re: mikey8811

                  Mikey, Sorry I couldn't get back to you sooner. I was traveling and am actually back in NY right now.

                  I'm also not going to be of much help in finding romantic spots. My wife and I appreciate good food but would rather not pay for the ambiance.
                  As for your list, we love Huen Phen. It's two separate restaurants. At lunch there is a very casual, very inexpensive open-air restaurant serving small servings of traditional northern Thai food. Dinner is served in an old house behind where they serve lunch. each room is filled with a collection of antiques and bric-a-brac. It's a different menu but also northern Thai. Lunch time is mostly locals; dinner is mostly tourists. The food is excellent at both.

                  Mitmai Yunnanese is very good too. The food is as good there as anywhere we ate in Yunnan. They also have a few Sichuan dishes on the menu.

                  I'm one of the few people who isn't a huge fan of Lamduan, or Just Khao Soi either. I think there are plenty of local neighborhood places that do as good a job with Khao Soi. My favorite was a vendor in the Thanin Market, but he recently moved and I haven't been able to track him down yet.

                  As you thought, Ginger is in the same compound as The House. I haven't been, nor have I been to any of the other restaurants on your list.

                  Just about all the restaurants you mentioned are on the east side of CM. Wwe live on the west side in the Nimmanhaemin area. There are excellent Thai restaurants all over the city, so we've never found the need to travel to the east side for Thai food.

                  If we do travel to the north or east side it's for non-Thai food:
                  Buonisimo for Italian (north of the city)
                  Chez Marco on Loi Kroh Rd for Mediteranian
                  Franco-Thai for French/Italian (just north of Ikon Plaza)
                  A Cantonese restaurant on Sridonchoi (Jia Thong ___ ?)
                  And if you really miss American-style food, go to Dukes for ribs, burgers, steaks, etc. (go to the one across the river, not the one in the Night Bazaar)

                  If you want recs in the Nimmanhaemin area, let me know.

                  1. re: el jefe

                    Thanks for the reply el jefe.

                    With Huen Phen we will probably eat there only once. Which would you recommend? Lunch of dinner? Also what are the dishes to order?

                    Likewise, what would you order at Mitmai Yunanese?

                    We will be staying at The Chedi and I gather that Lamduan is quite a long way away - so if you have recommendations for another Khao Soi place nearby that would be appreciated.

                    Anything else you can think of is also appreciated.

                    I would like to e-mail you directly about sights and other practical getting around matters if you don't mind.


                    1. re: mikey8811

                      Both Huen Phen and Mitmai have huge, varied menus and it's difficult to make recs. I've only tried 12-15 of the 200+ dishes on Mitmai's menu.

                      Go to Huen Phen for lunch. My faves then are the fried ribs (#10), the grilled pork salad (#47?), the fish in banana leaf ("hor mak"), and the Huen Phen Salad or any of their other salads, like the carrot or papaya salad.

                      I really don't have any recs for Thai food in the Chedi area.

                      If you can figure out how to contact me thru the Chowhound site, feel free. otherwise post your email address here and I'll get back to you.

                      1. re: el jefe

                        el jefe

                        This is strange - I posted my e-mail address but it is gone.

                        Here it is



                        1. re: mikey8811

                          May have been removed because of Chowhound policy.
                          I just sent you a private email.