Chiang Mai Street Food: 8 Dishes You Must Try
As you make your way out of your luxury hotel into the bustling market, you will be swept away by all the fragrances of Chiang Mai street food.
Assaulting you from every angle will be decadent scents perfected over thousands of years. Recipes that have been passed down for generations.
Street food is some of the cheapest, most delicious sustenance available in all of Thailand. You will want to be careful whenever you try any new dishes. Many of them are extremely spicy to a western palette.
There are so many wonderful things to do and see in Thailand. Keep reading to learn where to go looking for street food and what the best dishes are to try when you get there.
Where to Look for Chiang Mai Street Food
Wanding through any part of the city you are likely to find all sorts of vendors selling Chiang Mai street food, although many do not come out until nighttime.
Chang Puak Gate
If you are looking for a local experience, going to Chang Puak Gate is a great choice. On its western side, rimming a moat, you will find stall after stall of delicious offerings.
If you end up here, be sure you look for the lady wearing a cowboy hat. She has some slow-cooked pork that would make any mouth water. She serves it every evening with rice and egg to a ridiculously long line of devoted patrons.
Chiang Mai Gate
This is the closest and simplest market to get to from the tourist areas of the city. It has one of the largest collections of Chiang Mai street food options every evening.
You can walk the aisles and find a wide range of traditional Thai food. From the many noodle stalls to the decadent desserts, you will leave this marketplace stuffed. At least until it is time to get back out there again tomorrow!
One of the most long-standing marketplaces in the area, the Night Bizarre contains the largest selection of street food under one roof in the entire city. If you are looking for options, this is the place for you.
Simply walk along Chang Klan Road and enjoy the vibrant vendors cooking fresh, high-quality meats.
This place also offers some western food options if you are a little burnt out on Thai food. With a trendy courtyard featuring live music, you should feel right at home.
Located slightly north of the night bizarre is Warorot Market, one of the most well-known places in the city. Featuring a multi-level shopping market, you will be able to find handcrafted goods to bring home from your travels.
Surprisingly, there are not a lot of tourists here, so it is a great way to have an authentic experience when you visit the city.
Walking the Streets on the Weekend
Since many dining options are only available at night during the week, making the most of your weekends will be crucial.
If you go looking for the market, the location differs slightly from Saturday to Sunday. On Saturday it is along Soi Wua Lai which is located south of old town. Whereas on Sunday the market is inside Old Town, running along Soi Ratchadamnoen.
Siri Wattana & Thanin Markets
These lesser known places are a hidden gem. They consist of two open-air markets that cover a one-kilometer area north of North Gate. You can buy takeaway items from one market and eat decadent food on the spot in the other.
Kad Suan Kaew
Located on Thanon Huaykaewm just a five-minute walk from the city wall is another evening street market with Chiang Mai street food. Be careful if you are visiting this one, it is only open from Thursday thru Sunday.
8 Chiang Mai Street Food Dishes Worth Trying
Directly translated to mean “stir-fried rice cake strips”, this popular noodle dish is a favorite in Singapore and Malaysia. You can find ingredients in this tasty dish that include prawns, blood cockles, bean sprouts, chives, sausage, fish cake and more.
This dish isn’t the most healthy option as it was originally used to serve laborers who needed large amounts of energy and nutrients to complete their tasks.
Having a very distinct hot and sour flavor, this fragrant and spicy dish features a basic broth made from stock and ingredients like lemongrass, lime leaves, fish sauce and chili peppers.
If you want soup but Tom Yum doesn’t sound appealing, Tom Ka is a great option. It is a Thai coconut chicken soup that is the favorite of many visitors to Thailand.
Many of the ingredients in this soup mirror the flavors in the Tom Yum, but the coconut flavor does a nice job of dulling some of the extreme heat caused by spices.
Originally a Burmese dish, Khao Soi is made from rice noodles that are stretched over boiling water. After steaming, the sheet of dough is cut into individual noodles.
Often Thais serve the noodles with coconut milk or a curry soup base.
Khao Kha Moo
If you would like to try a braised pork leg, you’re going to want to ask for some Khao Kha Moo. Traditional serving is as a single dish meal over rice. However you may find a hard-boiled egg and Chinese broccoli on the side.
One of the variations of hot pot, a communal dish where items are dipped in broth, this spicy dish appeals to Chinese diners looking for a taste of home. If you are gathering with a group, this dish is a great way to bring everyone together for a special meal.
Kao Man Gai
Featuring the staples of chicken and rice, this Chiang Mai street food is great for hot sauce lovers. Spice this dish up or down to fit your own tastes.
Probably the most prominent Thai dish in the western world is Pad Thai. Street vendors serve stir-fried rice noodles with all sorts of additions all over the country. Try it with dried or fresh shrimp and peanuts.
Where to Stay in Chiang Mai
if you are visiting the beautiful bustling city of Chiang Mai you will need a place to stay. Try checking out Howie’s Home Stay, we specialize in making westerners feel right at home in the city.
Our all-inclusive rates and variety of packages make us a great option for any group visiting the area.